Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Plaque of the Week No.54

Every Tuesday we track down a plaque (Blue or otherwise) and put it centre stage on the London Walks Blog. This week…

Commemorating: The great thesp Herbert Tree
Street: King Charles II Street
Postcode: SW1
Borough: City of Westminster


Far be it from us to suggest that these theatrical types are adept at elbowing their way to the front. But… this is a helluva plaque (below). It’s topped only by the memorial to the same chap at Hampstead in the churchyard where his ashes rest – a gravestone that upstages all the others.

The magnificently-handled Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852 – 1917) was the actor-manager of His Majesty’s Theatre in the Haymarket – the building upon which this mighty plaque is situated. He is among the first of the great Shakespeareans to leave his work behind for future generations, having made several recordings of famous soliloquies for The Gramophone Company – the label which became HMV. Some of these recordings can be heard at the great Globe Exhibition on Bankside.

At His Majesty’s, Tree played Henry Higgins in Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, opposite Mrs Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle.

Keep an eye out for His Majesty’s Theatre on the Secret West End Walk every Monday.

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Monday, 30 August 2010

In and Around London… From the Air

Monday is mute on the London Walks Blog (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides, London Walkers and Facebook friends. Collated on a theme or an area, if you've got some great shots of our capital and want to join in send your pictures to the usual address.


Great big thanks this week to Doug Gilbart of Air Canada – a London Walks “Repeat Offender” (Surely “Frequent Flier”… Ed.) for sending us his fabulous aerial pics of our great city. Last week we saw Doug twice – once on Tuesday for Ghosts of the Old City and then again on Friday for the Along the Thames Pub Walk. In the intervening several hours between walks (!) he’d been and gone and flown back across the pond and returned again. AND he’d taken time to share his pics. Cheers Doug, see you soon…


Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast prominent on the water. Note the sun-yellowed grass around the Tower of London. (Who says we didn’t have a summer?!)

Above the Square Mile.

The great “X-marks-the-spot” of Bank Junction pulls focus in this shot.

Toward Westminster here, reminding us that our river is more than a straight-line boundary between north and south…



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Sunday, 29 August 2010

London Walks Seven Days 08:29:10

Seven Days is our weekly round-up of all things London & London Walks in which we highlight seven top news stories rounded up from our Facebook page and seven recommended London Walks for the week ahead. If you want to point us in the direction of a London news story that we may have missed, email us at to the usual address


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…

It’s Bedlam at the Globe – from Shakespeare’s Globe Website

(Road) Signs of the Times – from the BBC

Travel Photo Competition – from the Washington Post

England's Bid for World Cup 2018 – from the Evening Standard

Swearing on the Horns! – from the Hampstead & Highgate Express

Pinewood Movie Classics – from the BBC

VERY Silly Behavior on a Plane – from the Seattle Times


Seven Days Ahead

Seven Choice London Walks for the Coming Week:

Monday: Scandalous St John’s Wood

Tuesday: The Beatles in My Life

Wednesday: Legal & Illegal London

Thursday: The Blitz – London at War

Friday: Rock ‘n’ Roll London (illustrated above)

Saturday: The British Museum

Sunday: Subterranean London

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Saturday, 28 August 2010

The F.A Cup

As promised, we’re keeping an eye on the more obscure London football teams as they attempt the near-impossible task of heading to Wembley next May for the world’s most prestigious domestic club showpiece: the F.A Cup Final.

Today was the Preliminary Round (it’s a LONG journey to Wembley). The big win for a London-associated side today came in Surrey where the Metropolitan Police F.C felt the collars of poor old Horley Town by six goals to nil.

The Met’s team was founded in 1919, but endured a long wait to win its first trophy – eventually getting around to leaving fingerprints on silverware for the first time earlier this year in 2010, beating AFC Wimbledon in the Senior London Cup.

The Met play either Ramsgate or Godalming Town in the next round on the 11th September. We’ll keep you posted.

Whatever the result, London’s finest are guaranteed a place in the final next May: a great many officers will be policing the final. We wonder if any of them were playing earlier today?

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Culture Sandwich No.1. Tower Hill

Our new series for those who work in London – highlighting the nooks, corners and green spaces in which one can linger of a lunchbreak. Grab lunch and catch up on those familiar landmarks that you never seem to have the time to look at on your way to and from work in the company of Karen Pierce-Goulding, winner of the prestigious Blue Badge Guide of the Year award.

As you emerge from Tower Hill underground station take a moment to salute one of the original founders of London – 1st Century Roman Emperor, Trajanus.

The Culture Bit
Although not the initial conqueror of these shores, Trajanus was one of the mighty Warrior-Emperors. (There’s a towering marble column named after him in the centre of Rome, known simply as Trajan’s Column – every surface is covered in swirling carved friezes depicting legion upon legion of Roman soldiers winning battle after battle during his legendary reign.)

Trajanus’ statue is aptly placed, hand raised in victory, just in front of the largest remaining chunk of the old city wall , built by the Romans to enclose their settlement, Londinium, 2000 years ago in 196AD – an impressive reminder of our sophisticated Southern European invaders. Statues were erected in public places so that the newly conquered citizenry learned to respect their new ruler.

The Sandwich Bit

Jump a continent for lunch by crossing the road to the branch of Wagamama with the best view in the world: Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. 2b Tower Place, Tower Hill, phone : +44 (0) 207 283 5897.

The London Walks Bit:

Meet at Tower Hill Station for The Tower of London Walk every Wednesday at 10.45 a.m.

Karen guides the Westminster Walk this morning (and every Saturday).

To follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Bebo or MySpace, to watch London Walks Films on YouTube, to send us an email or simply to catch up on the latest news from www.walks.com, click on the appropriate icon below…

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