Climbing St. Brides

I tried to climb the spire of Wren’s St Brides Church Fleet Street today and failed. I’d read in ‘Lights Out for the Territory’ by Iain Sinclair how he’d managed to find a small unlocked door that led up the spire, which is the second tallest after St Paul’s. Today the door was locked. I tried to speak to the church warden through an intercom but he simply said, “It isn’t safe”. So I was denied one of the great views of the city and headed down into the crypt instead.

I’m doing a vague mapping of the area using William Kent’s ‘Lost Treasures of London’ (1946) as my guide. Kent’s book is an inventory of World War II bomb damage to the city, a sad list of loss and destruction. It’s my aim to see what else has fallen to the peacetime blitz of urban planning.

I’ll be posting more here as I go along.

london

BS Johnson in High Wycombe

Did a classic walk in from Wycombe to Wooburn last week, along the River Wye. We’d gone down to do a talk to the Fine Art students at BCUC and I’d had this urge to walk home, chart the changes taking place to the area where I grew up as they manifest themselves along the river which gave the area it’s purpose and its identity.
But before I got onto the river I couldn’t resist a diversion to Gordon Road where BS Johnson satyed as an evacuee. Somebdoy contacted me via this blog to point out the long descriptions of Wycombe in his novel ‘Trawl’.
I started reading him because he lived in Claremont Square, Islington, just down the road from me, the top of Penton Mound. He writes about night-time schleps around Islington in ‘Albert Angelo’.
It’s another reference in my ‘autopobiography’.

You can read about the walk here: http://remappinghighwycombe.blogspot.com

london

This is a failed attempt to post a 10 second video clip directly from my phone. It works great with the picture messages you can see throughout this blog but doesn’t work with video. I’ve been using Flickr. If anyone knows how this can be done I’d love to know.

london