DISPATCHES FROM THE K-LINE

A LETTER FOR THE OTHERMAN #1

Before The K-LINE was unearthed, many seekers started to put two and three together over on the Letters For Tillerman page.

Mr Aster was one such seeker and it seems that The K-LINE is a bone that he will not let go of. He was kind enough to update The Society and he insisted upon a 04-04-24 publication date, and who are we to argue with a man with a line on his mind...


Hi Otherman.

 

I said I would write again and explain how it is that I was in a position to reveal the many secrets of the K-Line last November when it was still, at best, only a partly-solved riddle, with some significant details still unclear to your other correspondents. 

It’s a long story. The truth is, I’ve been aware of it for quite a while now. But I remember the details of my discovery quite clearly.

 

In December of 1998 I bought my first computer with 56K modem and internet access. Of course, as a KLF fan, naturally I entered those 3 letters into Netscape, Yahoo and other search engines to see what online presence there was and soon discovered the old KLF Web Ring. 

In the week leading up to Christmas that year, I woke late at night with a start from a familiar recurring dream I must have had dozens of times feeling restless. Earlier, I’d felt my eyes drooping as I explored the outer-reaches of the KLF Web Ring and so I logged off, but now I was wide awake. Eager to shake the dream and its line of tall birch trees from my mind, I continued my online explorations.

 

And it was there that I first encountered the phrase “the Lost K-Line of Mu”. I was intrigued by it, but had to be patient since I was reading faster than the page was loading. Eventually, on a site that was little more than a rather primitive blog, I read that the JAMs were establishing a sort of ley line with Trancentral at one end and the Matthew Street Manhole cover (whatever that was) at the other end. It was claimed that some of the JAMs’ early graffiti locations had been chosen because they were in alignment with this “Lost K-Line of Mu.”

I’d never heard of the Matthew Street manhole cover before. My curiosity was tweaked, but I was drifting off again so I made a note of it and went back to sleep. I had to finish my Christmas shopping in the morning and, with only a few days to go, I needed to be well-rested. 

Liverpool city centre was everything you’d imagine it to be just a couple of days before Christmas. Thinking it’d offer a brief respite from the crowds, I chose the less-trod route down School Lane and chanced upon a surprising and synchronicitous discovery.

 

At that time, much of the perimeter of the Bluecoat Arts Centre on School Lane was surrounded by a fence, the entirety of which was usually covered in bill posters advertising upcoming gigs and so forth. But on that day, it’s entire length was covered by the unique, freshly-pasted pages of a book blown up to A0 size and stuck there like illegal bill posters. 

 

I read a few sentences nearby and recognised the written style almost immediately. Then I retraced my steps back to page one and began to read. The text was “From The Shores of Lake Placid” by Bill Drummond. It contains Drummond’s clearest and most detailed account of the origins of the Matthew Street manhole cover. 

The seemingly improbable coincidence of this chance discovery was not lost on me. The very thing I’d read a brief, previously-unseen reference to and noted down the night before was right here pasted-up, presumably by Drummond himself. The text referred to the Matthew Street manhole cover as the site where the “interstellar ley lines powered down these cobbled stones”, and I took this to be a possible reference to the Lost K-Line of Mu.

 

Having recently ventured online for the first time, I had only just learned about a few things that chimed with the idea of a KLF ley line, like the pyramid blaster crop circle and the People’s Pyramid as it was originally conceived. The Matthew Street manhole cover and the K-Line seemed to be of-a-piece with these other ideas.

 

Since I first heard of the Matthew Street manhole cover and the K-Line simultaneously, the two have always been connected in my head ever since. It came as quite a surprise to me some years later when I gradually began to realise that, although most other KLF heads were familiar with the Matthew Street manhole cover, no one else had ever heard of the K-Line.

 

With so much else to investigate in KLF lore - truly a planet-sized warren of rabbit holes if ever there was one - I had neglected to search for any mention of the Lost K-Line of Mu for quite some time myself. When I next came to do so I found nothing - not a single mention of it anywhere online.

Years, then decades passed. Although my memories of it all seemed clear, detailed and vivid, I began to wonder if I hadn’t just dreamt or mis-remembered and somehow imagined into existence all this stuff about the Lost K-Line of Mu. After all, I had read about it (or thought I’d read about it) upon waking from a recurring dream involving a different sort of line; one of tall birch trees. Perhaps I had literally just dreamt it up and my memory was playing tricks on me.

 

But then I found another disguised yet still unmistakable reference to it in a book I was reading back in 2019, and it all came flooding back. So I hadn’t just dreamt it up. Here at last was someone else referring to the Lost K-Line of Mu, if by another name, in print - there in Calibri font, on page 54 and following. It IS real; as real as the manhole cover!

 

What book was this? Well, that would be telling. No spoilers! But I confess I’m surprised that its author hasn’t made contact here. I suppose it could be someone whose hands are full, or otherwise occupied…

 

Certainly it’s someone who knows more than they’re letting on, because several other significant details, including as yet unrecorded sites on the line, are discussed in those pages.


This discovery was both encouraging and challenging. I had confirmation of the line’s existence but nothing else to go on. A few more years slipped by, and without any further clues emerging I reasoned that perhaps the K-Line was just another bit of JAMs’ unfinished business, or an abandoned project.

 

But during May half term last year (typically, it was the 23rd) my family and I paused our journey for a short comfort break at Stafford southbound services on the M6. As we were drawing near to the car park my daughter suddenly yelled “look daddy, KLF!” 

 

Emily explained that she’d caught a glimpse of “KLF adverts” on the tall blue permanent sign outside the inn as we drove past. I doubted this but was curious and so wandered over to have a look. To my surprise, she was right, sort of. Feeling a mixture of confusion and delight, I grabbed a few pictures…

Two familiar JAMs images with the phrases “180 miles” and “300 years” crudely scrawled on them. Remember, this was a few months before the KLFRS relaunched “under new management”, a further month until news of the KLF 2323 World Tour broke, and yet another month later until word of the K-Line first appeared on the KLFRS site. So I had, as yet, no clue as to what 180 miles or 300 years referred, but I was determined to find out.

 

Upon returning home to study these strange photos (which yielded no further clues), an inspired thought occurred to me. Perhaps this was in some way connected to the Lost K-Line of Mu. The location, a service station on the M6 was somewhat incongruous with no previous JAMs association I could find.

 

I opened up a map of Great Britain on my laptop and could see on the imaginary line I was drawing on it between Liverpool and London that Stafford appeared to align with it. And how far would that be? I mean, if I had to guess, I’d probably say it’s about 180 miles.

 

It was a bit of a eureka moment really. I knew I needed to check this properly on a map with a much more detailed, appropriate scale, but my instincts were telling me there and then that this was the answer. 

I set to work. I’m no great shakes when it comes to computer software but Google maps was intuitive enough that, after about half an hour, I had an accurate map showing the path the K-Line takes diagonally across England. Zooming in on Stafford services in satellite view, I could see that it cuts right through the tall permanent sign where Emily spotted those JAMs images and slogans. If that wasn’t confirmation enough, Google was also telling me that the line measures exactly 180 miles end to end.

Zooming in on the Liverpool end of the line I could see that it passed through the site where Drummond pasted up “From the Shores of Lake Placid”, then straight through the Blackie, on towards the Anglican Cathedral, literally passing right through St James’ Tower, then on into Toxteth. I counted 4 JAMs-related sites just in that the first mile alone. 

I was clearly on to something that merited further investigation and determined to press on further. An obvious line of enquiry now was simply to explore the route I knew that the K-Line took nearby to see what I could find. 

Not too far away there’s a rugged footpath I was already familiar with from my occasional wanderings, taking in views of the Mersey and Speke airport. I could see from my new Google map that part of this footpath was intersected by the K-Line. It seemed as good a place as any to begin my K-Line explorations.

 

A few days later, drawing close to the end of my afternoon stroll, and to the point where the K-Line cut across my path, I switched on my phone, opened up the map and waited for the blue dot marking my position to appear. 

 

Once I was satisfied I was standing on the exact spot where the K-Line passes through I had a good look around and was not disappointed. “180 miles” again, amongst an otherwise unremarkable line of tall birch trees.

And that was not the end of my discoveries, but it is the point where I choose to end this account for now.

 

Until next time - see you on the K-Line.

 

Gary Aster


BREAKING - THE K-LINE MAY GO FURTHER THAN FIRST THOUGHT

K-LINE researcher Alan Driscoll has proposed the existence of an extended K-LINE or THE EKUATOR as he has termed it.

Quizzed about his findings, he provides both insight and shameless self-promotion, both of which are thoroughly endorsed by THE OTHERMAN.

1. Who do you think put the K-Line there?

2. What is the K-Line for?

The K-Line is being Kollectively Konstructed as we speak, with free reign for poetic license and retroactive attribution of meaning. Poetry and meaning being, of course, the purpose of the K-Line. We're connecting dots - some of which we're stumbling upon, left by others, and some of which we're placing ourselves. Two dots form a connection, and also a combination. Something new is Kreated, and more markers are added to the map.


3. Where does the K-Line end?

Time may be a flat circle, but the K-Line incorporates Space (KLF Communications, 1990), and encircles the Earth without end.

