The largest gun-battle on domestic streets in Britain, the siege drew in people of East London and beyond to witness the action. The crowd of spectators included the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, much criticised for his attendance.
We were lucky to have had a much warmer day, much sunnier than the day of the siege on 3 Jan 1911. But through our good moods we used readings and out imagination to identify with the extremity of the Latvian anarchists, holed up in the original tenement building (100 Sidney Street no longer exists), We also remembered the fire-fighter who also lost his life that day as part of the the team recovering the corpses from the burning house.
You can watch the original Pathe footage here:
We watched it in the White Hart, a pub at the top of Sidney Street, on the Mile End Road. Alfred Hitchcock's sister Nellie and her husband Harry Lee managed this pub for a short time, some years after the siege.
Artists who joined me for the walk and readings making contributions from tracing the locations of the siege to reading anarchist literature were Calum F. Kerr, Matt Armstrong, Sooz Belnavis, Giles Abbott, Dominic Simpson, Debbie Elliot and Doug Haywood.
|Channeling Alfred Hitchcock outside number 100 of a tenement similar to the original house.|
|Inside 'The White Hart' at the top of Sidney Street.|