Our Great Watson Moore Office Walk has begun!
On Saturday 21st May, team members of Watson Moore embarked on the first day of our ‘Great Office Walk’, walking from our Upminster office to Canary Wharf. Setting off at 9:30am, the team passed the historic Upminster Windmill (pictured) before heading down into Hornchurch and passing the Pinney Talfourd Solicitors office on North Street (pictured). “I was jealous of the parking they have at Pinney Talfourd Hornchurch,” said Joe. “The spaces are right outside! Much easier parking compared to Station Road, Upminster!”
The walking route then took the team down through Harrow Lodge Park, The Chase Nature Reserve and Central Park (Dagenham). “I loved that part of the walk,” said Chloe. “It was so nice to be out in nature and the fresh air. We even walked through a field of horses, which was quite nerve wracking at first! Alex was the hero of the hour though, when he helped someone reverse their car down a tight country road.”
The team stopped for lunch at the Valence House tearooms, some choosing to indulge their sweet tooth afterwards. “Cake was a necessity!” said Dan. Joe was pleasantly surprised when he asked for one of the final two pieces of their chocolate fudge cake and was given both slices, being told the cake ‘had to go’.
After lunch, the team continued on with the walk and traversed more urban areas, through Dagenham and down towards Barking. Having hit the halfway point of their walk, confidence was high. Chloe used her apple watch to track the distance they had covered and provide live updates on their progress. “Chloe was far more reliable than Dan was in this respect,” joked Alex. “Having planned the route of our walk, we would regularly ask Dan how far until the next landmark or milestone and his reply was always the same, ‘about half an hour’. The quote became a running joke by the end of the day!”
The team were very lucky with the weather also, which had been forecast as cloudy, with the threat of rain in the afternoon. In reality the skies became clearer and clearer as the day went on and the sun kept on shining.
Whilst walking through Barking, the team got talking to a lady they passed, who was tending to her front garden. “She spotted our MS Society t-shirts and gave us a thumbs up,” said Chloe. “We got talking to her briefly and she explained that she has friends that suffer from MS and thought it was a great charity to fundraise for. She even said she wouldn’t mind joining us given how nice the weather was, but when we explained we were headed for Canary Wharf, she quickly changed her mind!”
Barking was lively given the sunny Saturday, with market stalls spread down the high street. After Barking, the team then began a long journey down the A124 (otherwise known as the Barking Road), through East Ham, Plaistow and eventually down to Canning Town.
“It was at this point that things got tougher,” explains Joe. “The final third of the walk really got to me. We were walking down what seemed like a never-ending road and the sun was beating down on us. I was drinking water like it was going out of fashion!” The team passed a few local landmarks too, including Ladysmith Avenue, where Dame Vera Lynn lived from 1921 to 1938 (pictured), and the World Cup Sculpture in Plaistow, depicting Bobby Moore and his West Ham teammates winning in 1966 (pictured).
Having reached the end of the A124, the team passed Canning Town DLR station and crossed over to the Isle of Dogs. They spotted the O2 in the distance and then Billingsgate market. “As we passed Billingsgate market, you could just smell fish!” recalls Chloe, “Dan kept saying how close we were to the end, but I wasn’t going to believe him until we reached the end. He was like a Sergeant Major. He just kept marching!”
Finally, the team arrived at Canary Wharf at 4:30pm and promptly collapsed through the doors of the nearby Brewdog. The first thing the team ordered were a round of refreshing lemonades, with the promise of something stronger afterwards.
We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated already. When we include donations, gift aid and matching by Watson Moore, we have currently raised (at the time of writing) over £2,700 for the MS Society. If anyone would like to sponsor us, you can do so by visiting our JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/greatWMofficewalk
We look forward to providing further updates after the second half of the walk next week!