Friday, 31 July 2015

The #London #Comedy Plaque Trail No.5/6 Joan Sims

Follow our Comedy Plaque Trail every day this week and it will lead you to Andrew Lukas's MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS – A HISTORY OF ALTERNATIVE COMEDY tour this Sunday 2nd August at 10:45a.m meeting at Leicester Square tube exit 1















It's safe to say that London Walks guide and comedian Andrew Lukas will NOT be dealing with this kind of thing on his Ministry of Silly Walks tour this Sunday…





From time-to-time on the Kensington Walk we swing by this plaque. And the reactions are always the same. London Walkers from the UK always smile and, with music in their voices, say “Oh! Joan Sims!”

London Walkers from outside the UK always raise a quizzical eyebrow and say “Joan Sims?”

Ms Sims formed a part of the ensemble company of actors and comedians who starred in the long-running movie franchise the Carry On films. These risqué, quintessentially British comedies were filmed between 1958 and 1978 (with another added to the series in 1992) mainly at Pinewood Studios. Joan Sims starred in 24 of the films – only two less than Kenneth Williams, the most loyal of the team in terms of appearances.

The plaque can be found in Thackeray Street W8.






Join London Walks guide & comedian Andrew Lukas in Soho this Sunday 2nd August at 10:45a.m for his tour THE MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS – A HISTORY OF ALTERNATIVE COMEDY. There's no need to book, the tour costs £10 with £8 for students and over 65's. NB the tour is NOT suitable for children. Meet at Leicester Square tune exit1.







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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A Blog Post Reply to #London Walker @abbydeveney (And a Nod To @Severndroog Castle)

Earlier today we received this query from a London Walker via Twitter…




DC Editor Adam writes by way of reply


Hi Abby, thanks for your Tweet. What's that thing people put on Twitter accounts in an attempt to indemnify themselves from litigation when expressing personal opinions? Ah, yes: all opinions my own. (Same goes for my hair. And most of my teeth.) 

Which is by way of saying @walklondon looks after The Capital Ring's official publicity, but here's my twopenn'orth as a fan and as a Londoner…


Any tips for the Woolwich to Falconwood section of the Capital Ring? Simply this: do it.

The long answer is that I'm particularly attached to this section of the walk. It was the first section I completed, having read about it in an abandoned copy of Time Out that I found on a train (and this was back in the dark ages when Time Out was a paid-for title, so it was quite a find!). The article was on the Green Chain section of the Capital Ring in South East London.

It was July 2005 and I'd just left a particularly unhappy and onerous office job and I was casting my net around for a new direction. But what? I did not know. The solution, as always: go for a walk, you'll think of something if you walk. Even if you don't, you'll feel better for the exercise.

As my colleague David Tucker Tweeted the other day:




And so I headed to Woolwich.

The Woolwich Ferry



The contrasts at the start of this section of the Capital Ring are vivid - the view back over the Thames from Maryon Park looks toward the perpetual motion and clamour of the Silvertown refinery; there's the good old rough-and-ready Woowich Ferry making its lumbering procession like some wondrous watery Sysiphus across the water and back, across and back all day long; and the Docklands looms like Fritz Lang's Metropolis meets the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz.


Canary Wharf

Turn to face South and there's a bit of Jacobean architecture, a petting zoo, a folly, a palace, a movie location from classic Swinging London movie Blow Up, swathes of blameless suburbia… and green green green. There's a real sense of leaving cacophony behind (which is a healing sensation) yet one is never actually leaving London (a course of action I would always strongly recommend).  

Charlton House


So I've got something of a Proustian attachment to this section - it always takes me back to that crossroads.

Perhaps more importantly, as far as general advice goes, now is the time to hit this section because it's best to tackle it at a dry time of year. One of the many great things about the Capital Ring is that it's a different walk every time depending on the time of year. I did this section a couple of years ago in the proverbial bleak midwinter and the wooded sections were pretty boggy. It was messy. And the mud reminded me of the countryside, and the countryside makes me anxious (see earlier advice about NEVER leaving London).


My personal fave bit is Oxleas Wood and Severndroog Castle (pictured above).

