In July 2005, having just finished knitting pompoms with a friend over lunch in Brick Lane – but that’s literally another story – I cycled successively past Cheshire Street and Bacon Street, which got me wondering how many other streets in London were named after food. That summer being a fallow period for my freelance advertising career, I had the time to read the index of my A–Z and subsequently start cycling all over London taking photos of the road signs which featured items of food or drink in their names.
The names had to be definitive, i.e. Apple Road and not Apple Tree Road, and be recognisable as referring to food, i.e. Wensleydale Road but not Cheshire Street – you’d ask for Cheshire Cheese in order to be understood. I allowed any sort of street, but not buildings, which meant that amongst others, I haven’t included Tamarind Yard or Edam, Pimento and Buckwheat Courts, despite their being listed in the A–Z. These buildings are featured, however, in the Extras section of Ephemera.
I determined that while there were several streets named after Almond, for example, I would only take a photo of one of them. Choosing which one was entirely arbitrary, most often selected on its proximity to somewhere else I was heading on any given cycle route, or to my starting position in the Isle of Dogs.
Having now cycled over 1,500 miles around London, I have 143 photos featuring every item of food or drink which appears on street signs in all 33 London boroughs. I have also mapped and listed the other 346 Streats.
Due to popular demand I have also been photographing people's names on street signs too. These can be seen here.