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  • The Bristol Booze Odyssey #5

    Tony Bolger continues his journey around Bristol's pubbiest pubs…

    Episode 5: The Bulldog, Filton Avenue

    Every day, my bus, the 71 goes up Gloucester Road through Filton and past The Bulldog. The bus stop is actually called The Bulldog. Without fail, I look out the window to see the assembled characters congregating outside the pub. I’m always intrigued. There are always people rushing to get on the bus. I've never seen anyone get off. Today, I got off.

    Past the half dozen picnic benches outside, there’s a sign inviting people to “Come in and roast your chestnuts by our open fire.” This is literally a bad sign.

There’s an old school hat stand just inside the door which would be more at home in a detective’s office from the 30s. There are no coats hanging from it. I wonder why. I walk into the big open room with a pool table and a dart board down the far end. There’s a couple of empty booths but there’s no space around the bar area at 4 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon.

    There isn’t a fireplace in sight. And no chestnuts.

    The barmaid greets me with an “Alright me luvver”. I’ve waited two years to hear a Bristol girl say this.

    There are no ales on tap but there are two fridges, one brimming with cans of Natch and the other with Thatchers. On tap they offer Carling, Stella and Fosters. I order a Stella and the friendly barmaid asks me if it’s OK if I have it in a Fosters glass because Mark is using the Stella one. It costs £3:70. You can smell/taste the toilets from the end of the bar.

    Beside the three fruit machines, there’s a jukebox pumping out a steady stream of generic gangster rap. Past this, there's an alarming selection of those machines where you put a quid into a slot and twist and then jelly beans come out. They've also got those toys in balls things. It's a real Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Child Catcher’s corner.

    I take a seat in front of a sandwich board advertising

    Sitting here. I imagine Karaoke Friday being like X-Factor mixed with The Hunger Games. Entertainment Saturday is as vague as it is ominous, and Meat Raffle Sunday could be anything from baskets of plucked crows to organised swinging.

    I finish my drink quickly, put three quid into the juke box and get the hell out before Kylie comes on.

  • The Bristol Booze Odyssey #4

    Tony Bolger continues his journey around Bristol's pubbiest pubs…

    Episode 4: The Crown Tavern, Lawfords Gate

    In doing research to find Bristol’s pubbiest pubs, I asked every local I know for recommendations. Several suggested The Crown Tavern in Lawfords Gate (between Old Market and the start of Stapleton Road), at which point someone else would, without fail, instantly chime in that they thought it had closed down. Standing directly outside, I also thought it had closed down. The windows are covered in blackout blitz curtains. The Germans would never suspect that this was a watering hole open for business. The taxi driver who brought us here couldn’t find the place even though he was using a sat nav. The Google blurb for the pub actually mixes it up with The Crown in St Nicholas Market.

    Goodnight Sweetheart was a telly program in the early 90s in which Rodney from Only Fools and Horses travels back in time to a pub during World War II and becomes a bigamist (all of my pop culture references are pre-1997). We walked into a slightly less nice pub from World War II. The high ceilings give an old-fashioned vibe that’s hard to put a finger on, figuratively and literally. The walls are all white with green trim and matching seats. A dart board dominates the centre of the room with yellow crime scene tape on the floor in place of an oche. There’s a tiny stage on the other side which is covered in plastic which is covered in dust. This place hasn’t seen a hootenanny in a while.

    Directly ahead of the entrance, a rather distinguished older gentleman behind the bar looks as surprised to see us as we are to be there. I doubt he gets many scruffy, skinhead, beardy weirdos. There are three gentlemen and a lady playing cards at the end of the bar. We’re the only ones in here under eighty. Exquisitely aware that we aren’t the regular custom this establishment is accustomed to, we approach the bar as unmenacingly as possible.

    It’s difficult to imagine that back in the late 70s and early 80s The Crown played an important part in Bristol’s cultural history when it was one of the main meeting places for the city’s punk bands. Yes, this is the place where Chaos out of Chaos UK might have enjoyed the company of Becki Bondage out of Vice Squad, Bear Hackenbush from Lunatic Fringe and their spikey-haired chums.

    Apparently, the punks adopted The Crown because it’s fairly central but also because it was safe from the marauding gangs of skinheads and mods who roamed the city centre looking for punks to beat up. Presumably if the gangs had made it as far as The Crown, they’d have assumed it was closed and moved on down Stapleton Road.

    We ponder whether the card-playing lady at the end of the bar is the aforementioned Rebecca Bond, but a quick internet search reveals that Becki Bondage is now based in London and is still performing as Vice Squad.

