Travels: London: Thursday 8th February 2001

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EastNet meeting at ULCC; Hoffnung exhibition

The air blowers on the train weren't working, so the journey down was less comfortable than usual. The wind and drizzle persuaded me to use the Piccadilly Line to Russell Square even though it's usually still packed around 10:00.

After the meeting (at 12:25) I nipped around the corner to the Lamb yet again for lunch (Young's Special and fish & chips).

The British Cartoon Centre's Hoffnung exhibition was at the far end of the Brunswick Centre: their HQ, where Dan Dare was, was probably too small for this. Entry was 1. Drawings from his entire lifetime were on view on dozens of boards, as well as various memorabilia objects such as tubas. All-in-all very impressive.

Next I walked eastwards to Calthorpe Street and along it to the Pakenham Arms, a Free House licenced from 09:00 to 01:30, presumably as it's the "local" for the nearby Mount Pleasant Sorting Office. As expected, there were plenty of posties there and an interesting range of beers: Charles Wells Eagle IPA, Fullers Chiswick (1.55ish) and "Top Totty" (didn't catch the brewery name), plus various routine ones. The pub was emptying when I left around 2pm.

I realised I was near the Jerusalem Tavern so that was my next stop, where I had St Peter's Golden Ale again. That was pretty quiet too.

I took a Thameslink train from Farringdon to City Thameslink and walked westwards along Fleet Street to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. The Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter was only 82p/half - fair enough as it's so bland! This place too was nearly empty. As I saw previously, it's a ramshackle place. The room I sat in, on the ground floor, was clearly an extension into the original rear yard, though now the place goes much further back away from Fleet Street. The loos are down a very narrow staircase.

Carrying on into the Strand and down Essex Street, I went into the Edgar Wallace for an Adnams Fisherman (1.20/half). Others beers included Youngs, Boddi & London Pride. Again there were only a few others about. This was a comfy, carpeted place, with tables around the edge and a big central space for "vertical drinking".

The bottom of Essex Street leads out towards the Temple Tube station. I took the Tube back to Kings Cross and was nearly caught out by the Cambridge train being on platform 8 in the main station instead of the WAGN platform 9-11 annexe. The train back was packed out.

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