4. Why does the K-Line fascinate all in its path?

Because the Earth People need to Dance.

Last year, The KLFRS posted the following cryptic numbers.

12-258 is the catalogue number of the classic house track 'Dance' by Earth People, released in 1990, so that is evidently a Konnection rather than a Koincidence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb6g7K9vGEE

While 4911-1 is the catalogue number of a lego set, specifically a blue lorry.

Which I might ordinarily have dismissed as irrelevant, were it not for the recent shenanigans involving Ice Kream Vans and Justified Lego Lands of Mu.

Also.

Around the turn of the century, (this being the era of my weed-smoking university days is probably not a Koincidence), I found myself experimenting with the idea that it was possible to communicate with people within dreams.

I pestered one particular friend after a dream encounter, but he rudely insisted he could remember nothing of it, and frustratingly, I could recall little myself beyond that I had dreamt about him. Evidently I needed to be more concise with my messaging.

Soon after, I had another dream encounter with a close female friend, with whom I'd always shared a borderline-psychic Konnection. Aware that there was little time between achieving awareness of my dream state and subsequently waking up, I urgently told her that I was going to give her a message to remember, which I would then ask her to relay back to me in real life upon waking.

We were in a field, next to a road. A blue lorry drove past.

"Just remember 'Blue Lorry'," I told her.

I woke up and immediately texted her: Name a random colour and a random vehicle.

She promptly texted back: 'Blue Lorry'.

Now, how impressive exactly is that Koincidence?

It feels significant, but to what extent did I load the question? How many Kombinations of colours and vehicles would it have been possible for her to have chosen? A fair few, I guess, but a lot fewer than if I'd asked her to just name two random words.

So was this significant? Is any of this significant?

Well, significance is in the soul of the beholder. And I behold that it is.

5. How should The KLFRS proceed in light of this new information?

Next chapter of 'Samplecity Thru Transcentral', please. The Earth People need Dance fuel.

Alan

PS. I just remembered something else. The last track on 'Where The Lemon Meets The Teign' is called 'Kitty Jay's Grave Revisited'. 'Revisited' because it's a re-enactment of a song from a previous album, 'Rumours of a Reunion'. And Kitty Jay's Grave as in the real location on Dartmoor, the memorial of spontaneously appearing flowers for a Victorian-era murder victim, which I should probably now add to my Google Map.

Anyway, the opening lyrics are "I've got techno on my headphones, Dartmoor in my soul..."

And I always kinda knew I was subconsciously ripping off the rhythm of that phrase, but I couldn't place from where, as I wasn't able to mentally "hear" anyone's voice singing that specific combination of syllables.

Until I later happened to glance at the tracklisting of 'Chill Out', see the title 'Elvis On The Radio, Steel Guitar In My Soul', and immediately know that's where I'd gotten it from.


PPS; While the 'Ashes to Ashes' music video being filmed right on the Ekuator is definitely impressive, even more so is the forward planning involved in the Ekuator aligning perfectly with a section of the International Dateline, not to mention the antipode of Transcentral being the exact point where the Dateline deviates from the Ekuator.


Now, while Kiribati is technically the first country to experience a new day (or millennium), that has only been the case since 1994, post-KLF, and clearly involved some administrative cheating that, for our purposes of cosmic alignment, it is probably fair to dismiss.

The antipode of Transcentral would therefore seem to mark the spot of a new dawn. Or the best place to take a jump to the left followed by a step to the right, if time warps are your thing.

I'm in Melbourne, so while New Zealand's got an hour on me, it still means I'm in a good position to check streaming services at 00:00 on Fridays and be surprised by new record releases, news of which has yet to reach the rest of the world.

This can involve the joy of realising that, holy shit, Pink Floyd really have just reformed to release a pro-Ukranian anti-war protest song, even if nobody will believe me for another few hours. Or yet another crushing disappointment with another Friday 23rd having passed with no further instalments of 'Samplecity Thru Trancentral' to be seen. And I'll admit, a decreasing faith in the continuation of the project. But, as is becoming clear, you guys are clearly working to a larger timescale than any of us has realised.


WALKING THE LINE #5

 

Mursley to Silverstone, 23/03/24

 

I’ve managed to catch a lift up to Buckinghamshire this morning thanks to Carolyn Bristow: sea-swimmer, church bell-ringer, budding scriptwriter and, helpfully, my wife. She drops me in Newton Longville then drives off to spend the day in Rushden Lakes with a friend of ours from Corby. With my ailing walking boots patched up with fresh shoelaces, I locate a direct and easy route through the Hounslow Hall country estate and across a few fields towards Mursley to link up again with the course of the K-Line at the top of Cooks Lane.

 

As flock of sheep appear as I cross the Line, being driven towards the village by a farm vehicle with a very excited sheepdog in the back. Could they be offspring of the sheep on the ‘Chill Out’ sleeve, I wonder. Have I perhaps even passed through the ‘Chill Out’ field already without realising it? The Buckinghamshire farmland definitely looks like the right territory.

 

I wave goodbye to the sheep, head into the village and turn right along Main Street. I pass the church of St Mary The Virgin and then a pub called The Green Man. I remember the lines from poet  Pelé Cox on the side of Grenadier Gardens in Chelsea that I saw earlier on in this expedition:

 

CAST OUT THE BIRDS / SING LET ME LEAF / I AM THE GREEN MAN

 

The appearance of this Green Man as we head into spring suggests the poet’s spell is taking effect. The further into the middle of England I walk, the more careful I need to be not to get lost, not to become too much at one with nature, not to fall back through time.

 

Right now, however, the sun is out and the pavement is under my feet. Just before I bend left into Station Road, I get a good view of Mursley’s spindly concrete water tower ahead, a local landmark for miles around that sits proudly on top of the K-Line. The tower is also on the crest of Mursley United FC (‘Green Army’) and I pass plenty of Saturday morning football practice on their pitch as I take the footpath on my right, down a muddy track and back into the countryside.

 

Down through a couple of fields, I cross a lane and then reach a green metal footbridge over a new railway line, part of a rebuilt transport connection between Bicester to the west and Bletchley to the east. The number of train stations near the K-Line hereabouts are few and far between, and indeed my Ordnance Survey map still marks this old route as ‘Railway (disused)’ so it’s heartening to see some public transport returning.

 

The path across the fields takes me beneath pylons and skylarks towards the striking low hump of Norbury Coppice. A brief shower blows over as I’m obliged to skirt the left hand side of the woods. The K-Line cuts straight through them. Passing through the pleasant gardens of a pair of houses in Little Horwood, I then hook a right, then a left, uphill across a large field and into the grounds of Little Horwood Manor.

 

As I crouch down on the manicured lawn to get my bearings, a sudden strong wind rip my OS map from its orange cover, sending it flapping away towards the open field behind me. I give chase, diving on it and pinning it down before I lose possession completely. It’s a classic supernatural trick, the sort of devilish stunt that appears in Jacques Torneur’s ‘Night Of The Demon’ (whose railway line climax was filmed near the K-Line at Bricket Wood station back in Hertfordshire). My guard is up. If I lose the map out here I’ll be in real trouble.

 

Leaving the Manor I turn left down Warren Road, then right, up towards the A421. The cut of a cycle path directs me across the traffic, and I head north onto Little Horwood Road as the K-Line dissects the shipping containers of the Savvy Storage site next to me. Passing a quartet of ageing traffic cones, I follow the dead straight road up towards Nash. I’ve not got time to explore the enticing Woodland Trust idyll of College Wood on my right unfortunately.

 

It’s a good name for a village, Nash. It could remind one of Buckinghamshire’s own surrealist painter Paul Nash, or perhaps the Regency architect John Nash, but today it’s just reminding me of Frankie Goes To Hollywood. I take an uneventful stroll up the High Street, cut left down a footpath and then up Stratford Road, leading to another wonderful view where the countryside to the north opens in front of me for miles and miles. The main thing I can see in the distance, though, is storm clouds.

 

I’d planned to track the footpaths to Thornton College from here but the scattered spats of rain have turned to sleet so I decide to make it easy on myself and take the country roads down to the village. I pass a quartet of cheerful horse riders being followed at a safe distance by a cyclist and we exchange pleasantries.

 

The sun comes back out as I follow Thornton Road with such heat that I’m down to my t-shirt again. I take the right at a T-junction, past the tree lined avenue leading to Thornton Hall a Grade II listed building cut through by the K-Line. I carry on down into Thornton village and take the right turning, up past Thornton College, a boarding and day school for girls, screened from the road by trees. As it’s the Easter holidays, it’s hosting some Ultimate Activity Camps for the general public, so there’s lots of activity and family cars coming and going.

 

The road and the K-Line now both cross the River Great Ouse (‘The Launching Of Canoes And Boats Is EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN Along This Stretch Of River’) and lead me up to a very busy A422. A sign on the eastbound carriageway welcomes me to Northamptonshire. According to my OS map there’s a bridleway close to the K-Line here on the county border but I can’t find where it starts so I tack a little to the west, aiming to reach Leckhampstead.

