Never go south of the River

In Apocalypse Now! the character Chef, played by Frederic Forrest, says after something unexpectedly leaps out of the jungle at him (I’m trying not to give the shock away): “Never get out of the fucking boat! Never get out of the boat! I gotta remember! Gotta remember! Never get out of the boat!”

I can sympathise with him.

In London, the equivalent truism is “Never go South of the River. Always remember. Never go South of the River.”

I remember reading a piece in the Daily Telegraph years ago (I do love the Daily Telegraph and still lament the passing of its Page Three) which pointed out that the southern bank of the Thames from London Bridge to Deptford – or it might have been Dartford – has been a haunt of dodgy geezers and crime families since Elizabethan times.

I have been in Greenwich most of this week and, at 0100 in the early hours of Thursday morning, I went down to find the front passenger window of my car had been smashed in. The double locking system on my Toyota means that, if you do smash through the window, you still can’t open the door from the inside. So the yobbo only rummaged through my glove compartment and only managed to steal… the Toyota manual for my car.

I can’t fault his taste, though I can fault his efficiency. He missed the SatNav.

And now I have to fork out six quid to get a new manual.

I went to Greenwich Market yesterday. Two stall holders told me that, earlier in the day, it had been snowing inside the market.

Greenwich Market has a roof.

Never go South of the River.

Always remember.

Never go South of the River…

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Filed under Crime, History, Movies, Travel

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