Friday, January 28, 2022

Ben Wilson: Chewing Gum Artist

 

London The Unfinished City

Whilst traversing the River Thames, via the London MillenniuM Footbridge, you will often have to dodge people, usually tourists, crouching down in the middle of the thoroughfare taking pictures of the floor.

London The Unfinished City

No, they aren't floor connoisseurs, but rather people trying to take photos of miniature works of art. 

London The Unfinished City

Yes, really. Beneath the feet of the millions of people who cross the bridge yearly, are tiny works of art that many miss or are oblivious to. 

London The Unfinished City

It all began back with artist Ben Wilson who had decided that the various shapes made by discarded chewing gum would make good canvasses.

London The Unfinished City

He began his artform in Muswell Hill and Trinity Buoy Wharf before extending across the London MillenniuM Footbridge and into Tate Modern.

London The Unfinished City

Considering this unhygienic way of disposing of chewing gum, and its capacity to defy the natural order of decay, I am glad that someone is doing something to highlight the issue.

London The Unfinished City

Obviously, with the footfall and weather these works of art are fleeting, so they are worth seeking out.

London The Unfinished City

So, the next time you are walking across the London MillenniuM Footbridge, or visiting Tate Modern, keep an eye on where you are walking.

London The Unfinished City

And if you are in Muswell Hill or Trinity Buoy Wharf and see any of these miniature works of art, stop and take a good look as they won't be there forever.

London The Unfinished City

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Police Constable Edward George Brown Greenoff

 

London The Unfinished City
P. C. Edward George Brown Greenoff (1886-1917).

On the evening of Friday January 19, 1917, a fire broke out at the Brunner Mond chemical factory off North Woolwich Road. The factory had been closed in 1912, only to be reopened in 1915 to purify Trinitrotoluene (TNT) for the war effort.

Within minutes of the outbreak of the fire an engine, from the new Brigade headquarters, was trying to dampen the blaze. 

Police Constable Edward Greenoff, of the Metropolitan Police's K Division, was on his beat when he noticed the fire. Realising what was in the building and the imminent danger of an explosion, P.C, Greenoff ran towards the fire to aid in the evacuation of the factory. If it had not been for this act of bravery the death toll would have been a lot higher. He then urged the people who had come to witness the fire to stay back and away from the flames. 

Then there came a rumbling sound and an explosion ripped the building apart. P.C. Greenoff was thrown forward by the force of the explosion and was knocked unconscious.

The building exploded with such force that girders, masonry and even a boiler, weighing several tons, were catapulted through the air. The shockwave, which was felt almost a mile away, ripped roofs from nearby buildings and flattened cottages within the area.

There were 73 fatalities and over 400 more were injured. 

P.C. Edward Greenoff was taken to Poplar Hospital where he died from his injuries on January 28th or 29th.

P.C. Edward George Brown Greenoff was buried in St Marylebone Cemetery, East Finchley.

This plaque is situated on the wall of the G. F. Watt's Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice, in Postman's Park.

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