Author Archives: David Wilcox

Pearly Kings and Queens and the Sheep Drive show City’s authentic culture and heritage

A week after the City Corporation’s £1.3 million Bartholomew Fair ended, two more modest events showed how traditional activities can attract crowds despite relatively little publicity. Yesterday I went to the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival in Guildhall Yard, while at Southwark Bridge the annual Sheep Drive celebrated the ancient privilege of Freemen of read more »

Sheep Drive and Livery Fair

Yesterday there were two traditional events in the City of London – the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival and the Sheep Drive and Livery Fair. I’ve written about the Pearlies here, but didn’t get to the Sheep Drive. Fortunately there’s quite a lot on social media, and I’ve pulled together some content to demonstrate read more »

Barbican Library plans innovative community information hub

New plans for a community hub in the Barbican Library include ways for residents to share information more effectively, engage with the Corporation’s Destination City programme, and try out enhanced digital technologies. The hub is part of a general Refresh for the library. The hub ideas go back to some work I did last year read more »

Site for a new children’s playground in the City?

The City Corporation is in the final stages of consultation on a new square near St Paul’s Cathedral – and councillor John Edwards is asking people to support ideas for a children’s playground. The new square – which I wrote about earlier – will be in front of the Panorama St Pauls development, due to read more »

After the Fair is over

Over on the Cloth Fair site I’ve reported on my research into earlier re-staging of Bartholomew Fair, starting with the big one organised by Barts Hospital in 1923. Senior medics yielded to a session in the stocks. I’ve asked for more info from anyone involved in more recent events, including 1973, 2000 and 2010. Meanwhile, read more »

A website for Cloth Fair, Bartholomew Fair and The City Courant

A new website tells the story of how a Fair started in 1133 to support Barts church and hospital, but closed in 1855, was relaunched this week both locally and City-wide. The site features articles from a souvenir edition of The City Courant. As I’ve already written, the City Corporation picked up Councillor Matthew read more »

Destination City: good for visitors … what about residents too?

The Culture, Heritage and Libraries committee held a wide-ranging discussion today following a presentation about the vision for Destination City, which I wrote about earlier. Here’s some of the issues, and a suggestion on where best to explore the pros and cons of the programme for residents. Previous post about Destination City vision Presentation slides read more »

£60,000 community fund launched for groups in City’s Culture Mile

Grants of up to £5000 are available to community groups, charities and social enterprises in the north west of the City of London. The Culture Mile Business Improvement District has launched the Community Fund through ActionFunder, with a commitment of £60,000. “Through this community fund, we seek to support a breadth of local projects that read more »

Meet me on the Green – an inspiring exhibition

Today Islington Museum launched an engaging exhibition about 900 years of Clerkenwell history, focussed on the Green. There’s erudite panels including a timeline of protest and demonstration from 1381 … … reference to the excellent Marx Memorial Library… … the role of Clerkenwell in providing water to the City … … and entertainment … The read more »

Ten Ages of London – a great Square Mile wander from Londonist

The first edition of the Londonist: Time Machine newsletter provides a brilliant example of the delights of wandering about the City of London, which I wrote about yesterday. Matt Brown offers The Ten Ages of London in One Short Walk starting with Prehistoric London on the banks of the Thames, and walking through Roman, Anglo-Saxon, read more »