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ISSUE 001. JULY 2013. FREE


8-11. It’s much more than a cut through. All you need to know about the passage, the complete lowdown. 13. History of the Passage. A timeline of the Passage. 14-15. Annies Vintage Costume and Textiles. A look at the exquisite shop, Annies. 16-19. Finbar Macdonnell A interview with the one and only Finbar, the man behind the self-titled print shop.

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20-23. Sweet Temptations. A review of Paul A Young’s chocolate shop. 24-26. The Longest resident. Gordon Gridley. A interview with Gordon Gridley, a man who’s no stranger to the Passage. 28-29. Decorexi. A look at the beautiful furniture shop. 30-33. There’s something about Susy. A day in the life of Michelle Anslow, designer behind Susy Harper. 34-35. Top 20: Camden Passage. 32 Magazines top places to visit within the passage. 36-45. The Hidden Wonder. Vintage inspired fashion shoot. 46-49. Camden Passages own Savile Row. A look at the African Waistcoat Company and its new owners. 51-57. After all, what’s a lace gown without a red lip? A vintage inspired beauty shoot. 58-60. A day with Delphine. London’s favourite French boutique, Hexagone. 62-64. To eat, but where to start? 32 Magazines top pick of the Passages eateries. 66-77 Meet the Neighbours. A look at residents of the passage, with who used to live there and who lives there now.

Dress: Susy Harper; £145 Shoes: Jeffery Cambpell: £125

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Address: 26-34 Emerald Street. London. WC1N 3QA. Tel: 0208-303-2222 E-mail: EDITORIAL Tatiana Gee – Editor in Chief Vanessa Lee – Features and Social Media Editor Timmy Odejimi – Fashion Editor Emily Gilbert – Art Director and Beauty Editor Yoni Kim – Video Director Jourdane Bennett – Online Editor Helen Boal – Journalist Special thanks to: Jordan Hughes, Milica Opacic, Abolade Akintunde, Ella Daines-Smith

32 Magazine Ltd: Registered Company Number 062462623 32 Magazine is published monthly by Conde Nast Ltd. Nothing in this magazine can be reproduced in whole or in part without the written consent of the publishers. Transparencies and any other material submitted for publication are sent at the owner’s risk and, while every care is taken, neither 32 Magazine nor its agents accept any liability for loss or damage. Although the magazine is correct, prices and details may be subject to change. 32 Magazine is a trademark of Conde Nast Ltd.


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For our debut issue, 32 magazine traveled slightly north of Central London to Islington’s Camden Passage. The back street which offers antiques specialists and vendors, vintage goods, and eateries. While the modern day antiques market is currently attracting the masses, I cannot help but be fascinated by the history of the area, and the divide that lies between the original Camden Passage traders, and the modern day shops that have replenished the passage. This issue’s borough was very much inspired by the change of the seasons. Spring brings flowers and sunny skies perfect for a wander around the passage. There is an authenticity to this Islington market. The antiques traders that frequent have contributed to the market for years, and antiques trading is more often their life’s work. Many of the shops are family run, or have had a sole owner for decades. Traditionally vendors would gather at Camden Passage on Wednesdays and Saturdays, where shoppers are guaranteed to find rare and interesting trinkets. If you have a suggestion of where you think we should go next on our journey to hit all 32 boroughs of London, then please let us know. Thank you always, TATIANA GEE. EDITOR IN CHIEF.

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A sunny Sunday in the market.

With numerous crowd-attracting markets hidden away in London’s nooks and crannies, Camden Passage has a lot to compete with. However, neither has to offer such a variety that could contend with the Passage’s exquisite style. With Summer well and truly starting to make an appearance, here is the complete lowdown of anything a Passage visitor would need to know when spending a sunny Saturday visiting the food market or antique browsing on a Wednesday. Walking from Angel station, Islington’s 8

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Upper Street is packed full of Costa’s, Pret A Manger’s and London’s favourite, Starbucks. A stark contrast to the Passage’s local food and drink outlets. Just off of Jack Wills, Camden Passage invites you in with its pretty architecture and friendly atmosphere. On a Wednesday, Pirrepoint Arcade greets you to the beginning of the market, a fine collection of silver cutlery, candle wicks, preserved vintage cameras and typical bits and bobs can be found sprawled yet with some order across the sheeted tables, however on a Sunday this is


where you can find the food market, where ‘The Gay Farmer’ and ‘Hanoi Kitchen’ all take residency providing it’s visitors with some of the finest food in Islington. The owners of both food and antique stalls, whilst never hassling, are always pleasant and are always happy to have someone view their collection of classic finds and delicacies. Talking to Grahame, an antique stall owner who has been located in the passage for over 30 years says ‘it’s not just the trade that attracts us to the passage; it’s the sense of community. I spend the best part of my Wednesdays and Saturdays standing in a cold London side street showing people a collection of random items, but I couldn’t ask for anything better.’ The stalls are not only home to antiques and food, but also provide a exciting collection of vintage clothing, shoes and accessories with designers

Star Wars figurines available in Pirrepoint Arcade.

brands such as Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Barbour being no stranger to the markets hanging rails. As you venture further into the amazing Pirrepoint Arcade, you will find a horseshoe of cosy yet oh so neatly cluttered shops, all heaving with their specialized range. Tea dresses hanging from ceilings in one, from shops specifying in clouded glass hanging lights in another. This is the kind of place you can find a shoebox of badges strictly dedicated to the Beatles, a lunch-box brimming with miniature spoons and Star Wars figurines lined up at £2 a piece, proving it really does cater for all aspects of pieces from our past. One that specifically stands out in this unremarkable row is ‘Himiko’; A Japanese and Oriental influenced antique shop where you can find the owner, Tsugiko Carver, forever >

Broaches on a stall outside the Camden Head. 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


rearranging her neatly laid out store. No bigger than a stall, Himiko stocks some of the weirdest yet wonderful antiques you can find in the Passage with Halloween style china masks and busts exhibited in the window, classic ceramic maneki-nekos and vintage Japenese Kimino’s for anywhere up to £70 beautifully displayed outside. Tsugiko says she ‘prides herself’ in her ‘diversity of stock’ and ‘enjoys’ her location within the passage.

‘‘if it’s good enough for Kate Moss, it’s good enough for us.’’

Upon leaving the horseshoe, you are welcomed back out onto the cobbled street of the Passage’s main offering. This is where you can find vintage costume and textile shops like ‘Annie’s’, antique stockists such as ‘David Griffith’s Antiques’ and the passage’s longest resident, Gordon Gridley, of whom with a quick Google search of his self titled shop brings up hundreds of comments regarding him being the best seller of antiques in London, something the Passage prides itself on. This strip isn’t only home to fashions ‘once was’, the street features new collections from designers such as the lovely Susy Harper, with just a simple ring of the shop’s bell allows you to meet the designer herself of whom is always happy to talk. Workshop is also another shop to explore if searching for this seasons current trends. Emma Weatherley, an avid Passage 10

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shopper who can be found picking through antique jewellery on a daily basis describes the cobbled road as a ‘lovely little hideaway’ saying that it is a ‘burst of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of hectic London. Somewhere where even if you don’t manage to pick anything up, you can still have an amazing day looking around.’ Not only does the Passage attract lunch time customers like Emma, but also celebrities; Kate Moss, Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart and Emma Watson have all been spotted browsing, window shopping and investigating the beautiful road in search for their blast from the past pieces. The passage is not only somewhere to shop either, it’s provides the visitor with a sundry of food and drink outlets, all of which gives the attendee a new experience of dining. ‘Issy’s Milky Way’ is a fond favourite for all visitors; the shops exterior being enough to lure you in before you even glimpse at their beyond exquisite desert menu and individually boxed, Elvis Presley cupcakes. The 50’s inspired diner has a no photo’s policy and its obvious why, everything down to the beyond friendly staff emulates classic American diner style, even kitted out with a old-school TV to watch all your favorite 50’s music acts whilst you gorge on milkshakes. The secret to a good dining experience is definitely made up to your surroundings and that’s no secret with Issy’s, with only 12 seats inside grab the experience in all its delight outside of market days where a small table in the corner has never seemed so appealing. The passage is also is home to the iconic Breakfast Club; soon to be celebrating its 6th year in the passage, The Breakfast Club serves everything you

could ever dream of for breakfast, American Style Pancakes being by far the most popular and whether you want to keep it original with freshly squeezed orange juice or go all out with an alcoholic cocktail.

