Canterbury Cathedral is, in more ways than one, the centre of Russell Hoban's seminal 1980 novel Riddley Walker. Home to the painting The Legend of St Eustace, which inspired Hoban to start the novel (as well as the "Eusa" myth within the book itself), it's also the place to which Riddley feels a mystical pull and where he uncovers "Greanvine" (the Green Man, of which there are a number of representations in the Cathedral and around the town).


9.15am Participants met at Victoria Coach Station for the 9.30 coach to Dover, arriving in Canterbury around 11.30. There was then a break to enable everyone to have lunch and do some shopping and sightseeing.


Guess who should show up in a shop window?


ys   ms


For the story behind this unlikely pairing, see Lisa Greenstein's Diary of a Some-Poasyac.




At 1pm the group congregated in the bitter wind outside the stunning Cathedral Gate...


eb ms

ys ys ds


...for a special group tour of the Cathedral with Andrew Webster, director of development at Canterbury.


eb os


Views of the painting The Legend of St Eustace, which partly inspired Riddley Walker.


ys os

ys ms


After viewing the painting, a service began in the main part of the cathedral, so the group was led downstairs to the crypt, where no photography is allowed. Seated in the Jesus Chapel, participants were treated to a beautiful and very moving reading from Riddley Walker by Eli Bishop. First, Eli read the whole Eusa Story (ch. 6), then the part of ch. 15 where Riddley is in the crypt, starting from "The wood be come stoan" (3 paragraphs after the dolly picture) up to "that wood of stoan trees" 2 pages later. Technically, the Jesus Chapel was not the part of the crypt Riddley describes, but the reading took place close by.




Canterbury pilgrims grab much-needed kip on the bus.


Key to photo credits: ys = Yvonne Studer; os = Olaf Schneider; eb = Eli Bishop; ajd = Anthony Davis; ms = Marion Stevenson; ds = Diana Slickman


NEXT: The Troubadour Dinner

Canterbury Cathedral (ajd)


The meeting point - Cathedral Gate


The Green Man




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