    Back to the bar… on tap, The Crown offers Bass, Guinness, Blackthorn and Stella. I order a Stella but the gas needs changing, and the beer trickles out like sand through an hour glass. The bar keep has the patience of a Buddhist monk and clearly has no intention of changing it. It’s awkward. I won’t lie. I watch the flat lager dribble into the glass and start to think about the past. And the future. What does it all mean? At the half way point, I consider asking for a can of Budweiser instead, but I’ve lost all confidence. I’m on the cusp of a full blown existential crisis before the glass is full. I should have gotten a half.

    We get a pint a Stella and a Bass. It cost £3:50. For both. In Bristol. In 2018. On the optics, there’s Martini for a pound and a type of rum I’ve never heard of for £1:20. A word about the Bass, it’s something called Flat Bass and is apparently very rare and sought after by many ale aficionados.

    There’s a telly above the bar entrance and even though no one is watching it, it’s set to the volume of the one at your deaf granny’s house. Sky News is on and there’s bombing and shooting going on in the Middle East and the telly is so loud I’m worried about PTSD. I should have gotten a Martini to take the edge off. A couple more customers trickle in to warm welcomes. All the regulars know each other which is charming.

    More out of a dark fascination than a call of nature, I go to investigate the men’s room. It’s like the toilets in The Goonies. Minus Sloth. Out the back, between the bar and the toilets, there are two water-damaged, warped and knarled pool tables uneven enough to intimidate a mountain goat around which are NINE buckets strategically placed to catch rain water from the holes in the ceiling. This would be a great place to hold a fight club. I’m really glad I didn’t need to use the toilets.

  • The Bristol Booze Odyssey #3

    Tony Bolger continues his journey around Bristol's pubbiest pubs…

    Episode 3: The Seven Stars, St Thomas Lane

    The Seven Stars doesn’t quite fit with the motif of my previous outings into Bristol’s ‘pubbiest publand’. Both the Mardyke and The Long Bar are the sort of places that could be kindly described as ‘basic’ and more accurately as ‘rough’.

    Certainly, neither of them can claim to be ‘The Pub That Changed The World’. But that’s the title that Bristol historian Mark Steeds has bestowed on The Seven Stars, a seemingly traditional boozer tucked away next to The Fleece & Firkin in St Thomas.

    “The Seven Stars was the base for Thomas Clarkson when he visited Bristol to begin his investigations into the slave trade,” explains Mark. “It's the site of the world’s first major civil rights movement. You name me any other pub that can claim that.”

    In 1787, Thomas Clarkson arrived in Bristol and began his abolitionist crusade against slavery. At the time, slavery was the backbone of Bristol’s economy so obviously Clarkson faced opposition, hostility and threats of violence at every turn.

    That is, until he was introduced to the landlord of The Seven Stars, a man named Thompson. The two joined forces and using the pub as their headquarters, they conducted their research into the vile industry. Upon investigating the conditions on the slave ships, they learned that the free sailors often received very similar treatment to that of the slaves. Many free seamen were dying on board the slave ships or taking part in mutinies to escape the atrocious conditions on board.

    In fact, these sailors were often conned into signing up to serve aboard these ships while drunk or simply kidnapped like the slaves themselves. Clarkson and Thompson were able to expose the reality of slavery. This was a huge blow to the slave industry and proved pivotal in changing attitudes worldwide because before the slave trade was publicised as a great boon for working seamen.

    “Clarkson found that of the roughly 1000 Bristol sailors engaged in the trade in 1786, almost half never made it home,” Says Mark “He then used the technique in all of Britain’s port cities and the results became a major factor in changing public opinion.”

    There is an ongoing petition to turn the pub into a World Heritage Site and I have no doubt that The Seven Stars, Thompson and Clarkson will eventually receive the recognition they deserve for the huge part they played in changing the world. There’s already a large plaque on the pub’s outside wall explaining its historical importance.

    History coming alive aside, it’s a good, warm pub and won the CAMRA Bristol Pub of The Year in 2010 for its excellent selection of ales. The bar is tucked away down a cobbled lane but the leaping pig sign hanging on the corner serves as a good landmark for finding it. There are five picnic tables outside the pub. Inside, there’s a very chilled, friendly atmosphere with exposed wooden rafters on the ceiling and wooden floor boards.

