We are officially three years old! And what better way to celebrate than with an issue dedicated to all things magical and mysterious? The idea was inspired by a story Adam Dant found about a peculiar local hoax in 1749… read on to hear more. Adam is also to thank for introducing me to Patrick Hughes, one of Britain’s leading artists, as well as a master hoaxer himself. Half a day after visiting him in his incredible Shoreditch studio, this issue’s cover was on my screen – did someone say abracadabra?
Following the theme we hear from New Scientist’s Mick O’Hare about Sir Isaac Newton – did the smartest man in history truly believe he could convert lead into gold? Then it’s on to “balloonomania”, the nationwide frenzy caused by the first balloon flights in England thanks to the extravagant aeronaut Vicenzo Lunardi. Elsewhere we hear about Davenport’s, the oldest magic shop in London, which is still open on the Strand. And – along with our friends from the Met Police – we asked local schoolchildren to draw a magic power that would help the police fight crime. The results are delightful!
One of my summer highlights was being interviewed by Robert Elms on BBC London Radio about all things Covent Garden. He was incredibly complimentary about the magazine and asked me what it’s like being a local here. Towards the end he asked if I would ever want to live anywhere else – of course I said never, never, never… I am and always will be the proudest of Covent Gardeners!
We have £1000 worth of prizes and competitions dotted around the magazine and on Instagram
@thecoventgardener – throw your hat in the online ring for a chance to win!
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