Welcome to The Boot, a new blog series about the School’s guided history walks programme. On these tours, Boot will be our ‘shoe leather epidemiologist’ on the pavement and will record highlights and feedback.
The idea for walks with a public health component originated in the Centre for History in Public Health and was the first specifically themed programme of its type in London – now celebrating its first decade. Walks are free, thanks to a grant from the Wellcome Trust.
Walks are administered by Ingrid James and led by Dr Ros Stanwell-Smith, a graduate of the School as well as a London Blue Badge Guide, which is the highest qualification available for guiding and is backed by all the appropriate health and safety policies and standards – although Boot would also add that walking is a government approved way to keep fit and the only real hazard is the British weather (Ros claims that Bloomsbury looks particularly fine in the rain, it’s built for it).
Two or three walks are arranged each term and occasionally at other times: last year, walks commemorating the bicentenary of Dr John Snow’s birth were particularly popular – the Soho excursions are early evening walks, so that participants can get together in the John Snow pub or nearby afterwards.
Usually we kick off at the School’s Keppel Street building, but in December a new walk, ‘Brilliant Bloomsbury’, started at the Wellcome Trust. We’ll repeat this when the evenings are lighter (Boot noted feedback from one participant that it was rather dark for sight-seeing).
Check out the Centre for History in Public Health website for more details and booking information. We keep the groups fairly small as it’s the best way to enjoy the tours. We welcome feedback and ideas to keep on walking!
Post submitted by Boot – mainly in Wellingtons this month.
(Images: Dr Ros Stanwell-Smith with walking tour participants. Credit: LSHTM)