Black Lives Matter, clive of india, Geaaorge Washington, Grand Old Duke of York, Mary Seacole, Oliver Cromwell, Richard the Lionheart, SOE, violette szabo
With controversial statues so much in the news these days we thought a walk to have a look at some would be interesting. We start with perhaps the most beautiful statue/memorial in London. And it’s to a great, kind woman. Yet even this has had its controversies. We see a fine memorial to some very brave women. Another important memorial remembers the abolition of the slave trade. Then it’s on to a statue of a great heroine freedom fighter, but some might call her a terrorist? We then see a statue of a Frenchman who taxed the English into poverty to pay for his wars – what’s he doing there?! Then a man who chopped off the king’s head – what’s he doing there?! We finally see statues to a couple of truly great men, but they were very controversial in their time. Then it’s a law-abiding freedom fighter – but a radical might say she was too law abiding! We then see a huge memorial to a racist thug- what’s he still doing there?! Then it’s two great generic memorials to those who gave so much when we most needed them. Then we see the second largest memorial in London – to a useless chinless wonder. What’s he doing there?! Then it’s the oldest statue in London, to a king which was meant to be melted down when he fell out of favour. But it survives courtesy of some dodgy dealings we’ll tell you about. There’s also a statue to a man who said he would never set foot on British soil (oh, and he was also a slave owner) – what’s he doing there?! And that’s him asking! We answer all these questions and pose others for you. We finish where there used to be a great statue of General Gordon sitting on a camel. It’s been replaced by a magnificent statue to a great nurse. Or is it?
Start: Lion at the southern entrance to Westminster Bridge
Finish: Spacious spot behind St Martins in the Fields Church, close to Charing Cross station