SALON NO. 15: LONDON PSYCHE

London Women on the edge of a nervous breakthrough.

6.30pm April 24th 2014

Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street

London WC1 

Admission: THIS SALON IS NOW SOLD OUT


The occult history of London is often told by men as a story of men. But in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded at 17 Fitzroy Street, women held equal status and were some of the most interesting and influential members. SALON NO. 15: LONDON PSYCHE brings together occultist Caroline Wise and Strange Attractor curator Mark Pilkington to offer glimpses into the largely unknown magical world of London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.



Florence Farr was initiated into London's Isis-Urania Temple of the Order of the Golden Dawn by the Irish poet Yeats in July 1890. A remarkable first wave feminist, successful actress, theatre producer, mistress of George Bernard Shaw and social activist, she became High Priestess of the temple in 1894.

Occult historian Caroline Wise will join us to tell Florence's story and those of some of the other turn-of-the-century London women involved in the capital's magical revival, women who along with their radical predecessors, attempted to bring about radical changes to society.  They included actresses and authors, heiresses and artists, members of the Bohemian free-thinkers and a psychologist who presented rites of Isis and Pan in a Presbyterian Church in Belgravia. 

When the occult Order of the Golden Dawn declined, it was succeeded by others including The Theosophical Society whose public lectures were attended by one Ethel Le Rossignol. Between 1920 and 1933 Ethel created 44 paintings, a 'series of psychic drawings given through her hand as an assurance of survival after death', identifying herself only as the medium and a spirit known as 'J.P.F' as the actual artist. The paintings reveal a world of pure light, colour and energy with aspects of Art Deco, popular playbills, Eastern mysticism and miniatures. They radiate an ecstatic joy and are prescient of the psychedelic art that would emerge in London several decades later.

Strange Attractor's Mark Pilkington  will talk about "A Goodly Company", the amazing series of paintings by Ethel held in the archives of London's College of Psychic Studies (where she had bequeathed them), on display in various rooms but largely forgotten. Mark recently curated the recent extraordinary exhibition at The Horse Hospital that brought together 21 of her deeply strange works in one space for the first time.

He will relate the little that is known of Ethel’s London life based on the clues left in her writing and trace the interest in mediumistic spiritualism she developed through her psychic studies in the London of the 1920s.  He will show images of a selection of the paintings and read extracts from Ethel's book 'A Goodly Company'




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MARK PILKINGTON is the founder and curator of Strange Attractor who have carved out a unique cross-media platform for authors, anthropologists, historians, scientists, sorcerers, artists, film-makers and musicians since 2001. Strange Attractor Press have published four anthologies, Phil Baker's biography of Austin Osman Spare, the  Wellcome Trust's 'Medical London', Mike Jay's 'The Influencing Machine', 'London's Lost Rivers' by Tom Bolton and 'Trip or Squeek' by Savage Pencil.

CAROLINE WISE has worked at Psychic Press, publisher of the Spiritualist paper Psychic News, and as  publisher at the renowned London secondhand book company Skoob Books. She is a former owner of the famous occult Atlantis Bookshop, a founder member of The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP). In 1993 she revived and produced the 1901 Egyptian-magic themed plays of the actress and Theosophist Florence Farr at the Rudolf Steiner Theatre. She leads walks on Legendary London.
 
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LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS

SALON NO. 14: THE MYTH OF 'THE CITY'

6.30pm March 27th 2014

Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street

London WC1 

Admission: THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT


The ancient district known as "The Square Mile" whilst only a small physical part of contemporary London projects a gigantic, international image. But it remains rather mysterious to most who don't work there. Salon No 14: The Myth of 'The City' brings together satirist Russell Taylor and economist Professor Andrew Scott to investigate the contrasts of this most peculiar London combination of history, money and myth - from within and from without.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.


The Citythe financial district of London, built upon the square mile of the original Roman Londinium in time became a sort of English, commercial version of the Roman Vatican as the metropolis developed around it.  Despite having a residential population of less than 7000, it holds city status in its own right with its own cathedral and police force. It is a separate ceremonial county with a worldwide constituency. 

