Peter Coles has been unearthing the history, the myths and truths behind London mulberry trees. He won over the Conservation Foundation to help him secure Heritage Lottery funding to create morus londinium, an interactive map and archive of mulberry tree heritage, that Peter maintains, and now he is putting pen to paper.
We are delighted that he has found some time to reprise a walk he did in London Tree Week in 2017, seeking out the history of mulberries and how they shaped the East end of London, from Stepney Green to Victoria Park. It is not all heritage however, some of it is very current, as one of London’s oldest surviving mulberry trees is under threat by the redevelopment of the London Chest Hospital.
Book now to join Peter on this intriguing walk, this coming Sunday (23 September) – book here – and remember, you can avoid a booking fee by using the PayPal button
Are you old enough to remember when London Bridge was sold to the Americans? That was 50 years ago and we can’t be sure whether they actually bought the bridge they intended to buy. It is noteworthy as it is still the largest antique ever sold. Travis Elborough, with whom we explored Parks, Pleasure and Politics in Battersea Park in July, is the author of a book all about the sale of London Bridge. So we thought it only appropriate to invite him to lead a walk to mark the 50th anniversary.
There is a lot more history to bridging the Thames than what might have been wrongly done 50 years ago. Not only was it a key thoroughfare, but until very recently it was the only bridge over the Thames. Without any competition, it became a money-spinner for the City of London, and its very uniqueness influenced the growth of London south of the river. Even today, there’s lot of talk about how money may have been swindled from the public purse in the pursuit of crossing the river.
Meet a cast of peculiar characters, including revolutionary radicals, frock-coated industrialists, Thames waterman, dockers and stevedore, Guinness Book of Records officials, the odd Lord Mayor, bridge-building priests and an Apache Indian or two, when you join Travis Elborough and the Museum of Walking on this Thames adventure.
Travis Elborough is the author of the bestselling: “London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing”.
Book a ticket from here – remember you can avoid a booking fee by using the PayPal button
Last weekend, we launched a new series of walks considering what has been ‘Forgotten‘. Whether it’s forgotten paths, routes or walks, or of the people who have trodden the ground before us. Can you help us identify some #Forgottens that we can dust down and to which we can bring a new lease of life? If you have a suggestion drop us a line here
London’s ‘Pedway‘ was to be a 30 mile network of pedestrian only routes on bridges, terraces and walkways several feet above the ground. This network was to provide safe routes for pedestrians in the City of London, away from the traffic, so that the traffic could flow unimpeded.
Begun in the early 1960s, and as much inspired by pedestrian terraces of the Festival of Britain, on the Southbank a decade earlier, as they were by the architect Courbusier or town planner, Buchanan. The network was never realised, in fact there were only ever some short sections, the most enduring being the ‘high walks’ of the Barbican centre. In part it was found to be unpopular with pedestrians, while it was also left up to individual developers to add to the network as they constructed new buildings (some of whom chose not do so).
A section of the ‘Pedway’ along London Wall has been given a new lease of life, with the opening of a new office block development, with rust coloured sinuously curved steel bridges and walkways replacing the more utilitarian concrete passageways. It provides for an intriguing view of some of the City’s best kept gardens and the ruins of St Alfage church. However, it is from the Barbican’s ‘high walks’ that you can see some of the best views of the ruins of the Roman wall and much more ‘greenery’ beside.
We had to go and search for other sections of the ‘Pedway’, and our route didn’t uncover all of it, as that there’s a section around the Middlesex estate and Petticoat Lane market which is only accessible to residents. However, we encountered anomalies, intriguing views, and eventually ended by joining the Thames Path at London Bridge to see a magnificent view of Tower Bridge.
As written up in last week’s post, we are about to take the #100daysto challenge to mark the tenth anniversary of Talking Walking. Why not join us and listen to each of the interviews we’ve recorded and published on Talking Walking – we will give you a weekly round up here of what we hear, and would love to encourage you to seek out our archive and have a listen yourself. Tomorrow, Friday 21 September marks the start of the #100daysto the end of the year – so it is even fewer days until Christmas….
All about walking blog posting is unpredictable – if it’s raining biblical downpours then a blog post is more likely to appear, in most other weather conditions we are out walking and not blogging on a keyboard…..