Started January 2010 [by Jack Thurgar]

This is a scrapbook dedicated to the study of London's weeds and the wild places where they grow. Wildcornerz also looks at the languages, cultures and mythologies that develop in these cracks.

What is a Wildcorner?

A Wildcorner is a term referring to a gap that has been left to grow wild in the city. The term encompasses every wild piece of land no matter the size, from large disused sports grounds to small patches of commercial wasteland, to a crack in the pavement. As long as this gap in the man made landscape harbours some kind of weed, then it is considered a Wildcorner.

Wildcorners and Wildcorridors* are dotted all over the capital and vary in content, depending on their location and history. One thing most have in common, is that they are normally restricted in someway from public access or boarded off and hidden from public view altogether. In this blog we focus particularly on the Wildcorners of south east London.

* Wildcorridor; a word used to describe a channel or pathway that runs through an urban landscape, which facilities the propagation and growth of weeds. This includes railway sidings, rivers and canals.

Urban and Suburban Weeds

By the term 'weeds' we are of course referring to the cities wild plants and flowers. But their are also two other weeds that grow in the city.

'Graf' like its botanical relation, has many families and strains. Both of these weeds can often be found together, sharing many qualities including their adaptive nature and unregulated status. Both in many cases, originally entered and populated the city using the railway network.

Another 'weed' that historically flourishes in London is invisible and uses the tops of tower blocks to propagate. Pirate radio like its weed relatives, grows away from the public eye and is constantly adapting to exploit these same gaps across the cities FM radio spectrum, fighting and flourishing in-between the commercial stations.

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Friday 23 November 2012

New spotting of the solitary spirit

In a particularly hidden spot below a bridge, sheltered by over hanging trees,
 The Lewisham Natureman can be found drinking from a tributary of the River Quaggy [possibly the Middle Kid brook.] in Lee Green, Lewisham.

Monday 19 November 2012

River of Words

 The River of Words competition was a local poetry competition in 2006.
Here is the winning entry.

Quaggy: hidden behind back gardens and privet.
Brickwalled, low. A road over which rivulets
Quietly slide inches deep. Culverted,
A sluice. A ditch to pitch the stolen bicycle,
Scoured and vacuum-sucked by tractors in autumn.
But while we looked away, below the station,
The grey-backed bobbing birds have come to stay.
The balance on bricks, pick the debris, chatter safely
Shaded by buddleia; run along its concrete rim;
Occupy their own secluded mountain stream.
And in the upturned shopping trolley
The mitten crabs raise woolly claws,
Wait for rainstorms, are flung towards the Thames,
Shed their skins that float on foam and confluence,
Then scurry uphill home to lurk in drains.
Paint and oil gutters in -
Slicks, sticks, dilutes, decays.
Summer comes. The lime trees drip their glue and greenflies.
Ducks swim by from parks to ponds. Seeds, butterflies,
Are carried from woodland to wasteland. And we pass by.

Emily Hay

Thursday 8 November 2012

Field Trip Down River.

Last week i cycled with two friends down our great river to visit the Margaret Ness Lighthouse. It is the first of the nine beacons along the Thames from the City. 
[ pictured in my previous entry; Nine Beacons of the Great River. ]

 Notice the stencil over the warning sign and the flotsam and jetsam washed up along the banks.

  ... and further down river near Crossness, we passed two old dubs; 'EGOR' and 'EWOK'.
 This was the name of the incomplete dub in the wild corner in Lee, SE12.
 Though the lettering is different. Is this the same Tagger? Was still a surprise to spot in another wild place, but so far away.

 This picture of the river and its first settlers, was in the middle of a long, blank concrete wall opposite Crossness Pumping Station, also know as 'The Cathedral on the Thames'.

Monday 5 November 2012

More footage from London's King Pirate

Generation Nuskool @ Kool FM 9.46

Some great DnB spitters on the capitals legendary Kool Fm in 2006.  

