Artisans and History at the London Design Festival

London Design Festival ….. one of the most important fixtures in the Design World calender. Two districts significant for their rapid and relatively recent reputation as centres for innovative design are the Shoreditch Triangle and Clerkenwell Design Quarter.

In close proximity to each other both areas were the focus of slum clearance in the nineteenth century becoming largely industrial combining skilled craftsmanship with the poorest workers engaged in the sweated trades.

Shoreditch was renowned as the centre of the furniture trade; cabinet makers; upholsterers; French polishers and all the associated peripheral trades of that industry.

In latter years the beautiful SCP showroom has been at the heart of the Shoreditch Triangle showcasing new and established talent in design. Established in Curtain Road by Sheridan Oakley in 1985 in a building originally a cabinet makers and then by the early twentieth century an upholsterer’s.  SCP’s commitment to support British manufacture brings the story of furniture design in Shoreditch full circle into the twenty-first century.

Rivington Street described by Niklaus Pevsner as a good example of ‘authentic and varied nineteenth century industrial building’ is home to many designers amidst the iron pillars and remaining wall cranes that provide a very distinct character to this part of Shoreditch.

Lee Broom  London Design Festival 2012

Lee Broom
London Design Festival 2012

Walk along Old Street towards the City to find  Clerkenwell Design Quarter in a district which became the centre for workers in precious metals,  wanting to practice their craft outside the restriction of the City. Rising as the heart of the watch and clock manufacturing in London the district became almost entirely industrialised during the latter part of the nineteenth century.

Reviving the tradition for bespoke jewellery design and silversmiths in the Clerkenwell Design Quarter is the Goldsmiths Centre in Britton Street designed by John Lyall architects and incorporating the conversion of a Grade II Listed Victorian Board School.

Goldsmiths Centre Eagle Yard Clerkenwell

Goldsmiths Centre Eagle Yard Clerkenwell

Illustrating print in its most skillful and innovative form is the Imprint Exhibition at Craft Central. Showcasing jewellery, ceramics, textiles and prints in the Gallery at 33-35 St. John’s Square.

Also on Thursday 19th September is the opportunity to visit jewellery designers at their benches within the Craft Central studios.


Join me with Creative Clerkenwell during London Design Festival and discover the warehouses behind the design studios of Shoreditch, the French Polishers Beer Strike, ghosts of the Old Nichol and see inside contemporary artisan studios.

Cornwell House and Pennybank Chambers

Cornwell House and Pennybank Chambers

Age of Elegance in Guildhall Yard

An exhibition has opened at the Guildhall Art Gallery on 11 February just past;                 Age of Elegance: 1890-1930.

This exhibition showcases many fine paintings in the City of London Corporation collection that have been hidden away in storage for decades. These works are now on display as intended and form an impressive collection.

One such painting has an enchanting story attached that boz has so far failed to find much about. The Garden of Eden (1901) Hugh Goldwin Riviere (1869-1956) centres on a young couple walking in the rain apparently in a London park, boz has thus far been unable to ascertain which particular London park is the setting for this work so it seems a visit to the Guildhall Library must be in order. A tale found on the internet suggests that the artist Hugh Goldwin Riviere created the painting to provide financial assistance for its subjects. He a City clerk and she ….. an heiress disowned by her family for choosing a suitor far removed from her social status. ‘Adam’s’ station in life is clearly conveyed through the absence of gloves and the turned up trousers. A depiction which, with the addition of the rain and folded umbrellas, puts one in mind of the moment the unfortunate clerk Leonard Bast meets Helen in E. M. Forster’s slightly later novel of 1910 Howard’s End.  ‘Eve’ however does not conjure up a vision of a disowned heiress, sporting a prim hat, plain coat and woollen neck scarf in the manner of a respectable domestic servant on a half day holiday.

