Monday, March 14, 2011

Petticoat Lane - 1903

This fascinating film provides an authentic view of London's East End from over a hundred years ago. Flat-capped men flow in a Sunday morning tide down Middlesex Street - better known by its unofficial name, Petticoat Lane - just as they have for generations.
This most Cockney of London markets caters to the second clothes trade: at the time when this film was made, the market was dominated by the East End street sellers and the Jewish rag trade (almost all the names on the shop fronts are Jewish). As the camera pans across the market, we see the traders raised above the general level, barking at the crowd. The few women in the picture are stall-holders, selling patched-up trousers and restored boots, while a nearby card sharp tempts the punters. (Bryony Dixon)

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