25. London Faces Patchwork – People Saying Goodbye To A Tram, 1952

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“Goodbye, old tram”

In 1952, Londoners said ‘Goodbye’ to the last tram.

About ten years ago, on a visit to the Transport Museum with the house-elves, I saw a short film called The Elephant Will Never Forget. I cried. That end bit gets me every time. Don’t know why, it was a good thing that the trams were replaced, the drivers finally got to sit down whilst driving. Maybe, I cry because it’s the Lewisham Darby and Joan club singing.

As it turns out, my square is a still from the film.

The film is close to my heart. I have lived in South London for thirty years, and the 36, which is featured, is my route.

This is the final square of my London Faces Patchwork. It is a patchwork of papers gleaned from the pavements of the city in which I live. There are twenty-five squares making up the whole piece. You can see it here.

The square was taken from ‘The London Bus And Tube Book’ by Nicola Baxter. Design Consultant, Jeremy Rewse-Davies. Editorial Assistant, Sharon Appleton. The photographer is uncredited in the book (but it didn’t take much research to find out it was Bob Paynter). Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1994.

Bought by Bromley Libraries in 1994, and sold to me, in a rather knackered state, in 2010.

In a nice neat Columbo-wrap-up-kinda-way, I said goodbye to my patchwork yesterday morning. It is on its way to a new home in Newcastle. It will hang in the hallway, overseeing the comings and goings of two beautiful little girls, getting taller and taller and taller, as they come home and go out, and come home and go out, and come home and go out.

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24. London Faces Patchwork – Marcel George

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A person who doesn’t actually exist in the flesh, from the imagination of Marcel George.

You won’t believe it (if you read my previous post), but I found this portrait whilst travelling down Fleet Street on the 11 bus, from St Paul’s Cathedral to Trafalgar Square. Marcel can vouch for me, as I emailed him (and told him so) in January, to ask for a name to put to the face. That’s how I know he made him up. Amazing.

Marcel is a 27 year old freelance illustrator living in London. He specializes in creating hand painted, contemporary watercolour illustrations. I can also confirm that he is a nice person. He was born in 1989, the year Phil Veacock  imploded in a puff of musical and personal acrimony. 

This is the twenty-fourth square of my London Faces Patchwork. It is a patchwork of papers gleaned from the pavements of the city in which I live. There are twenty-five squares making up the whole piece. You can see it here.

I cut the square from an Urban Walkabout leaflet (Issue 2 Feb/Aug 2015).

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23. London Faces Patchwork – Duke Of Wellington

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“I should have given more praise”

This is the twenty-third square of my London Faces Patchwork. It is a patchwork of papers gleaned from the pavements of the city in which I live. There are twenty-five squares making up the whole piece. You can see it here.

The 1st Duke of Wellington (1769 – 1852), soldier and statesman, by Antoine Claudet, 1844.

I have a little personal connection to Wellington. I spent a chunk of my life standing watch over his Goya portrait. And what amazed me, was how many people walked past without even noticing him.

There is too much to say about the Duke of Wellington. Two days of research, and finally I reach the funeral part. He rests at St. Paul’s Cathedral, of course, I knew that. Now I start twitching at the possibility of another Fleet Street connection. How likely is it that the massive (even by today’s standards) procession went down Fleet Street? Very likely indeed. Any Londoner knows there is no other sensible route from St. James’ Park. Not good enough, though. I must be sure. Two more hours of online research followed. Searching for one tiny bit of information, with total disregard for the other interesting stories about Wellington I had been jotting down for days. I think I am becoming a bit obsessed with this Fleet Street thing (this will only make sense if you have read previous posts).

The 10,000 strong procession started in St James’ Park, and, led by Prince Albert, took the following route: Constitution Hill, Piccadilly, St. James’ Street, Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, Strand, Fleet Street and finally St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Thank you, Mike Paterson, for your help.

And so, (why do I get such pleasure from this?), Wellington’s body was paraded down Fleet Street, past the site where, some years later, a fifteen-year-old David Bailey started working as a copy boy, and where newlyweds Virginia and Leonard Woolf luncheoned (apparently, not a word), and where Arthur Conan Doyle had the odd tipple, and where one could buy a copy of Hamlet when Shakespeare was still alive, and where Charlie Chaplin talked to a parrot. I love this stuff.

