A gilded palace of fun called 'Cockneyland' burst upon the London scene yesterday - the brainchild of two cockney Londoners wishing to enshrine their traditions in a kind of Victorian supermarket.
A gilded palace of fun called 'Cockneyland' burst upon the London scene yesterday - the brainchild of two cockney Londoners wishing to enshrine their traditions in a kind of Victorian supermarket. Traditionally, 'Cockney' is a name given to anyone born within the sound of bells of St. Mary-Le-Bow Church, and the Cockney breed has provided London with many of its liveliest customs and personalities.
Cockney brothers Jo and Jackie Joseph have captured every aspect of their folklore and crammed it into a five-floor warehouse situated in the 300-year-old market area of Petticoat Lane. Behind a facade of Victorian, Georgian and music hall architecture are some 700 stallholders, all in traditional Cockney garb, selling everything from rag dolls to jellied eels.
A team of pretty hostesses wait to welcome the potential shopper, dressed in the long, tight dresses of the Victorian era. An antique Nickleodeon and barrel organ diverts the ear with appropriate tunes, while around the walls photographs capture the essence of the Cockney myth. Ruling over the assembly is a resident pearly king of the City of London, holding sequinned court amid replicas of the crown jewels.
Later a restaurant will ply the tourist's stomach's with Cockney food, and exhibitions will recall the lives of a number of Cockney characters. Not all of these are have the most wholesome nature - one exhibition will detail the crimes of Jack the Ripper, the unknown killer who prowled the surrounding streets in the 1880s. Owner Jackie Joseph said: 'We felt that the Cockney way of life, the humour, the warmth, was being forgotten'.