Contact
Nicolas Granger-Taylor
11 Brierley Road, London SW12 9LY
Tel: 020 8675 1952
Mobile: 07791 029 770
email 
With the possibility of shared passion and enthusiasm, with the opportunity for meeting new people and old friends, you are warmly invited to embark upon:
 
The London Adventure  
 
thelondonadventure.co.uk
 
What is the London Adventure?
The name for this informal literary club has been taken from Machen's third volume of autobiography, The London Adventure or The Art Of Wandering. The intention for the club is for members to participate in regular meetings at London locations connected with obscure or neglected authors. Other literary personages, such as illustrators and publishers, could also be subjects of meetings. Special attention could be given to anniversaries - births, deaths, publications, and other significant occasions. Members are requested to take on the leadership of future meetings, guiding the club around places related to their chosen subject. Other participants are encouraged to contribute by sharing their thoughts and questions, and with readings from works by or about the subject.
These shall not be guided tours so much as inquiries, explorations and celebrations. All walks are free.
For further information, comments, suggestions and contributions, please contact:
Nicolas Granger-Taylor, 11 Brierley Road, London SW12 9LY
Tel: 020 8675 1952
Mobile: 07791 029 770
To email please click here 
 
 
EXPLORATIONS INTO HIDDEN LITERARY LONDON
 2010 CALENDAR OF WALKS
 
25 September 2010
PAUL RAYMOND AND THE BIRTH OF BRITISH BURLESQUE
Presented by Paul Willetts
 
17 October 2010
JACK THE STRIPPER’S LADBROKE GROVE
Presented by Cathi Unsworth
 
31 October 2010
PAMELA COLMAN SMITH AND LADY FRIEDA HARRIS
Presented by Diana Taylor
 
6 November 2010
JOHN LE CARRE’S SMILEY’S PEOPLE
Presented by Benedict Newbery
 
All walks are free.
 
Attendance is limited to a maximum of 60 people per walk, on a first-come first-served basis.
 
After each walk there will be a collection for voluntary donations to The London Adventure Children’s Fund, which this year will again be supporting Kids Company.
 
 

In association with the Sohemian Society
 
PANTIES’ INFERNO
PAUL RAYMOND AND THE BIRTH OF BRITISH BURLESQUE
 
Presented by Paul Willetts
 
Saturday 25th September 2010, 3pm
 
Photograph: Publicity picture of Lorraine Burnett, former Windmill girl
who went on to become a star attraction at the Raymond Revuebar.
 
Meet your guide – a tall, shifty-looking bald gent’, clutching a copy of Members Only: The Life and Times of Paul Raymond – outside the front of St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, close to the junction between St. Martin’s Place and Trafalgar Square (nearest Underground stations: Charing Cross and Leicester Square). From this unlikely starting point, you’ll be transported through the history of British burlesque, encompassing nineteenth-century nude shows, not to mention the 1940s heyday of the Windmill Theatre, home of Revudeville. You’ll also hear about the louche world of West End strip clubs between the late 1950s and the early 1970s. At the heart of this flourishing club scene was the luxurious Raymond Revuebar, founded by Paul Raymond (1925–2008), a suave, dryly-humorous former blackmarketeer. The Revuebar, which offered London’s answer to the Folies Bergère, attracted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, the Kray twins, and the Beatles, who filmed part of The Magical Mystery Tour there. Steering a course between corrupt coppers, psychopathic gangsters and moralising politicians, Raymond used his club to bankroll even greater success as a West End theatre owner, pornographer and property magnate, ultimately earning the title of Britain’s richest man. Besides chronicling the evolution of burlesque in this country, “Panties’ Inferno” tells the story of how Raymond ushered his own ritzy brand of sexploitation into the mainstream, in the process becoming one of twentieth-century Britain’s most influential figures.
 
The walk will last approximately two hours, concluding in the Blue Posts Pub on Berwick Street.
 
