Wanderer at Large: Belfast & Co. Antrim

A tour guide’s favourite UK & Ireland places. Sponsored by Your London Tours. This autumn, Visit Britain, the marketing arm of the British tourist industry, launched its ‘Great British Staycation Campaign’ to encourage people to holiday in the UK. Soul City Wanderer (aka Frank Molloy) is one of the UK’s most accredited and experienced tourContinue reading “Wanderer at Large: Belfast & Co. Antrim”

Soul City Wandering – A London Pilgrimage

AMAZON TRAVEL BOOKS TOP-TEN BESTSELLER – 5-STAR RATED 2020 sees the release of Frank Molloy‘s Soul City Wandering, a book that encourages readers to rediscover their urban surroundings. Published by Choir Press priced at £9.99. It is available to order from the following online bookstores: Amazon Waterstones Book Depository “A great book… a great guide.Continue reading “Soul City Wandering – A London Pilgrimage”

Wanderer at Large: Killarney & Ring of Kerry

A tour guide’s favourite UK & Ireland places. Sponsored by Your London Tours. This autumn, Visit Britain, the marketing arm of the British tourist industry, launched its ‘Great British Staycation Campaign’ to encourage people to holiday in the UK. Soul City Wanderer (aka Frank Molloy) is one of the UK’s most accredited and experienced tourContinue reading “Wanderer at Large: Killarney & Ring of Kerry”

Wanderer at Large: Kilkenny

A tour guide’s favourite UK & Ireland places. Sponsored by Your London Tours. This autumn, Visit Britain, the marketing arm of the British tourist industry, launched its ‘Great British Staycation Campaign’ to encourage people to holiday in the UK. Soul City Wanderer (aka Frank Molloy) is one of the UK’s most accredited and experienced tourContinue reading “Wanderer at Large: Kilkenny”

Wanderer at Large: County Wicklow

A tour guide’s favourite UK & Ireland places. Sponsored by Your London Tours. This autumn, Visit Britain, the marketing arm of the British tourist industry, launched its ‘Great British Staycation Campaign’ to encourage people to holiday in the UK. Soul City Wanderer (aka Frank Molloy) is one of the UK’s most accredited and experienced tourContinue reading “Wanderer at Large: County Wicklow”

Wanderer at Large: Dublin

A tour guide’s favourite UK & Ireland places. Sponsored by Your London Tours. This autumn, Visit Britain, the marketing arm of the British tourist industry, launched its ‘Great British Staycation Campaign’ to encourage people to holiday in the UK. Soul City Wanderer (aka Frank Molloy) is one of the UK’s most accredited and experienced tourContinue reading “Wanderer at Large: Dublin”

London Walk: Ghosts of Swinging London

Taken from the book Soul City Wandering by Frank Molloy.Available online from Amazon and Waterstones priced £9.99 Official Event of Open House London 2020 INTRODUCTION From Tin Pan Alley to Carnaby Street, this walk covers 12 stops and takes roughly 2 hours to complete. The walk starts from outside the main entrance to Tottenham CourtContinue reading “London Walk: Ghosts of Swinging London”

Psychogeography: A DIY Guide

“The streets of London have their map; but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?” Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room. You Can Go Your Own WayRooted in the 1950s, Guy Debord’s ‘Situationists’ are still considered the most influential group in the field of psychogeography. But ‘group’ is theContinue reading “Psychogeography: A DIY Guide”

Psychogeography: A Brief History

“I had often heard of the world’s seven wonders in my reading days at school but I found in London alone thousands.” John Clare. Lost In WanderingSome say that ‘psychogeography’ was just a trendy urban buzzword from the 2000s. Overused to the point of exhaustion. Others say think again, as it’s been with us, inContinue reading “Psychogeography: A Brief History”

Psychogeography: A Brief Definition

IntroductionPsychogeography: a comparatively modern label for a theme the new book ‘Soul City Wandering‘ seeks to embrace. But what does it mean? In the 1950s, the French writer Guy Debord defined it as the interpretation of “specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” In otherContinue reading “Psychogeography: A Brief Definition”

London Books: Song For Guy (1066, All That and More!)

The Norman Conquest of 1066 is often held up as the great milestone of British History. Guy’s Song (Carmen Widonis) is a Latin verse medieval poem written in 1067 by Bishop Guy d’Amiens. It is a rare contemporary record of the Conquest. Soul City Wanderer briefs on an extraordinary book on the whole subject byContinue reading “London Books: Song For Guy (1066, All That and More!)”

