Sick City Project

'Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be'

Sick City Walks – ‘Tall Ships and Tropical Diseases: Global Medicine in Greenwich’

London and the Thames seen from the south, in an 1845 engraving after Frederick James Smyth. Wellcome Library, London.

London and the Thames seen from the south, in an 1845 engraving after Frederick James Smyth. Wellcome Library, London.

‘Tall Ships and Tropical Diseases’ is our latest Sick City Walk, and has just been uploaded to the free Sick City Walks web app. Featuring the silky tones of actress and poet Rachael Grace Black, it tells the story of London’s window on the world, with cameo appearances from Vikings, spies, naval heroes, and (perhaps) Jimi Hendrix. And it reveals that a certain world-famous line is not quite where everyone says it is. Here’s a little taster:

Greenwich, the ‘green port’, is London at its most graceful. Quirks of geography – the sublime, sheltering curve of Greenwich Hill, the flat riverside terrace, the power and depth of the river at this point – made it a perfect place for a maritime settlement. And its distance from the medieval city made Greenwich a haven for aristocrats and merchants seeking to escape from London’s squalor and delinquency: for centuries this isolated village was home to palaces, mansions and monasteries. But as Britain extended her global reach through trade, conquest and exploration, and as the city grew outwards, so Greenwich took on a new role as the oracle of global time and a notorious hotspot for spies, saboteurs and pleasure-seekers. Join us for a walk around this exotic entrepot – half port, half palace – and get a rare breath of London’s historic sea air.

To use the Sick City Walks app, all you need is a smartphone or a tablet with web access, a pair of headphones, and a couple of hours free for each walk. Point your phone or tablet’s browser to http://www.sickcity.co.uk, and follow the links. Each walk will use approximately 20-30MB of data, if you listen to all the audio.

You can receive updates on the Sick City Walks app, and on my guided walks and events, by following SickCityProject on Twitter. We’ll be adding new walks regularly, and planning tours in other cities – so watch this space.

The Sick City Walks app has been developed with funding from a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellowship.

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This entry was posted on December 19, 2012 by and tagged , , , , .
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