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Posts Tagged ‘Jack the Ripper’

London Jack the Ripper Walks

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Our free london walks are now nearing completion and, hopefully, will be going live very shortly. There has been a bit of a delay in launching them as things got very busy over the last few months. Our great new documentary  The Man Who Murdered Sherlcok Holmes was launched in early July, and has received some great reviews in Sherlock Holmes studies circles. Richard has been snapping the final photos for his upcoming book, which will be published in october this year, and we’ve been working on a bit of wizadry that will bring our London walks right into the 21st century. So watch this space.

We give the walk a rest in August for several reasons. Firstly, it’s alway lead by Richard Jones the man who is internationally recognised  as the leading ghost walk guide in London. With almost 20 books published on the paranormal and haunted Britain no  other guide comes close to matching his knowledge of the ghostly metropolis.  But, even an enthusiast like Richard needs a break and every August he and his family get to spend more time together to make up for the the rest of the year when he is out working virtually every night.  Secondly, August is just too light for a London ghost walk to be effective. So we give it a rest in August and come back re-charged in September. 

But if you want to see spooky London our Jack the Ripper Walk will operated throughout August.

So, what with our free Harry Potter Tour, our soon to be launched free London walks, and the fact we offer the best Jack the Ripper and Ghost Walks you’re sure to find something to interest you, whether you want to join a Walk of  Jack the Ripper’s London or enjoy a self guided walk.

As we like to say  – We’re With You Every Step of the Way.

The Norman Conquest – William The Conqueror

Friday, April 30th, 2010

One of the buildings that well and truly dominates our London Walking Tours is the Tower of London.  This was built by William the Conqueror in the wake of his Norman invasion of 1066.

In 2005 Richard Jones took part in the History Channel’s “The Conquerors” in which programme he spoke extensively on the preparation for, the execution of, and the aftermath of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in October 1066.

The programme was presented by Captain Dale Dye, formerly of the US Marines, and takes a fast paced look at the Norman Conquest and its consequences.

Richard was reminded of this programme when he recently flew to Toulouse to give a lecture on the Jack the Ripper mystery to a group of students from the International School. The history teacher mentioned that he finds this particular documentary extremely useful in teaching students about the Norman invasion as it is a very visual piece.

Tom Baker To Write Forward For Richard’s new Book

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

We got some great news this week. Tom Baker has agreed to write the forward for Richard’s new book on Haunted Britain.

The book is due out in October this year just in time for Halloween. Richard is currently doing some of the extra photos for the book and it looks great.

London Theatres Project.

Richard is now working on a project with Sir Donald Sinden that has seen him exploring several of London’s theatres. Indeed, they have had unprecedented access to some of the top theatres in London and Richard now has a fund of anecdotes that will, over the next few months be charted on our London walks blog.

Jack the Ripper and Toulouse.

On Wednesday this week Richard flew out to Toulouse to give a talk on Jack the Ripper to the International School. This is the second time Richard has done the trip and it appeared, once more, to go down very well with the students. It’s fascinating how the Jack the Ripper mystery has the ability to hold the interest of people from all over the world. The students were given the assignment of getting together in teams and presenting a case for a particular Jack the Ripper suspect of their choosing. It was interesting to see how the case against such suspects as Francis Thompson, Thomas Cutbush, Joseph Barnet and M.J. Druit was put together by the students.

More details on Richard’s new book will be going up soon. The book does really look great and the true ghost stories included are both varied and fascinating. So keep an eye on the blog for more information on Richard’s project with Sir Donald Sinden, the new book with the forward by Tom Baker, and the project that Richard is working on with one of Britain’s top rock stars.

The Jack the Ripper walk – London

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

The Jack the Ripper murders took place over a twelve week  period in the autumn of 1888  in the districts of Spitalfields and Whitechapel In the East end of London. Five local prostitutes were murdered by an unknown killer who, thanks to a letter sent to a London News Agency in September 1888, became known as “Jack the Ripper”.

