Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Twitter, Favourites and Holidays

MissB is now on Twitter as MissB, so if you Twitter please Follow me, thank you! It is not like me to be without something to say, but I am finding Tweeting quite difficult. However, have made some new Tweet friends, and just gently breaking myself in.

Also added to my favourites, IanVisits, is very funny on Twitter, so is LudgateLarry, but that is another story.  A fellow Guide has just launched his website and joined Twitter around the same time as me, Tour De Force London, great walks by John. Wonderful voice and great presence, try out the Jack the Ripper walk.

Also MissB is going to warmer climes for a few weeks. A small island which was connected to London in several ways! Hope to create a daily diary of my adventures, with relevant connections back to Old England.

Enjoy the Olympics, back in two!

Friday, 27 July 2012

This Weekend -

Developing the City - FINAL WEEKEND!
An excellent architectural exhibition has just opened at The Walbrook Building, opposite Cannon Street station. Entry is free and it is open Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 - 17.30. There is also a very good free fold out A3 handout with map and small illustrations of 77 building in the City and 4 in Canary Wharf. More details are available on www.thedevelopingcity.com The exhibition will close 9 September 2012. The exhibition includes the very large Piper model that normally resides in the City Marketing Suite.

Also visit the City of London Corporation web site for other goings on in the City over the next month.

Paternoster Chop House - Walk and Lunch - See 'Walks I Like' for further details.

Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker - Exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery - fee
Open until 23rd September 2012

Underground Poster - Sean Guy

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Paternoster Chop House - Guided Walk & Lunch

LAUNCHED - Sunday 29th July 2012

MissB has been busy negotiating with Pollie Hall, Events and Reservation Manager at the Paternoster Chop House to create a combined promotion with a City of London Guide Walk and a special offer lunch. Hey Presto!  It is launched! Please see link below for details and booking information.


Future Walks:

19th August @ 11.30am - Crime & Punishment - History & tales of woe Smithfields and Old Bailey
26th August @ 11.30am - Literary London - Saunter around and about Fleet Street

Proposed for September:
City Garden Walk - with a Horticultural Historian
City Sampler including the Guildhall Complex - How the City came to be

Please check website above nearer the date, dont forget to book and we look forward to seeing you!

First completed walk, 'Secrets of Cheapside' led by David Brown.
An exellent walk with lots of 'secrets' and layer upon layer of history, fascinating and inspiring.
Lunch was wonderful, delicious choices, good wine and tempting desserts. Staff attentive.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Walbrook Walkabout

The next walk on the foreshore will take place on 4th August, use link below to book on this free tour.   http://www.thedevelopingcity.com/events/24  Free! Hurry and book! 
ADDENDUM: Looks like it is fully booked, however, when we did it, quite a few people did not turn up, so if you plan to be in the City that day, arrive at 9.30 at the North end of Millienium Bridge, East Side. You will see  Natalie and her crew in high visibility jackets.

Queenhythe 21 July 2012

On Saturday 21st July joined the Museum of London Archaeology team for a walk on the foreshore of the Thames. Starting on the north end of the east side of Millienium Bridge we gingerly climbed down some slippery steps to go in search of the Walbrook River, now hidden beneath City streets.

Bellarmine Jug
We immediately encountered a 'mud lark' those fellas who hunt the foreshore for interesting artefacts, some may recall the television series of 'Mud Men',  I could not put a name to the face, but I did remember his lovely black laborador.  Our guide asked if he had found anything and he showed us three parts of a grimacing face on a piece of mottled pottery. A Bellarmine remnant; some connection with a Catholic Cardinal (read below).

It was interesting how quickly everyone started to cast their eyes down and begin to search for their very own treasure! We came upon many shards of tiny pieces of pottery some dating back to the Medieval period, including many Medieval tiles. One lucky chap did find a small very beautifully designed piece pottery, which was late Roman.

The archaeologists explained how the river was trying to claim back the shore hence quite the high level of gravel especially at the last remaining inland dock from Saxon times, Queenhythe.  As a Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1973, no one is allowed to dig or collect stuff from the site. Eventually the archaelogists will be allowed on it, and it is likely they will find some very interesting things at many levels.