Hugh Goldwin Riviere was the son of Royal Academy painter Briton Riviere (1840-1920) and the family for some time resided at 82 Finchley Road and are listed at that address on the 1881 Census Return. So might the park in the painting be one Riviere was familiar with as a young man or perhaps a green space in the City near to where such a clerk might be employed. The everyday scene is illustrated with charm whilst the lucid green light that emanates from it is quite worthy of comparison to the Grimshaw collection that were very recently hanging in the same spot. It now has an added attraction of a real story and if any reader of this post can furnish further details of this it would be of great interest.

Although the Garden of Eden hangs in the central exhibiting space one of the enclaves is given over to paintings of London. This area includes a very fine example of the work of Sir Frank Brangwyn, Tower Bridge c[1905] and a romantic view over the City of London The Heart of the Empire (1904) Neils Moeller Lund. Another small glimpse of the City to be found, not with the London canvases but hung in the corner of the room showcasing portraits of Corporation dignitries is Guildhall Yard

'Guildhall Yard' c1905 Copyright City of London

A small unassuming painting attributed to William Luker Junior (1867-1948). The scene, of a bustling Guildhall Yard contains great attention to detail, being most taken with this painting boz is intriuged by the slightly vague provenance. William Luker Junior was, as one might expect, the son of William Luker Senior (1828-1905) and one time Royal Academy painter. William Luker II came from a family of artists. His mother Ada was an accomplished still life painter exhibiting at the then British Gallery, later to become the Royal Academy, until she married William Luker and  was not to paint again. William was the eldest son in a large family and his sister became known as the portrait and miniature painter Louie Burrell (1873-1971)

William Luker Junior comes across as not the most worthy character and boz was a little disillusioned to find that the creator of this much admired painting was something of a disappointment in life. It will serve no purpose to relate a biography when the original story can be much better read here.

Engraving 1891 for Leadenhall Press

Having read this family history boz has begun to hope that ‘attributed to’ might mean it is possible that the lovely Guildhall Yard could yet turn out to be from the hand of a somewhat  different personality. There is another work on the subject known to be by William Luker printed in Paris for Leadenhall Press (1891).

Such is my admiration of the painting am most delighted that a small sketch by boz is now available in the Guildhall Art Gallery shop in card form:

Yard Birds 2012 Copyright Jane Young

The Age of Elegance: 1890-1930 has been beautifully  executed by Sonia Solicari, Senior Curator at the Guildhall Art Gallery. The paintings described here are but a few of the many on display and well worth going to see, not least because this is the first time these works have been freely accessible in many years.

The central piece of the exhibition is a painting by artist Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) of his wife Hazel Portrait of Lady Lavery (1926)

Hazel in Rose and Grey 1922 Copyright City of London

From this painting contemporay designers have drawn inspiration in creating pieces to complement  the exhibition. As such, boz & co. were very pleased to collaborate with good friend, colleague and accomplished jeweller Rosemay Lucas.

Hazel Stole in Rose, Trudeau Necklace, Trudeau Earring Trio

Hazel Fascinator

The Age of Elegance:1890-1930 remains open until 28 May and if you should find yourself in the vicinity of Guildhall Yard do go and have a look. If you are a little further than that it is certainly worthwhile making a special journey to see the exhibition.

London seen through the plays of Jack Rosenthal

There was much lapsing in Tot Hall last week with very little of an industrious nature being achieved. Visits to hostelries under the guise of research and the perusal of cinematography have taken priority.

Such same perusal of a particular favourite film provided the impetus for this post. The Chain (1984) written by Jack Rosenthal. An engaging tale which follows moving day for seven households beginning in Hackney to Tufnell Park via Willesden then Hammersmith into Hampstead on to Holland Park then Knightsbridge and full circle back to the street in Hackney.

Several of Manchester born Jack Rosenthal’s screenplays centre on London and its suburbs. Each are beautifully executed tales of everyday life narrated with pathos and humility. They are of their time but certainly none the worse for that.