 

As soon as I step into the first field, another sudden rainstorm begins. It’s heavy but brief and when it eases I find I’m walking the wrong side of an electric fence as I descend towards the next farm. I jump back over the wire, say hello to a pair of friendly horses, cross a wooden bridge and continue towards the village. After passing some old ruined walls I cut right across a pretty grass field but somehow end up on the wrong side of the path at the far end. I climb the barbed wire topped gate and jump down onto Wicken Road.

 

The lane takes me past an attractive rural road junction decorated with carved wooden roadsigns and a tempting bench for a quick rest, a cereal bar and a couple of mini pork pies, before continuing to Leckhampstead. The village would certainly appear more attractive had the rain not begun again and the view across the River Leck to the Norman church has been temporarily weakened by some recent heavy pruning of the trees on the green. In the little wooden village hall, a party is taking place. There’s a chap hanging out on the porch among bunches of bright balloons but he looks somewhat bored and doesn’t seem up for a chat.

 

The sun breaks through the clouds again as I leave the village, taking a footpath across more fields, under the pylons, around a farm, alongside a winding stream and over another narrow wooden bridge. The K-Line is running parallel to my route a little to my east but I’ll catch up with it when I reach the next village.

 

I stomp across a field heavy with weeds to reach Chapel Lane, following it north before a footpath cuts the left hand corner into Lillingstone Lovell, one of the most beautiful small villages I’ve come across so far. I feel strangely drawn to stay, to enter the 13th century church and settle, but the pull of the K-Line is under my feet again and I stride on.

 

I take the lane out from the village until it meets the A413. The sun beats down on a red car, parked up on a grassy island in the middle of the junction, a woman waiting in the drivers’ seat for someone or something to happen. She’s wearing a crown of ivy. I hurry on by.

 

From here, it would be more direct to follow the K-Line straight up the A413 to Whittlebury but I’m keen to visit the motor racing circuit ahead at Silverstone, so I cross through a gate by the road into a neighbouring field. It appears to be freshly sown, so I edge left around the young plantings to the stile on its far side. Once through a bright patch of grassland I enter an absolutely vast brown field, the old stalks of last year’s crops crunching underfoot as I follow the footpath across it.

 

Beyond are two woods, Shrine’s Wood to the east and Hatch-hill wood a little further to the west. In Shrine’s Wood, I stumble over some collapsing farm shacks and old bits of agricultural equipment, seemingly abandoned. When I reach Hatch-hill Wood the rain starts thundering down again, so I step into the trees for cover.

 

It’s silent and slightly sinister being alone in the trees and, as the ground beneath me turns from woodland path to fallen logs and tangled shrubs, I remember how easy it is to lose your bearings. I decide to get back out into the open but when I step into the fields again I find I’ve lost the footpath. I end up ducking down to squeeze through a hole in a hedgerow, emerging from the twigs and leaves like the Green Man himself, but I can now see Silverstone race track in the distance.

 

The rain is getting heavier and the wind stronger so I get my head down and stride straight across the field, intersecting with a raised footpath on my left as I reach the race course near Becketts Corner. There’s no motor racing today but I can hear plenty of practice driving, roaring round the track out of sight, and there’s a pair of yellow Porsches zooming around on the wet tarmac on the other side of the fence to me.

 

I follow the bridleway anti-clockwise around the course, wondering what sort of hardy horses would brave a trot next to the noise of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Even on a quiet, non-event day like today, the circuit is noisy. The rain turns to hail as I reach a zone where there’s a lot of what look like modernist chalets being built for Silverstone race goers. Battling the winds, I try to stick a K-Line notice on the perimeter fence but just then a security car drives up so I pretend I’m just re-packing my rucksack, hoping the guards haven’t spotted my scissors, parcel tape and KLF pictures.

 

The storm clears as the bridle path veers through some trees, then across a field of sheep and lambs happily chewing the grass in the shadow of the Silverstone grandstands. I join Winterhills, a lane that takes me on a bridge over the A43 Silverstone Bypass and down to Towcester Road.

 

I text Carolyn to let her know I’ve reached my intended destination for today and kill a bit of time waiting for her to arrive by wandering into Silverstone village itself, down the High Street towards St Michael’s Church and The White Horse pub. The sun’s back out and there’s plenty of people about, all of whom are happy to say Good Afternoon as I pass.

 

I’ve just got time to go up Whittlebury Road as far as Windmill Farm to make my farewells to the K-Line, before trotting back down the hill to the Towcester Road junction. I sit on a bench, change my storm-soaked socks and read today’s chapters of Bill Drummond’s ‘The Life Model’ on my phone.

 

A massive murder of crows circle overhead as Carolyn draws up in her Skoda Yeti. I climb in.

 

“How was it?” she asks. “Are you ok?”

 

“All good!” I say. “Got a bit wet. Not too lost though. I didn’t die! I might sort out registering for MuMufication though, just in case it finishes me off.”

 

“At least you’ll make it to Liverpool,” she replies. “As a brick.”

 

STUART HUGGETT


FIELD REPORT #7

Nr KING'S LANGLEY

GPS: 51.7021174, -0.4451458  

COSTS: Free

DISTANCE FROM THE K-LINE: 223 metres

TRANSPORT LINKS: The M25

FIELD REPORT: Heading out of London, the K-Line crosses the M25 and then, slightly further north crosses, the A41 at a bridge.  The bridge is shown on Google Maps as Langley Lodge Lane. 


On 20 March 2024, a Young Man and his other younger travelling companion were returning home round the M25 at the end of a long day out. Realising there was a possibility to create a Field Report, the Young Man exited the M25 at Junction 20 and attempted to turn on to Langley Lodge Lane. However, it was dark and so he missed the turn.


Half a mile later, he was able to turn round and head back towards the unlit junction, turning right this time into Langley Lodge Lane and headed for the bridge. 


About 50 yards later, his observant travelling companion pointed out an unlit sign*.  In this case, the sign said "Private Road".


Here ended the Young Man's latest visit to the K-Line. 


You're welcome.


*the Young Man has history with signs. 

WALKING THE LINE #4

 

Aldbury to Mursley, 09/03/24 

 

The day is bright and spring-fresh when I head back up onto the Ashridge Estate and easily locate the Tuning Fork Tree, noble and mysterious in the morning sunshine. I hadn’t been able to spot it in the gathering dusk last time we were here but it turns out to be just a few metres into the woods from a Public Footpath sign (Tom’s Hill ½ / Bridgewater Monument 1) I’d stood next to and photographed on our previous visit.

 

The KLF Re-enactment Society had advertised the 9 A.M. start of today’s excursion on the usual platforms for the benefit of any interested fellow walkers. I hung around by the roadside for 23 minutes until it became clear that there were definitely no interested fellow walkers. As today’s adventure ultimately turned out to be the longest and most challenging journey along the K-Line attempted thus far, this was probably just as well. I ended up with one destroyed boot and a bad back for a week but that’s just collateral damage I suppose.

 

At 9.23 I head into the woods in the general direction of the Bridgewater Monument. Built in 1832, the base of the 108 foot Doric column states that it was erected in honour of canal-building pioneer Francis, Third Duke Of Bridgewater, “Father Of Inland Navigation”. The views from the publicly accessible summit are apparently impressive, stretching all the way to Canary Wharf on a clear day, but I’m quarter of an hour too early for the National Trust to have opened up access and am anxious to press on.

 

Descending from the high plateaux of the estate onto Stocks Road, I head along its verge northwards, past where the rooks are rebuilding their nests and across the Hertfordshire / Buckinghamshire border. The mound of Pitstone Hill lies further down the lane but I follow the K-Line more directly by taking the public footpath on my left, across a dry field full of skylarks until I reach the Ridgeway.

 

In use for some 5000 years, the Ridgeway is a contender for the oldest road in Britain, beginning at nearby Ivinghoe Beacon and ending further south and west at Overton Hill near Avebury in Wiltshire. As I turn right towards Pitstone Hill, I feel honoured to be tracing even just a few hundred yards in the footsteps of my ancestors. The view from Pitstone Hill, stretching north over much of the middle English countryside that I am duty-bound to cross, is truly wonderful.

 

I step back onto Stocks Road for a stretch, then head back onto the land to visit another National Trust acquisition, the 400 year-old Pitstone Windmill. It’s too early in the year for public access, so I give it a quick circuit before heading further across the fields towards the houses of Pitstone itself.

 

Arriving on Vicarage Road, I turn right, heading into the village where I chance across the first Ice Kream Van of this expedition. It’s parked outside Pitstone Green Museum, waiting patiently to serve the boys currently engaged in football matches on the park opposite, and their parents, currently engaged in shouting encouragement and abuse at their offspring.

 

Continuing along Cheddington Road, I pass under one of the bridges supporting the West Coast Main Line. The Great Train Robbery of 1963 took place at Bridego Railway Bridge, a short distance up the line on the other side of Cheddington. A rare bit of violence in the countryside. Ronnie Biggs was doing time, until he done a bunk. I don’t know if you heard.

 

Turning right onto Wellington Place, the road to Cheddington lifts over a narrow humpback bridge beside Pitstone Wharf Marina, full of idling canal boats. Cheddington appears to be a perfectly pleasant English village on a quiet morning such as this. I pass The Old Swan pub, a field of sheep and a sign on the village green proudly proclaiming ‘Cheddington: 2000 AD’. I assume this is a millennium celebration of the fact that the village was old enough to be mentioned in the Domesday Book. It’s funny how fast the future dates.

