diamond geezer

 Saturday, September 23, 2023

I have no idea if this'll work but let's give it a try.

20 questions hide and seek

This morning I'm going to go somewhere in London and I invite you to find me.
You have 20 questions to narrow me down.

I'll be there from 10am to 11am.
I've never been there before.
It's somewhere public, outdoors.
It's not in a street or station.

I shall have Squeezy Pig with me.
I haven't left the house yet.

Your questions go in this comments box. comments
Just one Yes/No question each, thanks.
I'm ignoring all questions asked before 10am.

You'll either be collectively brilliant or collectively useless.
And if it goes well I'll do it again from 2pm to 3pm.

Yes: east of the A23, south of the A232, within 3 miles of Shirley windmill, within 2 miles of Lloyd Park tram stop, in a park, within a mile of a golf course
No: north of the Thames, postcode begins with W, in Southwark or Lambeth, near a body of water, inside the South Circular, in a Labour-controlled borough, within 5 miles of Biggin Hill, near the sea

It's now 11am and you didn't find me.
I was at Purley Beeches.

• It's 18 acres of woodland and grassy lawn near Purley Oaks station.
• Technically it's in Sanderstead but it was once part of Purley Downs.
• The ratepayers of Sanderstead purchased it in 1907.
• The coat or arms for Coulsdon and Purley Urban District Council included two trees, an oak for the Purley Oaks and a beech for Purley Beeches.
• The wood was thinned out by the 1987 hurricane.
• It has a better website than your average woodland.
• It's very beechmasty underfoot at the moment (and very popular with dogs).

I was sitting in the the Wettern Tree Garden.

• This was created by Eric Wettern between 1918 and 1965, then given in trust to Croydon Council.
• It's a lovely hideaway with multiple arboreal specimens, 30 of which are labelled.
• Ever since Croydon council got into financial difficulties, the Friends of Wettern Tree Garden have taken on a lot more of the upkeep.
• I was particularly intrigued by the bobbly green fruit fallen under the Osage Orange, a very rare tree in the UK, grown from a seed Eric planted in 1925.

OK, let's go again.
I'll be somewhere else from 2pm to 3pm.
Again I've never been before.
Again it's somewhere public, outdoors.
It's not in a street or station.

Your questions go in this comments box. comments
Just one Yes/No question each, thanks.
I'm ignoring any questions before 2pm.

Yes: north of the Thames, west of the River Lea, west of the A10, west of 0.1°W, west of the Watford Overground line, south of the A40, east of Hillingdon Hospital
No: inside the North Circular, nearer a tube station than a rail station, in Harrow, in Barnet, within 3 miles of Heathrow, within 500m of a river or body of water, south of the A4

It's now past 3pm and again you didn't find me.
I was in Cuckoo Park.

• It's a park in Ealing between Greenford and Hanwell.
• It's on a slight hilltop east of the River Brent.
• It was the site of a battle between the Saxons and the Romano-British in the sixth century.
• In 1857 the Central London District Poor Law School was built here.
Charlie Chaplin was a pupil at this school!

• The school closed in 1933 and a housing estate was built around it.
• The drive to the school survives as a long leafy strip up the centre of Cuckoo Avenue.
• The school buildings became Hanwell Community Centre (and are also occupied by the London Welsh School).
• The park surrounds the school and is well frequented by unaccompanied youth.
• If you need conkers, Cuckoo Park and Cuckoo Avenue are currently super-abundant.

I'm not convinced that was a great success.
But maybe some other time.

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