Saturday 11th. New Addington circular

A large group of 24 walkers assembled at New Addington, a further 2 having failed to make it to the tram in time. The weather was unpromising, with plenty of moisture in the air, but we were soon out into open country and grappling with paths churned up by horses and bikes. Heading south we skirted Farleigh Court golf course, passed Farleigh Court manor house with its small 11thC church. Our route then took us round Great Park estate, a large private gated development built on the site of the now demolish Warlingham Park Mental Hospital. Only the listed water tower remains. Most of us had lunch at the attractive White Bear, Fickleshole, which was busy but accommodated us very well and produced large amounts of food surprisingly quickly. As we were finishing our meal, a big group of Metropolitan Ramblers descended on the pub for a drinks stop. This delayed our departure on account of the long queue which instantly formed outside the ladies loo! We headed off north back to our starting point. New Addington was   unknown to most of us. It was designed as a new town in the 1930s to relieve the slums of London and Croydon. The 2nd world war interrupted building and it was not completed until the 1960s, but without many of the promised facilities. It remains an area of social deprivation and high child poverty but the arrival of the tram in 2000 ended its relative isolation so hopefully its future is brighter. Thanks to all who braved the weather and the mud. Sandra

Many thanks to Ida for the photos