The Chain begins its journey in Hackney, a somewhat different Hackney to the one that has up and come in the intervening twenty seven years since the film was made. The small terraced house that is used for the film set is shown to be 94 Quilter Street. In the screenplay a mother is preparing for the departure of her son, leaving her to await a lodger rather than face an empty house. 1881 finds the house far from empty; the Census for that year records four separate households: A Turner and his wife; Railway Porter with wife and five children; Laundress and daughter a boot fitter; Cellarman and his wife; so almost certainly one room per family in a small house comprising four rooms with a back kitchen and scullery with the only privy in the backyard.

Returning to The Chain we follow the son’s journey to Tufnell Park in a clapped out Morris Traveller. Here we are introduced to a young married couple about to embark on the property ladder with the familiar title that first came into common parlance in the 1980s the ‘first time buyer’. The young man about to move into the tired rented flat with the peeling paint on the window frames is of course suitably overawed by this ‘title’, along with the ninety per cent mortgage they have signed themselves up for. Littered around the scene thus confirming the changes in property fortunes we see the evidence of skips and scaffolding in place as slowly, gradually the once if not grand, then certainly respectable three storey terraces, built for the middling sort, are beginning to be restored to their former glory.

The next leg of the journey in the hired van with our new acquaintances ‘the first time buyers’ leads us to Willesden, where we find a post war low rise block of flats close to Walm Lane. Here we find a very young Phyllis Logan and David Troughton say goodbye to their flat in preparation to go to  a substantial property complete with granny flat in Hammersmith. The house is apparently in Burlington Road at number twenty eight although no such thoroughfare exists in Hammersmith.

A Little Bit of Hammersmith

Having dealt with squatters and cowboy removal companies we are taken to 55 Christchurch Hill Hampstead to persuade Billie Whitelaw in the guise of recently bereaved widow, to relinquish her home with an interior ‘just like Limasol’ and take up residence in a newly purchased house in Holland Park. At this point we all pour into the removal van including the widow and make our way to Holland Park.

Christchurch Hill was Christchurch Road until street renaming around 1938. The house used in the film at number fifty five is situated at the corner of Grove Place in the shadow of a block of twenty eight model dwellings built c.1914 on the site of the Wells’ Bath House.

Model Dwellings Grove Place Hampstead

On to a house in Holland Park ‘The Villa’ which by referring to this most interesting site turns out to be filmed at 87 Addison Road. Depicted in the film as a house of the better sort belonging to an aspirational family as intended when this street was built.                                             The 1881 Census records one Alfred Clark, Varnish Manufacturer and General Merchant residing there with his wife and six children aged twenty-two to four years old. The household included four servants of which one was a groom indicative of ‘carriage folk’.

We leave this house to embark to Knightsbridge where an elderly diplomat in the shape of Leo McKern is returning to his childhood home to die, but this time as a lodger in an unfamiliar house and thus we finish up full circle back in Hackney (Quilter Street). The film will not of course be to the taste of everyone, especially with the odd little moral thread that runs through it portraying the Seven Deadly Sins however the meander through the ordinary houses of the metropolis and within that Jack Rosenthal’s skill in illustrating human nature along the way is perfectly charming.

A Little Bit of Hackney

A slightly earlier production from Jack Rosenthal also centred firmly on London and one of the Capital’s most familiar sights was The Knowledge (1979). Following the ups and downs of four ‘Knowledge Boys’ in their bid to attain the coveted Green Badge and become fully fledged Licensed Hackney Carriage drivers. Known for his attention to detail and creating credible characters, good research played a large part in his writing. In this desire to get his subject right he accompanied London taxi drivers on their journeys and in doing so was granted a honoury taxi driver’s license in the process.

A beautifully written first hand account of the real Knowledge can be found here: alongside a cornucopia of accomplished narratives on life in London.

In Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976  ) the character of Victor Green  is also a London Taxi driver although this film centres around a Jewish family in a London suburb preparing . . . or not . . . .  for a family celebration. From memory boz believes the film location for Bar Mitzvah Boy may have been Neasden but can find no information available to confirm that. There is a recent adaptation for radio by Jack’s playwright daughter Amy Rosenthal which quite coincidently was broadcast this weekend.

Another tale of teenage angst set in 1948 P’tang Yang Kipperbang screened for the opening night of Channel 4 in 1982. Filmed at Wimbleden Chase Middle School and Cardinal Vaughn School, Kensington, the central character Alan Duckworth resides in a house in York Road, South Wimbledon.

Telling the story of the first television broadcast is the Fools on the Hill (1986) set almost entirely at Alexandra Palace with the opening scenes at Broadcasting House, Langham Place. The drama was made to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Television Service in 1986 and can be viewed here:                                          

Persephone and Ariel with Eric Gill - Getty Image taken from BBC website

Broadcasting House was the first purpose built premises in 1932 for radio broadcasting by the BBC. The statue of Prospero and Ariel from Shakespeare’s The Tempest was commissioned with Ariel being the spirit of the air considered a suitable expression of the essence of broadcasting. The original design for Eric Gill’s statue had to be modified in proportion. Following a question raised in the House of Commons as to the offence on public morals Gill was instructed by the first BBC Director General, John Reith to adjust the dimensions of Ariel’s genitalia to more decent proportions.

Broadcasting House

The venture into television was not to be at Langham Place but in north London at Alexandra Palace. Incepted by the Great Northern Palace Company and originally intended as a glass structure by the name of ‘People’s Palace’, however, lack of finance put a stop to the original proposal.  Alexandra Palace was completed 1875 by Charles and Thomas Lucas who at this time were also building the Royal Albert Hall. and took the name of the park within which it stood named after the newly married Princess of Wales when it opened in 1863.  The British Broadcasting Corporation leased the eastern part of the building from 1936 and aside of the interruption of the Second World War this became the main centre for BBC television production until 1956 at a time when Jack Rosenthal was working in the promotions department of the new Granada Television Company.

Alexandra Palace with Transmitter Mast

Born 1931 in Manchester Jack Rosenthal wrote so much more than the few examples outlined here, many of which included parts played by his wife, actress Maureen Lipman and who also appears in The Knowledge. At his death in 2004 his obituary in The Guardian referred to him as “television’s Charles Dickens” presumably in acknowledgement of his ability to draw out and display the inherent caricature in human behaviour.

To return briefly to the subject of ordinary London houses; for those who paused to wonder at the commencement of this post why boz resides in Tot Hall, then this is Tot:

Expression of displeasure with his building site

A Walk through Town I

It has taken a little time for this post to be compiled as a result of an eclectic collection of snapshots taken on a warm Spring evening 26 April this year. The only connection between the photographs is that boz paused long enough to look and wonder on the way from Clerkenwell to a destination in Covent Garden.

First stop Red Lion Square which has since resulted in a confusion with numbers. Being a rare occassion when not in a hurry to be elsewhere, it was possible to stop and photograph two buidings I have oft admired. The first being a rather nice example of interwar architecture at number 25 Red Lion Square:

Conway Hall

Building commenced 1926 and completed 1929 for the congregation of the South Place Ethical Society, a group of non conformists formed 1795 known as the Philadelphians or Universalists. Originally based in a building at 11 South Place, Finsbury  where William Hazlitt was a regular attendee and from which they retained the name on moving to the larger premises at Red Lion Square. Apparently Red Lion Square was numbered differently with the site of Conway Hall being number  37 not 25 as it is today. Have been unable thus far to find any evidence of renumbering and no Census from 1881 to 1911 lists a number 37. The site of Conway Hall was supposedly purchased as a tenement block but again no such building is in evidence by 1911.

