Caught by the River

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3rd March 2024

‘A Waft of Lavender, a Tang of Sulphur’ by D. Rothon. Taken from Lonesome Echoes, the latest of Clay Pipe Music’s popular mini-CDs.

D. Rothon’s third solo release for Clay Pipe, Lonesome Echoes is a selection of four beautiful melodic instrumentals, inspired by the long-lost south London village of Lonesome.

The origins of its name lost in the mists of time, the village of Lonesome emerged in the 19th century from the swampy, isolated lands between Streatham Vale and Mitcham Common. By the early 1900s intrepid reporters were already speculating on whether the place was mere myth.

The intervening years saw the rapid rise and fall of Lonesome. Its prospects as a desirable place to live were compromised by the combined fragrances of piggeries plus chemical, fireworks and gas mantle factories – which would undoubtedly have overpowered the sweeter aromas from the nearby lavender fields of Mitcham. It also gained a reputation as a haunt of footpads, vagabonds and cutpurses.

A failed development by one “Squire Blake” of aspirational middle class villas – which became known as Blake’s Folly – helped cement Lonesome’s reputation as a ghost town.

Now long subsumed into suburbia, aside from the odd street and building name, little trace remains of Lonesome.

More info / buy here.