Standing in the footsteps of Walt Disney

In some quarters it is almost sacrilgeous to say so but I’ve never watched a classic Walt Disney animated film. When other children were doing so, I was much more interested in live action and often rather bloody history and war films.

In fact the only Disney production I saw was Black Hole which is possibly the most un-Disney production ever until they broadened their horizons in the the 21st Century.

It’s not all about me though and I know that lots of people love almost everything Walt Disney, particularly a tourist friend I took around London a few years ago.

‘Disney’ is actually a name with  Norman origins and it comes from d’Isigny or ‘of d’Isigny’ a surname historically used by people from the town of Isigny-sur-Mer in north-western France, several of which must have popped over the English Channel to enjoy a bit of conquest and plundering in 1066.

On several of my tour walks I go through Disney Street as it near several places relating to Charles Dickens as well as less salubrious sites including Cross Bones Graveyard – A resting place for the ‘Single women’ of London which in itself gives an idea that it hasn’t always been the nicest of places, there is even in old maps Harrow Dunghill street just a few seconds walk away whose name probably says it all.

Anyway in 1965 Walt Disney and his wife Lillian were in London and despite having a close business confidante who was a Londoner, had no idea that there was a Disney Street here until when sat in the back of a black taxi, a driver who recognised his famous passenger brought him here for an impromptu photograph.

Walt and Lillian Disney in Borough, London in 1965

Whilst walking back from visiting the statue of King Alfred the Great and on a scouting mission for something else just across the road from Disney Street, I thought I’d take a quick snap for my Disney loving friend in Boston.

I’m not sure if the building with the sign attached is the same one but the building behind Walt and I is definitely the same.

About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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