South Bank book trawling

‘The Unknown Trail’

‘Border, By-ways and Lothian Lore’

‘In Quest of Peril’

Some of the enticing titles embossed on old cloth spines on the South Bank book market outside the BFI. Browsing these tables brings back great memories of my NFT days – book collecting chats back in the box office, trawling for treasure and knowledge. The excitement of the hunt. My hasty steps ground to a halt and I’m drawn into another dimension of time.

First review of Welcome to New London

“With “Welcome to New London,” Rogers has not only penned a compelling read but also seamlessly linked it to his digital journey. The book beautifully marks another milestone in Rogers’ ongoing odyssey through topographical and psychogeographical terrains, captivating the spirit of the modern urban flâneur — an urban shaman who traverses the liminal spaces of a city brimming with concealed secrets, apparent only to those with discerning eyes to perceive them.”
Massively chuffed with this glowing review by Marco Visconti – read the whole article here

Publication Day

Welcome to New London by John Rogers published 10th October 2023

Today sees the official publication of my new book, Welcome to New London – journeys and encounters in the post-Olympic city.

When I’d started writing in the summer of 2013 the aim had been relatively simple: to document a new London that was emerging from the ashes of the Olympic Games. My previous book, This Other London had been inspired by topographical writers of the early twentieth century who’d explored the new London given birth by the expansion of the railways and had seen suburbs sprout in the fields around the city. My walks in overlooked London were a rediscovery of their territory. So now I felt I had a duty to do the same in this century as nascent villages and suburbs were once again spawning across the capital.
Writing in 1947, Harold P. Clunn observed in London Marches On: ‘To produce a book on London absolutely up-to-date, even though no new buildings were erected for several years, is uncommonly like attempting to emulate the feat of Joshua who commanded the sun to stand still’. And so that has been the case.
You can read the whole introduction on 3:AM magazine.

Here are some links to places where you can buy Welcome to New London and you can also order through your local bookshop.

Newham Bookshop
Wanstead Bookshop
The Bookseller Crow
Barnes and Noble
Booktopia (Aus)

The Lost Byway (signed) – note only UK postage included for signed copies (contact for details of postage and signed copies in other territories)

I’ll be signing books at Phlox in Leyton on Friday 3rd November 7pm

The Invention of Essex at Wanstead Book Festival

Tim Burrows and John Rogers at Wanstead Book Festival, Wanstead Library 29th September 2023. Photo by Giles Wilson.
photo by Giles Wilson

It was a real pleasure to have an onstage conversation with Tim Burrows on Friday evening, about his recently published book, The Invention of Essex. The event was part of the Wanstead Book Festival organised by Giles Wilson as part of the Wanstead Fringe Festival – a three week celebration of arts and culture that featured around 120 events.

Tim’s book takes beneath the veneer of TOWIE and all the litany of stereotypes that have been foisted upon this complex county that seems to been a bellwether location for how the nation feels about itself. The book is also a fascinating exploration of the topography of Essex, the ‘maligned marshes’ and the deadly Essex agues.

Welcome to New London - journeys and encounters in the post-Olympic city by John Rogers at Wanstead Fringe Festival 29th September 2023

It was also the first public appearance of my new book Welcome to New London – journeys and encounters in the post-Olympic city. I believe Wanstead Bookshop has a few copies left over from last night and Newham Bookshop should have some in stock from Monday.

Welcome to New London - journeys and encounters in the post-Olympic city by John Rogers at Wanstead Fringe Festival 29th September 2023

The book is also available to pre-order on Amazon and from other booksellers using the ISBN: 9781739539207

Welcome to New London book launch

Welcome to New London

I’m delighted to announce that my new book, Welcome to New London – journeys and encounters in the post-Olympic city is being launched at the brilliant Wanstead Tap on 10th & 11th October. Tickets can be purchased here and books will be available on the night.

Book synopsis

Iain Sinclair has described Welcome to New London as, “An invaluable and informed super-tour by the Cobbett of YouTube. As immediately readable and engrossing as a Rogers film.”

After the 2012 Olympics London once again entered a period of radical change, one that some people came to see as a battle for the very soul of one of the greatest cities in the world. John Rogers embarked on a series of journeys and encounters in a quest to understand what was going on.

In ‘Welcome to New London’ John Rogers invites us to join him on a captivating voyage through the ever-changing landscapes and communities of this iconic city. As a follow-up to ‘This Other London,’ ‘Welcome to New London’ continues Rogers’ exploration of the city from a unique perspective.

The story begins in 2013 as the Olympic village in Stratford transitioned to become a new permanent settlement, and the Stratford City plan became a reality. This excursion sparks an exploration of the Olympic Park and its surrounding areas, where a wave of development is reshaping the Lower Lea Valley.

The narrative seamlessly weaves through various facets of London’s transformation, from the Focus E15 Mothers’ occupation of homes on Carpenters Estate, a poignant symbol of the housing crisis, to the global attention garnered by campaigns like Save Soho and Save Tin Pan Alley. The book also chronicles the author’s involvement in efforts to help residents of the Sweets Way Estate and other housing campaigns, offering readers an intimate look at the human stories behind London’s changing landscape.

Intriguingly, the Rogers delves into the city’s ancient history following a chance conversation with a Pearly Punk King on the rooftop of the old Foyles building. This encounter takes him through Epping Forest to the prehistory of London in the Upper Lea Valley, unearthing Bronze Age burial mounds and their significance in understanding London’s historical roots and its enduring connection to its past.

Rogers embarks on a series of walks with acclaimed writer Iain Sinclair, providing a thought-provoking commentary on London’s future. And then somehow the United Nations sent him to Peckham to explore the concept of the ‘Open City,’ tying together the book’s themes and returning to the Olympic Park as a focal point.

“Welcome to New London” is not just a book about a city; it’s a vivid, personal account of a city in flux, where the author’s passion for exploration and his commitment to bearing witness to change converge. With its richly detailed chapters and thought-provoking commentary, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of one of the world’s greatest cities.

Please contact me via the contact form above for further info, events, interviews and any other enquiries.

Exploring Jane Austen’s Worthing with Travis Elborough

Blustery old Worthing. A town overly associated with pensioners escaping risqué Brighton with its lurid temptations. Worthing is decent. But I doubt it had that reputation when Jane Austen stayed there for a few months at the back end of 1805 and used it as the setting for her unfinished novel, Sanditon. Author Travis Elborough covers Austen’s sojourn on the West Sussex coast in one of the chapters of his latest book, The Writer’s Journey. I accompanied Travis on a fantastic stroll around his hometown a couple of weeks ago to shoot a video for my YouTube channel. We looked at The Connaught Theatre, Stanford Cottage (where Jane Austen stayed in 1805), The Dome Cinema as featured in the 1987 film Wish You Were Here starring Emily Lloyd and Tom Bell, Harold Pinter’s place by the sea, The Royal Arcade, Shelley House, Worthing Pier and many more locations. It was a great day. The fish and chips were huge and the batter crispy. The wind nearly blew my beard off.

Travis Elborough at the Dome Cinema, Worthing November 2022 - photo by John Rogers
Travis Elborough at the Dome Cinema, Worthing

Find more books by Travis Elborough here

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