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Yet More Drypoint Etchings By Peta Bridle

April 25, 2014
by the gentle author

This week Peta Bridle sent me her latest additions to the growing portfolio of drypoint etchings she has been working on for more than year, many inspired by stories and characters from the pages of Spitalfields Life.

Gary Arber, W F Arber & Co Ltd – On 28th May, Gary closes the print shop opened by his grandfather Walter in 1897 – “Gary is stood next to a Golding Jobber which he told me was used to print handbills for the suffragettes. On his right stands a Supermatic machine and, behind him in the corner, is a Heidelberg which he filled with paper to show me how it worked. The whole room was a confusion of boxes and paper with the odd tin toy thrown in, and lots of string hanging from the ceiling. I feel privileged to have been invited downstairs to make this record of his print shop.”

Spoons by Barn The Spoon – “From left to right: A cooking spoon. A spoon of medieval design. A spoon based on a Roma Gypsy design. The small spoon in the centre is a sugar spoon. A shovel. The large spoon on the right is a Roman ladle spoon. Barn told me the word ‘Spon’ which is carved on the handle is an old Norse word which means ‘chip of wood.’”

Leila’s Shop, Calvert Avenue “- I love visiting Leila’s Shop throughout the year to discover the fresh vegetables of every season, straight from the field and piled up in mouth-watering displays.”

Donovan Bros, Crispin St – “Although it is not a shop anymore I believe Donovan Bros are still producing packaging. I like the muted colours the shop front has been painted and wonder what the shop would have looked like inside?”

Borough Market, London Bridge – “This is the view overlooking Borough Market, looking from the top of Southwark Cathedral tower. The views of London from up there are beautiful but I don’t like the height too much!”

Clerk’s Cootage, Higham – Charles Dickens based some of Great Expectations around the north Kent marshes and, if you were to travel past this fifteenth century cottage to the end of the road and turn right and carry on through the village of Higham, you would arrive at Gads Hill Place, his former home. If you were to turn left from the road beyond Clerk’s Cottage, you would reach St. Mary’s Church where Katey Dickens married Charles Collins, brother of Wilkie Collins.

Wapping Old Stairs – “To reach the stairs you have a to go along a tiny passage to the side of the Town of Ramsgate. Originally, the stairs were a ferry point for people wishing to catch a boat along the river. I think they are quite beautiful and I like to see the marks of the masons’ tools, still left on the stones after all this time.”

The Widow’s Son, Bow – “The landlady stands  holding a hot cross bun in front of a large glass Victorian mirror with the pub name etched onto it. Every Good Friday, they have a custom where a sailor adds a new bun in a net hanging over the bar to celebrate the widow who once lived here, who made her drowned sailor son a hot cross bun each Easter in remembrance.”

E.Pellicci, Bethnal Green Rd. “Nevio Pellicci kindly allowed me to make a couple of visits to take pictures as reference to create this etching. It was at Christmas time and after they closed for the afternoon. Daisy my daughter is sitting in the corner.”

Paul Gardner at Gardners’ Market Sundriesmen, Commercial St. “I did buy a few bags off Paul whilst I was there!”

Tanya Peixoto at bookartbookshop, Pitfield St. “I am friends with Tanya who runs this shop and she has stocked my homemade books in the past.”

Des at Des & Lorraine’s Junk Shop, Bacon St. “An amazing place that I want to re-visit since I never got to look round it properly …”

Liverpool St Station

Prints copyright © Peta Bridle

7 Responses leave one →
  1. April 25, 2014

    Is Spitalfields the next Montmartre? Either you, Gentle Author seem to find talented artists or the artists living in or around Spitalfields choosing to be near Spitalfields to gain inspiration. Is there a Spitalfields Set like The Bloomsbury Set forming an artists’ group? Another wonderful artist here! Keep finding them!

  2. April 25, 2014

    What extraordinary images. There is, for the most part, a real flavour of Dickens here. Wonderful stuff!

  3. April 25, 2014

    The finest art in its best expression!

    Love & Peace

  4. April 25, 2014

    Lovely etchings of now-familiar scenes and faces. Very nice, thanks for sharing

  5. April 25, 2014


    Dear GentleAuthor,

    On Sunday the 3rd of February, 2013, I was at the yearly clown convention at Holt Trinity, Dalston. I have been going there every year for about 40 years. The main attraction is to make a few quality photographs and also meet up with many of the clowns that I’ve become friendly with over the years. On this occasion, a business card for the Spitalfields Life was given to me by the Gentle Author (I am assuming).

    A year on, I am accustomed to the daily reading of your website, which is always so variable and interesting about one of my favourite parts of London. I consider London to be my mistress. I am amazed at the continual offerings of photographic inspiration that it produces.

    I have over the last 10 years been on and off photographing in your part of London. If you would be so kind to look at my website, maybe you could get an insight into the quality of my work. I think there is a possibility that there could be some interesting photographic topics that you could use from my work on your website.

    My website is:

    All the very best,


  6. April 25, 2014

    Your fantastic eye for overwhelming detail, makes me want to look at everything a second time. Wonderful stuff.

  7. May 3, 2014

    ~* Incredible dry-points ~ I love them. *~

    Thank you so much for illuminating all of the wonderful artists inhabiting Spitalfields!

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