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My East End Vernacular Lecture

September 24, 2023
by the gentle author


In our first week we raised over £8000, which is a big achievement. But we still have a way to go to reach our target, so if you have not yet contributed please search down the back of the sofa and check the pockets of your winter coat.




THANK YOU to all who have already contributed, here are some of your comments.

‘I am definitely looking forward to the Hackney Mosaics book!’

Frances Oakley

‘I am supporting this project in memory of my Dad, who loved the East End. Spitalfields Life books gave him so much pleasure towards the end of his life and helped to rekindle his fading memory. May these new books similarly bring many happy memories old and new, and deliver a slice of the uniqueness that is Spitalfields Life.’

Christine Swan

‘Good luck with the relaunch of Spitalfields Life Books.’

Alison Felstead

‘Capturing this History in photographs is culturally important for the UK & my families. We have strong family roots – both sides- in & around Spitalfields, that goes back generations so being able to ‘see’ life through years of change via your books,helps to keep the past relevant & in the correct timeline of our personal histories. Good luck.’

Jab Carroll

‘David Hoffman’s photos are an invaluable record of a unique and pivotal period in the history of London’s East End.’

Angela Smith

‘Good luck ?’

Julie Begum

‘David’s work is absolutely gorgeous and I am totally behind getting this publication back up and running. I lived in the East End for 14 years when I moved to London after uni, only moved further out because who can afford to buy a place there now! But it is still the place I consider home. Good luck. Helen.’

Miss Helen E Rimmell

‘The Gentle Author should probably be made some kind of Saint of the East End with his extraordinary contribution to the awareness of and the visibility of the lives of its people, its history, its buildings and the pricelessness of the everyday. We look forward to more wonderful titles.’

Iain B

‘Dear Gentle Author, how could I not support this terrific initiative . Great good luck. Your ever loyal friend, Pen.’

Pen Thompson

‘I enjoy your blog and books very much. Good luck with the funding.’

Lynne Casey

‘A great series of projects to ensure the continuation of this important source of information.’

John Furlong

‘Roll the presses!’

Linda Granfield

‘Congratulations! – Looking forward to even MORE Spitalfields Life books in my art library.’

Lynne Perrella

‘Good luck with it all – I am looking forward to reading more of your beautifully produced books.’

Arabella Warner

‘This is a very worthwhile project. Your books are a joy and I can’t wait to see the next three titles in print.’

Tim Mainstone

‘Great to see more incoming books again.’

Corvin Roman

‘Spitalfields Life books are fascinating and wonderful works of art and I look forward to reading the new books.’

Sara Kermond

‘Love to see these three books out there.’

Ruth Campbell

‘I’ve recently discovered the fascinating history of the East End through the Gentle Author and so want these Amazing books to be out there again for us to have the opportunity to purchase. Publishing is an expensive business. A worthy fundraiser.’

Sharon Willard


John Allin – Spitalfields Market, 1972

My illustrated lecture on EAST END VERNACULAR, Artists Who Painted London’s East End Streets in the 20th Century, including all the artists whose works are below, is at the Hanbury Hall on Tuesday 3rd October as the first in the new season of Spitalfields Talks


Click here for tickets


S.R Badmin – Wapping Pier Head, 1935

Pearl Binder – Aldgate, 1932 (Courtesy of Bishopsgate Institute)

Dorothy Bishop – Looking towards the City of London from Morpeth School, 1961

James Boswell – Petticoat Lane (Courtesy of David Buckman)

Roland Collins – Brushfield St, Spitalfields, 1951-60 (Courtesy of Museum of London)

Alfred Daniels – Gramophone Man on Wentworth St

Anthony Eyton , Christ Church Spitalfields, 1980

Doreen Fletcher – Turner’s Rd, 1998

Geoffrey Fletcher – D.Bliss, Alderney Rd 1979 (Courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives)

Barnett Freedman– Street Scene. 1933-39 (Courtesy of Tate Gallery)

Noel Gibson – Hessel St (Courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives)

Charles Ginner – Bethnal Green Allotment, 1947 (Courtesy of Manchester City Art Gallery)

Lawrence Gowing – Mare St, 1937

Harry T. Harmer – St Botolph’s Without Aldgate, 1963  (Courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives)

Elwin Hawthorne – Trinity Green Almshouses, 1935

Rose Henriques – Coronation Celebrations in Challis Court, 1937 (Courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives)

Nathaniel Kornbluth – Butcher’s Row, Aldgate 1934 (Courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives)

Dan Jones – Brick Lane, 1977

Leon Kossoff – Christ Church Spitalfields, 1987

James Mackinnon – Twilight at London Fields

Cyril Mann – Christ Church seen over bombsites from Redchurch St, 1946 (Courtesy of Piano Nobile Gallery)

Jock McFadyen – Aldgate East

Ronald Morgan – Salvation Army Band Bow, 1978  (Courtesy of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives)


Grace Oscroft – Old Houses in Bow, 1934

Peri Parkes – House in the East, 1980-81

Henry Silk – Snow, Rounton Rd, Bow

Harold Steggles – Old Ford Rd c.1932

Walter Steggles – Old Houses, Bethnal Green 1929

Albert Turpin, Columbia Market, Bethnal Green



Take a look at some of the artists featured in East End Vernacular

John Allin, Artist

Pearl Binder, Artist

Dorothy Bishop, Artist

Roland Collins, Artist

Anthony Eyton, Artist

Doreen Fletcher, Artist

Barnett Freedman, Artist

Lawrence Gowing, Artist

Harry T. Harmer, Artist

Elwin Hawthorn, Artist

Rose Henriques, Artist

Charles Ginner, Artist

Dan Jones,  Artist

Nathaniel Kornbluth, Artist

Leon Kossoff, Artist

James Mackinnon, Artist

Jock McFadyen, Artist

Cyril Mann, Artist

Ronald Morgan, Artist

Grace Oscroft, Artist

Peri Parkes, Artist

Henry Silk, Artist

Harold & Walter Steggles, Artists

Albert Turpin, Artist

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Andy Strowman permalink
    September 24, 2023

    I have found the Gentle Author to be very kind to me and he gave me hope in my work of poetry much like Chris Searle did.
    Please support this work.
    Andy xx

  2. September 24, 2023

    Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite Spitalfields Life books. Through the blog, and then through this beautiful volume, I discovered new-to-me artists………….and am so enriched by their stories and images. The Gramophone Man! Henry Silk’s intimate paintings of his surroundings, inside and out! The mysterious scenes by James Mackinnon! — and so much more. As a tribute to the extra-effort care of the publisher, I also enjoy that the cover of the book itself is a painting on heavily-textured canvas —- seemingly, a book/painting hybrid. People who love books notice such things, and the consistent top quality of these volumes is a tribute to our GA.

    I’m very envious of those who can attend the lecture.

    Well done, sir. Onward and upward.

  3. September 28, 2023

    Love them all. But Roland Collins is my favourite.

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