Saturday, 28 December 2013

Hello Blogfolks,

Sorry for not blogging yesterday: I have to blame the beers I shared with good buddy Danny Warren at the White Hart on Boxing Day evening, which left me a little delicate Friday morning. Not as young as I used to be ...

Anyway, as for Christmas Day itself, I'm one of the rare people who are more than happy to spend Christmas Day on their own. Most of the day was spent with Radio 4 Extra's day-long tribute to Richard Briers until it broke off at 4:00 -

As far as the walking is concerned, the application for the start-up loan has been received and is in order, so I just have to await the decision in the New Year. I've designed a leaflet, and have asked a few people's opinion of the design, and then I can print it up and get it circulated.

Sadly no-one was up for the Helping Hands walk today, which may have been because of fear about the weather - which has turned out splendidly, with lots of sunshine. Hopefully tomorrow's Battle for Bethnal Green walk (2:00 tomorrow afternoon) will enjoy the same weather.

Bethnal Green on Rocque's map of 1769

The walk next Saturday (4 January) should be fun, nosing around Theatreland while all the Christmas decorations are still up, indulging a little longer in the Christmas atmosphere before Twelfth Night. It will be followed by a catch-up drink with two special ladies, Kath Pykett and Denise Kent. Later that day another catch-up with two more special ladies: Nika Garrett and Valy Dumoulin.
I need to work out the order of the next few walks, including the pre-Fire City and Westminster, the seat of power bearing the fingerprints of various monarchs. No walk on Saturday 11 January anyway, because I shall be at the illustrious Big Boys' Beer Festival at my nephew Wesley's gaff at Bletchley.
In the meantime, having posted pictures of Bogart, here's a picture of Oscar (that's my hand behind his head).

That's all for this week - the Christmas week is always a little unsettled! I hope that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Mind how you go.


Friday, 20 December 2013

Howdy - the last post before Christmas, so I'm taking the opportunity of a mug of tea and a couple of mincies to put down what passes for my week. Like many peeps, I was struck with the here-comes-Christmas-so-just-to-make-sure-you-don't-enjoy-yourself-too-much rotten cold on Friday last. Thankfully, through the ingestion of much chilli (con carne, curry, sliced chilli on salads) and Tesco own-label lemon powders, it's been kept under control.

In the midst of all this, I managed to get in a couple of walks. Last Saturday, m'colleague Viv Schrager-Powell and I gave our Organised Finance walk in the City.

This was thanks to the good offices of my old schoolchum Brad Baxter, a fellow alumnus of Parmiter's School, Bethnal Green, who is now a mathematical guru at Birkbeck, and the walk was arranged with his M.Sc. Financial Engineering programme in mind.

Also, on Monday afternoon I gave my Westminster walk 'Of Commonwealths and Kings' for the UK Educational Development Agency - a group of Italian teens over on language experience.

An important development for Charnowalks is that, thanks to my good buddy and fellow University of Hull alumnus Graham Starling, I now have a website:
I'm getting to be increasingly professional, especially as I've added another walk to Eventbrite, my Theatreland walk 'Behind the Magic Curtain' on Saturday 4 January:

Time to see London's theatres before they all fall down!

Thanks to Play-by-Play ( I've got a ticket for 'Strangers on a Train' next Monday afternoon, which'll get me out of the flat for purposes other than researching walks. For a theatre addict, it's been difficult having my theatregoing so curtailed, but come the New Year, when things pick up, I shall be able to fit more in.

Anyway, that's a brief account of what's been going on, other than that I was with Brad yesterday evening, and we popped into the Wenlock Arms - still a top-notch beer selection, but it's lost a lot of its atmosphere since the change of management. It's more like the many pubs now geared towards the fake Bohemians who have settled in the East End over the years, rather than the warm, locals' pub it was before.

Well, that's all from me. I hope you all have an exceedingly enjoyable Christmas, and a New Year full of goodies. Stay warm, keep up your fluids and vitamin C, read a book or two, and get yourself out to see some proper live theatre.

With all that's warmest and best,


Friday, 13 December 2013

The best news of the week is that my very dear friend Nika Garrett passed her exam walk, and will now add City Guide to her considerable achievements.

My past week has been busy as usual. On Saturday I did my first Eventbrite-advertised walk, 'To Make the Punishment Fit the Crime', my walk which explores the problems the authorities experienced with the death penalty as well as moments where the due process of law was put in a questionable light.

Me doing my bit at the site of the Giltspur Street Compter, talking about George Sloane

Sloane arriving at the Compter in December 1850

I also did my Westminster Walk 'Of Commonwealths and Kings' for a small but select group yesterday afternoon. I also met with Antonio, my business mentor, on Tuesday, and he signed off my business plan. The Good Ship Charnowalks is getting onto the slipway.

I've been meeting with various interesting people, and today it was William Palin of the new East End Preservation Society. Things are happening in east London, and the more people who get behind this swell of interest the better. So much heritage is under threat in the East End, we need to make sure we give it a voice by telling its stories.

I'd like to post more, but today has been a little hectic for personal reasons (not my story, so I won't post about it), plus I need to get my head down because tomorrow my esteemed colleague Viv Schrager-Powell and I are giving our organised finance walk for a group from Birkbeck - through the offices of my good friend and fellow Parmiter's alumnus Brad Baxter - and I need to pile up some 'Z's.

Good night.


Friday, 6 December 2013

Hello Blogfolks,

As promised, a second weekly instalment of my adventures. Thankfully this time Bogart's not interfering, but here's a picture anyway:

I'll have to get pix of the other two uploaded for next time.

The week has been occupied with networking and trying to get things into shape. I met up with Simon of Hackney Tours:
and Angela of London City Steps:
to discuss what I and my Walkie Talkie colleagues are up to, and had some interesting chat. Both groups do very interesting and important stuff.

Talking of the Walkie Talkie peeps, I didn't mention last week that a group of us were given a tour and explanatory chat about the Foundation of St Katharine by Mark Aitken, the Master:
Originating as a hospital, it survived the Great Fire, the Reformation and the Commonwealth, but couldn't survive the expansion of the docks. It was a great evening, and we were invited back for supper by Judy Stephenson, one of our number.

Before and after pix of the Master's house - 1946 and now.

This week, John Ryan, head honcho of Oxford House, did the honours for us.
A major local venue which doesn't get the press it deserves. A Victorian university settlement which is an important community resource.

The theatre at Oxford House

Guiding in Tower Hamlets looks set to get more and more important. There's so much life in the East End and people don't know about it. Even today someone said to me that there's nothing to see here!

I'm still working on my business plan: I need to get it to my business mentor before I meet him next Tuesday. In the meantime, tomorrow morning (Sat 7 Dec) I've giving the first walk I've advertised on Eventbrite, my judicial punishment walk 'To Make the Punishment Fit the Crime'. I've started getting stuff out now: two for the weekend after Christmas which focus on philanthropy and charitable enterprises in the City and in Bethnal Green, both at a bargain 25% off:

Finally, but by no means of lesser import, my good buddy from Hull University, Graham Starling, has been putting me a website together. The more astute can probably work out the address, but until I manage to get enough stuff to him to get the whole thing alright, I'll leave you hanging ...

I think that's all for the moment, so I'm going to have the last tea of the day and get my head down, ready for tomorrow's guiding.


Dave Charnowalks