Weird and Wonderful East London
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Weird and Wonderful East London
The latest stories, happenings, musings and ramblings from the best end of London
Curated by Gareth Rees
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East London from the air (OFFICIAL VIDEO) - YouTube

#eastlondonair A unique and fascinating look at East London from the air. Music 'Stratosphere' kindly donated by David O'Brien / Gareth Johnson.
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Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's curator insight, May 3, 2015 11:57 AM

I spy .. the tail of a fox ..

 

I spy .. the tail of a fox ..

 

from the archives 

May 2014

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Spooky goings on on Hackney Marshes courtesy of writer Gareth Rees…

Spooky goings on on Hackney Marshes courtesy of writer Gareth Rees… | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Walk around green space will uncover 'druggy Victorians, dead bears and phantom factories'
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Gareth Rees's curator insight, October 31, 2013 11:23 AM

Come join my free tour of Hackney Marshes, 16th November, 12:45 outside the Princess of Wales pub on the Lea Bridge Road.

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Mysterious Giant Foobtalls Appear on Hackney Marshes

Mysterious Giant Foobtalls Appear on Hackney Marshes | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Goal.com
Mysterious messages at Hackney Marshes
Goal.com
Hackney Marshes became the latest venue to be inflicted with mysterious signs and symbols on Monday as a giant three metre football gouged one of the 82 pitches at the London-based grassland.
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New music release! A Dream of Flight Over Walthamstow Marsh

New music release! A Dream of Flight Over Walthamstow Marsh | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

In 1909 a man built a wooden aeroplane, and rolled it onto Walthamstow Marsh…

 

 

Gareth Rees's insight:

Here is a track called ‘Flight’, from an album I’ve made with Jetsam called A Dream Life of Hackney Marshes. The album is an exploration of the Lea Marshes, incorporating chamber music, electronics, spoken word, avant rock and field recordings. It’s based on my short story about a man who begins a torrid affair with an electricity pylon in the Middlesex filter beds...

 

Out on Clay Pipe Music in November!

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Spitalfield Life: The Mosaic Makers of Hoxton

Spitalfield Life: The Mosaic Makers of Hoxton | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

"Next time you are walking up Shepherdess Walk in Hoxton and you pass that sinister tunnel with the worn flagstones, leading under the shabby nineteenth century terrace, I recommend you take courage and pass through it to the park at the other end where a wonderful surprise awaits you.

 

For the last two years, artist Tessa Hunkin and around one hundred and fifty people have been working to create an elaborate set of mosaics in Shepherdess Walk Park, which are inaugurated with a party on Thursday this week. These breathtakingly beautiful pieces of work are destined to become an attraction in their own right – drawing people from far and wide to this corner of Hoxton – but before the crowds arrive, I had the pleasure of going over to admire them in the company of Tessa and couple of the stalwart mosaic makers, as they contemplate the completion of their mighty task which has transformed an unloved part of the park into an inspirational spot.

 

Taking the lyrical name of Shepherdess Walk as a starting point, the first mosaic portrays the shepherdesses that once drove their sheep through here when Hoxton was all fields. Next to this, a double wall panel illustrates park life throughout the seasons of  the year in East End while, underfoot, a pair of pavement mosaics show the wild flowers that persist, all illustrated in superb botanic detail. The quality of execution and subtle sense of colour in Tessa Hunkin’s designs combine with humorous observation of the detail of the social and the natural world to create works of lasting value which residents of Hoxton can enjoy for generations to come.

 

You will be pleased to learn that after the success of the Shepherdess Walk mosaics, the team are already working on an ambitious new mosaic for Pitfield St, commemorating the Hoxton Palace of Varieties, and then Tessa and her team will be moving to a studio in Hackney Downs to undertake a commission for a children’s playground."

 

 

 

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Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's curator insight, May 3, 2015 6:44 AM

Another great post from Spitalfields Life!

October 2013

 

Love the mosaics and the story behind them!

 

Shepherdess Walk N1 7JN

 

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Hoxton artist pays tribute to Chilean icon Victor Jara's “broken hands” - Hackney Gazette

Hoxton artist pays tribute to Chilean icon Victor Jara's “broken hands” - Hackney Gazette | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney Gazette Hoxton artist pays tribute to Chilean icon Victor Jara's “broken hands” Hackney Gazette A Hoxton artist has unveiled his memorial Chilean icon Victor Jara, the Chilean icon slaughtered for speaking out against the regime of dictator...
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Marshland by Gareth E. Rees: A psychedelic journey into East London's marshes, past, present and future...

Marshland by Gareth E. Rees: A psychedelic journey into East London's marshes, past, present and future... | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

Cocker spaniel by his side, Rees wanders the marshes of Hackney, Leyton and Walthamstow, avoiding his family and the pressures of life. He discovers a lost world of Victorian filter plants, ancient grazing lands, dead toy factories and tidal rivers on the edgelands of a rapidly changing city. Ghosts are his friends. As strange tales of bears, crocodiles, magic narrowboats and apocalyptic tribes begin to manifest themselves, Rees embarks on a psychedelic journey across time and into the dark heart of London.


