06 October, 2009


What's in a name?

On Tooley Street in London SE1 stands the Shipwrights Arms, a run-down but friendly pub which I believe is still run by 'cheerful' Andy Bishop* and his wife Julie, and next to it some former railway offices housing something called the Battle of Britain exhibition, an exhibition of wartime memorabilia which, like many attractions in London, I have often been tempted by, but as a resident there is always another day. (Until all of a sudden you run out of days, of course.)

Between the two buildings is a narrow alley, a cul-de-sac (or more precisely a dead end) no more than thirty feet in length. Southwark Council has taken this humble and scruffy alleyway in hand and has set about laying new flags and posh cobbles. When it's finished, it's going to be a...


* Andy is blessed, or cursed, with a naturally lugubrious expression. I did see him smile once. It was so unexpected, I had to order a second pint of Guinness to help me recover from the shock.

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