Wednesday 13 April: Evening Walk in Shoreditch (Circular)

Soon after starting the walk, we saw a giant hedgehog painted on a wall, a man doing acrobatics on top of a post-box and two men doing mock-fighting with sticks under a bandstand. Shoreditch is becoming trendy but is still a rough diamond. A record 21 Polyramblers came on this evening walk to explore Shoreditch, Columbia Road and Brick Lane. Rain threatened but, apart from a few drops, the evening remained dry. We went up Club Row before reaching the Boundary Estate, started in 1890 as the world’s first Council housing to replace the densely packed Old Nichol slums. The bandstand at Arnold Circus sits on a mound created from the demolition rubble during the construction works. We passed St Leonard’s Church designed in the late 1730s by George Dance Elder and renowned from the nursery rhyme line “When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch”. We passed more Victorian housing at the beginning of Columbia Road and continued along small shops, reached St Matthews Church with the Watch House which was a look-out for grave robbers. We passed more modern housing estates before reaching Brick Lane. This area is very colourful, with quirky shops such as the Cereal Killer Café and plenty of street art. We finished the walk at the 24/7 Bagel Shop where a few of us had salt beef, herring or salmon bagels before going for a drink in a pub.