Professor Andrew Scott of the London Business School will explain The City's development from its Mediaeval origins into today's global financial hub and the world's greatest foreign exchange market. During a long and distinguished history it has continued to grow, mutate and extend itself both geographically and in terms of influence. But will it continue to do so?  


The City is often touted as one of the great British success stories although it has always been dependent on foreign talent and exchange. But is it an essential asset for the UK, the powerhouse of our economy or a global intruder separating London from the rest of the country and the home of avaricious, selfish bankers? 


Following the crash of 2008, the bankers seemed briefly to be on the back foot. But it seems business as usual has been resumed and the politicians have left any critique to the satirists.  So we will be joined by Russell Taylorco-author of the Alex cartoon, whose satire gives a privates glimpse inside this secretive shiny world of high finance. 

Russell works with a variety of London insiders to ensure the Alex cartoon reflects the scandals and rumours inside The City.  And he will chart a more recent history - one in which a very English and relatively sedate world of conservative stock brokers was replaced by a global coterie of high octane international financiers.  With them came more visible changes - new iconic buildings such as The Shard and The Gherkin, new potential, new risks and new profound - and comic - opportunities.


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Andrew Scott is Professor of Economics and Deputy Dean at London Business School and a Fellow of All Souls Oxford and the Centre for Economic Policy Research.  He has taught at Harvard and Oxford.


Russell Taylor MBE is a British writer, journalist and film music composer. In addition to the Alex cartoons, he has  written books on Russia and marathon running. Alex cartoon was turned into a stage play and is rumoured to be in production as a film.

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LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS

SALON NO. 13: WALKING THE CITY

6.30pm February 27th 2014

Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street

London WC1
Admission: The Salon is now Sold Out


For writers such as Dickens and Blake, walking London was an essential part of their creative process. More recently, Will Self and Iain Sinclair have described it as a 'psycho-geographical' activity. Salon No.13: Walking The City will explore the magical potential of urban perambulation with readings, anecdotes and images.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.


"Toni and I were strolling along Oxford Street, trying to look like flaneurs. This wasn’t as easy as it might sound. For a start, you usually need a quai, or at the very least, a boulevard. In Paris you would be leaving behind some rumpled couch in a chamber particuliere; over here we had just left behind Tottenham Court Road.." (Julian Barnes, Metroland)

Our first guest Duncan Minshull writer, walker and producer of BBC's Book of the Week will talk about the art of the urban walk, referring to works from various authors who have recorded their excursions along, yes, Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, but also along brighter - and darker - London streets. For London has always been walked. Often for reasons that are basic and barely examined – to save money, for lack of an alternative,  for physical exercise. But Duncan will tell that there are other less obvious reasons too, reasons that are altogether more interesting and complicated. The city is walked to satisfy creative, psychological and even spiritual needs. And the impulse to set off and set out has been caught in various novels, travelogues and memoirs through the centuries.
 
Then author Melissa Harrison will read from her novel Clay,  which has at its core a series of memorable city outings: "A boy tiptoes from a high-rise block in the half-light of dawn to see the neat prints left by    a fox on the frosty grass. He is TC, eight years old and skipping school to spend his time exploring the city’s waste ground and forgotten wild corners. At school and at home he is barely missed.."

Whilst guided walks abound in the city, can we understand it and our own life in it by personal perambulations? Melissa and Duncan will discuss, share their strolling stories and provide some tips on re-imaging the city by foot.
Their readings and discussion will be accompanied by a selection of slides by Esoteric London blog photographer Roger Dean drawn from his recent book of its selected images. (Holloway Road shown here middle left)

"It is good to collect things, but better to go on walks" - Anatole France

“If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish.” - Charles Dickens



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Duncan Minshull is a senior producer at the BBC and editor of ‘The Vintage Book of Walking’ and ‘The Burning Leg’, 'Telling Stories','Fanfare: Fourteen Stories on a Musical theme' amonst others.  He walks to work.

Melissa Harrison a London writer and photographer blogs about urban wildlife at www.talesofthecity.co.uk. Her novel Clay was winner of the Portsmouth Fist Novel Prize. She was the winner of the John Muir Trust’s ‘Wild Writing’ Award in 2010. 