The Charles Booth notebooks have little to say about Red Lion Square though do note the existence of flats and a lodging house:

“A few inhabited homes. Many are business premises. At the corner of Leigh Street are flats. Pink as map. There is a common lodging house on the NE side of this square which is not registered because it takes a stipulated sum per week and does not put more than a given number in a room. This seems to be the difference between lodgings and a common lodging house.”  Booth Notebooks B354 p21 As observed by George Duckworth walking with Police Constable Turner Tuesday July 12th 1898.

It is doubtful that the flats noted are the tenements that later became Conway House being that Leigh Street was on the opposite side of the Square. It is likely that the lodging house that perplexes George Duckworth was the Girls Friendly Society lodgings at number eleven present until the 1911 Census with boarders being young women only. Any information as to the renumbering of Red Lion Square would be very well received.

The development to build Red Lion Square was commenced 1684 on the site of Red Lion Fields by Nicholas Barbon, a surgeon who diverted into speculative builder, notorious for his sub standard buildings and dubious land acquisitions. As a result not many of Barbon’s buildings have stood the test of time and most houses in Red Lion Square were rebuilt throughout the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The exception being numbers fourteen to seventeen which remain the originals built by Barbon refronted in the nineteenth century of which number seventeen is well known:

17 Red Lion Square

17 Red Lion Square

It is here that Danté Gabriel Rossetti is reputed to have briefly lodged in 1851 and later recommending the same rooms to William Morris and Edward Burne Jones in 1856 which were apparently damp and decrepit. Given that these were within the original building the condition is to be expected of Nicholas Barbon’s standard of construction indeed it is to be wondered upon that the house was still standing at all in 1856. 1861 saw the firm Morris, Faulkner & Co. established at number 8 Red Lion Square.

There is of course much more of interest in Red Lion Square and numerous notable residents, but that is not for this post lest we forget that we are on a walk and dusk is approaching so must continue our journey en route to Seven Dials. Down Red Lion Street and along High Holborn takes us by Grape Street where it is deemed necessary to capture the stage door of the Shaftesbury Theatre. Although disappointingly lacking in thespian activity at such an early hour in the evening it does retain a couple of original sash windows (to the right of the picture) sash windows being of particular attraction for boz. Opened 1911 as the New Prince’s Theatre and becoming the Prince’s Theatre 1914 it was acquired by EMI 1962 to be renamed the Shaftesbury Theatre 1963. The Booth notebooks make little mention of this site as the area was being rebuilt as our guide George Duckworth notes on his travels of 1898 with Grape Street as yet not in existence.

Srage Door at the Shaftesbury Theatre

Across Shaftesbury Avenue into Neals Yard. Colourful now but according to George Duckworth report for the Booth Notebooks all stables in 1898 the Poverty map showing Black edged with Purple.

Neals Yard

Continuing onto Long Acre via brief visit to Stanfords’ excellent emporium of maps and printed goods back into Rose Street by the establishment of the Lamb and Flag public house. Being suit time on a clement Tuesday evening there is a throng at the bar spilling into the street. Reputedly the oldest pub in Covent Garden although records are sketchy, the earliest date at which the house is recorded as licensed premises in the Greater London rate books is 1772  as the Cooper’s Arms. According to Strypes Survey 1720 Rose Street was originally named in two parts as White Rose Street being the northern arm and Red Rose Street the southern part over time the distinction is lost. Another example of confusion with numbers the building which is the Lamb and Flag at number 33 was originally 11 Rose Street and listed as such in the 1881 Census with one Caleb Cullen and his wife Hannah in residence as wine and spirit merchants.

Whilst considering if time would permit the wait to be served at the bar, and reluctantly conceding that it would not; a hitherto unnoticed building was observed:

Westminster Fire Office

At the time of taking the photograph it was not realised that the building would be later encountered in researching the career of Arthur Rackham; stalwart readers will recall this from the last post as being the one time workplace of the illustrator. Now part of Garrick House which incorporate numbers 27-32 King Street and housing solicitors offices. It should be noted that the rather unnecessary and quite dreadful plastic bunting to the left of the picture was a temporary nod to patriotism given impending nuptials and fortunately not a permanent fixture.