‘‘Burst of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of hectic London’’

The iconic Breakfast Club, where the best pancakes in London can be found.

Just as every good road deserves, it also comes with its own pub, ‘The Camden Head’. Situated at the very end of the road, it’s the perfect place to relax after a heavy afternoon of shopping. Serving food along with a vast array of alcoholic beverages, The Camden Head old fashioned interior suits the Passage well and its beer garden looking out onto the market is the place to be. However, beware of the pub’s in house ghost, its well known amongst the locals that a woman will often appear at the bottom of stairs but even that can’t put them off their favorite pub! As proven, diversity is everything in the Passage, one of the most realistic American 50’s diner that can be found in London located just doors away from a 1920’s themed vintage shop stocking fine lace dresses and masquerade masks. Overwhelming as it may seem, the intimacy of the passage allows just enough old school to shine through Islington’s hectic atmosphere. And after all, if it’s good enough for Moss, it’s good enough for us...


Himiko, The Japanese inspired vintage shop.

A Passage Shopper browzing a collection of dresses in the passage 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M



Alley constructed


Georgian backwater Occupied by affluent professionals


John Payton’s family music business opens


Tramshed is reconstructed


WWII clears wealth from Islington


Homes used as temporary housing after war


John Payton forms Traders Association


Camden Passage officially opens 350 traders set up in Camden Passage


Tram shed campaign developed


Aids epidemic effects stall owners


Antiques market flourishes again


Camden Passage introduces new shops and restaurants


32 Magazine visits Camden Passage

Off Upper Street in the heart of Islington lies Camden Passage, the antiques and vintage village that the area has become known for. Today, this cobble-stoned pedestrian walkway is still one of the leading arts, antiques, and vintage markets in the world, as well as containing some of London’s most unique restaurants. Despite being a popular fixture for the local residents, the bi-weekly antiques market in the main strip of Camden Passage is struggling to find its feet amongst the eateries and ‘would-be up market boutiques, whilst the Aladdin’s cave known either as the Tram Shed (or as locals would call it ‘the Mall’), once alive with tiny antiques shops, has become a chain clothing store: Jack Wills. At one point, the pathway that is now Camden Passage was just the imagination of one man, John Payton, in the late 1950s. To read the rest of this feature, and to learn a more extensive history of this borough, please follow up on our website at html 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


ANNIE’S VINTAGE COSTUME AND TEXTILES. 12 Camden Passage, Islington, London, N1 8ED //


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In the heart of Camden Passage Islington, find Annie’s vintage costumes and textile boutique, to uncover a treasure trove of unique genuine ‘20s garments perfect for any Gatsby inspired soiree. Annie Moss, who founded the beautiful boutique 35 years ago, says “Everybody has gone ‘20s crazy since The Great Gatsby was released” “Pearl Lowe and Kate Moss are regulars” at the boutique and the fashion set are big fans too. Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Nicole Farhi, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan have all raided Annie’s for accessories, trimmings and garments. The one off original flapper dresses, which drip elegantly all over the tiny Aladdin’s cave, can be snagged from around £300 off the rail. Key pieces, mainly adorning the stunning window displays are upwards of £700 to purchase and are every inch covered in clusters of tiny glass beads, feathers and sequins. Many of these charming originals could be worn easily at one of

Gatsby’s extravagant parties. “Lots of people are wanting dresses and accessories for Gatsby parties” gushes store owner Annie Moss who “can’t seem to get them in fast enough.” On a sunny Saturday in June there’s a rail and collection of baskets outside crammed with bargain items to complete any ‘20s inspired soiree. One basket contains pretty beaded wire flowers that would look beautiful on a hat or headband. Annie buys these from a market just outside Paris. Vintage furs from around £200-£1000 line the inside left rail of the boutique and would be perfect to slip over any number of dresses accessorized with oodles of pearls Daisy Buchanan style. Annie’s captures the magic of The Great Gatsby. Its four walls encase a world of ‘20s party memorabilia and are reminiscent of what Daisy Buchanan’s bedroom might be like to walk around in. If you’re looking for inspiration or something beautiful to don this summer then drop into this magical boutique and take a look around.




Macdonnell, amongst his prints.

insert picture

FINBAR MACDONNELL Finbar MacDonnell - with a name like that, is bound to be an interesting character. Having lived and worked in Camden Passage for fourty years, the eccentric print shop collector has witnessed the area grow from a sleepy village to London’s bustling hub of young professionals and hipsters. Also owner of his eponymously named print shop, Macdonnel has heard more than his fair share of tales and we sat down to hear them‌ 16

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INTERVIEW Have you always been in the same store? No, I had a large one on the main Camden Passage street but then I gave it to my son who decided it wasn’t making money so he gave it up and I started up a small one again. What was it selling? Prints.


What made you decide to start selling prints? Well when I had a little bit of money we began to look for a place to buy and property was particularly cheap in the area, even though it is close to the west end. There were plenty of nice houses here and it seemed like it had everything we wanted so we ended up living here for a while – which was then we began to notice that people were selling Antiques and things here. We started a Saturday business then slowly expanded into a little shop then a bigger one until we had a main store in Camden Passage. The reason why we decided to sell prints was because both my father and grandfather were great collectors and it seemed appropriate to continue the family business. When you first started were there a lot of people in this area? Yes it was growing from a small area with just a few grocery stores and newsagents into a highly-populated area, as more people moved here. …because its now more of an Antiques and Art area? Yes definitely, though the big days of Antiques have passed now and sadly the property market is so difficult what

with high rent. So selling is a bit like that, especially as it isn’t really as specialized as it was before. Do you prefer it when it had first begun? I liked it when Camden Passage was just establishing itself, it definitely isn’t how it used to be. I used to come here on Wednedays and there would be a queue outside my door! Regulars would drop in all the time, and other traders looking for their weekly stock of prints. On Saturdays locals looking to buy for themselves would always come too. Are those traders still here? No unfortunately they are all gone. Has the type of customers you attract, changed? Yes some of them have passed away, but I do still have some people coming in who have been buying from me for thirty years, which is nice. Tell us more about these prints, are they all from the same area? No well there are some London prints but we also have a variety from different cities as well as other counties. Where do you get all your prints now? Auctions, sadly it is harder to get things now. So would you say this store is your passion? Prints definitely are because I have been collecting them for such a long time. Like I said, we have always had prints all over our home so it feels like a natural move to make them a family business.> 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


Of all the prints which is your favourite and why? That is a good question, no idea. Is there one your particularly sentimental about? Well, I keep on changing them so not really. There was one stage I was selling Japanese prints a lot, which I liked. I always have a mixture but Japanese prints were interesting at the time. I also began to sell caricatures but they went up in price so I stopped. Have you ever made your own prints? No. What about the map ‘County of Lincoln’? First signature county maps were made in 1570 and there were people in Camden Passage - a man called Nordon and two others who produced them - they went about states and asked them for original plans of all the estates. Back then, the estates were very big so people preferred to just copy old maps. This is the first one which was completed brand new, from a complete fresh survey so it is very special. Have you got any prints of Camden Passage? No, not at the moment. I do get them sometimes but they aren’t only of Camden Passage. There were two things that made Islington particularly interesting for print artists, firstly because it was a place where the cattle were brought to spend the night before being taken to Spitalfields in the morning and secondly there were a lot of tea shops which became quite well-known. 18

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What’s your favourite thing you miss about this area? Well prices were cheaper, so I do miss that! I also miss the old community that used to live/work here. There were seven people or so that were dealing in prints at one stage and then more people came here and it was quite nice that way, I had people to discuss things with and so on. I also miss the crowds of people on Saturdays which was nice though I guess it is quite similar today. What do you think of the atmosphere now? Everything is rising in price which has an impact and it is definitely not like it used to be but it is fine. There is still a certain amount of antique and vintage shops which is important and there are so many new stores that have moved in. Back in the day, you might have had over ten furniture deals whilst now there is maybe one, so I guess that has changed and the ‘atmosphere’ has changed with it.


