WELCOME TO THE OCTOBER 2015 LIST
I am staggered that yet another year is almost over and the winter months are now upon us.
Thus, the October list, heads in doors for quite a few of the offerings that, this month, range from a record breaking dance attempt to an exploration of sleep inside one of London's most esteemed buildings.
I've also featured a lecture by one of the UK's preeminent experts on identifying bodies fished out of rivers, not to mention an exhibition of behind the scenes photos of the spy who may well have put a few of them in there in the first place - James Bond.
Add to these the opportunity to take tea with Charles Dickens and to follow in the footsteps of the Beatles across the World's most iconic pedestrian crossing, and the stage is set for a great series of outings that should keep you engaged well into the dark nights of the approaching winter.
As per usual, they're all free.
WINTER WALKS FOR 2015
The last Hampstead Walk of 2015 will take place on Sunday 22nd November 2015, so if you want to enjoy this wonderful London village, this will be the last chance to do so, at least on a walk. It really is a lovely walk and you can even enjoy lunch afterwards in a gaslit pub.
With nights now drawing in, and getting dark, the ghost walk has now made its October return and will be going on selected Fridays and Saturdays.
Christmas is almost upon us and my Dickens Christmas Carol Walk will be making its annual return in late December.
Just to remind you that I also post updates and additional venues on our Facebook page, so you might like to join us and like us (as in Facebook likes!) to ensure you're kept fully up to date on what's happening in London during the weeks ahead.
As ever, if something changes in the weeks ahead I will put the update on the Facebook Page, in order not to bombard you with emails.
So, without further ado, here is my October list of ten things to do in London.
10 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON OCTOBER 2015
BODIES IN THE RIVER
The Application of Environmental Science in Murder Investigations
Barnard's Inn Hall, Holborn, London, EC1N 2HH
Thursday, 15th October 2015 at 6pm
The Nearest Underground Station is Chancery Lane
Apparently, an "extraordinary" number of bodies end up in Britain's rivers, canals and other waterways each year. Some are victims of murder, others are victims of accident or suicide. Some are whole, some are in pieces. Some are instantly identifiable, others take a little longer. Either way, they have to be identified and Professor Carolyn Roberts is the go to person who is called upon to do just that by police forces the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
In this fascinating, though no doubt gruesome, lecture she will draw upon actual case studies to discuss the science behind her work that ranges from particular cases to general principles of tracing bodies, and the application of science in supporting the law.
In closing I can do no better than proffer the caveat contained on Gresham College's own website that the lecture is "probably not for those of a nervous disposition, but of guaranteed interest to the curious".
Incidentally, on a recent Dickens Walk, my group (and myself) were invited into Barnard's Inn Hall to have a look around. It is a truly magical location and we were even taken down to the basement level to see one of their treasures, the actual table cloth from the banquet given by Sir Thomas Gresham for Queen Elizabeth 1st for the opening of the Royal Exchange in the City of London.
BE SUMMONED BY THE BELLS
THE AGINCOURT 600 DELIGHT
Christchurch, 2 Fournier Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6QE
October 20th 2015, 5.45pm to 9pm
The Nearest Underground Stations are Aldgate East or Liverpool Street
This one will be great, though no doubt noisy.
A group of 8 bell ringers will ring a specially composed peal entitled "Agincourt 600 Delight Major" on the bells of Christ church, Spitalfields, between 5.45 pm and 9pm (approx.). It will be possible for visitors to visit the church at about 8.00 pm to listen to the last hour of the peal, see around the church and visit the tower to see what the bell ringers will have been doing for the last three hours. But don't ask them any questions as they probably won't hear a word you're saying!
GO SWINGING IN SPITALFIELDS
WORLD RECORD CHARLESTON DANCE ATTEMPT
Spitalfields Market, Lamb Street, London, E1 6AA
Sunday, 11th October 2015 at 6pm
Free, although a voluntary donation of £2, which will go to Guy's and St Thomas Hospital Charity, will be collected on entry.
The Nearest Underground Stations are Aldgate East or Liverpool Street
Okay, Okay, hands up, I know I haven't given you much time to dust down your glad rags in preparation for this record breaking attempt at the World's Largest Charleston, but it most certainly sounds lively.
To quote from their website:- "This is a great opportunity to do something as a big London swing dance community while raising money for a great cause. Everyone is welcome regardless of their level of dancing."
STEP INSIDE THE PARISH WORKHOUSE
FROM MAGIC LANTERNS TO OLIVER
Vestry House Museum, Vestry Road, Walthamstow, E17 9NH
Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm
The museum is a 7 minute walk from Walthamstow Central Station.
Occupying a building that once housed the parish workhouse, the Vestry House Museum allows visitors to discover and experience the history of Waltham Forest.
It now contains themed displays capturing the unique heritage of the local area and includes the famous Bremer Car, a Victorian parlour, costume gallery and wonderful display of locally manufactured toys and games.
Each month they also put on special events, such as screenings of Oliver, lectures on magic lantern shows and, this month, a special late night opening on Halloween which promises to be spooktacular.
