Weekend Roundup - 24th & 25th March '12
It's weekend roundup time again and all three walks took place in one form or another beginning with the Trafalgar Square to St Paul's walk on Saturday morning. Unfortunately for Yang Fang who joined us all the way from Birmingham via China, her bank card was callously eaten by a rogue NatWest cash machine half way through the walk. However, the situation was mildly rectified and hopefully she has now been reunited with her card. I also completely neglected to take a photo of the group, but a special mention goes to Denise who became the first person to complete what she has dubbed 'the trilogy' of walks. They were a truly international bunch represented by Uruguay, China and Newcastle.
St Paul's to Monument
It was a day of repeat offenders, as Richard, Kat, Stella and Enid returned for their third Bowl Of Chalk walk, but are yet to complete 'the trilogy' as they have come on Sunday's east end walk twice now. In fact, Stella was so keen the first time she came in December, that she wasn't actually born until a week later. Yang Fang valiantly returned after her bank card fiasco, and the group were complemented by Joelle, Ben, Zoe and Janice. Here they are after having had a mooch around Borough Market.
Near Borough Market
On Sunday morning, I met Joe, who was the sole group member on the My neck of the woods
east end walk. He's going to be working in the area this week, so it was nice to be able to show him around and help him get acquainted with the area. This is Joe standing outside Christ Church in Spitalfields, a Nicholas Hawksmoor church, which Joe recognised from having read a blog (and now book) which I can highly recommend called Spitalfields Life
. 'The Gentle Author' who writes the blog (and subsequent book) has set him or herself the momentous challenge of writing 10,000 stories about the area at the rate of one a day, detailing the fascinating history, buildings, characters, shops and life of Spitalfields which will be finished in the year 2037.
First to complete the BOC London walking trilogy - Denise
Best at dealing with a bank card catastrophe - Yang Fang
Most Uruguayan - Marianne, Santiago & Anna
Most dog like - Enid (again)
Best moustache - No winners
Weekend Roundup - Sun 18th March '12
After cancellations on Saturday, I only have Sunday's east end London walk to roundup, but what a bumper group they were too and from far flung corners of the globe like Beijing, San Francisco, Amsterdam and north London. According to my official figures they comprised of 14 adults, 2 babies, 1 toddler and a dog (Enid in fact who was back for her second walk). They looked very much like this ...
... which on reflection resembles a rather strange wedding photo. From here we nipped down to Columbia Road flower market, and I forgot that trying to extoll the virtues of a bustling flower market would be rather lost on Daphne from Holland, who probably came here to escape a deluge of flowers back home.
Now, the interesting thing about Sunday's group was that it was a real heady mix. Not only did it include Anita, Fang Yang and Daphne from their far flung corners, but also a family whose roots were very much firmly planted in Spitalfields and its Jewish past and knew the area intimately, even if not its more recent trendification. After a tip-off from Chris, we made a minor detour down Grey Eagle Street where Tony, his father-in-law (who you can see on the far right of the above photo) spent four years of his childhood. Unfortunately, I hadn't fully appreciated that Tony had no idea that the street where he spent the most informative years of his life, once lined with terraced housing, now looks like this:
Grey Eagle Street
Tony was pretty good about it actually and didn't fall to his knees weeping as I thought he might. He was obviously completely thrilled to discover that a bit further down his childhood street, street artists Invader
had left their mark in their respective styles.
Invader & Ronzo
Most Baby like - Stella & Mari (joint winners)
Most Toddler like - Sadie
Best Moustache - No winners
Most Dog like - Enid
Furthest travelled - Anita just pips Fang Yang to this award it would seem with 5354 miles.
Thanks to everyone who came yesterday.
weekend Roundup - Sun 11th March '12
Well, it's another demi roundup today, as I have only the east London Sunday walk to report on so will be reasonably brief, but what a glorious springy day it was. After five people dropped out, I was left with the select, but very pleasant group of Eleanor, Florian, Alison, Matt and Patricia.
We did a mildly different route from previous Sundays, and walking down a road I'd never been down before certainly paid off, as we discovered one of French street artist 'Invaders
' space Invaders that I'd never actually seen before. You can see it in the photo below, along with Sunday's Chalkers.
This photo was obviously not remotely posed, and Eleanor on the left was not at all embarrassed about being in it. Honest.
Then literally minutes later, we stumbled across a brand new Sweet Toof
mural on Ravenscroft Street, that he only painted last week. It's pretty big actually, and his trade mark teeth and gums are surrounding a shop doorway. It would appear to be a scary clown-esque character.
Sweet Toof - Ravenscroft St
Anyway ... then after a stop at Columbia Road flower market, we passed the new Eine mural on Great Eastern Street. Eine's letters feature quite a lot on Sundays walk, but that's because he's been so prolific around the area. Last week he painted some words for Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, to highlight a charity art auction they organised called 'Up My Street'
. It also included an exhibition at the Coningsby Gallery in central London and 40 artists including the likes of Antony Gormley, the Chapman Brothers and Grayson Perry donated work. Here's a photo of his mural. It reads 'Home Sweet Home Less'.
So ... all that remains is for me to thank Sundays intrepid east end explorers for coming along and of course ....
Most French - Florian
Most English sounding surname for someone not from England - Patricia English
Actually, most English - Eleanor
Best Moustache - No winners
Most diligent note taker - Alison
Most American person called Matt - Matt