Roger Dean is the London based photographer behind the blog Esoteric London - where photographs of modern London are accompanied by informative and often humorous archival text to create a fond appraisal of the city.

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LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS

SALON NO. 12: SEX IN THE CITY

6.30pm January 30th 2014

Westminster Arts Library
35 St Martins Street

London WC1

Admission: This Event is SOLD OUT

What is it about the small district of Soho that has made it such an intense collision of business, entertainment, history, bohemia and sleaze? What is a day in the life of a Soho sex worker like? The province of Bohemians, Italians, Maltese, Chinese, spivs, gangsters, pimps, prostitutes and most recently the gay community, it remains the London district most associated with 
sexual activity and is still controversial. Why? Salon Number 12: Sex in the City investigates.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.

Soho diarist Clayton Littlewood will discuss the history and complexity of this small district, how from the 17th century it became a cultural melting pot and what led to it becoming so associated with the erotic life of London

Through video and images Clayton will describe the various transformations that have taken place, talking about The Windmill Theatre and The Raymond Revuebar in the 50s, the abundance of prostitutes, clip joints and ‘walk ups’ in the 60s, the commercialised sex scene of the 70 and the tightening of licensing controls in the 80s, until the gay scene took over in the 90s. 

Clayton will be joined by The Soho Hobo, singer-songwriter Tim Arnold whose grandfather worked with the legendary Paul Raymond, whose mother danced at The Windmill Theatre and whose first memory is 'the view from the stage door of the Queen's Theatre'

The talk will also draw on the famous characters associated with Soho, people like 19th Century cross-dressers Fanny and Stella, Oscar Wilde, murderer Dennis Nielsen and the sex scandals they’re associated with - as well as others associated with Soho’s seamier side: the flamboyant Quentin Crisp, the singer Marc Almond and Soho dandy Sebastian Horsley. Clayton will also share some personal stories of living and working below a brothel, befriending 'the girls upstairs’ and accompanying them to court to help them stay working. 

Will the recent gentrification of Soho result in the loss of an important, historical and cultural aspect of the city?Is the current 'clean up’ of Soho really needed? In December, hundreds of police descended on Soho premises with the intention of making the area a safer place to live, work and visit. But for who?

Cari Mitchell will join us to talk about these questions and to talk about the work of The English Collective of Prostitutes. The ECP, with Soho Working Girls, is currently spearheading a campaign against police closures of the Soho walk-up flats where women have traditionally been able to work in relative safety. According to the ECP, most of the women thrown out of premises were mothers and grandmothers working safely and collectively who have now lost their livelihood.  Support has come from many Soho residents and businesses who fear that if the “girls” go, Soho will become just another enclave for the super rich.

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Clayton Littlewood is the author of Gay Times Book of the Year  'Dirty White Boy: Tales of Soho' - a diary based on his personal experiences running the Soho Dirty White Boy clothes store.  Drawing comparisons with Pepys, Virginia Woolf and Christopher Isherwood,  the book developed from a cult blog and popular column in The London Paper into a play premiered at the Trafalgar Studios in 2009. In 2012, Clayton published a sequel, "Goodbye to Soho"

Tim Arnold  signed his first record deal with Sony as the front man of 90s Britpop band Jocasta, embarking on a successful career in the music business. He has released 14 albums, including the critically acclaimed "Secrets of Soho" currently being developed into a musical at The Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts.

Cari Mitchell is a spokeswoman for The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) – a network of women of different nationalities and backgrounds working in different areas of the sex industry.  Since 1975, the ECP has been providing daily support to sex workers and their families and campaigning for the decriminalisation of prostitution, for safety and for financial alternatives so that no one is forced into prostitution by poverty or violence.

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LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS


SALON NO. 11: LONDON OPIATE - LOST LIMEHOUSE

6.30pm November 28th 2013

Westminster Arts Library

35 St Martins Street

London WC1

Admission: £4 / £7 By advance ticket only from WeGotTickets


Like many other London locales,the eastern district of Limehouse is becoming indistinguishable from adjacent neighbourhoods. But once its very name conjured up a particularly distinct image - even for those unfamiliar with the capital. For it was thought to be the home of the opium den and the malevolent Chinese opium dealer - the exotic bogeyman of the Victorian city imagined by its writers - Dickens, Wilde and Arthur Ward amongst them.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.


