Painting the pram sheds
As the world moves on apace in East London in preparation for the Olympics: they tear down old post-war housing, grotty little shopping centres are turned into consumerist Meccas and those pale ghost bikes spring up with their sad garlands of flowers, some things stay the same.
Stamford Hill is a Hasidic Jewish stronghold and some of the council housing there has the luxury of a pram shed to go with the tenancy of a flat. Of course, from time to time, someone has to come along and give these outbuildings a lick of paint.
My mind travels back to the days when mothers pushed proper shiny prams (uncollapsible in every way) and lived above ground level, without lifts. Straightaway you see why you’d need, not a garage, but a pram shed.
I am reminded of pushing my own sister round the block in one, a second-hand cream contraption, with instructions to keep going round and around until she stopped screaming, sometimes with Toby the dog for company. She was a colicky baby, perhaps. Just as well we didn’t have pram sheds in Lincolnshire, if we had it would have certainly crossed my mind to park them both in it. And close the door quietly before tiptoeing down the dyke to watch a fenland sunset…
There’s an excellent insight to life on a Hackney estate from an aesthete’s point of view at this blog.