2 thoughts on “The Flats

  1. joan says:

    Prompted by an interview with Iwona Blazwick in the FT last week – in which she was lamenting the lack of students studying art history in schools in Tower Hamlets – I started thinking about Jack Dash, who lived in those flats, who aside from being the Communist dockers’ leader was also a keen advocate of working class arts education. So I picked up Jack’s autobiography ‘Good Morning Brothers!’ from my shelf. It wasn’t very forthcoming about the topic I was momentarily interested in (thought it does lament that the workers who built the Festival Hall would probably never attend a concert there) but it is lyrical about moving in to the 16th floor of Latham House and the panoramic view it offered. I suspect much of the sights he depicts are now blocked by other taller buildings – when we first moved in, in 1963, my dad took cine footage of the view and by the time we moved out 16 years later it was very different. I remember Jack with such fondness – I think he used the same tone of voice when addressing just me in the lifts as he did in addressing hundreds of dockers. I think he would have been sad, as Iwona Blazwick, to see such a concentration on STEM subjects among youngsters in East End schools.

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