Yet another murder

I’m posting this report from the Islington Tribune not through some mis-guidedly morbid linking of murder and place but because it was a murder on these streets near where I lived that prompted me to start this blog.

The killing of Sam Fitzgerald took place very close to where I lived when I started writing Islintongue, as did that of Sonny Cracknell back in 2004. This is an area that still retains such precious memories for me but seems blighted by violence – very sad.
Here’s the beginning of the report in the Islington Tribune

Published: 16 April 2010
by CHARLOTTE CHAMBERS

CLOSE groups of teenage friends have been left overcome by grief again in Islington after a young Arsenal supporter was stabbed to death close to his home.

Sam Fitzgerald, 20, died from a knife wound sustained outside the Thornhill Arms pub in Wynford Road, off Caledonian Road, on Wednesday night.

He was well aware of a series of recent violent deaths in the borough with friends telling yesterday that he knew murder victims Martin Dinnegan, 14, and Ben Kinsella, 16.

Sam was be lieved to have been a former boyfriend of Jessie Wright, the 16-year-old whose death in King’s Cross is a police case now the subject of murder proceedings at the Old Bailey. He led the tribute march to Jessie on his bicycle last month.

In all too familiar scenes for grieving relatives and friends, teenagers gathered together at a growing shrine yesterday (Thursday). Many of the youngsters were in floods of tears and unable to put their emotions into words.

Sam had been watching his team play Tottenham on the television inside the pub and was attacked when he briefly stepped outside. Detectives are keeping an open mind about the motive for the stabbing but are not linking it to football rivalries.

Sam, of Priory Heights in Wynford Road, was rushed to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel but died soon after.

london

Recovery walk

I needed a walk to help recover from a violent stomach bug – the kind that has you laid out for 3 days and still has me on a diet of cous-cous and boiled veg. Walking therapy works for me like no other remedy.
The plan was to revisit my old haunts from when I daily schlepped between the Angel and the South Bank, the warren of runs and ways I etched into my consciousness through repeated walking stretching from Bloomsbury across Clerkenwell, Finsbury, Islington and The City.

I start at Lincoln’s Inn Fields then move onto Fleet Street. I perch in St. Dunstan’s-in-the-West and listen to the choir practice. Up Fetter Lane then breach the border of High Holborn entering the mental realm of lower-Islington. Leather Lane is full of lunchtime bustle. Drop down Herbal Hill behind the Guardian offices then along to Back Hill where St. Martin’s students spread out along the curb munching and sunning themselves. I look through into Black Mary’s Hole, the majesty of Mount Pleasant Sorting Office looms above. I skirt the bomb-site (the last in London?) and then I’m tugged westwards along Calthorpe Street. I sit and reflect in St. Andrew’s Gardens. Push on along Grays Inn Road with a nod to the Calthorpe Project. Stop for a bagel and a coffee (always feels wrong to eat a ham bagel). Harrison Street heading west opens up another front of nostalgia, then along Sidmouth Street and into Tavistock Place. The magnetic force of Judd Street Books is too powerful to resist and I lose myself in there for some time.

I cut behind Camden Town Hall where I once argued with the registrars. Descend into Britannia Street the screech of tubes pulling into Kings Cross below, photo the flats I’m sure are in Mike Leigh’s High Hopes. Lorenzo Street (missed Penton Rise) across Pentonville Road and down along Calshot Street. I’ve neglected to account for post viral fatigue, I’m dizzy, my legs go, I have to regain myself on the steps of the new Peabody Building for the final push. Suck on a Murray Mint. On up the mound. Duck into the old estate – no sign of Sam sitting out in front of his flat. Over to Chapel Market, the Salmon & Compasses having yet another refurb. The record shop I loved has gone – I’d planned to buy the Saint Etienne CD that has been playing in my head all day. Cash Converters has replaced the video shop and Woolies has become Waitrose in a bold statement of intent that the Angel is moving up in the world. Wind up in Borders browsing the stacks of 3 for 2s. End – No.56 bus home. I feel infinitely better.


The majesty of Mount Pleasant sorting office approached from Black Mary’s Hole
london

Pyramids, the Spa Fields and Psychogeography

This article came in on the National Psychogeographic newsfeed – looks at a new development in Spa Fields Islington and how the structure relates to the psychogepgraphy of London. Spa Fields is somewhere I keep being drawn back to – the collision of radical history, mythology connected to springs and wells, pleasure gardens and transgression and how this seems indellably imprinted on the landscape.
Studio Idealyc’s pyramid scheme – Building Design

london

Walk to the West End – redux

Sat in The Heathcote last night reading David Boote’s excellent series of leaflets on the Leyton Loop made me think about the walk that I did through Leyton to the West End via Kings Cross in June 2007. I posted a blog about it at the time.
Enthused, I came home from the pub, dug out the miniDV tape and quickly edited together this vid. It’s always difficult to capture the experience of walking in any form – literature seems to have managed it best. Here I tried to film as instinctively as possible as if scribbling in a notebook.
The Heathcote btw was shut tonight due to a gas leak – was it something I did? Not quite sure what I’ll do if it stays shut for a while. Maybe get round to writing up some notes I’ve got on walking that I’d like to share.