Walking in & around Camden, finding new places.
Some time ago I decided to start a Meet Up Group and lead some of my Urban Walks, I felt Camden would be a good place to start.
I have been enjoying revisiting Camden a lot and getting loads of books out on loan from Chelsea library; It’s an enjoyable process, researching and reading up on the history of Camden. A haven for Artists, Writers, Musicians, Historians; Camden has the lot.
Fascinating & somewhat mysterious historical characters, such as Walter Sickert, one of the founder members of the Camden Artist group. I’m re-reading Patricia Cornwell’s Case Closed, where she sets out to prove that Walter Sickert was, in fact, Jack The Ripper. I’ not sure this is credible, but interesting nevertheless. I would be the last person to glamorize Jack the ripper but it does hold a place in my imagination from childhood.
JACK THE RIPPER
It has been said that Sickert’s landlady at 6 Mornington crescent believed The Ripper had lived in one of her rooms. this certainly had an effect on Sickert’s imagination who painted Jack the Rippers room and is featured today in Manchester Art Gallery.
Camden got let off lightly during the blitz.
It seems only Camden Tube Station got slightly hit. The rest is intact. Part of its charm is the beautiful listed buildings, edging onto Regents Park. Camden Theatre at Mornington Crescent built in 1900 is still standing, now named Koko, it was rescued by the BBC in the 1940’s, virtually desolate in the early 1970’s then resurrected as The Music Machine named after an LA Psychedelic rock band, making way for the new wave punk generation. Then it became Camden Palace, now Koko.
The main difficulty was what to keep in the walk and what to leave for another occasion
There is no end to writers who have lived and worked in Camden, from WB Yeats to Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Beryl Bainbridge, the original fantasy writer George McDonald, and many more. I kept coming across plaques and had to rein it in somehow. What was starting off as a rock n roll walk was going to turn into a literary walk? Although I can’t do it all in one walk, there is so much scope for future walks.
OLD FASHIONED TOWN CRIER
It never fails to surprise me how popular Camden Market is. People are happy to be crammed in and queue up for the ever-increasing food stalls in the market.
I prefer to get there early to actually be able to look at the stores and look at the new designs and products. I had gone off Camden some years ago but must say it has so much life and energy there, it feels good to be back in North London.
I have been busily involved with The Eltham Readers group, my interview with Bernardine Evaristo author of Mr Loverman can be found in the SEnine Magazine. Tonight she will be at Eltham Library to talk about her book. (see page 29 on link below)
My new Meet up Group details are below.
Last Saturday of November I will be joining in the Bedlam Walk. More on that next blog.