This is the penultimate video of my CRUCIBLE audio visual project.
The kernel of this song’s inspiration was unearthed in William Palin’s evocative essay ‘The Lost Squares of Stepney’, published in the forever inspiring Spitalfields Life blog: http://spitalfieldslife.com/2012/12/30/the-lost-squares-of-stepney/ I was born in Stepney and now reside in neighbouring Bow. Reading the sad tales of the demise of Wellclose and Princes Squares triggered an elegaic response in me, wrapped around an old nursery rhyme. Hence this Ode to Stepney.
The video was created using three pieces of degraded archival footage:
– ‘Housing Problems’, a 1935 film by Arthur Elton and E.H. Anstey for the B.C.G.A;
– ‘New Town’, a 1948 public information film by the Central Office of Information for Ministry of Town and Country Planning; and
– ‘Charley’s March of Time’, a 1948 public information film by the Central Office of Information for Ministry of National Insurance.
The Gentle Author was kind enough both to feature my video on Spitalfields Life and to invite me to play at a fundraiser for the Save Norton Folgate campaign. Hosted by Griff Rhyss Jones and also featuring Suggs & Stick in the Wheel, the evening is raising funds to challenge Boris Johnson’s flagrant abuse of executive power. He has overriden Tower Hamlets’ rejection of a major development in the historic conservation area of Norton Folgate in favour of ‘British Land’. It is the 14th of 14 times that Boris has ‘called in’ a development in favour of corporate development against the wishes of a localities’ democratically elected council.