WELCOME TO THE SEPTEMBER 2016 LIST
Welcome to my list of recommendations of things that you can do in London during the coming weeks and months.
I'm trying a slightly different tack this month, since the list is rather late in the day - or month. So, almost all the suggestions this month are for October, and what a varied bunch they are!
You can try all sorts of things from, how to be an undercover agent, to visiting a grand 18th century merchant's house, to watching Tower Bridge raise.
And, if those three don't tempt you out onto the streets of London, then how about a museum dedicated to dentistry, and after hours visit to the wonderful Bank of England Museum, or a free visit to the equally wonderful Foundling Museum?
Hopefully, there's something to suit everybody.
THIS MONTH'S WALKS
I'll be doing my Hampstead Walk again on Sunday 16th October at 11.45am.This is a lovely walk and it explores a truly magical enclave Click here for full details..
The Secret London Tour will make a return on Thursday 29th September 2016 and Sunday 9th October 2016; and the Charles Dickens in Southwark Tour will be taking place on Sunday 9th of October at 11am. Click here for full details.
The Inns of Court Walk is going strong and, I have to say, I'm really enjoying introducing people to this fascinating and picturesque quarter. Click here for full details
The ghost walk will be taking place all over the Halloween Weekend, with the big one (my 34th!) heading into the London night on Monday 31st October 2016. Click here for full details.
REGULAR FACEBOOK UPDATES
So, all in all, there are some great locations to get out and about to in London and, as per usual, they're all free, so enjoy.
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 September list of ten things to do in London.
10 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON SEPTEMBER 2016
SPY INSIDE THE MIND OF A SPY
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SPYING
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
DMS Watson Building
Thursday, 6th Oct 2016 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
FREE. But booking is essential.
The Nearest Underground Station is Euston Square
Please don't tell anyone about this, it's top secret and our agents could be endangered.
But, then again, if you must, then why not get along to what promises to be a seriously intriguing evening.
How do you go undercover in high-risk situations? What is the psychology behind the ability to be a spy? What did this mean for archaeologists recruited for or involved in espionage in the Middle East during WWI? Find the answers to these questions and more - just remember to keep them under your hat and don't tell anyone!
Hurry. This listing will self-destruct in 5 seconds!
STEP INSIDE A HOUSE WITH A DIFFERENCE
RAINHAM HALL ONE YEAR ON
Sunday, 9th October 2016 11am to 3pm
Getting there. London Underground Eastbound District Line services towards Upminster can be used for travel, but only the C2C rail service connects directly to Rainham station.
When did you last redecorate?
I only ask because, I recently did and I popped down to Homebase and maybe spent £80 to £90 on a few tins of paint and a tube of polyfilla.
The best bit was, I added a few nectar points to my card. Job done, house spruce, nectar treat that bit closer.
And then I read that Rainham Hall is open following a £2.5 million conservation project, and my heart sank. Imagine the nectar points you'd have got when you took that lot to the till!
So, having maxed out the credit card, and stashed up the nectar points, everyone can now enjoy the finished article - Rainham Hall, that is, not my living room.
What can you expect? Well here's what the website says:-
"This charming house is one of the country's finest examples of an early 18th century merchant's home. It is just two minutes' walk from Rainham Station, in the heart of the village.
With engaging installations and a year-round programme of exhibitions and events, there is something for all ages. Rainham Hall has been home to a richly diverse cast of characters. We've drawn inspiration from their lives to tell some great stories, starting with Captain John Harle, who built the Hall.
The hall is nestled in the heart of Rainham village on the far eastern fringes of London. Surrounded by a contrasting landscape of big skies, wild marshland and thriving industry, Rainham Hall has been quietly biding its time. Now, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Veolia North Thames Trust, Biffa Award and other generous supporters, we have restored and opened up this hidden piece of London's history."
FIND YOUR WAY TO THE FOUNDLING MUSEUM
A FESTIVAL TREAT
The Foundling Museum
40 Brunswick Square
Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October 2016 11am to 5pm
The Nearest Underground Station is Russell Square
The Foundling Hospital was established in 1739 by the philanthropist Thomas Coram to care for babies at risk of abandonment.
Instrumental in helping Coram realise his vision were the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. Their creative generosity set the template for the ways in which the arts can support philanthropy.
The Foundling Museum, which now occupies the original building, is one of London's hidden gems and a visit is a truly inspirational and rewarding experience.
Normally, there is an admission charge but, as part of the Bloomsbury Festival, they are offering free entry on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of October 2016.
What a great opportunity!
VISIT THE OLD LADY AFTER HOURS
A SPECIAL OPENING
The Bank of England Museum
The entrance to the museum is in Bartholomew Lane
Friday 28th October 2016 5.30pm to 9pm
The Nearest Underground Station is Bank (naturally!)
The Bank of England Museum will be opening its doors to visitors for this rare opportunity for an evening visit, as part of the nationwide Museums at Night campaign.
As well as all the usual displays, there will be presentations on banknotes in the museum. Bank staff will also be on hand to answer questions about gold and the Museum's team will be conducting a variety of gallery talks.
WATCH TOWER BRIDGE RAISE
MAGIC ON THAMES!
Various dates, see the website for details.
The Nearest Underground Station is Tower Hill
The experience of watching Tower Bridge raise is a truly magical experience and, having witnessed it numerous times, I am still enthralled by it.
The magic - unless of course you're in a vehicle that gets stuck in the traffic - of watching Tower Bridge being raised is a magical and enthralling experience and, if you've never witnessed it, it's time to right that wrong immediately!
One of the best locations to watch it from is the causeway on the river side of The Tower of London, and you can snap a great selfie with the Bridge in the background.
