This is the blog of writer and film-maker John Rogers, author of This Other London – adventures in the overlooked city, and director of the documentaries London Overground (with Iain Sinclair), The London Perambulator,   Make Your Own Damn Art – the world of Bob and Roberta Smith , and In the Shadow of the ShardAlso co-presenter and producer of the radio show and podcast Ventures and Adventures in Topography on Resonance fm. He was psychogeographer-in-residence for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019.

John is like an alchemist, not only in the he is unkempt and dresses like a person who has fallen through the cracks, he also makes the mundane and unremarkable glow with newly imbued magic.”

– Russell Brand, from the foreword to This Other London

“He’s the everyman’s psychogeographer, hobbling across the hilltops with only a can of Stella and a dodgy knee for company….
But this down-to-earth, booze-hunting ‘hippy wizard’ is a star in his own right. Brand describes Rogers as ‘like Prospero crossed with Mr Chips’, and a ‘tangle-haired shrub shaman’. We’d rather think of him as the Brian Cox of topology, inspiring wonder and curiosity on esoteric subjects (without using complicated words like topology and esoteric).”


“John is Elizabethan, a film-poet, writer/walker from a better time. He has a history of  alternative stand-up, alliances with Russell Brand and the deep-topographer Nick Papadimitriou. A history of persistent engagement in the politics of protest, being there, bearing witness. Keeping the record. And posting it. He was good company on a second circuit of London Overground; a series of excursions fitted in between school-delivery and school-collection. It seems that John did most of his own work, writing or editing, at night. He was self-funding, self-starting, a guerilla documentarist in the great tradition: green anorak, ruined left knee, camera in pocket.”

– Iain Sinclair, from The Last London


Some interviews:

Robert Elms on BBC London

With Arthur Smith on BBC Radio4 Extra

And a longer chat with Neil Denny on Little Atoms

More interviews and talks can be found here


Please have a look at my YouTube channel where I post regular videos


If you’re interested in working with me, be great to talk to you – drop me an email and let’s have a chat: jmrogersit@yahoo.com



[This blog used to be called Islingtongue > Leytonstongue but was relocated here with all the old posts.]

Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Duncan Abbot   •  

    I went to the Iain Sinclair talk last night at the TFL museum.
    I enjoyed the platform talk and look forward to seeing the film.
    I’m going to to work my way through your posts on this site. I live in Loughton and we often cycle (sedately) down the Lea or through Walthamstow and the Marshes and share the same fascination for the area.
    Btw, the Signature brew post caught my eye. We usually do the Wild Card so this extends the choice.

    Keep up the good work

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks for your comment Duncan – glad you enjoyed the talk and film extract. I’m always tramping around the Lea and through the forest, frequently passing through Loughton. Signature is definitely worth a visit on a Saturday and also Beavertown up at Tottenham Hale as well – I was given a tour towards the end of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0HyOW6XY8w – I’ll be sure to make a long overdue trip to Wild Card.

  2. Kevin Ring   •  

    LONDON OVERGROUND – Elegiac film John. Poetry.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Many thanks indeed Kev

  3. Trevor Barre   •  

    Hi John,

    I’ve made several responses to your videos on You Tube, which I always enjoy.

    I wonder whether you might be interested in discussing with me a project that I am currently researching – a new history of Crouch End (where I have lived for 25 years), but with a particular angle on ‘gentrification’ generally. There doesn’t seem to be much substantial written material out there on this topic, that I can find, apart from some Guardian articles, perhaps because it is ‘hidden in plain sight’?

    I would hugely appreciate a chat with someone who might provide me with alternative ways of approaching my subject. I admire your work, and the passion that drives it, and would really appreciate any help with further developing my ideas. Particularly, any help with developing new approaches to local history, in these parts, which already seem to the in the process of estate agent-speak appropriation. which always tends to be trammeled by cosy-ness, if you know what I mean. Parochialism is a more old-fashioned, and gentler, term.

    If you’re interested, my website, improvmusic.co.uk, will tell you something about me, and my approach to things. I hope you’ll be interested in participating – it’s all about London spaces and their vicissitudes, after all!! I would be great to speak to you.


    Trevor Barre

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Hi Trevor – of course I’d be happy to have a chat, sounds like a fascinating project. My email address is on the front page here and via the contact page. Look forward to hearing more

    • John McCafferty   •  

      Hi Trevor, notice you said you’ve lived in Crouch End for the past 25 years or so as I noticed you dropped this message about 3 years ago sorry only just came on here but there is some interesting groups on Facebook that you may find interesting that you can subscribe ‘if you haven’t done already’ (North London Born,Bred & Proud). (Hornsey Born,Bred & Proud) (Hornsey Residents) and I’m in the process of setting one up myself (AllyPallySites) about Alexandra Palace.

  4. Andrew   •  

    I came across this webpage, http://www.johnchaple.co.uk/watling.html which I found very interesting. Wonder if this route or part of it might be a good adventure for a walk. I work in a large lab with no outward facing windows all day, so your videos are hugely appreciated by myself and really like the sense of adventure you bring to your films. Regards.

  5. Stig   •  

    Just read about your work as reading Sinclair’s Last London so came here to find your work. Have just returned to us after yearly visit to uk so look forward to reading more of yours before I plan my next wandering

    • JohnR   •     Author

      thanks for dropping by Stig – best of luck with your wandering

  6. chriss slike   •  

    I just love your walks. I live in Pennsylvania U.S. and just discovered you. It just thrills me when you come upon an old iron post or stones. Don’t know what it is but it’s nice to have someone else express my feelings! Keep on walking!!!

