29 March, 2017

Labour and Wait is delighted to collaborate with The Gentle Author to present a Spitalfields Life Bookshop for 10 days at our Bethnal Green Workroom. This will be a rare chance to take a look at all Spitalfields Life Books titles in one place and have a peek behind the scenes at Labour and Wait.

The bookshop will be open between 11am and 6pm everyday from Wednesday 26th April until Saturday 6th May, except for Sunday 30th April.

On Tuesday 25th April at 7:00pm, we shall be launching the latest title from Spitalfields Life Books, A HOXTON CHILDHOOD & THE YEARS AFTER by A.S. JASPER and we hope you will join us in a celebration. There will be drinks and readings from the work of A.S. JASPER, as well as some live music entertainment from fiddler Dan Mayfield and singing by Henrietta Keeper.
Click here for ticket availability.

A.S. JASPER’S tender memoir of growing up in the East End before the First World War, A HOXTON CHILDHOOD, was immediately acclaimed as a classic in 1969 when it was described by the Observer as ‘Zola without all the trimmings.’

In this definitive new edition, it is accompanied by the first publication of the sequel detailing the author’s struggles and eventual triumph in the cabinet-making trade, THE YEARS AFTER. Illustrated with line drawings by James Boswell and Joe McLaren.

Ticket holders will be entitled to a £5 discount on A HOXTON CHILDHOOD & THE YEARS AFTER during the event.

Labour and Wait Workroom
30 The Oval, London, E2 9DT

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  • 30 June, 2015

    "Fifteen years ago, I made the pilgrimage to Labour and Wait - seeking out the first shop in Cheshire Street on a busy market Sunday - and since then, barely a month has gone without a return visit, to admire the magnificent displays of hardware.

    It always raises a smile to wonder at the heroic arrangements of everyday objects, but I realise now that it has been an education too - Labour and Wait has taught me an appreciation of both the poetry and the humour of these modest household goods.

    If, like me, you seek perfection in small things - shiny kettles, enamel pots and pans, galvanised buckets and watering cans, proper bristly brushes and balls of string - Labour and Wait will never disappoint you."

    The Gentle Author, Spitalfields

  • See more: 15 Years of Labour and Wait, 2015, The Gentle Author

  • 23 November, 2012

    Well done to all involved with the launch this week of the East End Trades Guild - see how many of your favourite shopkeepers you can spot here ( click to embiggen ).

    Read more about the launch courtesy of the Gentle Author here.

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  • 10 October, 2012

    And so to Spitalfields Life, where the Gentle Author continues the quest to capture all of East End life in one compendious website, the modern Human Comedy in all its varied and various colours, shades, sounds and shapes. 

    Last weekend the Gentle Author joined local man of letters Clive Murphy for a tour around his Brick Lane flat. Visitors to our Redchurch Street shop will recognise Clive as the author of such works as “The Good Deeds of A Good Woman”, “Four Acres and a Donkey” and “Oiky, The Memoirs of a Pig Man”. A Gentle Author himself, Clive took to recording the stories of those people he saw around him in 1970s Brick Lane, capturing a demotic human history in the way that many of today’s writers, bloggers and tweeters will recognise. 

    We are glad to see Clive’s books attracting attention today, not least because it allows the author to pursue his interest in writing his Ribald Rhymes - not for the faint-hearted, although an ideal present for a favoured in-law. 

    Our thanks go as always to the Gentle Author for this story and for use of the photographs.

  • See more: 2012, Clive Murphy, The Gentle Author

  • 27 March, 2012

    Allow us to pass you over to our favorite city chronicler and blue-eyed bohemian The Gentle Author to  introduce a new series of ‘Field Trips’, in which our esteemed author chronicles our most noteworthy manufacturers and suppliers. The first visit is to R. Russell, Brush-maker.

    Labour and Wait Field Trip #1

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  • 09 September, 2011

    Who is the Gentle Author? This mysterious character is as much a part of Spitalfields’ myth and mystery as any of the personages past and present featured in the exquisite historical and sociological blog Spitalfields Life.

    We are very proud to have appeared in the backpages of this fascinating online record of the life and times of this part of London in which we settled ten years ago, and which we now call home. So we were intrigued by the appearance of an invitation to the unveiling of the Map of Spitalfields Life.

    Drawn by Adam Dant, himself a Spitalfields character of no little renown, whose beautifully drawn, delicate and detailed maps of the East End of London have entertained and intrigued locals and visitors alike, this map promises to reveal the stories of fifty of the people who have made Spitalfields so distinctive.

    The map, devised and drawn under the strictest security, will be unveiled by Sandra Esqulant, Queen of Spitalfields, at 7 o'clock sharp on Thursday 15th September, at Town House, Fournier Street. We’ll be there, and we can’t wait to see who’ll be on the map.

  • See more: 2011, The Gentle Author