TRAVEL BACK TO ANCIENT EGYPT
CREATE A LIGHT OFFERRING TO THE GODS
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Malet Place, London, WC1E 6BT
Saturday, 24 October 2015 from 5pm to 7pm
Free, but booking is required. Click here to book. (At time of writing they have 28 tickets left.)
Nearest Underground Stations Euston Square or Russell Square
As part of the 2015 Bloomsbury Festival the consistently fascinating Petrie Museum will be offering this interactive workshop that will enable participants to discover the secrets behind making an ancient Egyptian light offering. Having done so, you can join a procession to create your own light offering to the Gods outside the museum.
TAKE TEA WITH CHARLES DICKENS
ENJOY THE BEST OF TIMES
48 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LX
Free, but please note there is an admission charge for the museum.
Nearest Underground Stations Chancery Lane or Russell Square
Alright, you won't actually be able to sit with the great man himself and ask how he was going to end The Mystery of Edwin Drood, but you will be able to sit and enjoy the tranquil surroundings of the back garden of his house in Bloomsbury.
There is an admission charge to the museum itself, but the cafe - which offers an array of sandwiches, soups cakes and teas and coffees - can be visited by anybody and all you have to pay for is that which you consume!
It is a lovely walled garden in which you can sit and relax whilst, at the same time, enjoying various fixtures from Dickens other London houses that have, sadly, not survived the march of time and progress.
Of course, if you're going to be visiting the house anyway it would be a pity not to look around and, to that end, they are, very kindly, offering a £2 discount on the adult rate of £8 for readers of my list. So, you'll be able to get in for just £6 by telling the people in the shop that you're with Richard Jones (I know you won't actually be with me, but I'll be there in spirit!). Please note that the discount does not apply to the already discounted senior citizen rate of £6.
Phew! There were a lot of plot twists in that one!
GET BACK TO ABBEY ROAD
WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FAB FOUR
The Abbey Road Crossing, London, NW8 9AY
Nearest Underground Station St John's Wood
Now, I know this won't be everybody's cup of tea, but, if you're even mildly interested in the antics of John, Paul, George and Ringo, it's a great experience to take the Long and Winding Road to St John's Wood, to join the constant stream of Beatles fans from all over the World to whom this nondescript pedestrian crossing in North London is a place of pilgrimage.
Don't believe me about the constant stream of fans? Just click on the above link and watch the live stream from a CCTV camera which is focused on the crossing 24/7.
Better still, get yourself a ticket to ride, make your way to St John's Wood Underground Station, and prepare to wait your turn to recreate the most iconic album cover in pop history.
It really is great fun, although, for some reason, the cab, bus and truck drivers don't seem to agree.
NOD OFF IN ROYAL LONDON
ENJOY A LITTLE SLEEP TALKING
The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG
Thursday, 22nd October 2015 at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm).
They are operating a first come first in policy.
You snooze, you lose.
Nearest Underground Stations Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or St James's Park
Did you know that the majority of us will spend a third of our lives asleep? I must have been asleep when we covered that fact at school, so it did come as something of a revelation.
The question is why do we do so and what effect does it have on our creativity? I know, I know, that was two questions - but I also dozed off in basic arythmatic too, not to mention when they were teaching us how to spell arithmetic!
Anyway, be that as it may, I was jolted wide awake by the news that the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature will become bedfellows for this panel discussion that will address the aforementioned questions, and a few others besides, on the enigmatic subject of sleep.
So, be sure to set the alarm to ensure you arrive nice and early to get a good seat.
EVENSONG AT THE CATHEDRAL
BE ENCHANTED BY THE MUSIC
St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD
Monday to Saturday 5pm to 5.45pm and Sunday 3.15p to 4pm
Nearest Underground Stations Mansion House or St Paul's
This is one of those events in London that takes place on a daily basis and which is truly enchanting, no matter when you choose to attend.
Choral Evensong takes place in the stalls of the quire, towards the high altar, a space which allows the music to resonate perfectly and foster a sense of calm. As there are usually more people than can be accommodated in the quire, some also sit in the seats under the dome.
No matter where you are seated, however, simply allow yourself to sit back and relax, and take in the splendour of your surroundings as the heavenly, ethereal, music wafts around you. Amen.
THE NAME'S BOND
THE SPECTRE OF BYGONE BONDS
Everyman Canary Wharf, Lower Mall, 2 Crossrail Place, London, E14 5AR
Daily 10am till 11pm. Ends November 30th 2015
Nearest Underground Station Canary Wharf
In case you hadn't heard there's a new James Bond film coming out and, to celebrate, Everyman Cinema has partnered with the Getty Images Gallery to put together an exclusive and exciting James Bond photography exhibition.
The Name's Bond features a collection of "never before seen film stills that will give fans a behind the scenes peek at life on set of the world-renowned film series."
Displayed in Crossrail Place and at the cinema, the collection of photographs offers movie goers a pre-film experience to remember before they settle down for the latest installment. Obviously you will have to pay to see the film since, apparently, their car hire bill is still outstanding!
I hope you find the October list useful and that you get to enjoy at least some of the things that I have suggested.
If you require further directions to any of the places suggested could you ask it via the Facebook page as that then enables me to answer quickly and, should it be something that everybody wants to know, it becomes useful to everyone.
All the best. Richard