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© Copyright 2018 - present, Steve Lazarus
Steve Lazarus • The London Podcaster presents
Your London Legacy
Your London Legacy was born out of my love for London. I have travelled far and wide, and as much I get so much pleasure from seeing new places around the world, I always look forward to getting back home to London. I cannot think of anywhere else in the world, that has the same depth of history, the coming together of ancient and new cultures, fashions and religions and our hard-won freedom of speech. London is a global leader in banking and has the highest concentration of Universities and further education in Europe. It attracts vast number of business travelers and international students, and visitors, and has some of the very best restaurants anywhere in the world. But for all that is changing London has retained that classic element that sets it apart from every capital in the world. From the ancient icons like the Tower of London to musical phenomena such as Adele, this sprawling wonder of humanity has an endless supply of attractions. But on their own, attractions tell only part of London’s incredible story. For without Londoners there would be no attractions and no story, and without Londoners, there would be no legacy. The legacy that we can all too easily take for granted as we wander round London’s ancient streets, sip coffee in her beautiful parks, share a beer with our mates in her wonderful pubs, or as we take in one the myriad of world class museums. There are over 8 million residents in London, from the inner-city housing estate, to the urban sprawl and ever growing suburbs to the luxury of Kensington and Belgravia. No matter where Londoners live, they are all part of the wonderful melting pot that makes Londoners what they are. Unique. Young and old, rich and poor, they all have a story to tell. A story of passion, of struggle, belonging, laughter, creating, desperation, and yes sometimes loneliness and fear. London is far from perfect, but it is home and has been since the Romans settled in 50AD. And it keeps on growing year on year, so we must be doing something right. Londoner’s are a special breed. They are about spirit and embracing changes that are constantly going on around them. Your London Legacy tells the timeless stories of London’s hidden personalities’’ by interviewing Londoners from every walk of life, in every community. It was born out of my desire to share the legacy of Londoners with you. We all have a story to tell. I’m Steve Lazarus and this is Your London Legacy.
March 8, 2021
Andy Bull – Journalist & Author Of ”Secret Twickenham, Whitton, Teddington & The Hamptons” Takes Us On A Wonderful Tour Of West London, Full Of Pop Stars, Royalty, Rugby & Film Studios.
Today’s brilliant guest is journalist and author, Andy Bull, who has lived in London for the best part of 40 years. Author of two books about London, on today’s podcast we talk about Andy’s book: Secret Twickenham, Whitton, Teddington, and the Hamptons. Now I’m sure all of you will have heard of the Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles made their name, but chances are you’ve never heard of the Eel Pie Island in Twickenham—which in the 60’s was a favorite spot for the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Rod Stewart to play. These parts of west London are home to many secrets and have many glorious stories to reveal, and Andy is the perfect host. Listen in as we dive into the Thames which was once full of salmon, eels, and trout—take a trip around Henry the VIII’s Hampton court palace, and wander around the film studios at Teddington, and the home of English rugby. This is Your London Legacy. “The wonderful thing about London is anyone can be a Londoner, wherever you’re from, whatever your background, if you want to understand the values of London and respect London—you’re welcome.” 15:00 Once people started to get free time in the modern era of London, they began to spend it down by the river on the Thames. Centuries back it was a burgeoning hotspot of trade and recreation, and because of that there are a wealth of secrets and history in every bend and path along its shores. These secrets are the foundation for Andy’s book about Twickenham, Whitton, Teddington, and the Hamptons. He has curated a selection of them that he found most interesting—one of which deals with the music hotbed of Eel Pie Island. Eel Pie Island became a musical venue due to a man of the name Arthur Chisnall, a frustrated sociologist with an interest in youth subculture. He worked on creating a rundown hotel on this small spit of island in the middle of the river into a music venue. In coordinating with authorities, you needed a special Eel Pie Island passport to cross over on a rowboat and listen to the bands—something done to keep an eye on youth who might go off the rails. It was set up to encourage healthy community and creativity under the guise of being a rebel headquarters for upcoming musicians and one of the birthplaces of rock ‘n roll. “What I aimed to do was pick out lesser known things—things which people who lived in those areas their whole lives might not know about, or aspects of those things they may not have known about.” 28:40 In the 18th and 19th century the market gardens covered about 40% of Twickenham and the Hamptons while employing around 15,000 people—essentially feeding London. The Thames back then was teeming with salmon and trout, but in time due to pollution the fish disappeared. This bothered a local angler who went on to pioneer fish farming (still a theory at this point), and in conjunction with the Thames conservancy, they released 200,000 small fish into the river after just five years. This technology was spread the help rivers all across the globe, all stemming from the Francis Fish Hatchery. These are but a few of the secrets Andy’s book holds and stand out as a testament for the rich history of London and the stories hiding in every nook and cranny. Links (AndyBull.co.uk) (Secret Twickenham, Whitton, Teddington, and the Hamptons) New Book – (Pilgrim Pathways)
January 18, 2021
Ned Palmer – Philosopher, Jazz Musician & Author Of Sunday Times Book Of The Year ‘A Cheese-monger’s History Of The British Isles’ Is A Must For History Nerds & Food Lovers. Great Fun Too.