So you miss how it was more of a community? Yes definitely, I really miss that.

10 Pierrepoint Arcade, N1 8EF Antique Prints

Assortment of prints on display.

Mcdonnell sorting out prints. 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


Pauls impressive display


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Pauls Milk Chocolate

Paul A Young’s Fine Chocolates provides its customers with the finest hand crafted chocolates throughout London. Having now expanded to three different stores, including Wardour Street, Soho and The Royal Exchange, Bank, its Camden Passage store was where it all began for Young and his business partner James Cronin in 2006. Young’s passion for chocolate came from his former patisserie career. Working as head pastry chef for Marco Pierre White at Quo Vadis and Criterion before becoming a specialist in chocolate. “Its something I find creative, unique and everyone loves chocolate” he says when asked about his love for chocolate. Being described as one of

the best chocolatiers for his creativity in experimenting with new tastes and creating unique flavours with perfect balance its safe to say this chocolate shop awakens more than just your taste buds. There are various amounts of chocolates available within store. From those with added chilies to give that sweet taste a bit of a kick to the 24 different types of truffles. Young’s choice of using cocoa from over 7 different origins also helps make this store a diverse delight. Not only can you purchase the usual milk chocolate but bars made from 100% Madagascan chocolate, which is described to be ‘acidic, sharp and mouthwatering’ or > 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


Pauls take on a chocolate fountain.

the 70% Guanaja where all cocoa used had come from the Honduran island of Guanaja and is described as ‘smooth, rich, mellow with no bitterness.’ Offering over 120 types of chocolate creations including caramels, truffles, bars, brownies, hot chocolates, ice-creams and other creative products using cocoa makes Paul .A. Young’s Fine Chocolate diverse enough to feed anyone’s desire for chocolate. There is a chocolate for everyone. Using fresh ingredients with no added additives or preservatives makes Paul A Young’s Fine Chocolates store is as healthy treat as it is a tasty delight. All chocolates sold are made within each store as they have a kitchen situated in the back, which makes the chocolate even more divine, and helps keep its fresh taste. When choosing the 22

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location for the first store Young’s decision to open it on Camden Passage came down to it having the perfect amount of production and residential space as well as the “eclectic and interesting boutiques” surrounding it “it felt like the right position to start.” And it fits right in. From day one of opening the store the sea salt and caramel chocolate bar has been the most popular and has even recently won the title of ‘Best Sea Salt Caramel in the World’ during the 2012 international chocolate awards. Not only has Young’s creations’ won him awards but is book ‘Adventures with chocolate’ which won ‘Worlds Best Chocolate Book’ at the Gourmand Cookbook awards in Paris. The adventure continues as you walk through the door of the small

Paul taking centre stage at his shop.

yet cozy store you are instantly hit by the amazing tropical smells of the cocoa bean that immediately arise the memories from your childhood. I am seven again and I want to try everything. There is chocolate everywhere. It feels like you’re the infamous Charlie in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ which is also brought to life by the dark purple décor of the store and uniform worn by the staff bringing that ‘Willy Wonka’ feel to the whole experience. You can’t help but wait for the ‘Umpa Lumpa’s’ to come running out the kitchen and break into a song and dance. Then you suddenly notice the chocolate fountain in the corner of the room, which of course you are drawn to. Watching the hot melted milk chocolate drain through the fountain you can’t help

but want to dip something in it. Anything in it. Once you get past the idea of dipping your hand in you’ll see the available items such as strawberries and chocolate sprinkles you’re allowed for your own chocolate creation. Prices range throughout the store depending on the flavor but are roughly between £4 and £6 for a bar which when you think about it is a great price for excellence. Paying for quality shouldn’t be a problem and Young’s chocolate has proven how much of a quality store they are. So for those with sweet tooth or those looking for a quality treat I recommend paying any one of the three stores a visit and indulging in the tropical variations Paul A Young’s Fine Chocolates has to offer. Send your taste buds wild.and treat yourself.


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Gordon Gridley, an antiques dealer based in the charming alleyway of Camden Passage, dishes the dirt on the Antiques trade. “You still have the iPhone 4? There’s going to be an iPhone 6 soon—you are so behind!” “I’m behind? Your jacket is from a 2010 winter collection! How can you still be wearing that?” It’s 10 a.m., and I can’t help but listen, as two girls in their early 20’s squabble over whose items are more outdated. Conversations such as this one are more common than one would think. With everything from technology, to food, advancing more rapidly than ever, there seems to be a great importance placed on items that are branded as new. However, does this mean that the latest items are, in fact, the greatest items? In the progressive, consumer-driven market our world has become, one question we must ask ourselves is: What is the value of nostalgia, and does it still exist? For the numerous antiquarians in the world famous Camden Passage, nostalgia is a livelihood, an art, and a passion. First opened in the 1960’s, Camden Passage is now home to over 200 antique shops. Due to the volume of shops, anyone from seasoned collectors to interior designers will travel to this marketplace to get a great price on the priceless. In a flip-flop market where the older the item, the better, it would make sense that the same concept apply to the antique shops themselves. Gordon Gridley, 81, an English teacher turned antiquarian, owns the oldest antique shop in all of Camden Passage. 24

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Established in the early 1970’s, Gordon Gridley Antiques houses a unique array of vintage items that date back as far as the 17th century. His findings have attracted people from all over England, and even celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, have visited Gordon Gridley Antiques. Among Gridley’s eclectic collection, you can find items ranging from antique leather furniture to 18th century jewelry. Originally from Edmonton, London, Gordon Gridley did not discover his passion for vintage until he was in his early 30’s, when he and his wife were living with an antique collector: “It was an accident, really,” Gridley explained with a charming chuckle. “There were about 30 rooms--huge house--and it was all stuffed full [of antiques].” When the owner decided to sell the house, he offered Gridley and his wife free rent for four months—provided they looked after the antiques while he was gone. “Bentalls, the department store, was to sell the house, and auction off the paintings, furniture, and so on. I was to make sure no one stole anything…so that was a crash course in antiques because I had to know every item in each of the 30 rooms.” Soon after Gridley’s second daughter was born, he realized he could not support his family solely on a teacher’s salary, so he began buying and selling antiques. Eventually, his love of the unique pieces of art inspired him to open up his own shop. Gridley’s years of experience enable him to pick the finest antiques, and his long-time connections with other




Gordon outside his self tittled shop.

