Walking Wandsworth – Fear & Memory Walk

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AKA the Mothers’ Day Walk – the walk first broadcast on 11th March 2018 was suggested by MS Karamat, a Wandsworth resident and author. MS Karamat contacted Dom Dalston with an idea for a walk starting in Clapham Junction and finishing in Vauxhall.

Here is the route for the walk.


Look, you can see that it’s just one long curved line. There were no left or right turns. It’s the quickest way to go from Clapham Junction to Vauxhall.

The walk is named after a book project that MS Karamat is working on. MS Karamat is interviewing a collection of 50 cultural figures asking them to tell us what makes them fearless in their own lives against the backdrop of our culture of fear. These interviews will then be published along with a separate book of black and white photographs.

MS Karamat talks about that on the walk and also she talks about the shops, buildings and architecture on the way.

We stopped at Puppet Planet, 787 Wandsworth Road.

The proprietor, Lesley Butler talked to us about her different names and how she had performed recently at the Stockwell Playhouse.

Further along the route we saw some colourful murals painted by local artists.


After that we stopped in at The Stockwell Playhouse and met with Sophie Barthel and Matt Bentley of  The Mayhem Theatre Group. Coincidentally they were putting on a production of Avenue Q, a play that involves puppets and it was at the same theatre where Leslie from Puppet Planet had performed.

Another coincidence was that a production of Hamp was about to start. It’s a play set during the first World War where the titular character is being tried for desertion. It’s a coincidence because I’ve also got a part in a play set during the WWI that will be performed by the Parish Players in May.

We talked to James Thacker, the director of Hamp. It will be performed between March 14-17th at the Stockwell Playhouse. To get tickets visit www.stockwellph.com and remember that if you are ex-service personnel or British Legion members you can get tickets at the concessionary rate.

We then look at what we thought might have once been a 13th Century castle.


Finally we stopped at a very fine Brunswick House Restaurant and architectural salvage emporium. MS Karamat introduced me to the chef patron Jackson Boxer and he told me everything there was to know about the restaurant.

After the interview I saw a big illustration on the wall and it showed that at one point a piece of wasteland had been transformed into a vegetable patch by guerrilla gardeners and now it is a community garden space. This reminded me of Nicola and Hazel’s walk from last week when we found out about The Wandle Trail guerrilla gardener.

This is the text of the poem I wrote for my mum that was inspired by the walk.

You gave me all I am
Even though you had less than a whole to give.
What I don’t have
You gave but I refused,
Through my
weakness and
You’ve stayed my number one fan.

I’ve tried many times
To run out on my own foolish way
And everytime when I’ve crashed back down,
Prodigally, you’ve prodded me on.
With infinite patience
You’ve guided me
And I’ve always said you were wrong
Then after making the mistake
You tried to prevent
I’ve got the arrogance
To blame you
That I was born.

Rinse and repeat ten thousand times
Until I’ve listened to you for once
And stumbled upon success.

And today I got lucky
Using the words you gave
To pay you tribute.
Yet still.
Forever in your debt.

Of the all the gifts you’ve given
The greatest gift by far
Is not to fear making mistakes
They make you who you are.

Your love kisses it better
Your love kisses it better
So much love you lavished
will live on in me.

Back in the Wandsworth Radio studios Felix Rackow was with his father Patrick and Revd Canon Philippa Boardman MBE who are trying to raise funds to restore St Mary Magdalene Church Trinity Road, Wandsworth. They are setting off from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral and the pilgrimage is going to take several days. To sponsor them please go to Big Walk to Canterbury Fundraising Page.

Next week Walking Wandsworth will be live on Wandsworth Radio at the later time 9pm. It’s the last in the series and our special guest will be Ninette Finch with a fascinating film walk.

12 thoughts on “Walking Wandsworth – Fear & Memory Walk

  1. I believe this was a memorable walk,will love to read the responses of the people interviewed by Karamat on what makes them fearless in their lives,I’m sure it will be intriguing.

  2. This walk must have been a really fearless walk. I envy your walking and having to meet drama personalities. It was a treat and it makes you lose sense of the time spent walking.

  3. This is a very nice walk indeed. Seeing that there are a lot of things to see along the way. I like how the route is easy and people who are not very good with directions certainly won’t get lost.

  4. That is a big coincidence about the WWI play. Great poem! I’m sure any mom would find it very touching.

  5. Good poem. I like it how this is free verse as suppose to rhymes. That would have taken more effort.

  6. I believe this was really a memorable and fearless walk and it was good that the message about the threat of pollution was shared with the locals.I love your well written poem too

  7. a very nice walk and very inspiring. i love the stopovers specially that wall art. and yes i agree with the previous comments would love to know what the 50 individuals answer in what makes them fearless.

  8. This walk is so inspiring. It will be written down in history and will be remembered by people.

  9. It’s a good thing that you got to talk with some locals while traveling. You get to learn about the history as well.

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