Purple Discovery Trail: Wenlock and Mandeville

This is the third post in our series about the Olympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, that have been placed around London as part of the new Discovery Trails that have been unveiled to guide locals and tourists around London for the Olympics.

Here are some fun facts and information about the most interesting mascots on the Purple Trail. The Purple Trail takes you along Piccadilly and Oxford Street on a tour of London’s grand squares and historical architecture.

Red Bus WenlockRed Bus Wenlock:

The London Bus is one of London’s principal icons, the archetypal red rear-entrance Routemaster being recognised worldwide. Although the Routemaster has now been largely phased out of service, with only two heritage routes still using the vehicles, the majority of buses in London are still red and therefore the red double-decker bus remains an iconic symbol of the city.

Queen's Guard WenlockQueen’s Guard Wenlock:

The Queen’s Guard is the name given to contingents of infantry and cavalry soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London. They are popularly believed to be purely ceremonial; however this is not the case as they are in fact real serving soldiers in the army. The Queen’s Guard are in charge of guarding Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Palace. One of the reasons the Queen’s Guard attract a lot of attention is that traditionally they are not allowed to move. Typically a Guardsman spends to hours on duty and four off. He is not expected to stand still for any more than ten minutes at a time. Every ten minutes or so the Guards may march up and down in front of their sentry box  before resuming stillness.


Tyger Tyger MandevilleTyger Tyger Mandeville:

The Tyger is a poem by the English poet William Blake. It was published as part of his collection Songs of Experience in. It is one of Blake’s best-known and most analyzed poems. The Cambridge Companion to William Blake (2003) calls it “the most anthologized poem in English. “The Tyger” presents a duality between aesthetic beauty and primal ferocity

Afternoon Tea WenlockAfternoon Tea Wenlock:

Tea consumption increased dramatically during the early nineteenth century and it is around this time that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon. At the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o’clock in the evening. The solution for the Duchess was a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon. Later friends were invited to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey and this summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for “tea and a walking the fields.” Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room. Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.

Cycling Wenlock:Cycling Mandeville

Cyclng has always been a big part of London life. Barclays Cycle Hire, a public bicycle sharing scheme, was launched on 30 July 2010 to allow locals and tourists to rent bikes around London. The scheme’s bicycles are popularly known as Boris Bikes, after Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London who introduced them. The coverage zone spans approximately 17 square miles (roughly matching the Zone 1 Travelcard area) and currently there are some 8,000 ‘Boris Bikes’ and 570 docking stations in the BCH scheme, which has been used for more than 10 million journeys to date

Shopper MandevilleShopper Mandeville:

Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, United Kingdom. It is Europe’s busiest shopping street, and as of 2011 had approximately 300 shops. The street was formerly part of the London-Oxford road which began at Newgate, City of London, and was known as the Oxford Road. Oxford Street is home to a number of major department stores and numerous flagship stores, as well as hundreds of smaller shops. It is the biggest shopping street within Inner London, and though not necessarily the most expensive or fashionable, is considered to be the most important, and forms part of a larger shopping district with Regent Street, Bond Street and a number of other smaller nearby streets.
For many British retail chains their Oxford Street branch is regarded as their ‘flagship’ store.