This Other London
Adventures in the Overlooked City
Publication Date: April 2014
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Join John Rogers as he ventures out into an uncharted London like a redbrick Indiana Jones in search of the lost meaning of our metropolitan existence. Nursing two reluctant knees and a can of Stella, he perambulates through the seasons seeking adventure in our city's remote and forgotten reaches.
When John Rogers packed away his rucksack to start a family in London he didn t stop travelling. But instead of canoeing up the Rejang River to find retired headhunters in Sarawak, he caught the ferry to Woolwich in search of the edge of the city at Crayford Marshes.
This Other London recounts that journey and many others all on foot and epic in their own cartilage-crunching way. Clutching a samosa and a handful of out-of-date A-Zs, he heads out into the wilderness of isolated luxury apartment blocks in Brentford, the ruins of Lesnes Abbey near Thamesmead, and the ancient Lammas Lands in Leyton.
Denounced by his young sons as a hippy wizard, Rogers delves into some of the overlooked stories rumbling beneath the tarmac of the city suburbs. Holy wells in Lewisham; wassailing in Clapton; a heretical fresco in West Ham. He encounters the Highwaymen of Hounslow Heath, Viet Cong vets still fighting Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket in Beckton, Dutch sailors marooned at Erith pier; and cyclists without Bradley Wiggins sideburns at Herne Hill Velodrome. He heads out to Uxendon Hill to witness the end of the world, Horsenden Hill to learn its legend, and Tulse Hill to the observatory of the Victorian Brian Cox.
This Other London will take you into the hinterland of the city. The London that is lived in; the London where workaday dormitory suburbs sit atop a rich history that could rival Westminster and Tower Bridge. In an age when no corner of the globe has been left untrampled-upon by hordes of tourists, it is time to discover the wonders on our doorstep.
This Other London is your gateway through the underexplored nooks of London. As Pathfinder wrote in 1911, Adventure begins at home .
Blue Doors is John's second novel and is based on his many business experiences. He is happily married with four children and eight grandchildren, Marcus, Thomas, Geoffrey, Any, Molly, Michael, Oliver and Jack. He is lucky enough for the extended family to live all within a ten mile radius.
Russell Brand is a comedian, journalist, TV and radio presenter, and actor. He has won numerous awards including Time Out s Comedian of the Year, Best Newcomer at the British Comedy Awards, Best TV Performer at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, and Most Stylish Man at GQ s Men of the Year Awards. The first installment of his autobiography, My Booky Wook, was a New York Times bestseller.