Friday, March 22, 2013

Scholar's Walk

On February 16th, Scholars were invited to attend the London Brunel Thames Walk organized by Rotarian Clive Harris.  This walk provided a fascinating historical insight into the 'darker' side of early London life and the key role of the River Thames in the development of this great city.  We learned of pirates, the race to discover the nautical longitudinal clock, and England's first established police force, the Thames River Police, who publicly chained pirates bodies to the river's edge where they would drown when the tide rose above their head, then dismembered their body parts, which then were put on display to the public.

It included a visit to the rarely seen grand entrance of Brunel's                                                                                                                                                                     Tunnel under the Thames as well as the Brunel Museum.  The walking tour was led by the Brunel Museum's Curator, Robert Hulse.  Built between 1825-1834, the Brunel Tunnel was the first ever underwater tunnel constructed, originally designed for horse drawn carriages, but only used as a pedestrian walk way, the tunnel is now used for the London Underground.  The image to the right is a recent book created by the Brunel Museum that offers the entire history of the Brunel Tunnel.

 The tour concluded at the Mayflower pub where it was the exact departure point of the pilgrims sailing to Plymouth.  Everyone gathered at the pub after the tour for food and drinks, but I did not stay because I was under the weather, having a cold and loosing my voice.  I found this tour to be exciting and thrilling because of my interest in historical facts.  I learned quite a bit of history of a part of London that most are not familiar with.  Even some rotarians who attended the walk were hearing this information for the first time.  Really looking forward to more tour walks in the future, and glad I participated in this walk.  

No comments:

Post a Comment