The sound of: Plumstead covered market

This is a short field recording I made whilst wandering around Plumstead covered market on the walk from Woolwich around Crayford Ness for chapter 3 of This Other London

Here’s a snippet from the book:

Moving up along Plumstead Road my momentum is broken by the covered market. There’s been a market on the site since the 1600s – the poor forgotten cousin of the more famous Covent Garden. Thursday is early closing, which probably accounts for the lack of activity. It must be a hard life grinding a living out of the stalls here. The Gurkha Café has a few punters sup- ping tea on its outside tables. I do circuits, soaking in the atmos- phere: the narrow ways between units, the coloured lettering all around, pulsing reggae music bouncing back off the glass ceiling. There are echoes of Grand Central Market in Los Angeles that provided the inspiration for scenes in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner. A mash-up of ethnic influences coming together into a hybrid street culture, a Himalayan- Afro-Caribbean-Indian-Jutish cocktail.”This Other London – adventures in the overlooked city

The sound of Manze’s Pie and Mash shop Chapel Market

I recorded this audio clip whilst stopping for some much needed Pie and Mash on one of the walks for This Other London. It’s got great acoustics – something to do with all those tiles and marble worktops.

Here’s a bit from the book:

I move on quickly into Chapel Market where I can sate the desire for Manze’s pie and mash that had been stirred in Walthamstow. I order a small pie and with a dollop of mash smeared around one side of the plate and swimming in parsley liquor, it is placed on the marble counter top. The tea comes in a glass mug with the spoon standing upright. I settle on a wooden bench in one of the booths under the glow of a line of petal-shaped lights reflecting in the mirrors. It is a gleaming working-class food palace. The white-tiled walls are broken up with brown borders containing a band of decorated green tiles embossed with a chain of ribboned flowers.This Other London p.233

This Chapel Market Manze’s (there are a few dotted around London that grew out of the original empire established by Michaele Manzo, an Italian immigrant from Ravello) features in the film version of The London Nobody Knows. It makes a going for pie and mash look like a trip to the Twilight Zone.

 

The sound of: Lewisham High Street

I recorded this on Lewisham High Street at the beginning of the walk to Herne Hill Velodrome and on to Tulse Hill in search of the birthplace of astrophysics. The journey is recounted in Chapter 4 of This Other London.

I’d meant to follow the Ravensbourne from the DLR to Ladywell Fields but had been coaxed into the High Street by the bright hand-painted sign for Lewisham Model Market. It was a sedate September Sunday morning with a few early drinkers sucking on fags outside the Wetherspoon’s. There’s a gentility to the High Street hiding behind the identikit shopfronts – Currys, Primark and Poundworld all mask fine modernist-looking buildings.

The sounds of a loud, joyous chorus of evangelical singing backed up by a pulsing rhythm section wafted across the High Street from a room above a shop next to Primark  A one-legged man sitting on a folding stool outside has the look of a fella who’s seen it all.