Westminster Abbey and SSGB in Greenwich

Tomorrow I am at Westminster Abbey, one of my absolute favourite places in London. So often on a Monday morning I am heading for Greenwich (Iknow, it’s a tough life, but heyho, someone has to do it), another fabulous place to spend time just outside the centre of London.

Last week in Greenwich it looked like the army had come to town.

Army presence
Army presence

Then when we looked closer, it took on a more sinister aspect. A hangman’s noose stood beside the entrance to the Painted Hall.


Actually, there were six gallows in a line between the Chapel and the Painted Hall. Greenwich is a popular place for a bit of filming, and on this occasion it was the BBC. Apparently there is a small screen adaptation of SSGB, a novel by the great Len Deighton. We’ll see it in the new year over several weeks.

It’s a what if scenario, the what if being the Nazis winning the Second World War. I read the novel years ago. Nowadays it’s difficult to find hard copies of Deighton’s books. This is a big shame, as he is a very good writer. Some of you will remember a film called The Ipcress File starring a young Michael Caine as Harry Palmer. Deighton wrote the book which was adapted for cinema.

I’m back guiding Greenwich next Monday, 30th November. Do join me if you are free. We meet at Tower Hil tube by the Tramshed Coffee Stop. The tour costs £10, £8 for pver 65s and full-time card carrying students, plus £5.50 for the boat. Children accompanied by a paying adult can have a free tour, their boat fare is £3.

For SSGB, I think Greenwich is pretending to be Whitehall.

Whitehall is close to Westminster Abbey, which brings me back to tomorrow. I’ll be outside Westminster tube station, exit 4, with a bundle of London Walks leaflets, from around 10.30, though the official meet time is 19.45.

The tour prices remain the same, though for the abbey, senior concessions start at 60, and of course we have to pay an entrance fee as we are going as visitors. So that’s an extra £17 for adults, £14 for seniors and students, and £10 for children.

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