Today I thought I would mention a series of guidebooks that I have been involved with writing over the last few years, and which have, I must say, proved an absolute joy to research and to write.
EDGAR’S WALKING GUIDES
The idea behind them was that people would be able to explore London on their own, or at least with members of their own particular bubble, and would then be able to benefit from the fact that London was, at that time relatively quiet.
JACK THE RIPPER’S EAST END
The first guide that we researched and wrote was Jack the Ripper’s East End, which we envisaged as a walk that could either be done in one go, in which case it would take around four hours, or which could be done in segments over a period of a few days.
I began pacing the route out in July 2020, and, I have to say, I made some amazing discoveries as I did so.
Given that I have been conducting my Jack the Ripper Walking tour since 1982, I honestly thought that there was nothing new for me to discover.
How wrong I was!
I did, in fact, make some absolutely fantastic discoveries as I began to roam hither and thither through the streets of Whitechapel and Spitalfields.
THE ALBERT AND VICTORIA COTTAGES
One of my favourite “finds” was the day when I was pacing out the route from Hanbury Street to Durward Street, and I turned a corner to find myself confronted by a line of 19th-century workmen’s cottages.
The little houses were built in the 1850s to provide housing for artisan families and are a rare example of the type of housing that was once prevalent in the East End of London, but which is now very rare.
I have to say that, during my regular walk-throughs to update the book, I still find these cottages an absolute delight, and I always linger for longer than I should to snap endless photographs of them!
THE FULL JACK THE RIPPER STORY
The book is also intended to provide the reader with the opportunity to uncover the full Jack the Ripper story whilst actually walking through the very streets where that story unfolded.
It is a pocket-sized book, so it is not a great big cumbersome tome, and yet it is really packed full of information.
CONTEMPORARY VICTORIAN PHOTOGRAPHS
The other great thing about the book is the number of old photographs that show the locations that you visit as they were at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders.
Again, whenever I do the walk-through to check the route is still up to date, I find it really intriguing to stand on a particular spot, and then look at a photograph of the surroundings that show them as they were at the time of the Whitechapel murders.
A UNIQUE GUIDEBOOK
Adam and I are – justifiably, I think – proud of this particular guidebook, and the feedback we have had from those who have purchased it and walked the routes has been extremely positive.
So, if you are planning a visit to London, or you live in London and you want a step-by-step guide to the Jack the Ripper locations, then why not purchase a copy of this little guidebook?
You really will see more of the East End of London than you ever thought possible, and, like us, will make some marvellous discoveries.