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King Cholera and the Great Metropolis Walk
Sat 17 June 2017, 16:15 – 18:15 BST
Putrid drains, crowded housing and deadly drinking water: join Blue Badge guide Sophie Campbell on a two-hour walk through London's East End in search of King Cholera, which stalked the poorer areas of the capital in the mid-19th century.
The 1866 outbreak started near the River Lea and the walk features the river, a Victorian 'cathedral of sewage', the site of the outbreak and one of the cemeteries known as the 'Magnificent Seven.' Stroll from the age of miasma into the post-germ era, thanking your lucky stars for modern medicine.
This walk is inspired by Song of Contagion, playing at Wilton’s Music Hall June 13-17, a musical exploration of why some diseases are 'valued' more than others. The first song invokes a time when London's rivers were alive with human waste, cholera raged and water companies resisted change. Cholera disappeared in the UK, but lives on in areas such as West Bengal: as the British music fades, Indian instruments and voices sound on.
The walk is timed to fit between the matinee (2pm) and evening (7.30pm) performances. It starts at West Ham Underground Station and ends at Bow Underground Station, so walkers can take the Tube to Tower Hill and arrive at Wilton's in good time to have a drink before the show.
Please note: tickets for the walk and for the show at Wilton’s must be booked separately - though you don't have to be attending the show to join the walk.