London Walk: Ghosts of Swinging London

Taken from the book Soul City Wandering by Frank Molloy.Available online from Amazon and Waterstones priced £9.99 Official Event of Open House London 2020 INTRODUCTION From Tin Pan Alley to Carnaby Street, this walk covers 12 stops and takes roughly 2 hours to complete. The walk starts from outside the main entrance to Tottenham CourtContinue reading “London Walk: Ghosts of Swinging London”

London People: Hans Sloane?

The British Museum will partially reopen after lockdown on August 27. But just before beforehand, they announced the removal of the bust of its founder Hans Sloane from its prominent position in the King’s Library. A calculated move designed to attract the most publicity before reopening? Soul City Wanderer briefs on the man the museumContinue reading “London People: Hans Sloane?”

London Places: The Lurkin’ Gherkin

20 years ago, on August 23, 2000, planning permission was granted for the building that became known as London’s ‘Gherkin’. Intruding on the London city skyline like some looming figure from a Terry Gilliam animation, Soul City Wanderer briefs on the Lurkin’ Gherkin. The Gherkin was built on the site of the old Baltic ExchangeContinue reading “London Places: The Lurkin’ Gherkin”

London People: God’s Englishman Revisited

Christopher Hill’s classic history biography God’s Englishman was published 50 years ago in 1970. It tells the story of the 17th century English revolutionary leader Oliver Cromwell. Soul City Wanderer briefs. Split into 10 chapters, the first chapter of God’s Englishman acts as an introduction. The next three reveal the first 50 years of OliverContinue reading “London People: God’s Englishman Revisited”

London Places: The Blitz Before The Blitz – Part 3

As part of the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, Soul City Wanderer tells the incredible story of the first WWII bombing raid on Greater London, August 15th 1940.Here in part three, he notes the controversial nature of the attack, and challenges the received historic interpretation of events. As such a calamitous event, forContinue reading “London Places: The Blitz Before The Blitz – Part 3”

London Places: The Blitz Before The Blitz – Part 2

As part of the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, Soul City Wanderer tells the incredible story of the first WWII bombing raid on Greater London, August 15th 1940.This is part two, where he explains how and where the attack took place. At about 6:30pm, on August 15th 1940, a huge formation of GermanContinue reading “London Places: The Blitz Before The Blitz – Part 2”

London Places: The Blitz Before The Blitz – Part 1

As part of the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, Soul City Wanderer tells the incredible story of the first WWII bombing raid on Greater London, August 15th 1940. In part 1, he reveals the elite German bombing squadron that were behind the attack. In part 2, the story of the raid itself. InContinue reading “London Places: The Blitz Before The Blitz – Part 1”

London Places: Five Days in London

From tomorrow, to commemorate the Battle of Britain 80th anniversary, Soul City Wanderer will present a thee-part blog: The Blitz before the Blitz. As a prelude, here is a review of a book that concisely lays out the kind of pressure the country was under eighty years ago. I picked up Five Days in LondonContinue reading “London Places: Five Days in London”

London People: The Rise & Fall of Thomas Carlyle

200 years ago, a 25-year-old Scottish school teacher wrote a letter predicting his future rise to prominence as a famous philosopher. Indeed, he also went onto become a noted writer, mathematician and historian. What he did not predict, however, was his fall from grace. Soul City Wanderer briefs on Thomas Carlyle. Thomas Carlyle was bornContinue reading “London People: The Rise & Fall of Thomas Carlyle”

London People: The Bard is Back!

Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon is to re-open tomorrow, August 1.Soul City Wanderer took advantage of lockdown to catch up on his books on the bard.He recommends two fairly recent bestsellers, both by authors from across the Atlantic. James Shapiro Contested Will (Faber & Faber, 2010) Even though I’ve had this one on my shelf forContinue reading “London People: The Bard is Back!”

