The City and the Blitz Guided Walk

The City and the Blitz

23rd November 2019 2.30pm
Moorgate Underground station, London (West side exit)

Following the devastation of Guenica the question for London was could it cope with the predicted catastrophe of Nazi terror bombing? Could London develop plans that reduced the predicted millions of casualties and thousands of people driven mad? On this walk,  we look at London before the war and the measures taken to protect the City and its Citizens. We find out what it was like to come to work after a night in the shelters to find your work place in ruins. We visit the site of the earliest bomb raids on London, and explore the sequence of continuous bombing that followed the Battle of Britain, and on to the great City raid of 29th December 1940 which was centred on St Pauls. By May, 1941 the Luftwaffe had transferred to the Eastern Front, but the fear returned with the V1 and V2 secret weapons. Before the war was over London developed the Abercrombie Plan to direct the rebuilding of London after the war. We have a look at what happened to the plans for an optimistic modernist dream of a Corbusian City in the Sky.

 

A London Walks guided walk by Kevin Flude

The City Backstreets Pub Tour

The City Backstreets Pub Tour
from Roman Forum to Scrooge’s place of work.
7.15 pm on Saturday, October 5.
Meet Kevin just outside exit 3 of BankTube.

A tour though the lanes and alleys that wend their way picturesquely through the centre of one of the world’s greatest Cities. This walk has it all, not only at the centre of London and its history, but also one of the most hidden, unexpected and atmospheric routes, through lanes, alleys and courtyards between the main streets.. On route we will explore the origins of London’s financial heart, places associated with Dicken’s fiction, and explore the Roman origins of the City.

 

This is a London Walks Guided Walks. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks

Myths, Legends and the Origins of London

Myths, Legends and the Origins of London

2.30pm 5th October

Tower Hill Tube (meet by the Tower Hill Tram)

The walk is led by Kevin Flude, a former archaeologist at the Museum of London, and it looks at the archaeological evidence for the origins of London and reconsiders London’s myths and legends.

London has a rich set of origin myths and legends which are not as well known as they should be. This walk is designed to set that right and give an insight into London’s myths and legends.

Worth knowing for their own right do these origin myths have anything to say about the actual origins of London? This is what this walk explores. It is split into two halves – the first reveals the myths and the second finds out where the ‘truth’ of the origins of London may lie.

 

This is a London Walks Guided Walks. Look at their web site for a list of other of their amazing walks

Chelsea From Thomas More to the Swinging 60s Saturday Night Pub Tour

Chelsea From Thomas More to the Swinging 60s
Saturday Night Pub Tour

September 28 7.15 Sloane Square Underground

The walk will look at the history of Chelsea from its origins in the Saxon period with the Palace of King Offa to the present day.

Chelsea may be best known as the spiritual home of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ but it has many other claims to fame, and its pleasures are attested by the unrivaled quality of its architecture, its famous residents and its local history.

It was home to: Thomas More, Henry VIII, Turner, Bram Stoker, George Elliot, Rossetti, Whistler, Oscar Wilde, Lawrence Olivier, Mike Jagger, James Bond, George Smiley, Richard Rogers and many many more!.

It was known as a Village of Palaces in the 16th and 17th Centuries but it changed profoundly in the 18th Century when the palaces were torn down and the gardens turned into streets of Town Houses. By the 19th Century it had gone ‘downhill’ to become a centre of bohemian London, but enriched by a colony of writers and artists. The recovery from urban decline began in the 1950’s when Chelsea became the centre of a new vibrant youth culture that rescued London from mediocrity. Sadly, fame contains the seeds of its own destruction, and as it became more fashionable it became less affordable so although the creative ‘buzz’ has moved somewhere cheaper, Chelsea remains a beautiful place to stroll around in company with its illustrious natives.

Decline and Fall of Roman London Walk

THE DECLINE & FALL OF ROMAN LONDON

at 2.30 pm on Saturday, September 28 

The meeting point is just outside exit 2 of St. Paul’sTube.    No Need to Book

The first British Brexit?   The Roman British kicked out the Romans in 407AD, and apparently asked them to come back in 410 AD after a catastrophic collapse.  Plaque, civil war, invasion, mass hostile immigration, decline of industry, reversion to barter and the end of coinage and the beginnings of the Anarchy – the Dark Age.

 

Or was it?   Wasn’t it a rather a transition into the Late Antique period in which life for most people went on much as before except paying taxes to local rulers not distant Emperors?

What really was the impact of the end of the Roman system in London. What is the evidence, have we made much progress in unpicking the evidence  and are there any lessons to be learnt?

 

Roman Archaeology and Culture Aug 3 2019

London Bridge Underground Tooley Street Exit

This walk is about the amazing archaeological discoveries of Roman London, and an attempt to bring to life through archaeology and Roman literary sources what it was like to live in a provincial Roman Capital..

We begin with the discovery of the location of the Roman Bridge, and  explore Roman Government on the site of the Roman Town Hall.  We walk to what has been  called the ‘the Pompeii of the North’.  and then past the Temple of Mithras. We finish with a walk along the Roman High Street to end at the site of the  Roman Amphitheatre.

