This week members of the Peer Group were given an enriching walking tour of the Bankside, which is home to a number of the company’s assets, including the prized Hop Exchange, London Bridge. The walk was conducted by non-other than Mr Londoner himself (Anthony Robbins, Blue Badge London Guide).
Bankside (‘Banksyde’ in old English) was London’s original centre of chaotic fun and riotous debauchery. Occupied by invading Romans, attacked by rampaging Vikings, favoured by exotic foreigners, Bankside developed outside the city’s jurisdictions. Here the constraints of polite society never quite applied. Chaotic taverns and riotous brothels thrived from the 11th century. Various King’s, including (somewhat surprisingly) Henry VIII tried to regulate the taverns and the sex trade: seeking to discourage disorderly behaviour in his soldiers.
Members of the Peer Group were left with a much-improved knowledge of the area that surrounds them, having held a 2000-year-old object, an incendiary bomb and seen, ‘ghost’ signs, filming locations and a ferryman’s waiting seat.