“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Cockfosters discovered at last.

"This is a Piccadilly Line train to Cockfosters", intones the rather posh voice on the tube PA system. How many times have I heard that and wondered about the nature of this Cockfosters? Last week I finally girded my loins and set off to find out. It is not an expedition to be undertaken if you are pushed for time. Well not if like me, you live on the opposite side of London.
On arrival I discovered a classic 1930's tube station apparently designed by Charles Holden and one of the few stations on the underground network to still have a proper buffet. Not quite like the buffet in Brief Encounter but you can't have everything. Cockfosters is only a couple of miles inside the M25 so really is the outer suburbs. Walking North from the station the expanse of inter-war development ends abruptly to reveal the wooded, rolling countryside of Enfield Chase. Trent Country Park is a real treasure with a proper cafe that looks as though it would be more at home on Kingsland High Street rather than set in this leafy hollow. A mug of tea and bacon sarni later I plunged deeper into the undergrowth and discovered an animal rescue centre where I was able to have a decent conversation with a very amiable sow. The lady who runs the place was nice too. The former mansion of Trent Park is now part of Middlesex Uni but during the war was used to house captured German senior officers. Everything you ever wanted to know about Cockfosters. All part of the service.

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