At Salon No. 11, writer Phil Baker will consider Limehouse as a place of fabulous oriental menace, looking at anti-Chinese xenophobia and the myth of the East London opium dens. These intertwined anxieties and desires have their fullest flowering in the work of Sax Rohmer (the literary pseudonym of Arthur Ward), king of pulp exotica and creator of Doctor Fu Manchuthe yellow peril incarnate in one man. Despite Rohmer's claim that Fu Manchu was based on real Chinese figures he encountered during his time as a crime reporter, his work is now abhorred for its perpetration of racist stereotypes. 


However, writing in the tradition of Imperial Gothic and obsessed with both the contamination spreading back from the Empire and the allure of alien esoterica, Rohmer not only demonized the Chinese but idealised them. Phil will argue that his world is more complex than it first seems and that the diabolical Limehouse-based Doctor is, in fact, the hero of the series.

Then, Salon alumni and historian Tom Bolton will take us on a journey through the real Limehouse - from its beginnings as a pleasant riverside hamlet downwind of the City of London to its emergence as the capital's first ChinatownA neighbourhood adjacent to the river when London was the most important port in the world, it became an unparalleled cultural cross-roads, the home of immigrants, dockers, sex workers and sailors, a place associated with drugs, degenerates and exotic doings (plus other, unnamed evils) and one which fascinated the world.

Was this reputation based in truth? Did Limehouse even really exist as a defined place and if it did, are there any traces left in the spaces between the office blocks, council estates and pseudo-dockland apartments of London E14?

The Salon will herald next year's publication by Strange Attractor press of "Lord of Strange Deaths: The Fiendish World of Sax Rohmer" edited by Phil Baker and Anthony Clayton - a collection of essays by Alan Moore, Christopher Frayling and Clive Bloom amongst others.

-------------------------------------------------Phil Baker’s books include "Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist" and "The Devil Is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley".

Tom Bolton has written "London's Lost Rivers: A Walker's Guide" and is currently working on "London's Lost Places: Ten Forgotten Neighbourhoods", which will include chapters on Limehouse and its Chinatown.

LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS



SALON NO. 10: A NIGHT IN OLD LONDON


6.30pm October 31st 2013

Westminster Arts Library

35 St Martins Street

London WC1

Admission: £4 / £7 THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT


After Salon No 9's glimpse into the future of London, SALON No 10: A NIGHT IN OLD LONDON travels back to the city of a century ago for a very special evening. With extraordinary unseen images and in conversation, story and song will be the Gentle Author of Spitalfields Life, London ballad singer Henrietta Keeper and pianist and boxer David Power.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.


The Gentle Author, curator of one of the capital's most extraordinary and well-loved blogs Spitalfields Life will present a selection of Magic Lantern slides showing London a hundred years ago. Drawn from the collection of the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society and unseen for generations, these magnificent images conjure up a distant yet immediately recognisable city of fog & smogs. The Gentle Author will tell some of the stories connected with the images, join in conversation with his guests and will be accompanied by David Power at the piano.

David Power, 84, a musical prodigy from the age of five was shut out from the musical establishment because of his class background but performed around the world in the British army, on Thames pleasure boats and in the Lyons Corner House, Piccadilly.  He worked in the Spitalfields Market in the nineteen-forties selling nuts, was a boxer and a black taxi driver and still performs a repertoire of classical, London based and improvised music

Songs will be performed by Henrietta Keeper, a thirty year stalwart and the last surviving member of the the Tate & Lyle Concert Party. Henrietta still performs every Friday afternoon at E.Pellcci in Bethnal Green, singing songs taught to her by her grandfather - a living link to a lost London musical culture.

The Salon will mark the publication of The Gentle Author's London Album, a magnificent hardback with more than 600 pictures of London appearing in print for the first time including the ostentatious trade cards of Georgian London, breathtaking lantern slides of Victorian London, images of bizarre car crashes in Clerkenwell, heroic Spitalfields nippers, the soulful dogs of old London, Barn the Spoon, the spoon carver, and Aaron Biber, London’s oldest barber..


