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British Gas: Lamp Lighter

11 Interesting Facts About London Gas Lamps

What a treat it was to inspect gas lamps around Westminster last November with Ian and Garry from British Gas, who love their lamps. They clean and polish them, feel pain when one gets smashed by a passing truck and complained to the Royal Parks who repainted lamps in St. James’s Park without gold paint. Lamps are listed by English Heritage so if one gets knocked down, it must be replaced with an exact copy.  Below are some more interesting facts as shared by Ian & Garry while on this education and training tour for Blue Badge Tourist Guides.  

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Crocker's Folly

Crocker’s Folly Restored

The fabulous Grade II-listed gin palace Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood has been beautifully restored as a restaurant and bar.  The establishment has 50 kinds of marble, Romanesque columns, cut glass chandeliers and carved mahogany. 

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Natural History Museum: Stegosaurus Skeleton

New Stegosaurus Skeleton at Natural History Museum

A spectacular Stegosaurus skeleton was unveiled on 4 December at the Natural History Museum in London. It is the first complete dinosaur specimen to go on display at the Natural History Museum in nearly 100 years. The 150 million year old Stegosaurus stenops is the only Stegosaurus in a public collection outside the USA.

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Peter Paul Reubens, Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt, 1616

Rubens and his Legacy: Van Dyck to Cezanne Exhibition

This exhibition will bring together masterpieces produced during Rubens’ lifetime, as well as major works by great artists who were influenced by him in the generations that followed.

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Windsor Castle

Waterloo at Windsor: 1815-2015 Exhibition

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the defeat of Napoleon. In celebration of the allied victory, George IV created the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle, a grand space filled with portraits of those instrumental in the victory, among them the Duke of Wellington. 

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2014 Beautiful South Award finalist Amanda Bryett

Blue Badge Tourist Guide Finalist In Beautiful South Awards 2014

The Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG) member and Blue Badge Tourist Guide Amanda Bryett who runs Windsor Tourist Guides Ltd was a finalist at the Beautiful South Awards 2014 held at the Grand Hotel, Brighton in December and won a Bronze award for Outstanding Customer Service. As a finalist Amanda now goes forward to the national VisitEngland awards 2015.

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London Olympic Cauldron

The 2012 Olympic Cauldron at the Museum of London

For all of the Blue Badge Tourist Guides who led tours around and in the London Olympic Park, one of the most frequently asked questions was ‘Who will be chosen to light the Olympic Flame? How will it work on the night?’ But of course, it was as much of a mystery to us, as to everyone else!

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Buckingham Palace: Changing of the Guards

January in London

January is the best month to visit London if you are a bargain hunter.  To start, the shops have sales which usually start a couple of days after Christmas. Plus most ice skating rinks and funfairs are still open during the first week so if you missed out pre Christmas, now is the perfect time to visit as they are less crowded. Most shops and many museums open on New Years Day.

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London Sculpture: Fulcrum

London Sculptures: Fulcrum

There are over 400 sculptures scattered across London with several in the Bishopsgate and Liverpool Street area. My favourite is a gigantic sculpture outside the Broadgate exit of Liverpool Street station called “Fulcrum” by the American sculptor Richard Serra. I am absolutely taken by it not only because of its size, and at 55 ft or 16.7m height it is sizeable enough, but because of its simplicity and elegance.

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Garden Bridge in London Closer to Becoming A Reality

Garden Bridge in London Closer to Becoming A Reality

Lambeth Council has given the go-ahead to the proposed £175million Garden Bridge, which will span the river between Temple and the South Bank. 

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The Shard: Ting Restaurant

4 London Restaurants with Great Views

Want take in a great view of London while dining on a delicious meal?  Then consider these four fine dining restaurants with fantastic view of London’s skyline.  

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London Zoo: Asian Lions

Lions in London

Lions are first mentioned in London at the Tower Menagerie in the reign of King John in 1216 and since that time they have not left the city until now.

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