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The Outcast Dead: expanded 2023 edition.

By Paul Slade

This new, expanded edition of my book adds 19 colour photographs and 40 pages of brand new interviews covering Cross Bones’ turbulent decade of 2013 to 2023. Head over to its Amazon UK or Amazon US pages to buy your copy now!

In November 2013, I published a book-length feature about south London’s Cross Bones graveyard here on PlanetSlade, plus a Kindle e-book carrying the same material. It went down pretty well, with Kindle buyers’ reviews calling it “witty, expansive and well researched”, “a fascinating back and forth history” and “a real eye opener”.
The ten years since then have been very turbulent ones for Cross Bones, with its management transferring from the cheerfully chaotic Friends of Cross Bones group to a registered charity called Bankside Open Spaces Trust. There’s much more public access there now than was ever possible in 2013, but also more red tape in how the site’s run and a degree of gentrification in its layout and appearance. Developers, who were once keen to dismiss Cross Bones’ historical significance, now aim to exploit it as a marketing tool for their luxury flats and stores.
I spent November and December 2022 conducting an epic round of interviews with everyone who’s had a hand in running Cross Bones over the past ten years: not just John Constable and his fellow campaigners but also the key players at BOST, a prominent local poster artist, the Dean of Southwark Cathedral and sex worker representatives too. It’s these brand new interviews, woven together into an oral history of the site’s past decade, which give the new book its added content. Unlike the previous edition (which I’ve now withdrawn), this one’s fully illustrated and available in paperback.
All this new activity means the website essay about Cross Bones which originally occupied this spot on PlanetSlade is now so thoroughly out of date that I've decided to retire it. That free essay's served us well for the past 10 years, but now I'm asking people to go and buy the book instead.