London Walking Tours    with Joanna Moncrieff

Beating the Strike

Discovering that my latest Mayfair walk was on the date of the planned tube strike was not going to force me to cancel it.  I had 17 people booked and my thinking was that people would delay their journey home and thus come on my walk.  My thinking was wrong.  The day before the strike the numbers had gone down to 12 and on the day of the walk 7 were expected.  3 turned up.  Despite the low numbers it was an enjoyable walk – the 3 attendees who had met for the first time at the beginning of the walk seemed to get on well.  Rain had been forecast too which would have been another downer but thankfully this didn’t materialise.

Three-quarters of the way around the walk I discovered that this particular walk probably works better on a summer evening as we nearly got locked into Mount Street Gardens the gardens closing half an hour earlier than I had anticipated.   However I’m glad they did see the gardens as they are one of my favourite small parks in London tucked away in the back streets of Mayfair – see my Londonist review.  The walk finished with a drink in Ye Grapes in Shepherd Market and then we each headed home in different directions. 

When passing through Green Park tube before the start of the walk I was pleased to see the Victoria Line was running.  However I hadn’t looked closely enough; it was running but only to Seven Sisters.  With no Central Line or other obvious way back to Walthamstow or Liverpool Street by tube the only answer would be a bus as I really couldn’t walk another step having walked from Fleet Street to Green Park earlier that evening and of course all the way around Mayfair.  At 9pm the buses were still crammed and I had to stand all the way back to Liverpool Street.  The only saving grace was that the Chingford trains were thankfully empty which wouldn’t have been the case had I cancelled the walk and gone home at the usual time. Did I do the right thing or should I have cancelled the walk?  My feelings are still the same i.e. not to let the strike affect my life if at all possible.