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Occasional items in blank verse.





Brenda Jones Tribute 2 weeks agoA tribute by Rick Jones to his mother delivered at the funeral of the latter on Thursday 9 June 2022.
The Friday Club3 weeks agoAn account of the members of the Friday Club or the Sireniacal Gentlemen who met on the first Friday of the month at the Mermaid Tavern, Friday St ...
Charles Bernard Mortlock8 weeks agoThe vicar of St Vedast-alias-Foster was also President of the Critics Circle in 1947
Maria Reiche and the Nazca Lines 15 weeks agoOn a visit to Peru, I visit the scientist who spent her life uncovering and charting the ancient Nazca Lines carved into the desert floor....
Parliament Square33 weeks agoDescription of Parliament Square a thousand years ago in iambic pentameneter for a history app
Percy Pott35 weeks agoThe church of St Mary Aldermary has a memorial to the Dr Percy Pott
The Guild Lecture36 weeks agoI host the Guild lecture and introduce the speaker Mr London
Magnus Martyr37 weeks agoThe story of Magnus Martyr, last stop on the TS Eliot The Waste Land Centenary Tour.
The work of Andre Fougeron39 weeks agoThe French communist painter Andre Fougeron painted figuratively throughout his life and accused the abstract painters of escapism
St George's AGM39 weeks agoIt's the Annual General Meeting of St George's German Lutheran Church in Whitechapel, East London. As Events Organiser, this is my report...
Joseph Beuys Centenary40 weeks agoThe centenary of the German artist and father of environmentalism is celebrated prominently at Tate Modern
Rodin at the Tate43 weeks agoBrief reflection on the Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) exhibition at Tate Modern, August 2021.
St Antholin Leaves the City45 weeks agoThe number of churches in the City of London has reduced over time. Some disappear, others move elsewhere...
And Andriessen Set Plato to Music48 weeks agothe Dutch minimalist composer Louis Andriessen has died. His masterpiece was De Staat, a setting of Plato's The Republic
The Royal Fusiliers49 weeks agoThe Royal Fusiliers have had their HQ at the Tower of London since 1685
The Waste Land Centenary 50 weeks agoThe background to the poem....
The Iron Lady Tells a Few Jokes51 weeks agoStop 3 on the Iron Lady Tour through Chelsea stops at Wellington Square, SW3....
The Peasants' Revolt 54 weeks agoIt is mid June 1381. Farm labourers in Essex and Kent are violently demonstrating against the shilling poll tax.....
The Origins of Football55 weeks agoButchers once would pump air into a bladder and the inflated organ became the sign of a butcher's shop
William Shakespeare plays Cupid55 weeks agoShakespeare and John Harvard's mother were friends from Stratford. The question is, did he introduce her to his Southwark butcher whom she married?
Mary Arden Wore the Tights56 weeks agoWilliam Shakespeare's mother called the shots where the family history was concerned...
The Nature of Poetry57 weeks agoRJ has been asked to give a talk on TS Eliot and Philip Larkin and their relationship with London at the end of June....
How Big Ben Got His Name 58 weeks agoThe stories behind the naming of the world's most famous bell
Nell Gwyn in Drury Lane59 weeks agoDrury Lane is an ancient highway that once connected directly with Fleet Street
Dowland and the Lute59 weeks agoan excerpt from A Short History of English Music
The Villages of East Anglia 60 weeks agoShakespeare's clown Will Kemp continues his progress across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk towards Norwich.
Arrest on the A13460 weeks agoIn a modern re-enacment of the Nine Daies VVonder, Will Kemp, Shakespeare's clown, is apprehended on a trunk road in East Anglia
Marlowe The Atheism Lecture61 weeks agoAn extract from Shakespeare and the Marlowe Conspiracy delivered on Monday 26 April 2021
The Birth of Piazzolla61 weeks agoThe Argentinian new tango composer Astor Piazzolla was born a hundred years ago.
Our Guest Speaker Tonight62 weeks agoThe April St George's Talk on the Lord Mayoralty of London was given by Mr Julian Romain a City guide of longstanding.
Elizabeth Newcomen62 weeks agodescription of teh plaque in Southwark Cathedral
The Beginning of Anatomy63 weeks agoHippocrates 400BC and Galen 200AD and how they approached cutting up flesh
The Yeomen Warders 64 weeks agoThe Yeomen Warders are the Beefeaters at the Tower of London
Young Vic 65 weeks agoTheatre for youth and theatre in the round were new ideas to London in the 1970s and they combined in the Young Vic to create a potent entertainment
Young's & Co The Brewer65 weeks agoYoung's Beer remains the tipple of most South Londoners despite the removal of the brewery...
The Y.M.C.A.65 weeks agoThe Y.M.C.A. was founded by Sir George Williams who was born 200 years ago...
York House Watergate65 weeks agoThe York Watergate by Embankment tube was built in 1626 when the sound of the lute built of yew wood was in the air...
The Totteridge Yew66 weeks agoGuide London (it's a website) asked me to commentate on six things beginning with Y in the capital. Here's the first - the 2000-year-old Yew Tree ...
Statues of Welsh Women67 weeks agoAfter years of neglect, recognition is finally being paid to five Welsh women
Lousy Acoustic - Great Music!67 weeks agoA description of the Kensington O as part of my London Concert Halls broadcast for the Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG)
A Fellow Guide's Cotswold Tour68 weeks agoSean Callery gave a talk on 'Offbeat Cotswold' talk which is here summarised
First Artificial Insemination68 weeks agoThe Scottish anatomist John Hunter achieved the first artificial insemination in 1790. His success was recorded in the parliamentary record, Hansa ...
The Secret of Life69 weeks agoan extract from the virtual medical tour All Around the University - Firsts and Inventions in the History of Medicine
In Willesden Churchyard69 weeks agoThis is an extract from a virtual tour conducted on St David's Day 2021.
Mrs Thatcher's Pantry70 weeks agoMargaret Thatcher shows the contents of her larder to the press.
The Birth of Joonas Kokkonen70 weeks agoThe arctic beauty of a Finnish centenarian's music reveals itself
Frank Pattison Speaks71 weeks agoMy old German teacher gives a lecture in the series of St George's Talks of which I am host.
The Death of Stravinsky71 weeks agoThe Russian composer Igor Stravinsky died fifty years ago...
Carbon Copy71 weeks agoThe London School of Economics (LSE) hosts a symposium on the green economy
Did Maggie Thatcher Serve?73 weeks agoIt's said that the former PM worked as a waitress. Not true.
The Death of James Paisible73 weeks agoThe French flautist Jacques Paisible (1656-1721) died in London 300 years ago. He is one of several musicians whose centenaries are celebrated thi ...
Monopoly and the Single Tax Movement74 weeks agoMonopoly's inventor, Lizzie Magie, was an advocate for the Single Tax Movement despite her tendency to hit you with both Income Tax AND Super Tax ...
Burns Night74 weeks agoThe 25th January is the anniversary of the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1759.
A walk to Blythe Hill76 weeks agoThere's always something new to discover in London
Virtual Quack Tour Debut76 weeks agoNew tour begins following the Quack Doctor Lionel Lockyer (1600-1672) as he makes his rounds delivering his celebrated Sunlight Pill to addresses ...
The Churchill Conference90 weeks ago"Who's in charge of the clattering train" is a poem which Churchill knew well enough to quote from. He grabbed the wheel and took charge when the ...
Centenary of the Imperial War Museum in London120 weeks agoThe year 2020 marks the centenary of London’s Imperial War Museum, a site exploring the history of conflict from the First World War through the ...