The outlet of the Walbrook  to the river was a heavy sluice gate and rather ugly culvert. A sad end to what was once a vast inlet which allowed boats up as far as Bank! We ended the first half of the walk at The Banker pub, it had shiny new steps, so getting back to 'dry' land was easy, although the ancient and Victoria version had been rather ruthlessly built over without much notice so could not be recorded for posterity.

The walk ended actually on at the Bucklersbury site dig! I had no idea we would get on the site so it was really exciting to have access and be given the run down on what was happening by an archaelogoist involved in the project. The icing on the cake was the handling of some of the objects recently unearthed. A centurion's buckle, a small effigy of a god, leather fragments, a coin and some heavier items which could be tools. Fascinating and strongly recomend you keep checking the MOLA web site for a future walk.


Bellarmine Jug - not so sure about being used for ale!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sydney R Jones (1881-1966) - London Triumphant

An exhibition of his work will be at this gallery from 29th September to 3rd November 2012.

I am giving Sydney R Jones a Page all to himself, so I can extract some of his writings in connection with my own discoveries and walks through London.

Fishmongers Hall and John Rennie's London Bridge
by Sydney R Jones
A dear friend has given me a wonderful old book full of drawings of pre-War London by S R Jones.

The sketches are beautiful, and especially some of the views of the City where you can see the old street patterns and the buildings that were there before the bombing by the 'Huns' as Mr Jones puts it.


This link is from another admirer of the same author and artist. I hope to expand on this post in the near future with some further anecdotes and drawings.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Verdi, Space Ships and Steam Trains!

The Guildhall
Miss B was at the Guildhall last night for her first concert in one her favourite buildings it the City. Concert of Verdi's Requiem Mass by EC4Music Orchestra and Choir. There is not a picture or words that can describe the evening, suffice to say it was mesmerizing, almost tantric (usually only get this way when dancing Tango with a great partner!). The concert was in aid of the Lord Mayor's Appeal so full to the galleries (well almost).

On my way to get the bus was amazed at the colour of the sky over St Paul's Cathedral, nearly missed the bus because I was snapping away madly! The iPhone doesnt always get it right first time! So missed spotting the flying object to the left of the tower of St Paul's Cathedral School! Hopefully they are just passing through!  On arrival at Waterloo, there was another association with cathedrals! This time a steam train; I really love steam, and this beauty was surrounded by admirers (or anoraks) and had to push my way through to get this picture. No, MissB will not be held back from her target!

The excitement was all too much and took ages to get to sleep.  Also, before I forget to mention it, I had started the evening by taking part in the AGM of City of London Guides Lecturers' Association, which I have just joined, and who look after the City of London Guides interests. I obviously missed most of it, but from what I did hear and see, I am looking forward to many more meetings with these dedicated people. Also, note to self, DO NOT be tempted to get too involved!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

In the shadow of the The Shard and broken 'guide' lines

Having spent eight months being taught how to produce a concise, interesting, factual,  enjoyable safe walk I am keen to see how everyone else is doing it!

The walk was really chosen for me as I hadn't been aware of it and took someone else's friend's place on it (with me so far?) . It came highly recommended although I really did not have a clue what it was about, except that it involved history of the City and that's good enough for me.

Arrived at the designated spot to find the organisers were sans list of those attending, I was a little anxious as to whether I was attending the right walk, until a lady arrived with three tickets in her hand but with only one friend in tow. Saying she was'nt sure who the ticket was for, as her friend had arranged for another friend to take the place of her friend.
I stuck my hand out and introduced myself as the friend of the missing friend, Jane! Jane arrived missing her ticket as her friend had put it through the letter box, when Jane had asked her not to, long gone in the rubbish!  So before we even started there was an interesting bit of street theatre going on amongst ourselves!

John was definitely a personality guide and had plenty of tales to tell, and has deep knowledge of ancient folk history and more. He paid no attention whatsoever to whether anyone was following him as he walked down the middle of the road towards King Edward Street. Gasp of horror from me! A COLG has to ensure that the group is intact and safe, and no-one, I mean no-one is supposed to put a foot off the kerb! Street-walking what fun!

It wasn't my walk, so why worry?  I didn't until John nearly got himself run over in Gresham Street, as he insisted we did a British Bull Dog across half the length of the road. We all made it safely to the other side, and Jane quietly said to me 'Immediate Fail!'. 

