Published on May 7th, 2014 | by Gavin0
London Eye Pays Tribute to 32 Great Londoners
Thursday 1st May was a good day to be a Londoner, aside from the appalling weather that is. To celebrate the achievements of some of the people that have made London one of the greatest cities on the planet, last week the EDF energy London Eye and Hendricks Gin organised talks on 32 great Londoners.
These weren’t just any talks, each one took place way up high on the pods of the London Eye itself, and guest speakers included former London mayor Ken Livingstone and Robert Elms. So who were the 32 chosen Londoners you ask? They ranged from historical greats such as Queen Victoria and Thomas Becket, to modern day heroes such as Bobby Moore and David Bowie (full list at bottom of this post).
A pod dedicated to East London bad guys the Kray twins caused the most stir; but personally I didn’t have an issue with it. Overlooking the criminal element of London, would be like ignoring Prince Phillip’s frequent offensive, yet often hilarious, gaffs; it is what makes Britain so Great. And it seems many others were in agreement as the Kray’s pod was the first to sell out. Besides, we wouldn’t have Bonfire Night if it wasn’t for Guy Fawkes, so we thank you Mr Fawkes for your failed attempt at treason!
When I scrolled through the list, I was most interested in listening to Gavin Evans’ (author of Lennox Lewis biography Mama’s Boy) talk on Lennox Lewis; mainly because I’ve always seen the former heavyweight boxing champion as a bit of a “Plastic Brit”. Although born in West Ham, East London; he went to the Olympics in 1984 representing Canada; he spoke in a weird American/London accent; spent many of his most successful years living in America; and now lives in Miami.
An odd choice considering there were only 32 pods and, in my opinion, a whole host of other sports stars that’ve done much more for our city (Frank Bruno, Stirling Moss, and Seb Coe to name three off the top of my head). Nevertheless, Gavin’s talk focussed on much of Lennox’s time growing up in London, getting into street brawls, before moving onto his boxing career which had me reminiscing about the times I sat in front of the TV watching his bouts with Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Oliver McColl.
32 Londoners was a resounding success and reaffirmed what I already knew about the city. A podcast will be made available via the 32 Londoners website, and more events are planned for the near future; we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
The 32 Londoners: Thomas Becket, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Stow, Samuel Pepys, William Hogarth, Beau Brummell, Michael Faraday, John Keats, Joseph Bazalgette, Queen Victoria, Gilbert & Sullivan, Marie Lloyd, William Heath Robinson, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Herbert Morrison, Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Evelyn Waugh, Cecil Beaton, Phyllis Pearsall, Joan Littlewood, Lionel Bart, The Krays, Adam Faith, Bobby Moore, Ray Davies, David Bowie, Jazzie B, Lennox Lewis, Ozwald Boateng, Naomi Campbell, Zadie Smith.
The EDF Energy London Eye, Riverside Bldg, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB
Photo Credit: Doug PetersShare This Post