I was thrilled to have really had such an entertaining and fascinating chat with philosopher, jazz musician and renowned cheese historian, Ned Palmer. Author of the Sunday Times Book of the Year ‘’A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles’’ Ned makes it clear that every cheese tells a story. In his recent book Ned takes us on a mouth-watering journey across Britain and Ireland to uncover the histories of beloved old favourites like Cheddar and Wensleydale to exciting new innovations like the Irish Cashel Blue or the splendid Renegade Monk. Ned works with Laithwates, the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, the British Epicurean Society and various London craft brewers to bring audiences delicious surprises and pairings, alongside eccentric, eclectic, and esoteric stories of the makers of great British cheeses, both ancient and modern. On the back of our chat, I placed a rush order for a hunk of fabulous Gorwydd Caerphilly and Colston Bassett Stilton. Delicious. Well, why let the grass grow under my feet. If you love cheese, and the history of the British Isles then this episode is quite delightful. This is Your London Legacy “You don’t every really stop being a jazz musician though, do you?” 6:15 At six years old Ned was already falling in love with jazz at a time when he could listen to records and see the whole development of the genre. He played for years, but like many musicians, had to pick up other work—and some of that work was as an affineur—someone who watches cheese and takes care of it. This most certainly kicked off Ned’s deep love of fine cheese, and in fact, he finds many similarities between jazz and cheese, and has even entertained doing a tasting that pairs cheese with different kinds of jazz chords and music. “I want to say as a sort of public service announcement—be careful. You eat a really nice piece of cheese, you don’t know what’ll happen.” 24:15 In Ned’s book “A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles” a whole history of cheese making plays out, from Neolithic pots being scraped and analyzed to determine if cheese was made as early as thousands of years ago, to Roman times, monks churning cheese, medieval times, and pre- and post-war times, all the way to the 70’s cheese renaissance and post-modern cheese. And let me tell you, the tales are just downright fascinating. Take the Great Cheese War of 1776, a little skirmish Ned uncovered while doing research that involved armored convoys, raids, and besieged warehouses held captive by the end of gun barrels. There are tales from the WWII involving cheese being used as a weapon when rations ran thin and cheese makers going out of business, losing artisanal varieties, and the townsfolk who worked to gather money to keep others in business. “If you don’t play with your cheese—it will play with you.” 48:30 On this episode I’ve done something I’ve never done before on the podcast—I let Ned take a look at the cheese I had in my fridge and rate my taste in cheese, and let me just say, I’m not sure I passed all the tests here. However, it was beyond lovely to chat with Ned and enjoy some of the cheese he recommended—he is beginning to delve into working on his next book which will have him touring cheese makers in France. I highly recommend his current book which can be picked up right here: (A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles) Links (The Cheese Tasting Company) (@cheesetastingco)
December 21, 2020
Mark Amies Is A Urban Archaeologist With A Fascination In The Incredible Hidden Story of London’s Industrial Past
As you wander round the streets of our magnificent capital city today, you’ll probably most likely be aware of all the shops and offices, albeit deserted if we are still in lockdown. What you will not see so much of are the relics of London’s glorious industrial past, unless of course, that is you know where and what to look for. From brewing giants such as Guinness, toy manufacturers like Airfix and Lesney who made the world-famous matchbox cars, to the aircraft makers like De Haviland and Handley Page—these and many more instantly recognisable brands had major and often iconic bases in London. Urban archaeologist Mark Amies author of London’s Industrial Past understands the importance of our magnificent machine age, when London was once the powerhouse of the world. Join us as we wander the street of London in search of what once was Londoners very essence. This is Your London Legacy. “If you’re not careful—there are bits of London that you’ll never go and see.” 6:50 Mark’s love for London’s industrial past and architecture in general might trace back to car rides with his father. He would sit in the back of the car as his dad pointed out buildings and what factories they used to be, the people that worked there. There were stories hiding there, histories fading to mist, and Mark found himself yearning to dig into those histories and uncover what used to be there. These places were once social hubs, where people met and went out after work to bond and form relationships. While Mark admits not all factory work was glamorous or free of danger, the social impact of industrialization is undeniable on a social level. “Fortunately for me, they thought I was some kind of expert. I always thought myself more of an enthusiast.” 14:00 The road to Mark’s book was a long one, but started off when he was looking to do something more with his life outside of work. So, he went back to his passion for London’s history and started a blog—back when blogs were the cool thing to do. This led to him writing a few pieces for the Londonist, which can still eb found today, and ultimately led him to filling in slots for BBC Radio London on the Robert Elms program. It was on Mark to take his experience there and approach publishers directly, without an agent, to propose his book: London’s Industrial Past, which he landed by letting his enthusiasm and background shine. And the book is remarkable, not only for its written content but the images that accompany it. Some of these were holdovers from companies wanting giant, wide flyover pictures of their factory and grounds to show off in boardrooms—and the detail you can see in them is remarkable. The book covers industry from aeronautics, to biscuits, to toys—and covers a wide breadth of the history and modern day usage of the facilities—since some were located on areas that formed into their own miniature cities, with businesses and healthcare facilities built specifically for the workers there. London’s Industrial Past is a remarkable read, and guess what—Mark is working on a second, more specific and focused book about London’s past as we speak. Make sure to keep your eye on him via social media, and as he would want, keep your eye on the hidden histories of London as well. Links Mark Aimes Twitter: (YesterYearTweets) (PastLondon)
November 16, 2020
Tom Jones – Author Of ‘Tired of London Tired Of Life. One Thing a Day To Do In London’ Even In Lockdown.
As the great Samuel Johnson once said, ‘when a man is tired of London he is tired of life’ and in my view this has never been more true. In these troubled unique times, finding the pleasure and joy in plain view is critical for us all, from a physical, mental and wellbeing perspective. In this brilliant episode I caught up with award winning Tom Jones (no, not that one), author of best-selling book Tired of London Tired of Life, One Thing a Day to do in London. When Tom found himself bored in our beautiful capital city, Tom decided to heed Johnson’s words and seek out one thing to do each day in London, one thing that would ensure he found his love with the city once more. This grew out of his popular blog he started back in 2008 and has inspired three books, including London, The Weekend Starts Here. Listen in as we discover some wonderful suggestions for this time of year, (lockdown or not) as well as Tom’s favourite places. This is Your London Legacy. “I learn way more about things by actually going there and seeing them than I ever would reading about them remotely.” 13:00 While many people can say that the people of London can be cold, making the city seem a harsh place if you move there—Tom didn’t really feel that way. He found it a wonderful place to be able to go out and enjoy himself without having to drop too much money to have a good time and enjoy a good pint while out with friends. He became found of wandering around the city after work, always finding something cool to do, and since it was the late 2000’s, he decided to write about it for a blog: Tired of London, Tired of Life. Something that turned into an everyday post which he did for over six years. 22:00 The book came about after about two years of running the blog, and Tom didn’t want it to just be his blog printed out and slapped on some pages. He went out to more places, did more research, and he made it his fulltime job to get the book to shine beyond just the blog. Through this it took form by breaking down into months and days of the year with things to do in London. What are some of these you ask? October, for example, has the deer run in Richmond Park listed. The park makes it seem as if you are fully outside the city, and it’s this time the deer go into rut, and you can see some fantastic sights of them running through the woods there every year. Of course, no book of things to do in London would be complete with the Thames, and the full path stretches 180 miles in fact. The book moves on from there to highlight an endearing sewer powered “farting” gas lamp, and onwards forward to ice skating at Summerset House. If you’re interested in Tom’s recommendations you can pick up the book or still find the blog on (TiredofLondonTiredofLife.com) Links Book: (Tired of London, Tired of Life)
October 19, 2020
Geoff Pick OBE – Director Of London Metropolitan Archives, One Of Our Cities Best Kept Secrets, With Over 100km Of Archives & 1000 Years To Choose From
Today’s brilliant guest is responsible for what can probably be described as one of London’s absolute best secrets, The London Metropolitan Archive. Geoff Pick is Director of this amazing London based resource. Just imagine over 100km of archives jam packed full of amazing historical and contemporary material with over 1000 years to choose from. Well that is Geoff’s job. Geoff is an adopted Londoner from Wigan who was recently awarded an OBE for services to the management of records and archives in the capital. He joined the LMA in 1986 and became Director in 2013, having worked as a professional archivist since 1978. Under his direction, the LMA has played a pioneering role in areas such as digital archiving, engaging with the public, and promoting diversity through work with the LGBTQ+ and BAME communities. In this fascinating episode Geoff explains his love and passion for his work and takes us through some of the LMA’s outstanding archive material, from the City’s Magna Carta in 1297, the collection for John Keats, an amazing character called Cy Grant, right up to date with the digital collection of the National HIV Story Trust and work with LGBTQI communities. When lock down is over, the first thing I am going to do is get myself down to the LMA – and you should too. Meanwhile, be inspired and enjoy my chat with Geoff Pick. This is Your London Legacy. On being an archivist: “…that balance between the practical and the historical. Looking at fantastic historical material but then making it available for people to research…for an 8-year-old school girl to someone in their 90’s doing their family history.” 9:00 We all love museums. The thrill of seeing and learning something new while coming closer to history. Geoff often gets asked – well what is the difference between a museum and an archive. While they have some overlapping similarities, most patrons of the archive come for a specific research purpose. They may be working on their PHD, or be researching their family history, and they will stay from dusk till dawn. “The Hadron Collider at CERN creates enough data – if you put it on DVD’s – to go from here to the moon in just a single day.” 16:30 One topic that came up was just the sheer amount of information that gets put out into the world today. Journal articles, newspapers, online stories, blogs, reports – the list goes on and on. Geoff undoubtedly has a monumental task on his hands keeping everything organized and also making room for new entries into the archive from modern times. It is a job that is certainly worth it, as he gets to experience working with older documents and manuscripts from over 1000 years ago. He says there’s nothing quite like having the tactical and physical experience of working with those documents – like the writings of a monk from the 1400s. 24:35 The archive holds so many wonderful and important documents along its kilometres of sprawl – and we’re lucky enough to have Geoff handpick several and explain their significance to today and his own life. This includes a letter from John Hancock, a signer of America’s Declaration of Independence, to London for thanks in supporting their freedom, a stance likely taken to continue to bolster trade between the city and the New World. He also chose a letter from Keats to his fiancé that was delivered in a mailbox at the Keats house that you can actually go see – it was a letter before he went to Rome for tuberculosis treatment and died, leaving the epitaph of “Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ in Water”. These are just a few of the gems Geoff picked – not to mention his extensive work and outreach he undertakes on behalf of the archive. You can do some research yourself and find more here at (London Metropolitan Archives.)