 

I take a right up Church Lane, which peters out into a track. The footpath on my left takes me alongside the beautiful and carefully tended St Giles Church and onto Station Road. There should be a footpath here along the direct path of the K-Line to Mentmore but I can’t spot it so I hang left a little, plodding along a boggy track until I reach Mentmore Road. The wide, grassy footpath along the left hand side of the road is pretty marshy today but I do spot my first deer of the expedition, darting for cover among the trees.

 

Mentmore Towers, a 19th century country house, is looking pretty majestic to my left as I enter the village, passing the impressive Stag public house on my right. A friendly old gentleman is working with his rotorvator across the road from St Mary’s Church and hails me with a welcome Good Afternoon. He’s the only person who speaks to me all day.

 

As family 4x4s zoom past, I descend the road out of the village and down past the cricket club, before the road takes a sharp left and the K-Line continues along the route of a flat footpath across the fields on the right, marked by a hefty, sawn off lump of tree trunk.

 

Across the flat fields I go, the path of the K-Line clearly well-trodden. Deer are becoming numerous now, skipping across the fields as I near. I cross Leighton Road. To the west, the road passes through Wingrave, then links up with the A418 through Rowsham and Bierton into Aylesbury. To the east, I’m not far from Leighton Buzzard. I sit down, pause, and take out my Ordnance Survey maps.

 

The decision. Head along the road to Leighton Buzzard and the train back into London now? Or press on and aim for the railway station at Bletchley? Perhaps foolishly, I opt for the latter, not realising how muddy the terrain was going to become.

 

My footpath catches up with the A418 a bit further on, entering the village of Wing. I pass The Cottesloe School, turn left down Church Street, passing picturesque All Saints Church, bend to the right, then left along the High Street.

 

I walk past The Cock Inn and, as I’m sure it’s bar staff never tire of hearing, it truly does possess a most magnificent cock. Then it’s right again at Stewkley Road, and left up Littleworth until I reach the hamlet of Burcott.

 

Diverting down the hardly used Burcott High Street, a footpath at a bend in the road takes me down through a planting of small trees, across a narrow wooden bridge and over the fields towards Aylesbury Golf Club. I remember, before the internet, going to our college library to try and find out where the PO Box postcode printed on The K Foundation’s newspaper adverts (HP22 4RS) was, being very pleased when we worked out it was in Aylesbury, and then not realising there was much we could do with this information apart from write them a letter. Which we did. Goodness knows what it said but we never received a reply.

 

As I follow the public route across the golf course, today’s walk almost comes to a premature end. I’m picking my way through dozens of mis-hit balls to the right of the fairway when a freshly struck one comes sailing through the air, whizzing past my left ear and thumping into the ground. I signal to the lone golfer on the practice range that I’m unharmed. He ignores me and turns away. Thanks, mate.

 

Beyond the golf club, the land gets increasingly muddy. I cross a ditch spanned by a single plank, then step gingerly over an electric fence, my nether regions protected by a thoughtfully placed plastic seed bag. I repeat the move on the far side of the field and step onto Stewkley Road. A wedding party on a red London Routemaster bus breezes by as I head into the village.

 

I stride past the Carpenters Arms, adding another hostelry to my mental list of pubs to revisit one day. A sign by the war memorial tells me Stewkley is the Best Kept Village in Buckinghamshire. It is pretty neat. I’m not sure why, this far from the sea, I keep passing mothers with pushchairs wearing Dry Robes though.

 

I follow the High Street as is bends left into North End. St Michael And All Angel’s Church is advertising its ‘Messy Church’ Sunday (“Join In - Have Fun - Know Jesus”) which must be a decent weekend option seeing as the nearest pub, The Swan, is currently up for sale.

 

A footpath on my left leads me down into a field of newborn lambs and sheep. “Baa! Baa!” bleat the lambs. Or is it “Back! Back!”? Have the sheep grazing on the K-Line learned to communicate with passing KLF fans or am I starting to lose the plot? I should have listened really.

 

Carefully picking my way around the field’s edge so as not to disturb the flock too much, the footpath takes me across more grassy fields, then into a flooded muddy ditch, which I’m forced to straddle clumsily in order to pass along. Splinters dig into the palm of my hand as I try to steady myself against a wooden fence.

 

I haul myself along and up onto a concreted farm track, waving to a cheerful woman driving past on her tractor who’s definitely laughing at the amount of mud on my jeans and boots. I cross Dean Road at the top of the lane, then just about manage to navigate more mud, flooding and ditches under which the K-Line is submerged, until I finally stumble onto the B4032 Mursley Road.

 

Walking down Main Street into Mursely at least shakes much of the mud from my legs. It’s been cloudy for a while and the sun is beginning to dip so I call a halt to following the line for now. Turning right onto Cooks Lane, it’s only another two hours walk across more farmland, missing several turnings, doubling back around ponds and reservoirs and staggering along boggy field edges with sunken footpath signs lying horizontal in the ditches, before I eventually make it to Newtown Longville and along the main road to Bletchley station. The beer I buy for the train journey home never tasted so sweet.


FIELD REPORT #6

THE M6 SERVICES - NORTH AND SOUTH

GPS: North - 52.872293, -2.161946;  South - 52.470976, -1.547172 

COSTS: Free

DISTANCE FROM THE K-LINE: Northbound - about half a mile;  Southbound - about 10cms 

TRANSPORT LINKS: The M6

FIELD REPORT: On the weekend of 24-25 February 2024, a Young Man on Facebook and his younger travelling companion, traversed the K Line four times while travelling up and down the M6.  The M6 is a motorway which also has a Spaghetti Junction.  Conveniently, the points at which the K Line crosses the M6 are at or close to Motorway Service Stations - Corley (Northbound) and Stafford Southbound. 


To mark these crossings, the Young Man took the opportunity to establish two new Lines of SHITE.  The Line of SHITE is, according to ChatGPT, if not situationist, a somewhat whimsical creation of the Young Man on Facebook.  More information about all of this was posted on gantob.blog in early 2024. 


The points were established by the placement of two copies of 45 by Bill Drummond (2000, Little, Brown) at or near to the intersections of the K Line and the M6 to the north and south - at the service stations mentioned above.  Each copy contained an insert explaining the Line of SHITE, with a postscript referencing the K Line. Other copies of 45 will be placed to complete the establishment of two new Lines of SHITE in due course. 


You're welcome. 

The other placement was possibly captured on cctv in [redacted], but I'd rather you didn't mention that. 



FIELD REPORT #5

2-TONE VILLAGE, COVENTRY

GPS: 52.410305, -1.483750

COSTS: £5.00 Adults, kids under 15 are free

YOU TUBE LINK: https://youtube.com/shorts/GpUv7KZpb6E?si=FRDw3eAftEX9-ALv 

DISTANCE FROM THE K-LINE: 800 metres

TRANSPORT LINKS: Parking around the corner on Clay Street, £1.00 for 2 hours

FIELD REPORT: After tagging and leaving Echills Wood Model Railway, I set off to meet my good friend Angela Varley for a koffee at a midway spot in Coventry. She suggested the 2 Tone Village cafe and we spent our time chatting for over an hour about the days adventures, past adventures and forthcoming adventures and to confess we didn't get to explore the museum but as I hugged her goodbye, I remembered I still had a laminated notice and I was still carrying a brick around in my bag. 

I had found a brick marked Park Brick Keighley' when we had moved into our home (a number 23) and felt a deep affinity with the thing (we are destined to be bricks one day after all) and reflected on Annabelle Pollen's green painted Kibbo Kift brick and wished to knod back to it. As if by magic, the traffic cone appeared. Cementing my faith in the magic of the K-Line once again. 

Tag set and brick parked. Today has been a good day. 

FIELD REPORT #4

ECHILLS MODEL RAILWAY

GPS: 52.5623654, -1.6964831 

COSTS: £3.30 parking off season Train £2.00 return under 2's Free  

YOU TUBE LINK: https://youtube.com/@charliemonk2?si=6jqlHT0tJuTcZGIn 

DISTANCE FROM THE K-LINE: 0 metres

FIELD REPORT

I got the call from The Otherman, I'm not sure if I volunteered or I was summoned but I picked up the gauntlet and as my husband has an event to attend in Solihull I made a quick map check figured it was as good a place as any to road trip to on the K-Line tagging mission. 


Not wanting to go in blind. I randomly stick a pin in the Google map and scan the area for places of interest. Google search ‘Standing Stones and Monoliths’ gives me nothing so perhaps ‘attractions’ will rustle up something? I don't hold out much hope as the most recent Google review is a bridge noted by the reviewer as ‘People think they can park here to not pay the cost of parking in the water park (£4) causing great annoyance to the local residents in the old mill which are mainly elderly… please park elsewhere.‘ not the welcoming I was seeking. I check the street view anyway, in hope of a tiny nugget of inspiration. 

There's a small group of cars parked there,  fuelling the reviewers huff and a bridge, obviously. Zooming in as far as the Google cam will let me, I spot a figure on the other side of the bridge. A Hi Viz jacket is detected. 