Further reading:
Richard Wortley, Skin Deep in Soho (Jarrolds, 1969)
Murray Goldstein, Naked Jungle: Soho Stripped Bare (Silverback Press, 2004)
 
Paul Willetts is the author of Members Only, the newly-published biography of Paul Raymond. He has also written two previous works of non-fiction, Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia and North Soho 999, the latter described by Mark Gatiss as “absolutely gripping”. Alongside these, he has edited four much-praised collections of writing by the bohemian dandy, Julian Maclaren-Ross. He also devised and worked as co-photographer on Teenage Flicks, a jokey celebration of the football game, Subbuteo, featuring reminiscences by Jonathan Meades, Will Self, David Baddiel and others. His journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The TLS, The Spectator and other publications.
(Paul Willetts photograph of by Mike Lomax)
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SÉANCE ON A W11 AFTERNOON
JACK THE STRIPPER’S LADBROKE GROVE
 
Presented by Cathi Unsworth
~ Author of Bad Penny Blues ~
 
Sunday 17th October 2010, 3pm
 
Photograph: Ladbroke Grove by Pete Woodhead.
 
Meet your guide, a blonde dame with a black streak, under the plane tree in front of Holland Park tube, where she’ll be clutching a shocking pink copy of Bad Penny Blues. It was from this spot, on the night of 17th June 1959, 21-year-old Elizabeth Figg vanished into the back of a long black car, the first of eight victims of a fiend the press would dub “Jack The Stripper”. Follow the dead girl’s footsteps back in time to a red light Ladbroke Grove soundtracked by the Ouija board of Joe Meek, where in rackety basement clubs and bedsit studios, the Pop Artists shaped new worlds, slumming aristocrats rubbed up against the rude boys and Spiritualists tuned into the ether… while all the time, a phantom killer stalked the tapping feet of the working girls from the pubs of Portobello and behind the twitching curtains of Peter Rachman’s Powis Square.
 
The walk will last approximately two hours, concluding at The Earl of Lonsdale, Portobello Road.
 
Further reading:
Cathi Unsworth, Bad Penny Blues (2009)
Brian McConnell, Found Naked and Dead (1974)
David Seabrook, Jack of Jumps (2006)
John Repsch, The Legendary Joe Meek (1989)
Stewart Home, Tainted Love (2005)
 
Cathi Unsworth is a novelist, writer and editor who lives and works in London. She began her career on the legendary music weekly Sounds at the age of nineteen and has worked as a writer and editor for many other music, film and arts magazines since, including Bizarre, Melody Maker, Mojo, Uncut, Volume and Deadline. Her first novel The Not Knowing was published in 2005, followed the next year with the award-winning short story compendium London Noir, which she edited, and in 2007 with the punk noir novel The Singer. Her latest novel Bad Penny Blues, based on the true, unsolved “Jack the Stripper” murders of West London between 1959-65, has recently been published to great critical acclaim. All her books are published by Serpent's Tail. Find out more at www.cathiunsworth.co.uk
(Cathi Unsworth Photograph by Simon Crubellier)
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THE LIMINAL AND THE LIMNERS
A magical mystery tour tracing the footsteps of
PAMELA COLMAN SMITH AND LADY FRIEDA HARRIS
 
Presented by Diana Taylor
 
Sunday 31st October 2010, 3pm
 
Photographs: (left) Pamela Colman Smith; (right) Aleister Crowley with Lady Frieda Harris.
 
Look out for the lady with the Star on Courtfield Road, just around the corner from Gloucester Road Underground Station. This Hallowe’en, she will shine a light on London locations connected to the development of two innovative sets of Tarot cards, both milestone achievements in the history of Western occultism. In December 1909 the first Tarot deck to set a precedent by featuring full scenes with figures and symbols on all 78 cards was published and made commercially available by London’s Rider & Co. This deck was the collaborative effort of Arthur Edward Waite (1857–1942), whose mystical teachings were interpreted through the illustrations of Pamela Colman Smith (1878 – 1951). We begin our walk with a visit to her London home during the golden Golden Dawn days, before turning our attention to sites connected to the development of yet another seminal Tarot pack: Aleister Crowley’s (1875–1947) Thoth Tarot, painted by Lady Frieda Harris (1877–1962) during the turbulent years of World War Two, and published sixty years after its predecessor.
 
