27 August 2011

Wear a piece of London history

I am well aware that I have fallen behind with my posts and observations on here. It's mainly because of late I have been concentrating on my Amelia Parker clay pipe jewellery.
The good news is that I have managed to get a stall on the main floor of the UpMarket for tomorrow, Sunday 28th August.
I am also in discussion with the lovely fellas at the Spitalfield Traders Market office and hope to get a stall secured there for Thursdays and/or Fridays, so please wish me luck with that.
Then in two weeks' time it's The Mayor's Thames Festival and AP will form part of the Craft Trail along the South Bank. My stall will be right outside The Royal Festival Hall.
Do come along and say hello.

15 August 2011

Are you hot or cool?

This isn't about the UK's changing weather. Although it's true that this 'summer' has so far been very changeable; we have had rain, wind, hot, cold, humidity, damp... etc.
No, this post is about a question I have been asking friends:
Would you rather be described as 'hot' or 'cool'?
Top: Stoke Newington, Stroud Green, Hampstead, Bloomsbury
Bottom: Southwark, Battersea, Smithfield, Barnsbury

8 August 2011

Gutted in Tottenham

The streets of North London were witness to some awful scenes this weekend when a peaceful protest turned nasty. Angry disenfranchised people rioted; setting fire to and looting shops all in the name of 'justice'.
I can never understand how 'pissing in your own back yard' helps anything. Shop owners and businesses along High Road, Tottenham, should not have to pay the price for this. Areas of what was once a beautiful Edwardian high street have been reduced to burnt out shells. They are gutted. I am gutted. And not just for the buildings.
Then last night, Tottenham Hale retail park was targeted and people caused damaged and stole goods there too. I am not sure if they stole food or electrical goods...
What a horrible coincidence that my last post was about fire insurance markers.
High Road, Tottenham: the old 1930s London Cooperative Society Building (top left) was completely gutted by fire on Saturday night. I am, so far, unsure whether Criterion Parade (with eagle) and Windsor Parade, 1907 (top right), have suffered in the same way.

5 August 2011

Fire insurance plaques

Back in the early 18th century there was no public fire brigade. Home owners would insure against fires by paying private companies who employed their own fire-fighting teams. Badges made from lead or copper displaying the relevant company logo and reference number were affixed to on the front of houses (usually at first floor level) to prove that fees had been paid. In the case of a fire, these companies would only put out the flames of those houses bearing the correct badge.
This caused all sorts of problems, especially if the fire had started in a non-insured property and spread into the insured house next door, so in January 1833 The London Fire Engine Establishment was formed. In 1865 the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act was passed and by 1904 London had what we now call the London Fire Brigade.

Below are some of the various fire insurance plaques I have spotted in London.

Update 2022: There are hopes and plans to open an Insurance Museum in London – find out more at the organisers' Facebook page here