It turns out the quietest place in Soho – and the perfect spot for an interview – is half way up the Clock Tower of St Anne’s church on Dean St (visible from Wardour St). After winding the clock(!) with the help of Amy, one of a small team of volunteer clock winders, Dom sat down in a funny little room half-way up the tower to speak to historian, author and blogger, Rob Baker about Brilliant Chang and the moral panic about women and drugs that gripped the nation after the First World War.
Brilliant Chang after his deportation to Hong Kong
Freda Kempton shortly before her death in 1922
Some interesting graffiti from inside the clock tower – a 19th Century “tag”
We then welcomed Michelle Facey to the pod to talk about the 1922 silent film, Cocaine. Michelle is one of the programmers for Kennington Bioscope and as well as talking about the controversy surrounding the film, she was very enlightening on the subject of Mormonsploitation films of the silent era. Who knew there was such a thing?
Extract from Cocaine (1922)
Divert money away from Jeff Bezos by purchasing Rob Baker’s books directly from the publisher.
Watch Cocaine for a mere £1 on the BFI Player
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