on pavement grey

Where you can find the London addresses that were important to famous Irish people and of people who were important to Ireland.

Not your average clergyman’s daughter

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Photo By Henry Herschel Hay Cameron – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37933743

Alice Stopford Green, Historian and Nationalist (born Co. Meath 1847 – 1929). Lived at 30 Grosvenor Road SW1 where she helped plan the Howth gun-running.

She used her own money to partly pay for 1,500 rifles plus 45,000 rounds of ammunition. In 1914 these were brought across the North Sea in the yacht, Asgard, whose skillful crew included Erskine Childers. The arms and ammunition were landed at Howth Harbour on July 26th.  She was the daughter of a Church of Ireland clergyman and married to the Oxford historian J R Green.

Entry courtesy of research by Tony McDonnell. Discover the Irish Geography of London and walk in the steps of the greats of Irish history this Thursday 17 March and again on Sunday 20 March, both at 2 O’ clock from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Email Tony at, tonymcdonnellbbg@hotmail.com phone him on 07850184790 – or better still just turn up for this exciting tour.

The electron is an Offaly invention

File:GeorgeJohnstoneStoney(1826-1911),Undated(DateGuessedEarly1890s).jpgPhotograph courtesy Wikimedia Commons

George Johnstone STONEY, physicist, 1826 – 1911. Born Oakley Park between Clareen and Birr Co. Offaly, died at his home 30 Chepstow Crescent, Notting Hill W11. Of his many important discoveries, his coining of the word ‘electron’ had probably the widest application.

This St Patrick’s Day – Thursday March 17th and again on Sunday 20th March, Tony McDonnell, Blue Badge Tourist Guide will lead two of his famous Emerald City Tours.

Both tours start off from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral at 2:00. The tours take about two and a half hours and are an easy walk – break included. If you can’t find him on the steps, ring him at 07850 184790.

The tour brings Irish history alive like nothing else, listening to Tony is like living the history – take your first step into Irish history of London this month.

 

 

Making them come alive – this month

READ(1879) p2.655 DANIEL O'CONNELL.jpg   Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This St Patrick’s Day – Thursday March 17th – and on Sunday 20th March Blue Badge Tourist Guide Tony McDonnell will lead two Emerald City Tours.

The erudite and entertaining Tony can bring Irish history alive conjuring up characters as large as Wolfe Tone, Daniel O’ Connell and W.B. Yeats. Both tours will start at at 2 p.m., from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral they take about two hours (including a break) and are an easy walk – if you need more information  please phone Tony on 07850 184790.

The £10 charge is terrific value – and you can ask about the 1916 tour he is planning.

Take the first step and discover Irish history in London.

 

 

The coolest scientist

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William Thomson, Lord Kelvin physicist born Belfast 1824 died 1907. President of the Royal Society 1885 – 1890. Interred (near Isaac Newton) in Westminster Abbey.

Among a lifetime of discovery he correctly determined the value of absolute zero, zero degrees Kelvin or minus 273.15 degrees centigrade – the coldest possible temperature and theoretically impossible to reach.

Kitchener was a Kerryman

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Picture credit: Alfred Leete [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Horatio Herbert Kitchener (Lord Kitchener of Khartoum), secretary of State for War. Born Ballylongford Co. Kerry 1850 lost at sea 1916 when his ship, HMS Hampshire, hit a mine (the subject of conspiracy theories, one involving Irish Republicans).

All Souls’ Chapel in the North West of  St Paul’s Cathedral is dedicated to Lord Kitchener’s memory.  

File:Lord Kitchener's tomb, St Paul's Cathedral, London.JPGBy Stephencdickson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Blue-Badge Tour Guide, Tony McDonnell, brings all these topics to life in his Emerald City Tours of London, his number is 07850 184790.

 

A London walk this weekend

The erudite and entertaining Tony McDonnell will be leading his famous Camden walk, When the String Broke, literally exploring the Irish connection with Camden – which was as far as the poor migrant got from Euston before the string broke on the suitcase.

