Read more about my interviews with Londoners
I met Afroza on one of the recent hot summer days, but we stayed cool in a coffee shop basement. Afroza grew up in Bow in a large Bangladeshi family of eight siblings and now lives in Shoreditch with her family. Afroza would call her accent ‘a bit Cockney, a bit posh’. It’s the latterContinue reading “East Ender with a ‘bookworm’ accent”
Anna and Mark are both artists based in St. John’s Wood. Anna grew up in King’s Cross and Finchley. She is a playwright and actor who is ‘very good at accents’ and uses them in her performances. Mark is from Greenwich, works in advertising and has often cast actors with accents for the TV commercialsContinue reading “‘Are you embarrassed about my accent?’”
Over the last months, I have interviewed 60 Londoners about their knowledge of and experience with London dialects to find out more about how London dialects are ‘enregistered’, i.e., socially and culturally constructed, for individuals. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to see hundreds of East Londoners react to the project at the QMUL FestivalContinue reading “LONDON TALKS and the Tower Hamlets community”
Joe Cooke is the owner of Cooke’s Pie and Mash shop in Hoxton, an East London institution that was founded by his great-grandfather Robert in 1862. According to Joe, his ancestor didn’t just own many pie and mash shops and pubs in the East End, he actually started the pie and mash business by sellingContinue reading “Pies for old-school Cockneys and people from all over the world”
Last week, I finally visited the Cockney Museum, which had been closed for refurbishment over the winter. It’s just outside Southwest London in Stoneleigh, on the trainline from Waterloo to Dorking. George Major, the Pearly King of Peckham, opened it in 2020, having collected exhibits for his dream of a Cockney museum all his life.Continue reading “‘DelBoy I.’ at the Cockney Museum”
I met with Kate Garner at the beautiful Brasserie Zédel off Piccadilly Circus. Kate is not only a composer and musician in the London music hall tradition who often performs at Zédel’s, but also comes from a very musical North London family: she is the daughter of Chas Hodges from Chas’n Dave, the iconic CockneyContinue reading “Chas’n Dave – the ‘Cockney ambassadors’”
I talked to Lanny in a coffeeshop in Lewisham. Lanny came to the UK from Jamaica as a teenager. He lives in Greenwich but works as a coach and swim teacher all over South London. Even though he says Cockney can be heard in South London, ‘Bermondsey’ for example, to him it is ‘more ofContinue reading “Decoding different ways of speaking”
This week, I managed to get hold of Tom Carradine, a professional pianist who stages extremely popular ‘Cockney sing-alongs’ in London and (far) beyond. His shows are advertised as ‘an old-fashioned knees-up – Mr Tom Carradine on the ol’ Joanna’ (Cockney rhyming slang for piano). Tom plays old London music hall and Cockney songs toContinue reading “Master of the Cockney sing-along”
Teresa is the Pearly Queen of Clapton and a true Cockney, ‘born within the sound of Bow Bells’. She grew up in Leyton, East London, and now lives in Loughton, just outside of London in Essex, but her family is from all over East London, ‘so that is where our heart is’. Teresa comes fromContinue reading “Audience with the Pearly Queen of Clapton”
Another great interview I did was with Mariana and Nieves, who, like Andy and Eileen, live on the Cressingham Gardens estate in Tulse Hill. Mariana moved to Brixton from Nigeria when she was 18, and Nieves, now a pensioner, is originally from Manila in the Philippines. The two are neighbours and friends and Mariana helpsContinue reading “‘I don’t need to pay to go to Nigeria, I just go to Peckham’”
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