September 21, 2020
Hashi Mohamed – Broadcaster, Barrister, Author Of ‘People Like Us -What it Takes To Make It In Modern Britain’ Reveals His Incredible Story & Views On The Struggles Of Social Mobility
When Hashi Mohamed arrived in London from Kenya as a 9-year-old, separated from his mother and still grieving the recent and tragic loss of his father, he couldn’t possibly have foreseen the incredible journey ahead. A journey of social mobility littered with hurdles and barriers, some clear and obvious and others much more subtle. Against all the odds it would seem, Hashi is now a prominent London based Barrister, broadcaster, and author of his new hugely successful book ‘People Like Us – What it Takes to Make it in Modern Britain’. In it Hashi discusses the many variables that make up the possibility of being successful in Britain today, such as the wealth and profession of your parents, the school you went to, the lucky breaks you get, the unwritten social rules, language, race and class, on and on. Hashi is a hugely engaging personality, with an incredible personal story and template for empowering us all for the better, wherever we are on the social spectrum. This is Your London Legacy “If you’re curious about the world that you live in…and you’re interested in the question of becoming a more equal society—this is the book for you.” 14:40 Hashi found his book “People Like Us” quite painful to write, and after listening to his story it’s not hard to imagine why. His childhood was full of uncertainty and tragedy and loss. After his father died in a car crash and among unrest Hashi came to the UK as a refugee. In writing his book, Hashi found himself reflecting on the whole series of events for the first time—how it felt to grow up in the poorer area’s of London, adapting to culture and language, and eventually what led him to feeling like he belonged as a part of British society. One pivotal moment came from a teacher, Miss Adler—who let her students paint their own classroom how they saw fit. She had a wonderful understanding of the local community and spent a lot of time with the students. Her family came to the UK as refugees as well fleeing the holocaust, so there was a mutual understanding of Hashi’s predicament that made all the difference for him back then. On Confidence: “It comes from, honestly, no epiphany or any sort of bible…it comes from a very simple place, which is that I was just not happy with the status quo.” 36:40 Hashi’s book takes a deep dive into concepts of imagination, confidence, and luck—how all these interplay with race and class and upbringing. It’s a close examination that many millionaires and billionaires tend to glance over when talking about their success—something Hashi believes sets many people up for failure. Without the chance of opportunity and seeking it out, being in the right place at the right time, success will often pass by. So you have to stay sharp and keep your eyes out, and you have to have the imagination and confidence to remember to do so. Links Twitter: @hm_hashi (HashiMohamed.com) (People Like Us)
September 7, 2020
Dr Jules Montague – London Based Consultant Neurologist, Journalist & Author Of Best Seller ‘Lost & Found’, Explores What Remains Of The Person Left Behind When Pieces Of Their Mind Go Missing.
The fear of losing your mind has to be one of the scariest things you could ever endure—and the worry that a loved one will forget who you are, or start acting in a way that is totally opposite to how they have all their lives, is too much for most to imagine. This week’s brilliant guest, Jules Montague, is a Consultant Neurologist here in London. Her clinical specialty is “young onset dementia” with patients who develop memory and behavior changes as early as their twenties—and some of her most challenging work is in the intensive care setting, where she sees patients who have suffered catastrophic brain injuries. Jules’ most recent and bestselling book “Lost and Found: Why Losing Our Memory Doesn’t Mean Losing Ourselves” is profound and deeply touching, drawing on many real life personal experiences of patients whose minds misbehave. I was fortunate enough to meet with Jules in person, the first since lock-down, at one of my favorite places in London: Kenwood House Hampstead. You or someone you know will at some point in your life suffer from memory loss, and Jules’ approach to this may well be your life saver. This is Your London Legacy. “Telling our own story, our one autobiography is crucial to who we are.” 25:00 Jules has always been interested in medical science and grew up watching Grey’s Anatomy and E.R. along with other popular shows, and she was even told that she would ask for a second vaccine after getting her first shot because she was so interested in the process. This fascination led her to studying at Trinity College in Dublin for 6 years, where she went on to practice in Ireland and get her PHD before coming to London in 2009 as a neurologist. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—I think personality traits are as well, and their consequences.” 35:00 Jules has firsthand experience in medical environments where diagnoses need to be made off of communication rather than MRI scans and modern medical equipment. Her pull to stories not only helped her disperse medical knowledge to these communities, but properly treat those in an area where the average life span was only 38 years. This focus on stories led her to writing her book and exploring who we are when we are not ourselves and the stories behind these scenarios. For instance, when we think back on our first kiss—whether it was good or bad—we reconstruct the memory both physically through proteins and psychologically through ideas. This layers on meaning overtime, much like pulling an old book from a library and adding pages to it—which of course means that our current memory differs from the original. In this way we constantly reshape ourselves and who we are, changing and evolving, a process most drastically altered by Neuro- degenerative and other psychological disorders. Through this lens Jules hopes to broaden the idea that we should judge and treat people based on them people and not their illness. It was a true treat to talk to Jules out in the real world after such an extensive period of lock-down, and I very much look forward to her next book: 'Diagnosis Cure' which explores the flaws in current medical and psychological diagnoses and how they are viewed and abused in the world. Links (Twitter: @Jules_Motague) (Lost and Found)
August 31, 2020
Ash Ali & Hasan Kubba – Entrepreneurs & Authors Of Best Selling Business Book ‘ The Unfair Advantage’ Unpack Their Own Journeys To Success & Why You Already Have All You Need To Succeed Too
Did you know you have an unfair advantage in your life? Something that gives you an edge over your competition. Even if you are not aware it, today's brilliant guests Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba have devised a simple framework that allows us to find out what our unfair advantage is and how we can use it to help us succeed in life and business. Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba are start up entrepreneurs. Ash skipped Uni and was the first marketing director of Just Eat; one of the Uk’s first tech unicorn companies now worth over £5billion. Hasan built a successful start up from his bedroom with nothing more than an online course and desire to escape the corporate ‘rat race’. They have both spoken at TEDx and advised and mentored hundreds of start-ups all over the world. Their new book The Unfair Advantage – How you already have what it takes to succeed…has taken the business world by storm, so settle back and enjoy this enlightening chat with Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba. This is Your London Legacy. “It’s what we do with it afterwards that makes the difference - and some people have a lot of luck in their life but they don’t take advantage of it.” 9:00 There are different kinds of luck we encounter in our lives. Life goes up and down and luck will land somewhere in a trough or valley, but as Ash and Hasan will tell you, the more you do and more you learn and opportunities you take on, the better off you’ll be when luck comes along. But luck also plays into their concept of the unfair advantage, and is an important thing to keep in mind if you find yourself comparing your life to other, perhaps more successful personalities. Afterall, some very famous people got “very small loans” from their parents for 1 million dollars…in the 1970s. “I’ll just sit there and read a book and go, well, it’s not like this in the UK.” 23:00 After what you might call a serendipitous or “lucky” meeting—when Ash and Hasan decided to sit down and write The Unfair Advantage, they wanted to do it with the mindset that their perspective was different than the usual late-aged ex-CEO white male in the United States that you often see dominating the business world. Their book is focused more on the Uk, and more so, they didn’t want the book to be prescriptive like many in the genre are. The book is set up to the core thinking you need to use to see how your perspectives fit uniquely into market spaces to bring value and new thinking to older, run in the ground modalities. The Unfair Advantage is an incredible read and can really help you expand your entrepreneurial ideas, pursuits, and spirt. You can find the book here: (The Unfair Advantage) Links Ash: (LinkedIn) (Uhubs.co.uk) Hasan (LinkedIn) (@StartupHasan)
