Sunday, 20 August 2017

The #London Nightly #Photoblog 20:08:17 Fancy #Hampstead

The London Nightly Photoblog August 2017 brings together 31 London signs – street signs, instructions, bylaws, adverts and slogans. Some are official, others not-so-much. Some are intriguing, some ornate, some enigmatic and others are just plain daft. 


Every night throughout August they'll give us one last look at London before bedtime. I hope you enjoy them and we look forward to seeing you on a London Walks tour tomorrow. 



Hampstead is another country. They do things differently there. Even the street signs…








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.



A Cartoon & Comic Book Tour Of #London No.20 – Two Very Fine Willies #WillieRushton #WilliamHogarth

Daily Constitutional Editor Adam writes…

Every year at this busy time I dig into the archives of The Daily Constitutional and repost a few favourites - it allows me to enjoy the school holidays with my daughter and still lead my London Walks tours.

This year I'm reposting my Cartoon & Comic Book Tour of London - a series of posts tracing the inky footsteps left behind in our capital by everyone from William Hogarth to Scooby Doo. It's been one of the most popular series of all on The Daily Constitutional and I'm looking forward to updating it after the holidays with posts on Captain America, the X-Men, George Cruikshank and Mary Darly. In the meantime, here's the story so far…



Panel 20: William Hogarth & Willie Rushton


I started my Cartoon & Comic Book Tour of London at St George's Church in Bloomsbury in the company of William Hogarth (Panel 1). 

In Panel 20, it's that man again!  I'm visiting Hogarth's grave in Chiswick…

(Catch up with Panel 1 HERE).

And he'll be making a THIRD appearance a little later in the series.





Find Hogarth's grave at St Nicholas Church, Chiswick…







Willie No.2 is rather more up-to-date. Willie Rushton.

Long, long ago, before airheads, boors and one-man-blands dominated our television screens, the broadcasters used to let people like Willie Rushton into our homes.

He wasn't much to look at, I'll be frank. But whenever he came on screen, there was a palpable sense that life was just about to become that little bit better.

Willie Rushton (1937 - 1996) was the complete all-rounder. Writer, comedian, cricket fan, actor, satirist and cartoonist.

He was a fixture of the legendary satirical TV programme That Was The Week That Was in the 60s. He drew cartoons for The Daily Telegraph and many other publications. He was a cornerstone of BBC Radio 4's most august programme, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue from 1974 - 1996. He was one of the founders of Private Eye. He stood for parliament in 1963, running under the slogan "Death To the Tories" and polled a mighty 45 votes.


An early 70's L.P sleeve featuring Rushton's cartoon's

I first became aware of Mr Rushton on a 1970's TV show called Quick on the Draw in which cartoonists such as Rushton and the great Bill Tidy would come up with cartoons on the spot. I'd pay double the license fee to see Steve Bell and Martin Rowson on such a show today.

Many of us would rather that Rushton was still ineligible for a blue plaque. Alas he qualified for one in 1996 by dying at the age of 59. He is much missed.



His plaque can be found at Mornington Crescent underground station, commemorating the daft gameshow Mornington Crescent, such a beloved featured of the aforementioned radio show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.


That he made us laugh is an achievement great enough.

That he was a founder of Private Eye, the last remaining satirical magazine in this country, makes him every bit as important a figure as Hogarth. I get the feeling that he would have hated the pomposity of that statement, but I believe it to be true.

He is at least worthy of having a gyratory system in his honour, an honour already bestowed upon Willie No.1…




My own personal tribute is to hashtag Mr Rushton (see blog post title). I wonder if we can get him trending?

Willie Rushton's ashes, legend has it, are interred on the boundary line at the Oval cricket ground in South London.






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.



Saturday, 19 August 2017

The #London Nightly #Photoblog 19:08:17 Crooks in #Westminster Hold The Front Page!

