Monday, 4 May 2009

The Weekly Gallimaufry

London is the Place for Me *

The Award

LW Blog seems to remember that it was the late playwright Joe Orton who commented that winning only one award was no good and that one had to win two awards to balance the baubles on the mantelpiece.

Well the mantelpiece is well and truly balanced over at, with both the Visit London Gold Award for Best Tourist attraction and now the English Tourist Board Oscar, the Enjoy England Gold Award for Best Tourist Attraction. Click HERE to view ‘em.

Dickens Week 2009

Our Dickens Week 2009 culminated in four titles being nominated for the Public Vote shortlist (see opposite, right). But that doesn’t mean that the team of London Walks guides consulted in the process were limited themselves to merely four works. Here’s “one that got away”, i.e. a title voted as best by a London Walks guide which failed to make the shortlist. Don, often to be found on his Whitechapel beat in Jack the Ripper mode, beats the drum for Bleak House (the edition shown is the current Penguin Classics edition, £8.99):

“My vote goes to Bleak House if only for the opening chapter of the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincolns Inn Hall in the fog of the English legal system.”

(The next installment of our London Walks Reading List will be a many-voiced affair – rather like our book London Walks London Stories – and will feature shouts for best – and “least best”! – Dickens moments.)

Dickens by Gaslight

As a postscript to our Dickens Week 2009, this arrives from Shaughan, caught on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Aloud programme - good for Gaslight Walkers! (From an article on the impact of gas on the 19th Century London Walker:

"As I walk about the streets at night, endless and always suggestive intercommunings take place between me and the trusty, silent, ever watchful gas. Gas to teach me; gas to counsel me; gas to guide my footsteps, not over London flags, but through the crooked ways of life and death."
George Augustus Sala 1859 (He wrote for Dickens's Household Words)

Waiter! Waiter!

He-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-re’s Alphonse (pic, left)! LW Blog regulars will know that the appearance of our resident waiter heralds the arrival of another of Ann’s Foodie Walks – and, of course, another of her unique LW Blog posts. Come back later in the week for more… (The London Walk Foodie’s London takes place this Saturday 9th May, 10.00 am, Monument Tube, Fish St. Hill exit.)


The new Facebook group, London Walks Walkers is up and running. Join in HERE.

This Week in London History

The 8th of May 1956… in Sloane Square, SW1 a theatrical explosion in the form of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger opening at the Royal Court Theatre. The London debut of Jimmy Porter, the original theatrical angry young man (played by Kenneth Haigh) sent shockwaves through the stalls, scattering theatregoers and reviewers alike to polar extremes of critical opinion. Kenneth Tynan’s notice in The Observer, is typical of the extreme responses inspired by this passionate play. Tynan wrote that he “doubted if I could love anyone who did not like this play.” (The pic is from the dust cover of the Faber first edition hardback and shows Mary Ure as Alison.)


(P.S… This week’s strapline, London is the Place for Me, is taken from the title of the calypso classic by Lord Kitchener. To read LW Blog’s earlier review of the album of the same title, click HERE.)

Join the NEW LW Facebook group London Walks Walkers HERE


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