Magic & Mystery in the Mundane – An Exploration of Uncanny Places

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WORDS & PICTURES: Gareth E. Rees This is an edited Transcript of the talk I gave at the Hastings Storytelling Festival, Wednesday 9th November 2016. I want to tell you a story. It’s about how an erotic encounter with an

Uncanny Landscapes: From Pylon Love & Mad Benches to Car Park Epiphanies

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WORDS: Gareth E. Rees EVENT: Uncanny Landscapes at The Hastings Storytelling Festival, November 9th, 7pm, Havelock Road, Hastings (FREE) I’ve been kindly invited to speak at this year’s Hastings Storytelling Festival. Because it’s a festival of storytelling, I am going to

Outer Space Travel In Manchester’s Makro

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LOCATION: Manchester WORDS: Gareth E. Rees I only remember Makro because of its car park, the space outside the place. The interior of Manchester’s warehouse cash ‘n’ carry store was forbidden to children under twelve, so my parents would leave

An Unreliable Guide to London

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LOCATION: Erm…. WORDS: Gareth E Rees If you’re a regular reader of Unofficial Britain, you’ll know that I like to walk around chain store car parks, writing things down. It’s something of an obsession. On this website I’ve described my

The Monoliths of Cribbs Causeway Car Park, Bristol

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LOCATION: Cribbs Causeway, Bristol WORDS: Gareth E. Rees “Experience the joy of 7,000 free parking spaces.” There’s something evangelical about this declaration on the Cribbs Causeway mall website. The joy of parking spaces. You know what they mean, too. Oh,

Landscape Punk to Supermarket Car Parks: Unofficial Britain Live in Stoke Newington


  Unofficial Britain was honoured to host an event at Influx Press’s day at The Stoke Newington Literary Festival, 6th June 2015. Below is a recording of that event. Thanks to Influx Press for their support, Meghna Gupta for the photo and

The extraordinary thing I discovered in a Plymouth car park


WORDS: Gareth E. Rees LOCATION: Plymouth, Devon The Crownhill Retail Park is on the road into Plymouth from Tavistock, via Dartmoor. My friend, Professor Dan Maudlin, is an architectural historian who lives in the area. He’s been to the B&Q in

Airport Hiking in Aberdeen

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LOCATION: Scotland WORDS: Aleks Scholz I’ve never been to Aberdeen’s airport before. I’ve seen all other public amenities of Aberdeen, harbour, train station, bus station, but not the airport. It is very exciting. The names of the airport hotels at

Staples Corner, and How We Can Know It


LOCATION: London WORDS: Gary Budden ONE – On why you are at Staples Corner In the weak and watery November light of a Monday afternoon, you sit with your nose pressed against the cold glass of the 266 bus. You

The Ancestral Giant of the A303

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LOCATION: Wiltshire WORDS: Gareth E. Rees The town of Amesbury, nestled in the heart of Salisbury plain by a loop in the River Avon, is the final stop on the A303 before Stonehenge. It’s one of the oldest consecutively inhabited areas in