The Barnsbury Vortex By Chris Lockie

This post is another from Chris Lockie who writes things for fun and money on his website: It was originally posted there, but he’s agreed to share it with all of you. You can also read his earlier post here


There is no single part of London that I can get lost in as easily as Barnsbury.

Clearly I’m talking about the London north of the river. I can get off the tube at any station south of the water, walk for 500 metres in any direction and be more oblivious to my location than a senile old dog, twitching as it defecates in the corner of the room yet again to the chagrin of its luckless owner.

Thankfully only a senile old dog would voluntarily go south of the river anyway.

And don’t let me give you the impression that I happily get lost in Barnsbury, in some wistful Narnia-style adventure in the lovingly tended pastures of a tree-lined London suburb. Certainly not. I mean lost in the traditional sense of “Just around this corner there’s a…right so it’s the next corner and there’ll be a…a…wait, is that the sea?”

I think I’ve worked out what the issue is. The area between Highbury & Islington and Caledonian Road lacks the one true staple of a London suburb – the humble public house, which for a man such as myself is the only sure-fire way of navigating the twisting, swirling street’s of this brutally confusing city. There are so few pubs in and around Barnsbury that I once walked through here desperate for a leak and started eyeing up trees longingly, like that same dog before the mind went blank.

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