Thursday, 29 September 2016

"A Most Magical #London Walk" - Award-Winning @kpgtourguide Shares The Unexpected Secrets Of Her Secret Ceremony Tour




In the aftermath of her Secret Ceremony tour yesterday, award-winning London Walks guide Karen Pierce-Goulding writes…





A series of happy accidents led to a most magical London Walk on Wednesday!

My Secret Ceremony tour was all set to take in the installation of the sheriffs ceremony at the Guildhall.

I met my lovely London Walkers – made up of  people from London and all over the world – at 10am and the walk began like any other.

Then serendipity in the City struck.

While we were admiring the rather splendid coat of arms outside the Worshipful Company of Innholders Hall at Dowgate Hill, one of the honourable members waved at us through the window and invited us in to look at the dining hall all lavishly laid out for a luncheon.

He told us that part of the hall dated back to the 16th Century, adding that they have a feast every first Tuesday of the month as commanded by King Henry VIII when he gave them their first charter in 1514.

And who would argue with that particular party animal?

Finally he added that not only was he a Liveryman of the Innholders but also the local beadle of the ward of Dowgate Hill and keeper of the peace!

His hospitality was both warm even as he waved us on our way. By now our plans had been slightly delayed, but in the most charming fashion.

We paused on Queen Street and gazed up King Street to get the full impact of the Guildhall's ceremonial entrance. There I described the many and varied roles of the Lord Mayor of London who is elected annually on Michaelmas Day, 29th September.

(That's today! Ed)



While I chatted with my London Walkers I noticed a rather dapper gentleman, all suited and booted standing listening. When I had finished describing the pomp and circumstance of the Lord Mayor's Show – which happens annually on the 2nd Saturday in November with carnival floats , pearly Kings and Queens, firework display and the Lord Mayor drawn in Golden Coach through the streets of the old City – he introduced himself to the group.

He was in fact a former Lord Mayor of London, the 682nd to be exact and his name was Nick Anstee and he was on his way up to Guildhall.

I explained we were hoping to see the sheriffs leaving Guildhall wearing their newly acquired chains of office and regalia.

At which point he invited us to sit in Guildhall and watch the whole ceremony!

I offered that we had no permission to do so and were happy to watch from outside, at which point Mr Anstee, with enormous charm, simply said, "Come with me…"



And with that Nick, former Lord Mayor of London escorted us personally and had us seated in fine leather chairs to watch one of the most ancient rituals in the City – the installation of the two new sheriffs.

Aldermen in tricorn hats, High Court Judges in wigs, the Head of the City of London Police and more marched silently past us. It was a glimpse into a parallel universe. Here in the 21st Century City of London, one of the most high tech financial districts in the world, the business of the medieval City is still remembered amid the modernity with a quiet assured dignity.

As the ceremony ended the Liverymen filed out and there among them was our new friend from the Innholders Hall who gave us a friendly conspiratorial wave.

Thanks to the Innholders and to Nick Anstee for their friendly welcome and for making my London Walks walking tour so very memorable.

KPG
29 September 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 www.walks.com.









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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Big Walk Wednesday: #EastFinchley to #Bow #WalkingLondon

DC Editor Adam writes…


As regular Daily Constitutional readers and some London Walkers will know, on my days off I like to stride out and walk London. I'm a big fan of the Capital Ring orbital walking route and I love to walk the Thames. Many of the pictures and ideas that end up on this blog are born out of my rambles.

On Wednesdays here on The Daily Constitutional, I'll be sharing some snaps, random observations and the odd bit of trivia picked up along the routes of my wanders.







Here's one from last winter - a wander from East Finchley in North London to Bow in East London - about eight-and-a-half miles starting just after the school run.

Here's the route…


When the school run is done and the rush hour is over, London goes to the dogs.

Here's Highgate Wood…







… providing some bucolic sustenance before the harsh urban roar of the Archway Road, where one can find everything from salvation…



… to a gun…




… and one of London's best views from Hornsey Road Bridge…





… and an echo of the Thames…



The famous "Dolphin Lamposts" – despite the popular name, actually a depiction of a sturgeon. This one has strayed a bit, they are more commonly found down by the Thames on the Victoria and Albert Embankments. They were designed by George John Vulliamy in the 1860s. (He was also responsible for the plinth at Cleopatra's Needle.)


The Archway Tavern…



… where The Kinks shot the sleeve for Muswell Hillbillies (see earlier blog post HERE).


Islington teems with posh and expensive eateries. Oh, and this one, too…




Ex-Arsenal man Thierry Henry at the Emirates Stadium…



On Upper Street there's the legendary music pub the Hope & Anchor, breeding ground for the Pub Rock and Punk scenes in the 1970s…




… although the ethos of Punk was predated by some 6 years at Dan Crawford's King's Head, small but perfectly formed home of scaled-down classic theatre…



Passing this famous theatre inspired a detour from the main drag via Noel Road…



… to visit the former home of playwright Joe Orton, murdered here by his lover Kenneth Halliwell in 1967 in then downmarket Islington. Changed days…




The old entrance to Angel tube station, closed since 1992. The space occupied by today's Platform 2 at Angel tube station once housed both lines with a single island platform.





Up and down the City Road…





… in and out The Eagle…








Loving the clock on Moorfields Eye Hospital…




And so into Spitalfields, street art capital of London…







Hawksmoor and beer…







The Mile End mural…



Along toward Bow we find the Minnie Lansbury memorial clock…



Minnie Lansbury was a leading figure in the Suffrage movement and alderman on the first Labour council in Poplar.


Canary Wharf looms…




St Clement's Hospital…



a former workhouse and later a psychiatric hospital, it closed in 2005.

Is there a more Cockney sign anywhere in London than this one?



Gladstone, caught red-handed…











And from Bow Road tube it's back home on rails to pick up my daughter from school.




***


I do hope you are enjoying my Big Walk Wednesday photoblogs – if you'd like to share pics from your own rambles, or your own London blogs, drop me a line at the usual address.

Earlier Big Walk Wednesday posts…



North Greenwich to Richmond Part One and Part Two








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 www.walks.com.









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