This Week In London’s History
Random London Fact Of The Week
Speaker’s Corner, at the north-east corner of Hyde Park (near Marble Arch), is an area where any member of the public is permitted to address an audience on pretty much any subject without prior arrangement (provided they don’t break the law).
Although it is often populated by ‘non-mainstream speakers’ (a.k.a. ‘nutters’), it has also hosted many more notable speakers. Karl Marx and George Orwell have both spoken there, and representatives of a number of socialist organisations regularly rock up and present their opinions to the crowds that gather.
The area’s status as a ‘designated free speech zone’ dates back to the mid 19th century. Following a number of riots in Hyde Park over the rights of working class men, the issue of free speech was raised with the Park Authorities in 1872. The end result was a localised relaxation of the park’s by-laws that expressly prohibit public speaking in other parks of the park.
Aside from the esteemed origins of Speaker’s Corner, Londonist likes the area because it often reminds us of a scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian. Sorry.
London’s Weather This Week
After the performance of the last few months, we really don’t want to tempt fate here. Having said that, the forecasters seem to be implying that we might have some weather that vaguely befits the seasonal status of ‘summer’ this week.
Our advice: take a brolly anyway.
Picture of Speaker’s Corner taken from John Brownlow’s Flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 license.