From here through Mercer Street where we find a lovely example of the work of Ben Eine:

Ben Eine Mercer Street

For the best available accounts of the work of Ben Eine I can do no better than refer you to the inimitable writing of the Gentle Author to be found within the highly esteemed                 Spitalfields Life

Onward to Shorts gardens almost at the destination. Dusk is by now apparent serving to enhance the light in the shop windows making one notable cheesemonger appear quite magical:

Neal's Yard Dairy Shorts Gardens

This shop which opened and took its name from Neals Yard in 1979 later moved to 17 Shorts Gardens 1992. There is no number 17 Shorts Gardens listed on the 1881 Census as yet it is unclear if this presents another instance of renumbering. Of the area the Booth Archive Police Notebooks have this to say:

“small shops, Irish, rough poor, working class, ‘fling bricks at the police but are not criminal’ DB (Dark Blue) as map.” Booth Notebooks 354 p107

Thus noted George Duckworth citing Police Constable Tait’s observation 26 July 1898.

Being much too interested in the business of others boz wonders if the flat above number 17 is now let; who has taken it; what sort of a person they are. In pondering this the journey ends at the Crown in Monmouth Street so must take leave with a sketch for now.

Little bit of a big print

A Clerkenwell Miscellany

It is has been some time since there has been a new post added from boz with the months of May and June being sadly lacking in discourse.

Much of this time has been taken up in the district of Clerkenwell and in particular the Craft Central building Pennybank Chambers 33-33 St. John’s Square. One of the fruits of a series of exhibitions has been a new screen illustrating the environs of Clerkenwell that LondonKillsMe are currently hawking.

City North print

During many visits to Clerkenwell sketchesbyboz has begun tentative probings into the history of the district. Beginning with St. John’s Gate as a result of a commission more of which at a later date, and inspired by small observations en route. As yet such musings as have been gathered are unsorted and form no coherent narrative, hence for the time being an anthology of miscellaneous snippets. Informed followers of this blog are thoroughly encouraged to contradict where necessary any errors that may be chanced upon.

Beginning with St. John’s Gate it was with great interest to discover it to be the childhood home of William Hogarth from 1701 to 1709 whose father had opened an unsuccessful coffee house in the building in 1703.  Also the home of Edward Cave St. John’s Gate became the first offices and printing house of The Gentleman’s Magazine founded 1731 and thus sometimes workplace of Samuel Johnson from 1737.

Old images found randomly on the internet employing the usual disorganised fashion of research favoured tell of business and trade activity in the building.

St. John's Gate c.1860

This earlier picture c.1860 shows the Jerusalem Tavern to the left of the picture. To the right S. Wickens Coffee and Dining Room which you can just make out etched onto the glass of the window above. Did Uggins sell Old Ale or where they in fact Huggins Timber – see the door on the right – Photoshop has yet to reveal what B. Foster were purveyors of and attempts at cross reference in Kelly’s Directory and the like have been little help thus far.

St. John's Gate c.1873

In the slightly later picture c.1873 from  London Transport Museum archive these have been replaced by the French Glass Grooming Works and Spectacle Eye Glass Factory of Maurice M. Grunfield.



Another Tavern of interest which appears to have met a sad demise is just around the corner off St. John Street in Compton Street is Comptons Bar.

Compton's Bar

We know nothing about this establishment other than pausing to take a photograph of the very nice building which contains it. It is hoped to uncover more before it is purchased by developers and turned into something dreadful in the name of luxury apartments. It would be a great to delight to hear from anyone who ever went there in the times it was a thriving concern.

