A cool mixture of music and recent history inspires the wonderful Another Nickel in the Machine. It's a great blog to get lost in tales of London from hippies to rockstars, suffragettes to pea-soupers, so we caught up with Rob to find out more.
No. 1 Eaton Square* where the infamous Lord Boothby, erstwhile lover of Ronnie Kray, lived.
If you had to describe your blog in less than 15 words how would you do it?
A gossipy history blog about 20th century London with lots of music and pictures.
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging initially intending to write a music blog - hence the name which comes from a line from my favourite song 'One For My Baby' by Frank Sinatra. I had a big CD and vinyl collection and thought I'd try and share some of it. After a while I realised that I had started to write about music and its connection with London. A few posts later and I realised it was recent London history that I was fascinated with. I still usually include relevant music in all my posts though.
What about London inspires your blog?
The extraordinary amount of stories that I can write about. It will be impossible to run out of them.
What’s your favourite post you’ve ever written?
Maybe the one about the pea-souper smog of 1952. If you ever think that we live in polluted times, you will think again when you read and see what people had to put up with in those days.
What era, or moment in London's history you'd like to visit most?
Probably two eras, if that's alright, I would love to have seen London before the bombing during the second world war, but also would have loved to seen London in the late fifties/early sixties just as London was about to radically change and become close to the modern city we know today. Actually, come to think of it, I wouldn't have half minded hanging out with Mick and Marianne in Chelsea in the late sixties. That's three eras. Sorry.
Where do you get your post ideas and resources from?
Absolutely anything; sometimes I read about a fascinating story or see some interesting pictures. I then research the subject as much as possible extracting as much gossip or interesting facts I possibly can. Finally I search the internet for pictures to illustrate the story.
Would you feel less connected to London, or missed out on things without your blog?
I would have missed out loads without my blog. I'm learning more and more every week about our fascinating city. I can pass a front door in, say, Eaton Square* and bore a friend senseless for almost hours.
Tell us about another up-and coming London blogger you like
I love a blog called Speeches of Biche's. It makes me laugh and it was her that noticed that a poster for the Robert de Niro film 'Righteous Kill' at Stockwell tube station had a line on the poster that said 'There's nothing wrong with a little shooting. As long as the right people get shot'.
What’s the most underrated thing about London?
Stockwell. Actually that's rubbish and when an American reporter, after the de Menezes shooting, described Stockwell as an inner city suburb of Brixton, he wasn't far wrong. What about the bar on the top floor of the Saint George's Hotel next to Broadcasting House in Regent Street. The view is amazing.
And for some general London chat Where do you live and why do you love it?
On the wild, untamed Stockwell/Vauxhall border near the South Lambeth Road. I've got a nice funny little house and I wouldn't want to move. The coffee, from any of the innumerable amount of Portuguese cafes close to where I live, is always nice too. A new Portuguese cafe-bar seems to open every month round here, completely defying what the local economy should be capable of.
What's your favourite place in London?
Maybe sitting in Wong Kei's Chinese restaurant with a plate of Singapore Fried Noodles in front of me.
What do you know about London that noone else does?
One of the great bus journeys in the world must be the number 88. Preferably sitting at the front on the top deck.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
Nope. I've fallen asleep many times though. It must be the only reason a lot of people ever visit Morden.