Eastoterica: the East London climbing & sculpture guide

Posted by Peter Burnside on 08/04/2021
Double-sided foldable poster guide to the East London boulders. Photo: Michael Bodiam

Guidebooks have never been more niche: the East London park boulders now have their own poster mini-guide that includes a little of their history and if you're into Eastoterica, you can get it from the BMC Shop. If you've never heard of them, then read on:

Two 80-ton granite boulders, transported from Cornwall and installed in separate East London parks in 2008: these sculptures are art that you are supposed to touch. 

In 2020, the creative collective Steep Learning Group were climbing the boulders and became curious about their history. To find out more, Steep met with their creator, artist and climber John Frankland, as well as the climbers who have, over the years, contributed to the wealth of ‘problems’: specifically designed and increasingly difficult ways to get to the top of each boulder.

The result of Steep’s investigations is a double-sided folded poster that makes available for the first time an illustrated guide for 85 different boulder problems. It includes a history of how the rocks came to London, and a new text from the artist reflecting on his work today, 13 years on from its installation. 

In the interview, John Frankland said: “When the boulders came to London, I had to fight for their anonymity. I didn’t want anything to interfere with their mute presence: no fences, no soft landing, no instructions of any kind, and, importantly, no plaque announcing that they were art or any mention of my name. Nothing. More than this, I saw them as vandal-proof, indestructible (graffiti doesn’t last long in geological time). They could look after themselves. Or so I thought…”

There is a film made by Chris Dorley-Brown that documents the process of bringing the boulders from a quarry in Cornwall and installing them in London. You can watch it online, search for “boulder (John Frankland) 2008”. Or just enjoy the climbing. 

All proceeds of the poster go to Project One Climbing. Project One support children who face cultural and financial barriers to climbing. The poster sales will enable the organisation to buy the equipment required to take local children to climb the boulders.

The guide was supported by the British Mountaineering Council, with help from UKC.

BUY IT NOW: £5 for members in the BMC Shop


JOIN THE BMC: save 25% on your first year's membership

The BMC works for climbers like you. Benefits include:

  • Access to BMC Travel Insurance
  • Register for Mountain Training award schemes
  • £15 million worldwide Combined Liability insurance
  • £10,000 Personal Accident insurance
  • Retail discounts

Find out more about BMC membership benefits

WATCH: What we do in All in a Day's Work on BMC TV


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 8543 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

British Paraclimbing Championships Round 4
0
British Paraclimbing Championships Round 4

The British Paraclimbing Series concludes with Round 4 on Saturday 19 November at Awesome Walls Stockport
Read more »

British Lead Climbing Championships 2022
0
British Lead Climbing Championships 2022

The rescheduled British Lead Climbing Championships will take place on the weekend of 15 &16 October at Awesome Walls Sheffield
Read more »

GB Climbing welcomes new Chair of CCPG
0
GB Climbing welcomes new Chair of CCPG

Paul Ratcliffe will bring his extensive specialist experience to GB Climbing and the BMC as the new Chair of the Competition Climbing Performance Group (CCPG).
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
70

RELATED ARTICLES

British Paraclimbing Championships Round 4
0

The British Paraclimbing Series concludes with Round 4 on Saturday 19 November at Awesome Walls Stockport
Read more »

British Lead Climbing Championships 2022
0

The rescheduled British Lead Climbing Championships will take place on the weekend of 15 &16 October at Awesome Walls Sheffield
Read more »

GB Climbing welcomes new Chair of CCPG
0

Paul Ratcliffe will bring his extensive specialist experience to GB Climbing and the BMC as the new Chair of the Competition Climbing Performance Group (CCPG).
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »