Lauren, organiser of Stitch London, is an ambitious believer in the power of knitting to give people a meaningful connection with their environment. I found her at a Stitch London meeting, where knitting enthusiasts meet together to knit and socialise. I scoured the restaurant near Waterloo for the flash of knitting needles and slowly people started to emerge with their yarn, some in groups chatting, others staring ahead defiantly as if focusing on some far off knitting mecca. I found Lauren amongst them to find out how her small idea has grown into a global phenomenon.
Deptford Market on a Saturday morning is a thriving bastion of old-timey market chaos. The air is full of shouting, arguing, laughing and confusion as people pick through piles of strange china ornaments, odd shoes and every conceivable electrical appliance that has been surpassed by modern invention since electricity began. It is untainted by trendy craft stalls and free from overpriced tourist tat, instead it is full of pure and glorious junk. Junk that it is exciting and rewarding to search through; books, odd paintings, records, furniture, TVs, clothes, old newspapers, hats and the slightly depressing china set your mum had when you were five. Approaching market trader Vic, I admit to being a bit nervous, but soon found a softness behind her hardy exterior.
I first noticed the distinctive routemaster “Ghost Bus” as it’s ominous black shape trundled along Northumberland Avenue on a winter evening. The Ghost Bus Tour aims to provide people with a unique view of the darker side of London by fusing history, theatre and comedy together with the aid of some creative embellishment. I tracked down Peter Davis, Creative Director of the Ghost Bus Tour in its appropriately atmospheric headquarters located in the upstairs of a shadily lit pub.
snipe: How did the idea for the tour come about?
Shopping in Manchester is a financially dangerous and physically tiring pastime. Vintage clothing shops, independent record stores and art cafes are all within walking distance of the city’s bustling high street.
Opposite the Night and Day Cafe on Oldham Street, where I stopped to rest my bag laden arms, I spotted a shop called Julia. Through the front window of Julia lines of wig adorned mannequin heads stared blankly back at me across the street like an army of motionless clones. I spoke to wig shop worker, Amjad to find out more about his job and his thoughts about wigs.
This was the advice I received while entering the graffitied walls of Copenhagen’s self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood known as Christiana. Night had fallen and silhouetted against burning oil barrels large dogs ambled through the freezing drizzle. In the past week a police raid had swept through and it seemed to have left in its wake an air of nervous subdued energy. Nevertheless a few stall holders huddled under their stalls selling marijuana, hash and skunk out of small plastic tubs. It is regarded by many as a commune-like environment and has separate laws and societal structures to the rest of Copenhagen. I met with Asher Lennon, a sound engineer at Christiana’s Flea Club and former resident to find out why he believes its survival is so important.
Photo by Fiona Garden
A man with a beer can is singing “Maybe I’m because I’m a Londoner.” (sic) Canary Wharf’s distinctive skyline stands like a cold and intimidating monument to Capitalism and is perhaps the last place you might expect to find London’s only floating church. However, in the waters of West India Quays a haphazard illuminated cross shines across the water like a lonely and defiant beacon. It’s an undeniably brazen statement in such a sterile and corporate setting. I half expected to meet an ex-mariner or some sort of modern day half crazed pirate convert. In reality, Marcus Nodder, Senior Pastor at St Peter’s Barge, was a smartly dressed family man, completely focused on his beliefs and as uncompromising as the world around him. As the Sunday drizzle hit the windows of the front cabin, I spoke with him as he fed his young son Nelson his evening meal.