With gravestones reaching back almost two centuries, the majority of the worn stone tributes in daylight are cracked, moss-stained and faded. However, in the faint glow of dawn’s breaking, the rows and rows of headstones become hauntingly luminous and from them you might just catch a glimpse of the spirits coming out of their resting place for a brief excursion. The vociferous calls of the birds – the liquid trill of the robins, the locomotive huff of the chiff chaff, the mechanical gnawing of the woodpecker – don’t fail to rouse the thousands who “fell asleep in Jesus” from their resting places each morning; yet rarely is the public given access to the grounds to witness it. My intention is to use the early morning dimness to convene with the spirits of the cemetery, to coax them into my consciousness and to see the graveyard as they see it.Read More
I stood in front of the sofa where mum and dad sat attentively, waiting to find out why I’d assembled them in the living room so urgently. Mum was beaming with doe-eyed adoration, the novelty of my presence in the house for the first time in months not having worn off her yet. Dad was also smiling gently, something I was still getting used to since his retirement. What I was going to announce was sure to bring out more of the testiness I grew up with.
“I’m not going to Billingsgate,” I said.Read More
The Carters' car trundled through the streets of East London, making for home after a long day of shopping. Mr. Carter looked at his son and daughter, tired and bored on the back seat, looking bemusedly out of the window. It had been a long day for them, their mother having dragged them around several of the finest clothes retailers in the city in an attempt to find them something appropriate to wear for the weekend’s grand dinner party that she was throwing. The children had at first behaved well, but after hours of changing in and out of uncomfortable clothes Jack had collapsed on the floor refusing to change anymore and Milly had thrown a full tantrum, bursting into tears at her mother’s continued disapproval of the dress choices. Mr. Carter thought it was ridiculous to spend so much money on clothes for young children that would soon grow out of them, but he hadn’t wanted to get into a row with his wife.Read More
This story is a fictional account of Sir Buxton's walk from where he worked at the Truman Brewery (on Brick Lane) to Mansion House, where he was to give a speech about the level of poverty in Spitalfields. My story is a first person narrative of what he might have seen and thought on his way there.Read More
Joe dashed along the street, his prize grasped tightly in his young fist. He heard the heavy footsteps of the shopkeeper running behind him and ran faster. He had no conscious idea of where he was going, but quickly made for the narrowness of Artillery Passage, ahead of him, before making a swift turn into Sandy's Row in an attempt to lose his pursuer.Read More