Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Coade Stone

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Ok, if you're a veteran London Walker chances are you know about the stuff. Because it plays a cameo role in several London Walks. It's good London fare. Artificial stone, invented in the 18th century. Easy to work in. Weathers very well. Doesn't attract pollution - just give it a wipe with a cloth once a year and it obligingly stays a bone white. Most famous example is the Coaded King of the Beasts - he comes roaring into the Old Westminster walk, for example. (Well, my, David's Old W. walk - can't speak for my colleagues'. LW doesn't do paint-by-numbers, memorise-a-script guiding. If you can call that guiding.)

Flicking the baited hook - as one does in this line of work (if you can call it work) - lo and behold I've caught and reeled in little bit of extra purchase on the stuff. Turns out that its inventor called it Lithodipyra. Didn't know that. Means, yup, artificial stone. Gives it some good solid Latin gravitas.

And this has a certain appeal, too. Mr. Stone Coade thundered, "Several wild adventurers have set up opposition; but, if worthy of remark, how speedy a failure has invariably been attendant on their rude indigested performances."

Ah, yes, the usual "Beware of imitations."

And on that note...

London Spy 310112

Five Headlines.

Five Stories.

Five Minutes.


The Daily Constitutional's Round Up Of London In The News.



LOCAL ISSUES: Funding Cut For Award-Winning Kilburn Adventure Playground – Kilburn Times


ARCHITECTURE & PLANNING: The New Exhibition Road – The Guardian


HERITAGE: Mediaeval Barn Saved – BBC


THEATRE: Record-Breaking West End Audiences – The Independent


OLYMPICS: Enjoy London Without A Ticket – The Times Of India



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The London Reading List No. 29

Tuesday is great London books day on The Daily Constitutional. Give us your own recommendations at the usual email address



Adam writes… The graphic novel makes its debut on our London Reading List!

When talking to London Walkers out there on our walking tours, I am always pleased to get a recommendation for something new and London-flavoured to read. Over the years the title that has come up more often than any other has been The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.




The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
By Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill


It is the fag end of the 19th Century and the Empire is in peril. The new century looms and with it a new world order armed with an alarming array of new fangled machines of evil. Only the most extraordinary characters can save us now…

As a blend of fact and fiction, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would be fun enough. The added dimension of mingling fictional characters of the past with newly minted creations, however, creates a new level of fascination. The interweaving of adventure story and Alternate History adds further piquancy. The project’s crowning glory, however, is that it can blend these already tantalizing elements with a further cocktail all its own – that of words (By Alan Moore) and dazzlingly crafted visuals (courtesy of Kevin O’Neill).

“What makes a graphic novel different from a mere comic?” is the commonly asked question. Simply the richness, depth and multi-leveled approach as detailed above. If all this makes it sound heavy weather, lumpen with clod-hopping cross references and literary namedrops, then perhaps now is the time to point out that it’s also rattling good fun, fast paced and thoroughly exhilarating. The reader need not get a single one of the references either to 19th Century fiction or the history of the fin de siècle period in which the action is set. The narrative itself is enough to awaken the swashbuckler in even the most jaded reader.

Our heroes – the League of the title (including one Extraordinary woman) – are characters from 19th century adventure fiction. Mina Murray (Dracula’s Mina Harker reverted to her maiden name), Alan Quartermain (of King Solomon’s Mines fame), Captain Nemo (from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), Doctor Jekyll (and therefore Mr Hyde from the imagination of R.L Stevenson) and Hawley Griffin (AKA Wells’s The Invisible Man).

The members are recruited by Campion Bond (an original character to the novel, but the grandfather of James Bond) of British Intelligence to help save the British Empire from the combined evils of Fu Manchu and Professor Moriarty.

London as a backdrop is lovingly detailed. The League hole-up at The British Museum; Limehouse is home to the evil Fu Manchu’s lair; the doss house that Quartermain and Murray investigate has separate entrances for men and women – exactly like the one that can still be seen on our Jack The Ripper walk.

Such attention to detail elevates this work to a level way above my preconceptions of the graphic novel – and in finally reading it I have learned what millions of graphic novel aficionados have known for years. This is so much more than a comic.





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If You Do One OTHER Thing in London This Week…

Our weekly slot in which we point you in the direction of other great happenings and events in our great city. A new exhibition, a gig, a museum, a pop-up-shop – the best of London within a few minutes of a London Walks walking tour.


We mentioned this a couple of weeks ago – but we think it's worth repeating! London Walks walkers can get a whopping 20% discount on the admission to the Museum of London’s Dickens & London Exhibition.




For more info on the discount, click HERE.

For more on the exhibition, click HERE.

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Monday, 30 January 2012

In and Around London... West Of The Bars

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.




This week’s shot were captured near the start of the West Of the Bars walk on Saturday 20th January. They are the work of London Walker Tony Makepeace who has a number of albums captured on London Walks at his Flickr page. You can view his pics HERE.

Thanks for shooting – and thanks letting us post them here on our blog Tony!















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Sunday, 29 January 2012

London Spy 290112


Five Headlines.

Five Stories.

Five Minutes.


The Daily Constitutional's Round Up Of London In The News.



SHOWBIZ: Diamonds Are For Never Say Spice Girls? Daily Mirror

ROYALS: Baby On Hold Until After Olympics, Jubilee? Daily Mail

FASHION: Stella McCartney at Selfridges – Vogue

FOOD: Save Gabi’s Deli! – Daily Telegraph

LANDMARKS: Bollards of London Reaches 200! – www.bollardsoflondon.co.uk





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Thanks To All London Walkers...




...who joined us on the Free Walks this weekend in association with Walk London.

This cheery bunch (above) are pictured at the end of this morning's Subterranean London walk.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tenter Ground: The Saturday Street

The Saturday Street is our weekly series in which we unlock the stories behind the names of London's famous thoroughfares. It's compiled by London Walks guide Karen – listed by Travel + Leisure magazine as The World's Greatest Tour Guide. You can find Karen on Saturdays guiding her Old Westminster and British Museum walks. If you've got a London street query or suggestion, email Karen at the usual address


Tenter Ground E1
Location:
Spitalfields


The name is derived from an area once used for drying newly manufactured cloth. The wet fabric was hooked on to frames called tenters and stretched tight so that it would dry flat. It is from this process that the phrase “to be on tenterhooks”, i.e. the feeling of being suspended in a sense of great tension, is derived.

Tenter Ground is in Spitalfields an area famed for its weaving and cloth making heritage.


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London Spy 270112

Five Headlines.

Five Stories.

Five Minutes.


The Daily Constitutional's Round Up Of London In The News.




DESIGN: Classic Underground Poster – Going Underground Blog

TRAVEL: Air Fares – Beware The Tax – USA Today

PHILOSOPHY: Atheist Temple For London – The Guardian

MUSEUMS: Commonwealth Institute Revived as New Design Museum – World Architecture News

LONDON LANDMARKS: Rio De Janeiro In North London? – The Daily Mirror






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Friday, 27 January 2012

Something For The Weekend…


Bombing with Banksy and Co. – Graffiti & Street Art in Shoreditch takes place at 10.45 am on Sunday, January 29th. Meet Pepe outside the Bishopsgate exit of Liverpool StreetTube.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE at www.walks.com




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