antiquarians have provided him with the most unique antiques, possibly in all of Camden Passage: “I like to have things that nobody else has got, and then nobody can say I’ve seen a nicer one down the road…I have things that other people haven’t got.” Although there seems to be an abundance of antique shops scattered around Camden Passage, Gridley recalls a time when the shops were even more prevalent: “There used to be about 250 antique shops in Camden Passage…

now it’s all clothing boutiques…I think they just opened a hiking shop…my local customers don’t come in anymore, and those who do are just wandering.” Gridley attributes the decline of antiquing large corporate companies that allow consumers to sell antiques over the Internet, eliminating the “hassle” of sorting through shops to find particular items. “I’m going to have to start a website, because no one is coming in anymore hardly, My son photographs my items in stock for the site.” 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


Gordon Gridley isn’t the only one perturbed by the seemingly inevitable decline of antique shops. Katelyn Hammond, a long-time antique connoisseur who spends most of her weekends hunting through the shops at Camden Passage, says shopping on sites such as eBay or T.I.A.S (The Internet Antique Site) is destroying the purpose of antiquing. “Antiquing online is quite like having a sexual encounter online: you may get the same end product, but the physical process is absent.” As Hammond picked up a blue vase intricately scrolled with blue and gold flowers, she closed her eyes and sighed. “You should, you know, be able to feel the age, smell the age, touch the age, before you buy. You should try to sense what it might be like to live when this was brand new… fantasize about the past.” Hammond’s interest in antiques stemmed from her obsession with hand-made items, a rarity in today’s economy. “Everything’s factory, machine, mass production! It’s all the same! When an item is

hand-made, you know there is nothing in the world exactly like it, even if the crafter made more, no two are the same.” We live in a time where today’s newspaper is already outdated by the time it reaches your doorstep, and Keeping Up With The Jones’s requires buying a new phone every few months. As it seems, antiques are not as valued as they used to be. For Katelyn Hammond, Gordon Gridley, and many of the other shop owners in Camden Passage, antiques are more than just old pieces of art. They are sentiments of the past, and conquerors of the test of time. Many of us acknowledge the past, but never truly acknowledge the work put into building what our society has become today. For the shop owners in Camden Passage, selling antiques is much more than a way to make money. It is a way to pay tribute to the past, and to revel in nostalgia, a value that our society should not forget. After all, it is our past that made us what we are today, and what we will be tomorrow.


Gordon Gridleys Antiques


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Furnature busts outside the store

Decorexi is an Aladdin’s cave of home furnishings and interior design ideas in the heart of Islington. As you meander down the charming alleyway of Camden Passage, it’s impossible to miss Decorexi. The furniture and knick-knacks pour onto the street, spilling out of the front doors like glitter onto the well-worn York paving slabs. On a Saturday the streets are hectic, bustling with people rummaging through everything they can get their hands to. The scene is reminiscent of Diagon Alley but Harry Potter is nowhere to be seen, only ever so cool arty types. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of your fellow scavengers though, who 28

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seem to mainly speak with annunciated British boarding school accents. The credibility of their nonchalant edgy style is curious at best. It seems that Angel is possibly the half way house for the middle classes who haven’t quite made it from Parsons Green to Brick Lane. If you grew up with Disney then you will immediately draw comparisons between this beautiful boutique and Arial’s secret cave full of human memorabilia. From bespoke upholstered furniture to chandeliers and home accessories this Aladdin’s cave has a vast collection of treasures to choose from and is well worth a swatch. Decorexi specialize in furniture,



Inside Decorexi

leaning with a tendency towards the Shabby Chic and French Nouveau styles that are so fashionable at the moment. The whole place is dripping with chandeliers and stacked high with made to order samples of their bespoke upholstered furniture range. It’s hard not to hypothetically start placing all these beautiful objects into your dream home. Everything from crystal jewellery boxes to pretty gilt glass Moroccan tea light holders can be found nestling amongst the larger pieces of furniture. There is barely an inch that is uncovered, items all over, precariously stacked and tumbling from the walls and ceiling like plants in the hanging gardens of Babylon.

A purchasing strategy and budget is crucial because you will want to leave with almost everything. Products are refreshingly unique and classically elegant in design and the price tags are pleasantly surprising compared to similar boutiques on Chelsea’s Kings Road. This boutique is bursting with excellent quality luxurious goods at really reasonable prices. Whether you are furnishing a pint sized city apartment or a country home, this store has something to offer. From essentials and centrepieces to finishing touches, a trip to Decorexi will give your rooms a touch of elegance or that extra special sparkle that you’re looking for.


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put photo of mel sitting in wardrobe here





Shadowing Michelle Anslow, designer behind Susy Harper, proved to be more than just a girly shopping spree... As Spitalfields Market began to establish itself as the heart of East London’s growing fashion scene, Michelle Anslow was part of a niche community of fashion designers living and working in the area, in the midst of its transition. After two years learning the retail trade on a market stall, an opportunity arose allowing Anslow to start ‘Susy Harper’ a quintessentially British brand named after her mother’s maiden name which celebrates the 50s

and 60s. Since its humble beginnings, ‘Susy Harper’ has since gone on to establish itself as a highly successful independent brand and the store is a must-visit within the heart of London’s Camden Passage. After a day shadowing founder Michelle Anslow, 32 magazine found out exactly why that was. Upon entering the ‘Susy Harper ‘ store, it is evident that the simplicity of the brand is not lost on the store’s design. From the cream, grey and brown palette Anslow has chosen for the interior to the equally soft selection of > 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


clothes, the experience of shopping here clearly holds equal weight to the clothes themselves. Though slight in size, what the store lacks in space it certainly makes up for in product, ranging from clothes to generous cabinet space filled with Philippa Kunisch pieces, shoppers are easily kept busy by the delicious distractions. Even the sales assistants stand discreetly to the side, close enough to be of assistance but far enough that one doesn’t feel under pressure to buy something - something many stores of the same level could take note of – whilst paintings (hand-chosen by Anslow herself) and a healthy stack of fashion magazines give shoppers something else to consider. As a loyal fan of black, Anslow shows us her generous selection of dresses which do not disappoint. With plenty of


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variations to choose from (that is if one of the cotton voile shirts do not make the cut), it is established early on that dresses are a staple piece for the Susy Harper woman. Some notable favorites include the traditional loosely fitted tunic dress (at a reasonable £170), a Kate Middleton-inspired cross seasonal wrap dress (£240) and a Muslin dress with a cut Phoebe Philo , of Celine, would be proud of – and at £120 – the purse-friendliest yet. Trousers are simple, mostly in skinny stretch and dark grey however a glimpse of a daring pink pair named ‘Indie’ steal some shine off the rest. Meanwhile Anslow has also got coats covered, from structural coats to fitted classic blazers and even a Linen oversized summer coat in a deep copper colour. Arguably the most popular, The Audrey, a rust coloured Harris tweed coat with a low

Gordon outside his self tittled shop.

neckline is priced at £490 –clearly the most expensive piece – but definitely the most desirable too. Despite promising to visit for the sake of work (surely all shopping can be deemed work-related right?) we find ourselves trying on one too many things and unsurprisingly do not leave empty-handed. But of course it isn’t just the look of the clothes that makes shopping here so romantic – but also the brand image. As an unofficial advocate for local and in-house made products, Anslow ensures us all clothes are hand dyed whilst the majority of fabrics come from natural resources. Additionally, despite being an independent business Anslow researches all her fabrics before deciding which one to use – for example her Harris Tweed is hand woven and sourced from the Hebrides– not bad for a brand in its 11th year. If all of the above still does not

persuade you to join the fan club, Anslow has even made her classics – such as the Coco Raglan tunic - available throughout the year meaning everyday staples don’t require a painful six month wait; a pretty impressive feat considering the store is single-handedly ran by Anslow and her small team of sales assistants. But what is most impressive is how much emphasis Anslow places on customer experience. Despite not needing to, she chooses to be part of the stores’ presence alongside her sales assistants, incase her customers have questions or just need advice. At a time when most stores are struggling to entice customers in, it is clear that Anslow does not let her success override her genuine passion for dressing women and giving them the right experience when buying into her brand, which is exactly why people will keep coming back – including me.


