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Interview – Professor Janice Rymer

We interviewed Professor Janice Rymer, RCOG Vice President and Consultant Gynaecologist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, about working in London Bridge. Janice has also lived in the area for the past 30 years.

How long have you worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust?

I have worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust since 1988 when I moved to London as a registrar from New Zealand. I am now a Consultant Gynaecologist.

 

What is your commute to work like?

I live near Tower Bridge so walk to work. It takes me 11 minutes door-to-door!

 

What public transport options are nearby?

Public transport around London Bridge is fantastic. Since I have been living in the area, London Bridge Station – which is the oldest railway terminal in London – has been completely redone. The Jubilee and Northern underground lines pass through it, so I can easily and quickly get to Sussex Place. The station also services overground trains, so you get lots of people commuting in from the South East. There is also a terrific bus service.

 

What do you like about the area?

The area is really interesting and full of history! Guy’s itself is incredibly old, having been founded in 1721, and many famous physicians and surgeons originated from there. Then there is the George Inn – a medieval pub on Borough High Street where Shakespeare and Charles Dickens used to drink. Dickens even referred to it in Little Dorrit, as well as Marshalsea Prison which is very close to Union Street. Oliver Twist was also set right by Tower Bridge. So you have lots of blue plaques everywhere.

 

How has the area changed since you’ve been working and living there?

I have lived in London Bridge since I moved over from New Zealand in 1988 and have seen the area drastically change over the last 30 years. It used to be all about Dickens and Shakespeare, it was very ‘old worldly’, but it’s been greatly modernised. I initially had reservations about the development of the Shard but it is fantastic! Every time I walk past I just look up and think it is absolutely magnificent.

The area around the waterfront is also really modern. When the area was redeveloped several years ago and huge apartment blocks were built, they promised to create a cultural centre. We now have the beautiful Bridge Theatre (which seats 900 people) and the sunken outdoor amphitheatre, as well as lots of restaurants nearby. The strip between Tower Bridge and London Bridge now is just really fantastic and a lot of free events, concerts and photo exhibitions are held along there in the summer.

 

What are the people like?

London Bridge is a very friendly area. The pubs and cafes are always overflowing so you get people milling about on the pavement outside. It’s also really nice being so close to the water. The Thames Path makes a fantastic running route. You can jog from London Bridge to Westminster or head east and end up opposite Canary Wharf. It’s a lovely, beautiful run, so you get lots of locals making the most of it. There is also Borough Market which is always very busy and has an incredible, exciting buzz to it.

 

Are there any restaurants in the area that you can recommend?

There are lots of cafes, restaurants and bars around London Bridge but my favourite is Strada Riverside. It sits right in front of Tower Bridge and with a glass front it offers one of the best views in London. There is an upstairs area where I have organised a few gynaecology social events and it’s not incredibly expensive. Everyone arrives upstairs and is just blown away by the view!