Believe it or not, between 1930 and 1970 the Tower of London used to be just at popular for its beach as it was for it Tower. Families would flock to the ‘seaside’ even dipping their toes in the ‘sea.’ Children would build sandcastles and eat ice cream whilst there was entertainment and deck chairs to rent. Many of the families who went to the beach were from the East End and couldn’t afford to go to the seaside in holiday, and would regularly visit. The beach was officially opened in 23 July, 1934 when King George V declared the area would remain free for the city’s children to use. The beach closed during the war, but resumed in 1946. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that there were concerns over pollution in the river with the beach officially closing in 1971. Image: Henry Grant
Tag: London Bridge
Now in its thirteenth year The Landscape Photographer of the Year competition is one of the UK’s most prestigious photography competitions. Premiering in London Bridge on Monday 16th November, the 2020 exhibition features the stunning shortlisted and winning entries that showcase the very best of the British countryside in the heart of the Capital. The exhibition will be on show until February near the St. Thomas St exit at London Bridge Station before a subsequent tour of the country.
Bring a little bit of London Bridge magic into your living room with these lockdown friendly activities. 1. Treat yourself to one of these ‘At Home’ Restaurant Kits The recent shift in where we work and how we socialise may have left you missing your favourite London Bridge haunts, but have no fear. These SE1 restaurants and bars have been busy getting creative with ways to bring their culinary delights to your doorstep. Find out more 2. Watch Phillip Pullman’s Grimm Tales Online Filmed at the Unicorn Theatre, aimed at ages 8 – 12, these short, vivid new readings are available to watch online for free, until 21 February 2021. Watch now 3. Liven up your Zoom background Bring SE1 to your screen with our selection of backgrounds from the London Bridge area. Download now 4. Get Creative with Tower Bridge Explore these family friendly activities for you to do at home including tutorials on how to make an origami boat and a stop motion film. Find out more 5. Shake up one of your favourite tipples Browse our back catalogue of cocktail books, including concoctions from the likes of Aqua Shard, The Coal Shed and Santo Remedio Find out more 6. Discover fascinating insights into the creation and realisation of the Tooley Street Triangle In this recording of an online discussion between Charles Holland and the Director of the London Festival of Architecture (LFA), you’ll find out about the design and realisation of this unique London Bridge landmark Watch now 7. Pick up a pen with The Poetry Takeaway Celebrate your own unique voice and creativity in these fun, free-flowing writing sessions with The Poetry Takeaway’s Laurie Bolger. Watch now 8. Stock up your cellar With Trivet, Vivat Bacchus and Gaucho Tower Bridge now offering an excellent selection of curated wines online, it’s the perfect time to stock up. Browse Trivet Wine Shop / Gaucho Wine Shop / Vivat Bacchus Wine Shop Find more ways to enjoy London Bridge from home at teamlondonbridge.co.uk/lovelondonbridge
Team London Bridge presents The Poetry Takeaway and their network of poets and writers in London Bridge in the run up to World Mental Health Day. The Poetry Takeaway serves high quality, personalised Poetry to our diners, written, performed and wrapped up to Takeaway. Our diverse group of poet chefs are the heart of The Poetry Takeaway, along with the people we meet, the stories they share with us, how we tell them and the amazing places in which we find ourselves. Take a break, come for a chat and watch the magic happen. Find out more Sat 3 and Sun 4 October 2020 12 – 4 pm Potters Fields Park SE1 Free Mon 5 and Tues 6 October 2020 12 – 4 pm Collingwood Street (off Great Maze Pond) Kings College / Guy’s Hospital Free
Have you spotted Mark Titchner’s new artworks in London Bridge yet? The way we experience our shared spaces has changed dramatically over the past few months. As the London Bridge area starts to welcome back more visitors Team London Bridge has collaborated with Mark Titchner to celebrate the strength and solidarity of the community in a new series of artworks. This collaboration with Mark Titchner evolves his relationship with the area and brings focus to the dynamic cultural identity of London Bridge. “The original concept for this series of artworks was based on the idea of offering a nurturing, reassuring presence as we ease back into our un/familiar streets. However, as I developed the texts for the works, I also felt a sense that this moment – despite all the difficulty – presents an immense opportunity; the opportunity to build a better version of what we had before. As such the aesthetic style of the works shifted away from something soothing towards something bold and celebratory. Reflecting a hope that despite all the challenges so far and those yet to come, we will be together again in the streets we know and love.” – Mark Titchner You can find these artwork on Newcomen Street, opposite Crol and Co coffee shop and at the top of Bermondsey Street Tunnel, between Pizza Pilgrims and Honest Burgers. Keep your eyes peeled for more to come! Share your images of the artwork with the tags: #HopeRevealsTheWorld #TheSunRisesBright
