Thursday, 25 May 2017

What Will I See on The Hidden Pubs Walk With Andy @hallett_g?


London Walks Pen & Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker writes…

A few details covered in Andy's Tuesday night's Hidden Pubs Walk



1. You'll see the finest Elizabethan building in the City

2. You'll see a spiky bronze dragon clutching his thing

3. You'll be taken through a precinct of essentially monastic character

4. You'll see a rare survivor of pre-Fire London

5. You'll see the only privately owned retail bank in the country. And "see through" that secret doorway.

6. You'll see a very early example of a purpose-built office, a pioneer of the Jacobean Revival

7. You'll see the first major Gothic Revival public building after the new Palace of Westminster

8. You'll see the smallest house in the City of London

9. You'll see the only London Art Deco building worthy to be set beside the skyscraper lobbies of mid-town Manhattan

10. You'll see Wren's tallest spire ("soaring out of its hemmed-in site, it's like a hollyhock that escapes from the pressure of undergrowth")

11. You'll see a herald blowing a trumpet

12. You'll pay your respects at the memorial to the parrot Polly, who died in 1926 aged forty, famous for her perfect imitation of the pop of a champagne cork – a feat that she performed four hundred times on Armistice night.

And that's just for starters...





London's Hidden Pubs meets at Temple tube every Tuesday night at 7pm. Click HERE for full details


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.



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Rain It Raineth… And the Rock It Rolleth

Adam writes…


Big, grey, looming… and no walking tour guide wants to mention it.

The elephant in the room?

The rainy London sky.

As I blog this, sunshine streams through The Daily Constitutional office window. And it feels like tempting fate to be writing about rain.

But how can it be avoided here in London? I've written about it often on The DC. I've composed a eulogy to a good and faithful brolly. I've sent a love letter to the showers. I've given top tips on waterproof kit

I've even made a short film in tribute to the London Walkers who stay with us when the heavens open…




I found myself making a "follow-up" film last Thursday after the torrential rain that flooded the Rock'n'Roll London Pub Walk. So many of you turned up I had to laugh – what an eccentric bunch! I was delighted to see every one of you.


I had tried my very best to warn you off on Twitter earlier in the day…







But still you joined me!

I'm asked all the time: "Do you still do your walks when it rains?"

My answer is always the same: "Doesn't matter a stuff what WE do. YOU are they guys who come out it all weathers."

For this, much thanks. here's my short film (and I'm doing the walk all over again tonight with NO rain according to the BBC!) at 7pm, Tottenham Court Road Tube…







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.



Monday, 22 May 2017

#London Walkers Review London Walks: "Really Great, No Fuss"




Mary, Fiona, Maxine & Noel in the London Walks office write… On Mondays & Fridays we'll be sharing reviews of our London Walks written by London Walkers. Firstly, THANKS to all who have written to us down through the years, your kind words are greatly appreciated! Our guides don't solicit these reviews on our tours – we believe that this would be a waste of your time. That's what makes these reviews all the more special – they have been sent to us by genuine London Walkers who have given up their valuable time to drop us a line or two, or leave a comment on travel message boards & websites. 

Thannks to odeayaUZI, a Londoner currently living away from the city for this lovely review on TripAdvisor…



 


I went on 3(!) London Walks in 2 days and each one was just as good as the other.

I am a Londoner and know more than most of my friends about its history (even though I now live abroad) but I am always surprised at how much I don't know.

The London Walks team have managed to find that fine line between keeping it light and pleasant and filling you with information. I would fully recommend any of the walks that they do, and I'm going to do some more on my next trips!

(It's also really great that there's no fuss. With a lot of walks, I felt uncomfortable or bullied into giving a tip. This group charges a reasonable fee per person and you are done.)






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.



In & Around #London… Fleet Street Details

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.


Some shots around Fleet Street.













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.



Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday Is Rock'n'Roll #London Day: Alice In Rock'n'Roll Wonderland



Friday is Rock'n'Roll London Day! Join the Rock'n'Roll London walk this (and every Friday) afternoon at 2:00p.m meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station




Adam writes…



Just back from the Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains at the V&A - an absolutely thrilling show.

I'm looking forward to sharing my Top 10 highlights in a later post - difficulty is where to start with such a fireworks display of a exhibition. From the moment you enter to the great surround-sound crescendo of Comfortably Numb from the reunion performance at Live 8 at the finale, it is a constantly riveting and revealing experience.

Right at the start of the show we are invited to pop down the rabbit hole…



… an allusion, of course, to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, one of the seminal texts of psychedelia.

At the V&A we are treated to some footage from Jonathan Miller's 1966 BBC production of Alice…


Miller's version was broadcast at Christmastime 1966 and dispensed with the animal-head costumes hitherto associated with the piece, a move considered radical at the time. He was aiming to capture some of what he felt was the essence of the story – a child's perspective on a grown-up world where adults run about doing confusing and seemingly pointless things.

The back-to-childhood theme was very much in the creative ether of the day - no surprise given that the artistic protagonsists of the time had all had their childhood interrupted – if not obliterated – by war. This last is a theme that comes up again-and-again in the work of Pink Floyd's Roger Waters.


Many of its illustrious creative team invloved in Miller's BBC Alice have associations with the pop and rock music scene of the period. Leo McKern dragged-up as the Ugly Duchess, having played Clang in Help! a year earlier…


McKern also starred in cult TV show The Prisoner, in which The Fabs also make a small sonic cameo…



Peter Cook as the Mad Hatter (who else?) had Lennon as a guest in a famous sketch in his Not Only But Also TV show with Dudley Moore…




It is said that a young Eric Idle makes an early, uncredited TV appearance in the Alice production. He went on, of course, to become a member of the Pre-Fab Four…




Peter Sellers played The King of Hearts and famously "covered" a fabs classic as Richard III…





The soundtrack for the production was by Ravi Shankar, George Harrison's sitar guru…




In a further Pink Floyd connection, there's a theory out there on the internet (!) that suggests Floyd's The Wall synchronises perfectly with the Disney animated version of Alice. You gotta love the internet.


The rabbit hole sent me home from the V&A to dig around in the more arcane corners of my record collection to retrieve this relic…


It's a recording of Jane Asher playing the role of Alice in 1958 - a reminder that she had a theatrical career of her own long before she ever met that Paul McCartney!


But perhaps the most famous of all Rock'n'Roll Alice in Wonderland references is from Jefferson Airplane and their 1967 classic White Rabbit…





I'll be reviewing Their Mortal remains on this blog soon.


The Pink Floyd London Walk is set to go on Saturday 17th June…



You can book online here…






Here's the trailer for the Rock'n'Roll London Walk which meets at 2pm Tottenham Court Road station every Friday.








The Rock'n'Roll London walk is ONLY London Walk with its own dedicated comic book! Written by Rock'n'Roll London guide (and Daily Constitutional editor Adam) you can download at the London Bookstore online: londonbookstore.myshopify.com










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.