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The estate agent’s guide to artisan baking: Iain Sinclair interviewed

Interview by John Rogers.

I’m looking for somewhere to set up my camera near Hoxton Station, I could also do with a second coffee. Do I gamble that Iain Sinclair will not turn up early, or do I delay that additional caffeine hit? I gamble and as I return to the station five minutes before our rendezvous time, there he is.

We find a bench that allows me to have the station sign in frame. I go to reference my two pages of typed notes, carefully assembled from a binge back-to-back reading of London Overground and Black Apples of Gower but an easterly gust of wind hoists them into the sky and over the high wall into the garden of the Geffrye Museum. Iain laughs. Don’t worry I assure him, the impressions of both books are firmly stamped on my mind, I probably had too many questions anyway –- we’d freewheel it, follow the drift of conversation.

When the wide-ranging chat was done Iain wanted to walk along to Haggerston Baths, a much-loved local resource awaiting the next developer. He was also keen to show me the railway arch mentioned in the book, “a good symbol of what swims through these caverns beneath the railway, multi-coloured fish quotations, three or four thousand quid a pop instead of a plate of jellied eels. You can go from your flat, dump your bicycle, have a good work-out, get an appetite, make yourself a better person with some artisan bread, which brings you neatly to Haggerston Station.”

John Rogers is author of This Other London – Adventures in the Overlooked City (2013) and director of the documentaries The London Perambulator (2009) and Make Your Own Damn Art (2012)

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015.