Slow Horses

‘Lamb’s been banished.

Where’ve they sent him? Somewhere awful?

Bad as it gets.

God, not Slough?

Might as well be.’

In the middle of the third Covid-19 lockdown, Lloyd and Tim get together virtually for a Zoom around London’s Aldersgate Street and key points north and west of Slough House, the headquarters for Mick Herron’s titular Slow Horses.

They spy on Slough House itself, uncovering countless off-the-shelf companies which might be fronts for unseen agents, but probably aren’t. Not to mention watchful owls which might be hints of a conspiracy or might just be there to scare off the pigeons.

Rummaging around in the Companies House website they find out more than they possibly should have done about Mick Herron himself, and seek to put themselves in the writer’s own shoes as he travels from Oxford to the Barbican to Moorgate via Bunhill Fields.

Then it’s off to the Islington Tunnel and the former home of a certain floppy-haired ex-Mayor of London, now denizen of 10 Downing Street, and his avatar in the book in question. Mick Herron’s somewhat spooky prescience about the course of British politics over the last decade is put to the test, and hats are doffed.

Finally, the inevitable argument about dating ensues, with a vicious disagreement over which particular England qualifying game the book is referring to, and an unwelcome reminder of the fleeting electoral successes of the British National Party.

When time and guidelines allow, we road test works of fiction that appear to be curiously specific about dates and locations. We go to the places mentioned and see if descriptions are accurate, journey times credible, dates and days all in order. Along the way, we learn things, about the book, and its author.

Sources & Credits

The Office theme – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9llfUGKW4KI

Boris and Darius – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVq7ZGlvapM&t=1148s

Boris and his gaffes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5hyb9RzA98

Boris gets the giggles –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-5axDMdWbA

Boris makes you a cup of tea –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r799U_-jAnk

Boris and the spliff – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoJRthjdOR4&feature=youtu.be

Alexei Sayle’s London Bike Ride – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGO22mT2plc&t=334s

===

I’m a firm adherent of the school of Making Stuff Up – https://www.mickherron.com/qanda.html

No work being done – https://www.mickherron.com/articles/page21/page21.html

Mick Herron interview – https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jan/15/mick-herron-i-look-at-jackson-lamb-and-think-my-god-did-i-write-that-my-mother-reads-this-stuff

A fictional spy walk in London – https://spywrite.com/2017/09/22/fictional-spies-in-london/

Businesses at 126 Aldersgate Street – https://becsltd.com/about/ and https://cbc-legal.com/

Companies House – https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/

288 Companies in EC1A 4JQ, Aldersgate Street, London – https://suite.endole.co.uk/explorer/postcode/ec1a-4jq

Secret Owl Society – https://www.richardcassaro.com/uncovering-the-secret-owl-society/

Regent Park Buildings – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winfield_House and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sussex_Place

Royal College of Physicians – https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/news/architecture

The Islington Tunnel – https://www.londoncanals.online/2010/01/19/londons-three-canal-tunnels-islington-tunnel/

Platform 9 and 3/4 to be disapparated- https://londonist.com/2008/07/platform_9_and_34_to_be_disapparate

Winter Test match 2008/9 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_cricket_team_in_India_in_2008%E2%80%9309

The British National Party – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_National_Party

BNP faces court case over membership rules – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/aug/24/bnp-court-case-membership-discrimination

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