Monday 13th May, 2013.
Recently, HMS Illustrious arrived in Greenwich to mark the 70th Anniversary of the ‘Battle of the Atlantic’. She was berthed at Greenwich, just to the West of the Cutty Sark and the old Royal Naval College. Not having been to London, for a while, I thought it would be nice to see her off and get some photographs. HMS Illustrious was due to depart Greenwich at 15:30 and head around the Greenwich Peninsula and on through the Thames Barrier, so I headed to the O2 Arena to see her. I arrived at North Greenwich just after 15:15 and made my way to the River Thames, just East of the Emirates Cable Car, where I had a great view of the O2 and the Thames Barrier. Patiently, I waited. And waited. Deciding that I had either missed her, or that she was running late, I took a cable car across to the Royal Victoria Docks, so that I could look westward to see if I could spot her. Sure enough, there she was. After getting another cable car back to North Greenwich, I took a Thames Clipper to Greenwich. As we approached I managed to snap a quick shot of HMS Illustrious’ Port side, before disembarking from the Thames Clipper. I strolled along the embankment, stopping every now and again to take a photo. I then took a detour, due to a new housing complex, which brought me out behind HMS Illustrious, giving me a great view of the ship and the Old Royal Naval College. With time getting on I decided to walk to Canada Water, where I could catch a train back to Baker Street, where I would get a Metropolitan Train to Watford.
On arriving at Baker Street, I realised that there was quite a wait for my next train, so I wandered up to street level and visited one of the tourist shops, to buy Erin a present. After a quick look around I settled on a plastic pink glass with a curly straw. I then headed into the ‘Metropolitan Bar’ for a quick drink, before catching my train home.
Even though I never got to see HMS Illustrious sailing out to sea, she was still a marvel to behold.