Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Farewell From The Return of the London Nightly Photoblog 30:04:14

As promised, it’s… The Return of the Nightly London Photoblog!

All through April we’ll take one last glance at London before turning in. Thanks to everyone who joined us on a London Walk today. Thanks also for reading our blog.

We’ll be back out there tomorrow. Come and join us. The full schedule of London Walks can be found at

In the month of May we'll pick up our 101 Things to Love About London series – The Nightly London Photoblog will return in August.

Some lurid titles in the window of Natalie Galustian Rare Books in Cecil Court

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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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Streets Ahead: Hail Caesar!

Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen David Tucker

Part II

Yesterday’s “meditation on time”. The cigarette paper-thin layer of sediment that will be the sole residue of our civilization 100 million years from now.

You want melted into air, into thin air…the cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples dissolved and like this insubstantial pageant faded, leaving not a rack behind…such stuff as dreams are made on. Well maybe not a rack, but perhaps a speck or two of sediment.

Be that as it may, it brings me to this man. The general, achingly obvious thought being: no question about it, 100 million years can make quite a difference.

Anyway, here’s our mystery guest.

It’s Julius Caesar. Or so the experts say. He’s in Room 70 of the British Museum. He’s badly damaged. Half of his head, half of his face is gone – as if sheared off with a battle axe.

Julius Caesar. The great man. The great man who, in the 10 years of the Gallic Wars, defeated three million armed men, killing a million of them. Selling another million into slavery. And as for the civilians – the women, the children, the old people – figure another million or so “casualties” in that demographic. A million of them killed or sold into slavery.

Millions. That’s an impressive body count.

But that’s just one metric.

As appalling as those figures are they don’t begin to measure the man. The audacious Roman meteor, he was history’s supreme realist. His crossing the Rubicon was perhaps the decisive moment in the history of the world.  What followed from it was Caesar’s battering down the walls of the old Rome and beginning the building the new. Four years in which, incidentally, he conquered the world.

And the measure of that? Well, in the words of his biographer, Julius Caesar “performed the greatest constructive task ever achieved by human hands. He drew the habitable earth into an empire which lasted for five centuries, and he laid the foundations of a fabric of law and government which is still standing after 2,000 years.”

And the man, the personal man? The flesh and blood man. Someone’s son, someone’s husband, someone’s father.

Look at his face again. Yes, that’s right. There’s something of a woman’s delicacy in it. There’s only one other “man of action” who has that same element in the map of his face: Nelson.

Traces of a woman’s delicacy in his face – and a high pitched voice. He didn’t make for an easy “read”. Think of the pirates who kidnapped the youthful Caesar when he was on his way to Rhodes. The pirates dispatched his friends to raise the necessary ransom. Held on to Caesar, sent his companions on their fetch and carry jaunt. A good time – a merry time – was had by all while Caesar’s friends were running their errand. Caesar’s friends were gone nearly a month. During those four weeks Caesar, the young hostage, was the life and soul of the company. He promised the pirates, cheerfully, that when they freed him he’d come back and hang them all. They thought he was joking.

He wasn’t. He did.

Two other brushstrokes. He wore his laurel wreath everywhere. Wore it because it concealed his growing baldness. Yes, a touch of vanity. And maybe just a flash of the showman in the high red leather boots he favoured.

Here endeth Part II. Tomorrow’s post – Part III – gets to grips with Caesar’s sex life. And his death. See you then?

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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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So How's Day Two of the #tubestrike Working Out For You? Good Luck Everyone!

So, how’s Day Two of the tube strike working out for you?

Well done to all the London Walkers who joined us yesterday – particular thanks go to the folks who made it to St Paul’s tube (which was completely closed) for Ghosts of the Old City.

When I turned up to the Northern Line yesterday (it’s Adam writing) it was running a good service with a train around every ten minutes. But at rush hour the carriages were so over crowded that I decided to walk instead. What a luxury it would be to have the time to make the one-and-a-half hour stroll to the central London every day!

The whole day was spent walking yesterday – first to central London, then on and between three walking tours. Along the way I enjoyed the following scenes from the pageant of London. A man carrying a triangle…

…this interesting (!) sign…

… this plaque to a Python…

… and this rain-heavy sky battling with the sunshine…

…and the sunshine won.

Didn’t see one of the olden days buses, but the folks at LBC did…

The general mood seemed good, with tempers only beginning to fray around five o’clock. London’s cyclists were even more angry than usual and the suicidal mob of helmet-less Boris Bikers riding on the pavement didn’t help matters. But I hear that elsewhere, the mood was not so good. Check out this story from The Independent, by way of an example…

We found this handy map from the folks at Walk London marked with walking times between central London tube stations – which is a pretty good resource even when there’s not a tube strike…

And we were impressed by this stunt from Save the Children…

Any tube strike tales? Drop us a line at the usual address or Tweet us @londonwalks.

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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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Where In The World No's 22 & 23: #Manitoba & #Nova Scotia

Where in the World? is our new occasional series in which Adam, The Daily Constitutional’s Editor is logging the locations of his London Walkers.

“We meet people from all over the world, and I thought it would be fun to map them out to create a picture of where our London Walkers (and Daily Constitutionalists) come from.

We’ll be breaking it down by English and Welsh counties, Scottish regions, Irish provinces, U.S States, Canadian provinces, Australian states, European, Asian, African and South American countries. And, of course, by London boroughs.”

This week we've met London Walkers from both Manitoba and Nova Scotia…

Manitoba & London

Harry Colebourn was born in England in 1887, but made Winnipeg, Manitoba his home. A veterinarian, he was on his way to basic training to serve in World War I when he bought a female bear cub from a hunter in Ontario for the princely sum of $20. His bear – named for his home town and dubbed Winnie for short – was housed at London Zoo for the duration of Colebourn’s three-year service. After the war, Colebourn donated the bear to London Zoo

It was at London Zoo that A.A Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne saw Winnie and, so taken was the young boy with the animal that he named his teddy bear in her honour. Thus Winnie the Pooh was born.

Nova Scotia & London

Canadian actor Donald Sutherland spent his teenage years in Nova Scotia. He was schooled here in London at the London Academy of Dramatic Art and his son Keifer was born here in 1966 and is currently “back home” filming 24 in London.

A London Walk costs £9 – £7 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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