Monday, 12 December 2011
Battles of the Battis
So while visiting Romford it was with some trepidation I stepped past the shop backs and into the Battis. A sign warns “CCTV in operation”. On the left are huge cavernous railway arches, sealed off with wire netting. On my right is a 1980s football-pen style high wire fence. It’s a narrow corridor that might as well say ‘please mug me, bruv’. Mercifully I make it through and even pass a couple of people carrying shopping bags. Round the back of Sainsbury the Battis reaches the River Rom. It’s sealed off by more wire mesh, though someone has, with some dexterity, managed to chuck a shopping trolley over the top and it lies broken and half submerged in the water. The Rom is only a couple of feet wide and then disappears under the new Sainsbury. The town doesn’t seem particularly proud of its eponymous river. And then I dash back through the Battis to South Street.
When I later remark to Katie that with all those arches it looks a little like the Colisseum in Rome, her instant riposte is, “And you’ve got about as much chance of surviving there!”
Ross Kemp, could you handle the Battis?