……known to millions as the most memorable quote from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Right author, wrong book for where I was today.Inspired by the knowledge that the latest remake of Great Expectations (to be released later this year starring Helena Bonham Carter & Ralph Fiennes) was set partly in Kent, I set off to explore the Oare Marshes to see if they matched up to my imagination’s view of the evocative & mysterious marshes where Magwitch met Pip.
In the novel, Magwitch swam ashore from prison hulks moored on the Thames estuary, to be strictly accurate, most hulks were moored on the River Medway but hey, what the Dickens? Today’s weather was brilliantly blue & bitingly cold, rendering the Marshes some would say, at their bleakest & best – yes, that is ice on the reeds – a suitable setting indeed for a desperate man.
Talking of which I needed to thaw out fast & found a lovely pub at Oare, the roaring log fire & Whisky Mac soon put me right, & the food…..excellent!
So good that I’ve taken a photo of my fish soup sorry, I’d tucked in before I remembered the camera, so it looks a little untidy! One of the best pub meals I’ve had in a long while – oh yes, I could manage just a little mOare please!
Posted in Kent
Tagged charles dickens, fish soup, Great Expectations, Helena Bonham Carter, Kent, Medway, Oare Marshes, Oliver Twist, prison hulks, pub lunch, Ralph Fiennes, thames, Whisky Mac
In 1215 King John granted a Charter to the people of the (original) City of London allowing them to annually elect their own Mayor in return for the City’s support in various baronial feuds, but he required that the new Mayor present himself to the Sovereign and swear loyalty to the Crown.
The modern Lord Mayor’s procession is a direct descendant of that first journey to Westminster.
Today’s Shows are a wonderful mixture of past, present & future with today’s businesses, Livery Companies, charities, Her Majesty’s Forces, the City Police and Londoners from all walks of life coming together to enjoy a splendid celebration of the City’s tradition and future.
The procession starts at 11am and covers three miles from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice. There, the Lord Mayor takes an oath of allegiance to the sovereign before the procession returns to Mansion House via Victoria Embankment.
This is definitely a family event – kids and parents alike will love the procession, which this year comprises around 6,000 participants, 200 vehicles, 20 carriages (including the 254-year-old gold Lord Mayor’s State Coach), 70 floats, 150 horses & 20 marching bands.
The fun day reaches a dazzling finale with a spectacular fireworks display over the Thames at 5pm between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is free to attend.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is going ahead as usual this year, with small alterations to the route to accommodate the protest camp at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Posted in Events
Tagged Blackfriars Bridge, children, City of London, fireworks, London, Lord Mayor, Mayor, november, Royal Courts of Justice, St Paul's Cathedral, thames, Victoria Embankment, Westminster
Over 3,000 boat owners have applied to take part in the 1,000 boat Royal River Pageant on Sunday 3rd June 2012 which will be the biggest pageant on the Thames since the reign of King Charles II over 350 years ago.
The boats will muster upstream between Chiswick and Wandsworth Bridges and then move downstream from Battersea Bridge under twelve bridges to Tower Bridge led by HM The Queen in a royal barge followed by boats from 92 countries. Behind HM will be rowed boats followed by motorised vessels, longboats, working boats and private vessels.
The Thames River Buses will be on the water with 30,000 spectators aboard and there will be 50 giant TV screens for the 755,000 landlubbers lining the riverbanks to keep up with the pace.
East of Tower Bridge will be naval ships plus tall ships providing an ‘avenue of sail’ and the barge from the former HMY Britannia.
If you just can’t make 3rd June, then there will be up to 25 rehearsals taking place on the river in the preceding days.
Stake your claim on a bridge, this is going to be spectacular!
The Thames Estuary may be the favoured site for Boris Johnson’s airport but a more realistic development scheme for the area was confirmed today.
