Walking the Hidden Effra

Saturday December 11, 2021 - 10:00 AM

Thousands of people cross the River Effra every day, but few of them realise it.  Although it is mostly hidden underground today, traces remain in street names - and stink pipes!  Jenni Bowley will be following its course from the springs of Upper Norwood to the Thames at Vauxhall.

Join her for a day of walking and history, finding traces of the Effra in street names and muddy patches of ground and hearing the stories of those who have lived on its banks.  This is a rare chance to walk from one end of a river to the other in a day.  The whole walk is about 9 miles, but if you can't spare the time why not join the walk for half a day?

Part 1 Upper Norwood to Herne Hill  10.00 to 12.30

This walk starts in Westow Park, where a low patch of ground (often muddy) marks the spring which once flowed down the hill and joined a number of other small streams to become the Effra.  We'll track its route through Norwood and West Dulwich to Brockwell Park and Herne Hill by finding dips in the ground, stink pipes and a small lake before taking a break for lunch in the park or in one of the numbers cafes and pubs in Herne Hill.

(The meeting point is the Cowell Road entrance to Westow Park, but Jenni will be at Gipsy Hill station at 9.30 to meet anyone who would like help to get to the start point)

Part 2 - Herne Hill to Vauxhall 1.30 to 4.30

From Herne Hill our route takes us through the centre of Brixton, past Stockwell and Kennington and round the Oval Cricket Ground on our way to the Thames at Vauxhall.  Again we will find stink pipes and street names to remind us of the hidden river as we plot its course through bends in the road and hear stories of flooding both from long ago and some surprisingly recent draining problems!

(The meeting point is Here Hill Station on Railton Road)

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Explore Brixton

Meeting Point: Brixton Tube Station

This walk takes us through Brixton's famous markets, as we learn about Windrush Square and  explore its radical and  entertainment history.  We  see street art and sculptures,  and discover how a win on the horses  founded England's first purpose built department store.

Contact: elainewein@btinternet.com









Kennington Uncovered

Once home to the Black Prince, Chaplin and Chartists, Kennington has a lot to offer.  On our our walk we will discover an elegant listed Georgian Square, Prince Albert's idea of model housing and of course visit the home of cricket.  We'll also hear what the Jacobite rebellion and Field Marshall Montgomery have in common.


Industrial Lambeth

Recently, large yellow amphibious vehicles splashed into the Thames where once stately barges brought important visitors to Lambeth. In the intervening centuries Lambeth riverside was a bustling hive of small industries and we will trace their development and demise from the munitions factories and glassworks of the mid-seventeenth century to the vinegar works, potteries and breweries of the nineteenth.  We'll discover gin-makers, brewers, ironworks, a coffee roastery and, of course, a few larger-than-life characters along the way.

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