Stokey – London’s Misty Village
Manor House tube station, London
|27 June 2020
Tour du Jour
Short read: The matter-of-fact description of Stokey…
Stoke Newington. Traditionally nonconformist community – in every sense. A sort of latter-day English Haight-Ashbury. Way back when it was a mediaeval village which grew up round a green. Attracted all kinds of outsiders and rebels and cranks. People from Flanders, a would-be assassin who fired a shot at Charles II, Protestant refugees from the Rhine Palatinate, Quakers, John Wilmer (who was buried, in 1764, in a vault in his garden with a bell attached to his wrist in case he wasn’t dead), builder Thomas Widdows (“a most lascivious old fellow’), poor Jewish immigrants from Russia, Poland and Germany, To say nothing of Daniel Defoe, John Wesley, Joseph Conrad, Marc Bolan and Edgar Allen Poe. Of late, well what was a working-class district has been colonized by the young middle classes, many of them politically radical and working in arts-related professions. Probably less of a radical hotbed today but it remains eminently cool.
Longer read: The poetic version…
Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.
Except now it’s Evermore. Because yup, we’ve finally Lewis & Clark’d – well, Rachel’d
* – Stoke Newington. And yup, weird old Edgar Allen Poe is part of the act, part of the magic lantern of weird and wired and wonderful Stokey. (His schooldays in Stoke Newington backdropped and inspired The Pit and the Pendulum
. And, yes, that croaky stokey Raven. So let’s head into that realscape – which is also a dreamscape – of a very special London village. (Poe proposes: “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” Rachel
disposes.) So what’s Ms. Efferfescence
got for you? Well, were Stokey a bridge hand you’d want to bid Seven No Trumps.
Let’s play the hand. Item: the only Elizabethan church in London. Item: the Victorian “castle” looming over the skyline. Item: Barbara Windsor. Item: the New River. Item: the Stokey Salmon Smokery. Item: the Salvation Army. Item: Amy Winehouse. Item: London’s favourite neighbourhood park. Item: that headiest London mix of all: unspoiled and trendy. Item: non-conformity. Item: standing like one thunder-struck because of a footprint in the sand. *Rachel
created the walk; Rachel
STOKEY WALK – THE PRACTICALS
To go on the Stokey walk meet Rachel at 2.30m on Saturday, June 27. The meeting point is just outside exit 3 of Manor House Tube.
LONDON WALKS REVIEWS
“London Walks was the first – and is the best – of the walking tour firms” Fodor’s Great Britain
“the unfailingly fascinating London Walks… If you can’t find one [of their tours] that captures your fancy, maybe you really are tired of life. San Francisco Chronicle
LONDON WALKS PRIVATE WALKS
If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Stokey walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Stokey Walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. And – always with private London Walks and tours – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) “fit” is well-nigh perfect. Ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 graduation present or Christmas gift or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that’s special. Memories make us rich.
LONDON WALKS POLE-STAR
It all comes down to the guiding.
LONDON WALKS – STREETS AHEAD!
Don’t just take it from us.
MIND THE GAP
It’s not even close.
THE FAMOUS WHITE LONDON WALKS LEAFLET
“Nah, don’t need it, got it all here,” you say. Er, roaming charges? Er, dead battery? Er, reading your phone in the bathtub and you drop it? [Smelling salts interval: sick as a parrot. ashen-faced.] Er, read the famous white leaflet in the bathtub and you drop it what do you do? Er, you dry it out. Anyway, maybe worth making a mental note that you can always pick up the famous white London Walks leaflet at the Cafe in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the old church in Trafalgar Square. They’re on the Information Table there, right by the box office. And indeed they also display them on the shop counter, right by the cash register. And it’s win-win because the Cafe in the Crypt is one of the town’s delights. Should be on everybody’s London itinerary.