London February 2022

Crystal Palace CAMC | 5 nights | Pitch 42 | 60.2 miles @ 26.6 mpg

Rosie’s last tow to ‘the Palace’ wasn’t an easy one. Roadworks on the A27 and on the A23 through Coulsdon made for a headache inducing journey that took around 35 minutes longer than usual. Despite said skull ache I reversed Patsy onto the pitch getting her square but slightly overlapping the peg. I might have got away with it but decided to have another go, eventually deploying the motor mover when the whole manoeuvre went tits up and the faint but unmistakeable smell of eau de clutch started emanating from under Rosie’s bonnet. Having set up the basics I headed back down the hill to collect Sandra from Streatham Common station. On returning tea, biscuits and paracetamol were consumed before a much needed and restorative nap.



We headed south on the first night to see Hairspray in Bromley. I’d heard of it but needed Google to brush up on the story prior. We took the car rather than a couple of buses to save mucking about. Very enjoyable and took me back to my days follow spotting for local amateur dramatic groups in and around Cambridge. A relatively modern theatre with plenty of leg room too.



Sunday lunch was at Westow House in the Crystal Palace triangle followed by a snooze back at Patsy as the rain arrived.  



Saturday (Sunday) Night Fever. A different production to the one I saw in the West End some 25 years ago and in some ways better, having the ‘Bee Gee’s on stage, suitably attired in 70’s garb singing some of the numbers. Superb.

  • Public transport used: Bus 227 to Crystal Palace triangle, Bus 122 back to site, Buses 363, 59 & 3. Capped at £4.65

Monday and accompanying Sandra to Euston for her journey home meant I was just a short bus ride away from Camden – always an enjoyable mooch.



A short walk, but an even shorter bus ride brought me to St Pancras Gardens then under the tracks and across the water to Granary Square and the redevelopment behind Kings Cross railway station.

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Aching feet thanks to new boots being run in coupled with the arrival of rain suggested that sightseeing was over for the day. I headed for the tube and thence a pint in one of my favourite London Boozers, The Lyric.

Rain was promised and duly delivered on Wednesday but not wanting to waste precious time staying in the ‘van a cultural day of museum mooching was planned. First up was Tate Britain:20220215_112448


Two buses later – and with an unusually long wait for the second at Trafalgar Square - was Kensington and the Design Museum:



First item on the agenda Wednesday was to head to reception to amend my booking. The announcement of not one but two weather warnings for high winds and rain meant that departing Sunday as planned was out of the question. Friday was looking dodgy too but there remained a window on Saturday morning where the winds near and on the coast would be safe enough to tow in.

Sightseeing wise Victoria Embankment Gardens were first, a pleasant little oasis:


A short walk away was the Savoy Chapel nestled by the hotel. The first church in Britain to have electric lights it is, unusually aligned north/south rather than the usual east/west.



A pleasant saunter through some quiet back streets brought me to the London Silver Vaults, off Chancery Lane. Down two flights of stairs, past a security guard there are 30 or so vaults with thick iron doors where dealers display their wares. Said to be the largest collection of antique silver in the world there were some stunning items, some quite garish, as well as the more usual trinkets, cutlery and so on. Photography was strictly prohibited and with security cameras everywhere I wasn’t about to risk a sneaky photo or two. Originally a safe deposit store since 1876, the vaults opened as shops in 1953. Well worth a look, even if you don’t intend to purchase.


On the way to my next stop I was stopped by a young Japanese lady who complemented me on my attire, even going so far as to say I’d made her day! She asked if I was an artist. Ahem. I concluded very quickly that the term p!$$ artist might not translate as intended so simply said no. Very nice of her to make the effort though.

Ironically my next destination was a er pub. A friend of a friend had recommended it, calling it one of London’s hidden gems, located in an alley way just off Hatton Garden. And so it proved. What a delightful little boozer it was and the pint of porter was superb. It was even warm enough to sit outside although it looked very cosy inside too.



The rain arrived again so I decided it was time to return for a cosy afternoon in Patsy. Vague notions of starting this blog post were soon halted when, on hitting the power button, my laptop had a wobbly and threw up an error, steadfastly refusing to boot up.

Thursday morning and after an early morning cuppa I checked the laptop again and it started just fine – or so I thought. The trackpad was working fine but the keyboard was completely inoperative. I shut it off and returned to bed with a cuppa to to check the weather.

The forecast was not good – the window on Saturday when I planned to go home had all but closed. Friday and Sunday were still out. Reluctantly I decided it was time to go. I set about breaking camp, trudging up to reception as soon as they opened to get a refund on my remaining nights.

The journey back home went well, the roadworks at Coulsdon not proving as obstructive as for the journey up five days before. It got noticeably windier as we got closer to the south coast but not dangerously so and Patsy was back in her resting place before lunchtime.

And that was Rosie’s last tow – with Patsy and I anyway. I had decided after Christmas that the time had come to change and friend, caravanner and motor dealer Simon offered to help source another car. That car arrived whilst I was away and I collected it the following Monday – a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe – a car popular amongst caravanners for it’s weight and power. I’ve had a test tow with it – just up the A27 for a bit - and the increase in power was obvious. In just under a week ( at the time of typing) I embark on my next trip where Hetty (that’s the new car) will be put through her paces.

Rosie has been a fab tow car. It’s no secret that I wasn’t keen when we  first bought her. But she proved to be extremely comfortable, practical and very reliable. She’s taken us to many parts of Britain, across to Ireland and France and has helped make many memories.

Cheers Rosie, thanks for everything.