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Models: Milica Opacic, Timmy Odejimi and Abolade Hair and Makeup: Emily Gilbert and Tatiana Gee Photographer: Jordan Hughes Styling: Vanessa Lee Art Director: Timmy Odejimi

A HIDDEN WONDER Camden Passage is the perfect vibrant and trendy location for 32’s summer trend editorial. Check out our top tips for a ready to wear vintage sun kissed summer look.

Dress: Annies Costume and Textiles. ÂŁ550.

Jumpers: £75. Trousers £40. All Hexagone Boutique

Shirt: £85. Necklace: £125. Trousers: £75. All Susy Harper. Shoes: Kurt Geiger £95

Jumpers: £75. Trousers £40. Shoes: £50. Black Bag: £63. Brown Bag: £85. All Hexagone Boutique

Dress: £350. Bag: £500. All Warehouse

Flatcap: £55. Waistcoat: £125. Trousers. £65. All African Waistcoat Company. Shirt: Leonardo, £125.

Jumper: £140. Skirt: £90. All Susy Harper. Shoes: Jeffery Campbell £125 Bike: Ben Sherman

A collection of designs in the AFC store.



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The African Waistcoat Company is nothing like your ordinary London retailer. With its history dating as far back to the 1950s, there is no debate to it being “the most niche shop in London.” Discreetly placed in the vintage and antiques market of Camden Passage in Islington, you will discover a delicate shop devoted to the ancient artistry of West African woven textiles. Originally founded by Callum Robertson whose daughter inherited the company upon his passing last September, the African Waistcoat Company is London’s answer to African designed clothing in Savile Row style. Producing and selling bespoke waistcoats made from the Yoruba culture’s traditional woven material ‘aso-oke’, the African Waistcoat Company is one of the few shops in London, apart from tailors, where readymade woven waistcoats can be bought. The shop has been in the Passage for the last 15 years and is now owned by Robertson’s daughter, Sarah, who says the shop was built on her father’s “love and passion for waistcoats.” Largely based on African material and culture, the passage is quite an unusual location for the shop to be based. The main reason behind the establishment of the shop in the Passage is due to the communal, togetherness community of shop owners based in the Camden Passage; this gives the Passage its quaint style and niche vibe that attracts a diverse crowd. Listed last year as one the best shops in ‘Time Out London’ it is no surprise that the customer base of the African Waistcoat Company is growing, from creative youths to aristocratic gentlemen, their customers come from all walks of life. The main motto of the 48

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shop is ‘love’ and ‘passion’ therefore “it is not all about profits” though they make very little, but all that matters is the passion and drive the original founder had for the shop. The shop is petite and delicate. Shaped like a box enclosed with vibrant and extravagant waistcoats made from cotton and silk and Lurex in order to add a shimmering effect. It is nothing less than a magical world of African – primarily Nigerian – materials and clothing. Envision yourself setting foot in the soils of the searing nation of West Africa, embodied with majestic clothing, clothing that are worn by highly respected and praised chiefs of Nigeria. The African Waistcoat Company is the heart of Nigeria fashion with a dash of quintessential London Savile Row tailoring. Could you ask for anything better than that? Robertson worked as an apprentice at a Savile Row waistcoat tailor at a hoary age of 62. Usually people plan to embark on their long journey of retirement at such an age, but Robertson had a vision, he envisioned his dream, his passion, his love in a miniscule passage just behind Upper Street in the charming north London’s Angel. The shop was his “pride and joy”. On asking Sarah how it feels inheriting her father’s ‘pride and joy’ she replied, “it’s the love my father had for the shop that I cherish so much, therefore I will love the shop and carry on his legacy as he would have wanted.” The main aim - amongst other things – of the African Waistcoat Company is to distance their production to that of other retailers’ mass production. The shop is all about ‘slow fashion’, with weavers taking many weeks to make the narrow strips on a local version of the ubiquitous horizontal looms found across much of West

Africa. This specialty is what makes The African Waistcoat Company truly “the most niche shop” in the Camden Passage of Angel and possibly Islington. If you ever find yourself in the North side of London, make sure you make your way to the inimitable Camden Passage and pay a visit to the tiny box shaped shop at the far end of the Passage. Treat yourself to a divine and enriching taste of West Africa and you don’t have to fly all the way to Africa to experience the beauty and vibrance of the West African culture

exemplified through the waistcoats of the incomparable African Waistcoat Company. Take a look at their website or simply pay a visit to the only store of theirs situated in Camden Passage – itself worthy of a visit with its remarkable shops and delightful restaurants. Graceful and elegant, their waistcoats are most ideal for weddings and exceptional occasions but can also be stylishly worn with and edgy sartorial touch.


Fabrics and jewellery that are displayes in the AFC store.

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‘AFTER ALL, WHATS A LACE GOWN WITHOUT A RED LIP?’ Camden Passage, although overwhelmed with vintage clothes and costume from every era, is seemingly lacking if you’re looking for cosmetics to complete your look. However, this is soon set to change with the Passage’s favourite French boutique, ‘Hexagone’, preparing for their branch out into stocking cosmetics, to sit suitably alongside their already popular Marius Fabre skincare range. Looking fashionable and beautiful will soon be easy to achieve with a simple stroll down Islingtons favourite hide away…

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The Great Gatsby film release has sparked a revolution in the beauty industry, with Carey Mulligan to blame for victory rolls and dark smokey eye’s becoming as popular as they were in the 20’s. Samantha Chapman, creator of Real Techniques make-up brushes and one half of You-tube sensation Pixiwoo, says ‘1920’s make-up tended to be quite a lot heavier, obviously with makeup being much less advanced. Thinking back to black and white movies, the make-up was much darker so that it translated well to film’ so ensuring that eyes and lips have a pigmented flush of colour is important when re-creating this look. In terms of skin, a heavy coverage is essential to create a flawless flapper style look, try using Mac’s Face and Body or Chanel’s Vita Lumiere to blur out any imperfections or redness. Samantha suggests to use a cream shadow, possibly MAC’s Constructivist paint pot, for the eyes to create a more realistic look as ‘back in the 20’s, they didn’t have powders, so everything was cream based’. Of course, no twenties look is complete without the perfect lip; use a lip brush to ensure the outline is smooth to perfect your Gatsby enthused look. Fur gilet: Annies Vintage Costume and Textiles. 1960’s.




The swinging sixties was famous for its strong emphasis on the eyes, with Twiggy being the most iconic face for that era, someone who was no stranger to a false eyelash or two. To modernise this look and make it more wearable, ‘Made in Chelsea’s’ Binky Felsted suggests to use Daniel Sandler’s neutral eyeshadow quad to create a light matte base and pair this look with ever so popular cat eye using Rimmels jet-black liquid liner, a fool proof pen that any steady hand can step you back in time. For the lips, Binky recommends Clarins Gloss Prodige in Water Lily to give a ‘pinky, pretty, gloss lip’. Combined with completely matte skin and faint brows accentuates the eye in all its beauty. Drop dome earring: Camden Passage Market.


The Passage is simply overflowing with genuine imported 1950’s American fashion so this look is one of much importance. With a Marilyn Monroe red lip being the staple look to emulate this era, try MAC’s Ruby Woo or Rimmel’s Alarm alone to give a matte look, or go over with a gloss to highlight even further. A Dita Von Tease, burlesque style beauty spot is of course in order for this look, use a black fine liner starting small and gradually increasing the size to your choice. Pair these with high arched brows and quaffed hair and you’re set to go. Hair Scarf: Annies Vintage Costume and Textiles. Earrings: Camden Passage Market.




