Thursday, 31 March 2016

#plaque366 Susan Garth #PortobelloRoadMarket

A London commemorative plaque for every day in 2016. 

The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!

DROP ME A LINE or leave a comment below if you'd like to nominate a plaque for inclusion in the series




Susan Garth, founder of the Portobello Road Market as we know it today – an internationally-famed destination for antique hunters…








For a photoblog on Portobello Road Market click HERE





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.









Bookmark and Share

A Tribute to Joe Orton in #Islington

Adam writes…

Mooching around in deepest, darkest Islington yesterday, I was delighted to come across this piece of stencilled street art…



It's a tribute to local boy playwright Joe Orton – local insomuch as he resided in Islington in the 60s, when that north London enclave was far from fashionable.

Orton was born in Leicester in 1933, studied to be an actor at RADA, took digs first on Gower Street and then moved in with Kenneth Halliwell – fellow student, mentor, sometime lover – into a what was little more than a bedsit in Noel Road N1.

His first hit play - Entertaining Mr Sloane – transferred from the Arts Theatre in Great Newport Street to the Wyndham's Theatre round the corner. The follow-up, Loot - a black farce involving a bank job, the Catholic church, the disposal of a dead body and police brutality – endured a troubled genesis but was eventually a hit at the Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly in 1966.

The barely concealed gay relationship at the core of Loot (and, indeed, Sloane) was risky and highly scandalous back in '66.

Orton was murdered by Halliwell - at the Noel Road flat – on 9th August 1967. Halliwell took his own life moments later. Orton was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes were mixed with Halliwell's.


Orton's plays are no less entertaining today, but may seem a little tame to the modern sensibility. That's why I loved this street art tribute. The faint whiff of danger in this most elicit of art forms reminds us that, in his day, Orton was a great subversive. It is a fitting tribute.

It made me consider other playwrights and their London commemorations…


Harold Pinter has a theatre…



… which was renamed in his honour in 2011. It had formerly been The Comedy Theatre which led Tom Stoppard to quip, "Wouldn't it just be easier for Harold to change his name to Harold Comedy?



Back in the 1990's The Royal Court theatre in exile at the Duke of York's on St Martin's Lane had a cat – a highly effective mouser by the name of Osborne. It is, to my knowledge, the only tribute to the abrasive king of Kitchen Sink Drama John Osborne yet to feature in the landscape of the West End.





Finally, I've always found it odd that only one West End theatre features a likeness of William Shakespeare – the Wyndham's Theatre on Charing Cross Road…





Have I missed your favourite playwright tribute? Drop me a line at the usual address or leave a comment below.

(P.S. I'll be coming back to Joe Orton later in the year – his Noel Road plaque will feature in The Daily Constitutional's #plaque366 project)





Earlier posts featuring Joe Orton…









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.









Bookmark and Share

The #RollingStones In #London Walk: 36 Days to Go!

NEW! The Rolling Stones in London Walking Tour launches on Thursday 5th May 2016!



Curated & guided by the team that brought you the Rock'n'Roll London Walk, we'll be prowling in the blueswailing, drug-busting, establishment-baiting footsteps of the savage young Stones in their 60's pomp – from the studios where they created to the shebeens where they, er, socialised – this walk provides the ideal "bonus tracks" to Exhibitionism, the blockbusting Stones retrospective at the Saatchi Gallery.

Meet at Tottenham Court Road station Thursdays at 2:30p.m. STARTS THURSDAY 5TH MAY 2016.


Daily Constitutional Editor & Rock'n'Roll London guide Adam Scott-Goulding writes… As a countdown to the Rolling Stones in London Walk I've picked 45 moments – tracks, busts, incidents, quotes – from the greatest story in Rock'n'Roll. These are the moments that made the legend…



10/45.            "Who breaks a butterfly on  a wheel?"


William Rees Mogg, editor of The Times, appropriated this line from William Blake to headline his editorial in support of Mick and Keith after their drugs bust in 1967. Rock'n'Roll hits the broadsheet press, the broadsheets hit the wacky baccy, and everything is groovy, baby.

Jagger's press conference after the quashing of his drug charges…



Street Fighting Men: The Rolling Stones in London Walking Tour begins on Thursday 5th May 2016 meeting at Tottenham Court Road Station.



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.









Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

#plaque366 Thanks To Duane & Rosemary Harvey

A London commemorative plaque for every day in 2016. 

The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!

DROP ME A LINE or leave a comment below if you'd like to nominate a plaque for inclusion in the series





You don't have to be internationally famous to have your name on a plaque. This is one of London's loveliest…




Victoria Embankment Gardens are here…




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.









Bookmark and Share