Our Jack the Ripper Tour explores the very places where the infamous murders occurred. It starts right in the heart of the area and visits more of the actual murder sites than any other Jack the Ripper London walk. Our guides are all experts on the subject who are familiar with every twist and turn in what is, without, doubt, the world’s most famous whodunnit.

You will hear about the horrific living conditions in the areas of Whitechapel and Spitalfields in 188.

You will learn of the police investigation as the officers of the Metropolitan Police, faced with a new type of criminal, tried to catch the killer in what was one of the most densely populated quarters of the Victorian metropolis.

You will visit the murder sites themselves and ponder how it was that the killer was able to commit these murders and then, apparently, melt away into the darkness.

You will hear of the contemporary suspects who, from time to time in the course of the investigation, were taken in  by the police only to be released again when no evidence against them was found.

So for a Jack the Ripper Tour that is both informative and enjoyable  be sure to join the experts and let them guide you through the abyss of London’s sinister east End.

A Quick Word on London – Tours and Walks

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Just a quick look at what’s going on with our London walks in November. Richard is currently hard at work on his new book Haunted Britain, which is due for publication in October 2010.

As a result he has cut back slightly on his haunted tours of London. This Friday he will be heading to Dublin to take part in the annual Paracon at which he is a guest speaker.

He is also busy working on a project with one of England’s most esteemed actors more about which will be mentioned in the new year.

It was nice to see a great turn out for the various Halloween London walks that we laid on. Richard has now clocked up a record 29 annaul Halloween Ghost Tours which makes him one of the capital’s longest providor of Halloween walks in London!

Our free Harry Potter Tour around London is still proving very popular (you can get a copy by sending an email to harry-potter-pdf@discovery-walks.com). Tghis is our 30 page booklet that you simply print off and follow the step by step directions around the locations used in the Harry Potter films.

Two very exciting new free London walks are nearing completion and will be going live in time for Christmas. Meanwhile, our Mobile phone tours have been uploaded and our just going through the Beta stage. It is hoped that these exciting”on your phone” tours of London will be available in the new year.

Finally, we asked in the last blog how you could make a programme that included Jack the Ripper, The Titanic and The Paranormal. Well, the connection is via a man by the name of W.T Stead, who will be the feature of a full blog in the near future.

Meanwhile keep an eye on our Jack the Ripper Tours which are still filling up every night. We’re about to make an exciting announcement about this most popular of all our London walks.

London walks and Tours For November

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Well, Halloween is now over and a big thank you to all those who participated in the haunted London walks that we ran (or should that be walked!) on Saturday.

With November now upon us we thought we’d take the opportunity to outline the walks we will be offering throughout the month ahead.

Our Jack the Ripper tour of London will be going ahead 7 nights a week. There is even an anniversary night coming up on the 9th November with the anniversary of the murder of Mary Kelly who is thought to have been the last victim of Jack the Ripper.

Some of you may be aware that there was a Jack the Ripper conference in London the weekend before Halloween. We were the only one of the London walks companies to have expert speakers at the conference. Philip Hutchinson led a marathon London of Jack the Ripper Walk on the Sunday morning. Richard Jones gave a talk on Jack the Ripper and the spiritualists on the Sunday afternoon. Indeed, Colin Cobb who did an excellent job as the MC of the entire conference was moved to introduce Richard as the “New Labour” of the ripper world!

The conference ended with John Bennet showing his film “Ripperland.”

We were honoured to be the only one of the London walks companies to address this years conference and wish Colin every success with attracting the next conference to Belfast where Colin operates Titanic walking tours of the dockyard where Titanic was built.

In the course of his talk Richard mentioned that he was once told by a TV producer on his walks that there were three subjects that documentary makers were always willing to make programmes on. This three subjects?

Jack the Ripper, The Titanic and The Paranormal.

If someone could come up with a programme that included all three then, according to the producer, they would have commissioning editors falling over themselves to sign the rights.

