fugueur

Writer and film-maker. Author of This Other London - adventures in the overlooked city. Director of the documentaries The London Perambulator and Make Your Own Damn Art: the world of Bob and Roberta Smith

All articles by fugueur

 

The Return to Modena

It’s strange to think of Modena in Coronavirus lockdown, even though we approach a similar situation here in London. My visit there in early December 2019 was a poignant return to the city where I’d lived with my wife from 2000-01. I hadn’t considered the symmetry of being there at the beginning of the new...
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The end of winter in Epping Forest

Walk from Loughton Camp to Honey Lane Plain and back via Baldwin’s Hill 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon and a walk up from the station to the sentinel trees of Loughton Camp – the watchers in the woods. Why have I been drawn along this route throughout the winter? There is great comfort in the kind...
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Secrets of the City with Iain Sinclair

Iain Sinclair walk – Austin Friars to Mile End Road This was a mystery walk, and a walk of secrets revealed. It seemed to come out of the blue. I thanked the great writer Iain Sinclair for the directions he’d provided for the Austerlitz walk I did with Bob and Roberta Smith and sent him...
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Following W.G Sebald’s Austerlitz through the East End

Austerlitz walk – Liverpool Street to Mile End A walk following the route taken by W.G Sebald through the East End of London when writing his acclaimed novel Austerlitz, in the company of artist Bob and Roberta Smith. The central character of the book, Jacques Austerlitz arrived in England at Liverpool Street Station as a...
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What’s Happening Here? Olympic Park survey

 Pudding Mill Lane The no-show of a herb forager for a walk around Pudding Mill Lane gave me the opportunity to log developments around the site as part of my on-going obsession with the Olympic zone. It appears as if not a great deal has changed around Pudding Mill Lane over the last five years...
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The London Loop – Ewell to Coulsdon

It’d been too long since my last walk on the London Loop back in August 2019, when I’d walked section 8 from Kingston to Ewell. Summer felt like a distant memory when I alighted at Ewell West Station to pick up London’s 150-mile orbital walking trail. London Loop Section 7 (walking in the reverse direction)...
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A walk along the Clitterhouse Brook with Nick Papadimitriou

  Cricklewood Lane The other day I found myself crossing over the A41 where it intersects with Cricklewood Lane. This bridge instantly triggered memories of walks with Nick Papadimitriou, starting in the summer of 2005, that often took us over this metal bridge with the Hendon Way pulsing below and views of the distant high...
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London’s Lost Rivers – the Black Ditch with Tom Bolton

A Walker’s Guide to London’s Lost Rivers – Volume Two Tom Bolton’s second volume of walks along London’s Lost Rivers traces the paths of eleven subterranean watercourses. Whereas Volume One mapped out the better known lost rivers of London such as the Fleet and the Tyburn – Volume Two is a guide to the more...
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Walking the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation

A walk from Chelmsford to Maldon Chelmsford, the town where the great Elizabethan astronomer, occultist, master magician and advisor to Elizabeth I, John Dee, was educated. And where Guglielmo Marconi produced the world’s first wireless sets, was a great place to start a walk. There’s something in the waters of Chelmsford, the confluence of the...
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These trees have stories – Epping Forest

Epping Forest Walk – Loughton Camp to Epping via Ambresbury Banks I head into the forest at 3.15pm in the rain – up from Loughton Station straight to Loughton Camp – a place of peace, retreat. Rain taps on the fallen leaves. The gloom and rain mean there’s not a soul around. The mighty trees...
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Talking about Walking & Sebald’s Austerlitz on Resonance FM

It was a great pleasure to go on Bob and Roberta Smith’s Make Your Own Damn Music Show on the brilliant Resonance FM last night where we talked about the recent walk we did following the footsteps of W.G Sebald in his celebrated book Austerlitz. The Sebald chat starts at about 35 minutes in and...
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Forest of Surprises

Winter Epping Forest Walk Sitting on the outer bank of Loughton Camp looking west into the winter sun fractured through the naked boughs. The Camp feels silent, slumbering, latent. It has a presence, resonating across those millenia since it was constructed when the forest stretched out to the coast and London was a scattering of...
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First Walk of 2020 – Beyond King Harold’s Tomb at Waltham Abbey

