Saturday, 30 November 2019

Six London Scots For St Andrew's Day

DC Editor Adam Scott-Goulding writes…

Happy St Andrew's Day! Here are a few London Scots to help you celebrate…

The Poet: Robert Burns in Embankment Gardens

The Champion: I post this pic all the time and NEVER tire of it! 'mon Andy! 

The Writer: Plaque for RLS in Hampstead






The Warrior: Stuffy Dowding, RAF Fighter Command born in Moffat

The Fashionista: Glasgow-born founder of Carnaby Street as the 60s go-to shopping street for men 

The Tour Guide: The Daily Constitutional's Editor!



My Public Scheduled Tours for December 2019



1st December – The Unknown East End – 2pm Whitechapel Station

5th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

5th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

6th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

7th December – Marylebone – 2pm Bond Street Tube

7th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

19th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube


19th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

20th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

21st December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

23rd December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)

26th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

27th December – Hidden London – 11am Monument Tube (Fish Street Hill Exit)

28th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

28th December – The Beatles & Bob Dylan In 1960s London – 10am Temple Tube

30th December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)





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Thursday, 28 November 2019

Happy Thanksgiving From London!

DC Editor Adam writes…

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

To celebrate, here's a great American in London and a great American seasonal tipple…


Patriotic American Harry Craddock was driven from his homeland by a wicked and draconian law: Prohibition.

As a bar tender, Harry was out of a job.

Luckily for London he washed up on the bank of the Thames at the Savoy Hotel, where he popularised the Dry Martini in the capital and invented some 200 cocktails.

He also penned The Savoy Cocktail Book (1965 edition shown), not a day out of print since 1930. Even now, Harry’s book still has few rivals for clarity, variety and – best of all – simplicity.

An illustration of this simplicity can be found in his deliciously unfussy Egg Nog:

1 Egg
1 tablespoon sugar
2 oz. of any spirit desired
Fill glass with milk
Shake well and strain into long tumbler. Grate a little nutmeg on top.


Bish, bash and, indeed, bosh. A simple classic. The pages brim with golden rules and booze wisdom aplenty from the man who, legend has it, mixed the last legal cocktail in New York City in the minutes before midnight on 15th January 1920. (He cut it so fine that the last legal cocktail to be mixed became the first illegal one to be consumed, thrown back just after midnight.)

“What,” he was once asked, “is the best way to drink a cocktail?” His answer fizzes with both wit and cautionary wisdom: “Quickly, while it’s still laughing at you.”


Happy Thanksgiving!


My Public Scheduled Tours for December 2019


5th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

5th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

6th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

7th December – Marylebone – 2pm Bond Street Tube

7th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

19th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube


19th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

20th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

21st December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

23rd December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)

26th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

27th December – Hidden London – 11am Monument Tube (Fish Street Hill Exit)

28th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

28th December – The Beatles & Bob Dylan In 1960s London – 10am Temple Tube

30th December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)







Keep In Touch…

   


Wednesday, 27 November 2019

London In Autumn

DC Editor Adam writes…

We're on the cusp of celebration season – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannuka, Hogmanay, Saturnalia… whatever you're celebrating, peace and love to you all.

I'm pausing before the madness begins with a little photoblog of London in Autumn…


From the first fall of September on Primrose Hill…


To the view from my desk at home (complete with speeding Tube train)…


…to Kensington…



to Green Park. Or should that be Green, Gold, Blue & White Park…


To the Pergola at Hampstead…


… and a view toward The City from the bottom of Haverstock Hill.


Regent's Park…


St Jude's, by Edwin Lutyens in Hampstead Garden Suburb, viewed from the Heath Extension…


A sudden autumnal shower in the churchyard of St Mary Abbot back in Kensington…


A pair of red heads way out east on the Regent's Canal…



To a desolate-looking East Finchley Cemetery…


Not forgetting the sunsets at this time of year…




Enjoy the party season. See you out there soon

A.S-G
London
November 2019

My Public Scheduled Tours for December 2019


5th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

5th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

6th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

7th December – Marylebone – 2pm Bond Street Tube

7th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

19th December – Old Kensington – 2pm High Street Kensington Tube

19th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

20th December – Rock'n'Roll London – 2pm Tottenham Court Road Tube (exit 1)

21st December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

23rd December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)

26th December – Jack The Ripper – 7.30pm Tower Hill Tube (by the tram)

27th December – Hidden London – 11am Monument Tube (Fish Street Hill Exit)

28th December – London Horror Story – 7.30pm St Paul's Tube

28th December – The Beatles & Bob Dylan In 1960s London – 10am Temple Tube

30th December – A Village In Piccadilly – 2.30pm Piccadilly Circus Tube (by Eros)







Keep In Touch…

   


Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Pass Go. Collect £200. Old Kent Road To Whitechapel

DC Editor Adam writes…

I'm leading the Unknown East End tour on Sunday 1st December 2019 at 2:00p.m from Whitechapel tube. 

