Saturday, 5 December 2015

London Spy 05:12:15 Our Saturday #London News Review #LondonSpy

It's our weekly London roundup starting with a few headlines that caught the eye in London over the last week or so, click the links for the full stories…

PLAQUES: Commemoration for South London Poet & War Veteran

A maroon plaque to commemorate a First World War soldier, poet and artist has been unveiled at his former home. Born in Brockley in 1895, David Jones served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during the First World War, having interrupted his studies at Camberwell Art School.
He was wounded at the Battle of Mametz Wood during the Somme offensive in July 1916. After the war he returned to live with his parents.

His poetic memoir In Parenthesis, published in 1937, won the prestigious Hawthornden Prize and was described by writer TS Eliot as a work of genius.

THEATRE/TECH: The London Musical Written By Computer

Beyond the Fence, the world’s first computer-generated musical, is set to open in London in late February. It chronicles the story of Mary and her daughter George who’ve been living in a peace camp for a year, protesting U.S. cruise missiles. It’s a story about “conviction, unity, and love,” according to the producers.

Beyond the Fence began “as an experiment, with researchers delving into what makes a good musical, from production and story to music and lyrics,” according to a description of the project. “Scientists then used their findings to fine-tune computational systems for music, story and lyrics which would in turn help create a brand new musical.”


ART: London's Galleries Should Share Their Treasures

Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on keeping vast collections in storage, London’s museums and galleries should loan more of their hidden treasures to their counterparts beyond the capital, according to Professor Steven Parissien, director of Compton Verney, an award-winning art gallery in Warwickshire. “This is the nation’s art,” he said. “Let the nation see it. The art gallery world is not just about London.”


ENTERTAINMENT: Magician Derren Brown Shocks Commuters – Western Daily Press

FOOTBALL: Hasselbaink is new QPR Manager – Evening Standard

PHOTOGRAPHY: London At Night in the 1930s – Slate

SPORT: The London Marathon… In Space – The Independent

MUSEUMS: Are Temporary Exhibitions Too Expensive? Museums Association

LONDONERS: Nigerian Preacher Thrown Off the Bus –

If You Do One OTHER Thing In London…

Our weekly slot in which we point you in the direction of other happenings and events in our great city. A new exhibition, a gig, a museum, a pop-up-shop – the best of London within a few minutes of a London Walks walking tour.

Save Our Dinosaurs!

D.C Editor Adam writes…

Crystal Palace Park is one of my favourite places in all of London. Being that most tragic of all London types – The South Londoner Trapped In A North Londoner's Body –  I don't get to visit it enough these days. 

The other day I put that right and headed to Crystal Palace where I found that one of our dinosaurs is unwell.

Crystal Palace is home to the world's oldest theme park – a dinosaur exhibition dating from 1854. And Iggy the Iguanadon is in need of repair.

Here he is in healthier times…

This was the scene on Thursday…

I'll blog a little more about the dinosaurs – and that glorious park – next week.

In the meantime if you do one other thing in London this week, please…

Become a Friend of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs:

Share news of these true London treasures on Twitter – follow the dinosaurs (what's not to like about THAT?!) at @cpdinosaurs

And, of course, visit them…

Walking & Footwear News

Another edict from the Ministry of Doh.

Distracted Walking – yes, it's a thing – is a menace to society. And here are some numbers to back that up.

Cos we needed numbers, right?

Residents of Chicago and Philadelphia are most likely to see distracted walking as "dangerous" (49 percent), while those in Houston were the least likely to think it's dangerous (40 percent).

If you're keen to lose the will to live, read the full story here:

And if you're reading this while walking along the street then STOP DOING THAT!


Here's one for our chums in New York – a handy chart estimating the number of calories burned when walking between subway stops…


Full story – and more charts! – can be found at

A similar chart was published in our own London Evening Standard during the tube strikes back in August. Catch up with that HERE

Seen in London This Week

The. Best. Gloves. Ever!

Last Sunday the D.C's Editor Adam posted…

Last night I saw the best gloves ever on the Ghosts of the Old City Walk – I spend a lot of time outside in the winter leading London Walks and tend to get pretty excited about this kinda thing.

The pics are not the best – the lighting conditions were, of course, set to spooky rather than fashion photoshoot. But you get the general idea, here they are…

He then went on to bemoan the fact that the Hudson's Bay Company did not ship to the UK.

(Catch up with the full post HERE)

At which point London Walker Wendy Bell stepped in with an offer by email to fix him up with a pair of mitts. 

Adam writes…

"I should have thought before posting the piece that the good nature of our London Walkers would have resulted in such an offer. 

Dear Wendy I am delighted (as I wrote to you by email earlier) to say that I have sourced a pair online and they are winging their way to me now. I am greatly looking forward to leading London Walks in my splendid mitts… but more importantly I am delighted not to inconvenience a BIG HEARTED London Walker by asking her to go out of her way to get me a pair of gloves. Thank you so much for your kind offer. 

Never let it be said that London Walkers do not know how to keep Christmas in their hearts."

And Finally…

The Ed. writes… Sat down to post on the London Walks Facebook Page last night to find a service outage. Searched online to find the nature of the problem and found this Tweet which made me laugh and laugh…

Coming up on The DC this week… David's Streets Ahead column, more on Crystal Palace and our London Christmas Shopping Guide continues!

London Spy will be back next Saturday. Have a great week!

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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