The Hampstead Spies – the KGB in NW3
Belsize Park tube station, London
|31 May 2020
Tour du Jour
The video is a short extract from the recent BBC Four Storyville production Toffs, Queers & Traitors – The Extraordinary Life of Guy Burgess. Stewart Purvis – who created and guides the Spies of Hampstead walk – had a major role in the programme.
Short read: The KGB in NW3
Long read: There were once so many KGB spies in Hampstead that some lived just a few doors apart. Distinguished UK Newsman (former Editor and CEO of ITN), spy author and broadcaster Stewart Purvis has worked out from MI5 files who lived where during the Cold War and the links between them. The first half of ‘the Hampstead Spies’ takes you to the homes of the spies and you’ll see files about people like Hampstead boy Kim Philby. The second half brings in Hampstead folk who knew and sometimes suspected the spies: George Orwell, Ian Fleming, even a man called Goldfinger. There’s a stop devoted to John le Carre and even Brad Pitt gets a walk-on part from a spy movie he made in Hampstead. But the real thing is better than any spy thriller. The walk is guided by Stewart Purvis co-author of Guy Burgess, The Spy Who Knew Everyone, which the New York Review of Books called “an excellent read”. Stewart and the walk were featured in a BBC TV spy documentary ‘Toffs, Queers and Traitors’ in November 2017.
THE SPIES OF HAMPSTEAD – THE PRACTICALS
The Spies of Hampstead takes place on Sunday, May 31 at 10.45 am.
To go on the walk meet Stewart just outside the exit of Belsize Park Tube.
Here’s Stewart giving a quick preview of the walk.
LONDON WALKS PRIVATE WALKS
If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Mountain Building & Meteorites in the City of London walks it can always be booked as a private tour. If you go private you can have the The Hampstead Spies – the KGB in NW3 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 email@example.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.
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