It soon becomes clear that the very existence of this unique landscape is at threat. For on all sides of the marshland, the developers are closing in…
Marshland is a deep map of the East London marshes, a blend of local history, folklore and weird fiction, where nothing is quite as it seems.


This book contains striking illustrations from artist Ada Jusic.

Gareth Rees's insight:

My book is available to pre-order with a 25% discount here: www.influxpress.com/marshland

 

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We meet Shoreditch street art sketcher John Dolan - Time Out London

We meet Shoreditch street art sketcher John Dolan - Time Out London | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Time Out London
We meet Shoreditch street art sketcher John Dolan
Time Out London
Revealing the world around us that so often goes unnoticed, east London's most notorious artist John Dolan (and dog George) make us stop and open our eyes.
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Stephen Gill's new collection draws on obsession with Hackney - Hackney Citizen

Stephen Gill's new collection draws on obsession with Hackney - Hackney Citizen | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney Citizen Stephen Gill's new collection draws on obsession with Hackney Hackney Citizen Gill rose to prominence in with the publication of Hackney Wick (2005) and Hackney Flowers (2007), part of his decade-long obsession with the social and...
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UK: Hackney council replaces drawing of street because it's 'too white'

UK: Hackney council replaces drawing of street because it's 'too white' | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney council published the picture of the Hackney Central thoroughfare to illustrate planned changes to the recently pedestrianised Narrow Way. But after the Black and Ethnic Minority Network pointed out that almost ...
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London's Olympics legacy faces early disqualification

London's Olympics legacy faces early disqualification | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
The Olympics were supposed to regenerate London's poorest boroughs. So what have we got to show for our £11bn?
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Hackney People's Press: interview with Charles Foster | The Radical ...

Hackney People's Press: interview with Charles Foster | The Radical ... | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Charles Foster worked on more than 90 of the 109 issues of Hackney People's Press published between 1974 and 1985. He got in touch after reading a previous post here on Hackney People's Press and very kindly offered ...
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Green spaces some of the 'best in the UK' for fifth year running - This is Local London

Green spaces some of the 'best in the UK' for fifth year running - This is Local London | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
This is Local London Green spaces some of the 'best in the UK' for fifth year running This is Local London The open spaces by Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, are among nearly 1,500 parks and green spaces across the country that received a Green Flag Award...
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Londonist's Non-Fiction Roundup: December 2013 - New London Books

Londonist's Non-Fiction Roundup: December 2013 - New London Books | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

Hackney Marsh: a place of illicit raves, time-travelling dandies, scary cults and grizzly bears, at least according to psychogeographer Gareth Rees. He blurs the line between fact and fiction like an explorer who’s sipped liberally from his hip-flask before falling asleep in a pocket of marsh gas. But here’s the thing: it works. Gloriously. This idiosyncratic bumbleburst of local history, folklore and informed creativity captures the marshes as vividly as any book ever could.

 

Gareth not only knows his terrain intimately, but also wants to share it in plain language that never takes itself too seriously. Given some of the conceits of the book, which plays fast and loose with fact, style, time and credulity, this could easily have deteriorated into an exercise in look-how-clever-I-am. It never does, because Gareth is a thinking, drinking, cocker-spaniel-walking man with his feet firmly on the ground (except when he’s dangling over the bank of the Lee Navigation to rescue said cocker-spaniel).

 

This is first-class writing that slithers between genres like an eel in a library. One day, all books will be written like this.

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Gareth Rees's curator insight, December 16, 2013 2:47 PM

My new book reviewed in the Londonist. New word: bumbleburst!

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Other London Adventures, with The Hackney Marshman and John Rogers

Other London Adventures, with The Hackney Marshman and John Rogers | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

Wednesday 20th November 7pmTickets £5

Sutton House, 2-4 Homerton High St, Hackney, London, E9 6JQ [Map]

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Put Mabley Green on the map with world's largest edible park, urge campaigners - Hackney Gazette

Put Mabley Green on the map with world's largest edible park, urge campaigners - Hackney Gazette | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney Gazette Put Mabley Green on the map with world's largest edible park, urge campaigners Hackney Gazette A promise was made that they would return there once the 11 pitches were reinstated on the Marsh, but in June the users group discovered...
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New book published by Influx Press is a psychedelic exploration of London's 'wilderness'.

New book published by Influx Press is a psychedelic exploration of London's 'wilderness'. | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

Gareth Rees’s semi-autobiographical short story A Dream Life of Hackney Marshes is about a man who has a nervous breakdown and embarks on an affair with an electricity pylon.

 

It was included in an anthology of writing published last year, and now Rees has followed it up with a psychedelic work of fiction featuring bears, crocodiles and sex cults.

 

The book, Marshland: Dreams and Nightmares on the Edge of London, which contains suitably weird illustrations by Ada Jusic, is due to be published in November.

