Sunday, 30 August 2015

"Free" #London Tours


With our Daily Constitutional archive now bulging with more than 3,500 posts, we've decided to spend the long summer days of August sharing some of our favourite moments from the past seven years. We hope you enjoy them!


This one was first posted earlier this year…




Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen and Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker






A THREE-WAY (CONVERSATION)

This sound familiar? Especially the first 19 words.

"I've not come here to get money; not I; I've come here merely for the good of the public, and to let you see how you've been imposed upon by a parcel of pompous shopkeepers, who are not content with less than 100 per cent for rubbish. They got up a petition – which I haven't time to read to you just now ­– offering me a large sum of money to keep away from here. But no, I had too much friendship for you to consent, and here I am. . . . I've in this cart a cargo of useful and cheap goods; can supply you with anything, from a needle to an anchor. Nobody can sell as cheap as me, seeing that I gets all my goods upon credit, and never means to pay for them. Now then, what shall we begin with? Here's a beautiful guard-chain."

It is of course from London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew’s mid-19th century expedition deep into the world of the Victorian underclass.

Still not got it?

Hint: he’s not there to “get money.” But  – who woulda thought it? – turns out he’s got wares to “sell.” They’re “cheap” (I’ll bet they are). But – oh dear – money’s going to be changing hands.

But, but, but… If he’s not there “to get money” – if he’s there “merely for the good of the public” – well, he must be giving the stuff away.

It must be “free.” Isn’t that what “not here to get money” means?

Puleeeeeeeeze.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been thinking about suckers lately.
What’s their birth rate now? Is it still one every minute?



Answers on a postcard please.





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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Saturday, 29 August 2015

East-West Waterway No.29: Towers

One pic-a-day throughout August 2015, DC Editor Adam is sharing 31 photos captured along the River Thames on an early morning constitutional. Strolling from North Greenwich to Tower Bridge – some seven miles – on a bright summer morning, here are a few of the sights that caught his eye…




A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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The Phoenix Garden


With our Daily Constitutional archive now bulging with more than 3,500 posts, we've decided to spend the long summer days of August sharing some of our favourite moments from the past seven years. We hope you enjoy them!


This one was first posted earlier this year…

DC Editor Adam writes…


The Phoenix Garden is one of the loveliest little green spaces in all of London. It costs £30,000 a year to keep the garden open to the public, and it receives no funding from the local council.




If you'd like to help keep this London oasis running, you can donate at their website www.thephoenixgarden.org.

The Phoenix Garden has been here since 1984. Prior to this it was a car park, the site having been bombed on the 9th of October 1940.

This date always sticks in my mind as the leader of the Rock'n'Roll London walk: it is John Lennon's birthday.

Mark Lewishon's recent Herculean Beatles biog has helped to set the record straight regarding the night of Lennon's birth. It has long been put forth, in many a hastily-written Beatle biog, that the future founder of The Beatles was born as the bombs rained on Liverpool.

It is a dramatic tale with almost Wagnerian overtones.

And it's not true.

Liverpool enjoyed a rare night off from the carnage on the 9th October 1940 because the Luftwaffe were busy over the Parish of St Giles, as this photo from the Phoenix Garden's website shows…



Lennon's connection to the neighbouring Savile Theatre (now the Odeon Shaftesbury Avenue) – Beatle manager Brian Epstein held the lease – is just one of the topics covered on my Rock'n'Roll London Walk on Fridays.


NB. The Rock'n'Roll London Walk meets OUTSIDE THE DOMINION THEATRE – just across the road from the exit to Tottenham Court Road Station.











A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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Friday, 28 August 2015

East-West Waterway No.28 A Recycled Pub

One pic-a-day throughout August 2015, DC Editor Adam is sharing 31 photos captured along the River Thames on an early morning constitutional. Strolling from North Greenwich to Tower Bridge – some seven miles – on a bright summer morning, here are a few of the sights that caught his eye…


The old Turk's Head pub is now the home of a charity dedicated to projects in the local Wapping area. www.turksheadcharity.com


A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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