Public Walks 18th – 24th June 2018

Just two public walks this week.

The first is on Thursday 21st, Bermondsey: London’s Hidden Village meeting for 10.30am at Bermondsey tube station, finishing near London Bridge and Borough Market.

Forgotten Chain

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Camberwell Arts Fest 2018

I am pleased to again be taking part in the Camberwell ArtsFest. This year the festival theme is All’s Well which fits perfectly with Camberwell’s early reputation as a healthy spot, a spa, a place with its own healing waters.

All’s Well

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This week’s public walks, 4th-9th June inclusive

The sun is shining, the skies are blue, it’s not too hot – perfect for getting out and about and exploring.

These public walks are ones where you just turn up at the start point, pay £10 (cash only) and join the tour. There is no need to prebook. I’ll be wearing my Blue Badge, the badge only qualified, professional guides are awarded.

Monday 4th June:
Greenwich, meet 10.15 outside Tower Hill tube, opposite the tram coffee stop. The tour finishes in Greenwich at 1pm. We take the boat to Greenwich so there is an additional charge of £6.50 for this tour.
British Museum, meet 2.30 outside Russell Square tube opposite where Barry sells freshly squeezed orange juice and other refreshments.

Barry in winter

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The week’s public walks, from 13th May 2018

As well as leading walk for families, companies and individuals, I lead a number of tours where members of the public can join me and pay an individual fee. Today, Saturday, I was working in the Palace of Westminster, aka the Houses of Parliament; a prestigious establishment and one that happily kept me out of the rain.

If the weather forecast is correct, I should remain dry tomorrow too, as the rain is due to die away as I begin C the City at 10.45 outside St Paul’s tube station, exit 2. Continue reading

Mayflower 400: Rotherhithe

In 2020 it will be four hundred years since the Pilgrim Fathers set off for the new world on board The Mayflower, sailing to join another ship, The Speedwell, in Southampton. But after springing a leak, The Speedwell did not make the journey across the Atlantic, and her passengers crowded onto The Mayflower which left Plymouth alone 6th September 1620.

Pilgrim Father with C20 Child

1620 A-Z of the New World

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A Spring in my Step

London under snow was beautiful, but I can’t say I’m sorry the thaw has come. It was cold. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Now the mercury is rising, the daylight hours are longer, and with the snow gone growth is apparent everywhere you look.
I’ll be leading a number of public tours over the next few weeks, starting with one around the Elephant and Castle on Sunday.
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Keeping It Local:

Some businesses and even some private homes have already been decked with fairy lights, trees and tinsel, but next weekend, the first in December marks the kick-off for festive fun and retail.

If, like me, your idea of hell is a crowded shopping centre or overheated department store there are artists’ studios in both Camberwell, SE5, and Walworth, SE17, open next weekend. And I’m sorry to tell you you’ve missed it, but today there was a sale of locally produced honey at Lettsom Gardens with the best lucky dip ever – everyone was a winner.

Back to next weekend. On Saturday I’m leading a guided walk around Walworth, my home patch.

The walk begins outside Kennington tube at 10.45, and ends outside opposite the Open Studios outside a café where dogs are welcome. It costs just £10pp and there’s no need to book in advance. Continue reading

The Borough Group

Think of groups of artists linked to neighbourhoods. Give yourself a minute or two.

OK, what have you come up with?

The Rive Gauche, maybe; Montmartre, perhaps; Bloomsbury, quite likely; the Elephant and Castle, almost certainly not. Yet in the mid C20 the Borough Group was a collective of artists in the Elephant and Castle area. So why Borough Group, not Elephant Group you may be wondering. Well, I can’t be one hundred percent sure, but an educated guess would be that it was because they were centred at the Borough Road Polytechnic, now London South Bank University, and there was also a gang of violent hoodlums who modelled themselves closely on Chicago mobsters know as the Elephant Gang. You would not want to get the two confused. It could be nasty. Continue reading

Cutting It

Tomorrow morning is due to be sunny; the heavens be praised.

I shall be leading a walk around The Cut starting at 10.45 outside Southwark tube.

The Cut is pretty couth these days, but George Sala, a nineteenth century journalist saw it differently. He said the gin shops, leviathan, ghastly in their newness, richness of decoration were the only things new. Everything else was secondhand. The women were slovenly, you could hear the howling of beaten children and kicked dogs; the tenements were vile and rotten. There was a smell of escaped gas, deceased cats, ancient fish, unwashed soddened, unkempt, feckless humanity.
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