“I shall have to do research,” Dougal mused, “into their inner lives. Research into the real Peckham. It will be necessary to discover the spiritual well-spring, the glorious history of the place, before I am able to offer some impetus.” (1960, p.17). To ingratiate myself into newly living in South London, I was keen to find some boundary markers in the area to walk and … Continue reading Wanders: Muriel Spark’s Ballad Of Peckham Rye (London).
Alison and Peter Smithson are two of the most influential architects of the 20th century. This is in spite of the fact that only several of their buildings made it past the design stage and that, of those that did in the UK at least, they have often been reviled as the most grim of Brutalist designs. Yet, apart from their buildings standing out for … Continue reading Responses: Alison and Peter Smithson’s Architecture (London).
I remember being sat on a bench on Dunwich Heath in September last year and seeing the dome of Sizewell B for the first time as an adult. I had just walked a little way down the coast, after a day of filming further down at Orford Ness, from Dunwich beach through to the heath. I simply was not expecting to be greeted by such … Continue reading Short Film – Heavy Water.
I’ve always had a slight relationship with Victoria and Pimlico in London. As central London areas go, it has always represented two things to me: the awful feeling of leaving the city and the sense of dread at having to wander around somewhere largely built of private buildings, houses and hotels (not the ideal place to burn an hour in wait for a coach or … Continue reading Wanders: Ian Nairn’s Pimlico (London).
Above is the trailer for the next short film, Heavy Water. This is to be the longest film this year and the most ambitious in terms of scope in spite of future projects containing narratives and actors. Heavy Water ‘s difficulty is the connection of its two main themes represented by adjacent places on the Suffolk coast; the strange, liminal landscape surrounding Sizewell nuclear power … Continue reading Trailer – Heavy Water.
“The contours of the Sizewell power plant, its Magnox block a glowering mausoleum, begin to loom upon an island far out in the pallid waters where one believes the Dogger Bank to be, where once shoals of herring spawned and earlier still, a long, long time ago, the delta of the Rhine flowed out into the sea and where green forests grew from silting sands.” … Continue reading Wanders: Sebald, Sizewell and Dunwich (Suffolk).
This is an edited version of the paper given at Spirits Of Place in Calderstones Park, Liverpool 02/04/2016. My thanks to John Reppion and Leah Moore for organising the event and for to the other excellent speakers (Gill Hoffs, David Southwell, Gary Budden, Kenneth Brophy, Richard Macdonald, Ian “Cat” Vincent and Ramsey Campbell). Here’s to the next one. There is strange landmass on the opposite … Continue reading “Wyrd” Wirral – Spirits Of Place (02/04/2016)
It’s an oft-stated critique of Liverpool city centre in recent years that it’s become an increasingly oversized student campus as opposed to a city. A number of local writers and commentators, including an excellent summation earlier in the year by Seven Streets, have mentioned the suspiciously sheer abundance of developments comprising purely of student accommodation within the centre though it has rarely been quantified as a reality if … Continue reading Wanders: Student Flatopia (Liverpool)
Dear Joe, I’d like to walk with you From Clapton Pond to Stamford Hill And on… (2009/1977, p.177) There’s a somewhat unexplored relationship between the work of Harold Pinter and act of walking, specifically walking and talking around London. Perhaps because he is most famous for a form that is so strictly bound into one performative space, it is easily forgotten how vital walking around … Continue reading Wanders: Harold Pinter’s East London
“When I was not confined to the house, I would spend my days and my nights on the Edge.” – Alan Garner (1997, p.12). On a frosty but sunny January morning, I was making my way along the M56 towards Macclesfield. The pilgrimage was not one of unique exploration but one of repetition; I was treading my own ghost steps to a place I had … Continue reading Wanders: Alan Garner’s Edge And Cadellin’s Home.