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks so much Chriss – I’ll never stop exploring

  7. LeslieB   •  

    Having come across your YouTube channel by accident (the first walk I saw was the Swanscombe Marshes which is near my home patch of Northfleet) I’ve been fascinated ever since. Amazing insights into a London most people take for granted and never bother to stand and stare for a moment. Brilliant work.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thank you Leslie- much appreciated

  8. Karen Connolly   •  

    Just watched your Shadow of the Shard film, I’m a local too and yeah it breaks your heart a million pieces see what greed and corporations do in the name of Gentrification.

    Fool the people some of the time but not all, one thing for sure sooner or later people wise up they got if nothing else degrees in life and those responsible for the upheaval will be held to account even at the ballot box. Times are changing slowly but they are changing and people together are a powerful entity whether they know it round here or not they can win and are making people in power hold the purse strings very very nervous.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks for that comment Karen – I completely agree, I’ve seen what people can achieve when they stick together, and can feel the gradual change of mood

  9. Hylton Lewis   •  

    Hi John,
    Just recently watched a couple of your videos with my brother of your walks in and around London on YouTube and found them to be informative, stimulating and thoroughly entertaining.
    We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing more hopefully in the future.

    Hylton Lewis.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks very much for that Hylton

  10. Tim Edwards   •  

    Hi John – I was sent a link to your YouTube videos, a couple of which I watched, and particularly enjoyed the London Loop/Uxbridge-Hayes one: very interesting & entertaining.
    Completed the London Countryway last year – circumnavigation of London largely outside M25 – d’you know it? A network of paths/routes/tracks put together in the 1970’s then updated more recently (see Des deMoor.blogspot :: London Countryway for sectioned route descriptions and comprehensive background information).
    It’s a great route, full of local interest, and quirky as they come very often. I think you’d love it.
    Cheers –

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks for this Tim, funnily enough somebody emailed me about the London Countryway with a link to a guidebook which I’ve just bought. Looks like a fantastic trail and will be on my list for next near

  11. Robert Barton   •  

    just watched your hackney wick ep. When I was 10 in 84 I used to go to eastway/lea valley park and ride the BMX track, that was sure as rain in april a good track. I grew up in stratford then chadwell heath but in 89 family moved to midlands so now I’ve lost the place I love just like my accent. Here’s a fact for you! Did you know that the Beatles video for Penny Lane was actually filmed in angel lane in Stratford. I am not very tech , so don’t know if you’ll get this. Hope you do. Love the videos. C.O.Y.I

    • JohnR   •     Author

      That’s an amazing bit of trivia about Angel Lane Robert, many thanks

  12. Graham   •  

    Left London/Leytonstone two years ago after 40 years and I find your films to be truly excellent. I will be visiting Leytonstone quite regularly this year and look forward following the routes you defined.
    Thanks John. I do miss London and your films help.
    I am also encouraged to do similar in the county I now live. We have wonderful walks in Staffordshire and bags of history.

    I look forward to your next presentations.


    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks very much Graham – greatly appreciated. Hope you enjoy your trips back to Leytonstone this year

  13. Amamda   •  

    Hi john got to see your videos through DAvid Johns(cruising the cut)love them!.the white hart in hampton wick was my old stomping ground as a teenager in the 70s,my that has changed.i always had an interest in the london area,as my family goes back about 200 years there.keep up the good work.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks Amanda – so glad you’re enjoying the videos

  14. Rob Goldman   •  


    I sent a comment via your Lostbyway website but I don’t know if it got through so here it is again:

    While on lockdown in Rhode Island, USA, I have discovered your videos. From what I can tell, you reside in Leytonstone. One of the video walks began and ended on Norlington Road. From 10/1/19 to 3/6/20 I lived at 10 Norlington. I believe I have seen you once or twice in the neighborhood. I hope to be back there in September.

    The videos are excellent! I hope they keep me occupied till this corona business is finished and I hope you can keep walking and recording the corona-shortened local walks for the next few months.

    Rob Goldman

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks Rob my original reply was bounced back so just sent one to your gmail

    • Amamda   •  

      John as ever lovely video of walthamstow .i think one of your best.got me through lockdown.even thou i am in west cornwall and it is lovely and dare i say it errie and quiet.most of us with no jobs me included.i miss london,wiĺl visit again when this is over.

      • JohnR   •     Author

        Thanks for that Amanda – great to hear the videos are helping you through lockdown.

  15. John McCafferty   •  

    Hi John.
    Only came across your video’s In February this year ‘Before lockdown’ I think I’ve covered most of them by now but really interesting so please keep them coming 🙂🤗👍👏

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks John – I’ll keep making them weekly for as long as I possibly can

  16. Christopher Sweeney   •  

    Great walk today. Very excited to see the area between Wanstead and Charlie Brown’.s.Also the Church we married in and the old Wanstead hospital .I lived at 81 Forest Rd Leytonstone which i believe is one of the oldest houses in the lane. Now out near Ware so enjoy all the Herts and Essex stuff. Your lockdown walks have been great but it was to be expected given the great stuff you have been doing over the years. I left some more detailed comments. on your fuguer email about the Ware and Hertford area and some references to some pubications that you might possibly have missed. My latest walk was the Beane valley meadows out from Hertford to Waterford and back trough the reclaimed gravel pit. It is a good one but will be even better when a few pubs reopen.

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