Totally Thames 2020 (Tue 1 – Wed 30 Sep) is back for an uplifting festival celebrating the river at the heart of the city, which connects us to places far and wide. Now in its 24th year, Totally Thames is one of the world’s most important river festivals. As part of this year’s reimagined festival, there will be an exciting new Totally Thames online hub with a rich programme of river and cultural content. Find out what’s on While the programme has changed due to social distancing, Totally Thames has always been committed to bringing together artists and authors as well as mudlarks, anglers, kayakers, hikers and environmentalists to celebrate our river – this year will be no exception with an amazing mix of outdoor and digital events this September, that can be enjoyed safely by the public. Highlights from London Bridge Virtual Thames: London Bridge by Henry Reichhold Enjoy a virtual visit to the South Bank between London Bridge and Tower bridge through this fun web based game world. Take a trip down the river or wander around the embankment to discover exhibitions and all manner of fun. Sounds from the Shoreline ( Wed 9th Sep 2020, 4:30pm – 5:45pm) Join this exciting on-line workshop to learn how to make immersive sound walks and record soundscapes Mudlark Mandala (Thu 17th Sep 2020 12pm – 12:45pm) Watch / join meditation teacher Mel Sutton as she makes a Mudlark Mandala. This is the Tale that the River Told (Wed 23rd Sep 2020 – 1pm – 2pm) A jaunt through time along one of the most famous stretches of the River Thames. The stretch of water between London Bridge and Tower Bridge holds many stories and treasures – From a Bronze Age burial mound, to Frost Fairs to the development of law and order in London.
Summer plans of far flung adventures might be on hold for the time being, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a holiday to remember closer to home. With its rich heritage, iconic cultural attractions and dining-options from all corners of the globe, London Bridge might just be the staycation destination you’ve been dreaming of… 1. Iconic views Whether you’re looking down on the city from the highest viewing deck in London at The View from The Shard, or taking in the sights of the world-famous Tower Bridge from Potters Fields Park, London Bridge undoubtably has the capital’s most iconic views. 2 . World-class dining With over 80 incredible restaurants and bars nestled within a 1 mile stretch of foodie mecca Borough Market, you really can’t beat the food and drink options in London Bridge. From authentic modern Mexican flavours at Santo Remedio and all-out American grub at Texas Joe’s, to the taste of Thailand at Kin + Deum, you can hop continents from meal to meal without the air miles. The area is also home to street-food hot spot, the Vinegar Yard; an excellent stop-off for a cold drink in the sunshine. 3. Fascinating heritage This iconic area is one of London’s oldest neighbourhoods, boasting historical, maritime and culinary connections to events that have shaped the city’s history. A stroll towards the river from the station will take you through the stunning architecture of Hay’s Galleria (formerly Hay’s Wharf; one of the UK’s busiest shipping docks) to the Second World War Royal Navy warship HMS Belfast*. In the opposite direction, follow in a the footsteps of Keats with a walk through the picturesque grounds of King’s College. Take a look at our Self-Guided Historical Walking tour and Musicity X Low Line Musical Walking Tour for more exploration inspiration. 4. Culture around every corner With an impressive selection of museums, galleries and theatres, there’s culture to soak up at every turn. Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, The Fashion and Textile Museum, Old Operating Theatre, White Cube gallery, Bridge Theatre*, Unicorn Theatre* and Southwark Cathedral are all within a 5 minute walking distance of London Bridge station. 5. Shop ’til you drop For those who enjoy a bit of retail therapy on their travels, London Bridge won’t disappoint. The area has long been home to artisans and producers, dating right back to the 17th century and continues to be a hotspot for creative makers and crafts. Head to Bermondsey Street to discover fashionable boutiques, artisan grocers and gift shops, or choose from over 40 high-street favourites in London Bridge Station and The Shard Arcade. Where to stay? From the luxurious heights of the Shangri-La at The Shard to the sleek surroundings of The Dixon, London Bridge has accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. The Shangri-La at The Shard Opening August 14th London Bridge Hotel Hilton Tower Bridge The Dixon Hotel *The HMS Belfast, Bridge Theatre and Unicorn Theatre remain closed to the public at time of publishing. Please check before visiting.