    This may not be as bar-brawling or riotous as the first two pubs on this list but that’s not to say that this place isn’t a proper down-to-earth boozer. Brit pop is the music of choice, there’s old ads on the walls as well as water colours of ye olde Bristol and a picture of Mona Lisa holding a lager. When you go into the men’s, the smell tells tales of pisses taken in the 1770s and at the back of the pub, perilously close to the toilets is a pool table and dart board. Both couldn't physically be used at once without causing serious injuries, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t always keen to try.

    Mark Steeds is the author of Cry Freedom, Cry Seven Stars (Bristol Radical History Group) available from www.tangentbooks.co.uk.

  • The Bristol Booze Odyssey #2

    Tony Bolger continues his journey around Bristol's pubbiest pubs…

    Episode 2. The Long Bar, Old Market

    Beside The Stag And Hound and across from The Punch Bowl on Old Market roundabout is The Long Bar and I’m two minutes late. I find my friend standing outside the pub beside the wheelie bin. “We’re not really going in here, are we?” This isn’t an Aladdin showing Jasmin a Whole New World moment. I coerce her in with the promise of cheap booze. As the name suggests, Long Bar is as narrow as it is brown, with tiny individual booths opposite the bar so that you can still drink alone, haunted by the past even when the place is packed. We’re the only ones in there under 50 and not wearing chequered flat caps. This was already a surreal experience.

    My friend was quick to notice that she was the only human female on the premises. She wasn’t as quick as one of the locals though. “What’s a lovely couple like you doing in a place like this then?” It was an excellent question. We were looking for a bargain and a proper taste of Bristol. This place is indeed a proper old man’s watering hole.

    After running the gauntlet of seasoned cider drinkers and weaving through and jumping over the dozing bull terriers like a thirsty Indiana Jones, we arrive in front of the landlady surrounded on all sides by a wall of Monster Munch. Available on tap were several lagers including Fosters and Kronenbourg. Ciders included Thatchers, Cheddar Valley and Natch. Natch was also available in cans. For emergencies. Just in case.

    “Two pints of your cheapest lager please”
    “That’ll be £4.60.”
    My experience at The Mardyke the previous week wasn’t a fluke. There are other bargains to be found in Bristol. For beer to be any cheaper than this, they’d have to be making it themselves in a bath in the cellar.

    The back of the bar opens up in what feels like a wooden barn built by The Amish with a raised wooden ceiling. Fairy lights that are definitely up all year round decorate the rim. This isn’t festive, and Mary and Joseph surely would have tried their luck again for a last-minute cancellation at the inn.
    Arms wrapped around each other, leaning over the duke box, three geezers sway in amiable comradery, howling out the lyrics to The Stranglers’ banger Golden Brown. One of them intermittently roars to the universe “I DIDN’T CHOOSE THIS LIFE.” The universe isn’t convinced.

    It’s 4 O’clock on a Thursday afternoon. Across from the three juke box tenors is a fruit machine and beside that is a washer/dryer still in the original packaging.

    The building was constructed in the 17th century and the exposed stone at the back is said to date back to the original medieval wall that surrounded Bristol. Unfortunately, this has all been painted mustard yellow which would have Tony Robinson from Time Team spinning while standing knee deep in an ancient grave.

    Randomly, the toilets are all black tile, floors to walls to ceilings with futuristic, recessed blue lighting like something out of an 80’s sci-fi porno. I really didn’t see this coming but they’re perfectly clean and serviceable.

    This is a scruffy boozer but not unpleasant. It’s full of characters and cheap booze. You’re guaranteed a bargain, an experience and Natch. No matter what happens, you’re guaranteed the Natch

  • The Bristol Booze Odyssey: A leisurely descent into some independent proper pubby pubs on a budget

    Tony Bolger is Tangent's guest blogger for the next couple of months and his chosen subject is Bristol Pubs – Cheap Ones With Very Few Frills.

    Do join in and post your thoughts and reviews. Over to you Tony…

    I've lived in Bristol for two years but still feel slightly lost most of the time. People tend to give directions using pubs and bars as landmarks so you’ll inevitably hear “Turn right at The Lager Hole. It used to be The Booze Bucket.”

    You see, bars in Bristol are constantly changing hands, names and personalities to become ever more pretentious and expensive gastro/frappé-fusion/crafty copies of each other. But there are still proper pubs out there that haven’t changed hands, prices or their hoover bag since the last time England won The World Cup. I’m going to get a tetanus shot and I’m going to find these pubs. If you’re tired of paying £6 for a chocolate stout and eating haloumi off a kitchen floor tile in a place with all the charm of a Maccy Dees, I invite you to join me on this Bristol Booze Odyssey. Hopefully the sessions won’t be as dramatic as the title.

