London A to Z Runs : L   3 comments

 

Going into the International Workers’ Day Bank Hol, the London A to Z Runs continued with L for The Ladder in Harringay, a series of streets so-called because it looks like one.  I checked it out on an Ordnance Survey map and found that it was on generally flat land to the eastern ‘leg’ of the ladder rising steadily to the southwest as you ‘descend’ below Effingham Road.  The full ladder path from Turnpike Lane Underground with a final dash to Manor House station would give you a little over 8 miles with some decent hill work for London but for an old, lazy man such as myself there is an alleyway called the Harringay Passage that bisects the ladder allowing an easier path.

 

I hopped off the Tube at Turnpike Lane during rush hour and the platform emptied quickly.  I was hustling along with everyone else, eager to start the weekend and the run when I noticed one of the air vents in the station (above) had a grate that depicted the old toll gates when this was a carriageway (horse and carriage, that is).  Lovely detail, there.

Just out of the station you might be disoriented but the top of Duckett’s Common should set you on the path along Turnpike Lane (one of the few ‘rungs’ in the Ladder that isn’t named for a military man … unless the Pike in Turnpike is the one from Dad’s Army).

 

The neighbourhood is fairly heterogeneous in population, a mix of youth and age and a variety of shades and ethnicities but Green Lanes, itself, is home to some of the best (I’m told) Kurdish and Turkish food outside of Ankara.

Moving south down the Harringay Passage it DOES seem to be used by younger and less upscale residents but I’m certain I was the only tourist there.

 

 

 

The Salisbury was my main goal on the run and I even dallied a bit — the Sally has late doors for a city pub — at the Toll Gate but still arrived before they lifted the gates for evening trading.  Damn…what a grand looking house, eh? It features in scenes from The Long Good Friday (1980) and Chaplin (1992), for you film buffs (and was on my shortlist for the F is for Film run last autumn but too far away from other good sites to make the final cut).  Rather than wait for open doors here, I pushed on to the Old Ale House and finished off the run at the Finsbury.

 

 

The last real ‘rung’ of the ladder is the London Overground railway (below) so you can’t really count it for the run.  You could, technically, use the Railway Fields Nature Reserve but I wasn’t sure I could get out the far end without wading the creek so decided to call the Ladder ‘finished’ at that point.

 

 

On the straightaway leaving the ladder, you pass the baseball field of the London Mets (that’s the Meteors, not the Metropolitans for you completists), the top flight baseball team in town.  Not exactly Shea Stadium (but then again neither is Shea Stadium), this is what we baseball fans (we few, we…happy few) are reduced to in England.  More on this in the summer:

 

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