27 Dec 2018

1930s Art Deco and Modernism

Streamline Moderne
What is Art Deco?
Do you like cantilevered simplicity or Jazz Age geometrics?
Do you "ooh" every time you drive past The Hoover Factory?
Do you "wow" when you see Senate House?
Do you yearn to live in a house with interiors to rival Eltham Palace?
We’ve all got a different take on "Art Deco" because the term has become a catch-all for many buildings constructed between the mid-1920s and WW2; a time of change when architects were keen to move away from the fussy embellishments and dusty drapery of previous decades.
You might be surprised to learn that he term "Art Deco" was not coined until 1968 by Bevis Hillier when he referred to this period in reference to the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts that took place in Paris, 1925. But the term is a bit misleading, especially in regard to architecture, as most of the buildings that carry the tag are lacking in decoration – it's all about simplicity of line with a bit of geometric ornamentation here and there. One could argue that the only style that fits the description is the Egyptian temple revival. However, Art Deco also covers tiled factory fa├žades, temples to industry, Portland stone banks, minimalist shop fronts, ocean liner office blocks and impressive department stores.

Join me on one of my ArtDeco/1930s walking tours or online talks to find out more. I have pounded the streets and discovered many unsung gems and I am sure on every route you will find something that gives you that 'wow' moment. 

For the current schedule – click here for guided walking tours and here for online talks via Zoom
Or go to Eventbrite.com and enter "janeslondonwalks" into the search box – then toggle the on/off filter button to view talks or walks.

Here's my hand-drawn map of some of my "Art Deco" routes:


The map above only shows the central zone – I also offer ArtDeco/1930s tours in City, Shoreditch, Spitalfields, Holloway, Arsenal and Camden. Others almost ready: Angel, Finsbury, St Lukes, Marylebone, Paddington, Victoria, and more. Please see here for more information or subscribe for updates here.

Customer reviews and feedback
"Enjoyed all the 6 Art deco walks I have done so far and opened my eyes to the 30s style of architecture which more varied than I thought. Looking forward to doing more walks in the future.:

And here's a review from my tripAdvisor page about my Art Deco Holloway walk:
My Holloway tour includes the marvellous neon sign shown right. This night-time image and a day time shot of the building are available as cards and prints at various sizes. I've got a lot more images of ArtDeco buildings available in print form inc the Carreras factory at Mornington Crescent and The Carlton Cinema in Essex Rd. See my online shop here. Or contact me to make a purchase in person.

1 Dec 2018

The Diary Of A Nobody

This 90-minute tour shows you the inspiration behind the places and characters created by the brothers Grossmiths in their amusing little book
I have read it, ooh, eight times now. And each time I have noticed something new, perhaps in the form of an amusing reference to a nearby place with a clever name-change, or satirical hint at something that was topical or relevant back in the 1880s. The world of 130 years ago really isn't that far removed from today. 
The prep for this walk was extensive but really enjoyable – I spent a lot of time absorbed in old directories and I was often to be found wandering up and down the top half of Holloway Rd like some kind of private detective as I scribbled notes and hunted for the best locations to tie in with the Grossmiths' narrative. But it's all been worth it as I have always had lovely feedback from the people who have joined me on these tours.
So why not join me sometime soon? 
We'll visit places where Mr Pooter and his family and friends might have lived, visited and shopped. Along the way I point out buildings and references whilst reading some relevant amusing passages from the book. It's a delight!! (Even though I do say this myself!)

You don't need to know or have already read the book to enjoy the walk, but I am pretty sure that you will be reading it after the tour!

For literary fans – why not try my Lyrics and Limericks, Fantasy and Fraud walk which takes us through Holloway showcasing the diverse range of poets, playwrights, diarists and lyricists who have lived and worked in the Holloway area.

Customer reviews and feedback

*This walk is usually available as part of Footprints of London's  yearly LitFest which offers at least one literary-themed walk a day – like a walking book club, taking people out onto the streets of London on guided walks researched, written and led by enthusiastic, experienced, professional guides. You might have seen the marvellous leaflets I designed for 2017!

12 Sept 2018

Ratecard

The following ratecard is a guideline

GUIDED WALKING TOURS

Pre-advertised walking tours
Tickets available through Eventbrite here.

90 minutes: £15 adult / £10 concessions
2hrs: £18 adult / £12 concessions
Half day and longer routes from £24 adult / £18 concessions

Commissions – private tours, groups, bespoke commissions, etc.

Prices start at £120 for up to 5 people on a pre-designed walk lasting 2hrs max – additional attendees are £10 each (up to a maximum group size depending on the chosen route). Please enquire about longer routes or half/full day tours.
Bespoke routes may incur additional admin costs to cover research and development.
Please enquire for further info.