Clerkenwell these days of course is a very desirable and fashionable part of town. To see it now you would be surprised to learn it was one of the biggest areas of concern for the Royal Commission for Housing the Working Classes 1884-85.  Charles Booth’s Poverty Map and Notebook of 1898 George Duckworth finds St. John Square to be coloured Purple a mixture of comfortable and poor with Jerusalem Court (leading off from the Tavern) as black:

“The blackest spot of all, you can’t paint it black enough, ‘savages’ said Zenthon a danger to the police” Survey into Life and Labour in London Notebook B353 pp150-151 (1898)

George Gissing’s publication of The Nether World (1889) also focused on Clerkenwell as an abject slum whilst presenting the new model dwellings to the area in a very unsatisfactory light. It is understood that Pennybank Chambers now artisan studios was originally a model dwelling which these pages intend to show more of.

We will be back in Clerkenwell on Monday 11 and Wednesday the 13 July next week for a further perambulation. This opportunity has arisen from taking part in a recycling exhibition at the Craft Central Showcase 33-35 St. John’s Square, EC1M 4DS

Do come and have a look but be careful if you encounter LondonKillsMe they may try to sell you a slate pot printed with Clerkenwell whether you want one or not.

Designer Maker Market

Last Saturday 2 April LondonKillsMe were very pleased to be able to participate in the first day of a new fixture taking place every Saturday through to September this year.

Flyer designed by James Brown at General Pattern

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and the new Designer Maker market attracted a nice crowd conducive to a lovely friendly atmosphere for browsers and designers on the stalls.

The distinctive signage was designed and printed by James Brown at whose striking prints are available to purchase at the market.

James Brown prints

Last Saturday included many talented designers. Exhibiting an array of unique screen prints was Mr Wingate including the very pertinent East End Pub range which can also be found at the Designer Maker market and

George and Dragon cushion Mr. Wingate

Hand printed textile design Mr Wingate

One of our favourite ceramists Jo Davies took part displaying original and beautiful vessels and vases available at

Zsa Zsa Vase Jo Davies

Jo Davis

LondonKillsMe had a collection of reclaimed slate planters for Spring. This coming Saturday we will include some new slate plant pots printed with the Truman chimney and containing a growing Hop plant.

Reclaimed slate planter Paris print LondonKillsMe








The market takes place in the Triangle just off Mare Street E8 immediately behind the London Fields public house. Hackney like much of East London is an area constantly undergoing change and regeneration as well as containing a wealth of history. Charles Booth’s 1897 description of the area is rather different to the picture you find now:

The Poverty Map of 1898/99 depicts the Triangle as being bounded by pink indicating a populace considered to be ‘Fairly comfortable. Good ordinary earnings’ however just behind the railway in Triangle Road and Triangle Place are shown as dark blue indicitive of ‘Very poor, casual Chronic want’

The corresponding description in the Survey notebooks does little to recommend the place. According to Inspector Fitzgerald who accompanied the investigator for this area it was “Very rough and very poor. As rough & poor as we’ve got it. Some no doubt live by their wits but I don’t know any of them personally”                                                                   Charles Booth Survey into life and labour in London (1886-1903) B347 pp36-37

sketchesbyboz is interested to find out more about the history of the London Fields public house. All we have managed to learn so far is that it was renamed the London Fields in 1989 and was from at least 1915 the Warburton Arms briefly owned by jazz musician Art Christmas between 1952 and 1954.

Apparently there has been an inn on the site occupied by the London Fields since the sixteenth century. Although interestingly no such establishment is noted in the the Booth Survey notebooks, which is unusual given the investigators’ penchant for gleefully describing any den of iniquity they happened upon.

So we would be very pleased to find out more so if any historians of Hackney can enlighten us we would love to hear from you.

We will be returning to the Designer Maker market this coming Saturday so do consider a trip to Hackney to see for yourself how delightful it is and try out the excellent cake stall. All the details you need to get there are included in the flyer at the top of this post.