August 24, 2020
The Dramatic Story Of Lady Unchained – The Inspirational Poet & Founder of ‘Unchained Poetry’, The Platform For Artists With Personal Experience Of The Criminal Justice System
This week’s amazing guest is the inspirational Brenda Birungi, aka Lady Unchained. Lady Unchained is a Poet and founder of Unchained Poetry, a platform for artists with experience of the criminal justice system. In 2008, 20-year-old Brenda got into a fight in a club whilst trying to protect her sister from being attacked. Serving 11 months of her prison sentence—her life changed completely. Whilst her experience was shocking Brenda looks back on and forward to a bright future with a mission to prove there is life after prison. Through poetry she tells her own personal story and the story of those with similar lived experience, that as she says are often left untold due to shame, stigma, and negative labels. Lady Unchained has worked with several charities, hosted inspirational story telling nights, though poetry and music performed by artists who have experienced the justice system first-hand. She also co hosts for National Prison Radio’s show We are Straightline, a show about getting out and staying out of prison. Brenda’s life has been anything other than linear, but she is most definitely on the way up and making a positive impact. This is Your London Legacy. “A key is a symbol of freedom—so to give somebody a key, for me, only made me feel like they were mocking me.” 16:20 Brenda moved out at 17, a young age no doubt, with plenty to learn about herself and the world. She did have a dependable personality, as she was always being called upon to help people out with this that or the other, but this made it hard for her to reach out and ask for help herself. Perhaps this dovetailed one fateful night at a party, where her sister was attacked, and through her intervention—ended up taking a year-long probation that placed her in prison. “Everything in jail that you say, do—has an effect on when you get out. What privileges you have. Everything.” 51:10 Strangely enough, it was the poor treatment she received in jail that led her to start writing poetry. Writing notes and journaling about the different injustices she faced on a daily basis there—including not being accepted as “British”, which led to her hunger striking and eventually being transferred to another prison. But she studied English and got her A levels while in jail and continued to write upon her eventual release—a whole other adventure in itself where she had to rediscover who Brenda was through volunteering and art. Brenda came across National Prison Radio, and after her first performance on We Are Straightline, knew she had gone to jail for a reason and wanted to dedicate herself to “Lady Unchained” her moniker for her post jail self and the art she creates. While Covid in itself has brought about triggering memories just with the term “lockdown”—you can still come across her work online until venues reopen up. Brenda is a lovely soul and overly talented poet, and you’d be doing a disservice to yourself to not seek out her works and even TEDx talk online. Links Twitter: (@UnchainedP) (UnchainedPoetry.com) (Instagram) (Soundcloud) (TEDx Talk)
August 17, 2020
Beth Gardiner’s Highly Acclaimed New Book ‘Choked – The Age Of Air Pollution & Fight For A Cleaner Future’ Is A Must Read For Everyone. No One Is Immune. Especially In These Days Of Covid 19
Beth Gardiner is an American Journalist based in London. Her hugely important and critically acclaimed book “Choked: The age of air pollution and fight for a cleaner future’’ was one of The Guardians Best Books of 2019 and described by Arnold Schwarzenegger as ‘an urgent essential read’. Air pollution kills seven million people every year, causing heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia and more. In Choked, Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, exposing the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. In fact, Covid 19 and lockdown has brought air pollution into even sharper focus than ever before. In this fascinating chat, Beth outlines some of the issues we face locally and globally and her hopes for the future. This is Your London Legacy. “If anything else was killing 9,000 Londoners a year or 7 million people around the world—surely we’d be talking about it all the time.” 6:00 Beth started off writing for her high school newspaper and for her university, Yale no less. She was a large consumer of news and magazines, and liked how news let you hop around from subject to subject and read about so much all at once. Always something new to learn and explain to readers. She spent some time in Indonesia teaching English—and ended up returning to cover the horrific earthquake and tsunami that killed over 100,000 people—a shocking and large experience that perhaps solidified her need to continue to seek out global health and environmental issues that affect us every day. Indeed, the intersection of health and environment is at the core of her work on air pollution. “The air there [New York City] is much cleaner than London’s – and in general, the air in the US is significantly cleaner than the UK and Europe.” 12:00 When Beth moved to London she would find herself often getting headaches just from being around and about. There was a certain quality to the air she felt like she could taste, but didn’t think much of it. Years later, it took a 5 minute google search while reporting on the upcoming London Olympics to find out that the air quality in London was much worse than where she’d lived previously. This shock had lasting effects and eventually coalesced into a heap of research that turned into her book, Choked. The book is a wonderful read—if not shocking, with chapter titles like 9416, which is the number of people that died in London in year from air pollution. Globally it’s 7 million. Locally in Europe, a part of this is due to diesel cars—and an event called Diesel Gate, where companies like Volkswagen were lying about how much nitrogen dioxide was being emitted by their vehicles. They were caught in the US and fined billions of dollars and forced to recall cars—but we haven’t had the same teeth to enforce regulations here in the UK. Beth believes that if the people demand it, we will hold companies responsible for the environmental impact. But it does have to be demanded. Now with a respiratory virus pandemic—air pollution is being highlighted as the two intersect and feed off of each other. Beth hopes that people will become more aware of how our environment impacts us on a daily basis—and even may have another work in progress touching on another major pollutant: plastics. You can pick up Choked at your local bookstore or over on Amazon, and I highly recommend you give the stories inside a solid read. Links (Choked) (Friends of the Parkland Walk) (BethGardiner.com) (@Gardiner_Beth)
August 10, 2020
Mark Monroe Is A Creative London Cabbie & Host Of The Fascinating ‘Secret London’ You Tube Channel, Sharing Places & Quirky Stories of London You Would Have To Dig Hard To Find