It seemed apt somehow to start the decade with a visit to Waltham Abbey Church and the tomb of King Harold. The supposed burial place of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, a notable site of medieval pilgrimage and sitting on the Greenwich Meridan. But these weren’t the things that brought me to Waltham Abbey...
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Second World War Buildings on Wanstead Flats

I’ve long been intrigued by the concrete foundations of a World War 2 building in Long Wood on Wanstead Flats. I first stumbled over them in the dusk some years ago, wondering what could have been buried in this small patch of woodland. There was a small lump of concrete in the scrubby grass in...
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2019 – A Great Year of Walking

A review of my walks in 2019 on my YouTube channel – a fantastic year of hiking. From river walks along the Tyburn, Roding, Thames, Philley Brook, Ching, Dagenham Brook, Hogsmill, Crouch, and Lea to the woodlands of Epping Forest and the wide open spaces of Wimbledon Common and Wanstead Park. The London Loop featured...
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Psychogeographer-in-residence walk No.5

This glorious walk over Pole Hill and along what J.A Brimble called the ‘western escarpment’, is the final video in my series as psychogeographer-in-residence for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. We begin at Chingford Station, an early staging post for forays into Epping Forest when it was declared ‘The People’s Forest’ by Queen...
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A walk along the Dagenham Brook

This walk following the Dagenham Brook was the fourth in my series as psychogeographer-in-residence for Waltham Forest Borough of Culture 2019. The Dagenham Brook started life as a humble ditch rising in Higham Hill with sewage flowing into it from Walthamstow. The name comes from the ‘Dagenham Commissioners of Sewers’ under whose jurisdiction it fell....
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The Lighting of the Leytonstone Menorah

This evening saw the lighting of the first Leytonstone Menorah to mark the last night of Hannukah. The celebration was organised by Leytonstone and Wanstead Synagogue in Fillebrook Road. It was a beautiful community event, attended by a large crowd in the hundreds, gathered around the Menorah in a raised bed on the corner of...
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A walk along the River Ching

River Ching Walk I’d been meaning to walk the Ching for years, a beautiful meandering river rising at Connaught Water in Epping Forest and making its way down a narrow strip of the forest, then through the streets of Chingford before passing the old Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium and making its confluence with the River Lea...
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Two nights by the Thames at Hampton Wick

A fantastic opportunity dropped into my inbox one day – to stay for two nights in one of Fuller’s Beautiful Bedrooms at the White Hart Hotel at Hampton Wick. It was almost too good to be true, the perfect sponsored tie-in, Fuller’s – brewers of London Pride. I didn’t hesitate to accept. I built a...
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Forest Uprising at Leyton Cricket Ground

Forest Uprising Sunday saw the closing event of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. Forest Uprising transformed Leyton Cricket Ground (once used by Essex County Cricket Club) into a steel sound installation plantation, dense thickets of illuminated scaffold poles giving forth the voices of the people of the borough. An alloy People’s Forest. East...
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Sunday sunset walk through Bush Wood

The Shard seems to be aligned perfectly with the avenue of trees that cuts across Wanstead Flats from Leytonstone to what was once the grounds of the grand Wanstead House. I believe I’ve erronously claimed in the past that this avenue was laid out by Humphrey Repton (confusing it with the avenue of trees he...
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Walk from Brentwood to Grange Hill

I found myself late Sunday morning just to the north of Brentwood at Bentley and decided to walk back towards London. I had no real route in mind other than to end up at a Central Line Station somewhere. I started off down Hullet’s Lane. It was crisp and cold, a few degrees above zero....
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Fitzrovia Chapel

An unexpected London treasure sits just off Mortimer Street inside the new Pearson Square development, the old Middlesex Hospital Chapel. Fitzrovia Chapel, built in 1891 by John Pearson, is the only surviving building of Middlesex Hospital which was established on the site in 1755. The Hospital was sold to developers in 2005 and demolished in...
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Art Assembly at Walthamstow Town Hall

Things to Do in Debden When You’re Dead Brilliantly bizarre end to Art Assembly on Saturday in the Council Chamber at Walthamstow Town Hall. I’d been commissioned to make this film (Things to Do in Debden When You’re Dead) with theatre Director William Galinsky, who’d been asked to re-animate the corpse of William Morris. William...
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London Loop – Section 8 Kingston to Ewell