An interesting 7 minute talk ensued in Old Jewry which covered, a lot of stuff including the Mansion House, Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, all TVP's (Top Visual Priorities) but not ONE of them in sight.  We sped passed the TVP's  on our way down the route of the Walbrook (river).

We ended up at a lovely spot by the river with Southwark Cathedral behind us. It was a great walk in many ways, and it definitely was an example of  someone 'doing it their way' especially in terms of group control! As one woman said ' We are all grown ups' and as John  mentioned, at the half way mark, 'you cross at your own risk!' Perhaps I need to losen up a bit, but not too much.

Too much information on this particular walk, it was hard to assimulate some of the detailed, detail and digressions. However, that said, I cannot wait to join John on his Southwark Cemetary walk!

On my way back the walk with John Constable about the 'World in the City' I ended up going home via London Bridge Station. Took some iPhone snaps of the brooding obelisk called the Shard.  The space below it at the entrance to the station is certainly spacious, and pristine for the moment.


Who got there first!

The Badge!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Archaeology in the City - Sites to Visit (July-September)

Well one or two are slightly beyond the boundaries ...

Roman Wall (Merrill Lynch)
Billingsgate Roman Bath House, Lower Thames Street (Saturday 14th / Sunday 15th July; Saturday 22nd / Sunday 23rd September)
11am - 4pm
Billingsgate Roman Bath House is the only visible Roman bath house in London. Discovered in the mid 19th century, it was one of the first scheduled monuments in London, and has remained a famous site in the archaeology of Roman London. In 2011, Managing Archaeological Sites and Conservation students from the Institute of Archaeology worked with Nimbus Conservation to carry out important conservation measures on the site, in order to open it to the public. 2011 saw the opening of the site to visitors during summer events. This year, Applied Heritage Management students from the Institute have worked to open the site for the Festival of British Archaeology and Open House London.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Billingsgate-Roman-Bath-House/219736961392359 
Winchester Palace, Southwark (Sunday 15th July)
Little remains of the Palace of the Bishop of Winchester in Southwark, which was once one of the most important buildings in medieval London. The visible remains of the palace were part of the Great Hall, which stood alongside the river Thames. In the past, many important visitors were entertained here; James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort held their wedding reception here after their marriage in Southwark Cathedral in 1424. In 1540, Henry VIII probably met his fifth wife, Catherine Howard here.

Spitalfields Charnel House (Saturday 22nd September)
The Medieval Charnel House at Spitalfields is a popular attraction during Open House London each year. Built in the early 1300s, it functioned as a crypt within the cemetery of the St Mary Spital priory. It was used for more than 200 years as a repository for bones to be relocated in consecrated ground to allow further burials in the hospital graveyard. In the nearby cemetery, the burial of a rich Roman woman was discovered, now on display in the Museum of London. http://www.spitalfields.co.uk/about_archeology.php#.T7tbc5utEjo
(Thanks to Valeria Bellazzi and David Brown for this information)

Remains of Western Gate, Roman Fort (London Wall)

The Museum of London are offering additional dates for their public
guided visits to the western gate of London's Roman military fort,
located beneath the roadway of London Wall in the underground car park
next to the Museum.

It is a remarkable excavation and well worth half an hour one
afternoon. Admission is FREE but you need to ask for a ticket at the
Reception Desk upon arrival.

The dates are Friday January 20, 2012, Friday 17 February, Friday
16th March, Friday 20 April, Friday 18 May, Friday 15 June & Friday
20th July. There are two tours each day, 2-2.30pm and 3-3.30pm.

Hidden Gem!
Display in Bank
Beneath the Bank of America Merrill Lynch building there are remains of the Roman and later Medieval London Wall. Visit by appointment, however, sometimes people just turn up and taken to see it. Beautifully preserved in its own space and forms part of the office scheme, all paid for by the Bank.

Julian Fitzpatrick
Site Security Manager
Vision Security Group
Europe/CEEMEA Corporate Security Protective Services

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Office : 0207 996 1980
Business Mobile : 07894481911
Email :

Address : 2 King Edward Street
London, EC1A 1HQ

Monday, 2 July 2012


Unreal City Audio are offering an extra date for their Fleet Street Walk - 15th July at 3pm
Sorry due to unforeseen circumstances this extra walk has been postponed
Please see 'Walks I Like' for alternative dates.