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ONLINE TALKS
1hr via Zoom

Pre-advertised presentations
Tickets available through Eventbrite here.

Single person attending: £10
Multi attendees in one house using the same IP address: £16

Commissions – larger groups, private talks for societies, associations, etc.

Prices start at £60 for a 60-minute pre-designed presentation.
Bespoke themes/subjects will incur additional costs for admin and research, and the creation of visuals/slides.
Please enquire for further info
.

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VOUCHERS
These are available for singles, groups and private tours and are valid for one year from date of purchase.
Find out more here

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Prices correct at 1st September 2022 in agreement with Footprints of London

22 Apr 2018

Jane's London – it's all in the details


My walking tours are a natural progression of Jane's London – my blog/website where for the past decade I have been writing about my London observations and marrying them with collections of my photos such as this collection of 'white' places in to tie in with the snowy weather we had back in March 2018. 

19 Apr 2018

Press coverage


Islington Tribune Great hints on history

Islington Gazette Business of the week

Islington Now People have turned into pigeons


Ghostsigns

Ghostsigns are the faded advertisements of yesteryear still visible above today's streets mostly in the form of hand-painted letters on brick walls. These were commissioned either by well-known companies to sell their branded products or by local businesses keen to attract passing trade. The signs would have been hand-painted by specialist, skilled craftsmen, often using the lines in the brickwork as guides for the size of the letterforms as shown in the example I have created here. This hand-crafted and labour-intensive form of advertising might seem strange to us today, with our large-format printing, lightboxes and interactive bus shelter ads, but 100 years ago signs such as this one were commonplace – in fact, high street buildings were barely visible beneath the paint and posters.
On my ghostsign walking tours and online presentions you'll hear the often fascinating stories behind the ads including bogus potions, big brands and small traders.
I think the 'ghostsign' term can also apply to other types of defunct signage for brands or businesses which no longer exist at that site. These might be visible as names embedded into masonry or forged within metalwork.

To find my walks and talks on Eventbrite, simply enter 'janeslondonwalks' into the site's search box

Other areas coming soon.

See here for more about ghostsigns.

Can you help me to decipher this one in Islington?

Customer reviews and feedback

17 Apr 2018

Coming soon

See here for an overview of all pre-planned tours by type and location

I have many more ideas for new themes and ideas for walking tours and some of the works-in-progress are listed below. 
  • Thames Path and mudlarking – see more here
  • Sights for Sore Eyes – all things optical (CharingX area)
  • A-Zs by location/area – overviews – 26 subjects in 2 hours max! 
  • Art Deco – more!!! – Highgate, Clerkenwell, Somerstown, Marylebone, Mayfair and more...
  • Parks and Recreation (Islington North)
  • Pop Goes The Weasel – up or down the City Road 
  • More ghostsign tours – Fitzrovia, Marylebone, Southwark, Lambeth
  • Locations, Locations, Locations / Making Movies
  • Frogs and Sheep – St Mary's Islington to The City
  • Parallel Paths (more info to follow)
  • Fabulous Fonts and Friendly Faces – the printing and clock-making industries of Clerkenwell 
  • Islington On The Edge (walking the border of the borough, though in sections) 
  • A Slice of Islington
  • It's Hip to Be Square – Bloomsbury/Fitzrovia/Barnsbury squares etc 
  • Bury me in Islington – inc Canonbury, Highbury and Barnsbury 
  • Hackney Brook – Holloway to Arsenal 
  • New River Walk – Islington to Tottenham (4hr walk either way) 
  • Little Red Bus – I had this idea five years ago and it's still not risen to the surface!! – a series of five 90min walking tours following the route of the 153 bus (Finsbury Park to Finsbury Square) with a few deviations to see some interesting and not so well-known places along the way.
  • Please also see the News and Events section
If you are interested in any of the above and can organise a group of people please do get in touch for more info as most of the above can swiftly pulled together and arranged at a mutually convenient date.

If you have ideas of your own, perhaps a particular subject or theme that you are interested in that would make a good walking tour, then please do get in touch. Here are a few ideas – women, artists, animals, shops, churches, children, music, health.

Customer reviews and feedback

During the summer months I sometimes provide guided commentary (when required) on Hidden Depths canalboat tours which moor at Granary Steps, Kings Cross. 
Many tours go through the 200-year Islington Tunnel – a wonderful experience through a marvellous feat of clever engineering. Boat trips can be booked for parties and events. Please contact Hidden Depths for more information