OK it's not much to go on but if I'm going to walk blind into a 125 mile  pilgrimage to the midlands to stick a flag in a spot that doesn't even know it is of huge importance yet, it might as well start there. (or at least at the nearby £4 car park as to not upset the grumpy reviewer) 

Close by I spot a cluster of lakes close to where the K-Line intersects the M42 and allow instinct and the laws of chaos to point the rest of the way. 

Tracing the path up towards the epicentre of the line I spot ‘Echills Model Railway’. 

E Chills! A midway stop between Liverpool, the Black E and Trancentral itself.

I'm fully invested now and start to plan my manoeuvres. 


ALL ABOARD! 

E-Chills or Echills Model Railway is a perfect easy walk with the kids or the dog. Spike isn't with me today (some of you will remember him from TDoD 2019 & 2021) but he would have loved it here. The weather ti's bright and there are signs of spring shoots all around. 


KROSSING THE LINES

52.5623655-1.6964831

Finding my first intersection of the train line and the K-Line was incidentally where the footpath and tracks crossed and 3 drunken traffic cones lay. 

Dutifully, I repositioned them and retraced my footsteps to try to get a bit closer to the M42 /K-Line crossing and I can hear the traffic but the mud and the train tracks, stop me in mine. 


I BEG YOUR PARDON, I NEVER PROMISED YOU A GNOME GARDEN. 

52.564207,-1.698220

My preliminary recky told me there was a ‘Gnome garden’ here so like a good girl scout, I prepared a Hi Viz wearing G.N.O.M.E as a marker but read reports that they had been vandalised in the past so I wondered if it would all work out. 


As I walked the line closer towards the K-Line I discovered their fate was that they were now locked away behind bars so fearing for his freedom I pulled out a sharpie and execute plan B. 

On the base I quickly write on the base:

“Property of the KLF Reinactment Society. If found please return to a location between L2 6RE & SW4 6QD. or KLFRS.COM”


G.N.O.M.E is now free to roam! 

His primary location is in the YouTube video link

https://youtu.be/Ci7DFsFdmkY


Heading away from the Gnome Jail along the woodland path that runs next to the train track in a clockwise direction, There is a long, mossy, fallen tree trunk with a hole in the stump. Climb over that and there is a further fallen tree trunk parallel to it. G.N.O.M.E is behind it. 

I fear the brambles may take over soon so be quick. 


Please feel free to change his location and send his coordinates as you see fit. 


KATTERPILAR TRACKS

Continuing past this marker is a large bug hotel and wooden Katerpillar (Mirroring my Kolin the Katerpillar offering to the Dispensary on 23.11.23) 

Tags dropped, I return back to the car to complete and submit my findings to The Otherman and check in for a much needed catch up with a friend who suggests we meet for drinks in Coventry….. Good job I brought a second K-Line Notice and an extra marker. 

FIELD REPORT #3

THE GRIM UP NORTH BRIDGE

 

GPS: 51.660260 -0.347365 

COSTS: Free entry 

YOU TUBE LINK: https://youtu.be/1l0nsMFQCrM?si=DIj53tb5JKVjvWIZ 

DISTANCE FROM THE K-LINE: 2.3 km

TRANSPORT LINKS: From Watford's High Street, catch the 602 bus to Hatfield from stop F. As it's leaving North Bushey, alight on Hartspring Lane by Park Avenue, just before the A41 roundabout. The bridge is a one mile walk away.  
FIELD REPORT

The bridge over the M1 motorway which The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu graffitied 'It's Grim Up North' onto is almost criminally accessible on foot. From the roundabout with Hartspring Lane, walk south-east along the A41 Elton Way in the direction of London. Cross the road when you reach McDonald's and walk a little way up adjacent Sandy Lane. It's anything but Sandy, in fact it's as Grim and litter-strewn as anything you'd find up North. A metal security fence on the right separates you from a Caravan Park but it ceases just before the lane crosses the motorway. Duck into the bushes here and only a very low brick wall stands between you and M1 carriageway. The JAMs' slogan has long been painted over, as have many more years of graffiti efforts, but the view of the bridge is unchanged. 

WALKING THE LINE #3

 

Watford to Aldbury, 17/02/24

 

It’s a grey Saturday morning when I reconvene with Seb. Despite getting thoroughly soaked by the rain here last week, he’s not been put off our mission and has brought his teenage son Vincent along for the ride. Joining us is Nick Verlaine, a Hertfordshire born and bred university colleague of mine, who’s suffering from unwelcome college party flashbacks when we find him outside Watford Junction station.

 

Nick knows the countryside around this stretch of the K-Line like the back of his hand and suggests we follow the Grand Union Canal out of town. We head down Langley Road, past some of the most sought after properties in Watford. Geri Halliwell country. We reach the A41 Hempstead Road, then take the footpath down to the water at Grove Mill Lane.

 

From here the canal follows the course of the River Gade. We’ll only be a few hundred metres either side of the K-Line here, as the waters wind from one side to another across its unwavering course. None of the narrowboats are moving, their owners either tending to the upkeep of their craft or lounging about on the bank with family and friends.

 

The most energy hereabouts is coming from the abundant birdlife. We spot small flocks of long-tailed tits, a grey heron on the hunt, coots and moorhens cutting across the water and the last few parakeets emigrating from the city.

 

At the first intersection of the K-Line with the canal, near Hunton Bridge, we pin up a K-Line Notice as a marker. Uphill to our east we can see part of the Warner Bros. Studios complex at Leavesden, home of The Making Of Harry Potter experience. Nick works in the movie industry these days, and regales us with unrepeatable tales of chaotic film shoots and hapless directors from far less successful franchises than the Harry Potter one.

 

A pair of Mandarin ducks float by as we approach a particularly picturesque lock, much to the delight of the adults in our party. I’m not sure Vincent is as excited, he’s been busy thinking of ways to speed up our journey. What if we attached loads of buoys and big motor to a narrowboat? What if we hijacked an oil tanker? What if we tied ourselves to the legs of a goose?

 

We pass beneath the concrete legs of the M25 near Junction 20, wondering if Gimpo is out there on one of his 24 hours spins, as the canal enters Kings Langley, former home of Ovaltine. Above us, a pair of crows are attempting to mob a red kite, while across the water a swan is having a territorial argument with some Canada geese.

 

Pressing on through Apsley we catch sight of Hemel Hempstead’s K D Tower, a blue monolith of apartments redeveloped from the old Kodak building. So much K power in plain sight. Below the tower block, the traffic navigating Hemel’s famed Magic Roundabout junction spins in confused eternity.

 

With the occasional roar of the West Coast Main Line railway alongside us, we connect with the K-Line again at the Winkwell Swing Bridge, stopping off for refreshment at The Three Horseshoes. The pub’s been sitting here on the K-Line since 1535, thriving on the passing trade of travellers unwittingly drawn to its centuries old power.

 

Everyone’s happy to attempt the final cross-country leg of the day so we carry on along the canal a little further. We pass a narrowboat called T’Pau and, creating a sudden bit of late 80s Top Of The Pops synchronicity, it’s moored next to a ship called Dignity.

 

We finally leave the canal just outside Berkhamsted, heading up Ivy House Lane into the Chiltern Hills. “I hope this bit’s less boring” says Vincent. He truly is our Boswell.

 

I’m attaching another K-Line notice to a bridleway sign at the edge of Berkhamsted Common when a retired dog walker approaches us in a state of minor agitation. “Excuse me, that’s not a planning permission sign, is it? We like the land around here to stay just as it is, you understand.”

 

We stand aside to allow the gentlemen to read the notice and a distant memory starts coming back to him. “Ah, the K-Line, of course! My old grandad had an allotment at Potten End before the war and he always planted his carrots in a different direction to everyone else. He DID say it was because of the K-Line but I always thought the old fellow was mumbling something about the soil being alkaline. He always was a wise one!”

 

With our new friend’s best wishes, we enter the common, passing the trenches dug into the land by the Inns Of Court Officers Training Corps as preparation for combat in the Great War. Heading deeper into the muddy woodland of the Ashridge Estate, the GPS on Seb’s phone begins to fail and even Nick’s sense of direction is deserting him. Vincent, meanwhile, is taking running jumps over the puddles.

 

Fortunately we’ve got a thumping great Philip’s Street Atlas of Hertfordshire in my rucksack, 25 years old but still accurate down to every field, farm and copse. Keeping near the K-Line, we aim for the Outwood Kiln Cottages. We almost lose our way at the last minute, drifting to the south and onto the B4056 before recovering our route, drawing closer to the mystical signals emanating from the Tuning Fork Tree.

 

By the time we reach the cottages, the light is starting to fail and our tree target has blended back into the encroaching darkness. Never mind, we’ll find it another day. Mission almost accomplished, Nick recognises we’re on Tom’s Hill Road so he confidently leads us downhill to Aldbury and the end of today’s walk.

 

It’s been a very long day as we finally stagger into the village. There’s a set of medieval stocks on the green. I’m slightly surprised my friends don’t put me in them.


