Saturday, 12 December 2015

London Spy 12:12:15 Our Weekly #London 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…


CULTURE: Ice Skating On the Thames: Could It Return?

Leave it to the same architecture firm that wants to replace one of the busiest London Underground lines with a moving walkway and erect shadow-reducing skyscrapers in the heart of the British capital city to come up with a new idea that’s smart, innovative and marvelously off-the-wall.

And while the latest conceptual offering from Seattle-headquartered NBBJ is exceedingly starry-eyed, it’s a festive and seasonally appropriate one that pays homage to a fascinating bit of real-life London history when times were simpler and the climes were, well, colder.

Called Frost Flowers, NBBJ’s (entirely speculative) concept envisions lily pad-esque floating ice rinks moored on a non-frozen River Thames that would "return the winter spirit to the capital."

Full story Mother Nature Network:

SOCIAL MEDIA: Cheer Up London!

Londoners take more glum-faced selfies than residents of other world cities, according to a data project.

Analysis of images uploaded publicly on to Instagram in September found that the London style of selfie-taking was one of a restrained upright pose.

Using facial-recognition software and ranking the most happy as 1 and the least as 0, London selfies were found to have a score of 0.55, compared with the average of 0.62 across Berlin, New York, São Paulo, Moscow and Bangkok.

The survey forms part of the Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House. More info here:

Full story in The Guardian:

TECH: Fun Underground Sign App Is No More

A hugely popular tool for creating fake Tube signs has been taken down, with its creator claiming to have received threats from Transport for London’s lawyers.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We have asked the website owner not to use the image of a London Underground customer information sign in this way.

"It may not have been their intention, but we believe the images created by people using this site have the potential to cause harm and distress to passengers or members of the public who see them.  There are instances where they have contained racially offensive messages.”

Full story in The Independent

Ed's note: We're sorry to see it go. We hijacked it on more than one occasion…

XMAS: London's Busiest Shopping Day – City A.M: 

VOLUNTEERING: Funding Boost For South London Park – South London Press

MUSEUMS: A Tour of Museum Storage – BBC

PROPERTY: £450,000 For 53 Sq Meters – Evening Standard

FOOTBALL: AFC Wimbledon Set To Go Home – BBC

NFL: The Cost of Bringing An NFL Team To London – Indianapolis Business Journal

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.

A simple one this week… the Christmas ferris wheel in Leicester Square is worth a fiver of anyone's money!

Walking & Footwear News

Sir Ian Botham is on the road again, training for his 16th charity walk. The legendary English cricketer – nicknamed Beefy – is now 60 years old, is famous for his long fundraising walks. 2015 is the 30th anniversary of his first, from Land's End to John O'Groats. His latest trek takes him to South Africa…

I do it because I want to raise money and awareness for people not as lucky as us.

I started after seeing four kids die of leukaemia in the space of six weeks when I was attending a hospital for some treatment for a broken bone in my foot during my playing days.

That first walk raised over £1m and helped to start a research centre just outside Glasgow.

 Full story in The Daily Mirror here:

You can donate at his website here:

Good luck Beefy!

Seen in London This Week…

An oasis of calm at Any Amount Of Books on the Charing Cross Road – not a bit of tinsel in sight!

Tree Of the Week!

The Boys & Girls In Blue down at New Scotland Yard have an excellent Christmas tree. What other colour scheme would it be? Nice job…

Christmas 2015 With London Walks

The Amazing Old Shops Walk takes place on the 19th December – meet Judy at Green Park Station at 10:45a.m

The Christmas Lights & Seasonal Cheer Pub Walk takes place on the 19th December meet at Embankment Tube 7:15p.m

On Christmas Day there are TWO London Walks:

Walk up an appetite with The Christmas Morning 1660 Walk – meet at 11:00a.m by the big tree in Trafalgar Square

Walk off the pudding with The Christmas Day Charles Dickens Walk – meet by the big tree in Trafalgar Square at 2:00pm

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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