Spitalfields Life

We're long time fans of the Spitalfields Life blog, best described by The Gentle Author's pledge...

"Over the coming days, weeks, months and years, I am going to write every single day and tell you about life here in Spitalfields at the heart of London. How can I ever describe the exuberant richness and multiplicity of culture in this place to you? This is both my task and my delight.

Let me disclose to you the hare-brained ambition I am pursuing, which is to write at least ten thousand stories about Spitalfields life. At the rate of one a day, this will take approximately twenty-seven years and four months. Who knows what kind of life we shall be living in 2037 when I write my ten thousandth post?

I do not think there will be any shortage of material, though it may be difficult to choose what to write of because the possibilities are infinite. Truly all of human life is here in Spitalfields."

This new book brings together many of the places and characters covered by the blog - street life, street art, markets, diverse food, immigrant culture, ancient houses and history, pageants and parades, rituals and customs, traditional trades and old family businesses. Spend a night in the bakery at St John with baker Justin Piers Gellatly, ride the rounds with Kevin Read the Spitalfields milkman, drop into the Golden Heart for a pint with landlady Sandra Esqulant, meet Paul Gardner the fourth-generation paper-bag seller, Steve Brooker the mudlark who discovers treasure in the Thames, Bill Crome the window cleaner who sees ghosts and Alan Hughes the master bell-founder whose business started in 1570.

The book is illustrated by Rob Ryan, Lucinda Rogers and Mark Hearld (some of Mark's illustrations are pictured below).

On Friday 2nd March 2012 the book will be launched at Christ Church Spitalfields - between 7-9pm. All are welcome.

All photographs below by Simon Lewin.






All photographs above by Simon Lewin.

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St. Jude’s packing tape

We've had a lot of requests about the packing tape that we use here at St. Jude's and have added some sets of rolls to our online store.

There are 3 designs in the sets - one each from Mark Hearld, Angie Lewin and Emily Sutton.

But we also have 20 sets to give away in a prize draw.

In about a week we'll draw 5 people at random from the following...

- Fans of our Facebook page

- Followers on Twitter

- Subscribers to our St. Jude's Fabric newsletter

- Subscribers to our St. Jude's Prints newsletter

tape2 1



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Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake has produced a screenprint, 'The Most Exciting Chapter', to raise funds for our friends at The Nightingale Project.

The Nightingale Project brightens and enlivens the environment for patients and staff of many mental health centres through art and music. The importance of art in hospitals is now increasingly recognised, and many NHS Trusts are taking an interest in the healing environment.

This screenprint, limited to 100 copies only, is now available for sale. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. 

To find out more and to purchase a copy, visit The Nightingale Project website.


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A Rob Ryan print for Haiti

A message from Rob Ryan...

"As you know, just over a year ago on 12th January 2010 Haiti was hit by a catastrophic earthquake and 13 months later, the country is still in need of so much help. 

To try and do my bit to raise some money, I’ve designed and printed a brand new limited edition screenprint which will be sold on Etsy and in my shop, Ryantown on Columbia Road. 

The price will be £200 and with Paypal and Etsy fees subtracted, this leaves £186 per print sold going straight to the Haiti cause. If we can sell the whole edition of 200 of these, we could raise a massive £37,200."

The print reads: ‘We are all part of each other and this is my promise, I won’t pass you by and I won’t ignore you and look the other way but I’ll help you build your nest again. This is my promise’

Each print measures 54.3cm wide by 39cm high, printed using water based inks onto Heritage Woodfree 315gsm paper which measures 68.5cm wide by 51cm high.

Purchase your copy online from Rob's Etsy shop.

Rob Ryan

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David Shrigley

Glasgow based artist David Shrigley recently produced this animation for knitwear producer Pringle. Enjoy!

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