London Footsteps

Smaller Default Larger



When London succeeded in winning the 2012 Olympic bid, the prospect of turning a derelict and overgrown part of East London into a 21st century sports city presented a real challenge.   The photographs I took on a cycle ride round the site a few weeks later revealed a wilderness of overgrown land, canals and rivers clogged with rubbish, dozens of small factories and workshops and, surprisingly, quiet areas of greenery where nature had taken over.  This picture is typical of what it looked like seven years ago.  Now it has been transformed and with only weeks to go before the grand opening, Stratford is ready to receive millions of visitors and thousands of sportsmen and women.


Coming up soon is a chance to learn more about the remarkable customs and history of the Livery Companies. In many ways, these are the heartbeats of City history.

So take the chance to visit the Goldsmiths' Company' to see their summer exhibition between Friday 1st June and Saturday, 28th July.  It's open from 10 am to 5 pm during the week and  also on Sunday, June 24. Admission is free.

There will be more than 400 gold items on display covering a period from 2,500 BC to the present day.  All the exhibits have been loaned from distinguished institutions and private collection.

The Goldsmiths' Company hall is in Gresham Streetat the junction with Foster Lane.



Some of the customs and traditions of the City of London go on year after year and are rarely seen or understood by thousands of people who visit or work in the capital.  The KNOLLY'S ROSE CEREMONY is one of them and it takes place on Thursday, 14th June in Seething Lane close to All-Hallows-by-the-Tower Church.

Around mid-morning, a group of scarlet-cladded group of men from the Watermen and Lightermen Company parade from the church to the Pepys Garden where a red rose is cut, placed on a blue cushion and carried ceremonially to the Mansion House and presented to the Lord Mayor.

The origins of this story go back to the 14th century so have a look at the All Hallows website