Monday, 22 August 2016

Georgian Dining Academy - Events!

It has been far too long since I wrote on my Blog site and my apologies to my avid readers!

My time has been taken up with Private Walks, which is a very good thing and makes all other things possible plus developing and promoting the Georgian Dining Academy. This has taken up a considerable amount of time and has put on hold the list of other wonderful items I want to share with you.  I am now catching up and hope to have offerings on a more regular basis.

The Georgian Dining Academy now has its own website so you will see the forthcoming events beautifully listed under our Social Diary, but just to let you know briefly what is going on, here are the events in date order:

1st September - Simpson's Tavern - Supper & Entertainment

22nd September - Dr Johnson's Birthday Supper at 17 Gough Square, London
Catherine Curzon will be present as her wonderful persona Madame Gilflurt to talk to us about this literary giant.

9th September - 30th September it is Huzzah Ahoy! Georgians on the Thames with City Cruises.

1st December - Yule-Tide Masque Supper at Simpson's Tavern

All the above can be booked or perused via our WebSite.

We also won over Oxford on a recent Georgians 'on tour' where we gave a presentation at Queen's College to visiting students from the USA, Emory. We shocked our overseas cousins somewhat but went down a storm at the Turf Tavern, where we have been asked to return as soon as it can be organised to entertain the students!

So you can see why Miss B is are rather occupied and somewhat breathless with various undertakings and social commitments at present.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

An old idea with a new twist - Elevated Walkways!

Artist's Impression of the proposed green space at St Alphage.
The City of London Pedway Scheme was a plan to transform traffic flows in the City of London by separating pedestrians from street level traffic using elevated walkways. First devised as part of the post World War II reconstruction plans for London, it was put into effect mainly from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s and eventually abandoned by the 1980s.  See Vimeo link for film 'The Pedway - Elevating London'

After World War II, during which London had suffered severe bomb damage. Enthusiasts for the scheme saw an opportunity to put it into practice through the post-war reconstruction programme, and in 1947 architect Charles Holden and planner William Holford developed a blueprint that envisaged a network of first-floor walkways that would connect buildings across the City.
By the mid-1960s, the City of London Corporation had incorporated the scheme into its development plan. Although no coherent network was ever defined, designers of new developments were required to incorporate first-floor access to the Pedway network as a condition of being granted planning consent. As most of the network had not been built, this meant that many developments incorporated wwith first-floor level and partial walkways that led to dead ends. In consequence, the scheme was unpopular with many architects.
By the mid-1980s, the scheme had effectively been discontinued. The Pedway scheme only succeeded in establishing itself in areas that required extensive post-war reconstruction. The most extensive part of the network to be completed was in the Barbican Estate and surrounding streets; the main entrance to the Museum of London is, to this day, at first-floor level.
The recently demolished pedways around Fore Street and St Alphage, although long-deserted in terms of commercial activity, were always useful and a pleasant alternative above the traffic of London Wall. We now know that the new development by Brookland includes a modern version of the pedway in the new build as well as extensive landscaping. Including the enhancement of and redesign of St Alphage Gardens. The David Hicks designed Salterers Garden will also be refreshed. The Salterers Hall by Basil Spence is dazzling after a recent makeover. 
A model is currently on display of London Wall Place (view by appointment) at the The City Centre, 80 Basinghall Street EC2V 5AR, and shows the new elevated walkways ('pedways') at London Wall with an interesting meander which will incorporate a 'green wall'.  Although the new building will block views from various points, the plus side is the pedways will be making a comeback and we can walk from Wood Street also from Aldermanbury Square, above ground, and work our way towards Moorgate above the traffic again! There is also a link back to the Barbican at Alban Gate.
Here are some pictures of the model.  I will leave you to have fun working out where they all lead to.

The ruins and Salterers Hall beyond - the meander! 

This joins the Barbican above 125 London Wall.

A garden wall will cascade from this - St Alphage is on the right.

Leading across London Wall towards Brewers Hall

See the Gallery at Brooklands web site:
The City Centre is worth a visit expecially for the wonderful model of the City Model. There are is some film to view as well as an exhibiton 'The City Garden' created by artist Rebecca Louise Law - installation of natural materials inspired by the gardens within the City, ends 25th September 2016.
Opening Times : The City Centre Gallery : Mon-Sat 10.00-17.00 
The City Model & Exhibition: Fri-Sat 10.00-17.00

Friday, 22 April 2016

Six Degrees of Separation – well almost!

‘Women Through Time Walk – Fleet Street Women’

My walks develop over time as I am sure happens with the majority of my guiding colleagues. Also as a City Guide the election of a new Lord Mayor adds a new dimension when moving from Westminster into the City at Fleet Street.

On leaving my first stop at the Royal Courts of Justice and moving toward the monument to Temple Bar that was (now located at Paternoster Square) I talk of our two lady Lord Mayors. On the last occasion of my Women of Fleet Street walk I also mentioned Alderman the Lord Mountevans (Jeffrey Evans) our latest incumbent. Usually I would leave it at that, as it is a walk about the women. However, when revising a walk it is easy to be distracted and I was, and followed his family history back to his grandfather.

Whereupon I discovered an unusual connection with my next stop, a talented sculptor, Kathleen, Lady Hilton Young (Baroness Kennet). This lady prior to being a ‘Lady’ and a Baroness was no less the wife of the intrepid explorer of Antarctica, Robert Falcon Scott. Kathleen travelled to New Zealand in February 1913 to reunite with Scott, only to discover her husband had died in March 1912!
Bust of Northcliffe sculpted by Kathleen Scott
Lieutenant Edward R G R Evans (later Admiral Lord Mountevans) the grandfather of our current Lord Mayor, joined the British National Antarctica Expedition (1901-04) as second-in-command to Scott. Unfortunately within 150 miles of the Pole, he had to turn back due to severe scurvy and just made it back alive to the supply ship.

 On recovery Evans returned to Antarctica in charge of the Terra Nova to pick up the expedition members, only to discover the Polar Party including Scott had perished.  He was now in command of the expedition and returned to Roath Dock in Cardiff on 14 June 1913.  A mountain with a double summit is named after Evans and he took his title Mountevans from that mountain.
Sadly no connection with the Lady Florence Dixie born of the Queensberry family who married into the Douglas-Dixie line, who led an impressive life of the rich and well-connected, and surprisingly, became a war correspondent, as well as a writer and a feminist, and led an extraordinary life. Lady Florence wrote for the Morning Post (acquired by the Daily Telegraph) and was their South African war correspondent in Zululand.

The connections? On my last walk with this theme, I had a lovely couple in the group, Mr & Mrs Hercules, who were fascinated with the name Dixie. It turns out that Mrs Hercules’ sister in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, the family seat of the Douglas Family, works at Dixie Grammar School, which was re-founded in 1601 under the will of an Elizabethan merchant AND Lord Mayor of London, Sir Wolstan Dixie (1585).  So how do I round this off neatly?  Well, a distinguished headmaster of the school was Rev. Arthur Benoni Evans, sadly so far as I can tell no relation to the Mountevans above, but an Evans nonetheless!  However, another notable Fleet Street dweller, Dr Samuel Johnson, would shudder at the name of another Dixie, who he had the misfortune to work for, the 4th Baronet!

MissB will be walking with the Fleet Street ladies again on 30th April 2016 at 2pm.