Hear incredible stories from the Londoners who work, love, and dream among the gravestones in our sound-rich oral history radio feature. We were commissioned by the Royal Parks to bury ourself in a little house in Brompton Cemetery in 2019, and gathered the stories here.
Part 1: "The Quick" is an ancient word for the living and tender flesh, beloved of Wild West gunslingers. Of London’s “Magnificent Seven” Cemeteries, Brompton Cemetery is the rebellious little sister. In the 1970s and 1980s, as the narrators recall, she was a cheeky shortcut between Chelsea’s counterculture and the Leather bars of Earls Court. Brompton’s “outlaw spirit” has been tamed, but she remains a sanctuary for the wild-at-heart, and for wildlife. Soaring above the human voices, you’ll hear crows conspiring and cicadas shimmering.
"The Dead" ventures below ground. Brompton Cemetery is home to over 200,000 permanent residents ranging from Emmeline Pankhurst to newly buried infants. It’s also a great place to “time travel,” as H.G. Wells discovered. You can keep appointments with the past, or with future events that are waiting for you to find your way to them at last.
The full archive of oral history recordings will soon be available at Bishopsgate Library.
Commissioned by the Royal Parks.