A bargain was bagged last week for the princely sum of £2.94 (including p+p off Amazon), it was a book by Geoffrey Fletcher which inspired the film “The London Nobody Knows” as featured in the last post. It’s a nice old book with illustrations by Fletcher (who was a graphic artist as well as a writer) and a preface written in 1989 where he mentions the changes in London since the original publication of 1962.
The book features lots of places that have long disappeared, language from a time gone by (some that now wouldn’t be politically correct) and some just plain daft: “Weird youths…stare listlessly into radio and jazz shops, youths with white-eyeleted shoes accompanied by their fun-molls. Each couple has horribly pointed shoes that make me think of elves; they twitch epileptically to the sound of jazz”. God knows what he’d say if he was still about today about London’s youth (and also the 50-odd year old punks wandering around New Cross with “Discharge” painted on the back of their “levver” jackets) but we love this book and it comes highly recommended!
If they were ever going to do a contemporary rewrite of the book and were looking for someone to do the illustrations we here at Liylh reckon they should be done by the artist Marc Gooderham (his “Elder Street, Spitalfields” above and Hawksmoor’s “Christchurch” below) as he uses decaying London as a major inspiration (examples of his London paintings here). As it says on his website about his work “Capturing the singular beauty to be found in those neglected buildings that have fallen into disrepair as the living city continues to evolve around them”. Fletcher would have liked that! By coincidence “The London Nobody Knows” was and is used by Marc as his bible and in his own words: “for drawing and sketching, looking for lost architectural delights… the book was a great discovery”. Have a look at more of Marc’s work here.
And finally while researching this post I found two episodes of a Radio 4 programme from 2011 where Dan Cruickshank revisits Geoffrey Fletcher’s old haunts in the first episode hereand in the second he visits his own quirky favourites here. One of them is the abandoned St Mary’s Underground Station in Whitechapelwhich is featured on this short BBC film here. The London nobody knows indeed! P
On a late lunchtime stroll the other day I saw these two massive trees being busily wrapped up by construction crews in Lincoln’s Inn and wondered what was going on. Was it some crazy art project? Protection against a forthcoming nuclear war perhaps?
I had to ask the uniformed gateman on my way out, “Why the plastic netting?” as I pointed to the trees. He replied “Well, they’re in the process of redeveloping the area and the trees are sadly coming down next month” “and we don’t want any rare whatisname’s nesting in the trees and delaying the chainsaws, do we?” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. P
I’ve been neglecting my writing duties at LIYL of late due to life getting in the way and never ending trips to the supermarket come lunchtime.
Though not in a lunch hour, the good folks at Antique Beat (who are related to the brilliant x-ray audio exhibition we covered a few months back here) have some very interesting things going on, especially their monthly talks in the westminster arts library under the banner of salon for the City.
It’s a very intimate series of events which are around great london-related content held in a reference library with a free gin cocktail and cups of tea for everyone, in some nicely designed crockery too!
We visited the counter culture event last week on a flying visit and it was a sit down affair with about 40+ people and that was with extra seating, as the talk was so popular. So be warned, as it’s a such a small do, tickets I imagine go very quickly so if you’re interested do put your name down on their mailing list at info(at)antiquebeat.co.uk
Also from Antique Beat is the brilliant 32 Londoners which takes place on the London Eye in the summer. It features 32 talks on famous Londoners which last year the subjects included Thomas Becket, David Bowie, Michael Faraday and those Kray twins.
All the above mentioned events are all tied in with The Clerkenwell Kid (who like ourselves likes a bit of London) who records with The Real Tuesday Weld and their music goes a little something like this…
Who’d have thought it, beehives opposite London’s commuter central, Waterloo Station which I found by accident the other day out on a lunchtime stroll.
These impressive hives are housed in the excellent garden project for the homeless, Putting Down Roots (ran by the charity St Mungo’s)at St Johns Church in Waterloo. More about the excellent work the project does here.
Whilst there I was told by one of the staff about the threat of the deadly Asian Hornet. God knows if they have reached these shores yet but let’s hope they don’t, as they are a deadly predator of the humble honey bee amongst other beneficial species. It’s one large insect as well, as the queens can be up to 3cm and workers 2.5 cm long. Keep em peeled!
From the deadly Asian Hornet back to St Mungo the patron saint of Glasgow. Here’s Mungo’s Hi-Fi named after the said Saint with a very apt tune…
Mungo’s Hi Fi Featuring YT – Serious time – Scotch Bonnet
Inner city bees, you just gotta love them!Do you know of any more urban hives? Please send your pics our way to firstname.lastname@example.org P
If you haven’t seen this already, or even if you have, this is amazing. They’re going to create a natural, open-air swimming pond in King’s Cross by the Spring of next year. Amazing. If you’ve ever swum in Hampstead Ponds, you’ll know how laugh out loud funny it is try and race a duck. I imagine more of this japery will be on offer, plus some lovely looking foliage to boot. Good work. W