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Drawing comparisons with Pepys, Mayhew and Dickens, The Gentle Author of Spitalfields Life has gained an extraordinary following in recent years, by writing hundreds of lively pen portraits of the infinite variety of people who live and work in the East End of London.

LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS


SALON NO. 9: LONDON FUTURES


6.30pm September 26 2013

Westminster Arts Library

35 St Martins Street

London WC1

Admission: £4 / £6 
by advance ticket only from WEGOTICKETS


What is a city? The Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki once described it as 'a cross section of all the journeys ever taken in it'We know somethings about London's past and we live in its present but what can we guess or imagine of its future? From bizarre utopian fantasies to drab Soviet-esque five year plans, many attempts have been made to forecast, or design, what London will become.

SALON No 9: LONDON FUTURES brings together Salon alumni Matt Brown of Londonist and London strategist Andrew Collinge to peer into a crystal ball, discuss some of the visions that Londoners have had, and have, for their city 
and perhaps make one or two predictions of their own..

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.

We shall start with the past by going Back to the Future -  what did the Londoners of yesteryear think the London of tomorrow would look like? From flying cars to sushi bars and the terrifying prospect of women in trousers, Matt Brown editor of Londonist has scoured the archives to uncover and some of the past predictions, fears and imaginary scenarios created by our Victorian and Edwardian London forbears.

Fast forwarding through the years, Matt will describe some fantasies of London in the year 2100.  What will our city look like at the end of this century? Flooded and abandoned? A forest of super-skyscrapers? A verdant realm of trees, parks and hanging gardens? Will it even still be a city or more an international city-state floating free from the rest of UK? 


Meanwhile back in the present, London is at a crossroads says Andrew Collinge. It is undergoing unprecedented changes in population, economics, and ideas. To maintain its global position it needs to adapt. To that end the GLA have published a new vision for the capital - London 2020 -  an ambitious plan to make it 'The Greatest City on Earth' with a neo-Victorian surge of investment in transport, a cycling revolution, the education needed to win a share of global growth, new neighbourhoods and vibrant, safe, green centres and streets bustling with life..

Andrew will describe how such a vision is developed and why -and how it might be implemented and he will offer his individual take on the city as it is and how it could be.  Can it be steered or do we just try to manage its autonomous changes? Are visions made for aspiration and or are they intended to be made real?



Image by Maju Sivaraja

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Matt Brown is the editor of Londonist, London's pre-eminent city guide. An obsessive historian and archivist of the culture of the capital,he has written over 5,000 articles about all aspects of London life. He  hosts regular meetings of the London Historians and a variety of London events in venues including the Royal Institution, the Hunterian, Boxpark, Leicester Square Theatre and the Emirates Stadium.

Andrew Collinge is the assistant director of Intelligence and Analysis at the 
Greater London Authority . He is an analyst thinker, strategist and one of the principal thinkers behind the - London 2020 - and the London super connected cities proposal.

LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS


SALON NO. 8: COLLECTING LONDON

6.30pm August 29th 2013

Westminster Arts Library

35 St Martins Street

London WC1

Admission: THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT


As the hero in John Schlesinger’s film ‘Billy Liar’ (1963) pronounces: ‘A man could lose himself in London…" But what could a man (or a woman) find or collect here? From anatomy museums to zoological gardens, London has been home to a myriad of private hoards - many of which became the basis for the great public collections of our museums and galleries.

SALON No 8: COLLECTING LONDON puts on display 
Ross MacFarlane of the Wellcome Library and The Last Tuesday Society's Viktor Wynd to discuss what opportunities the city has offered to the collector and whether collecting is a psychological, an entrepeneurial, an aesthetic or a benevolent pursuit, an inquisitive or an acquisitive activity - or a combination of any of these? 

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.


Amongst the many great London collectors, Henry Solomon Wellcome the pharmaceutical engineer stands out. His manic passion for collecting along with his vast wealth brought together a staggering 125,000 medically related artefacts (including Napoleon's toothbrush)into what is now known as the Wellcome Collection. But these were only a fraction of the one million plus objects he accumulated and which are now dispersed elsewhere. However, his enormous collection of photographs, documents and images are held amongst a wonderful array of others in the Wellcome Library

So it is a great pleasure that Ross MacFarlane of the Library, a man who has handled a mermaid and who has discovered a lost alchemical manuscript written by Isaac Newton, has agreed to talk at the Salon. 


