Friday, 2 August 2013

CoolTan Arts Largactyl Shuffle

Summer Solstice Midnight Walk 2013

Review: by Tim Russell
More than 100 Largactyl Shufflers gathered for our Midnight Summer Solstice walk on the evening of June 22, when we walked from Tate Modern to Maudsley Hospital, and learnt about the ‘Mad Buildings’ of Southwark!

Our first stop was at the gates of the Crossbones Cemetery on Redcross Way. After hearing a talk about its history as an unconsecrated burial site and memorial to sex workers, we moved on to the Borough and the former site of the Marshalsea prison, an infamous jail where Dickens’ father was once imprisoned. 

From the Borough, we headed on down to the Elephant and Castle roundabout and gathered in the centre, next to the colourful lights by the Faraday Memorial, to hear a talk on night walking. Charles Dickens, who was a prolific night walker, often passed this very spot on his way to Rochester.

After leaving the roundabout it was a short walk to the Heygate, where we learnt about the history of the estate and its controversial current redevelopment, before a quick rest at CoolTan Arts for coffee and cakes. As the light began slowly to return, we continued our walk down Walworth Road and headed to Camberwell Green, where we arrived at our very own CoolTan Arts Bench and gingko tree. Here we heard about the history and meaning of the Summer Solstice, before lighting candles around the bench.

There was one more stop for talks at the opposite end of the Green, where we learnt about the history of Camberwell House Asylum and Bethlem Hospital, before finally finishing the walk at Maudsley Hospital for a much needed sit-down and hot drinks. 

Well done everybody that bravely took part, and we hope to see you again next year! 

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