The Archivist's Archives
Before the MAD-ness, there was a Proud Archivist. Situated on the banks of the Regent's Canal in Haggerston, east London, The Proud Archivist was one of London's first hybrid cultural spaces, bringing together a cultural events space with a gallery; a café/bar; a restaurant; several terraces; a library; and a workspace (before anyone had heard of WeWork.) Within a year of launching, we were programming over 30 events a week; hosting exhibitions by the likes of Storm Thorgerson and Horace Panter alongside events with the likes of Russell Brand, Harry Hill and Richard Curtis; and attracting over 100,000 visitors per year. We even renamed the neighbourhood the Haggerston Riviera (as a joke) - only for the name to be adopted by Time Out and Instagram. A victim of its own success, the venue was subject to a takeover in 2018, nudging us towards the idea of a nomadic adventure that led to our regeneration as the MAD Gallery in summer 2022.