A Forgotten Woman of British History

800 years ago, the body of one of the most powerful but little-known women in British history was buried. She was of noble Norman-Welsh and Irish ancestry, and one of the wealthiest heiresses in the medieval world. Soul City Wanderer reveals more. In July 1220, the body of Isabel de Clare was buried under theContinue reading “A Forgotten Woman of British History”

London Places: London’s Hidden Genius

200 years ago, one of Britain’s most talented designers was born. Today, his greatest legacy lies hidden in the heart of London. Soul City Wanderer salutes this somewhat forgotten genius, and reveals a rare opportunity to view his seldom seen masterpiece. Ask any informed group of Londoners to list the city’s greatest architects and youContinue reading “London Places: London’s Hidden Genius”

UK Places: Bristol & Brunel

The south-west city of Bristol recently made news headlines with the controversy around its past links to slavery. But the story highlighted how the port’s trading past is inextricably linked with its growth and development, and in particular with the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 50 years ago this month, his famous ship, the SSContinue reading “UK Places: Bristol & Brunel”

London People: 100 Years Ago: ‘King of Chefs’ Auguste Escoffier Retires

The great French chef Auguste Escoffier retired 100 years ago this month from the Carlton Hotel in the Haymarket. He was the radical revolutionary cook who shook up the whole restaurant business and dragged it into the modern era. Along the way, he formed an unlikely friendship with a sharp London girl, who was noContinue reading “London People: 100 Years Ago: ‘King of Chefs’ Auguste Escoffier Retires”

London Walk: Ghosts of Swinging London

From Tinpan Alley to Carnaby Street INTRODUCTION This walk starts from outside the main entrance to Tottenham Court Road tube station, on the corner of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, and finishes near Oxford Circus tube station. The walk covers 12 stops and takes roughly 2 hours to complete. Please be aware that youContinue reading “London Walk: Ghosts of Swinging London”

London Places: By George – It’s Back!

Today, after 15 weeks of lockdown, an old London friend returns: The George Inn in Southwark. Soul City Wanderer notes his personal attachment for this famous pub, and its historic significance. Back in the 1980’s, I started my illustrious career in a warehouse in Borough, the area immediately south of London Bridge. As a health-consciousContinue reading “London Places: By George – It’s Back!”

London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 5

Carlton House Terrace, in the heart of London, has had a major impact on the city’s environment and on world history. Soul City Wanderer invites you to read more of its fascinating story in the final instalment of a five-part article running this week. When the German ambassador Ribbentrop moved into the existing embassy atContinue reading “London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 5”

London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 4

Carlton House Terrace, in the heart of London, has had a major impact on the city’s environment and on world history. Soul City Wanderer invites you to read more of its fascinating story in the fourth instalment of a five-part article running this week. In February 1938, Joachim von Ribbentrop was officially recalled to GermanyContinue reading “London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 4”

London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 3

Carlton House Terrace, in the heart of London, has had a major impact on the city’s environment and on world history. Soul City Wanderer invites you to read more of its fascinating story in the third instalment of a five-part article running this week. In 1937, after all hopes of a pro-German king & queenContinue reading “London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 3”

London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 2

Carlton House Terrace, in the heart of London, has had a major impact on the city’s environment and on world history. Soul City Wanderer invites you to read more of its fascinating story in the second instalment of a five-part article running this week. When the incumbent German ambassador to the UK died at theContinue reading “London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 2”

London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 1

Carlton House Terrace, in the heart of London, has had a major impact on the city’s environment and on world history. Soul City Wanderer invites you to read more of its fascinating story in the first of a five-part article running this week. Just off the Mall in Westminster, next to the statue of ‘theContinue reading “London Places: The Carlton Conspiracy Part 1”

London People: Sherlock’s Psychogeographic Adventure

Following on from last week’s Sherlock Holmes series on this blog, Soul City Wanderer speculates on whether Arthur Conan Doyle had endowed his fictional detective with a natural sense of psychogeography. Relying on a specific sense can be part of the psychogeographic experience. The writer Will Self, who taught a psychogeography module at Brunel University,Continue reading “London People: Sherlock’s Psychogeographic Adventure”

London People: Sherlock’s Grand Day Out – An Elementary London Tour

Sherlock’s Grand Day Out is a self-guided tour of the famous fictional detective’s London haunts. But how can we claim it to be the most ‘elementary’ of Sherlock tours? Well, first of all, not only is the Soul City Wanderer an old Holmes aficionado, he is also a top qualified London tour guide. Secondly, whileContinue reading “London People: Sherlock’s Grand Day Out – An Elementary London Tour”

London People: ‘Sherlock’s’ Homes

Tomorrow, for Sherlock Holmes fans everywhere, Soul City Wanderer will present Sherlock’s Grand London Day Out, a definitive tour of the detective’s haunts. As a prelude, here is a short essay on the residencies of the Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Scotland on May 22nd, 1859 toContinue reading “London People: ‘Sherlock’s’ Homes”

