Under An Oak Tree: by Yomi Ayeni

Quite a bit of this project is based around South East London, and I’d like to introduce some of the areas as part of our ‘show and tell’.

The first place  is a little known village called Honor Oak Park and One Tree Hill – just off the A205 (South Circular Road) and on the Culture Line (Overground Railway Line). Legend has it that on 1 May 1602, ‘Queen Elizabeth I’ had a picnic under an oak tree at the summit of a hill. The tree came to be known as the Oak of Honor.

Part of Clockwork Watch was actually written or conceived on the hill, while gazing over the London skyline. Janav – our protagonist – lives in Honor Oak Park, and visits the hill in our story too! This area of London has some awesome Victorian legacy, which was an inspiration to me while was working through parts of the story.

Take the Horniman Museum for instance – apart from housing an incredible collection of natural history artefacts, it also has musical instruments, and arts & crafts from the Victorian era. It’s the ideal place to introduce  an anachronistic world where science, culture and Victorian values collide head-on. The museum features heavily in the first part of the story – and Jennie Gyllblad drawings are just spot-on! She’s recreated all the scenes from images found on the Internet.

Hamish Jenkinson

High Tea in the Horniman Museum Conservatory