    The first stop on this tipple voyage is The Mardyke across the road from the Grain Barge on Hotwell Road along the harbour. The Mardyke is by all accounts a Bristol institution. Established in 1820 under the name the Cross Keys. Apparently, it used to be a biker bar. We shall see what it is now.

    We step inside out of the cold and into 1952. The room is silent. There’s a real “Ya ain’t from round here, are ya boy?” vibe. Then, in wonderfully unfortunate timing, one of the locals gets a text message and his ring tone is that iconic Sergio Leone cowboy music that plays whenever Clint Eastwoodmoseys into town. DO DO DO WAW WAW WAW. The décor is what I would describe as brown which must be handy for cleaning. There’s pictures of random old kings and queens getting married, Winston Churchill and a creepy little girl who was probably a ghost the whole time on the walls. There’s a sign above the bar warning:


    Then Abba comes on the jukebox and we know everything is going to be OK. We proceed to mosey up to the bar where the very friendly barkeep greets us with a smile. He isn’t a disenchanted goth whose acting career didn’t work out, so the customer service is really excellent. Making a quick assessment of the bar, I notice the wide selection of cans in the fridge and unusual array of bottles on the optics. I’d never seen apple sours or Pernod upside down before. I order three pints of Fosters. The barman charges me £6.90. First, I think he’s misspoke. Then I’m positive we have indeed accidentally travelled back through time but Abba’s still on, our beers are wet and our glasses are clean, so we proceed to sit on the brown church pew style benches and listen to Fernando.

    Out of curiosity more than necessity, I went to investigate the men’s room. It was perfectly serviceable though I was surprised and charmed to see the old-fashioned toilet with the pull-down chain but although this alcoholic endeavour is technically a stab at investigative journalism, I’m no Ross Kemp and there was no way I was washing my hands with the crusty bar of soap on the sink.

    While you’re drinking your two espresso martinis for a tenner and listening to whatever audio poison is infecting the Top 40 on Spotify this week, you could really be anywhere but at The Mardyke, you know you’re in Bristol which is exactly what we wanted all along, isn’t it? This is a quaint, authentic, proper pub with proper, manly locals who are happy to ignore you as long as you like 1970s Eurovision bangers. You should check it out and if you have any pubby pub recommendations or would like to submit a pubby pub review of your own, please do get in touch.

  • Tangent Books at The Letterpress Collective

    Last week we got to have a play around with print at The Letterpress Collective, learning to set lead type, wood lettering and learn about the printing process (or experiment for those of us who have over 25 year's worth of experience of working in print, ahem Richard). We had a brilliant time playing on the little hobby presses as well as the bigger roller presses: also seeing a working Heidlberg is a sight to behold!

    All this was part of an exploration for a new print project at Tangent, so keep your eyes peeled for more collaborations with The Letterpress Collective: we're looking forward to working with them more in the future!

    Thanks so much to the wonderful Nick and Ellen for a brilliant workshop!

  • The Naked Guide to Change

    As a full-time student, funds are understandably low in the Lacey-Williams home. It was my fiancé’s 30th this year and not being able to buy her the moon and stars to mark the occasion I did the next best thing. I promised her the moon and stars. Let me make that a bit clearer. I created 30 promises that are fun, local and most importantly, cheap (or better yet; free). Using Tangent’s flagship publication, The Naked Guide to Bristol, I highlighted some of Bristol’s quirkier activities on the grounds that if The Guide… says it’s good, we’ll go for it.

    Once I’d given Simone the 30 promises, we browsed through The Guideto determine what she’d like to do first. But as we scanned the pages a problem became apparent. I was working from the first edition of The Guide, Tangent is currently on its updated fifth edition. Undaunted, we set out to find out what has changed between the first and fifth editions in this ever-evolving city.

    Thankfully, there are a decent few stalwarts that haven’t changed at all between the two editions. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of the world’s most identifiable landmarks, and having celebrated its 150th year in 2014 with one of the most impressive fireworks displays we’ve ever witnessed, it’s safe to say that promise no.3 (A Walk to the Suspension Bridge) is a solid given.

    If one promise was to have changed then surely it was going to be no.28, the free trail found in the ‘Children’s Bristol’ section of The Guide. My first edition suggests beginning at the Windmill Hill City Farm for “a hearty Farm Breakfast and a mug of tea”. The City Farm was established in 1976 and has been growing since its roots were first laid in Bedminster. So far so good. From there, says The Guide, we should go to St Mary Redcliffe Church to “find the Church Cat’s grave and the tramline embedded in the grass from a World War Two air raid”.

