Saturday, 7 September 2013

Urban Wandering - an early morning drift around London E1

Although we are still officially in the last few weeks of summer, the evening's are drawing in fast and soon it will be getting dark too early to manage any significant wanderings after work. However, it's still sufficiently light in the mornings before work. As I have mentioned before, early mornings in London are my favourite time of day, watching the city as it comes to life. This particular Urban Wander was over some previously visited territory, but it all had a very different feel to it in the early hours of the morning.

Retaining wall of partly demolished building, Paul Street, London
Retaining wall of partly demolished building, Paul Street, London, E1

This particular sight ticked all the boxes for me: abandonment, decay, a ghost sign and some pretty impressive street art.

MERCHANT & TAYLOR

Ghost sign on abandoned building, Gun Street, London E1
Ghost sign on abandoned building, Gun Street, London E1

Street art, Shoreditch, London
Street art, Shoreditch, London

This next picture was taken from what I think would have been beneath the railway tracks as they left Broad Street station, a former London terminus. The tracks and bridge are long gone, as has Broad Street station. Or, it might have been the original path of the East London tube line, which after a brief closure was diverted over a new bridge in Shoreditch. Hopefully some knowledgeable reader can clarify for me.
Street art, Shoreditch, London
Street art, Shoreditch, London

I initially thought this was a ghost sign, as each time I have passed I have never seen any signs of life in this shop, but it would seem, assuming the internet articles are up to date, that it is still a current concern. Update: it would seem that Verde & Co is now a cafe, so I guess the signage can now be genuinely regarded as a ghost sign.

Possible ghost sign in Brushfield Street, London E1
Possible ghost sign in Brushfield Street, London E1

I actually took this next picture as I liked the alleyway. It wasn't until I started looking at it in more detail that I realised there's a feint ghost sign as well.
Ghost sign in Shoreditch, London E1
Ghost sign in Spitalfields, London E1

This next building was, I think, on the corner of Artillery Lane and Crispin Street, but I can't be sure. I am also not sure what the building used to be, but given the MEN and WOMEN signs, I had assumed it used to be a baths of some sort, but thanks to Moses'n'Luke who identified this as the Providence Row Night Shelter and Refuge. The women's entrance can be seen clearly in the photograph here.

Ghost sign the men's entrance to the Providence Row Night Shelter and Refuge, Spitalfields, London
Ghost sign to the men's entrance to the Providence Row Night Shelter and Refuge, Spitalfields, London

Ghost sign to the women's entrance to the Providence Row Night Shelter and Refuge, Spitalfields, London
Ghost sign to the women's entrance to the Providence Row Night Shelter and Refuge, Spitalfields, London

Not sure how I missed this ghost sign on my previous wanders around the Spitalfields area. Maybe it was the fact that the place was almost deserted and I didn't have to dodge the crowds that helped.

PERCY DALTON (LONDON) LTD
NUT IMPORTERS & ROASTERS
 
Ghost sign in Spitalfields, London E1
 Ghost sign in Spitalfields, London E1

These next three pictures are all from Toynbee Street, and paint quite a sorry picture of abandonment and decay. There were some shops in between these ones which looked as though they could still be in business, but these three were definitely not.

Abandoned shop in Toynbee Street, London E1
Abandoned shop in Toynbee Street, London E1

Abandoned shop in Toynbee Street, London E1
Abandoned shop in Toynbee Street, London E1

Abandoned shop in Toynbee Street, London E1
Abandoned shop in Toynbee Street, London E1

As I was making my way back to a tube station so I could get to the office, I came across another fine piece of street art, which I think was in Wentworth Street.

Street art, New Goulston Street, Spitalfields, London E1
Street art, New Goulston Street, Spitalfields, London E1

With my walk almost over, I ended up drifting to Aldgate station instead of Liverpool Street as planned, which was more than acceptable as it gave me a great opportunity to snap this stunning piece of London Underground architecture.

Aldgate Station, London
Aldgate Station, London

    

3 comments:

  1. Nice pics! But may I point out a few errors as I live in the area and know it well. Quite a lot of them are taken in Spitalfields, not Shoreditch e.g. the narrow passage with ghost sign and the large building with Men & Women signs. This building was Providence Row Night Shelter and Refuge, now student accommodation. Such a rich area to photograph and its changing so fast you have to be quick!

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks for providing corrections. I'll endeavour to update the post over the next couple of days as best I can. Thanks in particular for identifying the building I thought were baths - I was definitely barking up the wrong tree on this one.

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  2. Verde & Co is now a cafe cum fruit & veg shop. Percy Daltons, Toynbee St, Roa's rat in New Goulston St (part of the Petticoat Lane market) area - all in Spitalfields. I photographed all those Toynbee St shops last week, they are lovely and very much part of the history of the area with their long first floor 'weavers windows' - planned for demolition to be replaced with a monolithic office block. Oh dear.

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