Friday, 10 February 2017

Ealing Common for a start

The weather these days is not particularly pleasant: really cold and rainy. I don't think the first daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses are particularly happy about it. The daisy on the grass outside the house probably doesn't mind: it has a flower or two all year round. To tell you the truth, I am not very enthusiastic about the walk I planned for tomorrow. I'm still shaking off a bad flu that got me at the end of January and ruined my plans. However, if I wrap up well, I should be all right. After all, I will be doing what I love: taking people places, telling them stories, encouraging them to speak English and helping them to get more fluent. I am meeting them at the Ealing Common Station which I like for its looks. Wikipedia will tell you that: 'During 1930 and 1931, a new station building was constructed to replace the 1879 building. The new building, by Charles Holden in a style reminiscent of his designs for the 1926 Morden extension of the City and South London Railway (now part of the Northern line),[5] was constructed in Portland stone and features a tall heptagonal ticket hall with glazed screens to all sides. The new building opened on 1 March 1931 and is very similar to the reconstructed station at Hounslow West built at the same time, also by Heaps and Holden.' Once you've seen this building, you will have no difficulty recognising other stations designed by Charles Holden; and there are quite a few.

Tomorrow we are going to talk about some famous people who lived in the area and how Ealing has been changing through the centuries. We will talk about Henry Fielding whose books were bestsellers at the time, about the famous poet George Byron's ex-wife and their talented daughter who all lived in a house which name is preserved in the name of a street near our meeting point. We will walk along a small side street to look at the building which houses some Polish underground archives and cross the busy North Circular looking at the remains of the earthworks from the last war. Then we will see a church built to commemorate the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated at the Houses of Parliament and head towards the Ealing Shopping Centre looking at the houses that long ago replaced beautiful gardens which used to rival the ones in nearby Chiswick.

There will be plenty of time to practise your conversational English, make new friends and do a bit of networking. We will end our walk at The Ealing Central Library (W5 5JY) in time to join in the launching of a community event: The Story Continues.... @ Home in Ealing…. 2017!

So if you can make it tomorrow (11 February 2017), come and meet me at the station in Ealing Common at 11 am!:-)

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