The London Nightly Photoblog August 2017 brings together 31 London signs – street signs, instructions, bylaws, adverts and slogans. Some are official, others not-so-much. Some are intriguing, some ornate, some enigmatic and others are just plain daft. 


Every night throughout August they'll give us one last look at London before bedtime. I hope you enjoy them and we look forward to seeing you on a London Walks tour tomorrow. 










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.



A #Cartoon & #ComicBook Tour Of #London No.19: From Hell

Daily Constitutional Editor Adam writes…

Every year at this busy time I dig into the archives of The Daily Constitutional and repost a few favourites - it allows me to enjoy the school holidays with my daughter and still lead my London Walks tours.

This year I'm reposting my Cartoon & Comic Book Tour of London - a series of posts tracing the inky footsteps left behind in our capital by everyone from William Hogarth to Scooby Doo. It's been one of the most popular series of all on The Daily Constitutional and I'm looking forward to updating it after the holidays with posts on Captain America, the X-Men, George Cruikshank and Mary Darly. In the meantime, here's the story so far…


Panel No.19: From Hell

Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell (1989 - 1996)


The business of telling the Jack the Ripper tale on a nightly basis is no straightforward task. Other London tales sit still, remain constant. Jack is fluid.

Much of the "new" information that comes in on this case with such regularity can be discarded pretty quickly.

But when Alan Moore, one of the great storytellers of our age weighs-in, it's time to sit up and take notice.


The problem in giving a critical assessment of this comic book is essentially the same problem as that which Moore himself faced back in 1988 when he first conceived the project: what can be said about this subject that hasn't been said before?

Moore found a new angle on the famous Whitechapel Murders by taking an holistic rather than forensic approach – looking at Victorian society from top-to-bottom to better assess the causes of such a barbaric episode in British history.

His greatest achievement is that it's difficult to imagine, in 2015, approaching the case in any other way. From Hell is often held up as the graphic novel that changed the world of illustrated fiction forever. But it is also the analysis that changed the face of this notorious case for all time.

So how to recommend this comic without recourse to those dread words "iconic" and "game-changing"?

The rightly garlanded Mr Moore gives me the perfect opportunity with his annotations to Chapter 4 for From Hell, in which he writes…


"I should take this opportunity to point out that From Hell has, if anything, been more thoroughly researched visually than it has in terms of content."


Chapter Four of From Hell is simply one of the most thrilling things I have ever read on London.

With the case set up, the characters, the social background all in the mix, Moore has Sir William Gull – Physician-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria – take us on a tour of London – quite literally a guided tour.

In terms of narrative, this is where the plate-spinning job becomes a superhuman effort with Masonic lore, ancient myth, legend, literature and political comment all entering the fray. It's breathless stuff, essentially a monologue from Gull, all hurtling along like a Russell Brand prose poem.

It is as we criss-cross the metropolis that artist Eddie Campbell really comes into his own. His dark, often scratchy style has to this point been employed to perfectly fashion the unspeakable hell of Victorian Whitechapel. 

But when Campbell lifts our gaze to the obelisks, columns, spires and domes of the city (particularly in the Nicholas Hawksmoor churches), from Earl's Court to the Isle of Dogs, he combines the eye of a master draughtsman with the showmanship of some operatic ringmaster.



It is the way that Moore and Campbell work together that makes From Hell the landmark work that it is. Both men are riveting storytellers in their fields, with a seemingly innate ability to know when the drama needs reining, and when to use the whip.

(A map to Christ Church Spitalfields)



Last word to Moore who adds in his annotations, with characteristic self-deprecation, the following:


"Suffice to say that any adequate appendix listing Eddie's sources in the way that I am listing mine would be twice as long as this current monstrosity, which in itself looks set to end up twice as long as the work to which it refers."



From Hell is published by Knockabout Comics and you can buy a copy direct from their website here: www.knockabout.com




Tomorrow… William Hogarth & Willie Rushton




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.