Monday, 7 February 2011

a field student locates his psycho tin opener

The path which ‘cycles and walks’ between Empress Avenue and Cavendish Road does not have, as far as I have looked, name signs. I imagine all sorts of names do exist for this path, ranging from the local, private and informal to the public and official (a man who knows). I, at the limits of my imagination, have been referring to the path as,'The Ching Path’. Some of the personalities in ‘Lost and Found in E17’ are not averse to sign-less paths and have considered a concerted campaign of name sign removal to remystify my Shangri La. Of the other personalities, some have doubts about mystification and the criminal implications of illegally removing or vandalising public property. This might be a situation in which there is intra personal dissonance - a divided self of multiple viewpoints. In this instance, despite the dissonance, I'm happy to report the law abiding and civilly responsible have won out.

In, a field student draws a blank map, I gave an account of some personal efforts to find the definitive map and statement for the London Borough of Waltham Forest. This is/was an attempt to locate who is an authority on footpaths and how they exercise their power (not, I imagine, by walking). My dissonance has involved a crisis of confidentiality, or guilt at being a party to privileged information. I have been frantically searching for the psycho-tin-opener with which to spill the beans. What was it doing in the bathroom (I mean shower-room) cabinet?

Here then, is a copy of some of the communication I received following personal enquiries about the LBWF definitive map and statement:


Definitive map -- public right's of way and statement.‏


........ B........ (LBWF Highway Information Officer)
From: .......... B........ (
Sent: 26 January 2011 11:17:13

Dear ................... (One Stop officer)

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the above.

The Definitive Map is spread over approx 30 large maps.

If you wish to view all the maps I can arrange for them to be brought to the nearest one stop shop to you, or to Sycamore House which is within the Town Hall complex.

Please could you contact me so we can discuss your requirements and arrange a date for you to view.

Yours sincerely

........... B...........

............ B...........
Highway Information Officer
Street Naming/Numbering Officer
Environment & Regeneration
Asset Management
Low Hall.
Argall Avenue.
Leyton. London. E10 7AS
Tel: 020 8496 1034

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this e-mail is intended only for the individual, persons or entity to whom it is addressed.
It may contain privileged and confidential information and, if you are not the intended recipient, you must not read, copy or distribute it, nor take any action in reliance upon it. If you have received this e-mail in error, please inform the sender as soon as possible and delete the e-mail from your computer.

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This is a curious communication. I don't recall seeing Street Naming and Numbering, on the council website.

In order to maintain some confidentiality I have removed the name of the Waltham Forest Direct/One Stop/LBWF officers to whom it was also addressed. I will contact ....... B......., keeper of the names, to make an appointment to view the maps. I assume the invitation is made to me.

How large is ‘large’? I’m intrigued. That there are ‘approx’ 30 is equally intriguing. If the map sheets are the size, e.g. of a 1:50000 Ordnance Survey, Landranger Map, the definitive map of LBWF could cover quite a lot of ground - space, if all laid out, for some performance art mapping in the manner of Yves Klein may be. As there is just one set of maps I imagine ........ B........ would not appreciate action body painting upon the paper terrain, even if some of that terrain is drawn blank and relevantly dated.

Perhaps the definitive map of Waltham Forest could be created in the manner of ‘The World’ of Dubai, which Will Self has written about in, Psycho Too. There are some large faded photographs of ‘The World’ in a shop front on Shoreditch High Street. ‘Waltham Forest’ could be rendered on the Arcade site, or ‘the dogs’ although those sites may not match the scale appropriate for this borough’s planning shenanigans.

For what planning purposes would I be requesting a view of the map/s? I have an idea to make a collection of Walthamstow’s public footpaths, embodied in different ways which I could then reassemble to invent some new environments specifically for the walker. Quite a while ago I listened to a radio documentary about the Rat Park Experiment. More information about this can be accessed here

With all the fragments of paths brought together to create such an experimental place, glimpses of Heaven (E17) would be there to be had.

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