ADMIRE A HENRY MOORE ALTAR
A GEM OF A CHURCH
St Stephen's Walbrook
Normally open Monday to Friday from 10am till 4pm
FREE, but a donation is requested
The Nearest Underground Stations are Bank, Cannon Street, or Mansion House
St Stephen's Walbrook is a lovely church, which often gets described as Sir Christopher Wren's "dress-rehearsal" for St Paul's Cathedral.
This is debatable, as St Stephen's is an architectural masterpiece in its own right and its interior is truly exquisite.
The church has a great deal to offer visitors.
In 1953 the then vicar, Chad Varah, established the Samaritans at the Church and the original phone is still on display inside.
Chad also managed to persuade Henry Moore to create the church's centrally placed altar, a true focal point, both physically and spiritually, which was made from travertine marble cut from the same quarry that provided the marble for Michelangelo's work.
With all this to reward a visit, you can be sure that when you step inside this little gem of a church you will find plenty to occupy your curiosity.
EXPERIENCE A HALLOWEEN SCARE
AN EVENING WITH KEN CLARKE MP
Skeel Lecture Theatre
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
Monday 31st October 2016, 6.30pm to 8pm
FREE, but registration required.
The Nearest Underground Station is Stepney Green
Oh all right, perhaps I'm being a little unfair to Ken Clarke with the above headline, I Just couldn't resist it!
The event does look intriguing and the venue itself is worth it, if for no other reason than to see the facade of the former People's Palace, which is now part of the university.
So, what can attendees expect? Here's what the website says.
"The Mile End Institute's new series of events brings senior figures from across the political spectrum to Queen Mary University of London for an in-depth exploration of their politics.
In conversation with Professor Philip Cowley of QMUL's School of Politics and International Relations, we will ask what motivates our political leaders, how they come to make difficult decisions, and what it takes to win.
Former chancellor Ken Clarke has called the vote for Brexit a "disaster" and the referendum campaign "nasty".
We'll be asking the veteran Europhile Conservative why the Remain campaign failed, what he thinks supporters of EU membership should do next, and how the Conservative Party will develop under the leadership of - in his words - "a bloody difficult woman".
The event will be followed by a drinks reception to which all are welcome."
ENJOY A VIEW OF NATURE
A LETTER IN MIND
Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse Street, South Bank
6 October 2016 to 9 October 2016, 11am to 6pm
The Nearest Underground Stations are Southwark or Waterloo
"A Letter in Mind - A View on Nature" invited artists to take inspiration from their travels, observations and letters exploring their personal relationship with the natural world and our environment.
From flora and fauna, animal or mineral, the laws of physics and advances in astronomy to the abstraction found in natural symmetry and fractal patterning.
The exhibition comprises over 230 envelope artworks. These include beautiful, moving and thought-provoking pieces from the international art world (from the Bahamas, Uganda and Australia). A host of well-known artists have donated new works, including: Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition exhibitor Tom Hammick; award-winning illustrators Polly Dunbar, Tim Hopgood and Bethan Woollvin; BP Portrait Prize finalist Lewis Chamberlain; Columbia Threadneedle Prize finalist Yuki Aruga; David Mach RA; Daniel Chatto and Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Natasha Kidd and Gill Rocca; artist and magazine editor Harry Pye; artistic director of the Royal Drawing School and BP Portrait Award winner Catherine Goodman; make-up guru Barbara Daly; actors Sophie Thompson and Kevin Eldon; and architects Amin Taha, Sadie Morgan and Andrew Grant.
As well as professional artists, the exhibition showcases contributions from musicians, museum designers, a biologist and a stamp designer. Many of the artworks have been created by artists who have themselves been patients or whose family has been affected by the work of The National Hospital.
The breadth of medium and interpretation of the theme "A View on Nature" has again produced an extraordinary range of engaging work.
All the artworks use a simple envelope as a starting point.
Every artwork will be identically priced at £85 and sold anonymously at the exhibition in aid of The National Brain Appeal. The artist's name and biography will be revealed at the end of the exhibition.
ENJOY A MEDIATHEQUE EXPERIENCE
TURN UP AND TURN ON
BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT
Tuesday to Saturday Noon till 8pm. Sunday 12.30pm to 8pm
The Nearest Underground Stations are Waterloo and Embankment
Fancy attending the 1908 London Olympic Games (well 12 minutes of them at least)? Want to take a leisurely amble through Peckham in 1913? Can I tempt you with a visit to the "Club For Fighting Men" in 1916?
Well, you can enjoy all these experiences, and numerous others as well, at the BFI South Bank's Mediatheque.
An extensive range of film and television archives is available for viewing and you can even browse the catalogue before you set out.
Then, to view your selected footage, is all you are required to do is turn up, check in, plonk yourself into a viewing station and then turn on and - away you go.
THE TOOTH IS OUT THERE
EXTRACT SOME ENJOYMENT
64 Wimpole Street
Open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1pm-4pm
FREE, but a donation is requested
The Nearest Underground Stations are Oxford Circus and Baker Street
The British Dental Association Museum began in 1919 when Lilian Lindsay, the first female to qualify as a dentist in the UK, donated several old dental instruments to the BDA.
She had been storing them in a box under her bed and, when the tooth fairies failed to leave any money for them, she decided to hand them over to form the basis of this fascinating exhibition.
Today she'd have to get a bigger bed, as the collection extends to some 30,000 items.
It's a fascainting place, and one of those little gems that are to be found all over London - if you know where to look.
Now, say "ahhh." NO, not "AAAAGGGHHHHHHHH!"
I hope you find the September 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