London People: 1920: Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Annus Horribilis’

One hundred years ago, the reputation of the legendary creator of Sherlock Holmes began to take a tumble. The Soul City Wanderer investigates. Perhaps it was inevitable. There had always been an alternate side to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which would led him towards controversy in his later life. After he became an established detectiveContinue reading “London People: 1920: Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Annus Horribilis’”

London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 2)

The second part of the Soul City Wanderer’s response to detective fiction writer Anthony Horowitz’s claim that Sherlock Holmes had “no interest in music”. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box: Paganini. While investigating the case of the Cardboard Box, Holmes and Watson are having lunch somewhere near Croydon, as you do. Holmes is once againContinue reading “London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 2)”

London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 1)

Last week, Soul City Wanderer watched a programme on the Sky Arts channel entitled Sherlock Holmes vs Arthur Conan Doyle. It was about the author’s strained relationship with his own literary creation. One of the contributors was Anthony Horowitz, an English writer who specialises in the detective mystery genre. In 2011, Horowitz was officially endorsedContinue reading “London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 1)”

London Life: Return of the Speakeasy (3)

Soul City Wanderer is enticed to a unique lockdown experience, an illicit drink at a south London ‘speakeasy’, where he encounters a modern secret society. This is part 3 of 3. Inside a clandesdine ‘speakeasy’ held in a south London pub, I am intrigued with the secret society I have encountered. My guide is happyContinue reading “London Life: Return of the Speakeasy (3)”

London Life: Return of the Speakeasy (2)

Soul City Wanderer is enticed to a unique lockdown experience, an illicit drink at a south London ‘speakeasy’, where he encounters a modern secret society. This is part 2 of 3. So, I have managed to gain entry into a clandesdine ‘speakeasy’ which is being held in a south London pub. A friend in theContinue reading “London Life: Return of the Speakeasy (2)”

London Life: Return of the Speakeasy (1)

Soul City Wanderer is enticed to a unique lockdown experience, an illicit drink at a south London ‘speakeasy’, where he encounters a modern secret society. This is part 1 of 3. A few weeks ago, in my lockdown boredom, I read Empire of Booze by Henry Jeffreys (Unbound Press, 2016). See review below. It’s aContinue reading “London Life: Return of the Speakeasy (1)”

London People: Thomas Cromwell – Back in the Game

Historical Londoner Thomas Cromwell seems in vogue at the moment, not least since the release of Hilary Mantel’s final novel in her Wolf Hall trilogy, ‘The Mirror and the Light’ (Fourth Estate 2020). For a balanced biography of a Londoner whose political shenanigans still ring down the ages, Soul City Wanderer recommends Thomas Cromwell: TheContinue reading “London People: Thomas Cromwell – Back in the Game”

London Places: The British Museum – The Exhibit That Never Was

Soul City Wanderer reveals the story of one of the greatest museum exhibits to never see the light of day: a football shirt. In 2010, the British Museum in conjunction with BBC Radio 4, launched a joint project entitled A History of the World in 100 Objects. The radio series was written and presented byContinue reading “London Places: The British Museum – The Exhibit That Never Was”

London People: Samuel Pepys – Forced Entry

During the early lockdown, social media was awash with a quote from the mid-17th century commentator Samuel Pepys. It was purportedly from a diary entry he made during the Great Plague of London, the bubonic pestilence which broke out in the capital in 1665. The shared quote read: On hearing ill rumour that Londoners mayContinue reading “London People: Samuel Pepys – Forced Entry”

London People: Freddie Mercury – Top 10 West End Haunts

The Soul City Wanderer hunts out 10 places in London’s West End where Queen and Freddie Mercury could have been spotted back in their heyday. Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue WC2: The video for A Kind of Magic was filmed here.  Heaven: Under the Arches, Villiers Street, WC2. Freddie’s favourite London nightclub haunt back in theContinue reading “London People: Freddie Mercury – Top 10 West End Haunts”

London Life: Through the Mosaic of London

Welcome to the world of the Soul City Wanderer. Through walks, articles and ideas, this blog invites readers to re-engage with the capital, its streets, its structures, and its soul. Enjoy. Soul City Wanderer is the alias of London-born journalist and author Frank Molloy. A writer on the city’s history and culture, he has anContinue reading “London Life: Through the Mosaic of London”