Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Weekly Gallimaufry 30:08:09

A bumper edition of The Gallimaufry for a Bumper Week in London Then and London Now…

London Walks on Twitter!

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Ho Ho Ho (Yes! Already!)

In a break with tradition, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre down on Bankside will open over Christmas this year to welcome Footsbarn Theatre Company and their production Christmas Cracker. Booking is now open for the show, which runs from 22nd December 2009 to 3rd January 2010. See London Links, right.

Shakespeare’s Globe, however, will be closed on Christmas Day. Unlike London Walks , where it will be business as (almost) usual.

Click this FESTIVE LINK for details of the special Christmas Day London Walks.

Sherlock Holmes Saves the Nation!

Movie magazines Empire and Total Film both have outstanding features on the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes movie in their newsstand issues this month. Regular LW Blog Followers will already know that we’ve been keeping abreast of gossip regarding the movie – see earlier post HERE. A privileged few London Walkers will also know that we interrupted the filming of the movie in St Bartholomew’s Churchyard, Smithfield a few months back when Richard III gatecrashed their location – which happened to be in the way of his Ghosts of the Old City walk. (Nothing, not even Hollywood, stops London Walks!)

On the 12th September there’s a special Sherlock Holmes London Walk, Sherlock Holmes Saves the Nation, meeting at Green Park Station (Ritz Exit) at 10.45a.m. The regular Sherlock Holmes London Walk meets every Friday at Embankment Station at 2.00p.m.

First Past the Post

With the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games 2012 almost exactly three years away, the Royal Mail will issue the first in a series of three sets of ten commemorative stamps. They'll be available at all Post Office outlets from October. (The next Going for Gold in the East London Walk takes place on 27th September.)

(Keep an eye out here for further instalments of our Stars of the London Olympics series and on our Facebook page for regular Olympic News updates.)


The new Mini Coupe Concept, celebrating 50 years of a British motoring and design classic, was unveiled last Friday… in the very same week as the immortal words “You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” rung out in the Crystal Palace air once more.

Michael Caine’s famous line from the movie The Italian Job (in which he starred opposite Noel Coward, Benny Hill and several Minis) was the punchline to a scene shot at Crystal Palace Park, and London Walks guide Adam did his best to replicate it (struggling manfully against his native Scottish brogue) last Sunday.

The Crystal Palace Walk is due to go again next year (that's Crystal Palace Park, above, in all its summer pomp) – when the new leaflet for the Winter Season is finalised, we’ll give you a “heads up” right here on the LW Blog. (The official website of the Mini is at

The Ministry of Truth

A last-minute movie tip… Monday night at the NFT (31st August at 8.40p.m), you can catch the great Richard Burton in his final filmed performance, as the chilling O'Brien in the big screen version of George Orwell’s 1984. (See the building that inspired his Ministry of Truth on the Old University Quarter Walk this and every Friday at 2.00p.m. Keep an eye out for our George Orwell walks, too)

This Week in London History #1

That David: he’s been rummaging in the darkest corners of the library at London Walks Towers again. Here he is…

"It's September 4th, 1733. We're in the Tower of London. Looking forlornly down at a corpse. A very special corpse: that of the first lionness in Britain. She's just gone to the great savannah in the sky. Old age did for her. It's not desperately sad, though. She whelped litter after litter of cubs. Year in and year out. And got along famously with her human charge: the Keeper of the Lion Office. (And you were wondering why one of the towers in the Tower of London is known as the Lion Tower!)

Okay, now fast forward to 1962. You're up our way, in the self-same manor as London Walks Towers. On Abbey Road, in St. John's Wood. In the famous EMI studios. And sure enough, there they are: those Mop Tops from Liverpool. Starting their recording session at the studio they'll forever be associated with.

(All those passengers wishing to alight at 1733, we do a weekly ‘special’ walk in the Tower of London. Check out The Mothership for full details. Beatlemaniacs should head for Richard P's Beatles London Walks.)"

Thanks, David! ('e's got more where that came from: come back soon for more from the archives of London history…)

This Week in London History # 2

London history is world history. The 3rd September 1939, seventy years ago this week, saw the commencement of the Second World War. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s famous and grave broadcast to the nation, announcing that "this country is now at war with Germany," launched a million-and-one London Stories.

Of those million-and-one tales, how’s this for a topical reference:

Seventy years ago this month the United States Ambassador to the Court of St James, Joseph P. Kennedy sent his children back from London to the United States to ensure their safety – among them the youngest of his nine-strong brood, the chubby, exuberant 7-year-old Teddy.

Edward Moore Kennedy
22nd February 1932 – 25th August 2009

Coming soon…

Highlights of the Winter Leaflet… and MORE London Walks Movies (rumour has it that the long-awaited screen debut of London Walks stalwart Tom is almost upon us: he's been ready for his close-up down British Museum way, so they say…)

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