I remembered to listen to the programme I helped make on Stepney and Bow, which was broadcast last week on Resonance FM (you can find it by googling Saumarez Smith/Resonance/East London).   It’s much slower, less focussed and more ruminative than the programme about Spitalfields, partly because it was the first programme in the series to be made, so I didn’t have a sense of the format, and partly because Stepney and Bow are so much less coherent as historical neighbourhoods than Spitalfields.   You still get a strong sense of how important artists and the practice of art have been to the development of the area, with the establishment of the Chisenhale Gallery, Matt’s Gallery and Maureen Paley in the 1970s;  the advantages of mixed neighbourhoods and the virtues of post-war social housing;  and of the way the city develops not through planning, but negotiation and happenstance.


2 thoughts on “Stepney/Bow

  1. Joan says:

    Interesting, bracing, listening. Am now slightly hoarse from shouting at the ‘radio’. And in my mind, of course, Dagenham is still filled with the lives and voices of the Irish, like my dad and his family, who arrived there in the 1930s to work at Fords Dagenham, just as they had previously worked at Fords, Cork.

    Interested to see in the weekend FT magazine a sales advert for the Ballymore Goodluck Hope development on the approach to Trinity Buoy Wharf. There’s an area that is changing dramtically.

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