Posted in London on Saturday 20th November 2004 at 11:09pm

Another early start, and coincidentally another trip to London with 'Sulis Minerva' at the rear of the 0640. Engineering on the Circle means H&C to Barbican and time for breakfast before heading to the Museum of London for the 39th London & Middlesex Archaeological Society Local History Conference. This years theme being "1400 Years of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Diocese of London".

Excellent attendence, with me possibly one of the younger members of the audience! The speakers covered a range of viewpoints and disciplines. We started with the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres who gave an entertaining overview of the Missionary Work in Victorian Times - often amusing and very well informed.

Other personal highlights were an account of Anglicanism in 18th century London and the many new City Churches which were built, and Dr John Schofield's talk on Old St. Pauls, which remains an object of fascination to me. We were also extremely lucky to have Martin Stancliffe, Surveyor of the Fabric of St. Pauls to talk about the secrets which the current building continues to reveal.

Professor James Raven's talk on the book trade in the precinct of St. Pauls was doubly rewarding. Apart from describing the history of the now long-disappeared Paternoster Row he gave an enthralling account of the historical methods he had used to piece together the changing ownership and usage of the individual establishments involved in the book trade in the area. Had a pleasant if expensive lunch in the Museum cafe and then browsed the bookshop and stalls which many of the Local History Societies from surrounding areas had set up.

Out into the cold damp evening, and decided to head for the pub before travelling back to Paddington, and catching the 1845 home. All well until Reading, where the train moved off before the doors were closed or secured. Chaos ensued. First Great Western staff milling around everywhere, the Train Manager getting increasingly stressed and becoming dangerous flippant and rude to customers, and general confusion. Eventually, they decided to terminate the train. Problem is, whilst we had waited several trainloads of rugby fans had arrived from Twickenham and swelled our ranks.

Managed to get a seat on the next, very wedged Bristol-bound service. Pretty unpleasant atmosphere with lots of angry people in a confined space. Not a pleasant journey. Loaded into a taxi at Temple Meads, along with an acquaitance I only ever seem to meet on the train or at strange and difficult moments! Pleasant, if slightly alarming taxi ride back to Weston. An unusual end to an exhausting but informative day...

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I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.

I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.

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