Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Red Rum and what happened when Arsenal came.

Red Rum in Bristol, from Wikipedia

Thanks to @rowanarts I spent Saturday morning in Kinloch gardens talking to Jim Pennington, who was born in South America and came to London from Brighton in 1967. He runs Lithosphere the printers. They're on Seven Sisters Road, but for a long time they were  based where the Hornsey Road narrows and turns round to join the Holloway Road. Their building had been the Avery blinds factory and still had a corrugated concrete asbestos roof. 'Last place you'd want to run a printer's, really. It was called Sunblind House and, despite the corrugated concrete asbestos roof, had not a little 60's style to it. At the back, where it overlooked gardens, it was terraced and all the windows had electric blinds and canopies.'

Then Arsenal came and they had to go, together with Baldwin's skips, the Favourite Pub and the council tip. The story of industry being pushed out of Islington starts with the brick kiln that Constable painted being shut down and won't end until the last shop becomes a flat, but nothing's as stark as the Arsenal spaceship landing and obliterating everything under it.

The Favourite is where Red Rum comes in. The horse had a celebrity retirement, turning on the Blackpool illuminations and such like. One day the landlord 'had a relaunch of some sort and brought Red Rum down for it. They're huge racehorses. You don't realise until you stand right next to them. That suffragette didn't stand a chance.'

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