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Bromley-By-Bow, Leyton & Aldgate East.
The project seems to be reaching a close with a bit of a sprint finish. There are only a few more of out target 26 stations still to visit. Yesterday we visited three more in East London.

BROMLEY-BY-BOW is quite a nasty station. I used to work near year years ago and Yiota kind of does now. Its not pretty and comes with few facilities or nearby attractions. It was pretty unforgivable that I managed to arrive late for our meeting leaving Yiota to broil in the July heat in such a wickedly ugly spot. (Luckily for me she managed to forgive but I think it was mostly gratitude to finally move away from the place). Our Random activity was to visit Kingsley Hall, just around the corner from the station. Its just a community center now (though a listed building) but has some significance historically. Gandhi stayed here in the 1930's rather than in a swanky hotel so that he could be near ordinary Londoners. The place served as a soup kitchen during the 1926 general strike and the Jarrow Marchers stayed here. More recently RD Liang based his team here during his pioneering work on schizophrenia  (which involved the radical leap of not using restraints and electric shock treatment!). The community center itself was shut when we visited and with the absence of any nearby cafes we cut our random pilgrimage short and made for the next station.

LEYTON isn't much prettier but feels a lot more friendly to visit because there are at least shops and cafes nearby. We took grateful shelter from the sun in the first cafe we found that wasnt a fried chicken outlet - The Cafe Dumetro. It wast the most inspiring looking place and I suspect if it wasn't for the combination of the random challenge and uncomfortable heat I never would have got Yiota to step inside the place. A reasonably nice cake and a cold drink later and we were back on the road feeling somewhat refreshed. Leyton was so dull that finding a random activity was a challenge itself. We settled on buying 'ethnic produce' from the local grocery store. I have no idea what Yiota purchased but she seemed quite happy with it. I bought something called 'Mustard beer' (which actually comes in a miniature beer tankard) and a tin of 'Gefullte WeiBkolblatter' which seems to be White Cabbage with rice (or 'mit reis'). Another rapid exit followed.

ALDGATE EAST was our final stop for the day and the closest to civilization. There is plenty to do in Aldagate East with galleries (including the excellent Whitechapel Gallery), Brick lane with its market and many restaurants), the Jack The Ripper walks and loads more. We (I) selected browsing the anarchist bookshop, 'Freedom Press'. This is much more inside my comfort zone than Yiota's but I think we both managed to find it diverting enough (though it was only me that bought a book). We finished off with a coffee in a really nice cafe before heading off to find some dinner.

Photos are here:


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