Read more about my interviews with Londoners
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, after collecting 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’”
Three months ago, at the beginning of November 2021, I started with this fieldwork. Even though I have yet to write up quite a few blog articles about my amazing interview partners, I thought it might be interesting to publish some interim statistics. So far, I have interviewed 34 Londoners, exactly 17 women and 17Continue reading “Three months of fieldwork: an overview”
I met with Alina shortly before Christmas in Hays Galleria near London Bridge. She is a young South Londoner, who grew up and lived most of her life in Southwark. She would call her own way of speaking ‘standard London, close to Standard English’. She says her dad, who was a stay-at-home dad, ‘has gotContinue reading “Sounding ‘more London’ at school”
I met Hunter on his day off from his job as a head barista in a coffeeshop in Hampstead. But we stayed in his natural habitat, as he picked a lovely small café in Islington near where he lives. His family is from the East End and his mother was actually born ‘within the soundContinue reading “‘Cockney is such a comforting sound’”
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