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Lambeth Tour Guides Association Newsletter Summer 2024

Walk This Way!

Picture Credit: David Turnbull

Lambeth Tour Guides Association welcomes you to the second issue of its quarterly newsletter ‘Walk this Way’. Over the past three months we have enjoyed leading a range of guided walks exploring literature and comics, churches, gardens and bridges. We have led walks highlighting the inspirational women of Lambeth and celebrated the South Bank’s Eurovision heritage.

Head over to our website to find a whole host of fun and interesting walks coming up in July, August and September.

Here are some highlights that we can't wait to share with you

Picture Credit: LTGA

If you are organising a work event, family outing or group activity why not arrange a private group tour with a Lambeth guide?

If you are a visitor to the area and you are looking for something a bit different to the usual tourist attractions we can help! Book one of our knowledgeable and informative guides to show you around.

Contact us to find the right guide for you.


Come and meet us at Lambeth Local History Fair!

Picture Credit: LTGA

Visit our stall at the Lambeth Local History Fair at St Leonard's Church, Streatham High Rd, London, SW16 1HS on Saturday 7th September from 10am-4pm.

Make the most of your day out: enjoy visiting the stalls, purchase some books, attend a talk and book yourself on a 50 minute guided walk starting at St Leonard's Church (departing 10.30am, 11.30am,12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm). The theme of the walk is Bishops, Brothels and Business. Book now


It Happened in Lambeth 

A Rhino in a Lambeth Pub

Picture Credit:

It’s 1758. A rhinoceros’s body is found in a Lambeth pub.

Sounds improbable doesn’t it? 

The truth is that Clara the rhino was brought to England from Calcutta in India by an enterprising Dutch sea captain, Douwemout van der Meer. Lambeth was not Clara’s first port of call. London was just one stop on a grand tour of Europe where the young rhino was displayed as a curiosity. Clara was certainly a crowd pleaser, from riff raff to royalty crowds flocked to see this horned giant.

How was a 5000lb beast like Clara transported?

What was Clara’s relationship with her showman Van der Meer?

And what happened to the rhino’s huge body after her unfortunate demise?

To discover more about Clara, the rise of Claramania and a rhino’s life on the roads of Europe join us for a guided walk On Safari in SE1 – The amazing Animals of Waterloo.

You’ll be surprised at what else you'll find out about Waterloo’s eclectic animals!


Inspirational Women of Lambeth

This book is a collaboration by four LTGA members to celebrate the achievements of women who lived, studied, worked or were buried in Lambeth. It was while setting up the new course at Morley College for the first ever Lambeth Tour Guides that we realised there was, as in many Boroughs, a great deal written about the male figures in local history and much, much less about the women. So we thought it would be a good outcome of our course to give Lambeth, residents and historians and more importantly the younger, more diverse generations, something to aspire to.

Some names will be familiar, some less well-known. They include artists and architects, actors and politicians, doctors, nurses and scientists, novelists, theatre directors, businesswomen and campaigners across eight centuries.

Book launch with the Mayor of Lambeth

As well as recognising the achievements of famous women, the book includes women whose stories have been hidden for generations – their names can be glimpsed on plaques on buildings and public memorials or found as footnotes to the stories of famous men in Archives and libraries.

Also recorded are achievements of inspiring younger women of today, whose stories will no doubt need updating in due course!

Perhaps the book should be called volume one as there are many more stories to tell – we are still collecting information on Lambeth women. If you know of any other women of Lambeth (by birth, marriage, residence, burial or otherwise) whose achievements you think should be recorded, do please let us know.

And maybe you would like to do you own research into the borough by training to become a Lambeth Tour Guide

Copies of the book are available from:

Clapham Books, 26 The Pavement W4 0JA

Herne Hill Books, 289 Railton Road, SE24 0LY

The Calder Bookshop & Theatre, 51 The Cut, SE1 8LF

Lambeth Archives, 16 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1ET

The Owl Bookshop, 207-209 Kentish Town Road, NW5 2JU


A Place to Visit in Lambeth

The Wonderful Walk – Herne Hill

Picture credit: David Turnbull

In the underpass which runs beneath Herne Hill station there is a mural which stretches its entire length. Called the Wonderful Walk, it is the work of artist, Victor Szepessy, and over 2,300 local school children, a feat which won them an entry into the Guinness Book of Records.

The mural depicts famous historical, sporting and entertainment figures with a connection to the area, many of whom also have plaques on the properties they once lived in. It’s a fun starting point to explore Herne Hill’s rich and varied history.


Become a Lambeth Tour Guide - A Students' Story

By Adrian Gibson

A tour guide leaning against a Victorian Stink Pipe in Lambeth
Picture credit: Adrian Gibson / Emma Fleming

Last September I started the 1 year ‘Become a Lambeth Tour Guide’ Course. And I can honestly say it has changed my life.


I was looking for a change in career direction having worked in Fashion Buying all my life. A friend suggested I would make a good Tour Guide with my interest in local history.  I read a Brixton Bugle article about the course, and I felt I had to apply. On the application I was asked about my favourite place in Lambeth, so that was my beloved Brockwell Park!  


You don't need any prior experience though several of my classmates already had London Guiding qualifications.  

a group of tour guides stand in front of Prince Consort Lodge in Kennington Park
Picture Credit: LTGA

I loved the classroom learning, especially the lectures on architecture and about Reel Lambeth (used in so many film and TV productions) and of the training walks my favourite was developing a walk from Kennington to Oval as team for our final exam last month.   


I'd encourage anyone with an interest in London to apply. There is a time commitment, so make sure you can plan your work. At some points, it felt like a challenge but there's no reward without that and as a class we have a real sense of achievement. I'm now working in the Heritage sector and looking forward to planning and heading up more Tours in future.  


Since completing the LTGA course Adrian has started giving tours for The Bridge at Waterloo, and now works in Heritage and at Historic sites.

 The Graduation ceremony for new Guides will take place at the Town Hall, hosted by the Mayor of Lambeth.

Follow Adrian’s Footsteps! Join our Course!

Learn how to weave fascinating narratives.

Research the culture and history of Lambeth.

Find out more about people and places in Lambeth in our series of lectures by experienced tutors and tour guides.

Improve your guiding skills on our regular weekend training walks.

Hone your public speaking skills and presentation skills.

Gain a qualification.


Have a great Summer. We hope to see you on a walk soon. Remember the sunscreen, drink plenty of water and keep #doingLambethwalks



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