Thursday, 7 January 2010

My old hood in East London.

I took a little stroll around my old hood in East London today. I used to live down a Jack The Ripper famed alley called Artillery Passage. The house was spooky (I thought I saw a ghost there, seriously), and it had an amazing roof terrace where we used to have the best parties. They used to bring ghost tours down our street, and we'd open the window and say, 'OooOOOooOOOOooo!'

There are lots of plague pits in the area. And my old house had an intriguing name, Ringrose House, like the old nursery rhyme Ring a Ring o' Roses, that children used to sing to ward off the plague.

How's this for a crazy street name? The street used to house ironmongers, whose emblem was the frying pan, which they hung outside their shops.

It has also historically been the area that immigrants move to. Including my own Jewish family, a hundred years ago.

The area is a stone's throw from the City but there are still dilapidated run-down buildings, with the towers of the City shining behind them.

Let's be thankful that we don't have to work in the washhouses anymore, ladies.

When I lived in this area Exchange Square was under construction. At the weekend I used go and sunbathe in the deserted square, which is laid in marble with a huge running water feature. I had it all to myself. That big arch is Liverpool Street station; you can watch the trains coming in and out.

This building houses the kind of loft I wish I'd bought years ago, when this area was still pretty undeveloped. I was just too focused on partying.


  1. Great pics again - I love London. We passed a tailors shop called Lipman on Fleet St which is apparently one of two shops in Central London. Might be worth making some enquiries there.

  2. AMAZING...i'm a huge jack the ripper fan (is that weird to say?!), so i'm super jealous!!!

  3. Lovely photos. I'd love to live round there, but unless I win the lottery it's not likely...

  4. Nice part of town. We're planning to move to Fournier Street. (Just as soon as we've sorted out the finances and lived in Gallicia, Berlin, New York and the Barbican).

  5. Ooh - I used to love that part of town. I had a friend who worked at Deutsche Bank and I'd come and meet him for lunch round that area.

    Interesting to read the link to the family stuff. I'm father's side too and he changed his name as well. We used to be Arditti.

  6. Great run of posts since new year, especially jealous of your fun times in Berlin. Must have been great living on artillery row, Have you been to the Raven Row art gallery yet, they've done a beautiful restoration of the building and the shows and catalogues are really well put together. Not seen it yet but the current Harun Farocki video show there has been getting amazing reviews.

  7. I think I've been round that area quite a few times, cos they're seriously ringing bells to me! I want to go on one of those ghost tours, I love those cheesy most haunted style programmes, but I think id be too scared when it came down to it!


  8. @Rebekah - let me know if you ever come to London - i'll give you a tour!

    @WFI - oh, OK. we're moving to Princelet Street, so we'll be neighbours! (We're doing Tokyo whilst you do Galicia.)

    @GSE - strange, isn't it? I was Lipman until I was 13...

    @MrSykes - thank you sir! I've not been to Raven Row but it looks absolutely mega. I'll deffo be checking it out, thanks!

  9. I love this! I am a mostly retired party girl too :) I cannot fathom how I used to go out almost every night and then be up for work the next morning.

  10. Cracking stuff, Cazzo! I reckon you should turn this into a regular series - different parts of London and stuff. Lunchtimes might get a bit long, tho.

    {Deffo NOT moving to E1/2 at any point ever}