As the London Bridge business community springs back to life, we check in with some of our favourite neighbourhood gems to see what’s in store for visitors looking forward to rediscovering the area post-lockdown. This week we speak to Monica and Sarah at The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret ahead of their opening on July 25th. The Old Operating Theatre’s Lockdown Experience Although the past 3 months have been challenging for the museum, we’ve had the opportunity to make lots of new friends in the digital world who we’re looking forward to working with in person and welcoming to the museum when we reopen. The support from our community has been brilliant; we’ve received lots of great feedback from those who have been participating in our weekly social activities, like the #MondayChallenge jigsaw puzzle, of getting active with our Victorian Parlour Games. Earlier in July, we also found out our shop had been shortlisted for a Museums + Heritage Award, which we’re really excited about! Shortly after this we launched our online shop, thanks to many individuals who generously donated towards the cost. The shop has a great selection of bespoke products and gifts, and all sales go towards supporting the upkeep of the museum. In April we also took part in the first National Oddity Championships on Twitter which was great fun and a great way to keep the spirit of the museum alive while our doors have been closed. The competition saw 17 museums and heritage sites across the country put forward a quirky item from their collection to compete for the title and brought together thousands of people who voted and supported our entry, including many well known authors, bloggers and other ambassadors. What can visitors look forward to? Visitors can look forward to the full Old Operating Theatre experience! The 45 minute tour gives a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery, complete with free wifi and a brand new QR code trail. Each group will also receive a free local history map of the local area for visitors to explore London Bridge. We are also planning to offer a longer local history staff-led tour, and a live evening Victorian Surgery demonstration. Stay tuned! Which place in London Bridge are you looking forward to visiting again the most? The Old Op team are very proud of the local area, its community, history, neighbourhood and vibrancy. We can’t wait be out and about again, visiting the Science Gallery London, grabbing a coffee down Bermondsey Street, lunch from Borough Market, admiring the view of Southwark Cathedral, and of course, supporting the many public houses in the area! Tickets are available to book now for July 25th onwards. Opening Hours: Saturday 10.30am – 5pm Sunday 10.30am – 5pm The Old Operating Theatre have taken care to ensure the way we reopen is in line with Government Guidance and sector specific advice to make it a safe and enjoyable visit for you, as well as a positive environment for our team. You can read more about our Covid-19 Safe Opening here.
With social distancing still in place and tensions running high, London-based artist Marcus Lyall invites you to ‘Scream The House Down‘ in his new interactive public artwork. Lyall has transformed a soon-to-be-demolished office block on Southwark Street, inviting the public to vocalise their inner frustrations and power a large-scale light installation. Join a Zoom call and watch your outburst illuminate a four storey office building. The louder and longer the outburst, the bigger the response from the building. The building interprets every voice and scream differently, to create a unique response for each guest. The artwork is designed as a safe and constructive excuse for people to release their inner tension. ‘Primal Scream therapy’ has long been investigated as beneficial for psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. While the artist makes no medical claims, a long and loud shout may be a good way to relieve inner tensions. You can participate using any device that supports the Zoom app. Please scream responsibility. You can also submit short films of your scream via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Screams will be played to the building each night and the results posted the next day on the Scream The House Down Youtube channel. Opening hours for participating 16th June – 4th July Tuesday – Saturday 8.30pm – 12.30am This installation is produced by not-for-profit arts organisation Illuminate Productions, in partnership with New Art Projects and Nursery Theatre.
Flea Vintage Market will be re-opening at Vinegar Yard on Saturday 13 June . The market will be opening every Saturday and Sunday with the new opening hours of 12 noon until 5pm. As Flea take these tentative steps, they are taking every possible precaution to minimise the risk of spread of Covid-19 infection. Read about what you can expect from your visit here. ?Inspired by European markets, and with an emphasis on sustainable living and independent traders and makers, Flea has an eclectic mix of well chosen stalls selling vintage fashion, antiques, vinyl, books, jewellery, cameras, art, retro furniture, lighting, new designs from up and coming artists and designer makers plus much more. Visit Flealondon.com