The Christmas Special - December 2018 Ride report

On a Saturday just before Christmas, over 60 Fridays members gathered for the now traditional seasonal conversation-paced cycle around London.  Unlike the past couple of years, the format reverted to a day ride and thankfully this year the weather gods were kind and allowed us to ride in mild and dry conditions - always helpful.

Before even leaving our start point outside the National Theatre, the group had the first helping of grisliness with the story of Georgi Markov, a dissident Bulgarian, who was poisoned with an umbrella tip as he walked across Westminster Bridge.  We then headed west via Mayfair and Marble Arch, passing the site of the infamous Tyburn Trees which allowed for industrial scale simultaneous hangings.  

A brief visit to Princess Gate allowed us to revisit the smell of cordite and Lewis Collins look-alikes before we moved on to the site of the ‘acid bath murders’ and the darker reaches of Fulham which witnessed the murder of Jill Dando.  We passed the property in Shorrolds Road where Susie Lamplugh was due to meet Mr Kipper on the day she disappeared.

From there we turned east passing Lord Lucan’s former home before pausing in Bow Street, the home of the famous Bow Street Runners and continuing onwards through The City. No Christmas ride would be complete without a brief stop at the Lloyds Building from where we headed towards Whitechapel and south to Shadwell Basin and a waterside route back into town for well-earned refreshments.

A great afternoon, and a tremendous turn out for our last ride of 2018.   Huge thanks go to our ride leader Titus for guiding us round so smoothly.

For those who were unable to make it, here is the list grisly goings-on that featured on the tour.

  • Waterloo Bridge - Georgi Markov umbrella murder

  • Victoria Embankment - New Scotland Yard 

  • St James Square - PC Yvonne Fletcher murder

  • 100 Pall Mall - Lord Byron’s duel

  • Grosvenor Square [Millennium Hotel] -  Alexander Litvinenko poisoning

  • Marble Arch - Tyburn Tree

  • 16 Princess Gate - Iranian embassy siege

  • 79 Gloucester Road - John Haigh and the acid bath murders

  • 29 Gowan Avenue - Jill Dando murder

  • 37 Shorrolds Road - Susie Lamplugh last appointment with Mr Kipper

  • 46 Lower Belgrave Street - Lord Lucan

  • 23 Cecil Court - first case solved by identikit

  • Bow Street Magistraites - Court Bow Street Runners

  • Royal Courts of Justice

  • The Old Bailey and Newgate Prison

  • 100 Sidney Street - Sidney Street siege

  • 1Cable Street - Battle of Cable Street

  • Blackfriars Bridge - Roberto Calvi ,God's banker

Thanks to Jenny Hung and Tim Hall for the photos.  See more photos of the day from Tim .