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Kool Fm - BBC Doc from '96

 Why i have i never found this 3 parter before?
 Kool Fm from Hackney are The undisputed king of London Pirates.
 Also contains interviews with Battersea's Dream Fm  and Tottenham's Rare Groove record shop.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Wednesday 17 October 2012

London Pirate Folklore

  This is a link to Uncle Dugs's show 'Run Come Follow Friday'. This one is a pirate radio special to mark the 18th Birthday of East London's Rinse FM and tell the stations story.
It's an extra long show with interviews with some of the big names in London pirate radio history, such as Eastman and DJ Brockie from Kool Fm.
This is a great piece of aural folklore, with plenty of interesting and funny stories from the day.
Rinse is now a legal station, winning a community radio licence last year on the FM frequency.
 I cant stop playing this at the moment. So if you want to download it, copy and paste the link below and right click uncle dugs show. .. that rhymed.  .. and then Save link As.

Friday 5 October 2012

A List of London's Radio Weeds

87.6 Playback UK (garage/dubstep/house)
88.0 Shine FM (house)
88.2 Rude FM (d'n'b)
88.4 Vision Radio (garage)
88.6 Back 2 Back (soul/jazz/funk)
89.4 Unknown FM (house/disco)
80.6 Klick Radio (r'n'b/soul/reggae)
89.8 Station FM (talk/reggae/ragga/r'n'b)
90.0 Hot 90 (talk/african)
90.2 Point Blank FM (house/garage/d'n'b/soul)
90.4 Woah! (r'n'b/ragga/hip-hop)
90.8 Lightning Radio (reggae/ragga/r'n'b/hip-hop)
91.6 Genesis Radio (talk/reggae/ragga/r'n'b)
92.0 Scream London (d'n'b/garage/house)
92.2 Metrolove Radio (r'n'b/soul/ragga/hip-hop)
92.4 Deja Vu (grime/garage/funky/d'n'b/hip-hop)
92.7 Energy Radio (reggae)
93.0 Breeze (reggae/soca/r'n'b)
93.8 Vibes FM (talk/reggae/ragga)
94.0 Voice of Africa (talk/african)
94.4 Street FM (reggae/soca/ragga/r'n'b)
94.6 Kool FM (d'n'b/jungle/hardcore)
95.1 Origin FM (d'n'b/jungle/hardcore)
95.5 On Top (grime/hip-hop/r'n'b)
96.1 Supreme Dance (house/techno)
96.4 Surprise Radio (talk/african)
97.5 Blazing Radio (r'n'b/hip-hop/garage/ragga)
97.9 Passion FM (house)
98.3 RJR (reggae)
99.1 Hav It (reggae/ragga/r'n'b)
99.3 Select UK (house/techno)
99.5 Galaxy Radio (talk/reggae/soul/ragga)
99.7 Flex FM (garage/d'n'b/house/funky)
99.8 Supreme FM (reggae/ragga/r'n'b)
100.3 House FM (house)
101.5 Live FM (garage/house/funky)
101.2 Unique FM (reggae/r'n'b)
101.8 Bizim (talk/turkish)
101.9 The Beat (talk/reggae/ragga)
102.0 Concious (reggae/dub)
102.5 Inna City Radio (r'n'b/hip-hop/garage/funky)
103.0 Image (garage/house/d'n'b/funky)
104.0 Muzik Radio (reggae/soul)
104.2 Dem Radyo (talk/turkish)
106.0 SLR (reggae/r'n'b)
106.8 Rinse FM *legal* (funky/grime/dubstep/d'n'b)
108.0 Pulse London (d'n'b/garage/funky/house)

 This list was updated in March 2012.
 Long Live the Pirates!!!

Monday 24 September 2012

Monday 17 September 2012

Rinse FM History; London Pirate Radio Folklore

They are making one for each year Rinse has been running. The first with the station head honcho Geeneus here is especially a gooden. Also look out for the 1997 one with A Plus and the '99 with Plague to.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

White Stag of Lewi' Spotted from Train

Where two internal networkz [wild corridors] meet in Lewisham; The train line and the River Ravensbourne.
As the train passes alongside the river, for a few seconds he can be seen, The Weed Spirit, howling at its banks. 
It looks like his call disturbed a flock of three birds; perhaps stowaways from his world, who have somehow passed through dimensions with him, carried by the life-force of his presence. 
Their empty shapes, burnt into the wall.

