Saturday, 19 December 2015

London Spy 19:12:15 Our Weekly #London Review #Christmas Special #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…

XMAS CLASSICS: A Tube Map Made From Quality Street Sweeties – The Londonist

XMAS WORK! Why Some People Choose To Work on Xmas Day – Our very own Mary talks to the BBC…

"Dickens almost invented Christmas as we know it today," says Mary Tucker. "It's fun and people are appreciative. It's very appropriate, too, because of Dickens's connection to Christmas, and also because he was a great walker as well."

She says that London Walks decided to start organising walks on Christmas Day several years ago, and found they were more popular than they'd anticipated.

"For my family it's not difficult because my husband's one of the guides too," she adds. "When we have Christmas at my mum's in the evening, we really feel we've earned it."

Full story here:

XMAS SHOPPING: Welcome To Walking Tour Guide's Hell… Oxford Street. Is Pedestrianisation the Solution? asks The Guardian…

And so the movement to pedestrianise the whole thing [Oxford Street] appears, finally, to be gaining ground. All of London’s mayoral candidates now support pedestrianisation – but is it ever actually going to happen?

“I first wrote about this in around 1998 in the Evening Standard,” says the transport writer and author Christian Wolmar. “I think it will inevitably happen. People say, ‘Oh, it’s all too difficult, there are too many buses; the taxis will get angry about it; it’s impossible.’ But the new approach should be to say: ‘This has got to happen, so how do we progress it?’”

A pedestrianisation scheme was a central plank of Wolmar’s own, unsuccessful campaign to be Labour’s candidate for London mayor. Is he annoyed that the official candidates have all now jumped on his omnibus? Not at all. “I’m delighted about that!” he says. “Oxford Street is not fit for purpose in all sorts of ways.”

Full Story here:

In Brief…

XMAS TRAVEL: Works Taking Place on Major Rail Links to Airports – The Independent

XMAS SHOPPING: Habits of London Xmas Shoppers – City A.M

XMAS WEATHER: Hottest Christmas On Record? – Daily Mirror

XMAS DINING: Restaurants Open on Christmas Day – Hot Dinners

XMAS FOOTBALL: Spurs & Chelsea Both At Home on Boxing Day – The Independent

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.

Please help our friends at St Martin-in-the-Fields in the wonderful work they do for the homeless here in London…

Walking & Footwear News

Some of us, let's face it, will be getting slippers fro Christmas this year. But not many 10-year-olds will have slippers on their Chrsitmas wish list…

A builder who discovered a little boy’s 60-year-old Christmas list in a chimney has succeeded in tracking down the author.

The well-preserved letter to Father Christmas was found at a house in Reading by Lewis Shaw as he demolished the fireplace.

In the note, a young boy named David sweetly asks for old-fashioned presents that would be unlikely to thrill today’s youngsters.

He wrote: “Dear Father Christmas, Please can you send me a Rupert annual, and a drum box of chalks, soldiers and Indians, slippers, silk tie, pencil box and any little toys you have to spare, Love David."

Full story in the London Evening Standard HERE:

Following A Tree…

This week we followed a tree on Twitter.

I'm sorry, I'll type that again.

This week we followed a tree on Twitter.

And you can too! The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree is Tweeting during the festive season, you can follow her/him (it felt rude to ask "Are you a woman tree or a man tree?" at @TrafalgarsTree.

We're looking forward to seeing the tree – and YOU, of course – on Xmas Day. Our two walks, at 11:00a.m and 2:00pm meet by the tree.

P.S we loved this response from stickgal

Heard in London This Week

Adam & Andy went podcasting in Cecil Court, here are the results…

Coming up between Christmas and New Year on The Daily Constitutional… David's best photos on Twitter 2015, our top two dozen blog posts of the year and DC Editor Adam rounds-up his walking-and-blogging year.

London Spy will return in January 2016.

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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