Russell Square Tube | Map

Guided by Margarita

Some background. "For nearly a century – 1826-1905 – the doors of the United Kingdom were wide open to foreigners. The country had no means of stopping them for most of this period, and almost none of expelling them if they misbehaved. (The only exception was extradition.) Most migrants were economic – attracted by the work and opportunities for enterprise Britain offered. Others came not because they liked the country, and certainly not because of the work (they had the reputation of being disinclined to work at all), but because of the absolute and indiscriminate right of asylum Britain offered them. They were safe here. Lenin, who lived in London in the early 20th century, was rescued by a London policeman once, when a meeting turned ugly against him, after Russian police spies sowed a rumour that he was a spy. Political refugees could not even be extradited if they could show that the crimes they were accused of abroad – however terrible – were politically motivated. Looking back on this now, after a century, it seems extraordinary.

'The British tolerated the political refugees out of principle. They gained little from having them here. Britons did not support their being here because they knew and liked them; still less because they (or most of them) shared their political views. It was a matter of principle. It was the policy of asylum for refugees the British were defending, not the refugees themselves.' 

LONDON 1902-1916 Seedbed of the Russian Revolution – THE PRACTICALS

The London 1902-1916 – Seedbed of the Russian Revolution walk takes place at 2.30 pm on Saturday, November 10; at 10.45 am on Saturday, December 8; at 10.30 am on Wednesday, December 26; and at 7.15 pm on Saturday, April 27. Meet Margaritayes, she's Russian – just outside the exit of Russell SquareTube. 

LONDON WALKS PRIVATE WALKS

If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Lenin's London walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Lenin's London Walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at london@walks.com and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they're good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.

GIVE THE GIFT OF LONDON WALKS

A private London Walk makes a fab present – be it a birthday or anniversary or get-to-know-your-new neighbourhood gift or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich.

LONDON WALKS – STREETS AHEAD!

Don't just take it from us