Art and Medicine Tours London

Pox & Penicillin

David from London Walks  has a word or two to say about the Pox & Penicillin Guided Tour.
All changed. Changed utterly.
I’m not talking about how Paddington has changed. I’m talking about how something that happened in Paddington changed the world.
And how. It’s no exaggeration to say the three most important “moments” in the 20th century took place in London. And one of those “moments” happened at St. Mary’s Paddington. (To find out about the other two you need to go on Brian’s Literary London walk and my [David’s] Old Westminster walk.) Which is by way of saying, Medical Paddington means St. Mary’s Hospital. And St. Mary’s Hospital – think of a cinematic tracking shot here – means Sir Alexander Fleming…and some mould in a petrie dish…leading to…Penicillin. And it’s shiver up the spine stuff to hear how fine the thread was that the discovery hung by. Had to do – sharp intake of breath is called for here – with Fleming’s being a good shot. Had he not been…well, it doesn’t bear thinking about.
But he was. The dish was left out. He noticed the mould…and, well, hello Penicillin. And a Nobel prize in 1945 for Sir Alexander. And a quick zoom out to the world all changed, changed utterly.
It’s good heady stuff. And of course there’s a lot more. And it’s not all “making the rounds”…though there’s plenty of that – especially since this walk is guided by a Public Health Physician, Dr. Barry! In short, we’ll also be tuning into some of Paddington’s other very special frequencies. Take a break from the hospital – just as the medicos do. Just as Alexander Fleming did. Take a break for a turn to one of the wonders of the Victorian age – Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 1851 Paddington station. And for a 21st century counterpoint there’s the stunning new Paddington waterside complex.
This walk is offered as part of London Walks. You can check their website for times and dates by clicking here. Or email Barry and he will reply with the information.


Meet Dr Barry
To go on the Penicillin & Pox - Medical Paddington walk meet Dr. Barry just outside Lancaster Gate Tube Stop. The "latecomers Catch-up Stop" is by the Edward Jenner statue in the Italian Gardens.
Ending at
The walk ends at PaddingtonTube Stop.