London cabbies are a wonderful, rich and varied bunch and Mark Monroe is no exception. Born in Plymouth Mark moved to London as a young man and studied Musical Theatre at the Arts Ed school in Chiswick, after which he was a jobbing theatre actor to the age of 33. Realising the instability of the acting world Mark took the ‘The Knowledge’ absorbing very facet of his new home London. Marks love of London extended beyond the standout historical icons such as Buckingham Palace and the London eye. It was the quirky, bizarre, and unusual that excites him. So much so that in May 2019, as complete novice in film making, presenting and social media, mark created Secret London, his very own You Tube Chanel where he shares a side of London, very view people are aware of, or indeed ever get to see. When social distancing is over, I’m going to ask Mark to take to me to some of the fabulous places he talks about, but for now, we can all enjoy his wonderful Secret London story from the comfort of our own homes, wherever in the world we may be. This is Your London Legacy. “I’m always asking people to tell me something about London that I don’t know.” 9:40 Mark’s first role came around 16 when he joined a youth theatre with a friend, essentially to try and meet girls. Well after singing he ended up landing the role of Tony in a Westside Story—and ended up playing Riff, leader of the Jets in the opposite gang. So it’s unsurprising that Mark went into theatre and the arts, and finished his A levels around 20 and scored a grant to come to London and study at drama school—the Arts School at Chiswick. 3 years later he came out the other side with a performance diploma. He went on the be in productions of Aladdin, Wind in the Willows, and Peter Pan. However, as many in the arts are to find out, especially in acting, work isn’t always steady and income can be hard to come by. “You’re then assigned your first appearance—there not called exams. There called ‘appearances’. How incredible is that? It makes you feel even more nervous.” 30:00 Mark decided to join the cabbie life and start down the, literally, long road toward passing “The Knowledge”. He studied part time while working, spending his weekends on a moped with maps in front of him as he memorized and took stock of street names and just as importantly—points of interest. 17,000 or so at that. And after passing his “appearances” and test where he was given a blank map of London and asked to put down street names, he finally got his badge—3 years down the line. “I want to share something a little bit more hidden—under the surface of London, and unique. And what that is what the channel is all about.” 40:00 Mark now runs a YouTube channel: (Secret London). A channel borne out of his love for London’s points of interests and even his love for performance and expressing his personality. He started off with just a regular old iPhone, going around and showing some of London’s most hidden gems—one of which he shares with us, a place he calls a Secret Garden. But he learned the ins and outs of film making with minimal equipment, while on the go, and it’s allowed him to showcase the hidden and obscure corners of our wonderful city—which I wholeheartedly hope you delve deeper into and explore. Links (Secret London Youtube) (Secret London Instagram)
August 3, 2020
James Cook MBE – Jamaican Born Former European & British Super Middleweight Boxing Champion Was Awarded MBE For ”Outstanding Work With The Young People Of Hackney’s Notorious Murder Mile”
As a kid, James Cook grew up with his grandparents on the streets of Jamaica, until his parents brought him to London as a 9 year old and his whole world changed. James grew up on the notorious North Peckham Housing Estate and went on to become British and European super – middleweight champion, in an era of classy boxers. But James always loved working with and helping the youth, and when he retired he went on to become a successful trainer before saving from closure and then running the famous Pedro Youth Club in Hackney. In 2007 James was deservedly awarded the MBE by the Queen, and his life ethos is knowing how to share, how to give and how to love, lessons his granny taught him as a young boy. You can read James story in his wonderful autobiography written with his good friend Melanie Lloyd, but in the meantime why not listen to this really engaging charming chat with James right here. This is Your London Legacy “When I came to London, and I look around, the first thing I said to myself was—damn, I’m gonna starve.” 6:00 James thought London was some cold, perpetually rainy and snowy city as far removed as possible from the sunny shores of Jamaica where he was born. He was in a close knit community, met his future wife in grade school there, and was able to run and pick food clean from trees. So the move to London offered a fair amount of culture shock, not just in the city itself (and lack of fruit trees), but also the school system, which was much looser and larger than he was used to. “I used to walk down the street with my gloves around my neck…to say you know, I’m a boxer. Don’t play with me.” 18:00 James’ boxing career started early and was a sport he easily fell into and loved. Including the training aspect, which can turn many boxers off due to the amount of running and cardio involved, but this was something James was already quite accustomed to. As you can imagine, boxing comes with some hurt and scars—he broke his hand twice, the first time just after the first punch of a match. He moved up though and got titles under his belt, fighting a whole host of characters and experiencing the wins, losses, knockouts, and eventual transition over to coach and trainer. He’s seen the sport evolve and wonders if it hasn’t moved backwards some with the way promotion and paying for opponents doesn’t help boxers learn as much about boxing with the focus shifted. “I didn’t just want to write about boxing and fighting, I wanted a bit of everything in there.” 53:00 Giving back is something born into James DNA and manifests today as the Pedro Youth Club—where youths and their families are encouraged to come participate in a wide array of activities including pool. Table tennis, cinema activities, music rentals and recording sites and you guessed it, boxing as well. In fact, all the proceeds from James’ life story written his biography (“Guardian of the Streets: James Cook MBE, My Story”) go directly to the Pedro Youth Club. It’s a lovely book that I can’t recommend enough, so go check it out after tuning into our wonderful and lively chat. Links (Pedro Youth Club) (Guardian of the Streets)
July 27, 2020
Kris De Meyer -Documentary Maker, Neuroscientist & Research Fellow At King’s College London, Studies How We Believe What Is ‘True’ Or ‘False’ & How This Polarises Society
Without doubt—one topic that I find more fascinating than virtually any other, is the field of neuroscience. And this week, I was excited to be joined by Kris De Meyer, Neuroscientist and Research Fellow at King’s College London. One of Kris’s interests lies in the area of belief. By that he means, how our brain decides that certain ideas are ‘true’ while rejecting others as 'false'. Kris also studies how entrenched belief systems invariably lead to polarisation in society, from such crucial topics and Climate Change and Brexit. Kris is also a documentary maker and co-produced with Sheila Marshall the film ‘Right Between Your Ears’ a study of Harold Camping and his followers whose interpretation of the Bible led them to the certainty the world would end on May 21 2011. I loved this conversation and think you will too. This is Your London Legacy “One of the things that interests me most is studying and looking at how people form beliefs and how we come to think our view of the world is the right view, and other people’s view is wrong.” 5:00 Kris came from an electrical engineering background initially, definitely not poking around in brains to start off. However, the brain is an electrical organ and the tools used to study the brain rely on clever physics and high-functioning electronics. Neuroscience takes engineers, psychologist, and biologists—and none of them fully understood each other when Kris started out. His studies coupled with seeing how people started sharing and arguing their opinions at the advent of the internet helped push him headlong into the neuroscience field. 11:20 On one hand, Kris is interested in the mechanisms people use to formulate and defend their beliefs, and his study and research helps him divorce himself from those issues. On the other hand, he is still human. He has opinions about climate change, society, Brexit (he is originally from Belgium) and so he has to wear two hats at once in his studies. “The only messages that go viral are the ones that fit with your group, the beliefs of your group—or the ones that outrage your group.” 