A weakness for lobsters meant that this was a must buy item at this year’s St Jude’s In the City exhibition at the Bankside Gallery. Lively Lobster is a pochoir/stencil print by Mick Manning and the show, featuring a brilliant line-up of current British artists, runs until 4th December.

Both of these lovely Paul Catherall prints are on display at the St Jude’s In The City exhibition, at the Bankside Gallery until Sunday 4th December. Routemaster at King’s Cross above, and St Paul’s Cathedral below. More info here. I’ll show you what I bought, tomorrow.

Our disappearing housing

There is something deeply appealing and rather melancholy to me about the selection of images gathered for a new exhibition which opens in Walthamstow at the end of the month (perhaps because this couple look a bit like my mum and dad, and that looks very much like our old fireplace). But the subject, the gradual disappearance of a cohesive, well-housed working class community in London is of much broader interest.

WE: The Ex-Warner Estate in Waltham Forest looks at a disappearing community and the distinctive Warner homes in Walthamstow and Leyton from the start of the 20th century, using a combination of photographs from residents, new photography, archive images and oral histories.

The show illustrates how radically working class family life has changed in London. The Warner homes saw generations of families renting and living close to each other. But the newest generations of these families have been forced out of the area or of London altogether, as homes are sold off and London gentrifies. A two-bedroom Warner flat currently sells for around £450,000.

Artists Lucy Harrison and Katherine Green have collected hundreds of images from as far afield as the US and Australia, as well as oral histories from those who have lived in these distinctive properties for 20 years or more, to create an exhibition that shows how residents lived in the properties throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.

“At a time when east London is becoming rapidly gentrified and a lack of affordable housing is a huge issue for many, the project looks at one example of how a private company developed large amounts of good quality housing stock and its legacy for the area today,” says Harrison. “These outstanding photographs show an era where working class families could live comfortably in stable accommodation, enjoying their homes and community life. The images provide a stark contrast with the conditions in the rented sector for
families like this today.”

WE: The Ex-Warner Estate in Waltham Forest
29th October 2016 –19th February 2017
Vestry House Museum, Vestry Road, London E17 9NH
Open 10am-5pm, Wednesday – Sunday. Admission free.