By presenting various tales of curious collectors and difficult dealers alongside obscure related illustrations (such as Lovatt's collection map of London shown here), Ross will question if there is something distinctive about London’s collections.  Where did they come from?  And where have they gone? And, as we’ll discover, finders are not always keepers..


In 2009 The Last Tuesday Society opened its first permanent home - a shop, gallery and museum on Mare Street in Hackney selling and exhibiting a variety of curiosities including 19th century shrunken heads, taxidermy, narwhal tusks, carnivorous plants and articulated skeletons. The shop is an attempt to recreate  a 17th century "Wunderkabinett": a collection of objects assembled at a whim on the basis of their aesthetic or historical appeal without any attempt at explanation or education. It is a display designed "to give pleasure to the creators of the Museum, who hope that you too will enjoy it"

The shop is co-owned and curated by the Salon's second guest speaker Viktor Wynd whose own collection forms it basis:
"I’ve been collecting things since forever and I ran out of space at home," he says, "I’m not a hoarder, but I need to be surrounded by beautiful and interesting things, otherwise I get very depressed"

Viktor will take us on a tour of the highlights of his personal collection and perhaps tell us what it means (and what means are required) to be a contemporary London collector.


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Ross MacFarlane is Research Engagement Officer in the Wellcome Library where he is involved in promoting the Library's collections, particularly to academic audiences. As an archivist, he has worked at a number of London institutions including King's College, Tate Britain, the Royal Society and the Reform Club.  He has researched, lectured and written on such topics as the history of early recorded sound, freak shows and notions of urban folklore in Edwardian London.  He has led guided walks around London on the occult past of Bloomsbury and on the intersection of medicine, science and trade in Greenwich and Deptford.

Viktor Wynd is a writer, curator, collector, dealer, artist and pataphysicist, he is Chancellor of The Last Tuesday Society "notorious both as a source of some of the rarest & most beautiful things in the world" and as a thrower of Balls and Parties in London and at Country Houses.  He is currently writing "Viktor Wynd's Cabinet of Wonders" to be published by Prestel in autumn 2014

LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS



SALON NO 7: LIGHTS - CAMERA - LONDON

6.30pm July 24th 2013

Westminster Arts Library

35 St Martins Street

London WC1

Admission: £4/7 only in advance from WeGotTickets

Since the invention of the movie camera London has always proved fascinating to film makers. Apart from the countless pictures that have been set here, the city itself has often been the subject, and sometime star of their work.

Salon No 7: LIGHTS - CAMERA - LONDON brings together Bob Stanley of the band Saint Etienne, film maker Paul Kelly (and a return appearance from Salon alumni Travis Elborough) discussing London films: their own and some of those that have inspired them.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.



This year sees the tenth anniversary of  St Etienne's feature 'Finisterre', a beautifully shot homage to London inspired by Norman Cohen's 'The London That Nobody Knows"  plus the release by the BFI on DVD of all three of the band's London films. 

Cohen's seminal and curious 1967 documentary featured actor James Mason taking a poignant perambulation through various unfashionable areas of London  which had survived both the luftwaffe and 1960s bulldozers including the gentleman's lavatory at Holborn station, eel and pie shops, Spitalfields tenements and Islington's Chapel Market. Unusually, it juxtaposed the familiar images of swinging sixties and Carnaby street with those of meths drinking tramps, shoeless children and  squalor. In St Etienne's Bob Stanley's words: "there is romance and adventure, but mostly there is malnourishment. London looks like a shithole."

Bob and Finisterre's director Paul Kelly will screen clips from their films and talk about what makes the capital such a compelling subject for filmmakers. They will discuss with writer Travis Elborough some of the classic London pictures which have inspired their work - from E.A. Dupont's 'Piccadilly', Hitchcock's 'The Lodger', Antonioni's 'Blow Up' through to Patrick Keiller's 'London' and 'The Magic Box' a portrait of the pioneering cinematographer William Friese-Greene, who captured some of the earliest moving pictures ever taken in London's Hyde Park. 