Here is a snippet from a brilliant article in The Guardian by Ian Jack (your time will not be wasted if you read the rest of it):

The more puzzling case is Wellington. He died on 14 September 1852, but spent two further months above ground, until 18 November, when he vanished under the floor of St Paul’s to join Nelson. His funeral is unparalleled in British history for its vast crowds, frenzy and vulgarity. At least three people were killed in the crush at the week-long lying-in-state; Queen Victoria wept without restraint as she watched the procession from her balcony at Buckingham Palace, while the overweight and over-ornamented bronze hearse or “funeral car”, drawn by 12 horses and juddering awkwardly into potholes, was reviled by people of taste as an aesthetic and mechanical nightmare. Dickens thought that “there never was such a work achieved … for forms of ugliness, horrible combinations of colour, hideous motion and general failure.” A million-and-a-half people lined the route to watch.

The Times obituary read, ‘He was the very type and model of the Englishman’.

Flipping Heck!

The square was cut from a National Portrait Gallery leaflet.

The patchwork is in my shop.

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21. London Faces Patchwork – John Keats and Charles Brown

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“Happy field or mossy cavern,                                                                                                             Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern”

This is the twenty-first square of my London Faces Patchwork. It is a patchwork of papers gleaned from the pavements of the city in which I live. There are twenty-five squares making up the whole piece. You can see it here.

John Keats, poet, was born in Moorgate in 1795. The Globe pub now occupies the site of his birth, a few yards from Moorgate Station. He died in 1821.

The Mermaid Tavern, of which Keats talks, was destroyed in The Great Fire of 1666. It is said to have been a haunt of Shakespeare, my 9th square.

To continue with the Fleet Street connection on some of these posts. Keats’ publishers, Taylor and Hessey, were at 93 Fleet Street.

This ink silhouette is by Charles Brown, who was born in 1787 in Lambeth.

The square is cut from a Keats House Events Guide.

The patchwork is in my shop.

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22. London Faces Patchwork – Bus Passengers, 1929

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The ’buses run to Islington,
To Highgate and Soho,
To Hammersmith and Kew therewith
And Camberwell also,
But I can only murmur “ ’Bus”
From Shepherd’s Bush to Bow.     Kipling

This is the twenty-second square of my London Faces Patchwork. It is a patchwork of papers gleaned from the pavements of the city in which I live. There are twenty-five squares making up the whole piece. You can see it here.

This poster was designed before London Transport took over the bus companies. At that time there were still open-topped buses in daily service. Here are some buses in action in 1927.

Ride General And Ride Well, 1929, by James Henry Dowd (1884 – 1956).

The square was taken from ‘The London Bus And Tube Book’ by Nicola Baxter. Design Consultant, Jeremy Rewse-Davies. Editorial Assistant, Sharon Appleton. Photographer uncredited. Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1994.

Bought by Bromley Libraries in 1994, and sold to me, in a rather knackered state, in 2010.

The patchwork is in my shop.

 

 

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20. London Faces Patchwork – Phil Veacock

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“We made records and got into The Charts. We were on the telly and everything but finally we imploded in a puff of musical and personal acrimony. It was 1989”.

This is the twentieth square of my London Faces Patchwork. It is a patchwork of papers gleaned from the pavements of the city in which I live. There are twenty-five squares making up the whole piece. You can see it here.

Phil Veacock of the Deptford Rivieras, he can play the recorder with his nose, and other instruments properly.

The square was cut from a postcard I picked up from the pavement. The postcard was advertising Jazz nights in the Crypt, November 2015. The photographer is uncredited, but thanks to Phil I now know him to be Chris Tostevin-Hall.

The patchwork is in my shop.

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19. London Faces Patchwork – Underground Shelterers

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“One day we heard that a bomb had destroyed the home of a classmate, Derek Barnes. His mother, father and baby sister were killed. Our class clubbed together to buy him a Meccano set. To this day I can see him standing forlornly as he received his gift and said goodbye to us, presumably to start a new life with relatives”. John Gent, a retired London Transport worker, talking in 2010.

This is the nineteenth square of my London Faces Patchwork. It is a patchwork of papers gleaned from the pavements of the city in which I live. There are twenty-five squares making up the whole piece. You can see it here.

During the Blitz, Londoners took shelter into their own hands and went deep underground. The government had forbidden this. During a raid, people would simply buy a ticket and occupy the station. 60,000 people would gather underground. Eventually, the government had to bow to pressure.

This station is Swiss Cottage, London Borough of Camden. It was closed in 1940, so the chances are it was not in use at the time of the photograph. Records show that 41 ‘high explosive bombs’ were dropped in this area.

Sadly, the shelterers are unnamed.

I have only just noticed that the arm in the Turner square looks like it belongs to one of the shelterers. Happy accident.

The picture was taken from ‘The London Bus And Tube Book’ by Nicola Baxter. Design Consultant, Jeremy Rewse-Davies. Editorial Assistant, Sharon Appleton. Photographer uncredited. Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1994.

Bought by Bromley Libraries in 1994, and sold to me, in a rather knackered state, in 2010.

The patchwork is in my shop.

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