Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Plaque of the Week No.92

You've seen them all over the city: discs, tablets, cameos and plaques commemorating the great and the good of London Town. Every Tuesday we track down a London plaque (Blue or otherwise) and put it centre stage on the London Walks Blog. This week…





The achievements of Sir Isaac Newton are well documented and his discovery of the Laws of Gravity has become the stuff of legend.


Can there be such a thing as an iconic scientist? If so this man – along with Einstein – surely fits the bill. And as such he has been deployed as a plot device or character in a wide range of fiction – from The Da Vinci Code to Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

A quote attributed to him – “[If I have seen further it is by] Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” – is engraved into the British £2 coin.

In 2005 a survey taken among scientists of the Royal Society asked if Newton or Einstein had the greatest influence on the history of science. Newton came out in front.

If the principal qualification to be an “iconic scientist” is to be a scientist regarded highly by the scientific establishment as well as the layman public, then Newton’s claim is assured.

He resided on Jermyn Street (where you can find his plaque, pictured) and is interred at Westminster Abbey. Alexander Pope composed the following famous lines for his espitaph:

Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night;
God said "Let Newton be" and all was light.



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Monday, 30 May 2011

In and Around London... Canary Wharf

The Monday Photoblog!


Monday is mute on The Daily Constitutional (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides and London Walkers.

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.












The Docklands walk goes on the first Saturday of every month.



POST UPDATED 1/4/16

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Free Walks Weekend!

Some jolly London Walkers on this morning's free Subterranean London Walk subsidised by Walk London, TFL and the Mayor of London……



Thanks to all who joined in!



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The Best of The D.C: Rhubarb! Rhubarb!

This post first appeared in March 2010

Ann’s been charged with Stalking – stalks of rhubarb, of course

Rhubarb has just joined champagne, parma ham and parmesan cheese – it’s been awarded Protected Designation of Origin by the European Commission. But not any old rhubarb – only the tender, pink, forced rhubarb produced by just a dozen growers in the ‘rhubarb triangle’ near Wakefield in south Yorkshire.

Last year I went on a pilgrimage to see the rhubarb growing – in dark sheds lit only by candles for visitors and pickers. And this week I cooked some of Mrs. Oldroyd’s forced rhubarb – gently baked in the oven it tastes and looks wonderful – tender chunks in shocking pink juice.

For a long time Britain lagged behind in the Protected Designation of Origin stakes, but we’re catching up. There are now 41 British foods that qualify- including Cornish sardines, Melton Mowbray pies, Stilton, White Stilton, Double Gloucester and Staffordshire cheeses, Welsh lamb, Welsh beef, Orkney beef, Orkney lamb, Scotch beef, Scotch lamb, Whitstable oysters, Scottish farmed salmon, Jersey Royals, Arbroath smokies.

Clearly we have a way to go before we catch up with France’s 170 PDO’s –which include many many cheeses, 28 different regions producing chickens (there may be more- I gave up counting), pink garlic, white garlic, green lentils from Berry, and that traditional French fruit, the kiwi - from the pays de l’Adour, in the south west. Portugal has 113 PDO’s, Spain has 131 , but well in the lead is Italy, with 203.


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Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Best of the D.C: Overheard On A London Walk

This post first appeared in October 2008

You Said It… (An occasional series)

"Upon presenting the gory details of hanging, drawing and quartering to a horribly delighted group of seven-year-olds, one little girl asked the following question: 'The man who pulled out the traitor's organs: did he wear protective gloves?'"

Overheard by Adam on Ghosts of the Old City
(GHOSTS OF THE OLD CITY goes from St Paul's tube – exit 2 – every Tuesday and Saturday at 7.30 p.m.)


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