Sunday, January 2

Blazing a trail

Staying with the lovely Louise we planned a walk along the route of the Great Fire of London. The event is Lapin's school topic next term and she was eager to find out as much as possible before going back to school.

Naturally we started at the Monument, whose 202 feet in height matches the distance from the site of the start of the fire in Pudding Lane.

We stood at the bottom and admired the view...

..then climbed the stairs, all 311 of them...

..and admired the view in spite of the cloud. (There isn't a picture of the view from the top because the camera was left with those who declined the climb and I wasn't going up again.)

The mayor at the time was very dismissive when he heard the news - he thought the fire was of such little consequence that "a woman could piss on it and put it out." (Politicians have clearly always had the outstanding ability to put their foot in their mouths.) In fact the fire raged for three days, burning 13,000 homes and 87 parish churches but, incredibly, only six deaths were recorded.

Previously, Christopher Wren had been instructed to design and supervise the restoration of the original St. Paul's cathedral. He had fought for the old building to be demolished so he could implement some grand plans but his view had been over ruled by the clergy. So maybe he was pleased when the building was burnt to the ground shortly after it was encased in wooden scaffolding.

His new construction was certainly some phoenix to rise from the ashes.


Dani said...

Why a woman? Do we piss more? Less? Is it cause we can't aim as well? I need to know now.

Baglady said...

I wonder if there were lots of volunteers to piss on the mayor?

Did you see the tv programme on the great fire that was on about 2 months ago? Fascinating story of the fire and the aftermath (including lots of nasty attacks on possible suspects).