WE DID IT! – THE GREAT WATSON MOORE OFFICE WALK
As the sun was shining at 9:30am on Saturday 28th May, Alex, Joe and Dan met at Canary Wharf to continue their charity walk between our two offices. “Sadly, Chloe couldn’t take part this time as she had multiple blisters after the first day’s walk last week, so we became the self-titled ‘Three Amigos’ and were ready and raring to go on Saturday morning!” explains Joe. “I think there was a convention of some sort going on as well nearby,” adds Dan, “I caught the Jubilee Line down to Canary Wharf and was sat between Doctor Who and Captain America!”
The first hour of the walking route took the team along the Thames Path, through Limehouse and Wapping. “We passed some great looking pubs,” said Alex, “including Sir Ian McKellen’s pub ‘The Grapes’ as well as ‘The Prospect of Whitby’. For anyone who wonders, no, we didn’t stop off for a pint… mainly because they weren’t open yet!” The team then walked through St. Katharine’s Dock, passed under Tower Bridge (pictured) and then the Tower of London. “It was really busy around there. I think we unintentionally photobombed several tourist’s photos of the Tower!” explains Dan.
Our walkers continued along the river, passing St. Paul’s Cathedral and Blackfriars station, before walking along Victoria Embankment and stopping to grab lunch on Villiers Street. “We went into the Pret a Manger and each grabbed a sandwich, crisps and a coffee before going to sit in Victoria Embankment Gardens for our lunch stop.” said Joe. “My feet were glad of the respite to be honest. There was also a chap sat on a bench nearby, wearing headphones and singing several Beatles songs at the top of his lungs. We hadn’t expected to have live entertainment, but thankfully he didn’t actually sound too bad, so we didn’t mind!”
The route then took the team up Villiers Street and down along Pall Mall towards Buckingham Palace. Given the upcoming Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the area was very busy, with lots of union flags all around and a large police presence. “We couldn’t actually get up to the Palace,” said Dan, “the road was closed, so we took a right up to Piccadilly instead. At this point, I mentioned to the others that we had passed the halfway mark and were making good time. Spirits were high!”
The team crossed Hyde Park Corner and walked down Brompton Road down into Knightsbridge. One of the most notable spots was of course Harrods (pictured). “Whilst we stopped to take a photo outside Harrods, some people approached me,” says Dan, “They asked why we were wearing MS Society t-shirts and I explained about our charity walk. They wished us luck and joked that they will raise a glass to us shortly, as they were just off for a Champagne Afternoon Tea in Harrods.”
With the sun shining, the team were making sure to top-up their sun cream and drink plenty of water. By the time the team passed the V&A and the Natural History Museum (pictured), energy levels were beginning to dip but they kept pressing on. “I actually had my covid vaccinations at the Science Museum last year,” explains Dan, “so passing through the area brought it all back to me. At the time, the museum was closed in the third lockdown and the area was very quiet. On Saturday, it was totally the opposite with lots of families around and people queuing for the museums.”
The team then pressed on down the A4 and re-joined the River Thames by Hammersmith. “We walked along the riverfront for a while and passed a small reggae event by Furnivall Gardens. We couldn’t help but sing along to Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ (Don’t worry about a thing) as we passed!” said Joe.
Finally, our ‘Three Amigos’ reached Chiswick itself and continued along the riverfront for a little longer before turning right to head up to the Business Park. Dan pointed out a large property on the river that was used as the contestant’s house in Season 1 of BBC’s The Apprentice back in 2005, which sparked a discussion about how much technology has changed now compared to back then. Joe remained doubtful that society could have functioned prior to the advent of high-speed internet access.
Whilst Mella from our office was unable to join us on the walk (for medical reasons), she did travel down to the Business Park to cheer on our walkers and had set up a MS Society-branded finishing line. Our three weary walkers arrived at the finishing line (pictured) around 4:30pm and promptly collapsed onto some nearby seats. Alex had booked the team an area at a nearby pub on the river for the evening, so they ventured there for dinner and drinks afterwards to celebrate. “At first, Dan suggested we walk the 15 minutes from the Business Park to the pub,” says Mella, “I won’t repeat what the responses were to that idea, but we immediately called for a taxi!”
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. At the time of writing, we have raised just over £2,900 for the MS Society and hope to cross the £3,000 mark. If anyone would like to sponsor us, you can do so by visiting our JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/greatWMofficewalk