Welcome, thank you for visiting!
Running Past is a South East London local history blog – there are occasional posts on running, but in the main, the ‘running’ element is the means of transporting me to the places mentioned in posts. I am an adopted Londoner, growing up in a former mining town, but I have lived in what used to be the grounds of Lee Place (below) for around 25 years.
Running is a good means of exploring the city, it enables me to be a slightly faster flâneur (Baudelaire’s stroller and observer of the city streets) – I still notice the things I would see walking, but I cover a bit more distance. My historical interest comes with a geographical overlay – I am fascinated by landscapes, particularly the features that have been lost or hidden by the growth of the city.
I write about a variety of things, although there are several clear strands:
- The local history of the area I live in – the Lee/Hither Green borders, particularly
- the large country houses and their links to slavery;
- the farms that pre-dated urbanisation;
- the pubs, cinemas and churches where people came together
- Elements of the urban landscape that have been ‘lost’ – particularly churches, which, as an atheist, is maybe slightly strange;
- Early athletics – particularly the ‘pedestrians’ who walked prodigious distances in the early 19th century and their professional running counterparts from the middle of the same century;
- Some of the radicals who made south east London their home – such as the anarchist and geographer, Peter Kropotkin, who lived in Bromley; and
- The River Quaggy – I am following the river and its (often buried and diverted) tributaries – I hope to finish this in 2016 and will then ‘move on’ to the Ravensbourne.
You will find a few posts about running, particularly races I compete in, although over the last year or so I have tended to Tweet rather than blog about them – this wasn’t really a deliberate choice but probably relates to my times getting slower – a combination of the aging and the recovery process from having my neck broken in early 2015 by a Fiat Punto whose driver failed to understand the significance of a red traffic light next to a pedestrian crossing.
I hope you find what you are looking for, sorry if you didn’t – I can sometimes tell from the WordPress statistics package that there have been disappointments – doing a Google search looking for ‘Haunted Catford’ and then clicking on a link for a Catford ghost sign was never going to end well.
Do interact! If you think that I have got something wrong or your own local knowledge is better than mine so that a post can be improved, please do tell me, I like feedback! Comments are easy to make, you only have to register once (you can use your Facebook, Twitter or Google login), the first comment will be moderated so make take a while to appear.
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Thanks for visiting!