After a visit to two sites off Old Brompton Road, we will be taking the Piccadilly Line from Earl’s Court to Green Park, regrouping just outside the Stratton Street exit to continue our Tarot history trail. Subject to traffic and transport, the walk should last for no longer than two and a half hours, finishing near Bond Street.
 
Further reading:
Ronald Decker and Michael Dummett, A History of the Occult Tarot, 1870–1970 (Gerald Duckworth & Co, 2002)
R.A. Gilbert, A.E. Waite: Magician of Many Parts (Crucible, 1987)
Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley (Saint Martin’s Press, 2000)
Richard Kaczynski, Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (North Atlantic Books, 2010)
 
Diana Taylor has the privilege of working at Treadwell’s bookshop as an in-house Tarot reader and Tarot teacher. She is an extraordinarily gifted reader with a decade and a half of experience in classic Tarot. Speaking several languages, of multi-cultural heritage, and formerly from a diverse corporate background, she brings a perspective that is at once professional, international and spiritually practical. The Filipino side of her family are hereditary stewards of one of Asia’s oldest basilicas and its pre-Christian holy well. Her knowledge of the Tarot is grounded in the Western mystery traditions, incorporating kabbalah and Golden Dawn mysticism. For more information, visit www.dianataylortarot.com
(Diana Taylor photograph by Nicolas Granger-Taylor)
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In association with the Sohemian Society
 
MOSCOW RULES
JOHN LE CARRE’S SMILEY’S PEOPLE
 
Presented by Benedict Newbery
 
Saturday 6th November 2010, 3pm
 
Photograph: The murder scene, Hampstead Heath, by Benedict Newbery.
 
Meet your guide – a slightly furtive and unremarkable-looking man dressed in a black coat and cap, clutching a copy of Smiley’s People and secret instructions graded FLASH – outside the front of The Freemason’s Arms, Downshire Hill, Hampstead Heath, London, NW3 1NT (nearest Underground stations: Belsize Park and Hampstead). From this starting point, you will be taken to the edge of Hampstead Heath and there briefed on the events leading up to the start of the case. This will include a brief summary of the action in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, followed by background information on Karla – “Smiley’s black grail” – his flawed running man Kirov and developments in Paris and Hamburg. The party will then join Mostyn at the tin pavillion before investigating the scene of the grisly murder – the killing of an elderly émigré General that brings George Smiley out of retirement. You will then be taken to the place where Smiley discovers the all-important proofs, hidden by the General moments before his death, and from there to the safe house where Lacon and Strickland await. While Strickland is writing up the D-notice for the press, you’ll be appraised of the likely agents of the murder, before heading to South End Green, where Smiley interrogates the taxi driver who drove the general before he died.
 
The walk will last approximately two hours, concluding in the Magdala Pub on South Hill Park, Hampstead.
 
Further reading:
John le Carré, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1974), Smiley’s People (1979)
Also see the excellent BBC adaptations of both novels, starring Alec Guinness as George Smiley.
 
Benedict Newbery is a lifelong fan of George Smiley and all those who sail in him, as well as being a journalist and poet. His poems have been published in Magma, Succour, the delinquent, South Bank Poetry, Borderlines, Plectrum, Carillon, and Straight from the Fridge. He regularly performs his poems at events in London. He also makes poetry films and in 2008 he storyboarded and co-directed the film of his poem “Cul de sac”, which was shortlisted for the 2008 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin. In addition to his day job, Benedict is an occasional copy editor and poetry review writer for Nude Magazine. He led the Moscow Rules walk in July 2009 on behalf of the Sohemian Society. Find out more at www.benedictnewbery.com
(Benedict Newbery photograph by James Wilkinson)
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page updated 6th September 2010