Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Weekly Gallimaufry

It's a London Thing

What’s the Dickens?

The machinations of the political arena have been all around us here in the U.K this past week, what with the local and European elections, not to mention the ongoing political scandals regarding M.P’s expenses.

Amidst all the Westminster to-ings and fro-ings, we’ve been totting up the scores of our very own poll. To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, we asked: What is London’s Favourite Dickens? The London Walks guides nominated and cogitated, and the shortlist was whittled down to just four titles. Then you guys, the London Walkers, had your say. And the winner is…


(Not very seasonal, we know, but perhaps now is a good time to mention that there are only 200 shopping days left until, Christmas… and 201 days left until the London Walks Christmas Day Walks – including a special Dickens bunberry. Yup: LW is a 365 operation!)

Here’s how you voted:

A Christmas Carol…………46% of the vote
Great Expectations…………26% of the vote
Oliver Twist ………………23% of the vote
A Tale of Two Cities………3% of the vote

Thanks to all who voted and nominated. We’ll be conducting polls from time to time here at the LW Blog. Any suggestions? Drop us a line at the usual address

London Walks: Covering London from Every Angle

The big TV event of the week here in the U.K is the finale of the British version of The Apprentice, the gameshow in which a dozen-or-so young fine young capitalists of varying degrees of fecklessness are humiliated weekly on national television for the entertainment of several million of their countrymen and women. The least feckless of their number wins a six-figure salary position within the organisation of entrepreneur Sir Alan Sugar.

The star of the show is… not Sir Alan, but London herself. The show is punctuated with dramatic shots of The City and the River Thames taken from a prowling helicopter. It’s stirring stuff. But then London has always looked good from the air – to which this shot from 1904 can testify…

Taken by hot air ballooning pioneer Rev. John M. Bacon, and published in Living London Magazine it is captioned “One Mile Above Trafalgar Square.” The most changed area pictured above is clearly an unlovely Lambeth, now home to a bustling arts complex, one of London’s most popular playgrounds. Here its industrial past is laid bare. You can unearth that past on the Somewhere Else London Walk every Tuesday and Saturday with Steph, Steve or Adam.

(We’ll post more of the great Rev. Bacon’s shots another day.)

Get the Picture?

While we’re getting all visual, David spent a few hours last week forsaking the pen (he’s the wordsmith behind, several chapters of London Walks, London Stories and a regular LW Blogger) in favour of the camera. And he’s posted the results over at The Mothership. The South Bank (as seen on the Somewhere Else London Walk) can be seen HERE while Kensington is captured HERE.

While we’re on the topic, rather like Lord Kitchener and Uncle Sam, the LW Blog wants YOU… to send us your pics. Blog Follower and Facebook Group member Zowie did just that and the result is pictured here. Just for fun: do you know where his pic was taken? Drop us a line at

Coming Soon on the LW Blog…

Later this week David has a few words on words… Richard III has an unusual angle on Notting Hill… And Adam gives us the next installment of our How to Walk series. This time: How to Book a Private London Walk. He is assisted in his tale by his new best friends: the wonderful Abbots Langley Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

Join the London Walks Facebook group London Walks Walkers HERE


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