12:30 Kris’s documentary started out in 2011 and is called “Right Between Your Ears” and follows a guy who head of a radio station that believed the world would end on a specific date: 21st of May 2011. Kris took this to be an interesting case study of a polarizing belief, with followers, that would have to face the consequences of being wrong and how the belief evolves. He learned through this that you could never find a killer argument to sway someone from one side to the other. In fact, in his own research, he finds that both sides of an argument or belief use the same language to describe the other side while making their argument and finding rational points of debate. His program The Justice Syndicate is set as a playable theatre that puts its “players” or audience into a jury role with a tablet and they have to vote and form opinions that highlight preconceptions, power, privilege, and how being a part of a group affects the whole experience. This was such a fascinating conversation, and one I help hope you identify what “pyramids” of belief and opinion you stand on, and where you stand upon them. I hope along with Kris that further study into our beliefs help us to come to find more common ground where we are able to have discussions about society and life at large to help foster a safe and prosperous life for all, regardless of some opinions and ideologies. You can find more of Kris’s work with this helpful intro of a TEDX talk he gave that is titled (“How Not to Be Ignorant About the World”.) Links (KrisDeMeyer.com) (Twitter: @kris8dm)
July 20, 2020
Huw Jones – Author Of The Thrilling Novel ‘The Last Director of Shoreditch’ Chats About The ‘Old Nichol’ East End Slum To It’s Modern Day Gentrification
Shoreditch in the East End of London has an incredibly rich and varied history. From theatre and Shakespeare in Elizabethan times, to the wealthy traders and French Huguenot silk weavers of the 17th Century to the decline of the furniture industry in the late 19th century when the area was one of the worst slums in London. The illustrated London News in 1863 described the terrible living conditions in the 'Old Nichol' as ‘one painful and monotonous round of vice, filth and poverty, huddled in dark cellars…teeming with disease and death’’. Today, Shoreditch must be one of the trendiest and most fashionable places in London and this is the location of today’ guest excellent recent book ‘The Last Director of Shoreditch’. Huw Jones day job is Europe Regulation Correspondent at Thomson Reuters and he’s never known such fascinating times with the advent of Brexit and Covid 19 back to back. But as lover of London and social historian, Huw’s fast-paced novel spins between the Postie gang of Shoreditch in the 1950’s and what he calls the modern day siliconeaster, latte sipping tech start up millennials. Enjoy this fascinating insight into one of the jewels of London past and present. This is Your London Legacy. “You’re just like 2 degrees removed from history wherever you go here. It’s amazing.” 21:25 Huw’s book follows a group along two parallel timelines: the 1950’s when one of the characters, Frank who was the fixer for the Postie group—and the timeline now after the property empire has risen and they get a bit bored and try and ditch what they worked for. Many of the details in the book were based off of the reality of Shoreditch. For instance, in the 50’s and 60’s Shoreditch was an epicentre of furniture production—and the Director uses the industry there for their deeds, after all, old warehouses are indeed a good place to start your criminal fraternity. 26:16 Shoreditch was likely the first municipality in Britain to have a “dust destructor” which is essentially a facility to burn rubbish to create electricity. The facility in Shoreditch is now the National Arts Centre for Circus, interestingly enough. But again, what better place to “fix” a problem than a facility meant to incinerate—again as Huw says, you don’t even have to make it up. “You realize it’s not going to get written until you sit down and do it.” 30:45 I’m always fascinated by the creative type and how books come to be. Huw’s style is interesting, as he didn’t quite write the chapters in order – and he felt his character Frank took over the story. But it is a push and requires sacrificing perfection. But it is an all-consuming task and one you must embrace when it wakes you up in the early morning with some sliver of idea you have to jot down. The concept of siliconeaster too is inspired by going out in Shoreditch and seeing the hip young millennial tech startupers with their lattes and how they’ve influenced the area in modern day. While a book is most certainly written in a chair, the ideas often come from going out and exploring the world—and what better locale to influence you than London and the wonderful, never ending microcosms within. Links (Book on Amazon: The Last Director of Shoreditch) (Shoreditchnovel.com) (Twitter)
July 6, 2020
Chrissy Levett Is Founder & CEO Of ‘Creative Conscience’ – A Global Movement Set Up To Encourage, Reward, Train & Support Creative Thinkers To Use Their Talents For Social & Environmental Impact
I’ve never really thought of myself as a creative type. From my days studying law, to my career as an Insurance Loss Assessor with my head in policy wordings, the arc of my story has somehow seemed rather dry. That is of course until I discovered my love of podcasting whilst flat on my back in a hospital bed some three years ago. As it was in that London hospital bed where my first create seed was germinated. Today, some people tell me I’m a creative. That I’ve actually come up with an idea, something from nothing, and had the audacity to put it out there. As Brene Brown says, ''there’s a deep connection between finding meaning in one’s life and creativity.'' This week’s guest is a natural creative. Chrissy Levett, London Based Creative Director, who’s studied graphic design and communications at the Royal College of Art here in London. She’s won a number of industry awards for branding, is a TEDx speaker, newly published author believing creative thinking is vital for us to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Now Founder and CEO for Creative Conscience a global movement set up to encourage, reward, train and support creative thinkers, to use their talents for social and environmental impact. I love this conversation and being around creative people. It just makes me feel uplifted and inspired and wherever you are on your life journey, it’s never too late to start writing your creative story. This Your London Legacy. “All of us—every person on the planet is creative. I think if you’ve ever had an idea you’re creative. It’s just our education system isn’t set up to understand the value of creative thinking.” 06:00 Chrissy has seen first hand the failures of our education system in fostering creativity in the youth. A problem that has trickled into society itself, a society that isn’t working for most people. People are miserable, over prescribed, and forced to believe their value in society is only in the context of a system that doesn’t value or reward personal creativity and the happiness it can bring. The community it can bring. “Fear stops us from being great.” 25:40 Chrissy is the Founder and CEO of Creative Conscience which sets out to correct the failures of the education system and society and push creatives into action to, in some cases, quite literally save the planet. These projects range from societal while addressing topics such as bullying and teenage suicide—to Danish students making ice posters that melted around towns to highlight the lack of climate change debate amongst their politicians during an election cycle. Creative Conscience helps youth overcome the anxiety and fear that surrounds putting work out into the world, an issue any creative faces, even myself, even Chrissy. To put work out into the world makes you vulnerable, and it is something I feel everytime I sit down with a new guest. I’m thankful for the work Chrissy does in helping to push people to find their purpose and express it in caring communities that help build lifelong careers and happiness to change the world from the inside out. Links (Creative-conscience.org.uk) (Twitter) (Instagram) (Chrissy Levett LinkedIn)
June 29, 2020
Richard Lumsden - Highly Regarded London Based Actor Across Different Genres, & Author Of My Favourite Book Of 2020 Lockdown – ‘The Six Loves Of Billy Binns’ – Is Simply Magical.
