Wednesday, 6 May 2015

NEW! Wordy Wednesday



Our new Daily Constitutional series in which Brian previews tonight's Literary London Pub Walk




My Favourite Bookshops No.1




The London Review Bookshop in Bury Place. It has a great stock of books and the staff are always helpful. They have book launches there and organise occasional events.




Brian Leads the Literary London Pub Walk Tonight 7pm meeting at Holborn Station.



Brian
Brian, a professionally qualified Blue Badge Guide, won the London Tourist Board's Guide of the Year Award in 1994. His career has embraced the law, surveying, catering, dispatch riding and art - and the stage may be beckoning. Now, anyone for a soundbite? And if you'd like a completely independent take on Brian's guiding, well, read this Marylebone Journal review of his Old Marylebone walk






A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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#London Statues: Edith Cavell Part 2

London Walks Pen & Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker pauses by a statue hidden in plain view…

Edith Cavell.

Ready, aim…

This image first.



Cavell has her back to the wall. Literally and figuratively. She’s about to be shot. She’s facing her firing squad. She’s looking at them. But she’s also looking slightly to the left. In the general direction of Brussels. In the general direction of the dawn. And indeed that slight turn of the head to her left directs us – well, it should direct us – to the single word on the east side of the statue: Sacrifice.

And notice the word above her head: Humanity. That firing squad isn’t just gunning her down. It’s taking aim at “Humanity”.

The four words round the plinth – one on each face – are of course set in stone (so to speak), but they’re also, in a sense, akin to the Times Square Digital Ticker Tape. One leads on to another. They go through our mind, scroll past our mind’s eye. They’re connected, conjoined.

The four are: Devotion. Humanity. Sacrifice. Fortitude.

Sacrifice “faces” east, faces dawn, faces Brussels. Where Cavell was shot at dawn.

Fortitude is at the back. Going round the statue and seeing the word there is chilling. You look at it and you’re thinking of her standing there, facing her firing squad and the bullets hitting her and tearing through her and ripping out of her back. Drilling through the stone, through that word Fortitude, toward us, standing there, in the line of fire, with just Edith Cavell and the plinth and that word Fortitude between us and the line of fire. And Cavell’s courage. Her fortitude.

And round it goes again. Devotion. Humanity. Sacrifice. Fortitude.

What else? Well, there’s what she said in that last letter – you can read it there, beneath the Brussels Dawn October 12, 1915 inscription – “Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone.”

Continued tomorrow…





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

#London Statues: Edith Cavell Part 1

London Walks Pen & Daily Constitutional Special Correspondent David Tucker pauses by a statue hidden in plain view…


Fast by, pass by. It’s like Junk Food, it’s empty calories.

Talking about the Edith Cavell statue on William IV Street, just up from Trafalgar Square. And talking about the hordes who are right there, day in and day out – who miss it, walk on by. Miss seeing something absolutely extraordinary. A woman, right there, being executed by firing squad.

Jesus.

How do you not see that?

But they don’t. They come out of Pret, blind to it even though it’s right in front of them. Or ignore it on their way to Leicester Square Tube. Or tunnel vision past it on their way to Trafalgar Square.

They miss it.

A woman’s being executed right there – right by them – and they miss it.

They mindlessly wander and stroll and surge and flit past it, the hordes. Paying it no regard whatsoever. Well, maybe a few of them give it an idle, passing glance. A passing glance that amounts to dipping for water with a sieve.

More’s the pity. Because they’re, well, “losers” – they’re losing out.

And no, I’m not being a carnival barker, not spieling “step right this way, see a woman drilled full of lead by a firing squad.”

What I am saying is you should take aim at the Cavell statue. Take aim with your intelligence, your imagination and indeed your self-respect.

For lack of a better word, it pays to do so. It’s enlarging, enriching.

Stay tuned. We’re going to take aim. Starting tomorrow.



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Thousands of people in the UK are searching for a missing loved one. Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears.


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A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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Monday, 4 May 2015

In & Around London… Blue is the Colour In Honour of Steve at London Print! #Chelsea

Monday is mute on The Daily Constitutional (well, almost mute) – because Monday is the day when we post five images captured in and around London by London Walks Guides and London Walkers.


Collated on a theme or an area, if you've got some great shots of our capital and want to join in send your pictures to the usual address.

Blue is the colour and Chelsea are Premiership Champions 2014/15! We're posting this in honour of Steve at London Print Ltd, a huge Chelsea fan and the man behind the printing and layout of the Famous White Leaflet for London Walks. Well done Steve! www.londonprint.biz/



Plaque to the future

 The Doctor is in?

Fact & fiction in Stokey (Stoke Newington)

Is anybody sitting there?

Blue is always the colour down Chelsea way





A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.









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