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Tooting Bec tube station, London
Guided by Rex
Short version. Tootling along, touring, tuning in to Tooting Bec.
Long version. You tune in first by clocking the name. "You want to see London you have to hear it." Tooting – it's Anglo-Saxon. Probably referred to "the people of the lookout place." It was in existence by the time of the Domesday Book. A farming village over the course of the Middle Ages. Delightfully situated – in the valleys of the Wandle and Graveney rivers (thus "Bec"). Country houses began to appear in the 18th century. A few of the early buildings that lined the High Street have survived. Villas and institutions from the mid-19th century. So, great pedigree – including William the Conqueror and the abbey of Notre Dame du Bec in Normandy – great historical arc (from mediaeval village to London suburb). Good place to get a grasp of, get a feel for "real London." Guided by Rex, who's local and, into the bargain, a star Blue Badge Guide. Local knowledge – can't beat it.