London Gets A Creepy New Street



The SF novel The Day of the Triffids has links to Hampstead in North London, and is set to be celebrated with a new road name, for an alley that will be opened after being shut for years.

Author John Wyndham’s 1951 book tells the story of how the ambulatory poison-spewing plants take advantage of a blinded population, and features a dramatic scene where its hero escapes a grisly end by fleeing through an alleyway in the area. The passageway is going to be named ‘Triffid Alley’.

An English professor, David Ketterer, who wrote a biography of Wyndham, identified the alley he was referring to as a walkway that runs behind a parade of shops in South End Green, near the heath. In the book, the hero is helping a group of blind people to raid a store for food. This is the Green’s Co-Op, which is now a coffee shop. The Triffids come and he escapes by climbing into the alleyway and stealing a Daimler from a garage workshop.

This suggests all kinds of other ideas for genre-related renaming of streets. All foolish genre street names welcome!

14 comments on “London Gets A Creepy New Street”

  1. Helen Martin says:

    The triffids have haunted me for years. Will any genre do?

  2. Dave says:

    Already done … Fowler Road in East London 😉

  3. Jo W says:

    Triffids always come to my mind whenever I see a road warning sign – Heavy Plant Crossing!

  4. Chris Lancaster says:

    In case there are any Wyndham fans who haven’t heard if it, the authorised sequel Night of the Triffids by Simon Clark is well worth a read.

    Out of interest, one of my favourite “cosy apocalypse” novels is Wyndham’s excellent The Kraken Wakes. Can anybody recommend anything similar by other authors? I’m guessing the answer is “no”, but there’s no harm asking…

  5. admin says:

    Cosy Apocalypse is a phrase unknown to me – would Quatermass 2 and 3 count?

  6. Dave says:

    Cheers Chris Lancaster, didn’t know about that …now purchased for my kindle.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Cosy Apocalypse – “Good Omens” by Terry Pratchett and what’s his name.

  8. Clunking Fist says:

    Travelling around the street of Bermondsey and Surrey Quays on 11 August 1999: THAT felt like a day of the triffrds. There was little traffic and few people about. From memory, everyone went down the pub to watch on tv.

  9. Clunking Fist says:

    Solar eclipse I meant, not actual triffids.

  10. Chris Lancaster says:

    I’ve been using the phrase “cosy apocalypse” for years, as have several people that I know. It seems that the correct phrase is “cosy catastrophe”; alliteration wins again! John Christopher also falls into that category.

    I’m not sure that “Down to the Sunless Sea” does, however, unless you read the American version. It’s always bemused me that the ending in the original was deemed too bleak for an American audience, so it was changed for that market only!

  11. Larry Holloman says:

    The Kraken Wakes – The Drowned World, JG Ballard, The Secret Masters, Gerald Kersh, ~ Bury Him Darkly, John Blackburn. Remember Quartermass and the Pit? I saw it here in the States when I was a kid and it scared me badly.

    I cannot wait to read The Burning Man. Love love love them.

  12. John Griffin says:

    I’m not sure there’s anything cosy about The Kraken Wakes. I always thought it nicely bleak.

  13. Richard Kelly says:

    Has David Ketterer’s biography of John Wyndham been published in book form? If not, will it be?

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