Secret London Village Of Primrose Hill

Camden Guides Newsletter of Walks and Events – September 2023

Welcome to the first newsletter of walks and events from Camden Guides. Our aim is for a newsletter on the first Saturday of each month, with details of some of the fascinating walks available from Camden Guides, but first, a London wide event in which Camden Guides are participating.

Saturday the 7th of October is Local London Guiding Day where six of London’s guiding associations run free walks in their local areas:

The contribution to the day from Camden Guides is:

From Steam Engines to Search Engines

Meeting point: In front of King’s Cross railway station, under the clock, facing Euston Road, N1 9AL.

Explore and contrast the rich history and the new developments in this diverse zone. Learn about the 19th century engineers, architects and builders who shaped the area. Hear the stories behind the Victorian bricks and find out about new innovations in travel, art, commerce and recreation within today’s high-tech buildings.

Details of all the walks can be found on the Local London Guiding Day website at this link.

Walks in the coming months across the Borough of Camden:

Radical Women of the West End

Discover the radical women of Fitzrovia from Mary Wollstonecraft, author of “A Vindication of the Rights of woman’  to activist and writer Una Marson, the first Black broadcaster at the BBC.  French anarchist Louise Michel established an International school here. Suffragists Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Lily Montagu pioneered community work with young women working in the rag trade; Marie Stopes opened the first birth control clinic and the Rossetti children published a journal endorsed by Kropotkin with contributions by George Bernard Shaw and Zola.

The walk takes place on Sunday the 24th of September and can be booked at this link.

The Beggar’s Opera – Lives of the Poor in Seven Dials

This walk through the central neighbourhood of St Giles uncovers a history of Londoners who weren’t famous, well-educated or well-heeled. You’ll see where poorer folks lived and worked, and hear how the middle classes considered them sub-human and dangerous, calling them vagrants, ragamuffins and street arabs living in rookeries, Thieves’ Kitchens and Little Sodom. You’ll hear how they first spied on the poor and then went ‘slumming’ in their neighbourhoods, gawking at dosshouses where the poor could spend the night hanging over a rope or lying in a coffin. John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, which opened in 1728 at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, made fun of the idea that the upper classes were more moral and human than the poor. You’ll see buildings set up to ‘rescue’ the poor from their misery – but were they always so miserable? This tour looks at middle-class prejudices and attempts to improve things that often punished the objects of their charity.

The walk take place on  Sunday the 15th of October 2023 and can be booked at this link.

The Secret London Village of Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is now one of London’s most desirable areas and home to Paddington Bear, but it was born with the noisy gritty railway. The neighbourhood shows industrial solutions by brilliant Victorian engineers and the hard labour of rough tough navvies who built them. Those workers were the first to live here, and a few of their houses remain. On this walk you’ll see railway-industry landmarks like the Eastern Portal of a great railway tunnel, as well as the pastel-painted streets and artists’ studios that came later, in one of which lives Paddington Bear. Primrose Hill cherishes its high street largely free of chain shops, and is proud of its mixed community. The walk follows a beautiful stretch of the Regent’s Canal, and from the top of the famous hill itself you have great views over London.

The walk takes place on Sunday the 5th of November 2023 and can be booked at this link.

We hope there is something of interest from the above walks, and those during Local London Guiding Day, and our next newsletter will be on the first Saturday in October.

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