Wednesday, 18 March 2009

London Irish… Happy St Patrick’s Day (Part Two)


Concluding his Paddy’s Day two-parter, David O’Tucker finds himself “Stranded” once more…

“And in case you're wondering, "noon a purple glow" (scroll down for yesterday’s post) was the reflection of the heather on the water – the water in Lough Gill, not the Strand shop.

Is it any wonder that we've all (London Walks guides) got a touch of the Ancient Mariner about us – you know, the ‘glittering eye’ business? How can you not have when this place (London) is forever launching you into strange ‘tenses’? I mean the Strand today (seen in a purple glow), the Strand in 1890, the Lake Isle of Innisfree, beetling toward Nelson's column and hearing the tinkling music – the water? – of Yeats' poem.

Another example. In our little film about the Cambridge trip we run Simon takes the group to the Eagle Pub, where Watson and Crick announced, in 1953, the discovery of the structure of DNA. Simon tells the story, shows the group the plaque, etc. Pretty sensational, really.

London upstaged for once you think? Think again. The ‘spadework’ for Watson's and Crick's discovery was carried out – wait for it – in the Strand. Chapter and verse: in the late 1940s and early 1950s Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin worked on X-ray crystallography in the Wheatstone Laboratories in King's College Hospital. Those labs were in the Strand. That X-ray crystallography work made a huge contribution to the Crick and Watson discovery.

Okay, you've read this little read. Pretty much case closed, wouldn't you say? In short, how do you not walk the walk and hear the talk after that? So, yes, arise and go now, go on a walk that'll help you get to know the Strand and its alleyways rather better. Discover it – venture into one of those "strange tenses". Lots of walks probing that enchanted forest, but if you want a recommendation try either Sherlock Holmes or Eccentric London. Or London by Gaslight Pub Walk."

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TODAY’S WALKS & NEWS: www.walks.com

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