It always amazes me how often one misses the obvious when wandering around London. A few days ago, my friend, the author Roy Moxham, took us to a delightful pub, The Angel, near to Tottenham Court Road Station in central London.
Just before we entered the pub, Roy pointed at a stretch of pavement outside it. The usual paving stones had been replaced by granite slabs surrounded by granite cobble stones (see illustration above).
The reason for these harder stones is that they are less likely than paving stones to be damaged when heavy barrels are dropped on to them by the men delivering beer to the pub.
Since having been shown this localised special surface outside The Angel, I have checked outside other pubs and seen the same thing. For over 25 years (maybe over 7000 times) I have walked past the Churchill Arms in Kensington and NEVER noticed that it also has this arrangement, an area of tough stones close to the pavement entrance of its cellar. And, I consider myself to be more observant than average! It pays to keep your eyes open and to be curious – you never know what you might discover!