Sheep magazine Archive 2: issues 10-17

AlfRodchenko

Lefty online magazine: issue 10, May 2016 to issue 17, November 2016

including the mural. But people considered the proposal ‘very ambitious’,

says Mills, ‘and it was put on the backburner’.

Jones pursued it, though, and invited artist Dave Binnington to the

basement. Binnington had produced vivid and striking work under

London’s Westway flyover, inspired by the Mexican mural artists David

Siqueiros and Diego Rivera. He read voraciously about the battle, and

both he and Mills interviewed veterans to collect firsthand information.

Binnington projected a slide of an early design on to the town hall wall. He

recruited another artist, Paul Butler, to produce a series of predella panels

across the lower section, narrating the battle.

8

A mural project committee leafleted locals, inviting them to contribute

poems, drawings and memories and offering them the chance to appear

in the mural. ‘Just as the crowd in 1936 was made up of local people,’ the

leaflet stated, ‘so shall the mural be an image of people living here now.’

Many faces in the mural were taken from newspaper photos of the battle,

but the more ethnically diverse group behind a banner on the lower left

represents Cable Street’s 1970s residents. By then, few Jews lived there.

The Irish remained, but the new fast growing community was Bangladeshi.

Like earlier Jewish immigrants they worked in the rag trade around Brick

Lane and Cannon Street Road, which crosses Cable Street. Like the Jews,

they too were targeted by racists and fascists. The National Front stepped

comfortably into Mosley’s boots.

Bangladeshi Nooruddin Ahmed, who came to the East End in his teens,

recalls the febrile atmosphere: ‘Most of Tower Hamlets was a no-go area

SHEEP IN THE ROAD : NUMBER 16

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