Stu


WALKING THE LINE #2


Fryent Country Park to Watford, 10/02/24

 

Picking up the course of the K-Line at Fryent Country Park, I’m joined for this leg of the journey by school friend, painter and musician Seb Wyatt. He’s well informed on all things psychogeographical and will prove to have a valuable second set of eyes on today’s walk.

 

Waling up Fryent Lane, we discover fresh water coursing down the pavement, the heavy rains of the previous week causing a natural spring to overflow. While part of the western side of the park was planted in the 18th century, the eastern side features hedgerows and meadows that date back to medieval times. This ancient agricultural use and the presence of the springs show just how historically fertile the path of the K-Line is.

 

After a short wander through the boggy fields, we re-join Fryent Lane, heading north into Kingsbury, then west down Kenton Road. The K-Line passes through dozens of suburban houses and gardens around here, so we keep it as close as possibly by cutting up Shrewsbury Avenue and the narrow and winding Glebe Avenue.

 

On Streatfield Road I pick up some walking fuel in the Londis: a chicken and mayo sandwich, a lamb samosa, some Maoam chews and bottle of Rubicon fruit juice. Seb is getting the impression my diet hasn’t changed much since school. He’s right.

 

Turning up Culver Road we pass Centenary Park, “The Home of 6-a-side Football”, although curiously for a Saturday afternoon we can’t see anyone playing. We carry on zig-zagging west and north and find ourselves on Wetherall Drive (“Fail we may, sail we must” as Andy Weatherall had it, another useful motto for us).

 

Weston Drive takes us to Belmont Circle, one of those numerous 1930s shopping parades and roundabouts that speckle Greater London. On Beverly Gardens, a bobby on the beat breaks from his chat with a local resident and a woman from the Salvation Army to bid us good morning, although his friendliness disguises his concern at seeing two muddy blokes with rucksacks so out of place among the fine houses and smart cars we’re passing.

 

Starting to tire of suburbia, we thankfully reach Belmont Hill. A narrow footpath buried in damp leaves takes us up and over Stanmore Golf Club, although again we see nobody playing. There are glimpses of an excellent view back south, however. A pair of Egyptian geese are frolicking on the fairway and a ring-necked parakeet poses tamely on the branches above us.

 

The footpath exits onto Gordon Avenue and by far the most well to do houses we’ve encountered yet. I consider tying a K-Line Notice to a lamppost but then remember our friendly policeman and think better of it. Meanwhile, Seb clocks we’re passing Drummond Drive. There’s several Drummonds in my Philips Street Atlas of London but no Cautys. At least, not yet.

 

Entering Kenton Lane near The Seven pub, we recognise that we’re passing through an old village, still part of the London sprawl but a sign that the urban city is now fragmenting, green spaces, woods and commons opening up ahead of us.

 

Clamp Hill begins our ascent to the high ridge above north London. Warming up with the climb, I’m down to my K2 Plant Hire t-shirt. A black car powers downhill towards us, shouting something quite possibly KLF related out the window as it zooms past. We’re unable to make out what’s being sung but if that was you driving, tick off a box in your i-Spy Book Of The K-Line.

 

Higher and higher we go, stepping off Common Road for the wooded shade of adjacent Harrow Weald Common. Someone’s dumped a fairly new looking fridge freezer down the bank, somewhat carelessly even for a fly-tipper as Seb realises that they’ve left the compressor attached. Scrap metal merchants, take note, there’s copper in them there hills.

 

We emerge at the top of the woods and take Hive Road onto Bushey High Road, running parallel to the K-Line. On our left, some mighty electricity pylons stand on Larken Drive. To the south, they stretch towards the spot where the K-Line and the National Grid first intersect. Checking our Ordnance Survey map, we trace the transmission line to the north, where it reaches the huge substation on Hilfield Lane, right beside the M1 bridge that The JAMs painted their ‘It’s Grim Up North’ graffiti on.

 

This is too much of a coincidence. Has the UK government been stealing energy from the K-Line all this time? Determined to investigate, we race downhill through Bushey, ignoring the rain showers, before turning right onto Falconer Road just before the K-Line crosses the High Street.

 

Up Finch Lane we go, past the former Royal Masonic School For Boys and onto the sodden footpaths across Bushey Manor Fields. An RAF Bomber crashed here during a training exercise in 1943, killing its crew of five. A plaque commemorates the dead.

 

Further across the field, a tall telephone mast stands alone, conspicuously camouflaged as a tree. Skirting the Jewish Cemetery we squeeze past the traffic backed-up on Sandy Lane, dodge our way across the busy A41 and locate the It’s Grim Up North bridge.

 

Directly in front of us, the electricity substation crackles malevolently, keeping its secrets behind unsurmountable fencing. We stare and wonder but there’s nothing we can do.

 

Starting down the lane, right next to the substation is the Dharam Marg turning, leading to the mock Tudor country house donated, as Seb suddenly remembered, by George Harrison to the Hare Krishna movement. A Beatles connection then. All You Need Is Love? Maybe George was on a mission to counter the draining of the K-Line energy. Good old George.

 

We pass a Second World War pillbox and reach Patchett’s Green, stopping off for a pint to mull over this afternoon’s discoveries. This is clearly a major site of K-Line related interest. A visit to our Hare Krishna friends at Bhaktivedanta Manor will need to be arranged.

 

Decision made, we take a more leisurely walk down Aldenham Lane, catching up with the K-Line’s course at the bottom of Bushey Hall Lane where it crosses the flooded River Colne. Abandoned shopping trolleys bob around helplessly.

 

Edging around the shopping centre ring road on our way to Watford Junction, we pass a skate park. There’s no-one skateboarding. There’s no-one at all. Where the hell is everybody?


Stuart Huggett


FIELD REPORT #2

THE TUNING FORK TREE, ALDBURY, TRING

 

GPS: 51.7971840, -0.5909310

COSTS: Free entry 

DISTANCE FROM THE K-LINE: 23 metres.

TRANSPORT LINKS: From Tring, take the 387 Aldbury bus for five stops and get off at Pond. The Tuning Fork Tree is then a 23 minute walk through the Ashridge Estate.
FIELD REPORT

The Tuning Fork Tree is a K-LINE HOTSPOT, marking the precise point where the district line to Stonehenge meets The K-LINE mainline. From Aldbury, Toms Hill Road winds its way through the woods of the Ashridge Estate. After a sharp left turn in the road, there is a parking area on your right. The Tuning Fork Tree is on the opposite side of the road, 23 metres off the beaten track, close to the Outwood Kiln Cottages. As I approached the tree the chirping of the birds faded away to reveal a deep, slowly oscillating tone, a clear signifier of the K-LINE drawing power from Stonehenge. My phone made the sound of a cable being attached and it was then I knew I had tapped into something incredible. To help to guide future KONDUCTORS, I left my tag and returned home, jolted awake and ready for more. 

WALKING THE LINE #1

It is a bright Sunday morning and the riverside is thronging with joggers and cyclists. Weaving past them I cross at the lights and head up Chelsea Bridge Road. I catch a fragment of Pelé Cox’s cut and pasted poem that stretches around the walls of the flats of One Grenadier Gardens on my right: “CAST OUT THE BIRDS / SING LET ME LEAF / I AM THE GREEN MAN”. These snatches may serve me well on this traipse across England. Cast out the birds, motherfuckers!

 

The K-Line cuts across my path as I negotiate the roadworks around Sloane Square. Heading up Sloane Street, everyone is wearing designer shades against the not exactly overpowering glare of the winter sun, even the toddlers in their pushchairs.

 

Turning left down past the grand red townhouses of Pont Street, the K-Line passes through the imposing Scottish Presbyterian church of St Columba’s on the corner ahead, as I bend into Beauchamp Place.

 

A café has caught fire, the staff standing outside on the pavement while the fire fighters deal with the smoke. Across the street, The Map House shop is closed on Sundays so I’m unable to browse the antique maps within. It’s been trading since 1907. In another 100 years it could be selling vintage maps of the K-Line too.

 

Crossing Brompton Road, I enter some of the narrow side streets of South Kensington, catching a glimpse of Brompton Oratory as I track through Montpelier Street and Trevor Place towards the southern edge of Hyde Park.

 

I enter, as the K-Line does, by the Prince Of Wales Gate and dawdle along the paths of Kensington Gardens, flocks of geese and screaming parakeets passing overhead. I don’t remember this many parakeets in London 20 years ago so I assume they’re still breeding, multiplying and expanding their range outwards. I wonder how far they’ve spread their range now. Maybe I’ll find out.

 

I leave the park on the north side opposite J. M. Barrie’s house on Lenister Terrace. “Second star to the right, and straight on ‘til morning” is as good a guide to following the K-Line as any.

 

From Lenister Gardens I wriggle through the back streets of Bayswater, across Bishop’s Bridge Road, past Porchester Hall and over the metal bridge by Royal Oak tube station. Pan Sonic’s remix on the ‘Fuck The Millennium’ 12” was the ‘Royal Oak Mix’. Synchronicity at work.

 

Under the Westway I go, and so does the K-Line. I follow the weave of Harrow Road westwards through Maida Hill until it curves to the north at the intersection of the K-Line and Elgin Avenue, a reminder I’m currently in Joe Strummer’s old territory.

