Waking Up To Leatherhead


Yesterday afternoon Jackie drove us to


Leatherhead Travelodge where we joined Helen and Bill, Shelly and Ron in order to watch the performance of

iolanthe brochure

directed by the sisters’ cousin Pat O’Connell.

First, we watched the second half of the Six Nations rugby match between Scotland and Wales.

Next, we dined with the addition of Pat, Christine,and their daughter Olivia, at Piazza Firenze. This was quite the best of the three such establishments we have tried in Leatherhead. Red and white house wines were quaffed, the drivers in the company taking advantage of the fact they they were not having to drive home. My main course was sea bass and prawns served with green beans and boiled potatoes. For dessert I chose crepe Vesuvio, while Jackie selected lava cake, which seemed appropriate. My enjoyable dish consisted of vanilla ice cream wrapped in a pancake with a raspberry sauce poured over it. What added to the fun was that this was served on a flat piece of slate. Perhaps the idea was to keep me on my toes in order to keep the melting ice cream from flowing off onto the table.

There followed a spirited, amusing, and entertaining production with some good jokes, skilful individual performance, and well directed choreography. After this, we spent a delightful time of conversation and reminiscence in the theatre bar, before repairing to our respective hotel rooms.

The was the view from our fourth floor room.

With the sun making sporadic efforts to put in an appearance I wandered about outside the hotel. Leatherhead has received considerable expansion since my childhood in the ’40s and ’50s. One result is the High Street paving that is shared by both vehicles and pedestrians. These two shots looking up the street were taken through parts of a sculpture  featuring aspects of the ancient town, such as the river and railway lines.

Like many of the more recent additions, the setting for this artwork is suffering. Slates are falling off, and graffiti has been applied.

Birdshit, chewing gum, and dog ends

The pavement at the base of the ornamental tree featured in the first two views of the sculpture is surrounded by a mixture of birdshit, chewing gum, and dog ends; people are meant to sit on the cylindrical structures arranged behind the tree and within the enclosure surrounding the elements of it.

Bicycle lock

A metre or so away a cycle rack bears evidence of a stolen machine.

We all breakfasted in the Edmund Tylney, a Wetherspoons pub opposite last evening’s restaurant. Edmund, a Leatherhead man, was Master of the Revels to Queen Elizabeth I, so he would probably be quite pleased to have a hostelry named after him.

Back at home, the Six Nations rugby match was between England and Italy.

This evening we dined on eggs, bacon, and toast followed by steamed syrup pudding nd ice cream.


  1. It looks like an enjoyable day and evening, Derrick. That’s a shame the sidewalk is such a mess. I did chuckle when I read, “dog ends.” I’ve never heard that expression. I always learn something new from you…thanks! 🙂

  2. Public sculptures should be maintenance free. That should be part of the brief. We have some seats near the post office that are covered in mosaic. They are scratchy to sit on; snag your leggings; the tiles falls off and the ‘artist’ is seen mending it all the time, telling people that she created the monster.

    1. I had an Uncle who commuted through Leatherhead and who took great childish delight in pushing down the train window *and shouting ‘Fishface!’ at the platform guard as the poor man had announced ‘Leatherhead.’
      *this was in the olden days of having to open train doors from the outside?

      1. That’s a great story! I love it! ha ha ah! I fondly remember the opening of train doors from the outside, as we lose every little thing, maybe life is more banal I don’t know, but that’s a great story!

  3. You guys certainly keep busy – always something going on over there. I don’t blame birds for pooping, but hate to see the graffiti. I love the idea of public art – but graffiti does not count in my mind.

  4. I went last year but only to the Crematorium so this fills a few gaps for me. Food sounds good, but the slate “plate” sounds like it makes for a rather stressful dining experience.

  5. I always get a mixed feeling visiting the places where I grew up. Somehow, the changes don’t go well with the memories. Nor do the graffiti, birdshit, chewing gum or dog ends, which seem to have grown exponentially, almost everywhere.

    Your paint elaborate pictures of your progress through a day, making us pause and ponder at the riches, equally effectively with both pen and the camera,

    1. Very many thanks, Uma. Quite a few years ago now, I returned to visit Wimbledon Village after some 30 years. I made a beeline for my favourite second hand bookshop. It was now a perfumier’s

  6. That inspiring view from your hotel room is best enjoyed after dinner I would think. It’d certainly kill what little appetite I have these days. 😈

    There seems little pride in the town looking at your pictures of the grime and graffiti and dare i say…………………….

    At least you had fun and an enjoyable time with good food, drink, and company, which makes it easier to take:)

  7. One of the very few jokes I can remember involves ET landing in Surrey and asking a traditionally clad police constable complete with old-fashioned helmet directions: ‘Excuse me …. Leatherhead?’ He says to which the constable replies ‘none of your lip turtle features’. Quite dreadful but it stuck in my poor joke storage area!

  8. … keep me on my toes to keep the melting ice cream from flowing off onto the table … I enjoy your sense of humour, Derrick. 🙂 🙂

  9. I liked the street and views of the area of Leatherhead. I also felt saddened for falling apart or messy areas.
    My family liked Gilbert and Sullivan, especially remembering Pinafore

  10. Oops, my finger touched the send button.
    HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance were fun operettas on albums played on the stereo. How was the performance you saw?

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