20 September

Posted: April 12, 2017 by saraherhodes in 1916

Have just got back from London. I caught a train at 10.40 and arrived in London at Paddington Station at 11.50, a matter of 60 miles. From Paddington I took the tube to Aldgate and from there walked about 400 yards and ran up to Kidstons and saw Mr Blair. After some talk we went to lunch. We dined in a sort of grill room. We wandered upstairs and found a chef behind three or four big plates of cooked and roasted joints etc. Behind him are chops and steaks etc. You pick the piece you want carved or cooked for you and wander on upstairs again. You tell the waiter what you ordered. If you stay on the ground floor, they bring the joint and carve it before you. You can have as much and as many helpings as you like – it is all the one charge. In a way, it is very much like the Exchange. On going out, you leave the waiter twopence and the carver a penny. If you give more, you are considered a fit candidate for the asylum, and if you don’t give it, you are asked for it.

Afterwards, I went to Lanyon’s and met Mr Moss and Mr Lanyon. After a good yarn Mr Lanyon took me to tea. I like Mr Lanyon very much. I am going to stay with him after I am at large and he is going to pass me on to other friends. I have to visit a munitions factory that turns out 100,000 Mills Grenades a week with the low percentage of -01% rejections. Also a trip to the Midlands to see some other works. It was after 3 o’clock when I left them, so I did not have much time for sight seeing as I had to catch the 7.30 at Paddington.

First of all I saw the Traitors Gate at the Tower of London and the Bloody Tower where Lady Jane Grey and Anne Boleyn were beheaded, and various other places of note. From there, one was shepherded into a door where there were guns, swords, rifles, pistols, armour and every conceivable weapon of all sizes and ages. As you finished with one chamber you were hunted out of another door into another and so on. All side channels were blocked with chairs, so there was no chance of getting lost or blocking traffic. After that I walked over London Bridge. It is a beautiful piece of work. Up till this, the part of London I had seen wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for a large city but when I got into the middle of the bridge and looked up the river and saw spires, buildings and chimneys as far as I could see, then I realised how big the place was.

From there I went to the Bank of England. Here was “some” traffic, yards of taxis etc. and it didn’t do to go to sleep in the middle of the road. From there I took the tube to Piccadilly Circus. There was a good crowd there too. Theatres by the score. Saw Nelson’s Column in the distance and Marble Arch. The tube is a wonderful contraption worked by women now to a large extent, as are the buses and everything that can be. Altogether I reckon I had a pretty good day. “If in doubt, ask a policeman” is a very good motto to employ and I managed to get anywhere I wanted to that way. The only way I can describe the Thames is to recommend you to read Black House again.

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