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Hi prospective students of English coming to central London to study at ICE. Make sure that you know the difference between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, the latter being a bascule bridge that opens for big ships and is a tourist attraction. London Bridge’s claim to fame is that it is one of the world’s oldest being built first over 2000 years ago. There are legions of stories and songs about London Bridge, which was the only bridge over the Thames in London up until 1740. One story tells of how baby Anne Hewett, the daughter of clothworker, William, fell off the bridge in 1536 and was rescu…
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Mind the Gap...

Apr 24, 2017

Now then, if I ask you students of English both past and present :”What do you know about the London Underground system (The Tube) invariably one of you will say to me: “Mind The Gap”, which is often heard when the train doors open. All but one of the stations have the same recorded announcement to warn passengers that the track is curved but the platform is straight and so there is a gap between platform and carriage. The exception is Embankment station on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line. Here the announcement is the original 1960s version by Oswald Lawrence. Oswald died in 20…
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Is everybody enjoying the beautiful English weather? OK well this is a good time to visit The Royal Botanical Gardens better known by Londoners as “Kew Gardens”. There you will find the most amazing plants, shrubs and trees from all over the world.  You can also visit Kew Palace which was the final home of “Mad” King George III because a blood disease affected his brain as depicted in the film “The Madness of King George”. George III was King from 1760 to 1820 and he became ill in 1788 at the age of 50.  He, his father and later his sons enjoyed the palace on the banks of the River Thames as a…
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Hello lovers of coffee in all its forms. You can visit Bar Italia probably the best-known coffee bar in Soho in the centre of London at 22 Frith Street. Less known is that before it was a coffee bar it was the home of John Logie Baird who was not English but Scottish. On 26th January 1924, in his attic room, he gave the first demonstration of television which he invented. Baird had, three months before, run across the street and grabbed an office boy, Wiliam Taynton, and persuaded him to the subject of the demonstration. So W.Taynton could claim to be the very first person in the world to app…
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Hello all you budding economists coming to study English at ICE, No doubt you realise that the weak Pound means a better exchange rate and you will be shopping in Oxford Street, that famous street in the centre of London. Close by is Carnarby Street famous for trendy clothes.  Halfway down this street is the turning into Broadwick Street and on the right is the John Snow pub where shoppers can rest their feet and get a welcome beer and snack. The pub is appropriately named after Dr John Snow who discovered the cause of cholera in 1854. He mapped many of the deaths from the disease near his S…
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Hampstead Heath

Mar 13, 2017

Hello English language students, Spring is here! So a walk on Hampstead Heath is in order to enjoy nearly 370 ha of unspolit countryside close to the centre of London. Moreover it one of the highest points of London and so enjoys much fresher air. Climb up Parliament Hill on the Heath and at the top find one of the most spectacular views of the City. For many years the local English of Hampstead called it “Traitor”s Hill” after 1605 when Guy Fawkes decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. Fawkes and his 13 conspirators had arranged to meet on Parliament Hill to watc…
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Hello to our friends in and from South America. Soon our students from Venezuela in Islington Centre for English will be celebrating their Independence day on 19th April. Hopefully the weather will be kind and they can visit Belgrave Square close to Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace in the centre of London. There they can lay flowers at the statue of Simon Bolivar the South American hero, born 24th July in Venezuela, who was known as “El Liberator” for his role in liberating Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.  Simon died aged 47 on the 17th December 1830. In 1810 he led a delegatio…
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Calling all you fans of fame, fashion and history. In Central London you can ”meet” all the world’s most famous people. It was in 1789 that Marie Grosholz learned the art of molding the heads of victims of the guillotine. After marriage she came to Britain as Mrs Marie Tussaud with 35 of her waxwork figures. Today, 182 years later, students of English can visit Madame Tussaud’s in Baker Street, London to see world famous people both dead and living.  Charles Dickens called it: “an institution with celebrities”. One of the most popular is Princess Diana who wore a beautiful red gown when I wen…
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Hello again, English students! This week we look at the world of pop music. Many of you will have seen the famous album cover of the Beatles walking in line across a pedestrian crossing on Abbey Road in Central London. The picture represented the band arriving at EMI’s famous studio in Abbey Road. However, soon the Beatles were not crossing Abbey Road but going to Soho the centre of London’s entertainment district for there, tucked away in St Anne”s Court, is Trident Studios which became more popular with performers  such as David Bowie, Queen, Elton John, Lou Reed and The Who. The Beatles re…
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Category: Learn English

Hi English students!  Here’s my latest gem of London history for you.  This week Greenwich.  Greenwich Park was a favourite place for Kings and Queens and later Londoners to escape the dust and heat from central London. Today people still enjoy this Royal park which is on the riverbank of the Thames. Once a port, its name comes from the Anglo Saxon language for “Green Port”.  Visitors can also go inside the Cutty Sark, which was the fastest sailing ship in the world in 1869 when she could cover over 563km per day as she brought tea from China to London. Not English but Scottish, the ship’s …
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