With the summer season firmly in sight it’s time to announce this year’s tour schedule!
We kick off this year’s season with the celebration of the 175th birthday of Abney Park Cemetery. An immaculate arboretum in its day, nature has claimed back the once tidy flowerbeds and hidden the people buried here…UNTIL NOW. Come and see Christopher Newman Hall, a rector who befriended Abraham Lincoln and had a strong influence of the abolition of slavery in the States: the Lion of Stoke Newington, who its said that if you rub his paw brings you good luck; or how about the first celebrity to endorse a product, the incomparable Champagne Charlie himself, George Leybourne? Welcoming Highgate Cemetery guide Sam Perrin to the Club membership, she’ll be running the tour alongside me. Tickets are £8, pre-book here.
Next up! The classical magnificence of BROMPTON CEMETERY, which has recently joined Twitter. A cemetery which was plagued with financial difficulties in its early years, it later became the last resting place of arguably the second greatest Victorian engineer after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the woman who helped women gain the vote (what would she have made of the likes of Farage, Cameron and Miliband?) and an American Indian who was recently taken back home by his people after a hundred years away from his homeland. Multiple dates, tickets are £8, pre-book here.
Over in old East London, down a quiet street off the bustling Mile End Road, a modest brick wall hides the only woodland to be found in Zone 2…but a whole lot more. Beneath the trees and hidden in the undergrowth are the old characters of the East End, from White Hat Willy, the man responsible for the now marooned/hovercraft impersonating Cutty Sark, Charlie Brown (not that one) the uncrowned King of Limehouse, and the invisible Cemetery Chapel (who said the Victorians weren’t forward thinking in their technology). These characters are now resting cheek by jowl with an important ecosystem which is providing to be a valuable lung to an incredibly busy Tower Hamlets. Multiple dates, tickets are £8, 25% of the proceeds going to the upkeep of the Cemetery. Prebook here
And there’s MORE! I’ll be giving a talk as part of the Digital Legacy Conference entitled ‘Cemeteries vs Social Media’. With the world getting ever smaller with improved communication and technological developments, we’re all leaving a digital footprint that will be left behind after we’re gone. Are these profiles replacing the traditional grave as a place of remembrance and pilgramage? Tickets are free but prebooking essential – click here for more information.
Tell your friends and spread the word – the dead are coming back and we’re leading the charge. Hear their lives and help us bring awareness to the lost Londoners who’ve gone before us!