The Mission

When we lived in Limehouse, we inherited the architectural drawing for the Empire Memorial Sailor’s Hostel, which was designed by Thomas Brammall Daniel and Horace W. Parnacott and opened in 1924 with beds for 205 sailors in cabins.   It’s quite a fine building, with a grandiose frontispiece of stripped-down perpendicular and I hope the drawing survives in the Ragged School Museum to whom I donated it.   Rather amazingly, in 1960 the building was the location for the 4th. Conference of the Situationist International, a group of revolutionary Marxists led by Guy Debord, who pioneered the study of psychogeography:

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4 thoughts on “The Mission

  1. Joan Keating says:

    This is fantastic. Thank you. We’re sitting here wondering if Debord and co. drank at a local boozer during the conference and tried to engage with the locals. Having just seen a photo of them posing outside the Mission it does look like an event that should be recreated by some young art students!

  2. Sarah Hilliam says:

    Agreed. I live in the converted chapel which is set back from the Mission’s main façade so will definitely be hunting down those drawings in the Ragged School Museum!

  3. John McCormick says:

    We found this piece most interesting . However, it was not really clear why it was entitled ‘ The Mission’. It reminded us of an institution in our home city of Liverpool, The Mersey Mission to Seamen .
    On the same theme there used to be a beautiful Victorian building in Liverpool, The Sailors’ Home, with an amazing interior. Alas, it w as demolished many years ago.
    The 1914- 1918 inscription – & the beautiful lettering.of the benefactors’ names- reminded us of the memorial to merchant seamen who lost their lives in WW1 and whose bodies were never recovered ( near The Tower ) which we saw for the first time when visiting the poppies.
    My own grandfather, a merchant seaman lost his life in 1917, but his body was recovered & he is buried on Belle isle en Mer, off Quiberon, the only British war grave in the municipal cemetery in Le Palais.

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