Richard explained to the conference that since he covered two of these subjects (Jack the Ripper and the Paranormal) on his various London walks then this wasn’t too difficult.

He asked the delegates, if they knew his solution for getting the Titanic into the same programme. Richard had the solution and in our next blog we will reveal the connection between Jack the Ripper, The Titanic and The Paranormal!

London Ghosts and Walks.

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Of all our London walks none is more popular than the Jack the Ripper Tour.

It being Halloween today for our haunted blog we thought we’d take a look at a ghost story that was linked to the Jack the Ripper murders.

At the time the following story was related at the inquest into the murder of Elizabeth Stride, the third victim of Jack the Ripper who was murdered in Berner Street, Commercial Road, in the early hours of 30th September 1888.

In the wake of Elizabeth Stride’s murder a lady by the name of Mary Malcolm contacted the police to say that she was convinced the murdered woman was in fact her sister Elizabeth Watts.

 Having veiwed the body at the mortuary twice she identified the deceased as her sister from a black mark on her leg which, she said, was the result of an adder bite she had received when they were children.

Mrs Malcolm duly appeared at the subsequent inquest and in the course of her testimony the Cotoner asked her about a “SPECIAL PRESENTIMENT” that she had received.

In hushed tones Mary Malcolm launched into a tale of the supernatural by informing the Coroners Court how she had been lying in bed at around 1.20am on the previous Sunday when she suddenly felt a pressure on her breast and heard three distinct kisses.

This made her, she said, sense that something had happened to her sister, Elizabeth Watts.

Consequently when she heard of the murder in Berner Street she contacted the police to tell them of her fears.

On our London walks about this subject we tell how The East London Advertiser on 6th October 1888 informed its readers that the time when Mary Malcolm heard the kisses was around the time that the Berner Street victim was meeting her death.

“Since” the article continued “it is probable that her killer betrayed his victim Judas like with a kiss” this would account for the three kisses that Mrs Malcolm heard.

The pressure on her breast, it explained, was consistent with where the murder would have placed his hand to steady himself as he leant over to slit her throat.

The newspaper went on to tell its readers how there were numerous records of people contacting their loved ones telepathically at times of great stress and this is what appeared to have happened in this case.

Mrs Malcolm went on to paint her sister in a very unflateering light accusing her late sibling of,among other things,adultery, bearing an illegitimate child by a police officer and even hinted that she was a prostitute.

She stcuk to her story even though the police and the Coroner made it quite clear that they didn’t believe it and that they thought the woman wasn’t her sister.

Her story was finally disporoved when her sister actually hobbled in to court very much alive and denounced Mary Malcolm for giving her such a bad character.

What Mary Malcolm’s motive was for persisting with her elaborate yarn is difficult to ascertain but her story of the dream certainly caught the public imagination.

To hear more about this fascinating tale why not join our Jack the Ripper London walks?

The Nod Factor

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

What is the Nod Factor?

Our City of London walks are packed with great little snippets of information that make a tour with us both delightful and inspiring. You will learn a great deal about the City on our tours and will learn lots of fascinating facts, as well as anecdotes to dine out on.

There are certain stories that we tell on our London walks that really do grip people’s imagination, and this is where the nod factor comes in to play.

On our walks around the heart of the old City we tell the story of where the word TIPS came from. This is one of our nod factor stories.

When we tell this story there is that moment when it registers with our audience and several people in the group will turn to the person next to them and nod at them as if to say “isn’t that interesting” or “I’m really glad I learnt that.

So the Nod factor is that moment of appreciation when participants on our London walks learn a little piece of information that really registers with them and which they truly appreciate our guides imarting to them.

Of course with such a wide variety of tours to choose from there are lots of nod factor moments on our London walks. They occur on our Jack the Ripper Tour when we tell people where the name Jack the Ripper came from. They happen on our Dickens Tours when we tell our group how Charles Dickens childhood workmate was a man by the name of Bob Fagin.

Indeed on every one of our Walks of London from Shakespeare to the ghosts of the old City there are at least four or five nod factor moments.

