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

 

Through Epping Forest from Leytonstone to Chingford

A walk from the Hollow Ponds in Leytonstone through Epping Forest to Mansfield Park in Chingford passing through Walthamstow Forest, Highams Park, Pimp Hall Park & Nature Reserve and Ridgeway Park. This video partly followed the path of my last walk before the lockdown as far as Highams Park Lake. On that day in March...
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London’s Village of Visionaries – Stoke Newington

A walk across the Lea Valley from Leyton to Stoke Newington I was full of trepidation at the thought of crossing the River Lea for the first time since the lockdown began on 23rd March. In those three months the land on the western side of the valley came to represent the whole bulk of...
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Lost Futures of East London

A walk from Leytonstone to Fairlop Waters via Clayhall, Barkingside and Fullwell Cross Fairlop, in the London Borough of Redbridge, takes its name from the famous Fairlop Oak, an enormous oak tree in Hainault Forest that was said to be 900 years old in its prime. The tree fell into poor health and the trunk...
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A walk through the Ancient Village of Walthamstow

A walk through Walthamstow Village This lockdown walk started on Essex Road Leyton, checking in at Knotts Green on the way to Walthamstow Village. Knotts Green was likely a later medieval settlement created in a forest clearing as Leyton expanded. The wonderfully named Wild Street, ‘ran along the north side of Knotts Green’. I turned...
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Black Lives Matter in Leytonstone

Video of the community Black Lives Matter peaceful protest in Leytonstone on Saturday 13th June at Linear Park on Grove Green Road. The event was organised by Grove Green Ward Labour Party. A powerful speech was given by Grove Green Councillor Anna Mbachu. As a healthcare worker, Anna spoke movingly of how she has witnessed...
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London’s Hidden Hamlet – Snaresbrook

A walk through the lost Hamlet of Snaresbrook on the edge of Epping Forest, now a part of the parish of Wanstead in the London Borough of Redbridge. We cross Leyton Flats to the Eagle Pond and look at the Eagle Pub (currently closed due to Coronavirus). Here we see a section of the Sayers...
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A history of the Great and the Good?

Reflecting on the pulling down of Statues There’s been a lot of talk of public statues since the citizens of Bristol decided to dump the bronze monument to slave trader Edward Colston in the harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest. A couple of days later the statue of slave owner Robert Milligan was removed...
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Over Marsh Lane Fields & Across Hackney Marshes

The roadside wildflowers near the nest Nest E10 apartments made me think of Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside. This was apt because I remember reading Iain Sinclair’s wonderful article about this hugely influential book in the Guardian Review then heading for a walk to our own patch of unofficial countryside at Marsh Lane Fields expecting...
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Secret Landscape of Leytonstone

A walk around part of the border of Leytonstone, London E11 that contains some of its stories embedded in the landscape. From James Lane past Leytonstone School past St. Andrew’s Church to the source of the lost river of the Filley Brook (Philley Brook), on the possible site of an ancient burial ground. Then past...
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Lockdown Pub Crawl around Leytonstone

The Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend was the perfect time for a pub crawl around the pubs of Leytonstone here in East London. Although all the pubs have been closed since the 21st March due to the lockdown, it’s a great time to celebrate the drinking establishments that are such an important part of community life....
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A note on psychogeography and the dérive

I recently came across an essay on ‘Situationists and Architecture’ by Peter Wollen in The New Left Review from 2001. I thought it was worth sharing these passages on psychogeography  and the dérive as it’s a subject I’m often asked to explain or define, so scholarly sources are always very welcome.     “Guy Debord...
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Walk around the London Olympic Park during Lockdown

On Friday 8th May I decided to take a walk around the London Olympic Park (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) to see what it was like during lockdown. The park is just a 15-minute walk from my home, but crossing the junction of Ruckholt Road and Orient Way felt like breaching a major boundary. Temple Mills...
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A lost Roman Road in Leyton

The lockdown inspired me to make a video that’s been on my list since reading a report in the Spring 2016 edition of London Archaeologist. The excavation report by Gary Brown covered a dig that was carried out in 2004 on the Beaumont Road Estate in Leyton. An intriguing section of Roman Road was unearthed...
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Leytonstone Lockdown Walk

I’m really enjoying the challenge of digging deeper into my local area for my lockdown walks. For this video I only cover a short section of Leytonstone High Road and yet it was so rich in resonances and associations. It starts with the ghosts of the M11 Link Road protests in Dyers Hall Road in...
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Walking the Shortlands Stream across Leyton Marshes

Back at the end of February I joined local historian Claire Weiss for a walk following the Shortlands Stream across a corner of Leyton Marshes. Claire has been researching the history of Lea Bridge Farm. This stream, or in reality a sewer, ran across the farmland and has since been culverted, although traces above ground...
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Chess Valley Walk – Rickmansworth to Chesham

Chess Valley Walk- 10 miles through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty The excitement of heading out on a trek, the same now as when I was backpacking. Those twenty-five years compressed into the moment of packing my bag and lacing my boots. There was an added buzz in that this hike would take...
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Lockdown walk around Leyton using digital maps

I wanted to give my lockdown walks around the local area a bit of added interested and remembered a couple of great digital resources that reveal layers of information about the streets of London. Firstly I explored Museum of London Archaeology’s Archaeology of Greater London interactive map which allows you to see the locations of...
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Last long walk before the Lockdown

This walk on Saturday 21st March feels like a very long time ago now. The pubs had been ordered to close the night before. Supermarket shelves were emptied in a frenzy of panic buying. Social distancing measures had recently been introduced. People had been urged to only use public transport for essential journeys. We knew...
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Eden’s Dreaming – The Whalebone Box

The dark cave of the box room where I write and make videos was the perfect lockdown hideaway to watch Andrew Kötting’s hypnotic odyssey The Whalebone Box. It’s a further collaboration with Psychogeographer in Chief Iain Sinclair, a dream ticket that began with Offshore in 2007 and continued through By Our Selves, Swandown, and Edith...
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Wanstead Social Distance Club

I really enjoyed delivering the first Zoom talk to the Wanstead Social Distance Club on Monday lunchtime, via Giles Wilson of the brilliant Wanstead Fringe Festival and Wansteadium blog. I talked through some of the walks I led for Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and answered some good questions at the end including...
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The London Perambulator – a possible sequel

The Lockdown has caused me to excavate the rushes I shot in 2008 for my documentary about Nick Papadimitriou, The London Perambulator. It almost feels like an act of ‘Deep Topography’, diving into what Nick describes as ‘storage vats of regional memory’. Here the storage vats are hard-drives of footage shot on a series of...
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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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