17 March 2009

The world is your Oyster Row, E1: More A-Z games

Sometimes on a bike ride you're stuck somewhere for 20 minutes. Waiting for a train, perhaps, or waiting for a page to load on the train's free onboard wi-fi. And the only thing to pass the time with is the A to Z in your pannier.

The other day I was on about finding shortest and longest street names. But there are all sorts of other games you can play with a street index. Choose your all-time London street World Test Cricket XI, for example:

Hobbs Ct SE1
Sutcliffe Rd SE18
Richards Ave RM7
Bradman Row HA8
Headley Dr CR0
Walcott St SW1
Botham Cl HA8
Warne Pl DA15
Barnes St E14
Ambrose St SE16
McGrath Rd E15

Cricket buffs will have guessed that Richards is Viv, not Barry; Sutcliffe is Herbert, not Bert; Headley is George; and Barnes is SF. Not every name you might consider is there - the A to Z index contains no Gilchrist Ave, no Tendulkar St, no Muralitharan Cres. But the fun is trying to find a balanced team out of the list available. And not a bad side, eh?

You can extend it to other teams. Your all-time England football XI for instance might include Banks Lane DA6; Moore Rd SE19; Charlton Way SE3; Owen Gardens IG8; Gascoigne Place E2 (not continuous);... and so on.

It doesn't have to be sporting. You could programme a series of concerts with your favourite composers (Beethoven St W10; Mozart St W10; Strauss Rd W4; Elgar St SE16...).

Or you could go to the pub, and only order things which appear in the A to Z (Guinness Square SE1; Ham Cl TW10, Sandwich St WC1; Chip St SW4; Wine Cl E1; Pudding Lane EC3...)

If it's a Wetherspoons you can even enjoy their free wi-fi as you do so. And hope it's working faster than the wi-fi on Nationalexpresseastcoast trains, or else you'll be back to making lists.


  1. Gascoigne (not continuous) - definitely! I love it.

  2. I was hoping there might be a street called The Wall, so that an alley off it, let's say Jackson Lane, would be listed as 'Jackson Lane: Off The Wall' in the index... sadly not.

  3. Gascoigne Ally: off The Wall - definitely. Poor old Gazza.

  4. I suppose the umpire of the World XI should be Bill Alley...