Follow the Wenlocks: Olympic discovery trails around London

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Original Wenlock on the west side of Aldwych (left) and original Mandeville outside 49 Cardinal’s Wharf near Globe Theatre (right)

The official mascots of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games have been one of the more recent controversies over the games, which, as we enter the second week of the Olympics, appear to be a huge success. While some have dubbed them ‘creepy’, they appear to be a huge success with children – the target audience.

Wenlock and Mandeville are two alien-like creatures which are supposed to represent two drops of steels and are said to have come from the ‘last girders of the Olympic Stadium’. As the mascot of the Olympics, Wenlock is wearing the five coloured rings as bracelets on his arms, with the three points of his head representing each level of the podium.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

(L-R) Filmstar Wenlock in Leicester Square, Spotlight Mandeville behind Wyndham’s Theatre and Chinatown Mandeville on St Martin’s Lane

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

(L-R) Performer Wenlock on Long Acre, Tourist Wenlock in Covent Garden and Busker Wenlock on Russell Street

While many haven’t warmed to the two creatures – named after Much Wenlock in Shropshire (host of an Olympic Games forerunner) and the Stoke Mandeville Hospital (which organised the precursor to Paralympics) in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire – I have to admit they have been slowly growing on me. Just like the BT Artbox project earlier this summer,  I enjoy seeing temporary street furniture and art popping up around the capital, just to give a different dimension to the usual scenery.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Pirate Wenlock outside the Golden Hinde replica

So for families – and adults – visiting the capital, the addition of different designs of Wenlock and Mandeville statues around the city are providing a fun twist on the usual sightseeing walks. The Mayor Of London’s office has put together six discovery trails featuring 83 versions of two-metre high characters, which provide photo opportunities and cultural and historical references to nearby attractions. For example a busker in Covent Garden or a pirate next to the replica of the Golden Hinde (Sir Francis Drake’s Tudor galleon) near Borough Market.

Last month, I happened upon rather a lot while spending the day in the West End and Southbank, so here’s a few photos of some of the Wenlock and Mandevilles around town.

To find out what else in going on in London during the Paralympics and the rest of September, visit my blog guide here. Or if you missed getting to see the Olympics and would have loved to know what it was like, check out my blog entry on my Olympics experience here.

  • The Wenlock and Mandeville Discovery Trails are on until 9 September 2012. To find out about the Discovery Trails, visit Mayor of London presents.

    © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

    Martime Wenlock on Southbank near Hay’s Galleria (left) and Embankment Wenlock in Embankment Gardens

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Posted on 6 August 2012, in Art, London, Tourist Attractions and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

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