Monday 10 September 2012

Among the Ashes SE12

Three mornings after my last visit to this corner, my friend [who lives near nearby] awoke to see a thin line of smoke from his bedroom window. It was streaming up through the trees that surround the corner. He went to investigate and could see over the fence; smouldering embers of the great bonfire that had been burned the previous night.
 He contacted me and I came later on that day to explore. The centre of the wildcorner has been stripped bare and the ground scorched. The remains of two smaller firers can clearly be made out also.
The white stag, although still protected by the iron fencing and the trees, now lies more open to view. He can be seen through the leaves, walking amongst the faded tags and black ashes.

Monday 3 September 2012

Revisit to the SE12 Corner

I passed by the corner again last week and to my shock,
all the weeds have been cleared and thickets cut back. 
All the wild plants have been gathered [along with bits of drift wood from the corner] into 
a huge pile in the centre. 
It has the structure of a possible bonfire.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

The Pink House - Local Landmarks of Lewisham

  My sister found this old article for me, about 'the pink house' on Lewisham Way.  It is a local landmark and the subject of local tales from childhood.
 This article is about  a documentary made, telling the story of Brenton Sammuel Pink, a Jamaican born ex dustman and musician who painted his house in the 70's after a vision in a dream. He can still be seen sitting out on his pouch there, in a big straw hat [with real fruit on some say] during the summer months.
 If anyone knows where i can see a copy of the documentary please let me know.

Tuesday 31 July 2012

The God of Weeds appears in SE12

My friend has told me before of a wildcorner near to his flat in Lee, SE12. While on the way to visiting him last friday, i remembered and took the long way around, to pass it.
The corner is hidden away behind a row of shops and is not over looked from any side. The corrugated iron fence was too high to look over and the trees and scrub to thick to peer through. 
I walked around the side of the corner and along a narrow alleyway. It was there I found a wire fence and then, a few yards along, a small hole made in it at the bottom.

 The rusted ends of the wires, suggest the hole was made some years ago.
I climbed through and pulled myself up and into the small clearing. My heart skipped when my eyes caught the white antlers of the lone beast, sticking out above the tall nettles at the far end of the corner.
The Lewisham Natureman's spirit dwells in the most forgotten of places.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Diabolical Dub Stars

Here is a sample clip from the forthcoming documentary 'Underbelly'.

It is created from exclusive original footage filmed by the current members of  DDS. They filmed themselves over the last five years, breaking into yards and bombing London's tube trains. Where as some crews are in every graff video on youtube, DDS have kept their video tapes under secret lock and key and it has become the subject of many chinese whispers.
 DDS are a legendary crew and are the undisputed kings of London train graff. They have been active for the last 20 years. The crew includes such notorious names as FUEL, TEACH, SUB ONE, ZOMBY, PRIME and FUME.
 They are credited for keeping london tube bombing alive during the dark years of the late 90's, adapting to new tighter security measures and utilising new technology to carry out there missions.
It's made by the guy who directed 'Taking Liberties;' a doc about the decline of civil liberties in the UK.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

London Pirates

 Been meaning to put this up for ages.
Here is a great short doc on Londons pirate radio culture. A brief history and what remains to the day. Made in 2010

Friday 29 June 2012

The Lewisham Natureman / The Wild-Walker

News of a new sighting of the lone stag was reported to me last night. This morning I set off for the spot, in a wild corner on the edge of Blackheath [the Lewisham end]. 
.. and there he appeared to me, at the top of the hill. He was standing in a forgotten doorway, in the middle of an old wall with faded 'KNOWN' tags * around him. 
He is South-West facing, looking across Lewisham and appears this time, to be crowned with the emblem of the borough.

