Before I attempt to put into words the adoration I have for this gem, I should probably declare my love for East London, my love for Hoxton Mini Press, and my soft spot for the elderly (especially elderly people with Cockney accents). Naturally, a book that combines these things is likely to sit well with me.
When my clever husband bestowed me this treasure of a book, I was instantly enamoured with the words of Joseph Markovitch, who shares insights such as these:
“The best time to live in Shoreditch was in the thirties. Although we was poor, everyone helped each other.”
Martin Usborne’s photography is unreservedly superb and captures a man – who’s seen nearly nine decades of a changing London firsthand – perfectly. The stories told and the outlook on life explained by the then-86-and-a-half year-old Joseph is heartbreakingly genuine (and, at times, accidentally poetic). Give this book to your best friend, your mum or yourself.
[Hoxton Mini Press, 2013]
Photography by Lara Messer.