Clerkenwell history: ghosts, cows, medical monks and revolution

Clerkenwell, St Johns Gate

Ever wondered what lies behind the name of the area you live or work in, what history is held by the streets you tread daily? In a rush to get around much of the time we remain unaware of the dramas of the past. Our office is based in Clerkenwell, a busy part of central London with plenty of fascinating stories to tell. The area has connections to the Knights Templar, historic revolutionary figures, legendary literary pickpockets, a notable musical coal-man and faked ghost appearances.

In this series of posts about Clerkenwell’s history I will reveal the identity of these coal-men, revolutionaries, pickpockets and more.
Continue reading “Clerkenwell history: ghosts, cows, medical monks and revolution”

Shubbak: London’s Summer of Arabic Arts



Arabic calligraphy art by Noureddine Daifallah

Artwork by Noureddine Daifallah


London has a sizeable Arabic population, and a few areas of high density (the area around Edgware Road is the best known, with a long established Arabic community). So it’s surprising to find out that the Shubbak festival this month is London’s first ever Arabic arts festival.

The festival of contemporary Arabic arts will take place in 30 different venues across the city, and encompass literature, film, visual art, music, performance and discussions – and promises to be a fascinating window onto Arabic culture for all Londoners, Arabs and non-Arabs alike.
Continue reading “Shubbak: London’s Summer of Arabic Arts”

Multilingual London: mosaic of “Englishes”

Although we tend to talk about English as if it is something monolithic, there are numerous Englishes. Tune into the conversations happening around you in a café or on the Tube, and you’ll make out a mosaic of variants.

So claims an interesting article entitled “Language can’t stay still – just listen to London” in London’s Evening Standard earlier this week. The author Henry Hitchings has just writen a book on “proper English” and relays a story which will sound familiar to many Londoners:
Continue reading “Multilingual London: mosaic of “Englishes””

Picturing Chinese New Year in London

This year the Chinese New Year ran from 3 February. It is Year of the Rabbit, associated with new beginnings and good luck. We captured some of the scenes on London’s streets during the New Year celebrations last Sunday.

Red stall at Chinese New Year in London
Chinese New Year in London.

This work by WorldAccent Translation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Continue reading “Picturing Chinese New Year in London”