Monday, 31 May 2010

In and Around London’s… Pub Signs

Some London pub signs. Email your favourites to us by clicking the envelope icon at the bottom of this post.


Coach and Horses at Farringdon. Geddit?


The Winston Churchill in Kensington Church Street – an Irish pub with Thai food. An original.


In the heated debate as to London's oldest pub, The Mitre (Ely Place, Holborn) makes this very reasonable and measured claim.


Named for the great Charles Dickens character, there's outstanding live music upstairs and a bar that stocks… English whisky!


At Moorgate – the poet's father was in the pub trade.

There’s a London Walks pub walk every night of the week – check them out HERE.

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Sunday, 30 May 2010

London Walks: Seven Days 05:30:10

Seven Days Back: London Walks News Digest

The Top Seven Stories rounded up and posted to our Facebook Group London Walks Walkers this past week…

Sherlock Holmes on BBC Radio 7 This Week – from the BBC Radio 7 Newsletter

Special London Walks in June – from www.walks.com

London Book Reviews – from the Times Literary Supplement

Buskers on the London Underground – from the BBC

Michael Caine Opens Museum of London Exhibition – from Museum of London Newsletter

Sunny London Town! – from The Guardian

The Empty Plinth Filled Up Once More – from the BBC (NB: David's got more on this story – come back to the LW Blog next Wednesday to see.)


Seven Days Ahead

Seven Choice London Walks for the Coming Week:


Monday: Darkest Victorian London

Tuesday: Somewhere Else London (pictured above)

Wednesday: Old Chelsea

Thursday: The Blitz – London at War

Friday: The London of Charles Dickens

Saturday: London's History (and Places) in Verse, Poetry & Nursery Rhymes

Sunday: The D-Day Anniversary Walk The Longest Day in London (and Normandy)

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Saturday, 29 May 2010

On the Canal

To borrow from the old-time ad campaign for a well-known Danish lager, London Walks reaches the parts of London others just can’t reach. Or, as Roger puts it, “A different world – right here in London!”

There are Londoners who spend a lifetime in the city and never see the corners that Roger and the Canal Walks Guides lead us into. Here’s Roger on tomorrow’s jaunt…

“Escape quickly from a noisy busy street in Islington, to a quiet tree-lined canal which has been a filming location. Next – a waterway basin which was a hub, and is now alive with the canoeists of the Islington Boat Club.

Several Thames barges moored at Eagle Wharf are doing good business, including one floating restaurant here. They’re a reminder of the Thames sailing barges which once traded from here. Now – past the site of Gainsborough Studios, home to a substantial chunk of British film history (where Miranda, see the poster illustrated here, was made).

Then on to a beautiful tree-lined mile, taking in London’s first municipal park, which owes its origins to a bishop whose sermons were a bit too fiery. And there’s the legend of a ghost!”

The Regent’s Canal - Islington to Mile End Walk meets at Angel tube station this Sunday 30th May at 2.30 p.m.

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Friday, 28 May 2010

A Teaser…

Here’s David with a teaser…

“No, it's not Degas on the Seine, absinthesed up to the gills.

It's here. Our town.

So, yes, how well do you know your London?

Can you Five-W this one? As in Who? What? Where? When? And Why was this the second most important moment in London's history?

If not, well, pitch up on one of my Old Westminster Walks on a Thursday afternoon and I'll 5 for 5 those Ws for you.”

David leads Old Westminster next Thursday afternoon and every second Thursday afternoon after that.

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Thursday, 27 May 2010

Today in London History: May 27th

David's been digging in the diary again. Here he is…

'A London day to remember. And honour. It's 1679. Parliament passes the Habeus Corpus Act.

Which is? No harm in asking. And no harm in telling. Indeed, important to tell. Because the "National Security State" is trying to get it in its sights.

So what is it? For anybody who doesn't know. And everybody should know. Habeus - that's Latin for have. Corpus is Latin for body. The Act lays down the law to the crown, to the authorities. It demands – we, the people, demand – that prisoners must get their day in court – not be unlawfully detained. It means, in other words, rule of law. Not of tyranny. Not of royal or powers-that-be whim. It means "they" can't lock people up and throw away the key. It gets something called law and a trial and a judge and a jury between rulers and the ruled. No bad thing, I'd say.

In which connection, if you go on Richard's Stonehenge & Salisbury Explorer Day you'll see the Magna Carta. "Documents" don't come any more moving. Few things come more moving. The parchment it's written on – vellum – was of the finest. They say it'll last for some 3,000 years. The ink was made out of a secretion that a spider spun round its nest. That was pulverised and mixed with iron sulphate and water. It etched into the parchment. Those details are stunning – and moving in the extreme. That parchment – that ink – those men who went eyeball to eyeball with King John in 1215 were making the strongest possible statement. They were telling the king – in no uncertain terms – that it was over. His days of locking people up on a whim and throwing the key away were kaput. No more. So, yes, habeus corpus was in the Magna Carta – was a central tenet of the Magna Carta. Written in ink that wouldn't fade. Ink that etched those words into a parchment that would last out the ages.

That's telling them where to get off...'

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