Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Pedley Street Training

On the 28th July 2010 walkwalkwalk led a session of Street Training/Campfire Conversations Summer Course, a project by Lottie Child at Spitalfields City Farm. The evening was aimed at presenting our work on Pedley Street and walking, as a means for introducing the course participants to particular ways of engaging with and discovering aspects of the city. The course members also introduced us to many new and exciting thoughts and aspects of Pedley Street. You can find out more about Street Training and Campfire Conversations here.

We discussed the Pedley Street site, which we have come to know in extreme detail over the last six years, and what it means to us. We visited particular sites - the Shoe Tree, The Incongruous Fig Tree, Shit Bridge, Pedley Street Arch, Pedley Arena, the stump of what was Fleet Street Hill, the unopened and now not-so-shiny-new cycle path - and recited walk stories related to those places, and also told oral histories of the places and encounters of Pedley Street. This included The Boys, Fear on the Bridge, Box of Shoes, Model and the Pedley Street Arena (written stories); and The Shoe Tree and Winos, Fight Club, the Fire/Soup stop and others 'orally.'

We wriggled under fences and amongst newly constructed feet of bridges.

We collected new objects for the Found Object Archive.

And talked a lot.

We gathered underneath the Pedley Arch. I was concerned that my favourite piece of graffiti was gone (one of my favourites), but it wasn't - it still says 'I LOVE JAN! YOU KNOW THE BIG POLISH GUY FROM SWEDEN' Who is this mystery man? and how big is he, I often wonder.

There was also a new addition beneath this writing, melancholic and beautiful (and quite literary) I thought:

Lottie mentioned having seen the walk fly posters under the arch a few years ago, with walk stories on them (perhaps The Model) and said it felt like the city was speaking to her.

We re-visited 'Shit Bridge,' the site of many previous crossings and memories, in particular the location featured in the walk story 'Fear on the Bridge' (please click here to read the story). Serena read the story aloud as we gathered around, listening attentively amidst the ubiquitous stench of urine (though in the absence of the occasional giant turd). There was some new and very shiny silver graffiti on the end wall, much blingier than the fragment of walkwalkwalk fly poster that had remained for years after it was pasted up (until grey paint obliterated it).

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