So now you know what the nod factor is, why not keep an eye open the next time you join us for a London walk?

Just watch for the moment when your guide imparts a fact and members of the group turn to each other and nod in appreciation.

Venus and rags – Walks of London

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Our London walks of Art, or as we like to say London is a walk of art, are going great guns.

We have nearly completed are London Walking Tour around Tate Modern and today have decided to make a return visit to the Energy and Process wing of Tate Modern.

Having nimbly dodged Richard Serra’s massive work Trip Hammer, which consists of two pieces of steel balanced precariously one on top of the other.

Having ducked as you pass Nikki de Saint Phalle’s Shooting Paintings. Having averted your gaze as you pass through a room in which a film showing nudity is constantly playing, you arrive at a statue of Venus that confronts a huge mound of coloured, and colourful rags.

Now we cover a lot of statues on our various London walks, but this particular one is, to say the least, somewhat bizarre.

Venus of the Rags was created in 1967 and then recreated in 1974.

It is a work by the Italian Artist Michaelangelo Pistoletto, a central figure in the Arte Povero movement.

Arte Povero was an Italian art movement of the late 1960′s and early 1970′s.

This was a time of great social upheaval, not only in Italy but also across the reat of Europe and in North America.

This was the era of Vietnam, and age marked by mass protests, riots and strikes.

In Italy a group of artists began attacking the vlaues of the established institutions of government, industry and even of popular culture.

They wanted to create art that was free of the demands of the market place.

Thus the Arte Povera movement was born.

In our next blog we will look at the work of Pistoletto, who was a central figure in this movement.

For now why not take a look at the various and varied London walks we offer.? You can join to explore Shakespeare’s London, Dickens London, or even the London of Jack the Ripper.

Walks in London – Jack the Ripper

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Today is the anniversary of what has come to be known as “the night of the double murder.”

It was in the early hours of 30th September 1888 that the body of Elizabeth Stride, Jack the Ripper’s third victim, was found in Dutfield’s Yard, off  Berner Street; and the body of Catherine Eddowes, Jack the Ripper’s fourth victim, was found in Mitre Square in the City of London.

Our London walks will be following on the trail of Jack the Ripper tonight at 7pm, and will tell you the full history of this series of East End murders.

The Jack the Ripper Tour is a fascinating look at the social history of a quarter of London that has its own distinctive feel and even flavour.

At the time of the Jack the Ripper murders it was a melting pot for many different nationalities, many of whom were low class Eastern European Jews fleeing persecution in Russia and Poland.

In addition it was also home to a huge criminal underclass who had a vested interest in lending as little assistance to the police as possible.

But the night of the double murder had another impact on society as a whole in Victorian London.

Many of the more “respectable” middle class and upper class citizens of London, who lived a good distance away from the district where the murders were occurring, had long believed that a revolution was inevitable. Furthermore they believed that if that revolution occurred it would come out of the slum districts of the East End of London.

On our London walks that explore the streets where the crimes occurred we explain how, up until 30th September 1888, these middle class citizens might gaze nervously towards the East End of London and the events that were occurring there, but it didn’t impact directly on their lives because there was a very district boundary between the East End and the City of London.

But,as we point out on our City of London walks, in the early hours of 30th September, not only did Jack the Ripper murder twice in less than an hour, and right under the noses of police officers who were searching for him, but he also crossed the boundary and murdered Catharine Eddowes in the City of London.

Thus, in the minds of the middle and upper classes, he became a manifestation of all their nebulous fears that they had about the east End of London. Because if the ripper could cross into the City of London and strike at the heart of polite society, then what was to stop the great mass of dispossessed, poverty stricken East Enders doing likewise.

So the 30th September was a turning point that saw the fear of the unknown miscreant spread all across London and into the national consciousness in a way that no lone killer had done before and would never do again.

So why not join us on one of our Jack the Ripper Tours, or enjoy some of our other East End London walks?