Blog

Memories of theTrooping of the Colour

This year the ceremony is taking place at Windsor and is semi-private to avoid crowds. A different regiment each year has the honour of its flag being featured. 2022 will be the Platinum Jubilee of the queen’s reign. She became monarch on 6th February 1952 although her coronation was not until June the following...

Tour of the month – June French Sundays

I love French art and culture and my training and studies in France to become a guide there mean that I am pretty good at French history. One thing I love is to compare what was going on there with what was happening in England. For summer 2021 I am doing public walking tours...

Marble mills and sculptures around Waterloo Station

I took this photo in Waterloo Station. I love the way the sculpture looks down at the shop name and seems to be looking at the people going in. Today’s Waterloo Station built on the site of a previous one, dates from 1922. It took many years to plan and construct because of the...

This is the true story of Eros at Piccadilly Circus

Every evening in May 2021 a video by David Hockney covers the whole LED billboard. It starts at 8.21pm each evening and lasts a couple of minutes. In it the sun rises, spreading its rays and brightening the dark landscape. It is called Remember You Cannot Look At The Sun Or Death For Very...

Smiling water-babies at All Hallows-by-the-Tower

They are sculptures on gateposts leading to a terrace outside All Hallows-by-the-Tower. There are many stories to tell about the church, here is one. The church gets its name because it is close to the Tower of London. It was the main church in City for mariners because below it is was the port...

Funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh

The funeral of the queen’s husband is on 17th April. I am sure we all, especially those who have lost someone dear to them, empathise with the queen and her family for their loss. This is the Duke of Edinburgh’s coat of arms which is based on his family background. For the details read...

Stories in Stone, rebuilding the City of London in 1660s

My theory about two stone plaques off Newgate Street in the City of London that are both dated 1660s is that they were made to identify streets, like street signs today, and to beautify the new London that was being rebuilt in stone after the old wooden city had burnt down. I love the...

Knocking on Livery Company doors in the City of London

This brass elephant head is a door knocker in the City of London at the meeting hall of the Worshipful Company of Cutlers. Their hall is a lovely terracotta coloured building near St Pauls Cathedral. Cutlers made or traded in things that cut such as knives, swords, scissors and scalpels etc. The cutlers guild...

Chasing Dragons in London

The University of London ice hockey team are called the London Dragons and dragons are the supporters of the City of London coat of arms. In heraldry they symbolise sharp eyesight, protection, strength, faithfulness. In western art they represent evil but also vigilance and in eastern art they are deities associated with water. The...

Pugilists

Pugilists – A short history of boxing in C18th London Maybe you have slaked your thirst here at the Tom Cribb pub near Leicester Square? Tom Cribb (1781-1848) was a pugilist, a bare-knuckle boxer. Born in Bristol he moved to London to find work as a coal porter aged 13. Carrying sacks of coal...

On Mile End

This is a small plaque but you can feel the energy of the boxer depicted. He is Daniel Mendoza (1764-1836), born in Whitechapel, to a Sephardic Jewish family about a century after Jews were allowed to live officially in England. (Judaism was banned from 1290-1657). Many Jews moved here from Holland, including Mendoza’s father....

Three Graces

This week my blog is about Bordeaux. I should be there now but with so few tourists this year, another guide looking for work is not what my colleagues there need. This photo is part of a fountain in the Place de la Bourse. The Place is the backdrop reflected by the Mirroir d’Eau,...

Steelyard

Every year I try to learn something new, this year because of Covid 19 I’ve been forced into embracing virtual reality. I am now on Instagram and this is my profile photo. I was in Bryggen, Bergen in Norway in February. I loved Bergen; the fantastic Kode art galleries, the architecture, the wooden buildings...

Wine and beauty

Continuing on from last week’s blog, my favourite example of contrapposto is a little alabaster statue in St André Cathedral, Bordeaux. She is called Notre Dame de la Nef. She dates from 1500s and is made of alabaster. This stone came from Nottinghamshire in England and was used as ballast for the ships travelling...
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