The Archaeology of London Bridge July 14th

10:45 Monument Tube, Fish Street hill exit 1

This is a London Walks’  Walk

London Bridge is not only a charismatic part of London’s history and image but is also the key to much of the History of London. On this walk we explore the area both north and south of the famous London Bridge.

The area has been extensively excavated in modern times. On the north side we explore evidence for the origins of the Bridge, and the early Roman Port of London. Around the Monument we discover the archaeological evidence that gives new details of the events of 1666 and the Great Fire of London.

We then discuss the role of the Bridge as the principle crossing point of the Thames before going south over the Bridge to the Historic Borough of Southwark.

Excavations have shown that this area was as important as the North Bank in the Roman period, and we investigate how the area became depopulated when Roman rule ended.

The Bridge we now know was fundamental to the restoration of London in the 9th Century, and to the vibrant culture in the area that led to the prolification of Theatres in the Tudor period.

London Bridge to Bermondsey Guided Walk July 13th

July 13 2019 7.15

London Bridge Tube Stop, Tooley Street exit

This is a London Walk’s walk.

On this walk we are going to explore the eastern half ot the Borough as it was known to Dickens. We walking from the Tube Station east along the River and then follow the route to the famous Monastery at Bermondsey. This route takes us through one of the famous working class areas of Old London, full of traces of London’s extensive industrial heritage, in particular the leather industry.

Enroute we will visit a pub or two, and explore working class lives before ending the tour at Barmsey Abbey, (as Londoners called it). It was patronised by the Queens of England and became one of the most famous places in London. Some of the Ruins survive, and it still influences the street pattern. The tour will provide a history of Southwark since the Bronze Age as well as much more. And then there are a couple of great pubs.

Fleet Street Pub Tour 18th May

Sat 18th May 2019
7.15pm Blackfriars Tube

This is a London Walk’s walk.

We take a slice of London’s history as we follow the course of the River Fleet North from the River Thames into Darkest Victorian London. Enroute we discover the traces of history, left not only in the Buildings and the historical stories but also in the very lie of the land. To reflect on our discoveries we stop in a pub or two on the way. Our timespan will stretch from the Romans to the Present day, and we will discover Palaces, Monasteries, Roman Temples, Zeppelin Raids, cow crossings and coal landing places as well as visiting the homes of Katherine of Aragon, the Rookeries of Fagin and Friends, the Street of Shame, the best modernist buildings in City, and Wren’s best Spire. A feast of topography, history, literature and aerial warfare; not to mention a couple of great pubs!

Jane Austen’s London Walk

!8th Century Bonnets cartoon

Last one: 7.15 15th June 2019 Green Park Underground

(by the fountain in the Park)

This was a London Walks Walk

Also Given on 4 May 2019

The walk takes in the area of the London section of Sense and Sensibility. This is where Jane Austen frequented when visiting her banking brother, Henry. He  lived here during his ‘successful’ period, after resigning as a Captain in the Militia and setting up a bank to help soldiers pay for their commissions.  He then did what all good bankers do – went bankrupt and ruined himself, family and friends.   His uncle lost 10,000 pounds; his rich brother, Edward Knight lost £20,000. (that is 2/5ths of the fortune of Willoughby’s wife, and equal  to the income of Darcy,  100 times the annual income of Mrs Austen after her husband died)  i.e. a heck of a lot of money.   Jane lost £13.

But this area was also the centre of the Ton – the wealthy elite of Regency London. It was here that the French Royal family, in exile, hung out, and the haunt of Beau Brummel and Prinny, the Prince Regent, loungers in chief who were so well satirised in the figure of Sir Walter Elliot.   This is where the Dandies lounged, leered and shopped.  Here the rich could get their guns, swords, cigars, snuff, hats, shoes, tailored clothes, uniforms, wine, prostitutes, lovers.   They came to visit art galleries, see panoramas of European Cities, to ‘see’ the invisible women living in her glass jar, to choose their Wedgwood pottery.

And what is astonishing is that this is still where the megarich do exactly the same things: hang out and shop.  All the top brands are here, and instead of people like John Willoughy are to be found Russian Oligarchs, and the rich of the Emirates, and every other country in the world.  And most marvellously many of the shops survive into the present day. The same shops and shop fronts still in use.  They catered to the stupidly wealthy of the 18th Century are now catering for the stupidly wealthy of the 21st Century.  This is where you can buy luxury yachts.

 

So we follow Jane and Henry, and see the ghost traces left by immoral Willoughby,  sensible Elinor,  overwrought Marianne,  dull but nice Edward Ferrars,  dull and horrible Robert Ferrars, stolid Colonel Brandon, vulgar but kind  Mrs Jennings and her unforgivably vulgar daughter Mrs Palmer with her despairing husband; the Middletons, the Steeles gals ruthlessly working their assets.   Plus we have a little look at the relationship between Prinny and Beau Brummel, and the terrible childbed of Princess Charlotte.

It is a pub tour. and on the last tour we went to the King’s Head on Albermarle Street.  Nice early 19th Century pub with  an interesting basement bar.   We finished the Golden Lion which is a delightful little wainscotted pub up an ally near St James Palace.