Monday, 7 April 2014

Hello Blogophiles,

Dad's getting his hearing aids sorted out at last: the woman came round last Thursday, and she's booking him an appointment with the audiologist, because increasing the amplification doesn't seem to be the answer. Ho hum.

The Decent Homes people came round on Tuesday to inspect the flat: we're getting new kitchens, toilets and bathrooms. The downside is that, because of fire regulations, I'm going to lose my serving hatch. The kitchen will feel very closed in with that gone - I can see out into the back garden through it, and it makes a small kitchen airier.

The Walkie Talkie programme of supplementary tours is developing well. This time it was Andrew Parnell's look at urban renewal in Poplar, a fascinating tour looking at the way architecture has sought not only to accommodate (literally) the local community, but also to control and maintain a good living environment. He also showed us how styles and attitudes have behaved over the decades of the last century.

The Lansbury Estate

Its amazing how much this project has uncovered so far about the borough: and there are people who say there's nothing to see in Tower Hamlets!

I'm working with m'colleague Viv Schrager-Powell to develop our suite of tours examining the development of business in the City. We're working the second tour now, how trade placed the City in the global context.

The Custom House of 1715 - Pool of London

The Law and Order tour is still on the stocks, as is the London and the World tour - just working on that at the moment, looking at the career of Meinhardt Schomberg, whose late C17 house is on Pall Mall.

The man himself - what a dude

On Friday I took two discerning people - Nichola Oxley and Steve Motley - on my judicial punishment tour. Some gruesome stuff there, including just how bad the pillory can be. If you're only used to seeing them at fetes, where an upstanding member of the community is pelted with wet sponges, you ought to hear the story of John Waller's fate when he was pilloried in Seven Dials.

John Waller: shortly before he was pulled out
and beaten to death in a revenge attack

Steve and Nichola were also good enough to secure themselves a copy of 'Death and the City', such delightful bedtime reading.

As usual, I don't have much else to report, except that I've been working more on the stories, so that the second collection is a little closer. Oh yes, I managed to submit a proposal for a paper on Peter Ackroyd and the perpetual London for the Literary London Society's summer conference. Thankfully I've been able to give a paper for the last three conferences, so we'll see what they say about this one.

Ah well, I'd better make a drop of tea and head for bed. More in the next fun-packed edition.

Mind how you go.


Dave Charnowalks