Obliged to spend a Sunday afternoon in Bexleyheath (decidedly not Bexley Heath, I discover), I had no idea what I'd find. Answer: a vast, soulless shopping centre, and - continuing this blog's recent clerical theme - a remarkable number of churches.
This one, in a back street, was perhaps the oldest, and certainly the most enticing. It was built in 1860, apparently as a Wesleyan chapel, and is now the Bethany Gospel Hall. I was walking past just as the gospel meeting was getting underway, and I guess this photo features the larger part of the congregation.
In the heart of the heartless shopping centre is Bexleyheath's Coronation Memorial clock tower. It celebrates George the Fifth's coronation in 1911 - which makes the inclusion on one of the plinths of the socialist, author, designer and visionary William Morris (who died in 1896) decidedly curious. He was, I am fairly sure, a republican. I'm glad he's there, but just don't understand why he's there.
There's a local campaign to get a bust of the Queen on another flank of the clock tower. 'Bring the Queen to Bexleyheath' is the slogan. It's the only way she'll get there - if she's got any sense.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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