    From there it’s on to the Industrial Museum… wait, the what? Judging by the map, we soon deciphered that where we were meant to be going was in fact The M Shed. Two years after the publication of the first edition of The Guide, the Industrial Museum closed and was replaced with what we now know as the M Shed which opened in 2011. Confusion over. Promise No. 28 is still on.

    After wandering around the Millennium Square Fountains, admiring Bristol Cathedral, we battle the incline of Park Street to head to Bristol Museum and then on to our final destination, Cabot Tower. This Bristol landmark holds a very special place in our hearts as it happens. It was here that I proposed last December (and she said yes). The vista from the top of the tower offers a breath-taking panoramic view of the city and its harbourside, made even more poignant to us due to that pivotal afternoon.

    Not all the promises included dragging Simone around the city. Some of them involved food and/or drink. The first edition of The Guide recommends The Argus Fish Bar on West Street in Bedminster. Ideal for promise no. 16; A Chippy Dinner. Unsure whether the place was still going, a quick search online and our concerns were unnecessary. The Argus is still going strong and according to one site and its reviewers, it is quite possibly the best fish and chips in Bristol. Promise no. 16 is secure.

    Simone and I reside in the BS7 area of Bristol, so a lot of the promises are things to do ‘South of the River’ so we can explore the other side of the city. But not wanting to exclude Gloucester Road, I included a promise to go to our favourite Italian, Di Meo (no.7, A Tastecard Meal). Gloucester Road has understandably changed in the 12 years since The Guide was first published, but not to such drastic lengths that it would be unrecognisable from that first edition. Famed for having “more charity shops per square metre than anywhere else in the Southwest”, Glossy Road is still “a mish-mash of trendy bars, spit-and-sawdust pubs, chic restaurants and cheap cafes”.

    Whilst taking a mental note of just how many charity shops there were per square metre I also couldn’t help but notice how many beauty salons/hairdressers/barbers there are. Just walking from the junction that leads to Bristol Memorial Stadium, past the Tinto Lounge, down Pigsty Hill, past the pop up Christmas bar outside Nailsea Electrics (really), down where to The Plantation used to be until you reach the Cat and Wheel at the famous Arches, there are currently 22 hairdressers/barbers. I guess everyone deserves to look their best as they push their trollies around one of the three Co-ops.

    To conclude, of the initial 30 promises I made, most were safe and secure in respect to the newest edition of The Naked Guide to Bristol. Some may have changed slightly, such as the trail, but change isn’t necessarily a bad thing - no. 9; A Walk to Snuff Mills, which might I add, does not have the worst toilets in Britain any more. I even commented on how nice the toilets were before I found out about their dirty past.

    Bristol is a city that is forever changing. Next time you climb the steps to the top of Cabot Tower and look at the Bristol skyline, just count how many cranes dot the landscape and you’ll see just how much change is indeed, a constant to Bristol.

    David Williams

  • Brand New Book from Ultramarathon Runner Ira Rainey

    Tangent Books is delighted to announce that we're publishing the second book by award-winning author Ira Rainey!

    Ira's previous book Fat Man to Green Man: From Unfit to Ultramarathon told the tale of his transformation from unfit forty-something to super fit ultrarunner.

    Fat Man to Green Man: Unfit to Ultramarathon

    "Far from being an elite athlete with superhuman running abilities like the ones he read about in books, Ira Rainey was an overweight and unfit slacker who felt a bit sorry for himself because he had sore feet. That was until a friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given months to live. It was to be an event that would push Ira to tackle his apathy towards life and take on the challenge of becoming an ultramarathon runner, pushing himself to go further than he had ever gone before."

    His latest book Still Not Bionic: Adventures in Unremarkable Ultrarunning, focuses on the mental aspect of ultrarunning. It is an honest and moving look at how important mental state, support, and friendship are, not just to running long distances, but to life and happiness as a whole.

    Still Not Bionic: Adventures in Unremarkable Ultrarunning by Ira Rainey

    Still Not Bionic has been nominated for The 2017 Running Award, if you like what you read vote for Still Not Bionic here!

    You can pre-order your copy now, and it'll arrive before Christmas!

  • Radiohead and Glastonbury Festival Myths and Legends

    Is it too early to begin talking about Glastonbury Festival 2017? The tickets have sold out, so why not let the rumours begin? As soon as one festival ends, the headline conversations begin regarding who will take the top slot the following year.

