HRH (His Rolling Hulk)

Many people who lie in our cemeteries would have known, even visited, one of London’s best known animals. When I was about 7 or 8 I visited London Zoo for the first time. This was back when elephants and rhinos were still being kept in central London, which, considering it was the mid-1990’s, is bewildering. […]

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William Mellish & the Would-Be-Killer Whaler

Not everyone’s lives are a rollercoaster of excitement or celebrity. Such was that of William Mellish Esq., a respected ship and commercial property owner who made his fortune providing the British navy and other vessels with fresh meat, suet and other supplies.   On a freezing February afternoon in 1833, Mellish stopped in at Spread Eagle Court to do a spot of banking. Unbeknownst to him, a shadowy figure lurked in the entrance […]

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Our Top 9 Instagram Posts 2017

As 2017 makes way for 2018, I thought I’d highlight the nine most liked photos from our Instagram account – a lovely mix of photos and history: what’s your favourite? 9. The Biggest Bonsai Tree Did you know the man who created the area called ‘King’s Cross’ in London also created the world’s biggest Bonsai […]

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Mr Marie Lloyd

In last week’s post you lucky readers were treated to a cockney singalong about an exhibition of strength that cemented the reputation of the first proper celebrity bodybuilder. This week we take a look at a man who sung the song and, for decades, has been nothing more than an aside compared to his far […]

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The Strongest Man on Earth

An old song drifts through Tower Hamlets Cemetery in October 2017. History is full of old tunes and for our Halloween tour, myself and Pauly Kendrick sang Alec Hurley’s hit ‘The Strongest Man on Earth’ at his graveside. You know the song, don’t you? It was the song everyone was humming in November 1889. But why […]

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The ‘Crappest’ Actor

Beneath a plain stone in Kensal Green Cemetery lies the most remarkable actor to tread the boards of any stage. Orator, costume designer, eccentric – yet his grave is decidedly plain. Imagine you’ve just spent a decent amount of money to see (actor) in (show). You sit down with your Häagen-Dazs ice cream and programme; put […]

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