Born of Nigerian / Irish heritage, Gabriel Gbadamosi is a poet, a writer and an essayist. His London novel, Vauxhall won the 2011 Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize and more recently in 2013, the Best International Novel at the Sharjah Book Fair.
The novel is set in South London in the 1970’s. He has recently developed an online walking tour of the area.
Related articles across the web
Film Maker: Team Power Station
Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? Probably the pavement, the old York stone pavements that felt like the old cliffs and rock faces clambering off them.
- What do you miss when you're away from London? I miss the dark wet streets of night lit by the lamps.
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? The one that I live in which is quite a large neighbourhood now, North Lambeth, this wonderful area, I've had the great pleasure of watching it change.
- What's your favourite building? The GPO (now BT) tower, which is still so distinctive, there isn't another like it. My dad worked for the GPO and if I ever wondered where he was I just looked up.
- What's your ideal day out in London? With my children on the river. You can take the taxi boats from Vauxhall Bridge up to Greenwich.
- What's your ideal night out in London? With my wife. Late with no obligation to wake up early in the morning. We see a lot of theatre and music concerts with friends who accompany us and are also performers. Just the things happening in London.
- What's your most hated building? I resent the one on the corner of the street that i was brought up. It's three stories and it is a secret building and all the windows are barred. It felt as though it came into my street and killed something. There's a ghostly silence (on the corner of Kennington Lane).
- What's your favourite open space? Waterloo Bridge.
- What's your favourite bar, pub or restaurant? I like many and I like finding new ones. We discovered The Duchess on the shoot.
- What's the most interesting shop? For me as a child, a shop called oxfords. It used to sell second hand clothes and new shoes, and when I was a teenager I bought cheap clothes that were good clothes and it was on the front cover of Ian Drury and the Blockheads - 'new boots and panties'.
- What's your favourite place to hang out? Apart from home? I hang out with my kids and I love it. But if I was to go out it would be the Southbank, the Royal Festival Hall.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? It was when I was about 4 or 5 in the back of my dads car with my brothers and sister and my dad drove us around and we saw all the lights at Piccadilly.
- How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? I really like going to Tate Britain and the National Gallery with my children, because they see stuff as I see stuff.
- Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? I would take them up to the Horniman Museum. It is on top of a hill that looks back over London.
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? I don't much like going on the underground. If I can, I prefer to travel on the bus. Being stuck in a tunnel would be my worst journey.
- What's your personal London landmark? The river from the Battersea Power Station to the Houses of Parliament.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Pip, Great Expectations. I like the fictional London of that story.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? My favourite London poem is by William Blake about the mine forged manacles 'Jerusalem'. He also lived in North Lambeth.
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Every Londoner is the ultimate Londoner. That's what London is, it's everybody.