Walworth Walk, Weather and Open Studios

On Saturday I am leading my bi-annual walk around Walworth, finishing at the Artists Open Studios at Pullens’ Yards.

Walworth Walk

Walworth Walk

Just in case you can’t read the details on the picture, The walk starts outside Kennington tube station at 10.45am, and costs £10, or £8 for over 65s and full-time card-carrying students.

I’ll have some leaflets about the Open Studios with me too. There’s lots going on.

Open Studios June 2016

Open Studios June 2016

The week’s weather forecast shows an up and down graph; some sunny basking days; some summer storms; some cloud; humidity.

Today we’ve had all of the above already, and it’s not yet three in the afternoon. Continue reading

Flaming June

Nearly half way through the year already. Where does it go?

London is welcoming eager visitors, and I and my colleagues are busy busy busy.

I seem to have a lot of private groups over the next few weeks, but I do have some tours anyone can join.

Top of the list, 1st June. Meet at 10.30 by the Tower Hill Tram ready to take the boat to travel to Greenwich the royal way – by river.

Next, 6th June. Maybe you have read Sarah Waters The Paying Guests, shortlisted for this year’s Bailey Prize set in leafy Denmark Hill and Camberwell, just a step from central London, and a welcome breath of fresh air at any time of year, especially summer. We meet outside Denmark Hill overground station.

8th June I’m back in central London with two classic tours. For Westminster Abbey meet outside Exit 4 Westminster tube at 10.45, and for the British Museum I’ll be witing for you on Kingsway outside Holborn tube at 2.15.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

9th June, we can head out of town for an Explorer Day to Salisbury and Stonehenge. We’ll be away all day. Obviously this costs a bit more, but a very reasonable £77 which covers travel, entrance fees and tours. There is an excellent new exhibition about Magna carta at Salisbury cathedral.Meet at Waterloo Railway Station opposite platform 16 outside the main ticket office at 8.45. Continue reading

Not One, But THREE Public Walks This Weekend!

I don’t know, you’ll think I’m spoiling you; three public walks in two days? Let’s hit the pavements. Bring the Ferrero rocher if you like.

First up is the Walworth Walk on Saturday morning, exploring a part of Londfon that has remained remarkably undiscovered despite its central location. We meet outside Kennington tube for 10.45 and finish at some lovely artists studios which are open this weekend. There’s an attendant café, so you can lunch and mooch.

Or maybe you’ll want to leap on the number 40 bus to join me for The Old City walk at Tower Hill for 2pm.

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Pullens Yards Open Studios

My Walworth Walk ends at the artists’ studios at Pullen’s Yards and usually coincides their twicely yearly sales when they open to the public.
There’s a real buzz this December, and you have one more day to enjoy the studios.
Here are some of my personal highlights.

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The Walworth Walk: Countdown to Christmas

My countdown to Christmas begins next Saturday 7th December with the Walworth Walk which ends at some artists’ studios, open for the weekend.
En route from Kennington tube we’ll see the City Farm; the site of the Surrey Zoological Gardens;the birthplace of the Surrey County Cricket Club; a celebrated Soane church; one of London’s oldest markets; and much more.

Why fight your way through the crowds in the West End when you can do your shopping in such convivial surroundings, stopping for coffee or food at the Electric Elephant Café, or sipping a pint at the nearby Beehive?

At the artists’ studios, described as ‘seriously hip’ by the Times. You’ll be spoiled for choice. Whether your tastes run to handcrafted jewelry by leading silversmith Carol Mather, delicate ceramics by Barbara Wakefield or Kate Scott, paintings, photographs, bespoke bikes, rugs from handspun wool, or a host of other delights, you’ll find them here.

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M&S Walworth Road Centenary Event

Although I am deeply disappointed that manager Malcolm will not be donning a winged collar and dressing as the first manager of the Walworth Road branch of Marks and Spencer did a hundred years ago, and equally disappointed that the rest of the staff will not be wearing 1913 uniforms either, I have been assured that there will be photographs and artefacts so that by the end of Saturday we shall be able to picture more clearly how the shop and its staff would have looked.

Not so long ago, the shopfront had a makeover to come in line with other branches up and down the country.

M&S Walworth

M&S Walworth

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Clubland

Not far from where I live is Clubland. No, I don’t mean the Ministry of Sound, but that is pretty close by too.

Clubland

Clubland

Walworth Methodist Church

Walworth Methodist Church


Maybe the historians among you are already making connections. The church is where William Booth used to worship when he was working in a pawnbrokers on the Walworth Road. The same William Booth who founded the Salvation Army, and whose memorial College is in neighbouring Camberwell.
Or maybe you know that Clubland is where Michael Caine, who lived round the corner in Urlwin Road, first discovered his love of acting.
I used to walk past Clubland twice daily on the way to and from work. I heard about Jimmy Butterworth, the diminuitive minister who was pioneer in youth work, how he raised funds for the building which opened in August 1939, only to see it flattened in the Second World War. Diminuitive and indefatigable. He went Stateside on a fundraising mission, brought home the goods and got the place rebuilt.
“You should go inside,” someone told me more than thirty years ago, “there are plaques to all the stars who donated; Bob Hope, people like that.”
I didn’t go in. I wondered, looked at the outside, let the years pass.
Then two weeks ago I had ten minutes to kill while my car was being washed. I walked into the building. I wanted to ask someone if I could look around. There was no one there.
Unsure if I would be challenged, I walked through the foyer and saw a courtyard. I pushed the door and went through.

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Love Walworth

In the past few years there has been a significant change in Walworth. More and more people are coming out of the closet and proclaiming their affection for, and pride in, the area. Maybe it is in response to the regeneneration, where the original plans seemed to suggest that ours was a neighbourhood without much going for it. We were stung. Nowhere did the plans mention Manor Place Baths, Pullens Yards. I’m not even sure that the elegant St Peter’s Walworth was cited.
Anyway. There are now a number of local groups; friends of this and that; the Walworth Society.

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Postcards of Walworth Sneak Preview

Coming soon, three postcards of Sunny Walworth!

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