Just past Severndroog Castle there's a cafe in the park which is an ideal rest-and-be-thankful. Its precise name eludes me as I blog (I think it might even be as simple the Oxleas Wood Cafe) but suffice to say it's nothing to do with St Arbuck, the patron saint of brown milk and tax dodging. And by that point you'll be ready for a cuppa.

And how did the career crossroads pan out? Well soon after this walk I became a London Walks guide, and soon after that I launched the London Walks blog (the blog that you are reading now) thus combining my triple passions of walking, addressing people at high volume and avoiding all contact with dull commissioning editors and limp-minded publishers. Hoorah! The first section of the Capital Ring, Woolwich to Falconwood was the best walk of my life because it lead to the best jobs of my life. 

I hope you have fun on your walk! Send us a pic or two if you like :)



P.S. Just to reiterate, I don't wish to create the impression that London Walks is somehow "in charge" of the Capital Ring – that's @walklondon so it would easy to mix us up! And for any London Walkers and Daily Constitutionalists who haven't the foggiest idea what I'm blogging about, you can find info on The Capital Ring orbital London walking route HERE at TfL's website

P.S. There are a few more shots from this section of the Capital Ring in this earlier post from The Daily Constitutional.



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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Thursday, 30 July 2015

The #London #Comedy Plaque Trail No.4/6 Sir David Low

Follow our Comedy Plaque Trail every day this week and it will lead you to Andrew Lukas's MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS – A HISTORY OF ALTERNATIVE COMEDY tour this Sunday 2nd August at 10:45a.m meeting at Leicester Square tube exit 1














D.C Editor Adam writes… Okay, he was a cartoonist rather than a stand-up comedian…





… but he made almost everyone laugh, so we're counting him in on our Trail. 

But why almost? Who didn't get the joke? Lord Halifax and Adolf Hitler, to name but two.

Low's cartoons of the 1930's lampooned Herr Hitler to such an extent that the little Austrian painter and decorator complained to the British government. High-ranking Conservative Halifax suggested that Low should tone down his work. 

At the end of the war it emerged that Hitler, had he conquered humanity, had plans to arrest Low as a public enemy. 


David Low was knighted in 1962. His plaque (above) can be found in Hampstead. He once said:

"I have learned from experience that, in the bluff and counterbluff of world politics, to draw a hostile war lord as a horrible monster is to play his game. What he doesn't like is being shown as a silly ass."






Join London Walks guide & comedian Andrew Lukas in Soho this Sunday 2nd August at 10:45a.m for his tour THE MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS – A HISTORY OF ALTERNATIVE COMEDY. There's no need to book, the tour costs £10 with £8 for students and over 65's. NB the tour is NOT suitable for children. Meet at Leicester Square tune exit1.





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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Streets Ahead: Free #London Tours?


Streets Ahead is the column from London Walks' Pen and Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker






A THREE-WAY (CONVERSATION)

This sound familiar? Especially the first 19 words.

"I've not come here to get money; not I; I've come here merely for the good of the public, and to let you see how you've been imposed upon by a parcel of pompous shopkeepers, who are not content with less than 100 per cent for rubbish. They got up a petition – which I haven't time to read to you just now ­– offering me a large sum of money to keep away from here. But no, I had too much friendship for you to consent, and here I am. . . . I've in this cart a cargo of useful and cheap goods; can supply you with anything, from a needle to an anchor. Nobody can sell as cheap as me, seeing that I gets all my goods upon credit, and never means to pay for them. Now then, what shall we begin with? Here's a beautiful guard-chain."

It is of course from London Labour and the London Poor, Henry Mayhew’s mid-19th century expedition deep into the world of the Victorian underclass.

Still not got it?

Hint: he’s not there to “get money.” But  – who woulda thought it? – turns out he’s got wares to “sell.” They’re “cheap” (I’ll bet they are). But – oh dear – money’s going to be changing hands.

But, but, but… If he’s not there “to get money” – if he’s there “merely for the good of the public” – well, he must be giving the stuff away.

It must be “free.” Isn’t that what “not here to get money” means?

Puleeeeeeeeze.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been thinking about suckers lately.
What’s their birth rate now? Is it still one every minute?

Answers on a postcard please.





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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