In the footsteps of ‘Tuff Gong’

Jamaican Reggae singer Bob Marley on stage. Picture PA

BY TOBY PORTER
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

Had he lived, Bob Marley would have been 72 now, perhaps enjoying a smoke in his Hope Road home in Kingston.

Instead, he is probably enjoying the high life with Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding, and maybe Tupac.

But for his fans, his haunts are still hallowed ground – and that was being marked yesterday with a tour around Kennington in the footsteps of Tuff Gong (Marley’s nickname).

Marley lived in Fitzrovia when he was recording Exodus and Kaya from 1976-78, but spent much of his free time in the Rastafarian community based in St Agnes Place, Kennington.
Chris Fox, of charity Cool Tan Arts, said: “It is likely he was hanging out there with the Rastas for a lot of the time but it would be good to hear from people about their memories of his being there. I lived in the area at the time and there was still a big community there well into the 21st century.”

The Rastas were turfed out of St Agnes Place 10 years ago, amid charges of cannabis dealing, of which they were all found not guilty.

Send us your memories of Bob Marley in South London. Email toby@slpmedia.co.uk.

Other Cool Tan Arts walks on its Urban Forest Festival are:

Cinemas walk
Friday, October 27
6pm-8pm

Join CoolWalks guide Lily Glasser for an autumnal walk through South London’s cinemas past and present. Learn about the evolution of movie watching from the 1880s through to its cultural peak during wartime, and its decline in the 1960s, when the high streets were littered with cinema graves, to the current box office survival. What will the future hold for cinemagoing and the urban landscape?
Meet at Bermondsey Tube Station. The walk finishes at Cool Tan Arts, 155 Walworth Road.

City of Ghosts: Nocturnes Wonder
Friday, October 27
9pm-11pm

Join artists to follow the urban fox trails, nocturnal activities and urban myths that spring out from the darkened streets. The walk allows people to enjoy the city by night, exploring the surprising haunts and unexpected hideaways. With a downloadable soundtrack Nocturnes Wonder composed by artist Isa Suarez, first featured in the Camberwell Arts Festival in 2016 and supported by Arts Council England.
Meet at Cool Tan Arts, 155 Walworth Road. Led by Charlie Fox.

Urban Forest Foraging
Saturday, October 28
11am-1pm

Explore, drift and forage – Join CoolWalks for this urban forage and exploration. Starting from Cool Tan Arts and the Artangel Natural Selection exhibition at the former Newington Library, participants will make their way along Walworth Road towards South London’s gemlike gardens at Myatts Field Park Threading through the urban green spaces that lie hidden behind the main road, people can forage for the last of the fruits of the year. At the same time walkers will observe how the city with all its wildlife, prepares for winter.
Meet at Cool Tan Arts, 155 Walworth Road, 11am. (1pm-2pm picnic lunch at Myatts Field Park for those staying for the afternoon Foraged Fruits cooking workshop).

Visit www.cooltanarts.org.uk for more information.