The London Calling series of videos was released before the 2012 Olympics with an aim to the world discovering the quirk areas of London . In this episode, we explore Shoreditch in East London.
Watch the video and answer the questions below. The activity is suitable for Intermediate 2 and Advanced students.
1 What can you find alongside the canal in Shoreditch?
2 How old is St. Leonard's church?
3 Why did people traditionally not want to live in Shoreditch?
4 How did Steve Edge go to work?
5 What does Steve Edge own today?
6 What does Shoreditch special, according to Steve Edge?
7 Why is living in Shoreditch like living in a village?
8 Where do the circus artists practice?
9 What is Korri Singh Aulakh scared of?
On the edge of the city of London is one of the most creative parts of the capital. It's a colourful and vibrant place, where even the canal is a prime location for (1) a house.
Welcome to Shoreditch. There's pops, clubs, bars and drugs, where yuppies rave till the morning, it's now an impossible to find this place boring, poets, bands, magicians and gangs are around here touring. Graffiti writers from all over the world come here squalling. Even the most sophisticated of chaps leave Shoreditch crawling. But, despite the night-life, there's another side: there's history, and mystery, to seek and find.
St. Leonard's church is a Shoreditch landmark that's stood here for (2) almost 300 years. Remarkably, it survived the Second World War when much of London's East End was heavily bombed. The destruction made way for factories, warehouses and high-rises. They still dominate the skyline. For decades, Shoreditch was a place where no one wanted to live. Then, in the 1980s, young artists like Steve Edge moved in.
My first impressions of Shoreditch was that (3) it was not very nice, it was a place that nobody ever visited, and it had been kinda left, you know, it was this part of East London where it was rough, it was only where all the gangsters used to live, so I'd start working at this design agency, and I'd get my first pay. I've never had so much money in my entire life, and I've always wanted a horse. I've always wanted a horse. Every day, (4) I used to go to work on my horse to the studio, and I used to gallop up into the studio car park, where there'd be the Aston Martin, the Jaguar, the Porsche, and I used to tie my horse up.
These days, Steve has (5) his own design agency.
Brands are about stories, these great stories. It's not about the logo, it's not just about the colour, it's about the emotion that a brand gives you. Hence why we look after all these fantastic brands, the Cartiers, the Diors...
While Shoreditch's reputation as a hub of cutting-edge advertising and design remains, the growing number of technology companies has led to it being branded tech-city. Steve says (6) this continual re-invention is what makes Shoreditch special.
You know, it's got that kind of madness that it is the future, but is also the past, which makes it very interesting. And now you've got this Silicon Valley moving in, they're all coming to this rough, dogged area, and now fashion, creativity, life, clubs, pubs, music, it's become a whole world within a world. (7) Everybody knows everybody, it's a real village, it's living in a village in one of the biggest cities in the world. It's truly very, very exciting, and, believe it or not, I dress for a party every day, and the party comes to me.
This outlook on life is fitting in an area full of surprises. Behind the doors of (8) a former electricity station I discovered the next generation of high-fliers. Korri Singh Aulakh dreams of touring the world on his flying trapeze.
I was twelve when I first came to circus space, I've spent pretty much five days a week here for the past eight years, and I'm actually like, quite (9) scared of heights. Unless I'm on my trapeze, on my trapeze I'm fine. But, like, up a ladder, it's not so good. There are so many different disciplines that you can do, like, whether it's aerial or slack, there's aerial silks, which is like, it's like big sheets of material where they wrap themselves up roll down... I particularly love the swinging trapeze, because sometimes you get the feeling of like, complete weightlessness, so it's literally like you're flying through the air. If you looked in the window here at circus space you'd see people in the air, people on the ground... After I've finished here at circus space my big aspiration is to hopefully get into a big touring show, something like Cirque du Soleil.
It seems Shoreditch has always been an area of creativity, and that energy means it now has some of the best nightlife the city has to offer. When the bars and clubs close around here, the working day for the rest of London begins.