Black Lives Matter & London Heritage

A couple of my regular places have been affected by the effects of the toppling of the Colston Statue in Bristol.

Firstly, the statue of Robt Milligan outside the Museum of London, Docklands has been taken down. I have often used this as a meeting point for my students from Westminster University as we explore the Docks and the Docklands Museum.

Slavery was a big part of the visit, although we didn’t make Milligan the villain.

Another site is the Geffrey Museum which is going to open as the Museum of the Home, although this was determined before the George Floyd murder, but now I expect the Geffrey part of it to quietly disappear, as he is also contaminated by slavery.

Interesting fact about slavery, is that UCL have done a brilliant study of all the recipients of the compensation for the end of slavery. The govt at the time paid compensation of £20m to the slave OWNERS. This was a vast amount said to be 45% of the GDP for the year. It was funded by a long term loan which was paid back, as late as, 2015. In modern terms it was 16 billion £.

This has completely changed my mind on compensation for slavery which I was against. But it seems to me if we know that £16 billion was spent then to compensate the owners we could set up a fund of £16 billion now to give, for example, educational grants and start up grants for black people to give them the boost they need to make up for centuries of oppression..

Tower to Rotherhithe Riverside Walk. Feb 1st 2.30

Tower to Rotherhithe Riverside Walk.
Tower Hill Tube. Feb 1 2020 2.30

This is a lovely walk along the River Thames from Tower Bridge to Rotherhithe Tube Station. We walk in the City, Southwark, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, through areas famous for Dickens. lived in by Gulliver, painted by Turner and Whistler, and we end where the Mayflower began its journey to the New World.

We will see great views of the River and its architecture and look at the history of the River Thames from the Roman period to the 21st Century. We will be. exploring old warehouses, old palaces, former tea gardens, churches, council estate and infamous areas of slums which are now much prized housing areas.

This is a London Walks Walk by Kevin Flude

Smithfield Pub Tour

The Smithfield Pub Tour takes place at 7.15 pm

on Saturday, November 30.

Meet Kevin just outside the exit of BarbicanTube Stop.

One of the greatest place for London history. Just outside the Roman City Wall and used by the Romans as a cemetary. The “smooth field” became the main live stock market of London, occassional tiltyard and place of public executions. The Peasants’ Rebellion climaxed here. On 23 August 1305 William Wallace (‘Braveheart’) was hanged, drawn and quartered here. Religious martyrs were burnt here and forgers boiled in oil. There are two monasteries which give a great insight into the Reformation, with connections to Thomas More. St Bartholemews hosted Britains’s greatest fair, and provided the oldest hospital in the United Kingdom – the second oldest in Europe. There are more pre-Great Fire buildings than anywhere else in London. There are also the trace of World War 1 bombing and Zeppelin raids. There are street names that sing: Cow Cross Street, Giltspur Street, etc. There are people names that resonate: Ben Franklin, John Milton, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rahere, to name but a few.  Oh,  and did we mention this is where Holmes met Watson and where Benedict Cumberbatch fell off the roof.

 

This is a London Walks walk given by Kevin Flude

Hampstead Village Pub Walk 23 Nov 2019

Hampstead Village Pub Walk

Hampstead Underground station, London 7.15 Saturday 23 Nov 2019

Hampstead is one of the best place to be on a Saturday night in London. It’s the roof of London. We’ll look down and see the lights of the greatest city on earth spread out before us. On a clear night we’ll even nip into the Old Observatory for a look through the telescope at the starry heavens above. What else? Well, it’s London at its most picturesque – a perfectly preserved Georgian village. There’s a superb cast of characters – ranging from the highwayman Dick Turpin to the painter Constable to the poet Keats; The Du Mauriers, Freud and D.H. Lawrence to Liam Gallagher and Boy George; from Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison to Peter O’Toole and Jeremy Irons. There’s London’s most villagey atmosphere, great cafes, magnificent Hampstead Heath, and well-hidden, cosy old pubs you’ll fall in love with. This is a great walk – they just don’t come any better. N.B. the walk ends just round the corner from Hampstead Tube.

 

This is a London Walks Guided Walk given by Kevin Flude

 

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.

The BL on Jane Austen’s manuscript

This talk by Prof. Sutherland gives a short insight into Jane Austen’s writing process making the point that she is a conversational writer.

 

https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/videos/jane-austens-manuscripts

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.