A Must-Have London Book

London, Reading & Writing

In 1948 Peter Jackson sketched London oddities for the Evening News, which was then a broadsheet (as was the Evening Standard). His collected works were published in two volumes, ‘London Explorer’ and ‘London Is Stranger Than Fiction’.

These volumes are filled with forgotten bits about the city, including where you could see a sedan chair phone box, a pub which never closes, a clock that goes backwards, a church whipping post or a memorial to mice. Sadly most of the quirky things have vanished, but there are great puzzles, like this one;

Which area has four underground stations named after points of the compass?

The original books have been highly collectable for many years now, but finally they’ve been republished in a single volume from Bear Alley Books here for the ridiculously reasonable price of £14.99. Do yourself a favour. Find out where you can see 11 clocks by standing in one position on a London street – they’re great reads.

6 comments on “A Must-Have London Book”

  1. Derek says:

    Ordering a copy of this now. The underground stations have to be Acton, but the clocks have me foxed.

  2. admin says:

    Well done for Acton, Derek – I suspect some of the clocks have now gone!

  3. Reuben says:

    Love this book, been dipping into it for the past month (it’s too good to read all at once). I do spend much of it wondering “is that true?” and “is that still there?” For example has that tree in Cheapside mysteriously died allowing developers to build on it (page 7)? Charming book.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Could the clocks be in Seven Dials where the seven faced clock is in the centre of the square? I don’t remember if there are other clocks there as well, though. That clock is post WWII, of course, so possibly not.

  5. Alan Morgan says:

    Crickey, I go away for a week and there’re London questions I’ve missed. I suspect with the clocks it involves being up high? Bit niggled I don’t just know, it’s going to nag at me all day now…

  6. jan says:

    are the clocks in the city Of London? i know you can see loads of clocks and weathervanes from the Monument but it can’t be that can it its 2 much of a swizzer jan

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