If you were looking back over a hundred years of your life what would you change? This is the conundrum Richard Lumsden posed his wonderfully drawn lead character, in his beautiful, yet melancholy recent novel ‘’The Six Loves of Billy Binns’’. Richard is an English actor, composer, and musician, having performed in such diverse TV shows including Foggy in First of the Summer Wine, Henry in Sugar Rush and Martin in The Catherine Tate Show, as well as EastEnders. His film credits include the classic Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility and Gordon in James Rouse’s Downhill. But its Billy Binns that really resonated with me. A poignant heartfelt uplifting novel that reminds us what it is like to love and be loved in all its different forms. Join us as we chat through Richard's love of London, his writing process (a labour of love over many years), and what motivated him to write such magical book. This is Your London Legacy. “You always need something else to come in – and I’ve always described as having7 plates spinning, six of which will always come crashing down. You just don’t know which is the one that will stay up.” 12:00 Richard was around 30 when the idea for The Six Loves of Billy Binns started rattled about in his mind. In musing over old photographs in the library—a story began to come to him about a elderly man trying to recall the six major loves of his life, telling his life story through each relationship. However, the research involved surrounding World War I was too daunting, so after he had finished the first part with Billy as a young man Richard put the writing on pause. For 16 years. “I would hope that every time—if you are lucky enough to experience love with somebody—that that love is very different from the previous times you’ve experienced it.” 26:26 As you could imagine, spending so many years pondering love and relationships and the roller coaster passage of life—Richard has quite wonderful points of view on love, relationships, and writing. From a story point of view he wanted Billy to have a different kind of love and experience in each of his relationships. This undoubtedly forms some twists, a key point of writing for Richard and plot points we all encounter at some point along our lives. While some writers pour ink onto the page without any idea of where things are going, Richard takes a different approach—plotting out the main story beats, with room for characters to veer off path for a while, so long as they end up where he’s guiding them. How interesting things would be if we could do that for ourselves. Billy is filled with a wondrous sense of humour (likely coming from Richard himself) and like everyone else, he isn’t perfect. I found myself hoping the best for Billy even when he makes mistakes, big and little, as we all must learn how to forgive others and ourselves for doing the same. The Six Loves of Billy Binns was one of my favourite reads as of late, and absolutely loved talking in depth with Richard about the book, life, and of course—London. You can find the book right over here at Amazon: (The Six Loves of Billy Binns). You can follow up with Richard at (RichardLumsden.com)
June 22, 2020
Abigail Barnes Is An Award Winning Entrepeneur, Author, & Speaker On Personal Productivity, Whose Inspiring Outlook On Life Follows The Life Changing Wake-Up Call She Experienced
Abigail Barnes is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and speaker on personal productivity – a topic that is very close to my heart. She is also a qualified coach and creator of the renowned 888 Formula and Founder of Success by Design Training. A few years back Abigail had a life changing moment which she now uses as a wakeup call to inspire and motivate audiences, leaving them excited to take action. Since I first read Stephen Covey’s masterful Seven Habits of Highly Effective People many years ago, the genre of time management, self-improvement and productivity have always fascinated me. Now more than ever we must seek mastery over ourselves and how we spend our precious time. Listening and acting on the lessons in this episode will surely be time well spent. This is Your London Legacy. “So, I’m on this work business trip and 24 hours after I arrive—I find myself being woken up by a doctor in a hospital being told I’ve had a stroke.” 7:30 Abigail grew up aspiring to be a hard worker, living a good life of pounding the pavement early in the morning to run, going to work a nice job, and moving forward and up with accomplishments as she went. She had to re-evaluate her hardworking life though after experiencing a stroke in on a trip to the States, and managing the anxiety, stress, and her perception of how her co-workers would see her. She thought they would think she was faking it. But in time she came to realize that after such shocking wake up calls, all that matters is your health; and she has made her life’s work since then health and happiness oriented around a common theme—managing time. That finite and fleeting thing we all tread upon. “What happens to you happens for you. And that’s a real bitter pill for some people to swallow.” 40:00 Abigail’s 888 formula allows her to have conversations with people that take them up in a “possibility helicopter” and imagine a different life for themselves. This is especially pertinent during the current Corona virus epidemic where many people have been gifted an abundance of time, but might still say—oh, I don’t have enough time still to do what I want. Abigail aims to help find the drive people need to arrange their time, whether it seems abundant or not, and use it to do the things they need to do to get where they really want to be. Comfort is the “kiss of death” as Abigail puts it. Life is ever evolving and being able to outgrow your comfort zone to expand into new places is the only way to get to your imagined life, turning it from idea into reality. You can find her work at (SuccessbyDesignTraining.com) or reach out to her on (LinkedIn). Or find her on social media (@abarnesauthor).
June 15, 2020
Renowned Marketing Expert Barnaby Wynter Reflects On How This Art Has Changed In Light Of World Events & What Lies In Store For Us Post Covid 19
Marketing ain’t what it used to be. Whether you are CEO of a large corporation, Director of an SME, or solopreneur—getting your marketing message out has never been more important than it is today when we are all so distracted. Lock-down may mean that we have far more time on our hands than ever before, but we also have way more things prodding and grabbing at our attention every second of the day—oops, there goes another notification. Today’s guest Barnaby Wynter is a leading marketing expert, keynote speaker, Founder of The Brand Bucket Co, Author and Serial Entrepreneur. He’s also a huge Chelsea fan, but I wont hold that against him—and Founding Freeman for The Guild of Entrepreneurs. Barnaby has been around long enough to have experienced the winds of change across the marketing industry and as Marketing guru Seth Godin says, he understands that powerful marketing is based on empathy, generosity, emotional labour and giving value. Listen in as Barnaby drops some real value nuggets of his own in this wide-ranging conversation, as well as his two favourite London places of course. This is Your London Legacy. “Marketing is about creating the experiences which enable people to form a relationship with a product or a service.” 6:30 Barnaby has been knee deep in the advertising world for most of his life and stationed in London for 35 years working at some of the worlds largest advertising firms, no doubt working for some of the largest brands in the world. But come 1995 the advertising world started to take a sudden turn at the advent of the internet—followed up by one of the world’s most shocking events with September 11th 2001 in the United States. So, in 2002 they set to reconfigure marketing as none of the old ways were working anymore as broadcasting, direct mail, and email wasn’t working well. It’s this shift that ended up having Barnaby with a cloud-based agency. “There is a fallacy called work life balance—there is no such thing work life balance, that’s a conspiracy of the business owners that they perpetuate amongst society.” 30:00 Barnaby has a plethora of insights into what marketing is, how its not stories that work in marketing—but showing a consumer what you can do for them, relating to consumers so they buy from brands that seem composed of people like themselves, and how the internet has changed the direction and purpose in which consumers contact a company for a product or service—a little tip: differentiating yourself from other competitors by stating a few percentage points isn’t emotionally engaging either. Barnaby’s insights don’t stop there, however. With all this talk of a “New Normal” amidst the Covid pandemic, many are talking about a major shift to remote work. A major and permanent shift at that. But Barnaby isn’t as convinced, as he sees that work provides on purpose in life and “home” provides another more emotional purpose. With these two intermixing he believes there will be many pushing back from having their work woes brought into the house, and a need for human connection will eventually prevail as people yearn to crawl back to their water coolers and go out after work for a few pints. While Barnaby believes he’s such a good marketer that you could find him with a simple Google search—we’ll do you one better and post to his website here: (BarnabyWynter.com)
June 8, 2020
Pearly Queen Of St Pancras Diane Gould Was Born In N.London Into A Family Of Costermongers (Street Traders). Happy Carefree Times Diane Traces Her Roots Back To The Very First Pearly King.
