The Road to Millwall (3)

“Footpath Diversion. Footpath Closed: The footpath between Silwood Street and Surrey Canal Road is closed while we improve your railway”

Things have changed a lot in only two weeks. Now, if you want to walk from Surrey Docks station through to the football ground by the route I described in my previous post, you see this sign:

road_to_millwall_1131

Quel horreur! (or whatever they say in France).

And there is a fence across the first arch I walked under in my previous post:

road_to_millwall_1132

So lets try following the route in that helpful map. First turn right along this street:

road_to_millwall_1133

And walk along until we get to the helpful sign that says “Stadium”:

road_to_millwall_1134

(That photo and the next two mysteriosly miss out the police van parked right by the turning – either the Met have discovered the Klingon Cloaking Device, of I for some reason omitted to photograph the coppers resting in the van about three metres from where I was standing)

So turn left and you see this – one of Deptford’s few one-track-roads-with-passing-places. There are three or four round here, including the famous Cold Blow Lane. If the car drivers are in a good mood they honk their horns before turning the tight corners.

road_to_millwall_1135

If you go through and turn back you can see the new estate and the invisible police van:

road_to_millwall_1137

Go through that bridge and guess what – you come to another one. Is this begining to sound familiar?

road_to_millwall_1136

We’re very near the ground now, as we can tell by the power station:

road_to_millwall_1138

road_to_millwall_1139

But this is Bolina Road, so instead of putting us out right between the power station and the ground it wanders beneath the arse end of South Bermondsey Station then wraps itself around the back of the stadium to come out near the main entrance – something like fifteen minutes walk instead of five.

road_to_millwall_1140

The next bridge has a rather spectacular pile of mossy concrete blocks:

road_to_millwall_a1141

road_to_millwall_1142

And after a tight S-bend, another bridge, this one with some broken car parts

road_to_millwall_1143

And then another bend and one last bridge:

road_to_millwall_1144

The police here don’t seem to have turned on their Klingon Cloaking Devices. Well, not all of them, I counted somewhere between forty and fifty vehicles, many of them vans or minibuses with real sleeping policemen in them. At least two hundred police, possibly quite a lot more. Also dogs and horses. I stronly suspect that the Met – or maybe even other police forces – rotates units through Millwall duty to give them practice at crowd control. Sorry, student protestors, its all our fault that the cops are so good at kettling these days. They learned on us.

We’re almost there now, here’s one of the police horse boxes near the main entrance to the ground:

road_to_millwall_1145

And here we are again, back in Sunny Deptford (we were briefly in Bermondsey back there) and the salubrious smoking lounge:

road_to_millwall_1146

And just to prove it, here are some of London’s Finest – along with some of the Metropolitan Police who had been called onto the pitch by the referee to assist the linesman in his duties:

road_to_millwall_1148

You might notice a lot of footballers standing around and rather obviously not playing football.

As things turned out they called in a few more police and a large number of stewards before they felst able to restart the match:

road_to_millwall_1150

And believe it or not after that it was actually a good game. Genuinely exciting.

Don’t ask about the score though.