PROGRAMME OF WALKS 2020
19 January From Canary Wharf to Old Chinatown
With Diane Burstein
Starting with the gleaming towers of Canary Wharf we go back in time to see the Georgian dockside warehouses of the old West India Dock. Discover why the dockside area was once known as “Blood Alley”, learn about the hard life of the Dockworkers and the notorious “call ons”. We then move even further back in time to the 18th century to visit Limehouse, an old riverside “hamlet” which played host to sailors, ropemakers, a pottery and those who made money fishing bodies out of the Thames. Learn how this area became home to London’s Chinese community who captured the imagination of authors such as Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sax Rohmer, creator of Fu Man Chu.. View an 18th c church, walk down Narrow Street where Dickens set scenes for “Our Mutual Friend”. The walk will include a visit to the new Crossrail Gardens.
Meet outside Canary Wharf Jubilee Line Station North Exit at 11.30am
March 15th Pubs and Printers: Fleet Street’s Finest
With Kim Dewdney
From the first daily newspaper to the magnificent buildings left behind when the papers deserted to the Docklands, we can trace the history of our print industry on just one of London’s streets – and that is Fleet Street. Learn the history of “The Sun”, hear an early “kiss & tell” story and enjoy the alleyways off the beaten track.
But Fleet Street is much more than this – it’s the street in London with the largest number of pubs! We will see one built by Christopher Wren and one named after a famous satirical magazine.
Finally, we will see the “Printers’ Church” of St Brides where we will hear about the first wedding cake and we also hope to offer an opportunity to see inside the church.”
Meeting point: Meet at Blackfriars station for 11.30am start.
May 17th Reading: No longer just Biscuits and Brewing!
A Walk around the historic Reading Abbey Quarter
Amongst the glass and steel office buildings of Reading is an area rich in history that has recently been renovated by Reading Council. New life has been breathed into the ruins of Reading Abbey that has many stories to tell.
We will explore Forbury gardens, see the Abbey Gatehouse where Jane Austen for a short time went to school and hear the brave story of Trooper Potts – the only man from Reading to receive a VC in World War One.
Huntley and Palmer biscuits and Simonds brewery at one time dominated the town – both now relocated. However, the infamous Reading Gaol where Oscar Wilde was imprisoned is still in situ awaiting a new fate.
The walk will finish at Reading Museum – a wonderful gem of a town museum that has a full size replica of the Bayeux Tapestry completed with Victorian modesty! (Free entry to museum)
Meeting point: Station Hill Exit of Reading Station
July 19th. From Romans to Roses: A Ramble around St Albans
With Kim Dewdney
Our out of London summer spectacular this year takes us north to St Albans. We look at the evidence of Roman Verulanium and the transformation of the town into a busy medieval marketplace. Along the way we encounter England’s 15th century history with the Wars of the Roses where the town’s streets raged with battle that decided who would be King. It’s hard to imagine today as we enjoy the peaceful gardens, churches and beautiful Cathedral dedicated to England’s first Christian martyr. Bring your picnic or enjoy one of the many places to eat and spend an extra couple of hours when we’ve done – you certainly won’t regret it”
Meet at: St Albans City station (there is another one called St Albans Abbey and although it’s better situated it’s smaller and more difficult in terms of transport from London so we’ll go for the easier one).
September 13th Mariners, Movies and the Mayflower
With Diane Burstein
This old riverside village was much altered by the development of the Docks but still has many stories to tell. Connections with the Pilgrim Fathers, an unusual film studio, 19th century warehouses, breathtaking river views, contemporary sculpture, an 18th century church and a community centre with a sinister secret all feature on this tour of one of London’s lesser known districts.
Meet : outside Canada Water Station at 11.30am
Re Rotherhithe please note that there are no public toilets to stop at half way through but there is a pub the Mayflower where those who need it can probably pop in for a quick comfort break.
November 22nd Bayswater: Industrial Railway Mania to Peter Pan
With Marian Bacon
The streets south of Paddington have aristocratic names that reflect the estates that were developed after the coming of the railway when wealthy merchants and fashionable Victorian society moved readily into the large mansions. Perhaps originally enticed by the rural setting of the nearby Royal Parks, we follow in the footsteps of the Victorian residents by visiting the north side of Kensington Gardens to enjoy its openness and features.
The walk finishes at Kensington Palace – birthplace of Queen Victoria where there is a new permanent exhibition that explores Victoria’s early years and how the young Princess blossomed into the Queen who became an Empress. (Entrance fee for Palace)
Meet: Seating area in shopping area inside Rail Station (look for Paddington Bear shop in area called The Lawn)
NB: all meet points will depend on public transport lines open
Walks&Talks for Lipreaders,
48 Cunliffe Close,Oxford OX2 7BL