Plague Walks

When everything stopped in March 2020, we needed a plan. Walking, at least, was left to us with government-endorsed daily exercise. We decided to walk our neighbourhood every day.

Despite many hours already spent exploring the endless variety of London’s streets, we quickly realised there were plenty, even just a few minutes from our flat in Streatham, where we had never set foot. Taking no public transport, and lacking bicycles which had quickly become impossible to obtain, we travelled only on foot and experienced our surroundings in a way we had never done before.

The last time walking was the main mode of transport, Streatham and much of inner London, was countryside not city. Now it gave a way to keep some control over our days and weeks, and a system to make sense of the city around us. We explored the place we belonged to in more depth than we had ever done before. When Lockdown 1 was lifted, I wrote twelve short pieces about locations in Streatham and West Norwood, from the famous to the apparently mundane. It’s my tribute to the place that kept us going.

Canterbury Grove Footbridge

Conyers Road Pumping Station

Coventry Hall

Felbridge Close

Norwood Grove Amphitheatre

Norwood Park

No. 45, The Chase

No. 7, Polworth Road

Park Hill

St. Anselm’s Court

Unigate Woods

West Norwood Cemetery

I’ve recorded short audio pieces for most of these, which can be found on Placecloud.