    Such speculation has given rise to the many myths and legends that accompanied Glastonbury since its inception in 1970 .

    Bristol-based freelance writer, editor and lecturer, Marc Leverton, a seasoned festival-goer and rumour-gatherer, has collected some of the more preposterous tales from over the years in his Tangent publication, Glastonbury Festival Myths and Legends The tales include the time that the press tent rushed en masse to witness the Wu Tang Clan perform with Morrissey (they didn’t9781906477868), or when Suzanne Vega wore a bulletproof vest in defiance of a death threat.

    Radiohead having been confirmed as the first Glastonbury 2017 headliner may seem uncontroversial, but this scenario hasn’t always been the case. For example, in Myths & Legends, Marc tells of the time that New Order were favoured over hippy legends, Hawkwind. Displeased with the choice of headline act, a group of bikers decided to ride through the audience to the front of the stage and revved their bikes throughout the terrified Mancunian’s entire set.

    From the organised chaos that is Shangri-La and the travellers field that preceded it, to the weird and wonderful riders of the festivals headliners, Marc covers the rumours that have circulated over the decades such as the one about the guy who parachuted into the festival… or did he?

    Emily Eavis has been quoted stating that “90% of the acts have been booked, with two years’ worth of music crammed into one to make up for 2018’s fallow year”. So with Radiohead confirmed as the headline act for the Friday night, who will take the Saturday and Sunday slots? Here’s the NME’s predictions for some the possible contenders:

    • Guns N’ Roses 4/6
    • Kasabian 6/4
    • The Stone Roses 4/1
    • Ed Sheeran 4/1
    • Foo Fighters 5/4
    • Rhianna 6/1
    • Lady Gaga 16/1
    • Gorillaz 9/1
    • Daft Punk 9/1

    David Williams

    David is currently a full-time student at UWE studying English with Writing. He's using his time here to help create blog posts of interest to discerning punters, as well as honing his writing skills. Not sure what the future holds, so long as it involves words.


  • Bristol MP is Unsettled by Homelessness Bill

    When Bristol West MP Thangham Debbonaire recently made an impassioned speech during the second reading of the Homelessness Reduction Bill, she reminded the House of Commons that homelessness is about real people, not just numbers.

    ‘Underneath the numbers, every one is an individual in an impossible situation, a person, cold and frightened, who has been let down or got into a mess and does not know how to get out,’ said Debbonaire during her attack on government policy which she claims has led to a sharp rise in homelessness.

    The speech reminded us of Graham Walker’s book Unsettled which Tangent published almost 10 years ago. It’s one of the most revealing insights into homelessness that most readers will ever experience.

    Unsettled, a book on homelessness by Big Issue seller Graham Walker Unsettled: In a Hole, Climbed a Mountain by Graham Walker.

    Graham has been homeless most of his adult life. His story is a journey from the very bottom to self-accomplished heights. Unsettled is a powerful book that will have the reader laughing and crying in equal measure and ultimately begs the questions; what is a home and what does it mean to be homeless? Does living in temporary housing indicate that that person is homeless? Does being in danger of losing your home classify as being pre-homeless? Or do the bailiffs need to have already visited?

    As is often said; you’re only ever three payslips away from being homeless in today’s climate. So with everyone on the precipice of homelessness, it’s important to remember that it could happen to any of us.

    Most people who are concerned about the homeless (including Thangham Debbonaire) would consider themselves to be sympathetic to rough sleepers. But Graham makes the point that we all stereotype homeless people, particularly when we see a figure huddled in a sleeping bag in a shop doorway.

    We probably see a drug user or someone with addiction and mental health problems, we don’t see a mother, a father, a son or daughter or someone with a sharp sense of humour or a particular talent for drawing, writing, or perhaps cooking.

    Unsettled is an entertaining and educational book and it’s also a very moving story. Graham’s experiences as a homeless person and Big Issue seller make a real impact on the way in which people think about homelessness, particularly young people.

    Here’s what one Primary School pupil from Newton Abbot said about Unsettled after Graham visited his school to give a talk: “Thank you for showing us not to take the piss out of homeless people and we now realise that homeless people are there for a reason and not just there because they want to lounge around, be lazy and claim on benefits…”

    Unsettled - book written by homeless author Graham Walker Comments in a letter by a primary school pupil

    David Williams

    David is currently a full-time student at UWE studying English with Writing. He's using his time here to help create blog posts of interest to discerning punters, as well as honing his writing skills. Not sure what the future holds, so long as it involves words.

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