I’m knackered, so I let someone else do all the work this evening by going to a virtual talk by Antony Clayton called Folklore Of Underground London run by City of Westminster Libraries & Archives. And I know I say this every time, but it was fascinating. I’m not a huge fan of being underground, in fact the scariest film I’ve ever seen is The Descent, and that was mainly because of the subterraneous-ness. But perversely, I am a big fan of the folklore of what’s beneath us.
We started with the black swine of the Hampstead sewers, and I do love the threat of a murderous beast roaming the pipes. Then we segued onto underground streets with and without shops, depending if Malcolm McLaren was involved. Then onto ghost trains in Crystal Palace before taking a stroll along some secret tunnels, via abandoned tube stations, the curse of the mummy, cannibals, and a Mole Man.
Antony Clayton was very good company to be in. While I was willing all of his examples to be true, there was also a certain joy in hearing them dismantled in a well researched, confident and competent way.
So now I have a great book and film list to plough through and several grates to peer down when I’m next in town. I just hope nothing peers back up at me.
Speaking of which, today’s vent:
The Everyday Lore Project has been running since St Distaff’s Day on 7 January 2020 and will run until 12th Night on 6 January 2021. And you know what? I’d love for someone else to do all the work for me again before the 6th, so if you know of any online events, concerts, talks, parties that you think I might find folklorey, let me know by pinging me an email, or posting a comment below. And if you want to know how I get on, subscribe!
Header: Londonist The Haunted Tube Map