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Since their debut single 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart', Mercury prize nominated Saint Etienne have remained one of Britain's most cine-literate and much-loved pop acts. Through the nineties they were chart regulars, earning two gold discs and appearing six times on Top Of The Pops. Long obsessed with London, they recorded the 'Finisterre' album in 2002 and made an accompanying film in collaboration with their regular video director Paul Kelly. Both film and album documented the city in a state of flux leading to them being described by the Guardian as “London’s musical laureates... perhaps the only band to capture the teeming variety of the capital” 

Paul Kelly is a London based film maker whose study of the legendary Felt frontman Lawrence,‘Lawrence Of Belgravia’ premiered to universal acclaim at the 2011 London Film Festival. Apart from ‘Finisterre’, his work with St Etiennne includes ‘What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day?’ capturing the east London site chosen for the 2012 Olympics before the bulldozers moved in,'This Is Tomorrow’ documenting the history of the Royal Festival Hall and a series for Channel 4 ‘Today’s Special’ chronicling the demise of central London’s classic cafe culture - all with original scores by the band.

Travis Elborough has been a freelance writer, author and cultural commentator for the last decade. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian, The Times, Sunday Times, New Statesman, the Oldie, Tate etc and frequently appears on BBC Radios 2, 4 and 5 Live. Travis is the author of four acclaimed books: "The Bus We Loved", a history of the Routemaster bus; "The Long Player Goodbye", a paean to the vinyl record;"Wish You Were Here", a survey of the British beside the sea and this year's'London Bridge in America'.


LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS

SALON NO. 6: LONDON UNDER - LONDON OVER


6.30pm June 27th 2013

Westminster Arts Library

35 St Martins Street

London WC1

Admission:

THE EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT

£4/6 only in advance from WeGotTickets


The city of London teeters above a vast honeycomb of bone, stone, rubbish, tunnels, sewers, subterranean buildings and forgotten rivers. 

Developing the themes of the fabulous Mapping and London Bone events, Salon No 6: London Under - London Over brings together authors Antony Clayton and Tom Bolton to talk on the interactions between the parallel worlds of the daylit city surface and its hidden dark underbelly.


A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.
Whereas 'suburban' has come to mean the spreading ambiguous hinterland between the countryside and the city proper, Antony Clayton has investigated the true London Sub-Urbia: the city's literal and literary underworld. His much loved illustrated guide "Subterranean City: Beneath the Streets of London" is regarded as the most comprehensive work on the subject, describing in meticulously researched detail the tube lines, tunnels, sewers, bunkers, dwarf railways, shelters, buried rivers, vaults and prison cells hidden to most surface dwellers. 

Antony will give an 'underview' of this strange world and show 
how it makes itself known to those above through maps, histories, the occasional violent eruption and via odd snippets of folklore.  He may even be induced to provide some clues on how it may be visited.

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When people think of London's river, they naturally think of The Thames. But the city was built around many other rivers too - and traces of these still remain for those who know where to look.  These rivers predate the city and its people and whilst they may be now buried, they still flow deep underground. Writer Tom Bolton will describe this secret network of underground waterways that snake beneath the capital and how in some places they can even be seen and heard. Tom's wonderful handbook for surface dwellers: "London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide" shows how by tracing their courses, the way we see London is transformed.  He will describe ways of using the clues left in the city street-scape to burrow down through layers of history to river level, revealing London in its many previous guises.


Antony Clayton is a librarian, folklorist and writer. In addition to "Subterranean City: Beneath the Streets of London"he is the author of several highly regarded books on the history of the capital including "London's Coffee Houses", "Decadent London" and the "The Folklore of London".  He is also a major contributor to upcoming works on Aleister Crowley and Sax Rohmer.


Tom Bolton specialises in urban exploration and the culture and history of London.  In addition to being the creator of Strange Attractor's "London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide"(described as "a terrific mix of history, topography and practicality"), he works as a policy researcher and writes on music and theatre.

LONDON AT THE LIBRARY is an ANTIQUE BEAT production sponsored by HENDRICKS