Number 1: Leyton


92 pages of text, maps and photos, printed in colour throughout.

148mm x 210mm

ISBN: 978-1-8384900-0-3
First published: May 2021

Click on the magnifying glass and then the arrows to see sneak previews of a few random pages. Or read the blurb below.

The first Unchartered Streets book leads you on a six-and-a-bit-mile tour of Leyton, pride of east London, jewel of the Lea Riviera. En route you’ll encounter two town halls next door to each other, a buried river, an unburied corpse (which may or may not explain the Walthamstow Slip, whatever that is), a lost windmill, a lost macaw, an unexpected cricket ground, an even more unexpected boules court, and an almost-impossible-to-credit pétanque pitch; not to mention a pub named after a man who invented ghosts, the ghosts of several cinemas (and a missing Millennium monument), a church shaped like a Toblerone, a discarded football ground, an enigmatic river (which may not actually be a river at all, philosophically speaking), an ice house that you can’t see, a nice house that you can see, a fairly ordinary house that the man who invented the tube map lived in, and the equally ordinary house that the man from the Cadbury’s Fruit and Nutcase ads lived in, though he didn’t always enjoy it, on account of the marmalade factory. Mmmmm, oranges. You’ll see the largest public artwork in Waltham Forest, some giant wooden balls on sticks that might be art, but might just be giant wooden balls on sticks, a plaque and a statue in memory of Laurie Cunningham, some Olympic legacy trip hazards and a poignant 2012 panorama, some hugely distracting bird boxes, a large painted notification that you’re 574 metres away from something, an upsettingly pungent medieval lady in an ASDA trolley store and two accordionists. You’ll also read about an artificial lake that once lapped the High Road and the demise of ladies mud wrestling at the Three Blackbirds, find out what postmen and vampires have in common (other than the obvious), learn how to reanimate a dead cat using balloons – and also what hump shunting is – and discover how Leyton was once not just the centre of the world’s wire-making industry but also a good place to come if you liked to buy your glue direct from the manufacturer (and who doesn’t, especially when they live in an Art Deco masterpiece?). Oh, and did I mention the time the Beatles and the Stones played the old swimming baths? That’s in the book too. As is the inspiring tale of bolshy locals rising up to defend Leyton Marshes from big business and, later, from men in big shorts – with a brief tangential discussion of celtic farming practices and Leyton’s lack of llamas. Want to eavesdrop on two Bronze Age Eastenders and find out their thoughts on iron? You can do that too. There are also, I’m afraid, fleeting glimpses of Michael Gove in a loincloth, Norman Tebbit in a snow globe, Boris Johnson in flagrante delicto and Nigel Farage in a garage. But enough politics: I’m also very excited to be able to present, for your delectation and delight, a recently discovered typewritten transcript of the lyrics to one of the most popular numbers in the music halls of early-twentieth-century East London, Harry ‘The Little Chipolata’ Tuttle’s utterly splendacious I’m The Man Wot Prods The Pitch Down At The O’s.