The walk starts from Camden tube station (Kentish Town side) at 10:30 this Sunday.  There is a fee but it’s great value for the two or more hours of education, entertainment and light exercise that Blue-Badge guide Tony offers. He will be happy to answer your questions, his number is 07850 184790.

Last Sunday, on the Emerald City Tour, Tony led a very convivial group from St Paul’s to Covent Garden. In about two and a half hours we walked in the footsteps of Oscar Wilde, GB Shaw, WB Yeats, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson and William Gladstone to name the proverbial few.

As Goldsmith might have said, “…and still they gazed and still the wonder grew that one small head should carry all it knew.”

Ireland’s largest emigrant takes centre stage

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Photo: Natural History Museum London by Denis Bourez (France) via WikiCommons Media – our thanks and appreciation.

London’s Natural History Museum announced recently that the skeleton of a blue whale will become their central exhibit in the Museum’s Hintze Hall from summer 2017. The whale was found injured in Wexford Harbour in 1891 and sold to the museum by William Armstrong. An example of the largest creature on Earth, she was 82ft long and weighed about 160 tonnes.

She replaces Dippy the diplodocus dinosaur – any suggestions for a name for the Irish blue whale?

Walk the Pavements Grey

The Emerald City Irish London walking tour: Sunday 12 July 2015.

The London pavements are coming alive! On the 325th anniversary of the Boyne take a stroll along Fleet Street, into the Temple and finish in Covent Garden to discover about the great names of Irish history and their lives in London. Parnell, Shaw, Wilde, Wolf, Yeats and many more. Irish history where it actually happened and where you might least expect it  – on the streets of London!
Start: 2:00pm from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral
Finish 4.30pm The Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Cost £10. Concessions £8.
Led by the brilliant and inimitable Tony McDonnell (London Blue Badge Guide) this is a terrific opportunity to walk these historic steps and discover some history that was never mentioned much at school.
Hope you can make it.
Jack
PS. The nest posting will be a fish of a different colour

The art of war and peace

Sir William ORPEN, painter born Stillorgan, Dublin 1878 died 1931, lived at 8 South Bolton Gardens, London SW5 (Studied art at the Metropolitan School and at the Slade School) an official war artist with an astonishing portfolio of powerful work.

His paintings and drawings say more than I can, and urge a visit to: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:William_Orpen

William Orpen, The signing of peace in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, 28 June 1919. 

Orpen, William (Sir) (RA) - The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28th June 1919 - Google Art Project.jpg

Ready to Start. Self-Portrait, 6 octobre 1917.Both pictures courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London via Wikimedia commons

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Humanitarian gun runner hanged for treason

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Photo http: National Library of Ireland http://www.nli.ie/en/flickr-commons.aspx via Wikimedia Commons

Sir Roger CASEMENT born Sandycove, Co Dublin 1864, executed 1916 in Pentonville Prison London, following a period in the Tower of London.

Yes, Roger Casement was all of these things. In 1904 he produced the Casement Report exposing the brutalities of the rubber industry in the Congo Free State which was run as a personal possession of the Belgian King, Leopold II.  Later, as Consul General in Rio de Janeiro he investigated the brutal activities of the Peruvian Amazon Company against the Putumayo Indians.

During the first world war Roger Casement tried unsuccessfully to raise an Irish brigade in Germany. On Good Friday 1916, three days before the 1616 rising, he was put ashore on Banna Strand from a submarine and was promptly arrested. A shipment of arms he had organised was intercepted on the same day.

His trial attracted controversy and his conviction hung on the the placing of a comma in the Treason Act of 1351. As well as this, the British government secretly circulated sections of Casement’s Journals known as the Black Diaries, to undermine support by portraying him at the time as being sexually suspect.

His remains were repatriated to Glasnevin, Dublin 50 years ago when he received a state funeral.

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