Ad Astra Per Croydon: The Lost History of London’s Forgotten Spaceport compiled by Tom Murphy celebrates this strangely little-known but ambitious municipal project in a 28pp commemorative booklet. It features the eccentric visionary and confectioner Septimus Payne, the powerful Councillor Elvira Spraget, Chair of the Transport Committee, and the selected Croydonaut, Norman ‘ Nails’ McAvity, mobile librarian and water polo champion.
This important publication is available from Colossive Press, an imaginative South London zine publisher. Also available from them is High Precision Ghosts, an eerie hand-sewn double-concertina book of enigmatic photographs which look like they might be from Carnacki the Ghost-Finder’s personal album, or snapshots taken by Mr Dyson in his quests as a savant of the singular.
Enthusiasts of hauntological music meanwhile will enjoy the Colossive Records 2019 catalogue of their highly elusive releases, sub-titled ‘Urgent transmissions from the liminal zone where noise meets sound’, featuring such outfits as Carrion Baggage, Alabaster Chambers and The College of Emotional Engineering.
Urban explorers are not neglected either, because they will surely relish perdu sur le vaisseau spatial, photographies de JP Marsaud, with its monochrome images of echoing stairwells, rusting dial-faces, snaking tubes and corroded machinery.
The press also issues a series of zines made up from a printed sheet of A4 paper folded up to A6 size using a technique known as the Turkish Map Fold, which sounds like it might be a mysterious clue in an Eric Ambler novel. The idea is that these are the equivalent of the much-loved 7” single format in records.
There is much more to discover in the strange world of Colossive Press.