Thanks, for the memory (1)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

If journalism is the first draft of history, websites like this have a good claim to be the second. So, in most of the articles, we try to give a flavour of what the press had to say about a particular event and add context to it with the hindsight from public records, official histories and published maps, photographs etc.

Apart from the odd extract from autobiographies that we reproduce, there are rarely accounts of how the participants, observers and those directly affected by events felt about them. We believe these are vital in coming to a rounded understanding of history, but won't bore you with treatises on the nature of history, here.

So, we are delighted to receive comments on the articles that we have published, from those directly involved or affected by the events covered - whether it was World War 11 bombings, attendances at Upper Cut gigs, or life within the rapidly disappearing local Jewish community.

They, in many senses, give "reality" and authenticity to what we publish.

They are often contributed many months after the original article was published, so it is highly likely that regular visitors to this site will not catch up with them - having already read the substantive article, and feel no need to revisit it - thus miss the comment.

Similarly, for us, it is an absolute delight when a blog provokes or adds to a reader's family story, and we have had a fair number of these, since we began publication.

So, this is the first of two articles in which we round up some of the comments subsequently made to original articles.  We find it illuminating and that the comments add real value to the original piece.

For the future, we would be delighted to hear from those directly affected by all of the pieces that we write about, and if the response is appropriate, we'll be delighted to run similar 'comment round-ups', in future.

The headlines below are the original title of articles published and the comments below are edited extracts from comments related to them, with a hyperlink to the article, itself.

Fire guts famous gym

Original article link: here, date: 17 April 2003

1. Anonymous

Well said mate .. I went there today (26 September 2014) and noticed that the lamp post is still standing! ... It will soon be demolished ... I think someone should take that lamp post as a memory of the gym and all it stood for! ... or it will end up in a skip very soon ...
As predicted by the
commentator - now gone

ed note: Somebody took this poster at his/her word.  The lamp post (pictured) has subsequently been "removed", by whom, we do not know.

When Otis played Forest Gate

Original article link: here, date: 27 May 2013

1. Ron Smith-Galer

I was there that night.  Sam and Dave were electric and the singers wore pastel coloured suits that soon showed huge sweat stains. I was 18 and nobody could eclipse Sam & Dave that night ...

Until this big black guy came on and barely moving, with that gentle sway and  gracefulness that some big guys manage started to sing. Otis, a true giant of music.


Every picture tells a story

2. Pat Morrissey, Dublin

I travelled from Dublin on my own, without a ticket for this gig. It was St Patrick's weekend. What an innocent time. No problem, I just paid on the door about 7.30pm and walked into the venue. Could you, or would you, ever try to do that today. Incredible gig that I still recall today. They all played for about 15/20 mins and when Otis came on, he was amazing.

Then it was over! My main concern was to get back to Euston to my B&B.
It was one of my most memorable gigs ever. The others were The Beatles in Dublin in 1963 at The Adelphi and the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. What a very lucky person, born at the right time.

3. Steve Cook

I saw the Stax show having travelled up to London, from Southampton... We saw it at the Hammersmith Odeon then 2 shows at the Upper Cut. Asked if they could get my newly bought copy of a Booker T album signed, and to my amazement was invited in to meet Booker T .. they all signed the album label.

Booming Woodgrange Road

Original article link: here, date:12 June 2013

Opposing views on recent developments, from two posters:

1. Carol Hale

So pleased this little bit of East London is regenerating in such a positive way.  My daughter and myself have noticed a really upbeat quality in the area (which was badly needed) having lived in the area for 20 yrs with its fair share of bad press. I hope this lovely area continues to thrive and I hope I can also get involved with the market.

CoffeE7 - the good bit of the facelift

2. Anonymous

Sorry to say that the shopping experience in Woodgrange Road is really depressing. I only shop in the local butchers, co-op and fishmonger. The betting shops and chicken shops are a real let down and the various grocers all sell the same stuff. Thank goodness for the lovely new coffee shops.

The Sound of Music from Earlham Grove

Original article link: here, date:19 June 2013

1. Frontier Publishing

Curwen professionally thieved Sarah Anna Glover's intellectual property, expressly without her permission, (he had asked) and attempted to pass off the whole Sol-fa phenomenon as his own. He profited greatly from his deceit and even today people are not aware that Curwen ripped off Glover's work - his feeling being that she couldn't take it further (perhaps true) because she was a mere woman. The forthcoming book about Glover by Dr Jane Southcott will confirm the true attribution of Sol-fa and permanently expose Curwen for the cheat he was.

Sarah Anna Glover

ed note: We have not been able to trace any sign of this book being published, by Frontier Publishing, or any other publisher. Neither have we been able to trace a book by Dr Jane Southcott, who would appear to be a lecturer in music history in an Australian University.

Sarah Anna Glover's (1785 - 1867) Wikipedia entry says that she was an English music teacher, who invented the Norwich sol-fa system. She was born in Norwich and developed her learning system to aid teachers with a cappella singing. Her instruction book Scheme for Rendering Psalmody Congregational met with great success. It was later refined and developed by John Curwen and others over the years. The concept became known in popular culture, after it was featured in a song from The Sound of Music.

The Upper Cut Club, part 1 - the rise

Original article link: here, date:24 July 2013

1. Martin Smith

Thanks so much for a great article. After nearly 50 years the Otis/Sam & Dave and the Nina Simone gigs still stand out as favourites for me, partly due to the great atmosphere in the club.  My parents skated there as teenagers.

2. Peter Read

A very good article. Thanks.  I was at the Boxing Day 1966 matinee gig at the Uppercut, with my mate Steve Jolly. Hendrix played a great set (of course) but the advertised Pretty Things did not appear. Instead we saw John Lee Hooker, solo, and Zoot Money with (I think) his band Dantalian's Chariot. JLH was amazing, and very cool, wearing a sharp mod-style suit. I remember thinking it was a cheap entrance ticket for a wonderful bill. Best Boxing Day ever, thanks to the boxer, Billy Walker.

The great John Lee Hooker
 - another name to add
 to the Upper Cut's
illustrious performer list

The Upper Cut Club, part 2 - hitting the deck

Original article link: here, date:31 July 2013

Upper Cut club - after the event

1. Michael Claxton

I played in The Trend, a soul/R&B band from Canning Town - Norman, Frank, Phil and me - and I certainly remember playing the Upper Cut because I had to set my new amp at Spinal Tap volume 11 so that my new Vox Continental organ could be heard - on stage! - in that vast venue. We backed the Soul Sisters and various permutations of the 'Original' Drifters as well as playing in our own right, so it was either us alone or as a backing group. If the former, at a talent evening, maybe? Does someone remember?

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