Christmas Greetings from Spitalfields
Simply by turning this old Sunderland lustreware pot (with the Sailors Farewell used as illustration to yesterday’s post) through 180 degrees, I am able to turn my thoughts away from those terrible murders here in the vicinity in December 1811 to reveal my personal message to you for the festive season 2009. The streets of Spitalfields are silent and empty now as they are at no other time of the year. The Golden Heart is closed. The bakery at St John is shut. Mick is gone from Brick Lane. Mr Ali is no longer selling peacock feathers. No-one labours at Labour & Wait. Shelf is shelved. Ryantown is shuttered. Leila has locked her shop. Jill has journeyed north. Teresa has turned in. Dusk gathers in Puma Court. Trees glimmer in the upper windows of Wilkes St. And upon the dark streets, tiny courts, narrow alleys, hidden gardens and secret yards, over all the glistening roofs of the ancient neighbourhood peacefully sleeping, the lonely spire of Christ Church stands sentinel.