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Once upon a time, in an antique passage came along two Southern France females who had a dream, a mere passion to bring the French experience to London’s Angel, Islington. Hexagone Boutique, a freshly established French lifestyle shop in Islington, is like no other, filled with original French brand and products - all imported from the south of France – it prides itself on originality and quality. The concept of the shop came along the idea of returning to “authenticity” and “knowing where your products are coming from, how they’ve been made and where they’ve been made” which shows the shop’s high ethical standards. No matter what you are looking for you are bound to find it, the shop is targeted for all ages; from children’s toys and books to satchels, candles and ceramics. The founders of Hexagone Boutique, Delphine Reynaud and Karine Duverneuil, were once just two French women in London with a dream and

looking for an opportunity and indeed it was an opportunity that was taken with great spirit and their dream was put to reality with the introduction of their first ever store. Speaking to one half of the Hexagone (Delphine Reynaud) about what and where the idea of opening a French boutique in little old Camden Passage came from, she replied “we wanted to do something together, Karine and I, for quite a long time and we were kind of thinking about bringing kind of French products that you don’t really find or hardly find in the UK.” Delphine and Karine have an interesting and quirky approach towards their customers and presenting their shop. All the products in the shop they source themselves, with a story behind each product leaving customers in awe of their partnership, their store and Hexagone itself. How better to get to know your customers and for them to find out more about your shop? Parfait, as the French would say. >

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Finding and choosing a location for your first ever shop is always a dilemma, but that wasn’t the case for these two fascinating women. Having tea inside the shop on a wet and windy Afternoon, I ask the enthusiastic Delphine why Camden Passage.was their chosen location and she replies, filled with bubbly energy, “Camden Passage was kind of the ideal location, we love how it is filled with independent shops selling unique things you can’t really around London and it was our favourite destination to find unusual things that aren’t overpriced but exclusive and unique.” Camden Passage is indeed the home of exclusiveness and uniqueness, with its population increasing due to the youthful audience it is bringing; the passage is a perfect spot for Hexagone.Some would say ‘Hexagone’ what a peculiar name for a shop, but the owners were going for simplicity and cleverness. The shape of their beloved country is a hexagon, therefore they came up with a name that has six angles which goes with the six different lifestyle angles of their shop: home, kids, beauty and accessories, drugstore and stationery. Both owners are as passionate about their store as the French are about wine. Since they have only just established themselves and opened their first ever store, they are not thinking of branching out as of yet. Their aim this year is to expand and promote themselves and trying to be apart of the London Design Festival. With a uniqueness and originality like that of Hexagone, there is no surprise that they have been listed in Independent London as of the best new independent stores in the capital city. Both owners speak of their excitement


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saying, “we are absolutely thrilled to be listed as ‘one of the best independent stores in London’ after we’ve only just been open for a couple of months.” Such achievement shows the amount of publicity the shop will gain in the upcoming months. Their novelty and quality has gained them a high number of customers, which has led them to considering opening an online store in the next year due to the high requests of online orders by a variety of customers from all over London. The shop is praised for selling household French names such as Luminor, The Britany House and Marius Fabre. The quality of the products sold is like none other; the art and creativity of is breathtaking and the owners are bound full of joy. Hexagone is the kind of shop you must go if you ever find yourself around North London, especially Angel. The passage is another beauty of its own, filled with history, art, culture and graceful residence.


TO EAT, BUT WHERE TO START? Camden Passage is more than just an antique market famed for its quirky boutiques and vintage bargains, but a place for locals to enjoy their food and the atmosphere whilst sitting outside at a nice table. The question is, where to eat? There were not only vintage shops and antique shops at Camden Passage in Angel. The thing which is taken our eyes is the people who enjoy their food and mood seating outside table. That time, we are at the crossroads. To eat or not to eat? George Bernard Shaw said that ‘there is no love sincerer than the love of food’. When I look around some and see the selection of antique plates, tea cups, silver spoons and forks at the antique market, I imagine the food which would have been served using that cutlery. Just, imagine which tea cups would be more suitable from traditional English breakfast tea to far eastern blends - Camden Passage is clearly the place to start your own story. Perhaps That may is the reason why so many restaurants in the Passage are full of charm and character whilst maintain part of the community of small businesses. 62

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In London, it is common to find similar businesses nestled close-by each other. In fact there are many areas of London which celebrate a specific type of shopping for example Vintage stores can be found in Brick Lane. With so many areas to choose from, some people may wonder what makes Camden Passage different. Why go to Camden Passage when you can go to the more established Spitalfields Market nearby? Camden Passage is one of the few places with independent and locally produced restaurants left in London. This could be one of the reason why Camden Passage still attracts a good crowd despite the impressive shopping centre across Islington High Street. Though the number of restaurants in Camden Passage can be counted as there are very few, there is a variety of cuisines to choose from so we decided to pick our favourites and review them. For example, you can enjoy a fresh Norwegian breakfast (sat on a grand wooden table – authentic or what?) or you can have a taste for Italy just down the road with a delicious scoop of gelato. Whatever you prefer, I am sure there is something for you. >




The Elk in the woods What to expect: Nordic-style interior, various range of food from breakfast to dinner and a good choice for all ages. Do this: If you plan to visit here, we strongly recommend booking a table to avoid disappointment. 020 7226 3535

Kipferl Ltd What to expect: Austrian and Viennese cuisine, offering small savoury dishes such as sausages as well as coffee from Vienna which is absolutely great! They also sell a limited selection of imported classic Austrian delicacies. Do this: Every month Kipferl hosts a special event: Austrian wine tasting day. Check out the website before you visit! Please note it is closed on Mondays. 020 7704 1555 http://www. 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


Zucono What to expect: Artisan Italian ice cream. They also offer fresh squeeze fruit juice and Italian finger cookies. Fully wi-fi area. Do this: Go to down stair, there are more seats and mini garden. Find some maps of Italy. 020 3490 7554

Issy’s Milky way What to expect:This small cafe is decked out in brilliant Formica and decorated with true dedication to Britain in the fifties such as Homemaker china and other decorative knick knacks. Overall a great little cafe and not just for Fifties lovers! Do this: Try the hotdog melt toastie and the rocky road sundae both will make you feel right at home. 020 7354 4415 issys.milkyway

Frederick’s What to expect: Private dining space for family or corporate parties and they hold a wedding license. The bar is also open from noon to midnight! Do this: They have a great selection of specialized wine so here is a great excuse to drink as much wine as you can. 020 7359 2888



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When was the last time you met your neighbours? The tradition of getting to know your neighbours has been lost over the years, but the families that live at Colebrooke Row (a stone’s throw from the bustling Camden Passage), have attempted to keep it alive. The 18th century Geogrian homes band together and enjoy the Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday markets, in a community that has somehow remained as tight knit as ever. We wanted to profile both current and past tenantd, who have called this borough home at one point in time. We were lucky enough to meet three of the families that currently live at Colebrook Row today, and have investigated the previous families, and have come away with enough stories to fill a book. >

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The Georgian homes that are situated behind Camden Passage have housed some interesting, affluent and even famous characters over the years. Meet ‘the neighbors’ who there before. Today, Islington is one of the most sought after addresses, featuring some of the most picturesque Georgian homes in all of London. The building of this land did not begin until the early 18th century, and before much of the area was open fields, gardens and farm land. This was a time when the homes were small river side cottages that were pleasantly overlooking the New River, which ran down a path in the centre of Colebrooke Row. As Londoners are not a stranger to construction time management, it is known that building and construction seems to carry on forever, and for much of the late 18thcentury, Colebrooke Row was being ever so slowly developed. While workers companies changed annually, the row began to build up on 68