 

Rees’s obsession with the Marshes began when he first visited the Middlesex Filter Beds while walking his black cocker spaniel Hendrix.

“I’d never really realised it was there,” he says.

The copywriter, now 40, had found what was to become his muse.

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Horror of Hackney Marshes - Katie Brookes

Horror of Hackney Marshes - Katie Brookes | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Gareth Rees's insight:

The Hackney Marsh bear legend lives on! Just found this piece referencing the decapitated, skinned bears found in the Lea in 1981, shortly before four boys came across a bear on the marsh.

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'Marshroots' art attack is latest weapon in campaign to 'save' green space - Hackney Citizen

'Marshroots' art attack is latest weapon in campaign to 'save' green space - Hackney Citizen | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney Citizen 'Marshroots' art attack is latest weapon in campaign to 'save' green space Hackney Citizen Artworks celebrating the flora and fauna of Leyton Marsh are being exhibited at a Hackney cafe as part of the latest stage in a campaign...
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How I Ruined Hackney (& the Mystery of “The Hackney Slap”)

How I Ruined Hackney (& the Mystery of “The Hackney Slap”) | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

On a bright afternoon I was on Walthamstow marsh with my dog Hendrix, walking beneath the brow of the old aqueduct path where the brambles grow. He was coming the other way, a stocky man, late 40s, with a collie.

 

“Watch out for her!” he said, pointing at his dog, “She’s on heat.”

 

“Oh, don’t worry,” I said, “he’s been done.”

 

The man’s head began swinging angrily from side to side. He held onto his thoughts for a few paces then blurted: “Why the hell would you want to do that?

Why? Why? Why would anyone do that to a dog? You’ve ruined his life! Why take away his manhood? YOU ARE IN THE POCKET OF THE VET!”

 

Hendrix, poor sod, was castrated because he was born with a serious eye-defect. It was unethical to allow him to pass on his genes. But really it was none of this man’s business.

 

“It’s none of your business,” I said, as we crossed paths.

 

The man’s face darkened. By now he was walking backwards away from me, and I walking backwards away from him.

 

“You… you… you lot have ruined Hackney,” he cried “RUINED IT!” As he spoke, the spittle of his wrath caught the sunlight and formed a rainbow.

 

“Because of YOU I have to move away. You fucking ponce! …Newbie!”

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Fortean London: Magic, Mazes, Marshes and a Curse on Eddie and the Hot Rods!

Fortean London: Magic, Mazes, Marshes and a Curse on Eddie and the Hot Rods! | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it

Graveyard expert Rob Stephenson on London’s Lost Labyrinths 

 

Fantasy writer Kate Griffin on London and Magic and Inspiration 

 

Journalist Peter Watts on A Curse on Eddie and the Hot Rods!

 

Author Gareth E Rees on Haunted by Time: Atemporal Hallucinations in East London’s Marshes..

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Gareth Rees's curator insight, September 2, 2013 2:55 PM

I'm doing a talk  in the Bell pub, London E1 on the 26th September - 'Haunted by Time: Atemporal Hallucinations in East London’s Marshes'.

 

If you're in town, come along. It'll be my 40th birthday so you can witness my supernatural transition into middle age - LIVE.

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Heatwave drives huge increase in fainting incidents in Hackney as thousands ... - Hackney Gazette

Heatwave drives huge increase in fainting incidents in Hackney as thousands ... - Hackney Gazette | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Heatwave drives huge increase in fainting incidents in Hackney as thousands ...
Hackney Gazette
The Service say the dramatic increase in fainting incidents - where people have been rendered unconscious - has gone up in City and Hackney since June.
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Musical events at Stoke Newington cemetery are “sacrilegious”, say neighbour - Hackney Gazette

Musical events at Stoke Newington cemetery are “sacrilegious”, say neighbour - Hackney Gazette | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney Gazette Musical events at Stoke Newington cemetery are “sacrilegious”, say neighbour Hackney Gazette “The more people there are in Abney Park cemetery or events which are held, the more it will deter anti-social behaviour.” People can...
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Jaguar cars climb down over Shoreditch bar battle - Hackney Gazette

Jaguar cars climb down over Shoreditch bar battle - Hackney Gazette | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney Gazette Jaguar cars climb down over Shoreditch bar battle Hackney Gazette Car giant Jaguar has backed down from the David and Goliath legal battle it launched over the popular Shoreditch café, bar and art gallery, Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes,...
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Thousands of dead fish in Hackney as the River Lee is “on its last gasp” - Hackney Gazette

Thousands of dead fish in Hackney as the River Lee is “on its last gasp” - Hackney Gazette | Weird and Wonderful East London | Scoop.it
Hackney Gazette
Thousands of dead fish in Hackney as the River Lee is “on its last gasp”
Hackney Gazette
Theo Thomas who runs campaign group Thames21's Love the Lea Campaign said the pollution had pushed the river over the edge.
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