guided walks around the City of London

Keeping Their Feet on the Ground

The weather was just a bit too hot to climb the 311 steps to the top of the Monument but members of the Shepway and District U3A were still prepared to walk through the City and visit three churches re-built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 – St. Mary Abchurch, St.…
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Creating City Colour in West Ham Park

The City has many secrets and not all of them are in the Square Mile – like West Ham Park. This is the largest public park in Newham and was bought from the family of Samuel Gurney, the City banker, with a donation from the City of London in 1873. It remains a well-maintained 77…
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Nostalgic Trip to Woodford

The 2014 Spring and Summer speaking season is well underway and a new venue on my calendar was the Memorial Hall at High Road, Woodford where I gave a talk to over 150 members of the Wanstead-Woodford U3A. For me it meant a return to my childhood haunts and was close to Churchfields Primary School…
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Stories Under the Stones

Some of the grim and harrowing stories of London can be seen among the gravestones of the cemeteries in and around the capital. Take Swedish-born Elizabeth Stride for example who was believed to be the third victim of Jack the Ripper in 1888. Her remains lie in a corner of East London Cemetery in Plaistow…
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Remembering a Tragedy

At 8.17 pm on 3rd March 1943, a woman carrying a baby hurried into Bethnal Green tube station to shelter from what she and many others thought was an imminent German bombing raid. She slipped and fell at the bottom of the stairs and was trapped as hundreds more tried to make their way below.…
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Digging Down to Yesterday

The ever-changing skyline of London is something which always promotes discussion among everyone who is familiar with the City. Buildings that appear to have been such a familiar part of the landscape quickly disappear when the construction companies and developers move in with their plans and heavy equipment. Once the Gherkin in St. Mary Axe…
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Harvest of the Sea

It’s very doubtful whether anyone fishing with a rod or line from London Bridge these days is likely to catch any fish but at least we know the River Thames is much cleaner and fresher than it was in Victorian times. It certainly wouldn’t be as bad as it was on one occasion in the…
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a Defining Day in London’s History

In the early hours of 2nd September, 1666 a fire started in Thomas Faryner’s bakery in Pudding Lane. Five days later, two thirds of the City of London was a smoking and smouldering ruin. This devastating event threatened to ruin London and its status yet, astonishingly, from the wreckage of such a catastrophe emerged a…
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Braintree U3A members

The Flow of History

The ever popular walk along the north bank of the River Thames from the Tower of London to the Millennium Bridge was the choice for Witham and Braintree U3A members for their August outing with LONDON FOOTSTEPS guide David Williams.

Sandys Row Synagogue

Anyone who wants to get a feel for life in East London should not miss any opportunity to visit this remarkable Ashkenazi synagogue in Sandys Row just a short distance from Liverpool Street.  It’s open on Sundays and reminds us of an age when the Jewish people were such a prominent part of the Spitalfields community.