Pearly Queen Diane Gould follows in the rich tradition of Pearly royalty. Born in North London into a family of Costermongers (street market traders) her Father Alf Dole was grandson of the very first Pearly King of St Pancras, having put on his first suit as the Pearly Prince aged 7. As Diane says, The Costermongers worked hard and played hard, always ready for a sing song and knees up in the local battle cruiser (boozer). The Costermongers were a resilient bunch with a Stoic outlook on life. If you fall on hard times- well, you just pick yourself up and get on with it. And boy did they have hard times going back three and four generations, but they were often carefree happy times too. Playing out in the streets of London, spending long hot summers hopping down in Kent. Underpinning much of what the Pearlies have always been about is charity, and today Diane and her fellow Pearlies , share their rich history through education programmes, community projects, social engagement and of course fund raising for wonderful causes including the world renowned, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Rippledown Environmental Education Centre, giving kids from Inner London a rare chance to engage with the natural word. The tradition of Pearly Kings and Queens started in 19th Century Victorian London, and their reason d’etre of spreading good will and cockney spirit is as important today as ever. In this episode Pearly Queen Diane takes us back in time to recount some of the wonderful stories from her inspiring heritage. This Your London Legacy. Note! Regular listeners to the podcast will know that at the end of each interview we ask our guests to tell us one or two of their favourite places in London, that is personal to them and perhaps not everyone knows about. Well I’ve now compiled for you 60 of my guests favourite places in London and you can get this unique brochure 100% free. (www.yourlondonlegacy.com) Alongside each guest recommendation is a brief quote explaining why they love the place, a lovely picture of the place, plus links to the venue and the podcast episode itself so you can check it out for yourself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it for you. “You got to live and let live if you want to get by. It’s only a matter time if you live or if you die. What difference does it make if you’re rich or if you’re broke—in 100 years from now it’ll all be a joke.” 7:20 Diane gives us a rundown of the Costermongers in a tradition that runs back hundreds of years. In each of London’s 28 boroughs a Coster King and Coster Queen was decided to watch over the corresponding street market. They looked after the interests of the markets and interact with them, and the Coster Queens and Kings would talk and entertain and listen to keep them coming back to their market—and if one of the Coster traders went on hard times they would go to their Coster King or Queen for help—thus starting the tradition and heritage of charity among the Pearlies. So how did Pearlies come about? Diane’s Great Grandad—as legend has it—appeared in a top hat in dress suit completely covered in peals and wanted to go out and help the poor people at markets, as Costermongers weren’t exactly sharp dressed. The pearls are said to have been found in the Thames and her Great Grandad went about fashioning them to his suit. “We’re connected through story, aren’t we? We’re connected through story—in many ways. In story and song.” 18:10 The Pearly Prince of St Pancras is a book written by Diane’s father Alf Dole, who sadly passed before the collection of his stories was published—but I can tell you first hand that they are absolutely phenomenal, one of which features him at the ripe age of 7 in charge of getting all his siblings on a train. They are stories that expose depths of poverty and hilarity alike, like being wrapped in a rug and shoved into the overhead luggage rack on a train. Diane carries on the Pearly...
June 1, 2020
Carolyn Steel’s New Book ‘Sitopia. How Food Can Save The World’ Addresses One Of The Most Crucial Issues Of Our Time. We Live In A World Shaped By Food Which Is The Cause Of So Many World Problems. So What Is The Solution?
There simply can be no topic of more significance today than how food shapes our lives and is an integral part of who we are….indeed we are literally what we eat and we live in world moulded and dominated by food. Who can forget in the early days of Covid 19 lockdown—the pathetic sight of people scrambling for the last bag of pasta, and the aisles of empty shelves where once was your favourite fruit and vegetable? Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities and her first book Hungry City received international acclaim, establishing her as an influential voice in academia, industry, and the arts. Her Ted Talk ‘How Food Shapes Our Cities’ and has been downloaded 1.25 million times. We first spoke to Carolyn in her London flat nearly a year ago, and today I am delighted to welcome her back, to chat about her stunning new book ‘Sitopia’ – How food can save the world. Carolyn asks possibly the biggest question of all: ’’What makes a good life?’’ A question most of us would say, we haven’t had time to answer. That is of course until now, when time for many is pretty much all we have. Sitopia is Greek for food place and in her deeply researched and wide ranging book, Carolyn assesses why we fail to value food which in turn has led to ‘’climate change, mass extinction, deforestation, soil erosion, water depletion, declining fish stocks, pollution, anti-biotic resistance, diet related disease’ and dare I say it—Covid 19. If there ever was a time to build a fairer more resilient society, now is probably the best time to start, so that we can all lead happier healthier lives. This is Your London Legacy. “I often say to people the food you eat is the future you.” 6:30 Carolyn admits that she is not some serial book writer churning out pages for the sake of cash—her book Hungry City took 7 years for her to write. This attests to her dedication to the thought and research she puts into each line she pens. And on the surface—feeding cities and people seems like an easy thing, fast food is cheap after all, isn’t it? Carolyn argues adamantly that no food is cheap, it simply has the illusion of being monetarily cheap while it is actually eroding the planet and the way we view life, work, and the systems that govern them all. “What would the world look like if we internalized the true cost of food—if we actually valued food again. And it’s revolutionary—it’s a revolutionary idea.” 35:20 Carolyn was one of those people who refused to use Skype before Covid—but she’s adjusted and learned, and it has opened her eye to the opportunity Covid has opened up. Time. Time to think and value things again like baking, pickling, making healthy food yourself. Time to contemplate what food is: food is living things we kill so we can live. It’s a shocking way of looking at, but completely true. Time to contemplate the bonds between where we live in cities and where food comes from the country, and our access to that country to understand our food. This could be one of our last chances to lean into the truth about our survival and the planet's survival. Understanding our economic systems and what work really means in a capitalist society (trying to reduce the labour cost to zero) we have to look to what is actually going to sustain us; relationships, connection, and the planet itself and that which comes from it. I applaud Carolyn for her bold critical thought about some of the most basic necessities civilization needs and how to progress our society coming out of crisis. Links (Sitopia) (Hungry City) (Carolyn on Twitter)