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.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Going Under

I’m going to be having a bit of break from guiding people around this wonderful city as tomoorow I am heading for Australia.

I’ll be back in December, and getting back into harness leading the Walworth walk on Saturday 3rd December at 10.45 from outside Kennington tube, and getting into the festive season at the artists’ open studios.

Continue reading

Oh to be in England

Spring has sprung and April is well and truly established.  It’s a month where the weather is as changeable as the days. Showers, wind and sunshine chase each other through the hours. Trees get greener, more blossom laden by the minute.

It’s a time of hope, of new life, and London stirs like a great beast and stretches towards summer.

Tomorrow, Sunday 17th April, I am leading a walk around Denmark Hill and Camberwell. It’s an area close to the centre of London, but greener and leafier than you might expect. In the past it was called South London’s answer to Belgravia. It was also the home to many German families who had migrated to London, including some of my own family. Indeed my grandparents were married there, and it is where my father was born.

So it has a special meaning for me.

P1200922

The William Booth Memorial College, Denmark Hill

Continue reading

Scrufts annual community dog show – Saturday June 27th 2015

Oh a dog show in Camberwell, in the square where my grandmother grew up and my father was born. What bliss. I can feel the family ghosts beaming their approval. And the family ghost dogs are barking theirs.

Friends of Brunswick Park

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 16.40.04

We hope you can join us for our annual dog show on Saturday 27th June from 1pm – 4pm.

Lots of categories to enter. Amazing prizes including an portrait of your pouch, awarded to the best in show.  There’s also a raffle with great prizes to be had.

View original post

Walworth Society Meeting About the Old Town Hall Last Night

It was like a scene from that sweetest of films about community, Local Hero. As I made my way along Liverpool Grove, I could see people ahead of me all walking into the church, the very lovely St Peter’s Walworth, according to one book I’ve read, the only building of architectural significance in Walworth. Strangely, I don’t agree. I don’t think many at last night’s meeting would either.
There was a good turn out, a testament to how people care about our neighbourhood, including a fair few councillors, and we filled the pews. Jeremy, chair of the Walworth Society, scampered about with a mike to make sure everyone could be heard.
The biggest cheer of the night was for a local resident, fan of the library and the Cuming museum, who is also a firefighter. He urged all present to go to the London Fire Brigade website and take part in the consultation. If the current proposals to close fire stations go ahead, six of the engines and their crew who helped to put out the fire at Walworth Town Hall will be axed. There will be a public meeting we are urged to attend at the GLA 14th May from seven to nine in the evening.

Continue reading

Westminster Abbey and Her Marshals

I was at Westminster Abbey today. You can’t take pictures inside the abbey, but two of the lovely marshals, John and Peter, let me take their photograph by the West Door.

 

John and Peter, Abbey Marshals

The marshals are a friendly bunch. I haven’t guided the abbey for a while, and inside I enjoyed catching up with some old friends. I didn’t see the lovely Ben, alas. Ben is the verger who became famous around the globe last year when footage of him cartwheeling down the nave after William’s marriage to Kate Middleton was published. He’s a font of dreadful jokes. The choirboys pass him their old joke books when they have finished with them. Continue reading