- Here you will find a list of articles and features posted by the Wandering Tour Guide.
The Story of South London’s Cradle of Punk “Johnny’s upstairs in his bedroom sitting in the dark, annoying the neighbours with his punk rock electric guitar”. Sound of the Suburbs The Members (1978). Way on down south of London Town there is a little-known suburb that can stake a claim to being the birthplace ofContinue reading “Sound of a Suburb”
Like many pubs in the UK, The Waddon in south London closed during lockdown and never reopened. Its future is uncertain, which is a great shame considering its fascinating but unlikely role in social-political history. Waddon is a western district of the London borough of Croydon heading out towards the neighbouring borough of Sutton. WaddonContinue reading “Croydon’s Communist Roots”
Like every schoolchild in my era, I had heard of the great Victorian explorer, David Livingstone. But he was a figure I always felt I didn’t know enough about. Then, a couple of years ago, I visited the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire. The centre, which includes his birthplace and a museum, isContinue reading “Dr Livingstone, I Presume?”
Pendle Hill in Lancashire casts a dark shadow on England’s history. Around 400 years ago, it was at the centre of one of the most sensational tales of witchcraft in history. Intro: Brief History of Witch-Hunting in EnglandWitch-hunting has a long history in England and across Europe. A Papal decree of 1258 announced that witchesContinue reading “Halloween Special: Pendle Witch Trials”
Kenwood House Eden I rode the line of misery, against an inner voice, ’Twixt Balaam and the Angel, with little other choice. Just a little further on – knee-deep in freebie news And smoking-cough late risers – emerged from blackened hues. You cannot flash yer Hampsteads without a bluish plaque Of pioneering vagueness, an armyContinue reading “Point 12”
St Pancras Gardens Here Lies … Here lies Adam’s glory which ‘shall never pass away’! Here, though, come the martyr’s icy fingers every May. Here lies King Death’s last hurrah with his subcommittees. Here the dispossessed inherit the new rail of two cities. Here lies an architect, in one of only two. Here’s the thing:Continue reading “Point 11”
Wood Street Plane Tree Last of the Mohicans (Mio Platano Amato) “Because it is a non-native hybrid, there is no mythology and folklore associated with the London plane.” The Woodland Trust A tree. A visible, living tree. Intertwining the occident and orient by accident. Rootless cosmopolitan shackled by its locks. Soaring eighty feet, yet it’sContinue reading “Point 10”
St Foster’s Church Foster Father ‘Bloody ’ell! It’s so quiet. It’s bloody quiet in ’ere.’ ‘Yes, son, it’s very quiet. You really shouldn’t swear. ‘After all, this is a place Where people come to pray: A c-h-blank-blank-c-h. What’s missing, by the way? ‘What are you doing? Put that back! That’s Our Lord’s thorny crown. What’sContinue reading “Point 09”
Postman’s Park The Truth Is Somewhat More Prosaic Sarah Smith, in pantomime, at the Prince’s Theatre, Died of the terrible injuries received Attempting to extinguish the flames on her companion, Twenty-fourth of January, 1863. This tribute, dedicated to heroic selfless sacrifice, Lends itself to poignant poetry. However, as the actual truth is somewhat more prosaic,Continue reading “Point 08”
St Bartholomew’s Hospital The Italian Boy On a moonless winter island, we lurk among the tombstones, Honeycombing graveyards and hawking to the sawbones. Plunging down to dig my earth, beneath the watching tower. Use a noose to yank it loose within the quarter-hour. Jack will log the evening’s haul: four large, one small, a foetus.Continue reading “Point 07”
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