DP World, a shipping company controlled by the ruler of Dubai, is to have London Gateway, a port and logistics park, ready for opening at the end of 2013. Work on the foundations for the port, which is 25 miles east of the capital, has been going on since January 2010. A further $1 billion investment will make the UK’s largest deep-sea port ready for use.
The resulting benefits are an estimated £3.2bn extra juice for the economy, 2,000 port jobs, 10,000 positions at the adjoining logistics park and double that in the local community. With boxes ticked for infrastructure, jobs, growth and private investment, the coalition government is obviously delighted with the news.
Business Secretary Vince Cable, who attended today’s launch at the project site, said the port project “will help Britain to maintain its competitiveness, drive productivity, and crucially strengthen our links with Asia and beyond.” David Cameron might even mention the project in his speech at the Tory Party conference tomorrow.
The port’s green credentials are being gently flagged up by all concerned. The somewhat incongruous description of London Gateway as “Britain’s most environmentally friendly major new port” is justified by the reduced road haulage time that will be needed by importers and exporters.
(taken from The Londonist)
Posted in Bringing in the Business, International Links
Tagged London, thames, estuary, port, 2013, Boris Johnson, Dubai, Vince Cable, David Cameron, Thames Gateway, Tory party, conference
Visitors to Windsor Castle from next Monday will need a little extra puff to climb the 200 steps up the iconic Round Tower to enjoy breathtaking views of the Castle and Windsor Great Park, the Thames Valley and the London skyline.
The Conquer the Castle tour commences at the ‘cannonade’ at the base of the tower where in medieval times bowmen were stationed as an additional ring of defence for the Castle. The cannonade is now equipped with sixteen 18th-century bronze field guns mounted on cast-iron carriages.
Visitors continue up to the roof of the tower and, standing next to the Castle’s 15-metre flagpole, yes, you can be in someone else’s iconic souvenir picture(!) enjoy views across several counties.
The Round Tower will be open every day in August and September, the Conquer the Tower tour cost £7 per adult and lasts approx. 45 minutes. There is limited availability, with a maximum number of 15 places on each tour. If the tour is a success, it will start running every year.
I came across a copy of this letter the other day whilst researching Kent, it’s something every ex-smoker will be able to empathise with!
Gravesend on the River Thames was once an important port for provisioning ships.
This is a facsimile of a letter from a crew member of the East Indiaman ship dated 1813 regarding his pigtail (Tobacco).
Assume your best nineteenth century seafaring accent (“Ooo,
arghhh me ‘earties”, that sort of thing) and read on……
Warren Hastings, est Indium, off Gravesend 24th March 1813
Dear Bother Tom – this cums hopein to find you in good health as it leaves me safe ankored here yesterday at 4pm arter a pleasant voyage tolerable short and few squalls; Dear Tom, hopes to find poor father stout; am quite out of pigtail[tobacco]. Sights of pigtail at Gravesend, but unfortinly not fit for a dog to chor
[chew]. Dear Tom – Captains boy will bring you this, and put pigtail in his pocket when bort. Best in London at the blackboy 7 diles, where go, aks for best pigtail, pound of pigtail will do, and am short of shirts. Dear Tom – as for shirts only too too, whereof 1 is quite wored out, and tuther most, but don’t forget the pigtail as I ant had nere a quid to chor never sins Thursday. Dear Tom – as for the shirts, your size will do, only longer. I likes um long,
get one at present, best at tower hill and be cheap, but be pertickler to go to 7 diles for best pigtail at the black boy, and Dear Tom, aks for pound of best pigtail, and let it be good. Captains boy likes pigtail so ty it up. Dear Tom, shall be up on Monday there or thereabouts. Not so particular for the shirt as the present can be washed, but don’t forget the pigtail without fail. So am your loving brother T.P.
P.S. don’t forget the pigtail.
Can’t you just feel the pain?
Posted in Kent
Tagged brother, East indiaman, Gravesend, Kent, nicotine, pain, sailor, symptoms, thames, tobacco, tower hill, withdrawal