The community website for Forest Hill and Honor Oak, London SE23
Events | Features | Forum | Local Books | Contact

Forum Archive
Quickest route from Blackfriars to Fo...

Author Message
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 04 September, 2007 - 10:59 pm:   

I couldn't manage to resist it any more - Jonathan Coe's paperback "The Rotters Club" having dismissed the BBC's version of this shown about three years due to the inaccuracies. Now if Jonathan had stayed in the same class as BD rather than coming top in the entrance exam at the age of 11 and going to the posh Edgbaston school, then he would have seen what working class life was really like in North Worcestershire (OK lower middle class life, seeing as he would have gone to a middle school). Having said that he would probably not have gone through all that teenage angst that was clearly material for his fertile mind.
Anyway at last getting to the point I was actually quite excited as some (well half a page) of the book is set in Forest Hill where his character wrongly goes as it was confused with Forest Gate (another inaccuracy as it is usually the other way round). But oh dear dear, it took his character hours to get from Blackfriars to Forest Hill including a 40 minute wait in Camberwell. Clearly not well researched as he should have either jumped on a 63 and then walked to the centre up from Hornimans, or walked the 15 minutes or so to London Bridge and got the train (although in those days it would not have been cool and trendy along the South Bank). I assume that Thames link did not run 30 years ago so that was not an option. No doubt Brian will tell us if there were trams or trolley buses, but it was over 20 years since the Crystal Palace high level line had been shut down so that was not an option.

Grateful for other views on how the character would have made it, before I compose my pompous letter to Mr Coe (who has a mouth like an O, and a wheelbarrow full of surprises)
Joined 09-01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, 05 September, 2007 - 01:53 pm:   

As an alternative to the 63 he could have taken the 141 down to the Old Kent Road, changed to a 78 which would have taken him down to the bus stops in London Road. I know this since around 30 years ago, I worked just up the road from Blackfriars, lived just of the Old Kent Road and was courting a girl in Forest Hill!
Joined 19-05-2004
Posted on Sunday, 09 September, 2007 - 11:39 pm:   

Perhaps now we are back from our hols others may also share memories, or perhaps it is just me and thee John C
Joined 05-07-2006
Posted on Monday, 10 September, 2007 - 12:14 pm:   

surely since he was lost in the wrong end of town he wouldn't have had a scooby about the available options and would have wasted all that time going back the only way he knew (the one he had come out on...)

poor research - or just plotting?
Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Monday, 10 September, 2007 - 12:40 pm:   

From Blackfriars if there are no trains running, I find the best option is to get a random bus to Elephant & Castle and then switch bus to the 176 or another bus heading towards Camberwell Green. If I am still on the wrong bus at Camberwell I hop off and wait for the 176 or 185. A 40 minute wait at Camberwell is unlucky but not entirely impossible knowing London buses.
Joined 22-06-2005
Posted on Monday, 10 September, 2007 - 02:43 pm:   

Was the Blackfriars-Sevenoaks line running in those days? If so, how about a train to Crofton Park then the 122 bus?

I went to the posh Edgbaston school too.

Local forums in nearby areas: | | | | | |