Golden Bells in Poplar

When I was seven years old or so and my parents wanted to spend some time together in our small maisonette above the Home and Colonial shop in Chrisp Street Market, they would send their three children to Sunday School.
We walked though to the eastern part of Poplar to the London City Mission at Fiveways. Continue reading

Poverty is not a Statistic

It is very hard to measure poverty. Poverty is not a statistic. It is a state of being. Figures are misleading but it is clear that some people are poorer than others and some places have many more poor people than others. Continue reading

Do not breathe too deeply in the city

I was brought up in Poplar, which is in the East End of London and is now part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. My school was separated from a main road by a very narrow pavement. The road was dirty and dusty because it carried mainly lorries and commercial vehicles going to and from London’s docks, around the Isle of Dogs and further east at Tilbury. The noise from the traffic was such that being taught in some rooms was a trying experience and it was disturbing, mildly so, when we took examinations, but the traffic dirt was the worst problem. Tower Hamlets has not changed much, in terms of traffic since then; I suppose that there is now more traffic but the traffic is less polluting with higher emission standards and catalytic converters. Continue reading