Street Art Tour

Something a bit different for me yesterday. Something that I would never normally turn my eye to. I almost didn’t go but as I am currently using the mantra of ‘Yes Man’ I went anyway. (Now just a quick side step, I have to confess I haven’t ever seen or read Yes Man, so I’m not sure if it has a good message and a positive ending or not. If any of you know what happens when he says yes all the time can you please let me know so I don’t keep saying yes and end up with some bad luck!)

But yes, yesterday, with work we had a social in the afternoon. I know, what a great place to work where you can have afternoons off work and use it as an excuse to socialise and network with those who work in the same department but that you never quite come across or your paths never cross. I was menat to be going with a couple of girls from my section but last minute they dropped out as other things came up. I instantly wanted to just not go. That was always my go to.however, being all positive and shit now, I swallowed that idea pretty quickly, pulled on my big girl pants and decided to go along anyway.

I was on my way (you go girl!), and I thought I recognised a girl whose name was on the list of those going. I  even asked if they were going and asked if I could tag along with them and they said of course I could. Now, I know to most normal people this would be a normal thing to do, but no, not for I. I like to be awkward as possible around people and just suffer in silence on my own and not have fun haha. Well that’s a lie, of course I want to have fun, but my awkwardness and anxiety always prevented from doing something like that. Hello new change 👋🏻 

We arrived at Aldgate East station and met the rest of the group and our tour guides to be. Now, I’m not going to sit here and walk  you through the whole day and all the things we saw and heard because I couldn’t do it justice. It was honestly such an eye opener and inspiration to see such things. The amount of times I have been to the areas that we were taken to and I have never once took time to just admire the art work. It isn’t just illegal art or graffiti, so much of it actually has meaning and the story behind these people are amazing. If you’re ever in London I would totally recommend doing a street at tour round the east end.

I didn’t just learn about the art, I also learnt a good few facts which might come handy in. A pub quiz one day (I’m hoping at least one comes up on the pub quiz I have coming up. Another work social may I add!) so here’s my facts from the day:

  • Places in London which end in gate, such as Aldgate, Bishopsgates and Moorgate are where the boarders of the city used to lie. Outside these borders would be woods and forests. Talking of Aldgate, it should actually be Old Gate but clearly, rough the years, we’ve all got lazy at speaking and it changed to Aldgate.
  • The phrase Stiff Drink comes from the battle where Nelson died. To preseve his body they placed him in a barrel of whisky, or rum, can’t remember and on the journey home, the sailors drank from the barrel not knowing his body was in there (!) and that’s where the term stiff drink comes from.
  • The place Soho . The term Soho, actually was used during hunting of small animals. Those on the hunt, when a small animal was spotted would shout ‘soho’ and ‘tally ho’ for a big animal. It is also believed to have been coined, James Scott, the Duke Of Monmouth who used it is a rallying cry in the battle of sedgemoore on the 6th July 1685
  • Who lives at no.1, London? The Duke of Wellington
  • Bollards were originally canons from when we defeated the French in the Battle of Trafalgar. We kept their artillery, including their canons so we could melt them down or use them on our own ships. However, due to difference in size,the cannons didn’t fit our ships, so we simply used them as bollards on street corners to stop the horse and carriages cutting the corners off. It was also a massive middle finger to the French and saying their weapons were useless and only good for street corners
  • Petticoat lane in London isn’t actually called petticoat lane. If you look on a map it actually doesn’t exist. Petticoat lane was called this originally because it was where ladies got their undergarments. However, the victorians being the prudes they were, (nothing wrong with that as before I met F, I was very much a prude!), decided it was inappropriate to call it that and named it Middlesex street instead. How having sex in the name is better I don’t know but that’s the victorians for you
  • Where Spitalfields is, it used to be a green land, forests and woods and often where hospitals would be set up to help those fallen in battle. So in fact, they were called hospital fields. But again, our poor pronunciation and lack of vowels, it became Spital Fieds

I think that’s all my facts that I learnt. Now for the pièce de résistance, the art. Now I can’t remember all the names of the artists but there was a Roa, Zarabou, Banksy (of course) and the guy who was behind all the tshirts with obey on and many more.


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