Browsing Archive: May, 2021

Where Are The Cabbie Shelters?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, In : Podcast 

There are currently only 13 cabmen's shelters in existence, 12 of them are still in operation.

If you don't know what cabbie shelters are, they are the small green cricket-pavillion-style sheds dotted around London.


I have put together a map for you to see their location which you can share to your phone and use to find them for yourself. All of these remaining shelters are now Grade II.


It's perhaps the Embankment Place cabbie shelter many of you may have seen before. It's on the corner of ...


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Why Are Black Cabs Called Hackney Cabs?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Monday, May 24, 2021, In : Podcast 

The name cab derives from the French, cabriolet, the popular style of carriage in the early 19th century two-wheeled French-style cabriolets which had an exposed seat on the top. They were known for their speed and comfort and eventually replaced the heavier and more cumbersome hackney carriages for the rest of the century. By the 1830s, the word “cab” entered the Londoner’s vocabulary.


But where does the word Hackney come from? Is it related to the area of Hackney?

The short answer is no...


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Where Was London's First Taxi Rank?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, May 21, 2021, In : Podcast 

According to the London Vintage Taxi Association, the first taxicab stand was formed in 1634 outside the Maypole in the Strand, basically between where Somerset House and Mary le Strand Church is nowadays.


Captain John Baily, a veteran of one of Sir Walter Raleigh's expeditions, managed a taxi rank of four horse-drawn carriages, available for hire from the Strand. Baily's cab men wore a distinctive livery, and charged customers a fixed rate, depending on distance. The idea caught on and by the...


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Ice cream in the 1830s

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, In : Regency 

Ice cream has been around for over 200 years but our taste buds have changed quite a bit. Paul Couchman, The Regency Chef, tells us about popular ice cream flavours in 1830s Britain.


Paul Couchman: Ice cream thing was massive trend and I love hearing stories about the bizarre flavours they had. One of my favourites of Hannah Glasse recipes where its absolute art.


I think somebody tried to bring back a sort of Parmesan ice cream. Have you had parmesan ice cream before?


Hazel Baker: I haven’t. I...


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The Fashion for French Chefs

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, In : Regency 

Having a French chef was all the range in Regency Britain. Paul Couchman, The Regency Chef, tells us about the practicalities of having servants in the 1830s.


Paul Couchman: That really began in the 1700s. If you were anyone you'd have a French chef. And of course the most famous French has come in and he works for, I think, three years for the Prince Regent at the Brighton pavilion and make amazing menus. But of course, what the Royals do everyone else wants to copy.


And so French chefs were e...


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1830s Kitchen

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Monday, May 17, 2021, In : Regency 

If people were transported back to a kitchen from the 1830s, what would be the most obvious differences? Paul Couchman, The Regency Chef, has the answer.


Paul Couchman: If we could all go back in time If you went through the kitchen door, I imagine you'd be hit by the heat. Because what you've got is a big old range that used to use and a big sort of cast iron heated box, really, and they'd glow and they'd burn Argas so it would have been absolute boiling hot. So that's the first thing you not...


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The Regency Cook

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, May 14, 2021, In : Regency 

Our latest podcast episode is about Regency food, flavours and fashions with guest Paul Couchman, The Regency Cook.


I asked Paul to tell us a little bit about his backstory and how he became The Regency Cook.

This is what he had to say:


Paul: I started off as a volunteer in something in a lovely project called The Regency Townhouse, it’s a restoration of a very beautiful building. And in that building was this kitchen and I helped to restore the kitchen because the kitchen had to be cooked in ...


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Festival of Britain and its Art Legacy

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, May 7, 2021, In : 20th century 

The Festival of Britain was one of the first occasions where many women artists and designers had opportunities to take part. The famous sculptor Barbara Hepworth received two important public commissions; Turning Forms which was a motorised abstract piece, made of reinforced concrete, painted white and 84 inches (just over 2m) in height was commissioned by the Festival of Britain authorities. In 1952 it was moved to Marlborough Science Academy, in St Albans and in October 2020 was moved to a...


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What is left of the Festival Britain in London?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, May 7, 2021, In : 20th century 

Much of what was built for the Festival of Britain was temporary and after the event was dismantled. In both Wales and Scotland, little remains. In London some remarkable examples have survived, which is what I will be sharing with you today...


The Southbank

One could argue that the greatest legacy of the Festival of Britain is the stretch of former industrial riverside near Waterloo we call the South Bank. Since then it has grown to embrace the London Eye, the BFI and the Tate Modern (the most...


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What was the Festival of Britain?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, May 7, 2021, In : 20th century 

3rd May 1951, King George VI declared The Festival Britain open with venues in London and across the country.


It was a national exhibition designed with the aim of promoting a feeling of recovery from both world wars. It was a large-scale demonstration of Britain’s contribution to civilisation; past, present and future in the arts, science and technology, industrial design and the viability of democracy.


Projecting and celebrating a sense of national identity was closely linked to Memory, rem...


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Festival of Britain 1951

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, May 7, 2021, In : 20th century 

As the centenary of the Great Exhibition approached, politicians had begun to ask whether a celebration in the same vein might operate as a tonic to lift the nation’s spirits.


1951 Britain was very different from the context in which the Great Exhibition took place. Britain had lost its sense of purpose and place in the world. The Second World War had sounded the death knell for the days of the Empire, which had been in a phase of steep decline since 1918.


Where the Great Exhibition had been ...


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