Walk completed August 16, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2, 2014 -- Day 48, Edenbridge (Tonbridge Wells)

I’ll admit to having a certain fondness for trains. (I hope Nora Too! isn’t reading this.) When I awoke this morning to a slight drizzle outside, that sealed my fate for the day. I decided to take the Heritage Diesel Train to Tonbridge Wells and tour the town. Particularly, I wanted to see the high street called The Pantiles – a highly touted block long series of commercial buildings with overhanging eves supported by colonnades on both sides of the street. I can’t tell you how underwhelmed I was.

What did impress me, though was that the street had been converted to a walking mall with sidewalk cafés everywhere. I wasn’t in the mood for shopping, but eating is another story. But first I had to find out what I was looking at.

I went to the tourist information office, and barely caught a walking tour of Tonbridge Wells. The guide was excellent, explaining about the history of the town – which grew up from nothing to become a favorite of royalty and nobility. Everybody who was anybody wanted to be seen in Tonbridge Wells in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. There are expensive houses and an old church designed by Christopher Wren. Or maybe it was Wren’s plasterer who hand formed the church’s ceiling. Either Charles something or other or Edward something or other designated the town as “Royal,” one of only three towns in Britain to have such distinction. Originally, people came here to drink and bathe in the iron-rich waters, but now they come to eat at fancy sidewalk cafes like I did.


I telephoned Dr. George and Lady Ann from a sidewalk café, but our call kept getting dropped. I wanted to blame BT Cellnet’s cell phone service, but in a Roayl town, that cannot have been the problem.  Perhaps the problem lies with my 15 year old Motorola Timeport phone.  


Anyway, back at the train station there were gobs of photographers taking pictures of old trains. Along the route, photographers lined up in the fields for a chance to capture history. I took a few pictures of photographers, who seemed more interesting than the trains. Imagine the photographic ruckus that would have ensued had I put my cell phone on display.


Engine with Oast House logo

Nostalgic sign in men's room

Station sign

Nostalgic Poster

© 2014 Ken Klug

1 comment:

  1. What happened to ...nothing but blue skies?! Seems like you made the best of your time anyway. Love the sign " Gentlemen please adjust your dress before leaving." I am getting a visual on that one!
    Glad you had some good food, have fun!