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the East side of the New River, while the West side remained undeveloped. By the 1790s, only one home was being occupied on the western side of the river, owned by Charles Lamb. Charles Lamb was an essayist, who went by the pseudonym “Elia”. Lamb was known to entertain a number an of ‘eminent literary men in his home, such as John Keat.’ Charles Lamb and his sister Mary, lived very comfortably in Colebrooke Cottage from 1823 to 1827. The house was large and surrounded by trees and gardens and overlooking the canal. However cozy their home was, Charles and Mary both suffered from mental illnesses. In 1795, Charles spent six weeks in a psychiatric hospital before being released, but it was Mary Lamb who out shined her brother in the case of insanity. In 1796, Mary “worn down to a state of extreme nervous misery by attention to needlework by day and to her mother at night,” was seized with acute mania and stabbed her mother to the heart


with a table knife. Mary was aged 32 at the time of the stabbing and Charles was only a mere 21. After the murder Charles placed Mary in confinement at a private mental institution in Islington, so that he could establish a defense for her. Even though there was no legal statutes for an insanity plea at the time, Charles was able to save her from a life in prison by promising to take full responsibility for her. Once she had recovered in the asylum, she was returned to her brother to begin living the rest of her life. While she suffered from occasional “distempers” and thenceforth “the Lambs never left home without a straitjacket”. They lived together in the Colebrook Cottage until moving to Enfield in 1827, and then to Edmonton in 1833. Charles died the following year, in 1834. Just across the New River on Colebrooke Row, James Rhodes, ‘brickmaker and member of successful family active in profitable land-ownership’ developed the surrounding streets, also building the short terrace that faces the river between Elia Street and Vincent Terrace.

Number 59 was occupied by multiple members of the Cross family dating from 1784, until the house was left empty for a year, until 1817, when a new owner names West occupied it in 1819 and 1820. West then leased the property to Mrs. Serle (or Seattle) until 1826. While the occupation of these tenants is unknown and undocumented, it is speculated that they came from wealthy families whom owned much of the land in Islington at the time. The property again was empty for most of the 1830s, but was bought by Edward Clarke. Clarke lived here for fifteen years with his six before it was once again reoccupied by William Bouillon, a master brick layer in 1851. Bouillon lived here with his wife, Elizabeth, and his three daughters and six sons. William Bouillon passed away in 1861, and his widow Elizabeth came into ownership of the property. The Bouillon’s eldest son, William Jr. took over his father’s working role as a bricklayer, while his other sons Jabez was a respected watchmaker. Sadly, by 1890 five of Elizabeth’s children passed away, and although the remaining children had >

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steady incomes and although the remaining children had steady incomes, it was still not enough to keep the family home. When the possibility of losing their home came into play, builders firm, SJ Bouillon & Sons began using the yard and outbuildings from which to run the family business to save money. It is speculated that the Bouillon family leased their property to other families, while living elsewhere and kept their business running from 1907 till 1960. City records account for four different families residing at No. 59 during the same time as Bouillon family members were listed on the ownership. The last Bouillon family member was recorded living at No. 59 until 1960, when the property was officially sold to a Daphne and Frank Evans who remained residents in the household until 1999 - they also became neighbours to a famous photographer known as McBean. McBean was fascinated with photography and drama. He spent seven years of his life working for Liberty’s department store in the antiques department learning about restoration. McBean, also interested in drama and plays, began making masks and helping to design theatrical sets and props, even making commission off a medieval scene and shoes he created for the 1933 production of Richard of Bordeaux. The mask’s that McBean had created were making an impression on the London art scene, and were often mentioned in social columns. His work was greatly admired but east end London photographers who were intrigued by his portrayal of characters. Because his mask making clientele began to grow, McBean decided to set up his own studio in the 70

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basement of No. 58, Colebrooke Row. Once established, he was able to pursue his photography in greater depth. McBean photographed actresses in their most compromising scenes (ie. death scenes) and was known for experimenting with surrealism. ‘Through the 1940s and 1950s, McBean became the official Stratford photographer for, The Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, Glyndebourne, the Old Vic, and all the productions of H.M. Tenant, servicing the theatrical, musical and ballet star system.’ McBean’s work grew stronger as he progressed in his popularity grew and his career flourished. He is most known for photographing The Beatle’s first album cover, as well as portrait photographs of Agatha Christie, Audrey Hepburn, Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward. His art and photography is now much sought after for collectors. Colebrooke Row has clearly attracted a varying crowd of artists, writers, brick makers, and an all around interesting people. One more to add to the list of creative minds that have filled the joyous area is, Douglas Adams, write of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams was an English writer, humorist, and dramatist, who has lived at a few properties in Islington. Best known for his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series and books, Adams lived in several flats in the famous borough of Islington. Adams, who left university to pursue writing, moved to London determined to break into some form of media, whether it be writing, television or radio. When appearing on BBC2 in 1974, Adams met Graham Chapman, creator of Monty Python, and the two formed a brief writing


partnership. Writing credit was awarded to Adams for his work on episode 45, ‘Patient Abuse’, and he became one of only two writers who received credit outside of the original Monty Python members. Adams wrote sketched for a few more episodes of Monty Python before his career slowed down, and was forced to work odd jobs including as a hospital porter. In 1977, Adams life would change forever after he and radio producer Simon Brett pitched their idea for a science-fiction comedy radio series to BBC Radio 4. Douglas Adams organised this project and came up with the concept of the series as well as story lines that would follow through the series. Funny enough, Adams says that the idea for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy came when he was laying drunk in a field in Austria. He says that he was laying down and gazing up at the stars whilst holding a copy of The Hitchhiker’s guide to Europe and it occurred to him that “somebody ought to write a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, which he eventually did. BBC Radio 4 broadcast the first series of The Galaxy in April 1978, and it was a success. The series became prosperous very quickly, and immediately a Christmas episode, second series, and books

were in the works. Despite being a busy man over these next few years, Adams was able to publish a series of five novels in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, and 1992, even finding time to move into No. 49 Upper Street in 1981. Adams accomplishments continued to pour, successfully completing over 20 works in 20 years, and comments on such an astounding workload by saying, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by”. In 1981, Adams also managed to wrangle a television mini-series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, though he had travelled to Los Angeles looking for a movie contract, he was more then pleased with the Hollywood produced episodes. Throughout his career, Adams house hopped in Islington, but lived some of his most profitable years in No. 49 Upper Street. Sadly, Douglas Adams also passed away at age 49 in 2001, and was unable to see his dream come to fruition. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy film was released in 2005, and was one of the stand out films of the year. >

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Julia Rochester, daughter of acclaimed children’s author Ralph Rochester, gives us insight into her home and every-day life with her own daughter Ines. Despite living in Colebrooke Cottage, Colbrooke Row for the last nine years Julia Rochester considers her fourth floor view, more impressive than the celebrities – such as Boris Johnson - who also call this street home. This is the kind of person you will find here, people who value a good lifestyle and local history over celebrity culture– arguably a rarity these days. 72

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“Aside from the cars, the view has not changed in two hundred years” – Rochester says, as we tour Colebrooke Cottage. Originally standing alone on what was a field, Colebrooke Cottage used to be the home of Charles Lamb, famous essayist and close friend to John Keats and Taylor Coleridge, both of whom were regular visitors. Lamb once described it as “a white house with six good rooms” yet there is no wonder why, almost 200 years later, the house is still heavily protected as its history holds value beyond price.