 * KNOWN was a prolific name from Lewisham. Active during the mid 90''s]

Saturday 23 June 2012

Nine Lighthouses of the Great River

Here is a link to a fine page paying tribuet the Nine existing beacons that line the tidal part of the Thames known to sailors as 'The London River'.
 It also remebers the lighthouses that used to light the river, that have been demolished, replaced or lost to the water. It has their names, locations, histories and pictures from the late G. E. Danes's [an old Trinity lighthouse keepers] personal postcard collection.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

White stags in other cultures

A webpage found on White Stag's place in global mythology and history. This research isn't of Lewisham's own stag of course but it is interesting to read about various other legends and beliefs that include white stags.
 As I have written about previously, the stag that appears throughout the boroughs wildcornerz and corridors is thought to be an incarnation of The Lewisham Natureman [see right hand side column at top of page.] This old south london graffers legend has links to The Green Man; the old Saxon god of vegetation and the woodlands, Cernunnos; The Celtic God of fertility, animals and the underworld, and The Woodwose; who featured in various art and literature from Medieval Europe. 

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Friday 11 May 2012

'oUT oF bOROUGH' ; Lewisham Natureman sighting

While on another 'out of borough' field trip, following the River Lea towards the Olympic site, I passed underneath a fly over which facilitates this rather baron but heavily graffd up wildcorner.
 This type of corner is know to the local graff community and despite being away from the public eye, is a place where graff grows chaotically and larger, more elaborate species can be found. 
 He took me by surprise and I nearly missed him. Being out of Lewisham, I was not really looking for him plus he was hidden away from the view from the foot path. 
I went around the side for a closer peek and it was there to my delight, I saw a thin white leg disappearing behind one of the thick pillars. 
I followed it around and there he was, fully formed with long antlers, ghosting through the graff.
To my knowledge, this is his first sighting north of the river. 
But why does he appear here? Roughly seven miles from his homelands of Lewisham.

Thursday 19 April 2012

The infamous Dark n Cold tapes 2000 - 2002

Just having a little Youtube trawl for classic moments from the original Dark n Cold vids. Found a few uploaded.
 They were first just available on VHS from the small clothing store in Soho. The videos were made as a means to promote there clothing range but they were made with love and were/are deliciously underground and budget.

The first two volumes; 'Uk Untapped' feature various uk hiphop artists of the time [the later volumes were more jiggy and then grime influenced] and pioneered the beautiful thing that is a great mc freestyling to a camera. No mic, no crowd. Just a beat and a camcorder. It is a true celebration of the art form at its most pure. Beautifully simple, intimate and exciting.
They were doing what [the now award winning, massive] SBTV have built on with their 'F64' series on Youtube but they were shottin it, on VHS tapes back in 2000!
 These short videos are like folk recordings, capturing various underground street legends of the time.
Here are a few;

 Skinnyman from Finsbury Park

Surplus - underground Mc from Bristol

Chester P - legendary freestlyer from Highbury

Fallacy - A South East London General [shame its only a little sample of his sick bars here.]

Skeme and Big P - from Deptford and Pecks respectively. 

 .. and Skeme again, still doing it right on the 'UK Legends' series for SBTV last year.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Walking Wastelands

The Lewisham Natureman; King of Weeds, can be seen trotting through this wildcorner in Lee High Road, where he appeared and then mysteriously vanished once before. 
I first spotted the spirit from the top deck of the 321 bus at night, his golden antlers shining through the dark as the bus roared past. 
I revisited the corner again the next day for a closer look. This corner is sealed off from the street and is only accessible by our friend the river Quaggy. It is just along the river from the newly built Hindu temple [behind Nando's] and is right in the heart of Lewisham. 
This time hes body appears to be moving in a space inside the wall, like the brick and plaster were a thick liquid ooze. Or he is changing his colour like a chameleon to match the yellow and green stripes of the former car dealers.

Monday 26 March 2012

Michael Finch's sacred tape collection

The London urban music folklorists who made the DIY doc 'Tape Crackers' [ ft. pirate jungle tapes from the 90's ] are back with a radio show. This session charts the history and pre history of Grime again through Finch's amazing tape collections of recordings of tunes and sets from london pirate radio.

