Alfred Hitchcock and the Death of a Superstore

I‘ve decided to start a daily vlog of my routine walks (well Monday to Friday) – mainly just local wanderings, occasionally further afield. I normally just record these in my head with notes scribbled in my pocket book and etched into my psyche, but for the sake of YouTube I’ll use the more conventional means of compact camera.

I’ve been watching a few travel vloggers – jet-setting around the globe – Zorbing in New Zealand, Kayaking in Kenya, Skateboarding in Santiago and this is my version – taking a daily schlepp around East London. These aren’t the expeditions into remote London as recorded in This Other London, but spontaneous drifts, meditative meanderings on familiar turf, although I never truly know where I’m going to end up – one morning I set out and emerged through a hedge 3 hours later on the outskirts of Harold Park.

This first one follows a regular trail down Leytonstone High Road, past the Jet garage built on the site of Alfred Hitchcock’s childhood home with the recently painted ‘Birds’ mural next door. I couldn’t resist a look at the dying days of the Homebase DIY store with its empty aisles – it had a creepy Hitchcockian ambience. It’s a glimpse into a near-future where all large retail units will be reduced to this.

iPhone Video App test: London Walkabout E11

So I figured that a video app made/promoted by Vimeo ought to be fairly decent and it looks as if Cameo is a nifty addition to your iphone video suite. It also seemed like it might be an interesting tool for sharing footage of walks on the hoof.

It seemed preposterous to me a few years ago that you could shoot 1080p video on a phone and edit it using imovie on the same device. I usually capture my walks on a compact camera (occasionally a DSLR) and hack them together as quickly as possible on Final Cut Pro the next day. So the idea of being able to do it all on my iphone sat in the pub at the end of the day is appealing.

Anyhow this is a quick test run on a short wander up to Leytonstone High Road.


‘Bet you didn’t know this about Redbridge – man pounds the streets looking for secrets’


Here’s a great article about This Other London from the Ilford Recorder.

Even the most avid lover of Redbridge may learn something from a new book exploring the somewhat overlooked delights of London.

For example, did you know that Aldersbrook does not have any pubs as it was built when the anti-drink Temperance Movement was at its height?

Or that a grisly murder was committed in Belgrave Road, Wanstead, when Percy Thompson was killed by his wife’s younger lover in 1922?

Author John Rogers, 42, a keen walker, has travelled far and wide from Australia to India and quite a few places in between but said that London has just as much to offer for the adventurer.

With two reluctant knees, and a can of Stella in hand, the father-of-two trekked far and wide to discover the bits of our capital which deserve another look.

John said: “I’ve travelled but kept getting drawn back to London. I kept that spirit of adventure. London has places as wonderful as anywhere else and it’s all the more amazing because they are outside your doorstep.”

Ilford and Wanstead both feature in his book with the grand finale focusing on a trip to South Park, South Park Drive, Ilford, which started as a bet with his seven-year-old son.

“I was trying to get my kids to come on walks with me. One of them said he would if we went to South Park off the TV show.

“He thought we were going to Colorado but I took him to South Park in Ilford – he saw the funny side of it.”

He said the book gave him an opportunity to find answers to things he had always wondered about such as why there are no pubs in Aldersbrook.

“The estate was built in about ten years from 1899-1910 at the time when the Temperance Movement was very popular, which is why there’s no pub,” he said.

“It was built for city gents who wanted the country lifestyle but still commuted to the city.”

This Other London: Adventures in the Overlooked City will be published in September

Alfred Hitchcock in Leytonstone

Just found this interesting clip on ITN Source about Hitchcock’s early years in Leytonstone. I usually introduce the films at Leytonstone Film Club by saying that it is our attempt to bring cinema home to the birthplace of one of the greatest directors, because once you leave the tube station you wouldn’t know it. How long will we have  to wait for the Hitchcock Cinema to open in Leytonstone

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