The Great River Race

London’s “river marathon”, a spectacular boat race up the Thames that attracts over 300 crews from all over the globe and every level of competitor, from those who enjoy fun, fancy dress and charity stunts to serious sports people who are there to win. A great fun day out for participants and spectators alike.


Pimlico Free Guided Walks

This weekend there are 3 great Guided Walks starting or finishing by Pimlico, which don’t need booking and are all free!

Meet at Westminster or Embankment Tube Stations for a 2 Hour, less than 5 Mile walk guided by an expert.


Old Westminster – 1,000 Years of History

This is the great seminal London Walk. Old Westminster is London at its grandest: the place where kings and queens are crowned, lived, and often buried. It’s the forge of the national destiny, the Mecca of politicians throughout the ages. The past here is cast in stone and we take it all in: ancient Westminster Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the Jewel Tower, Westminster Abbey and Cabinet War Rooms. And to see it with a great guide is to have that past suddenly rise to the surface. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Old Westminster – 1,000 Years of History

Somewhere Else London

A wonderful walk that gets you into back streets that you’d never find off your own bat.That discovery alone makes this one of those bewitching “somewhere else” London Walks. Getting there involves a high octane stroll along the Thames, past the world’s foremost arts complex, London’s best loved old theatre, a real London street market, a stunning bird’s eye view of the capital (there’s a lift), and buckets of character.

Somewhere Else London

Subterranean London – What You’re Overlooking

The Cobra Room, Secret Tunnels, Bomb Shelters, Crypts, Lost Rivers, Trains & Drains: ‘Nowhere else is the tangle of infrastructure – new and old – with history and geology more intriguing or problematic’. (from Beneath the Metropolis The Secret Lives of Cities Alex Marshall). The London we know is just the crust: there’s another world down there. Everything from the squat, camouflaged, granite-hard redoubt where the last stand would be made against the Nazis to the ultra-secret Cobra Room. Find out what’s under your feet with a guide who can show you the tell-tale ripples on the surface: vents, secret doorways, emergency exits, the “last stand” redoubt. The old familiar London will never look the same again.

Subterranean London – What You’re Overlooking

NHS Changes to Pimlico Healthcare

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Prime Minister Davi...

Prime Minister David Cameron is escorted by Chief Executive Heather Davies at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on May 19, 2011 (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)



NHS North West London is recommending changes to the way healthcare is provided to services outside of hospitals & some services at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

As I read it one of Westminster and Chelsea or Charing Cross will cease to be a major hospital.

The proposals are described here.


There is a consultation which ends on 8th October 2012.

There are various ways to find out about the proposed changes and express a view:

Go to the Public Meetings

Date: Monday 1st October

Time: 6-8pm

Venue: Westminster Academy, The Naim Dangoor Centre, 255 Harrow Road, London, W2 5EZ (Paddington or Royal Oak stations or 18 and 36 buses).

Please register your interest in attending this meeting by emailing

The agenda.

There is also a consultation event on Saturday 6th October. Drop-in between 10am and 4pm at Hinde Street Methodist Church, 19 Thayer Street, London, W1U 2QJ.

How to have your say


Call: 0800 881 5209


Key consultation areas

  • whether you support or oppose the alternative services being put in place in community settings to provide quality care closer to home and reduce the need to go to hospital
  • which five hospitals should become Major Hospitals with A&E, Obstetrics and Paediatrics, and which should be Local Hospitals with a 24/7 Urgent Care Department
  • whether you support or oppose changes being proposed by Imperial College Health Trust to transfer eye services from Western Eye Hospital and the Hyperacute Stroke Unit from Charing Cross to St Mary’s Hospital.

Queens Jubilee Pageant Passing Pimlico – Map

Thames Jubilee Pageant Map from

Westminster Morris Men

This Saturday is a great opportunity to see the Westminster Morris Men – established in 1953 in the City of Westminster, they have been widely recognised as one of the country’s leading mens’ morris teams.

Westminster Morris Men

Westminster Morris Men

Saturday May 12th is the Westminster Day of Dance when 12 Morris Teams will be touring London’s West End laying on free displays of dance. The guest teams joining the Westminster Morris Men are the Jockey Morris Men, Earlsdon Morris Men, Hammersmith Morris Men, Ravensbourne Morris Men, Thrales Rapper, Moulton Morris Men, Thaxted Morris Men, Yateley Morris Men, East Surrey Morris Men and Woodside Morris Men.

The sites close to Pimlico where you can see dancing are:

Victoria Embankment Steps
St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey
Westminster Cathedral Piazza,
Victoria Street
Tate Britain
Cardinal Place, SW1
St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey
The Sanctuary, Westminster Abbey

View WMM_DoD_Morning in a larger map

Full details of the the day are available from the Westminster Morrismen

London Rents Are Rising and It’s All My Fault.

Excited for my medical terminology class today...

Photo credit: LibraryatNight

I was ill – I caught a debilitating disease for which the medical term is Domii Pauci – my G.P. identified the problem and got me an appointment with a specialist who had devoted his life to curing people with this complaint. I prepared a wet fish, and finally the day came for my appointment and I marched into his surgery and announced:

“You bloodsucking leech! How can you live off the misery of your patients! How dare you sit in your comfortable surgery, taking taxpayers money? I am going to make sure that you never practise medicine again! Then I hit him round the face with a wet fish. I don’t think we will see HIM in surgery again!

At least that was the message that I got from today’s Independent in their story:

A new era of house building could create jobs, stimulate growth, and help the poor. So why won’t Cameron do it?

It’s a great story with a lousy message.

Yes there is a problem, especially in London: a modest two-bedroom place in London’s Zone 2 – a standard monthly rent is indeed £800, even £900. The Independent reports hundreds of furious Londoners bombarding with their renting horror stories. One had a 35 per cent rent hike imposed on them at Christmas; another was forced to desert their Stockwell flat after a 40 per cent increase. “My tiny flat in the East End went up by £200 a month for the next occupants when I left”. Clearly the patient is sick, sick with Domii Pauci – a housing shortage.

The Independent’s solution is the wet fish: “Private landlords can do as they please, of course. Having a roof over your head is a basic human requirement and, when there is a lack of houses to go around, it is a need that can be exploited. A landlord knows that, if their tenants don’t like an outrageous rent hike, their only option is to put themselves back at the mercy of the ever more pricey private renting market. According to Shelter, annual rents in inner London went up by 7 per cent last year – or just under £1,000 for a two-bedroom house. When people’s wages are flat-lining, that’s a big hit.”

As a Landlord of some 20 years I have seen this coming, indeed it’s why I am a Landlord. The strange thing is that the Government hasn’t seen it coming, and still doesn’t understand why it is happening, and getting worse. The fixed costs of being a Landlord are increasing exponentially – Pimlico Flats has had to take on an employee solely for the purpose of administering deposits, council tax, utilities. Computerisation has enabled big corporations like Westminster City Council to remove thinking from their activities and leave automated mailshots. New regulations require building work to prevent such things as “death by only having one lock” ……. again, many of the new initiatives are good, and contribute to tenants well being, but some don’t. And all carry a cost, and at the end of the day the tenant bears that cost,  not government, or the landlord.

It’s time for Government and Shelter to examine what leads to higher rents, and what leads to lower rents, and to act accordingly.

Meantime don’t be surprised if Landlords leave the Planet saying thanks for all the fish.


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