On 1st April 2017, the Tour Guides lead a group of invited guests on a Mystery History Tour.

It all started when the notorious highwayman Jerry Abershaw was spotted in the market place by Watchman Charlie Hanks ...

... and was led away and placed in the stocks.  The public pelted him with rotten fruit and vegetables.

Earlier Newsletters

After bribing his captors, Abershaw escaped and led his "gang" to All Saints Church ...

... where they were met by Esther Hammerton, the 18th Century Church Sexton.

As the Abershaw Gang left the church, a passing member of the public - who just happened to be a Tour Guide - told them about the history of Thames Street ...

... and led them to the river where they were met by the Duchess of Clarence and her Lady in Waiting.  The Duchess told them all about the stone bridge that she had opened in 1828 ...

... until the Tour Guide reappeared to tell the gang about the old wooden bridge that dated from the 12th Century.

William Sillar then appeared and related the story of how the Native Guano Company had solved Kingston's sewage problem.

Walking back up to Clarence Street, the Tour Guide appear yet again to tell the group all about the John Lewis store until a chap called Frank Bentall appeared ...

... to relate the story of how Bentalls grew from a small drapery store to become the largest UK department store outside of Central London.

Bentall led them to the Memorial Garden where the Watchman Charlie Hanks was skulking, having lost Jerry Abershaw earlier in the day.

Hanks regaled the group with tales of Old Kingston in the 19th Century, before leading them back to the Market Place ...

... where Henry Shrubsole was waiting to tell them about his 3 terms as Mayor of Kingston and the memorial to himself.

Shrubsole took the gang down to the Hogsmill river where he bumped into his old friend, the photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge ...

... who showed the group his childhood home on the High Street and a mural dedicated to his name by the Rose Theatre.  Muybridge explained that he had changed his name to the Saxon spelling of Eadweard and took the group to see the Coronation Stone to prove it ...

... where they were met by King Athelstan who told them all about the Coronation Stone and the Saxon Kings who were crowned in Kingston.

Athelstan took the group back into the Market Place, explaining some historical features as they went through the market to see his statue on the façade of the "Jack Wills" shop ...

... until Queen Anne appeared with her Lady in Waiting to tell the group that her statue was much bigger and golden!

Finally, the Tour Guides gathered by the Church Gates for a very modern "tradition" - the group photograph!

Kingston Tour Guides is a voluntary organisation;

we are funded by a grant from the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

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