A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens Virtual Walk 2020

South London Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens walk
04/12/2020 admin 0 Comments

Event Date and time: 11 December 2020, Starting at 7 pm -9 pm

Michelle Baharier of Fruit Cake Creative’s friends invited the public to be part of a Dickens Christmas Carol walk.

We saw what Ebenezer Scrooge saw when he was visited by ghosts! This iconic story is relevant to the current pandemic we are living through. Back then, thousands lost jobs and were thrown into poverty. The walk takes place on Jacob’s Island were the urban underclass, lived the setting for Oliver Twist, its where Bill Sykes and Fagin lived, in reality, Jacob’s Island reputation was as one of Londons worst slums, notorious as a thieves den in part of Bermondsey south east London where Typhus was rife due to sewage backing up around the Island.

South London’s Jacob’s Island used in Oliver Twist

In 1849, an article in The Morning Chronicle described Jacob’s Island as:

“The very capital of cholera”


“The Venice of drains”

It’s little wonder that the area was a hotspot for the cholera epidemics in the late 19th century. Ditches were used for both sewers and drinking water. Both Henry Mayhew social researcher and Dickens visited Jacob’s Island. They noted many inhabitants of the district had no water to drink other than from filthy ditches.

This so-called island was created alongside the Thames by the River Neckinger, the docks and a series of tidal ditches.

Thames Water divides people

Today Thames water is building the supper sewer. Once upon a time, only the poor lived there. Now home to a divided community which includes millionaires. We will begin at Miss Havershames house, of course, she was from great Expectations.

By the end of the 19th century, philanthropists were operating across London. Inhabitants were re-homed into better accommodation through new social housing schemes. With the establishment of London County Council in 1889 which favoured council homes, such as this estate today.

The Luftwaffe during World War II bombed the area leaving it heavily damaged by the Blitz. Today it is part of the London Borough of Southwark, with only one of the Victorian warehouses surviving.

Baharier took audiences on a wonder using live streaming, as she walks in her night grown. Leading us to places we know not, and to famous places we know well. Fruit Cake Creative’s and friends created a live community with poetry and song, to cheer us along.

Everyone brought their own food and drink to get into the festive mood as we envisaged the new normal of past present and future.

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