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24 July 2010

Arnold Circus Centenary, Shoreditch

Last weekend was the centenary of Arnold Circus, which is the roundabout/band-stand situated in the heart of the Boundary Estate, round the back of Bethnal Green Road. The whole area is changing at a startling rate; from being the UK's first community housing back in the late 1890's, through to near decimation during WWII, and the race riots of the 70's, the area now plays host to countless galleries, private members clubs, bars, restaurants and ad agencies. We just heard that new planning permission has been given to erect a 20 storey building next to the Tea Buildings, which will play host to a new shopping centre and above which will be the obligatory luxury condos. Love it or loathe it, the development of the area is so fast, it's breathtaking to behold.

The Arnold Circus centenary was a splendid affair; some great bands playing in the newly revamped band-stand, fantastic sweet treats and savouries on offer, and a very valiant ping pong match between locals and guests - with most of the points being claimed by the gusts of wind which cut through the 30 degree heat.

Wikipedia has a page on the Old Nichol, which includes the Boundary Estate, it's a good read - you can see it here

We saw these fantastic flyers being handed out, which give a backstory to the area, and are beautifully illustrated.

Side one is the changes through the ages. And side two gives stories to each of the numbers on the illustrations. Text by Archie Guiver, Illustrations by Adam Dant

Click on the pics to see them large scale.