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Without Visible Means: Tramping on (and off) the Great North Road

September 9, 2017, 10:00am EET - 4:00pm
School of Advanced Study, Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research

outside Costa coffee
Stevenage railway station SG1 1XT
United Kingdom

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Please join us on a research-led walk in Hertfordshire led by Dr Luke Seaber(UCL), Dr Peter Jones (IHR) and Esther McManus (

What was it like to be homeless in the nineteenth-century and tramping on the Great North Road in search of shelter, sustenance and security? What buried stories of dispossession are to be found in Hitchin's lost slums, 'a squalid quarrelsome underworld of little yards'? And, who was James Lucas, the mad Hertfordshire Hermit who Dickens once described as a 'reversal of the laws of human nature'?

Walk in the footsteps of the journalist James Greenwood who dressed up as a tramp and spoke to homeless wanderers when he took to the road in the 1880s. Greenwood wrote about his experiences in On Tramp.

We're meeting 10am at Stevenage railway station  in the ticket hall in front of the Costa café. We will stop for lunch at the Hermit of Redcoats pub at around 12:15 (the price of lunch is not included) and the walk will end at Hitchin railway station at 16: 00 (we may finish earlier if progress is good).

Without Visible Means is part of a number of activities relating to homelessness, which have been co-ordinated by the Institute of Historical Research and supported by the School of Advanced Studies. More information is available on the blog. 

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September 9, 2017, 1:00pm EET

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