Tuesday, 18 January 2011

101 years ago just gone...

The idea os a fire on this scale here in Kilburn is pretty hard to imagine - but that's exactly what happened on January 13th 1910.

This Postcard made and published by the Watford Engraving Company captures the scale of the fire of Evans's Department store.

What is more fascinating is the back has a lovely edwardian handwriting and it reads:
"This is the photo of B.B.Evans fire, it was like this half an hour after it started. Caught the shop on the corner opposite and cracked all the plate glass down the row. This is the same shop we bought out needlework.
Glad Willie's eyes are better. I expect he caught a cold eating outside buses."

Posted in Cricklewood in the 12.15am Post on January 19th 2010 - just six days after the fire!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Kilburn - take another look...

I thought this was really good:

Peel Precinct
by Aoife Mannix
The woman in the bright pink scarf says the square
is empty now but back in the fifties this market
was buzzing with barrow boy bargains. Live eels
wriggling with soon to be jelly bravado. Stallions
shivering outside the horse butchers though she
never knew any but the French to eat such meat.
A string of pearl shops where people echoed
your name, your family, the county you came
from back in the old country. Cork, Kerry,
Kilkenny, Killarney, Kildare, Kilburn.
Their music transferred to an alien city,
proud to play more Irish than the Irish themselves.
They were poorer than those up on the high road
but they were never short of a helping hand.
The Paddies and the Blacks united in their reversal
of no dog signs as they mixed Donegal and Trinidad
into coffee children calling out for a chance to show
they are no mere statistics in a drawer, jokers
in a pack that keeps being reshuffled, but voices
of vision that leap across concrete divisions.
Street corner pioneers conquering vertigo
with a single bound. The richness of lyrical
answers sewn into the wings of their trainers.
Hip-hop sky diving acrobats who tumble and spin
across their own urban palaces that have
yet to be built. Angel rebels whose cloud souls
are not for sale, they rewrite the signs so they point
up into the sky. Dance their own invisible maps
through the rain forest of broken stones.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Slipped behind badly

But now with the new year it's time to crack back on with the blog and with so much going on with the history and the culture and pride of the local area there's no shortage of things to talk about on here...

Sorry for the delay in service