 

I take a right turn at Third Avenue, to catch the K-Line again as it cuts the corner of Queens Park Gardens. There’s not much to see in this little residential park until you climb the small grassy mound in its centre and catch the view south to Trellick Tower, rising above the rooftops.

 

Carrying on along Ilbert Street, I re-join the bustle of west London on Chamberlayne Road. Ahead of me on the right is Moberly Sports Centre, the name chiming with that of artist and frequent Bill Drummond collaborator Tracy Moberly.

 

Once across the railway lines at Kensal Rise tube, Chamberlayne Road becomes more suburban as it extends northwest. I take a left at Chambers Lane, a sudden rise and fall in the road affording a pleasant view across Gladstone Park and Dollis Hill.

 

Getting back into the bustle of Willesden Green High Road, I press on. A sculpture on the intersection of the High Road with Dudden Hill Lane features the four points of the compass embedded into the pavement. I take it as a sign that my quest is valid.

 

Following Dudden Hill Lane, I pass the plaque commemorating young PC Ronan McCloskey, killed by a car in 1987 while attempting to breathalyse its driver. I press on past the College Of North West London, past the mural celebrating the heroism of the Grunwick Film Processing Lab strike, and on into Neasden.

 

On Neasden Roundabout, the K-Line crosses The Grange, a 300 year old building available to rent for social events, so an ideal space for future KLF Re-enactment Society konferences. The arch of Wembley Stadium stretches across the sky in the west.

 

I pause to admire the imposing Bob Marley mural by Mr Cenz on the Laundercentre on Birse Crescent. In 1972 Bob and The Wailers lived nearby on The Circle, as they began to establish themselves in the UK. The Wailers’ debut British gig took place on 16th July that year, supporting Johnny Nash at Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion, and coincidentally Jimmy Cauty’s ADP World Riot Tour has arrived at the De La Warr this same weekend.

 

Ducking below the North Circular through Neasden Subway, I emerge on Neasden Lane. Continuing northwest I cross the River Brent, then onto Salmon Street and up into Fryent Country Park. A pair of green parakeets scream a welcome to me.

 

Walking through London from centre to edgelands today has seen me cross the whole social strata of the city, from the nouveau riche Made In Chelsea set to the “strikers in saris” of the Grunwick Strike. It’s becoming apparent that justified synchronicities are continuing to appear too. The Lost K-Line Of Mu evidently has more surprises in store.

 

Stuart Huggett


FIELD REPORT #1

HYDE PARK / KENSINGTON GARDENS

 

GPS: 51.504484 -0.175100

COSTS: Free entry between 6am and dusk.

YOU TUBE LINK: https://youtu.be/vkKGDsLEmrM?si=cvSir_z7CKzL1eH6
DISTANCE FROM THE K-LINE: 0 miles.

TRANSPORT LINKS: London Underground stations Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge all lie next to the parks.
FIELD REPORT

The largest open space in central London, the twin Royal Parks of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are evenly bisected by the K-Line. To follow the K-Line through the parks, enter at the Prince Of Wales Gate on the south side and track it as it cuts through the Serpentine Gallery, past the Physical Energy Statue on Lancaster Walk and out of the north side opposite the blue plaque to ‘Peter Pan’ author J. M. Barrie on Lenister Gardens. Having been open to the public for hundreds of years, everyone surely knows something about Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, whether it’s the big open air concerts (Bill Drummond has written about attending the famous 1969 Rolling Stones gig there and leaving before the end https://thequietus.com/articles/31955-corrugated-iron-bill-drummond-david-keenan-john-higgs), the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine (wild swimming is available), Speaker’s Corner or the Diana Memorial Fountain (the Princess Of Wales has her own posthumous connection to the The KLF, after their Barbican concert comeback as 2K was postponed following her death). Being honest, outside of the summer months the parks can be a bit flat and drab, but there’s always the parakeets. 

05/02/24


Dear Otherman

 

Following its unearthing last year by diligent members of The KLF Re-enactment Society I must admit that I’m finding myself drawn ever deeper into studying the mysteries of the Lost K-Line Of Mu.

 

Last October I began my investigations on foot, following its assumed origin at Trancentral in Stockwell, northwards until I reached the River Thames, and uncovering some interesting synchronicities on the way.

 

By the time Christmas was drawing near, the true course of the K-Line had finally been discovered and plotted. I had the sensation that Time Was Running In so, using public transport, I made a few quick stops at potential points of interest across north London until I reached the Hertfordshire countryside. The New Year turned, the world kept spinning, and the greater lengths of the K-Line remain unstudied.

 

Now I’m very much in favour of fellow society members exploring the length of the line by whatever means possible, whether driving the nearest motorways, A and B roads, suburban avenues and leafy lanes, criss-crossing the country by public bus or taking the nearest adjacent rail journeys. I hope that they do and that we may read about their discoveries on the KLFRS website.

 

But I now feel my calling is to track the line’s entire 180 mile length on foot. I’m hoping to achieve this journey, south to north, from London to Liverpool, Thames to Mersey, before 2024 reaches its conclusion. Hopefully by 23rd November, all being well.

 

On some stretches I will be accompanied by friends and fellow members of The KLFRS. Other times I must travel alone, looking for Tags and Signs that signify I am True To The Trail.

 

First, I will pick up my pedestrian wanderings where I left off back in October. On the north bank of the Thames, opposite Battersea Power Station. A few short walks will take me out through London and into the Home Counties. After that I’m beyond the familiar territory of my youth and heading deep into the heart of England, through farms and fields only hitherto glimpsed from the windows of speeding trains and crawling motorway traffic.

 

I may not succeed in reaching my target. I do think it’s achievable though. Whatever happens, I will be submitting my findings to The KLFRS, every step of the way.

 

After all, these boots were made for walking.

 

Yours, 


Stuart Huggett

 


23/01/24


Dear Tillerman

 

Well thanks (kind of) for having me and Tommy lead that walking tour on the 23rd. I suppose I got what I asked for.


Thought I should give a summary here of what occurred for anyone who missed our expedition to the Lost K-Line of Mu.

 

As we set off from the Florrie, Tommy began by asking ‘What is the K-Line? Does anyone know?’

 

I explained that, in simple but slightly misleading terms, it’s basically the KLF’s ley-line, and then I had to explain what ley-lines are. So I used examples referring to Avebury, Stonehenge and Glastonbury Tor, all the subject of early studies by Jimmy Cauty…

 

I figured the next thing to do was give some examples of nearby K-related sites which are all bang on the line. Some of these have already been identified by people writing to this page, like Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral and St James's Necropolis, the Blackie and the Matthew Street manhole cover, of course.

 

But I think I’m the first one to point out that the site of the 2017 Rites of Mumufication is also bang on the line. And I don’t think anyone has noticed before that the boundary of the Bluecoat is bang on the K-Line too. This is the site where Bill Drummond bill-posted the complete text of his account of the Matthew Street manhole cover and the interstellar ley-line. 


The ruined neolithic earthwork on the edge of John Lennon Airport has already been noted here, but just before it reaches the Bund, the K-Line cuts through Shipping Containers of Liverpool…


Someone asked ‘how long is the K-Line?’

 

’180 Miles’

 

How do you know?

 

’Well…Google Maps.’

 

This provoked much laughter and I realised some of these people thought I was just taking the piss. As if!

 

I pressed on regardless. They’d soon realise the seriousness of this affair when we arrived at Tony’s Pound Shop. 


I began to list the numerous K-related sites which my own ongoing research had uncovered. I figured that the surprising number of these would help to persuade any doubters. There really are just too many of them, in too perfect an alignment (the K-Line as plotted on the Google Map I’ve been using is a mere 1 metre wide) for this to be explained away as a coincidence. 


Tommy asked if there was any evidence of extra-terrestrial involvement in the K-Line. I answered truthfully that whilst some of the more maverick scholars have hypothesised an ancient alien origin, I was personally unconvinced by this. 


But there is a plethora of other Fortean activity out there on the K-Line waiting to be discovered. I told them all, for example, about what occurred at the line’s dead centre. It’s an otherwise unremarkable field, with a line made by walking, cutting a path across it diagonally and marking the midpoint of the K-Line. An otherwise unremarkable spot where it has been known, well-evidenced and widely reported to have rained apples. Yes, that’s right - apples…

 

I gave a few examples of some of the early, well-known Jams graffiti slogans, which were all on the K-Line, and then one of the pilgrims asked “But what’s it for? What’s its purpose?”

 

And that is real the question. And it’s one that I think I’m now able to answer. 

 

“The K-Line will be the official energy supplier powering the KLF’s 2323 World Tour. 300 years from now, this is how gigs will be legally obliged to operate, following legal changes to be brought in during negotiations around the annexation of Wigan Casino.”

 

We were drawing close to the K-Line now. As we passed Madryn Street one of the pilgrims drew our attention to a small, KLF graffiti tag on the street sign proclaiming simply “300 years”. It was somewhat faded and weathered now, having clearly been there for a while.

 

I explained that, some of the K-Line’s early-adopters have been travelling up and down its length leaving tags like this one, or repositioning traffic cones. These and other “Marks of Mu”, it is believed, will help to “re-kover” or “re-konnect” the K-Line; to get it up and running in time for the 2323 World Tour. 


