Watts Gallery

On a grey damp day my BBG colleague Chris and I went to Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey. The last time we visited together was around twenty years ago, when we took my much loved Aunt Kath who lived locally there for lunch. Even then the Welsh Rarebit served in the café was renowned.

Neither of us has visited fOr several years, and Aunt Kath died in 2015. So this visit was somewhat overdue. Especially since we were both well aware that an important restoration project had taken place, and the gallery, once the preserve of locals, and very much below the radar, had become much better known.

The spur for the visit was, oddly enough, another my relatives. My cousin Russell is the current artist in residence and we wanted to see what he was up to.

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Artist in Residence

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William Molesworth

I needed a break from paperwork as well as a visit to the local studies library and so took myself out on a walk in the cold air.
I was delighted to see the scaffolding had been removed from Borough Road Library and the building open. it’s not been used as a library for many years. LSBU either owns it or leases it from Southwark Council. It’s a building I talk about on my Elephant and Castle walk, so I took the opportunity to look inside. Most of the building is for the sole use of the LSBU, for their apprenticeships, but there’s a light, bright café and friendly staff.
They weren’t terribly busy and kindly took the time to talk to me.
Inside the entrance I had seen this:

William Molesworth

Who was he? I wanted to know, and why had John Passmore Edwards presented his likeness to the library over forty years after his death? Continue reading “William Molesworth”

Animal Lovers’ London

Leading a tour of Greenwich yesterday I was delighted to see two mounted police officers coming our way. We weren’t in trouble, but meeting police horses on tours, or police dogs, or any horse or any dog has to be a plus.

The officers had ridden over from nearby Lewisham and were relaxed about stopping and talking to us. One of the horses was called Livingstone, the other Young Rupert. I carry packets of mints in my bag for exactly this type of encounter, so soon most of us had rather slobbery hands and Livingstone was very aware I was the keeper of the treats.

Much as people love going on holiday, those with pets often miss them, so having a cuddle with a police horse or a friendly dog is welcome. I’m surprised how many conversations about pets take place on guided tours. Continue reading “Animal Lovers’ London”

Hey Ho

Hey ho, it’s back to school they go. Meaning London is quieter as well as cooler. The crowds in the museums and galleries are thinning out and there are hints of autumn in the air.

For a Keatsian moment visit the British Museum. You could contact me to arrange a private tour, or come on a public tour. I’ll be there this afternoon, 22nd August, meeting outside Russell Square tube at 2.15, and again next Monday,27th August, at 2.30.

The City is endlessly fascinating. Such a small area packs an impressive punch. I am always happy to lead bespoke tours around the Square Mile on a variety of subjects and themes. st-pauls.jpg

Continue reading “Hey Ho”

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