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Report Back: A Field Guide to Malden Road, NW5

January 16, 2011

The Olympics is a showcase for London – a chance to tell the story of London to the world. Well, what better place to start than your street…

I live in Malden Road, North London, on the edge of NW5 – it’s a weird no-mans land between Kentish Town, Belsize Park, Hampstead and Camden. Much of the stuff I found was pretty rank (I had to use a piece of cling film to protect my fingers).

1. Pens from the betting shop

There’s a William Hill betting shop beneath my house. These are the pens people fill their betting slips out with. I don’t know why they get chucked on the ground, but they do.

2. A cigarette end from outside the shelter

A bit further down the road there’s a shelter. There are always people hanging around outside smoking. This is a cigarette stub. It’s a roll-up made with a filter. Lots of people in London smoke roll-ups these days as they are cheaper than normal cigarettes – in the last 5 years filters is have become commonplace.

3. A Weed


There’s hardly anything green on the street- especially at this time of year. These weeds are hardy though and were growing on a verge out of reach of street cleaners.

4. Sprig of Rosemary

Another hardy green thing. Gardening and growing things is fashionable. Every year that passes there seem to be more people with window boxes and flower pots growing herbs, tomatoes and the like. This is a sprig of rosemary I found near the bus top – reckon it might have been propagated by a guerrilla gardener. There was no way I would cook with this. It’s filthy.

5. Chicken Bones

Down the end of the road there’s a junction, a pub and some fast food joints. I don’t like walking across it dark. There’s always agro. Really didn’t want to pick these up, but hey, I had a report to file.


Come on now, don’t be shy! File a report from your street. Send 5 things photographed in the same way to Include a bit of info about what they are and where you’re street is. Try and pick things that have a story. More instructions here.

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