London Loop Section 8 – Kingston to Ewell Always great to revisit summer walks in these cold winter days. Back in August I picked up the London Loop Section 8 in Kingston and followed it to Ewell. This section of the London Loop follows the Hogsmill River for long sections, crosses over a barrow in...
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The William Morris Resurrection at Art Assembly

Up till 3am last night finishing a short film about William Morris I’ve directed for this wonderful event tomorrow at Art Assembly, part of Waltham Forest Borough of Culture. So I’m a little tired today but excited to be screening something very different. Here’s the blurb for the event: The William Morris Resurrection – Sat...
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Make Your Own Damn Art at Regent Street Cinema

  Great evening last Friday at the screening of my documentary about Bob and Roberta Smith, Make Your Own Damn Art at presented by Heavenly Films at Regent Street Cinema. It was a wonderful experience to revisit a film that premiered in 2012 at the East End Film Festival. As Bob commented in the Q&A,...
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The Essex Way – Epping to Ongar

A September walk along the Essex Way from Epping to Ongar taking in Toot Hill and Greensted. The Essex Way is an 82-mile long distance path from Epping to Harwich that I’ve been planning to walk for a few years now, but never quite made the time to do it. So one Sunday in mid-September...
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Iain Sinclair & Edith Walks at Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema

I had to photograph Iain Sinclair in front of Leytonstone’s Olympic Fish Bar in Church Lane. The great London writer had come to introduce his film collaboration with Andrew Kötting, Edith Walks at Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema in Leytonstone Library. Iain had been a prominent critic of the London 2012 Olympics, resulting in Hackney Council temporarily...
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Across the Marshes from Leyton Filter Beds to Walthamstow Wetlands

This is the second in my series of walks for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. We start at the Leyton WaterWorks Centre, part of the Lee Valley Regional Park. I find the Essex Filter Beds one of the most beguiling locations in East London – for its role in providing the booming population...
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‘Winter Time’ Walk in Epping Forest

The clocks went back and I awoke to a clear blue sky calling me out to walk. I headed for Chingford and up along the edge of Bury Wood, crossed Bury Road and through the beautiful Hawk Wood on the edge of Epping Forest. I’ve been intrigued about the name for a while and was...
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In the footsteps of W.G Sebald – The Rings of Saturn walk Southwold to Dunwich

A walk along the Suffolk coast from Southwold to Dunwich While on holiday in Southwold in August, I was determined to complete the walk from Southwold to ‘the lost city’ of Dunwich described in W.G. Sebald’s hugely influential book, The Rings of Saturn The book is based around a journey on foot along the Suffolk...
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Rural edgeland wander in the rain

My friend joked that he wondered what kind of Wycombe edgelands I’d be leading him round when we met at the station. ‘Let’s head down to Wooburn instead’, I reassured him, far more scenic for his enormous dog, and the woods above the village would give us some partial cover from the persistant rain. We...
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A walk along Leytonstone’s Lost River – the Philley Brook (Fillebrook)

A walk along Leytonstone’s Lost River – the Philley Brook (or Fillebrook) – part of a series of walks for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. The route of the walk in the video is as follows: Fillebrook Route Start at St. Andrew’s Church – go behind to patch of land beside St. James...
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Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema at Leytonstone Loves Film

Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema’s programme of Films of East London was a great success at Leytonstone Loves Film on Saturday. There were big audiences and fascinating director Q&As. Let’s hope that Leytonstone Loves Film – produced by the Barbican – becomes an annual event.   Q&A with Adam Kossoff covered the importance of cultural memory, Jewish radicalism,...
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Films of East London at Leytonstone Loves Film

We’re really excited to be able to present this fantastic programme of Films of East London for Leytonstone Loves Film on Saturday 28th September, 12-3pm at Leytonstone Library, Church Lane E11 Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema Presents 12.00 The Anarchist Rabbi + Q&A with Adam Kossoff
 Leytonstone-based film-maker Adam Kossoff’s documentary, narrated by Stephen Berkoff, tells the...
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Come for a walk along the Dagenham Brook & Over Pole Hill

