Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Stringtones – Supported by The Yardbirds!

Remember The Stringtones? The chaps from Sweden who joined us on our Rock’n’Roll London Walk a few weeks back? We wrote about them on the blog HERE. They were back in London for the first time since 1966 when they’d been auditioning for the greatest TV pop show of them all, Ready Steady Go.

Well, Anders Ericson of The Stringtones has been back in touch.

“We, The Stringtones, had a wonderful weekend in London remembering most of the moments we had in 1966. We even had a wonderful start Thursday before our Rock'n'Roll Walk, listening to Alan Price and Zoot Money at the Bulls Head in Barnes.

“Please find enclosed,” he writes, “a photo of The Stringtones at Piccadilly Circus in 1966.”

Here it is…

Anders also included…

“Photos from Marquee and the concert with The Yardbirds with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, 44 years ago.”

The first remarkable thing about the picture is that fabled guitarist Jimmy Page is playing bass guitar, the role in which he originally became a Yardbird – he would later move on to dual-lead guitar alongside Beck.

The second point of note is that the photo captures Page in his live debut with The Yardbirds at the Marquee. The date is 21st June 1966. At the mic is Keith Relf, the Yardbirds frontman who passed away in 1976.

Anders adds:

“I also have a photo of the band who played before Yardbirds. I do not know the name.”

Having done a little digging, we can tell Anders and the rest of The Stringtones that the support band is Clayton Squares, a Liverpool group noted for their twin saxes. Signed to Decca (forever the label who turned down The Beatles) Clayton Squares broke up a few months after this picture was taken.

As a P.S Anders adds this pic of London Walks guide Adam leading the Rock'n'Roll London Walk along Denmark Street.

Thanks to Anders and the guys in The Stringtones for sending these great photos.

The Rock'n'Roll London Walk goes every Friday at 2.00pm.

The Rock'n'Roll London walk is ONLY London Walk with its own dedicated comic book! Written by Rock'n'Roll London guide (and Daily Constitutional editor Adam) you can buy a print copy on the tour or download (digital and/or print – free download sampler available!) at the London Bookstore online:


A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

It's A London Thing No.8: Abbey Road

It’s a London Thing is our new Wednesday series in which we turn the spotlight on a unique aspect of London – perhaps a curious shop, sometimes an eccentric restaurant, a hidden place, book or oddity. The subject matter will be different every week. The running theme, however, will remain constant: you have to come to London to enjoy it. It’s A London Thing.

The flashing orange globes atop black and white poles that herald zebra crossings are called Belisha beacons (our example here is in Whitechapel) – named for Leslie Hore-Belisha (1893-1957), later Lord Hore-Belisha, who served as Minister for Transport from 1934 – 1937. And while Belisha beacons and zebra crossings are not the exclusive preserve of London, the metropolis can easily lay claim to having the world’s most famous examples of same at Abbey Road.

For visitors to London unsure of how to approach our zebra crossings, Rule 194 of the Highway Code states that drivers must: “Allow pedestrians plenty of time to cross and do not harass them by revving your engine or edging forward.”

Lord Hore-Belisha himself is commemorated with a Blue Plaque at 16 Stafford Place, SW1 in the City of Westminster.

Given that Belisha passed away in 1957, we can only speculate on his opinion regarding Beatlemania. What we can do, however, is tell you what we think of it here at the LW Blog: It’s originally a Liverpool thing; it’s also a bit of a Hamburg thing; but in terms of the lives and work of The Fab Four at the height of Beatlemania, well that's a no-brainer… It’s a London Thing.


A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Plaque of the week No.57

You've seen them all over the city: discs, tablets, cameos and plaques commemorating the great and the good of London Town. Every Tuesday we track down a London plaque (Blue or otherwise) and put it centre stage on the London Walks Blog. This week…

Commemorating: Charles Dickens
Street: Doughty Street
Postcode: WC1
Borough: Camden

A very difficult man to get away from on a London Walk – and in London generally – Charles Dickens is the subject of many a commemoration in the metropolis. Plaques are dotted throughout London marking places where he variously lived and worked; a simple tablet marks his grave at Westminster Abbey.

His Blue Plaque can be found on the house in which he lived from 1837 – 1839 – the house in which he wrote Oliver Twist. His three year lease cost him £80 per annum and since 1925 it has been a museum dedicated to the life and work of England’s most beloved novelist.

Shakespeare’s & Dickens’s London – The Old City goes every Sunday at 2pm from St Paul’s Station

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Monday, 27 September 2010

In and Around London... Look Down

The Monday Photoblog!

Monday is mute on The Daily Constitutional (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides and London Walkers.

Collated on a theme or an area, if you've got some great shots of our capital and want to join in send your pictures to the usual address.

And did those feet…? Looking down in London to find…

The most famous public announcement in town…

…yellow grass in Hyde Park way back in high summer…

…the site of a good hanging (or two) where Oxford Street now meets Edgware Road…

…Michael Caine’s hands in Leicester Square*…

…and a plaque down (right down) in Fleet Street…


* Michael Caine's handprints have since been removed from Leicester Square

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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