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Category: Events, Ceremonies & Traditions

  1. The Iconic Neon Sign for Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap

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    The Mousetrap

    Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap is the world's longest running play. The iconic neon sign at the front of St Martin's Theatre welcomes theatregoers and announces the longevity of the play. The play originally opened in London's West End on 25th November 1952. Each year as the production celebrates its anniversary the sign is changed. I decided to along  this year and here are a few photos I took.

  2. Flying Scotsman - The Magical Steam Train Returns to King's Cross Station

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     Flying Scotsman

    The Flying Scotsman returned to service on Thursday 25 February 2016, following a £4.2 million restoration. Scheduled to leave London King's Cross for York at 7.40am, I felt totally privileged to be there and wave her off. A huge Thank You to the National Railway Museum in York for leading the campaign to save this magnificent locomotive. Here are a few photos of an unforgettable day. Enjoy!

  3. Edith Cavell Wreath Laying Ceremony by St Martin in the Fields

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    Edith Cavell Wreath Laying Ceremony

    Nurse Edith Cavell was executed on 12th October 1915, during World War I, for assisting over 200 allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium. There is an annual public wreath laying ceremony that takes place at her memorial, in London, on the anniversary of her death, which is organised by the Cavell Nurses' Trust. The next wreath laying service will be held on Wednesday 12th October 2016 at 10.30am and is free to attend.

  4. London Sightseeing Tour on Stanfords Victorian Horse Drawn Omnibus

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    Stanfords Horse Drawn Omnibus

    Left to right:  Basil, Bob and Harney with Tim Wood

    I love exploring London and when I heard that Stanfords, reputedly the world's biggest travel and map bookshop, have just launched a London sightseeing tour by horse drawn Victorian omnibus I just had to check it out. So last night joined by Julie and Carolyn, friends and fellow guides, we were taken for an utterly delightful ride by Basil, Bob and Harney, three magnificent Dutch Warmbloods.

  5. Swan Upping – Counting the Swans on the River Thames

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     Swan Upping on the River Thames - Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber

     David Barber, The Queen’s Swan Marker

    Swan Upping is an ancient ceremony which counts the number of mute swans on the River Thames.  This still relatively unknown tradition is an annual event, which takes place during the third week in July. Earlier this week Julie and I went to Oakley Court hotel to watch this spectacle and to partake of afternoon tea (seperate blog to follow). 

  6. Midsummer Night's Dreaming at the Museum of the Order of St John

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    Museum of the Order of St John Chapter Hall

    Chapter Hall

    Last week I was thrilled to attend  "A Midsummer Day's Dream" Champagne Tea at the Museum of the Order of St John. The museum occupies two historic sites, the  gatehouse which houses the museum's galleries and has a series of stunning rooms and a seperate building which includes the Priory Church and the Norman crypt. The magnificent suite of historic rooms provided the perfect backdrop for a splendid afternoon of Shakespearean entertainment of drama, music and dance and the balmy hot summer weather just addded to the surreal and magical atmosphere.

  7. Bedford Park London - The First Garden Suburb

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    Bedford Park

    Bedford Park in Chiswick, West London is a rather special place, it has the distinction of being the first Garden Suburb. It optimises the best of suburban living, with tree lined streets, attractive houses and community facilities, all within a short commute to central London. The Bedford Park Festival is held annually in June and offers a variety of events including musical performances, talks, children’s activities and exhibitions.

  8. Behind the Scenes Tour of Alexandra Palace

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    Alexandra Palace

    The Theatre

    Recently I was lucky enough to attend one of the rare behind the scenes history tours of Alexandra Palace. Named after Alexandra, Edward VII's wife, and affectionally known as Ally Pally.  The original building sadly burnt down just sixteen days after it opened.

  9. The Distribution of Hot Cross Buns in a Churchyard

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    Butterworth Charity

    On Good Friday hot cross buns are distributed in the churchyard of St Bartholomew the Great. The ceremony known as the Butterworth Charity, was named after Joshua Whitehead Butterworth who created the trust in 1887. It was set up to provide the sum of six pence to twenty one needy widows in the parish and buns were to be handed out to children who attended the distribution. With the understanding that nowadays anyone who attends can have a hot cross bun I went to investigate further.  

  10. Two Temple Place - William Waldorf Astor's Riverside Mansion

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    Two Temple Place

    Two Temple Place was built for William Waldorf Astor, one of the richest men in the world, and today it is owned by the Bulldog Trust charity. Since 2012 it has opened its doors for a free annual exhibition. With this also comes the wonderful opportunity to visit one of the most splendid buildings in London, a magnificent Victorian house.