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Newsletter November 2014

2nd October 2014 Southwark Nooks & Crannies - In the Footsteps of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens and a general potted history of the area, the walk, led by Andrew Davies summed up the 4 Ps ..... Pubs, Playhouses, Prisons and Prostitutes .......

For those of the 50 people on this trip, who weren't familiar with this part of London, the Southwark walk produced a constant source of surprises and wonder. 

Playhouses and Shakespeare :  we met at the New Globe Theatre, but were shortly led to the site of the original Globe Theatre, a short walk away.

Pubs and Prisons and Dickens. We walked through a labyrinth of lanes, wharfs and pubs, familiar to Dickens including  Little Dorrit's house, and on to the last surviving wall of the old Marshalsea Debtor's Prison where Dickens parents spent several years. 

Prostitutes, known in the Victorian period as "Winchester Geese" were prolific in  this area at the time, however the poor hapless women, ultimately vilified were buried in a small unconsecrated graveyard which, today, is under constant threat from building developers. The gate into the site is bedecked and festooned with ribbons and flowers and tributes to the sad "fallen women".  

We were constantly in the shadow of the Shard and wandered by contrast into the stunning interior of the Hop Exchange building, The magnificent Southwark Cathedral, Borough Market and  Guys Hospital Chapel off Borough High Street, along which Chaucer and his followers travelled. Andrew constantly drew our attention to the various buildings on both sides of the Thames pointing out the contrasting architecture from the Christopher Wren buildings and on through the different eras to the ultra modern buildings of Foster and Rogers that seem somehow to blend and merge in a wonderfully changing skyline.  

All in all a wonderful day.