We were very close to the point where our route crosses the K-Line. I drew everyone’s attention to the Yellow Submarine-themed mural behind us on the other side of the road.

 

“This close to the K-Line, it is not unusual for there to be some psycho-geographic slippage - for its influence to leak out causing subliminal and subconscious signs of its presence in the local area. I mean, that might’ve been any number painted onto the chest of that Blue Meanie…”

 

It was time to reveal the Google map of the K-Line to the pilgrims. It was a bit of a “wow, far-out moment” understandably. “180 Miles exactly end to end” one of them remarked, checking it carefully, which caught the attention of Tommy. 


“I’ve just realised what that means!” Exclaimed Tommy as he scrolled through his phone searching for a picture he’d taken at Penny Lane a few weeks earlier. It showed the familiar street sign accompanied by a graffiti tag simply and enigmatically stating “180 miles”.


Finally we reached Tony’s Pound Shop and the point where the K-Line passes through. And there, just outside the shop was a repositioned traffic cone bearing a freshly-applied KLF sticker with a QR code giving access to the 2023 Triptych. (The 2023 Triptych, by the way, prominently features anther corner shop, bang on the opposite end of the K-Line as a sort of London mirror to Tony’s here in Toxteth.)

 

The pilgrims eagerly scanned the QR code, and a few others popped into Tony’s for a Kit-Kat. Then, pausing only for a group photo at the Ringo mural, we set-off back to the Florrie


Further secrets were revealed on our return journey, and several of the pilgrims announced new points of interest that they’d just discovered whilst scrolling the map themselves. But I cannot reveal any of that here. It is for others now to share their findings on the K-Line…

 

…but I will write again soon. Not unreasonably, you might be wondering how it is that I came to discover all this stuff.

 

Well, that’s an interesting story. And I’ll tell it to you next time…


Regards

 

Gary Aster

 


24/12/23

The Northwest Passage

The day began at 9: A.M. sharp with breakfast at the Shepherdess Café on the City Road. Three travellers known as The Three Shepherdesses are due to meet here for the first time tomorrow evening and I wanted to check that the venue was set.

All seemed well so after I’d drunk my coffee I stepped outside and leant on a pillar box to think about the day ahead. Mister Fox trotted up and told me the Saturday market over in Golborne Road was worth a visit. He used to frequent E. Price & Sons greengrocers there while it was still open, the fruit and veg attracting curious and foolish prey for his voracious appetite.

I ask him how things are going with Tangerine NiteMare. Pretty good, he reckons. They’re all looking forward to the Christmas Top Of The Pops. I wish him luck and we part.

Hopping on the Hammersmith & City line at Old Street, I get off at Ladbroke Grove. Sure enough, E. Price & Sons is now a fashion shop called simply The Store. I’m paying more interest to the heaps of scuffed LPs for sale on the pavement outside when I spot Dead Squirrel lying in the gutter. He’s on his way to Hyde Park to hang out with his living brothers and sisters while they forage for nuts. I remember Alf Kromer’s Letter For Tillerman discussing the path of The K-Line through the park so decide to make my own way there.

Dead Squirrel says he’ll look out for me later but to have a Merry Christmas if we miss each other. I wish him luck with Tangerine NiteMare and head off.

Getting back on the Hammersmith & City line at Ladbroke Grove I continue a few more stops to Wood Lane, then walk the couple of hundred metres up the road to White City station, passing BBC Television Centre on my left. In one of the countless offices inside, the producer of Top Of The Pops is still trying to work out how on earth to fit all of the booked artists into the studio for the Christmas Day edition. Her Floor Manager is threatening to walk out too.

I catch the Central Line to Lancaster Gate and head into Hyde Park, wandering along the Serpentine and watching the wildlife. Reaching the Serpentine Gallery I sit down for a rest. Several tourists are standing stock still, pointing towards the Physical Energy statue in the centre of the park. It must be featuring again in the London guide books, I suppose.

A lone Crow flies overhead, following the direction of the tourists’ pointed fingers in the path of The K-Line. I know I must go on.

Back on the Central Line I travel from Lancaster Gate to Bond Street, then get on the northbound Jubilee Line. This London Underground line follows The K-Line very closely at times. Indeed, when we reach Dollis Hill, where the Jubilee Line and K-Line cross, I spot many travellers on the opposite platform standing still and pointing up the line. From inside my carriage, I can’t see whatever it is they see.

Slightly disconcerted I stay on the train and don’t disembark until Kingsbury, where The K-Line passes through the middle of nearby Fryent Country Park. I make my way down Fryent Lane to the Country Park’s car park to explore but the surrounding fields are very wet, mud rising over my trainers, threatening to literally bog me down.

A dog walker stands in the middle of the nearest field, pointing northwest towards Hertfordshire. The lone Crow flies overhead. 

I must continue.

Heading back into the city on the Jubilee Line I get out at Euston Square, cross into Euston station itself and catch an Overground train to the familiar orange slab of Watford Junction. Among the bus stops outside stands a purple double decker in Harry Potter livery, waiting to take dozens of tourists to the Studio Tour across town. Instead of getting on the bus, however, they’re standing still and pointing northwest, somewhere in the direction of the Studios. The lone Crow flies overhead. And still, I must follow.

The train out of Watford Junction follows the path of the Crow, breaking the boundaries of the M25 and delivering me to Hemel Hempstead. I traipse across the fields of Box Moor until I reach The Three Horseshoes at Bourne End. A small cloud passes between me and the sun.

The pub lies by the Grand Union Canal and I think back to poor John Lennon (not that one) whose body was fished out of the Lee Navigation at Hackney Wake back in April. I wonder how Christmas is going for the two women sentenced for his murder. It’s been a strange business.

On the bridge across the canal, two men dressed in black wearing black top hats are standing still, pointing up the canal in the direction of Birmingham. The lone Crow swoops down from above, landing on the bridge’s railings, which brings the two figures out of their reverie. They head inside the pub.

Crow tells me I’ve followed him along The K-Line for long enough today and can start heading home. I wish him luck with Tangerine NiteMare and start walking along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal back into town.

Suddenly, a vivid blue bullet shoots into view from my left, like a premonition. I stop and stare.

It’s the first Kingfisher I’ve ever seen.

Agent Huggett


23/12/23

Agent Love, reporting for duty. I knew the Time for Love would come. Whatever else you can justifiably say about The KLFRS, they certainly have long memories and an effective debt recovery operation.

So the K-Line had been uncovered, that much we knew.  From the events of 23rd November in Liverpool it was clear that The KLFRS were on to something, but what exactly?  When the call came through requesting operational support in the southern quadrant I couldn’t refuse.  This was my territory and duty called.

I approached the origin of the K-Line from the southern aspect, cautious of what lie ahead. If, as is sometimes rumoured, the K-Line extends southwards then it also bisects the Brixton Academy, site of one of the earliest KLF performance in 1989, immediately before they fled to Chipping Norton, perhaps along this very road.

Despite having lived nearby for 23 years, I had never needed to walk down Jeffreys Road before. I could feel I was close to the source, and nearly walked by, but a melody from a past life pulled me back and I stopped outside number 55.  All the fives, five alive, fives rule.

I adorned a conveniently located sign with the designated markings, and became lost in my mind as I contemplated the energies that had poured outwards from here. Could they all really have flowed down the K-Line?  Or could they have flowed elsewhere too? Although it seemed a long time ago, surely the signs would still be there if I looked hard enough.

As I reflected, and followed the line northwest from its squat party origins, it took me towards Larkhall Park.  Stockwell residents Jerry Dammers, Joanna Lumley and Adam Buxton would doubtless have spent time here chilling out to Chill Out and raving to Stadium House, so I marked the spot.

Continuing northwest through the park, along the K-line led me past Courland Grove (formerly Zion Hill) Baptist Church that, as far as I could tell, had no KLF connections whatsoever. Very suspicious. I marked the spot accordingly.

Leaving the park, and following the K-Line through tangled streets led me towards Nine Elms Market, and then to Covent Garden Flower Market where finally my patience was rewarded

This sign was almost too blatant, and the arrow pointing the wrong way was a dead giveaway - someone had been here before me and was trying to throw me off the scent. I decided not to play their game and left the fnord unmarked as though it were unseen - the only rational response. But the attempted distraction meant I must be close, else why bother?

I turned around, and after a short distance spotted the eye in the pyramid. This was too easy.

As I approached the source of the power the scale of the task became clear. A standing stone already marked the exact spot where the K-Line entered Battersea Power Station, immortalised by Pink Floyd, immanentised by The Orb (minus Jimmy), and now to be occupied by a less than golden Apple. Of course, it was all becoming clear, this was the spot, and it needed to be marked. And so it was.

Approaching the point where the K-Line meets The Thames, and forever leaves my territory for the perpetual grimness of North London, I looked back towards Trancentral and felt the power surge through me towards Mathew St.  My debt to The KLFRS was settled. For now.

Or so I thought. My curiosity about what might lay inside was piqued.  I descended the stairs and located the path of the K-Line through a bookshop.  Only it was selling bricks, not books, and for 55 pounds (not 99). 

All the fives, five alive. 2 plus 3 equals what the fuuk is going on?