My job gives me the privilege of being out and about every day in London.

Whether leading a walk, visiting a museum or gallery, or just enjoying the city's bustle or its quiet spaces, there's always something new to see, something interesting going on.

In my blog, I seek to reflect the ever-changing patterns of life in the greatest City on Earth!

Huguenot Festival

The wonderful, long-overdue Huguenot Festival,8-21 April, centres on Spitalfields. This year is the 250 anniversary of the death of Anna Maria Garthwaite, the outstanding English designer of patterned silks.  In April, 1598, 415 years ago, the Edict of Nantes, which gave the Protestants toleration to worship in Catholic France, was revoked. Some quarter of a million left France and about 450,000 came to this country, 25,000 to London.  The silk weavers settled in Spitalfields. They were extraordinarily skilled, not just as silk weavers, but as clock-makers, goldsmiths, occulists, businessmen, bankers, horticulturists, gunsmiths, and in many other trades, contributing massively to the culture of this country. It would be fair to say that the 18th century ‘age of elegance’ has much to with  Huguenot style and innovation. It is said that about 75% have Huguenot blood in our veins.  For the next 10 days, these huguenots are being celebrated. All the details on the website, www.huguenotsofspitalfields.org. I am taking some walks on the silkweavers of Spitalfields.  Do come along, and I am doing a talk on the same subject at the Guildhall library on 9th April, at 2pm  Entry for this is free.  There are lectures, walks, visits, the Big Weave in the market, speakers like Dan Cruickshank and Tessa Murdoch.  It promises to be wonderful.


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