I lead the tour roughly once-a-month. Here's my latest ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐review…



As my regular readers and walkers know, I like a big, long walk when I'm not leading my tours. Here's a photoblog from one of my rambles. It ends in Whitechapel and covers the ground between the first two stops on the Monopoly board. If you are feeling fit, perhaps you could use it as the getaway from my tour tomorrow…




Walk: 
Old Kent Road to Whitechapel

Nearest tube to start: Elephant & Castle

Nearest tube to end: Whitechapel/Aldgate East


Here's my route…



Once the Roman road Watling Street, now forming part of the much less romantic-sounding A2, Old Kent Road is famously the first square on the British Monopoly board…



And it looks like Romans are still here, although they’ve branched out into the legal profession…



Driscoll House, with its endearingly lopsided sign (top right of pic, below) is nearby…


… is a famed south London institution opened in 1913 as a women's hotel and was taken over by Terence Driscoll in 1965. A basic, hostel-like hotel, the interiors remained largely unchanged (i.e. pretty spartan) until Driscoll's death, at the age of 95, in 2007. A colourful-sounding character, one legend has it that he claimed there had been a vision of the Virgin Mary on the premises and used the tale to discourage "immoral" behaviour in the rooms! He gave weekly addresses to the guests on a Sunday and manned the front desk and small gift shop (where one could buy postcards featuring Driscoll himself) right up to the end. The building is now occupied by the Rest Up London hostel.


Visitors to London often ask why our pubs are disappearing. The answer is, like the assassins of the above-mentioned Julius Caesar, manifold.

We pay astronomical amounts for our living spaces in London and, as a consequence, we seem keen, or are compelled, to spend more time in those expensive flats and houses. That we are living more healthily must be a factor, too. I chatted with a publican on one of my tours recently and he simply said, "It's all about the food these days, innit."

The George at 40 Tower Bridge Road in Bermondsey is a great example of an ever-more-rare traditional pub – or "Old Man Pub" as they are sometimes referred (cheek!)…



(The Truman livery above the pub refers to the famous old Brick Lane-based brewer whose premises can be found near the end of this wander. The old brewery building itself hosts events, club nights and all sorts but the beer is back too! After years in mothballs, the famous name has been revived and it's great to see! Find out more here: www.trumansbeer.co.uk)


The obligatory Shard pops up – is there a single London borough from which it can't be seen?


Along this route plaques are few and far between – unlike at the other end of the Monopoly board in Mayfair. But when Mayfair was merely open fields, Bermondsey was already thriving and home to a monastery…




When we do come across plaques in this neck of the woods, they are vivid ones indeed…


This Southwark plaque at Druid Street Arch marks the spot where 77 Londoners lost their lives on the night of 20th October 1940 in an air raid.


Nearby this playground is named for Alfred Salter…




… local doctor, Labour M.P and campaigner who improved living conditions for working folk in Bermondsey.


Bermondsey Square is often a hub of activity, the very soul of "gentrification", with the weekly antiques market taking place every Friday from 6:00a.m to 2:00p.m (website here: bermondseysquare.net)



Given my walking habits (both amateur and professional) I really am compelled to nod toward the Society of Chiropodists…



Keep up the grand work, guys. (Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is their patron, dontcha know.)


The River Neckinger flows through South London from near the site of present day St George's Cathedral, joining the Thames at St Saviour Dock…


Russ Willey's indispensible Dictionary of London Phrase & Fable nods to the legend that the Neckinger's name comes from the practise of hanging pirates from a gibbet at the dock, the noose being the Devil's Neckercher (neckerchief). Colourful stuff. He goes on to suggest the slightly less lurid-sounding explanation that the course of the river resembles the shape of a noose, hence the name.

Great views along the Thames soon loom up…



… and with paraphernalia from maritime history "gentrifying" the place…



… and blending with touristy tat…



… we cross the Thames, with a warning: the following bridge may contain nuts…






St Katherine's Dock is all tiddly-posh these days…



… but was once a hard-working (if small) part of London's Docklands. It closed in 1968.


Our first plaque north of the river on this particular amble marks the Battle of Cable Street…


…  in 1936 when the march of Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists in to the largely Jewish East End was met with the cry of "They Shall Not Pass!"


A little further along the way we come across a relic of the Jewish East End - the recently closed Fieldgate Street Synagogue…



A few years ago The English Defence League were made as welcome as Mosley's black shirts…


Nearby, in Henriques Street, a spray-painted tribute to one of Jack the Ripper's victims can be found…


Elizabeth Stride was murdered on the night of the 30th September 1888.

My ramble ended in Whitechapel Road…



… the second brown square on the Monopoly board, where it meets Vallance Road…



… forever associated with the story of the Kray twins. But that will have to keep for another post.




The Unknown East End

Sunday 1st December 2019

Meet at Whitechapel tube 2:00pm

Rich in history and stories, this walk was taught to me by my late friend and colleague Harry Jackson. Multiculturalism, immigration, gangsters, literary history, architecture, legends and politics, this walk has the lot.


Tour ends at Brick Lane.








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