Singing in the rain

Tonight was the coldest, wettest day for August I can remember. And England were playing Germany at Wembley on terrestrial TV. So I was not expecting a great turnout of canvassers for our campaign session. In the end we had a team of 6 door-knocking and a reception from residents that was far warmer than the weather. If someone can patent a waterproof canvass card they’ll be onto a winner…

By 9pm we were ready for a drink and ducked into a pub on Elia Street, the Charles Lamb. It’s a great little pub I’d not been to before, and will definitely visit again.  Tonight was a night for red wine but I see the Charles Lamb serves perry, my tipple when we go to the Marquess, so I’ll try that on our next visit.

At one time, Islington had a pub on every street but has lost many over recent years as they become shops or homes – or even churches, like the Church on the Corner in Barnsbury.

Another building that may become a church is the former Carlton Cinema on Essex Road. Until March this year it was a Mecca bingo. Mecca blamed their decision to close variously on the smoking ban, the tax regime and the growth of internet bingo. The bingo hall provided a cheap, safe, fun social evening for hundreds of people, mostly women, who were heart-broken to see it go.

Bingo and churches may not have much else in common, but (like pubs) they provide social networks – it’ll be interesting to see how many transfer from one to the other.


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