Libby, who came on the first 'My neck of the Woods' Sunday east end walk of 2013, sent me a few photos she took along the way, so I thought I'd share them here. This was the whole group at the end of the walk, by Nicholas Hawksmoor's Christchurch in Spitalfields.
So, the first one, is a rare photo of ... me, perusing one of street artist Ben Wilson's tiny bits of chewing gum art, which as it might suggest, are tiny paintings on bits of chewing gum, stuck to the pavement.
This next one was taken in Bunhill Fields Cemetery, with the buildings of the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) in the background. Despite being right on the cusp of the City, there's 6 acres of open space behind there, which once (as you might have guessed) was an artillery ground back when people were still using bows and arrows, but is now more commonly used as a cricket pitch. The HAC also have the distinction of being the oldest Regiment in the British Army.
The photo below shows an old bank, which a few years ago was a bar / gig venue / art space and much more, partly set up by Bill Drummond of KLF fame, called The Foundry. It's since been closed down and is awaiting development ... no doubt in to a swanky hotel. You can see work by street artists Cityzen Kane, Roa, Eine and Phlegm.
The next photo I really like, and if I had my arty farty hat on might feel inclined to say that it's a wonderful juxtaposition between the block of flats in the background and Sweet Toof and co's sideways clown in the foreground.
Onwards to Columbia Road Flower Market, where of course you are guaranteed to find another strange juxtaposition, which is rather burly Essex blokes shouting about how cheap their pansies are.
And ... if you look carefully, delicate little paper cut outs and their respective shadows painted on to the pavement, the work of Mexican artist Pablo Delgado.
Although pretty newish, that particular one is already quite weathered. It originally depicted a lamp post, from which the light is falling.
So, last but not least, Lucy and Jamie who accompanied Libby on the walk and although Jamie started empty handed, acquired a small olive tree along the way ... as you do.
So thanks very much to Libby for sending her photos. It's always great to see what people have snapped along the way.
On Saturday morning I met Aviva for the Trafalgar Square to St Paul's walk. Part of the walk involves winding through and around Fleet Street, a street synonymous with printing and the newspaper industry, ever since a guy called Wynkyn De Worde, who aside from having a brilliant name, brought the first printing press to the area in about 1500. Anyway, as if to highlight the fact, just outside the Bridewell Theatre we stumbled across an amazing array of old printing equipment that had been left on the street. There were a number of drawers, all packed full of thousands of the individual metal letter typefaces. Had I not been doing a walk, I would have very probably hailed a cab and taken the whole lot home. Here's Aviva with the treasure, that someone else now has.
On Saturday afternoon I was joined by Urvesh, Chris, Christina, Teresa, Bea, Sam and Louise for the St Paul's to Monument walk. I haven't seen it so busy around Bankside for a long time, but I guess that's what happens when the sun comes out. We didn't come across any discarded treasure, but of course there's Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the Rose Theatre and lots of other things to uncover along the way. Here are the group by Borough Market.
What a fun lot they were too. Also, I should mention that it was Sam's second Bowl Of Chalk walk, having previously come on the east end 'My neck of the woods' walk a few months ago ... which allows me to segue effortlessly on to Sundays walk.
Once again, the sun was beating down and a reasonably international group turned out for Sundays east end walk, hailing from Germany, Poland, Portugal/Luxembourg, France and even England and Scotland. The 'world and his wife' were out in force around Columbia Road flower market and Spitalfields where we finished. Here are the group standing next to one of street artist Pablo Delgado's miniature paper street scenes, which also has a little sign saying 'Please queue here' ... hence the photo.
From left to right we have Felix, Teresa, Babara (or Basia), Maja, Dorina, Magali, Lesley and Manu. There was also Tom, but he isn't in the photo because he had to nip off.
So there we have it. Perhaps the sunniest weekend of walks ever in the history of weekend walks. As ever, thanks very much to all who came along.
Most Swiss - Bea and Chris
Most Historically qualified - Urvesh and Chris
Most inappropriate footwear - Louise
Veteran Bowl Of Chalker - Sam
Best name that actually creates a statement - Teresa Brown
Best Moustache - No winners
Most laid back - Felix
Most German - Dorina and Magali
Weekend Roundup - 14th & 15th Jan '12
The first London walks of 2012 took place this weekend under a clear, crisp and bright wintery sky ... except when it got dark on Saturday. It was still clear and crisp, but less bright.
Saturday 14th Jan
In the end it kicked off with Saturday afternoons walk and after meeting the group of intrepid Chalkers, had a minor mooch around the streets that surround St Paul's cathedral before heading over the wobbly bridge to Bankside.
We paid an impromptu visit to the Rose Theatre, or at least its watery remains, as it was the first Elizabethan theatre, built in 1587 and after the foundations were re-discovered in 1989 now resides in the bowels of the office building that was built over the top. However, we had an equally impromptu mini talk from a lady who worked there, and next time you're down on Bankside, spare a thought for the Rose, to which the recreated Globe owes a huge debt.
Anyway, here are Saturday's Bowl Of Chalkers in Borough Market. See how much fun they're having. They've even got a coffee. It just blows me away each time I see it.
Here they are exploring a quiet enclave of of Guy's Hospital.
Sunday 15th Jan
On my way to meet Sunday's Chalkers for their east London walk I spied a new piece by street artist Xylo which has popped up by Old Street roundabout next to the City Road Turnpike plaque. Xylo is more than a one trick wonder, but these little golden frogs are sprinkled all over London and apparently represent the 'global crisis of mass species extinction'.
It was another clement, but chilly day and despite Old Street underground station and most of the Northern Line being closed, I was impressed with the tenacity of the group to valiantly find their way to the starting point.
Here they are outside the Geffrye Museum, which if you haven't been is one of the many gems to be discovered in the Shoreditch area. It is a museum dedicated to how Londoners have lived from 1600 to the present day, housed within a beautiful building that was itself built in 1714.
Laure seemed to be quite taken with the tiny figures created by street artist Pablo Delgado, like this one just near to Columbia Road flower market.
As were the whole group for that matter, even when standing on a street almost completely covered by street artist Eine.
That photo wasn't remotely staged by the way. After this, we headed to Spitalfields where the east London walk drew to a close outside the Ten Bells, a pub whose walls, if they could speak might reveal the true identity of Jack The Ripper. Obviously they can't speak, so I don't know why I mentioned it. Sorry, I was having a moment.
Most Canadian - Amy & Whitney (although Amy was pseudo Canadian, so I guess Whitney has the edge)
Most French - Laure
Most medically qualified group - Saturday afternoon
Most multi lingual - Dan
Weekend Round up - 26th & 27th Nov
So, the first full-ish weekend of Bowl Of Chalks has taken place. Thanks very much to all who came. A bit of tweakage will take place for the next ones, as they ended up being mildly longer than I had anticipated. Still, the weather was clement and it's very much a work in progress. A few awards:
Anyway, thanks again to all who came.
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.