London Studies is one of our U3A’s most popular activity with seven groups visiting London a month and studying the history of our capital city. For their June visit London Studies 1 members had their own researched guided tour of historic Bankside and Southwark. First up was a building few know about but was crucial to ensuring the safety of Victorian(and later) structures such as the iron and steel girders used in bridges and buildings, and many other materials. This was the Kirkaldy Testing and Experimental Works (now a museum). We were fortunate that Knole members, Paul and Ruth Verrall are volunteers at the Musuem and kindly let us in for a guided tour.
Other buildings discovered on the day almost hidden by modern buildings included the 18th Century Hopton Alms Houses, one of the former seats that were on Old London Bridge, The Hope Exchange where Kentish Hops were traded, and a few quirky buildings and tranquil gardens.
The tour ended as usual at a convenient hostelry – this time at London’s last Galleried Inn – the George near London Bridge.