Truly, Madly, Southern

Just one public walk this week at the moment, and that is one of my South London specials: Princes and Paupers.

It’s a guided walk around the neighbourhood of Kennington, an area best known for cricket, MPs and Charlie Chaplin.

Naturally I’m going to show you there is far more more to Kennington than that. I mean, how many art galleries do you know that are housed in ex public lavatories?


This walk starts outside Kennington tube at 10.45 on Saturday 24th January and lasts around two hours, finishing within a few minutes walk of the tube station, and even closer to a very nice pub which serves food. Your choice. The walk costs £9, or £7 for full time students and ver 65s.

As well as all the main sites you’d expect a London Blue Badge Guide to cover, and any number of tours in Westminster and the City, I do quite a few walks this side of the river. It’s where I live, and like many Blue Badge Guides I am a fan of local history.

It’s strange how once you come south of the river everwhere is labelled South London, whereas on the north bank North London starts a couple of miles away from the Thames. This has led to a popular myt that anywhere south of the river is necessarily out in the sticks, where as much of it is seriously central.

And that includes Kennington. Hence the numbers of MPs with homes there.

Local history throws up so many stories and links to national events. I’m also curious, and like to understand my local environment. At the moment there is a pub close to where I live that intrigues me. It’s not particularly old, the 1930s at a guess, but has been built in a mock Tudor style and is completely unlike any other building in the vicimity. So why did the architect choose to build it in that style?

Watch this space.

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