Wednesday, March 14, 2012

London Marathon 2012 WK 21: Olympic Park Machine Gun and Anti-tank traps

)Run of the week was thru West Ham Park, then along the Greenway to Stratford High Street then thru Olympic Park back on Greenway to Old Ford Locks then to Temple Mills and back home again via West Ham Greenway. This took two hours (and resulted in an 'oribble blister in my left foot)

Inside the Olympic Park you actually pass Second World War London machine gun pill box and anti-tank defences, which are almost next to the
Olympic stadium (see picture).

There was a number of defensive rings built around London against an expected German invasion.
I once went on a West Ham Labour Party historical tour of the area led by a local historian who explained about the defences and that the final defensive ring in London was around Whitehall. The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill was reputed to have vowed never to leave in the event of an successful invasion and to have pledged to remain and defend London to the death. You could imagine his final counter attack against the advancing enemy while smoking his trademark cigar, with a glass of single malt whiskey in one hand and a Tommy gun in the other. 

I am running the London Marathon for a charity set up to prevent young people becoming homeless and helping them if they do. Check out "Alone in London". Click here to sponsor me on the Justgiving website.


plymdaz said...

I seem to recall reading that Churchill wanted to go ashore at Normandy in the first wave...and only changed his mind when the King told him that the only way he was going was if he went as well!

Gilberdyke said...

An unlikely image John, Churchill was no fan of single malts, though he did drink Johnny Walker - more likely it would have been vintage vintage brandy.

John Gray said...


It’s surprising how controversial Churchill is still. On Facebook I posted the same story and there were quite a few hostile comments.

There is recognition of his WW2 record. He was the "right man, at the right time for the right job" but he was not a good peace time leader..

I've no doubt he would have wanted to go ashore with the first wave in Normandy and it might indeed have also been vintage champagne he would have been quaffing as he charged the panzers advancing on Downing Street.