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Monday, 13 June 2011

A Sense of Place

Here's the view from the hotel I stayed in recently. It's Canary Wharf, part of the Docklands development in London. The Thames ran past our windows, and at low tide all sorts of flotsam and Jetsam was exposed. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, this was where my grandfather's family made their living. They were mudlarks, salvaging and selling on anything they could. It was the nineteenth century version of reuse, repair and recycle, but it can't have paid very well. Grampy ended up in Barnardo's. Once he was old enough to be useful, he was to be sent to Canada but didn't think much of that idea. One night he ran away, lied about his age and joined the British Army. It sounds very romantic, but I suspect it was anything but!