London beyond time and place London beyond time and place,Talks beyond time and place Episode 09: Frank Molloy | Topic: Soul City Wandering

Episode 09: Frank Molloy | Topic: Soul City WanderingEpisode 09: Frank Molloy | Topic: Soul City Wandering


Frank Molloy aka “Soul City Wanderer” is the author of the book Soul City Wandering. He is a south London-born writer, journalist, producer, historian and guide. He has an MA in London history and is a qualified Blue Badge Guide, Westminster Guide and City of London Guide. He has lectured at various institutions including the Museum of London and the National Portrait Gallery. As an accredited journalist, he writes on travel and culture.

Soul City Wandering

In episode nine of “Talks beyond time and place”, we talk about his London book “Soul City Wandering“, a guide book with London walks and a soft introduction to psychogeography. The book is fusing history, music and poetry. Its aim is to inspire travellers to engage as individuals with their journeys; to encourage interaction with time, place, motion & emotion. The places on the routes are not ‘hidden London’, they have been selected because they have a strong ‘synergy’, a soul.




0:00:00​​​​ London beyond time and place Intro

0:01:05​​​ Introduction

0:02:14​ Have you always been a London historian?

0:03:44​ You are a writer, producer, historian and tour guide. In how far has London shaped you and shaped your career?

0:05:33​ Working as a London tour guide

0:07:20​ What was the strangest moment on a tour?

0:08:56​ What was the most surprising fact you have learned about London or story that you have heard?

0:10:16​ About psychogeography and the inspiration for the book “Soul City Wandering”

0:14:35​ Which works have influenced you?

0:19:03​ Which branch of psychogeography do you feel attracted to – or is your own model a mixture of different approaches?

0:21:08​ The book is divided into three parts – has the first part been planned or did you just start at Piccadilly Circus and then drifted through London?

0:24:39​ You often come back to London’s bridges and you deal specifically with Hungerford Bridge. It has a very dark history. Why did you choose this particular bridge? What is so special about London bridges?

0:27:35​ Poetry in the book, the tree on Wood Street and why it is a “true Londoner”

0:32:06 Poem: “Last of the Mohicans”

0:35:03​ When did you start writing poetry?

0:36:38​ The interesting thing is that you could visit all the places on the tour and deal with completely different people and stories. Why exactly did you choose these poets/authors/musicians on your tours?

0:39:15​ Your walk also includes St Foster’s Church. Why did you pick this particular church?

0:42:44​ Poem: “Foster Father”

0:44:13​ The second part is about the British Museum – where did the idea come from to do a psychogeographical tour in a museum?

0:47:01​ You deal with the question if words have more durability than objects. What is your opinion?

0:50:30​ You devised the third walk for the National Portrait Gallery’s 2009 exhibition “From the Beatles to Bowie”. Tell us a bit about the exhibition and your involvement in it.

0:54:44​ “Swinging London” and London as the world’s capital of culture

0:58:07​ If one did not know the history of a certain area, would one still “feel” anything there? Or would one be completely ignorant of the “spirit of place” or of its soul?

1:00:33​ What is your next project?

1:02:16​ What is your favourite place in London?

1:06:08​ Can you name three Londoners that you would have dinner or a drink with?


Frank Molloy’s website: Soul City Wanderer

Buy the book here: Soul City Wandering: A London Pilgrimage (English Edition)*

Walking With Meaning: Finding Your Inner Flâneur” by Frank Molloy on Reader’s Digest

Further reading

Nairn’s London (Penguin Modern Classics) (English Edition)*

Ulysses (Penguin Modern Classics)*

A Survey of London: Written In The Year 1598 (Survey of London: Parish Volumes)*


Talks beyond time and place” is a series of online conversations by author Philipp Röttgers of “London beyond time and place“. Philipp and his guests chat about how London influences their lives. In every episode, they cover certain topics, depending on the individual guest. Among his guests are scholars, historians, tour guides and more and the atmosphere feels like a conversation in a pub.

Music by Bryan Kolarczyk

Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place
Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place

*= affiliate links/advertising links

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