Thanks for taking the time to check out my news page, which I use to give you updates on tours and general London information that I think will be useful. I also regularly write a blog, which I use to tell some of the stories that I uncover while researching my tours. You can find my page by clicking the button below.
It's been a rather busy few months! I've been working on new tours and upgrading my social media Prescence.
A Merry Christmas
I'm really pleased to announce two new addition to my London self guided audio tours.
Called To The Bar is set in and around the area known as the Temple, one of London's legal districts. I've always used the area to take a bit of a break from tramping the streets researching my tours. It's a quiet oasis that sits between two busy main thoroughfares, Fleet Street and the Embankment and is a great place to sit and eat your sandwiches and rest aching feet. Over the years I've built up a portfolio of facts and anecdotes concerning the Temple and have combined them to bring you an audio tour of this historical and fascinating area.
The other tour From Righteous to Wretched: A Clerkenwell Tale is set in the historic area of Clerkenwell, which has always existed in opposition to itself. Established by two holy orders, St. James’s nunnery and St. John’s priory, it flourished precisely because it was beyond the City’s jurisdiction, and allowed for a free and easy lifestyle. This lack of interference by the City later gave way to lawlessness, and parts of the area garnered a reputation for vice, crime, and some of the poorest housing conditions in London. On this walking tour, I’ll show you the key sites in Clerkenwell’s story, and tell you about the people that called this area their home.
NEW FOR DECEMBER
In the words of the Duke of Wellington, "It was a close run thing", but on the last day of November I managed to iron out the last wrinkles and got the new tour of St James', CLUBLAND published on Voicemap. There's a lot of history and stories crammed into a very small area, so it's goes at quite a fast pace.
The focus on getting this finished has curtailed any other plans that I had and I've decided not to start on another tour until Christmas is out of the way, but I have two ideas on the drawing board.
There was also some welcome news from the publisher, VoiceMap. They approached me to see if I would like to write a new tour based on London's music history. I already have one that I wrote several years ago, but I always thought that the tour could be enhanced by the addition of music clips for each location. At present this isn't possible, unless you want to chance being taken to court by the license holders of these pieces of music, and recently there have been cases of of unauthorised publications attracting some pretty hefty fines. I explained that I thought the tour would be a little dull without them to be told that they are currently negotiating with Spotify to allow their entire catalogue to be accessed for VoiceMap's tours, so hopefully in the New Year I'll be able to dust the tour off and get it out there.
I'd just like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who reads the news page and visits the site and to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As you may know, we owe our modern Christmas format, traditions and celebrations in no small part to the Victorians. The Christmas card didn't come into popular culture until around 1848, said to be the invention of a Civil Servant, Sir Henry Cole. The Victorians took to this new fangled idea as they did with a lot of others and by 1880 there were over 11.5 million cards sent over the Christmas period. However, the Victorian idea of what represented a festive scene on these cards was a little bit strange and in some cases disturbing, so I'll leave you with some examples.
The Blog pages are proving very popular and I've had some really nice feedback from some of the readers, so if you like London history, please go and check it out.
Walking around London as much as I do gives me the opportunity to document the streets, buildings and occasionally the bizarre. Check out my Instagram page, where I post some of the more unusual photos.
I've currently started work on my YouTube page. If you go along to it you can see some videos of the more curious London facts that I unearth and also some that give you a flavour of what you'll see on each tour.