New tickets announced for my walks along The Dagenham Brook and Over Pole Hill It’s been a fantastic summer of walks for Waltham Forest Borough of Culture as ‘psychogeographer-in-residence’. And now the final two walks have just been announced: The Dagenham Brook, 22nd September 2pm –  book here Waltham Forest Tours presents The Dagenham Brook...
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Lea Valley Walk from Walthamstow to Waltham Abbey

This Lea Valley walk from Walthamstow to Waltham Abbey is surely one of my favourites. I’d finished leading a walk across the marshlands from Leyton Water Works to Walthamstow Wetlands and had the desire to push on into the evening. I headed up along Blackhorse Lane then turned into Folly Lane which opens up the...
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Westminster Protest against Suspension of Parliament

A spontaneous protest was called after the news broke in the afternoon that the Queen had agreed to Boris Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament for five weeks, preventing MPs from debating Brexit in the run-up to 31st October deadline. ‘Stop the Coup’ was the dominant chant from the crowds in Parliament Square and on Whitehall...
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An expedition to Devil’s Dyke & the Lea Valley Walk

This was a walk inspired by a comment on this blog by Philip Avery that I discovered 7 months after it had been posted.  It was on my video about the walk to Boudicca’s obelisk in the Epping Uplands and Philip’s research had suggested that the British king Cassivellaunus had been defeated by Julis Caesar...
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The view from the hill – a walk to Wooburn

I feel Old old Wooburn more and more every day – the village where I grew up and where a recent family history binge showed roots running deep through the chalk and flint. The sense of it was almost overpowering as I crested the hill marked by Hard-to-Find Farm and approached Bloom Wood. ‘Always was...
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A Walk through the ancient borough of East Ham

It was two months ago now, on the 11th June, that I set off across Wanstead Flats for a long planned walk through the ancient Borough of East Ham. The regrowth from last year’s fire was evident (as noted before on this blog) and I exited the flats near Manor Park Station. I passed the...
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Woolwich Loop via Lesnes Abbey – Green Chain Walk

Woolwich South London Loop walk This was a return of sorts, rooted in a pang to partly retrace the steps of my 2012 walk for This Other London from Woolwich to the Dartford Salt Marshes. Back in early June of this year I headed out of Woolwich Town Centre up across Plumstead Common, picking up...
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Sunday Walk – Wanstead Flats, North Circular and Hollow Ponds

Wanstead Flats The desire was stay local – within the gravitational field of home but still get in a decent walk. My instinct was to head to the far side of Wanstead Flats and take it from there. The area of Wanstead Flats burnt so badly last summer gives off a glorious smell of resurgent...
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Video Strolls at Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema

On the 3rd July we hosted the fantastic Video Strolls at Leytonstone Pop-Up Cinema with a programme of artists films related to ‘Quiet Spaces’. Andy Howlett and Liberty Rowley of Video Strolls suggested we start the event with a short wander around some of the quiet spaces of Leytonstone to set the tone. They were...
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Along the Thames Path from Putney to Richmond

Beautiful walk along the Thames Path from Putney to Richmond, taking in Barnes, Mortlake, and Kew, filmed on the 14th May.   Here are Turner’s drawings of Syon Park Zion House, Isleworth 1802-10 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-zion-house-isleworth-d08269 Castle Seen from River, with Punt and Row of Trees in Foreground. ?Zion House, Isleworth c.1815–17 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-castle-seen-from-river-with-punt-and-row-of-trees-in-foreground-zion-house-d10770...
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Walking the London Loop – Hayes to Kingston

It was great to be back out on the London Loop – picking up in Hayes on the May Bank Holiday Monday (6th May), where I’d finished back in March on the section that I’d followed down from Uxbridge. The first part of section 10 continues along the canal a short distance, past the rubble...
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London Forest Buses Badge

What a majestic object – a London Forest Buses Driver’s/Conductor’s enamel badge. According to Wikipedia, London Forest was a short-lived subsidary of London buses that operated between 1989 – 1991 when industrial action in response to proposed pay cuts led to the newly awarded private franchise being transfered to a rival bus operator. The strike...
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Waltham Forest Borough of Culture Walks – new dates announced

Delighted to announced some new dates for my walks in Waltham Forest Borough of Culture as part of Waltham Forest Tours curated by William Gallinsky. The last batch of tickets sold out in 2 days, thank you so much to everyone who booked, shared the links and expressed an interest.   Here are the new...
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