Owning such an important home, one would assume Rochester would feel the pressure to maintain its prestige in a museum-like state. Instead Rochester has spent the last nine years filling the four-storey cottage with a sense of warm grandeur - making sure it is first and foremost a home and house second. Being a mother to a nine year old, Rochester places great emphases on her daughter’s freedom to enjoy each and every room (toys and children’s books scatter the floor) whilst ensuring she is surrounded by inspiration, old and new, such as the children’s illustrations – drawn by her father Ralph Rochester which line the hallways. In the library, history and art books wrap around each other, separated only by a portrait of Charles Lamb as well as

an original print of Colebrooke Cottage and a commanding leather chair which sits in the middle, of which Rochester informs us was bought in Camden Passage when “there were good bargains to be found”. But of all the rooms the living room is most awe-filling, finished with ornate ceiling carvings –a feature most listed houses share - it is an education in local artwork and history, as Rochester displays both traditional and modern pieces by up-and-coming artists she supports. High ceilings, pale walls center around the grand window; an original floor to ceiling paneled piece it overlooks the unique garden designed and landscaped by John and Chang, a set designers who also designed several other gardens in the street. Grandeur aside, what makes Colebrooke Cottage special is the sense that it is finally being lived in. Though modern amenities may take up some space, Rochester has preserved more than just the original ceiling paneling and windows; she has preserved the house in its finest state – a place of inspiration through art and literature as well as the peaceful sense that it was a home filled with many rich memories – with more to come. > 3 2 M A G A Z I N E .W E E B LY. C O M


THE SYKES ICT expert Richard Sykes and wife Penny Mason open their doors to us, giving us a sneak peak into their extensive Art collection. Just off Colebrooke Row at number 49, lives Doctor Richard Syke, a Cambridge and Yale educated scientist, with wife Penny Mason. Since buying their 1793 Georgian property nine years ago Sykes and Mason have refurbished their home, with the assistance of architect Niall McLaughlin, in a way most people could only dream of. Having gutted out their basement to make a contemporary ‘Zahid Habib’ inspired workspace they have kept the rest of their five-storey house minimal but classic in keeping with its original style. From the ground floor upwards the house is immaculately presented with restored (original) two-hundred year old pine floors and paneled doors. But what stands out, more so than any other house, is the overwhelming amount and quality of artwork - an Alice Channer original takes centre stage in the basement - that narrates the rooms as we progress upwards. According to Sykes it is their “fate to get to know younger artists” as they support up-and-rising stars till they become established, at which point they move on to help another budding ‘Rothko’. So far, they have every room covered, but despite their generous collection (works include Jason Martin, Angela de la Cruz and Alice Channer) Sykes calls it merely “a hobby on the side”. Along with their personal collection Sykes and Mason are also members of 74

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The Royal Art Academy, Art Angel and Contemporary Arts Society. Sykes, former Chairman of the De La Warr Pavilion Charitable Trust, most recently played a prominent role in the transformation of the premier center for arts on the south east coast of England – costing a cool £9 million pounds - and as if that was not enough is also Chairman of the Trustees of Cubitt, where he supports up to thirty-two artists living and working in Angel. Art aside, Sykes and Mason also support causes close to their home as well as their hearts, currently involved in the Duncan Terrace Association, Sykes is the first port of call for neighborly help and advice. Having seen the area progressively change over the last nine years, Sykes predicts more “transition is well on the way” and maintaining a key role in community is important to them in ensuring the area stays the way it is.

‘‘Fate to get to know younger artists’’ Clearly, Sykes and Mason are more passionate about their home and the art within it, than most people are in their lifetime. Whilst they may lead simple lives on the outside, their art collection and involvement within the art community is more than colourful enough to inspire a painting or two and their home is more of an ode to Art than any other we have come across. >


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George and Caroline Berg, of 59 Colebrooke Row, lets us explore their eclectic home brimming with tokens of their travels.

Across the street at number 59 Colebrooke Row, lives George and Caroline Berg. Formerly at Fresh Media Group, of which he founded, Berg now uses his time to focus on collecting and creating art with wife Caroline; though their most “priceless” is his “300 year old” semi-detached house. We found it, hidden behind a walled garden, to be a rare source of tranquility close to the bustle of Camden Passage and were intrigued enough to ring the doorbell. Upon entering the security gate (yes that happened) we were confronted by another landscape masterpiece by local duo Michael Jones and Chang. The garden: a tropical nirvana with overgrown flowers, palm trees and even a fountain is overlooked by an elevated garden with a panoramic view 76

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past Colebrooke Row – clearly not just your average house. The house itself overwhelmed us even more so with eccentric character in every room. Despite undergoing several transformations, the house has stayed relatively the same aside from a new kitchen at Caroline’s request, yet their transformation of the house is far from traditional. From ‘The Darwin Room’ painted in Heritage grey with its leather armchairs and travellers’ delights to the newly fitted kitchen – a modern twist on the Victorian look – or as George put it just “full of junk”, we could not have imagined such a colourful bazaar for the eyes. All tucked away in a corner of Colebrooke Row. Inspired by their travels, from India – where George used to have an office

the fast-paced business side of life, George has also indulged his creative side inspired by his passion for “‘the 19th Century ‘Orientailst’ period that was popular subject for mid-19th century artists’”. Despite writing his own work off as a mere hobby we cannot emphasize how impressive, a hobby it is, with reference to his ‘A portrait of a Kabylian woman’ painting which was inspired by Fredrick Arthur Bridgeman - not bad for a self-claimed amateur artist. Though they have amassed an impressive property, 59 Colebrooke Row is more than a home, or a prized possession but a cared and considered space. The Bergs - having utilized both its extensive history and space - have created something truly incredibly remarkable in this corner of the city. Who knew, behind those walls, you would find such a haven?



- to New York, the couple has built an impressive collection of Art and Antiques – equally as impressive as their fellow neighbours’. However unlike the previous homes we visited, theirs is neither family nor art orientated but a combination of the two. Whilst the three entertaining rooms burst with personality and enough memorable stories to fill a lifetime, it is evident from the numerous family anecdotes they tell us, that they like to enjoy the house with the people in their lives. So much so, that George’s two older sisters come by at least once a week to help around the house which he says is his excuse “to see them” often. In case you were curious, the Bergs also lead just as exciting lives as their house appears to. Avid fans of the arts, they enjoy “ballet, Opera and of course, Ballroom dancing” whilst Caroline is also a glass artist. Since retiring from

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YOUR TURN. After our team was completely immersed in the experience of Camden Passage, we thought it was only proper to hear the outside perspective from the people who know the market the best - its loyal customers.

‘‘Great antiques, knickknacks and vintage clothing and not at the extortionate prices you'd expect. I feel like every visit is an adventure because there are so many nooks and crannies to search and explore” Joanne, London “This is my Sunday ritual. I love strolling with my morning latte” Caren, London “I very rarely leave it without some little oddity to add to my magpie collection. It’s also in a great location because after a spot of shopping there are countless places on the passage and in the rest of the area to eat, drink and be merry” - Katy, London “Very funky place to go hang out” Marc, Wisconsin

This market is a treat for a lazy Saturday afternoon stroll, post pub, but pre-dessert” - Laura, Whales “If you’re a treasure hunter who loves to search out vintage shops & Salvation Army stores, this would be your nirvana” Adrienne, California “This place is one of the cutest markets in London. The browsing possibilities are endless, with cute cafe’s and lunch spots to take pit stops in and designer boutiques spotted around that you can pop in on if you get a bit cold. It’s just a wonderful place to shop” Lizzie, London “Oh, you must visit. Its truly marvellous. You can bargain and the sellers are very calm and composed. Its a feast this place” - Karen, London

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32 Magazine  
32 Magazine  

A monthly community and lifestyle magazine celebrating one of London's 32 boroughs every month.