Friday 23 March 2012

Revisit to the SE14 Sighting.

A white tree has appeared above the spectral white stag at New Cross Gate.
It looks like a piece of street art, responding to the sighting. The tree has a more graphic/cartoon style with its black outline and simplified shape, more commonly used in street art and graffiti. The tree has been painted on top of the girder at street level and can be clearly seen to the passer by. The artist/artists have left there paint pot and water bottle. 
What is interesting to me, are the strange dripping bubbles at the end of the branches and the cut halfway down the trunk.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Conscious Outsiders

  I have been thinking recently about artists who have been an inspiration to my own work or i feel their work shares something with mine.
In one way or another i think these artists all create their own worlds within their work.
 Plus my mildly autistic brain loves this list ish!
.. so in no particular order then;


 Legendary UK Hiphop crew from Highbury N9; brothers Farma G and Chester P Hackenbush.
 Their MFTC [music from the corner] mini albums were only released on cd and made, financed and distributed by themselves. The underground, street, localness of their music, mixed with old folk samples and reflective poetic lyrics, make these tunes contemporary folk recordings of there own.
 Taskforce would defiantly been in both of my above categories and high up there to!
Chester's bars [the second Mc on the above tune] are particular favorites of mine.

Harry Partch

Alan Moor

Kit Williams

Ooo a visual artist.

Hayao Miyazaki

JRR Tolkien

i dont care if Peter Jackson made it Pop again. My dad used to read me these books when i was a boy before sleep.
I loved them then and love them now.
Warning; there are a some real dicks in this BBC archive footage.

Monday 13 February 2012

The Wise Crow of Southwark

 John Constable is a name i have been told to check by several friends who know my own work with the explorer Solomon Wild and the borough of Lewisham.
 John Crow's [as he is know] written work, channels the spirit of 'The Goose' a female prostitute whos body lays in a former graveyard in SE1. He is also a historian and pychogeographer of his own beloved borough of Southwark.
His honouring rituals to the dead 'guise' happen on the 23rd of every month at the gates of the Crossbone graveyard site, which is now a wildcorner.

Looms [SE14 beat maker]

Local musician/producer and my good mate Looms , is on soundcloud. Seriously deep tunes [ i mean this both metaphorically and sonically.]
 Looms's beats marry synthetic sounds with organic ones plus atmosphere and tone with head-nod drums and grooves.
[images on his soundcloud made or selected by urs trooly.]

Sunday 12 February 2012

New sighting! New Cross Gate - Lewisham Natureman

I spotted the Stag spirit from the platform at New Cross Gate station. It was grazing in a glade of a wildcorner below the street. I left the station, passed down the ally and around behind the shops, creeping up slowly for a closer look.

Monday 6 February 2012

E8 Street Legends

 Hackneys legendary underground uk hiphop crew 12 Stone Productions.
 Original line up:
 G-Lansun - producer/mc   Cuba - mc/producer [with the cool lisp] Kulture - mc [a giant] and Kombiashi - mc
Active in the 90's and early 0's, the crew then disperse to follow individual projects but have recently reformed with an altered line up.  They are regarded by those that know, including other legends such as Taskforce, Skeme and Kelz to be among the original pioneers of the 'London sound' using there hackney grammer [rather than the fake american accents] in their bars. You can hear there influence on many later uk hip hop crews, most notably the former poster boy of 'Urban' movement [record company and the media's attempt to package together and market all the various contemporary black music genres and culture] another Hackney resident Klashnakoff.
 When they came out they sounded like no one else and indeed the inventive and 'ghetto' production still sounds of its own.

Patrick Keiller's Great Landscape

I cant  believe I have never seen this classic before.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Classic radio cypher from North London Mc's

 These bars come from some of the cream of Londons underground Uk hip hop scene, back at the high tide mark of the movement, know as 'the golden age.'

Monday 23 January 2012

.. and disappears the next day

  The next day I passed by the corner again, while on the way to St Alfege's in Greenwich. When I peered through the hole in the gate, I couldn't believe what i didn't see.
Not a trace.