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.

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All photographs above by Simon Lewin.