Made in London
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From the publisher
Walking through London's busy streets, you would not imagine that the city boasts one of the world's most diverse manufacturing scenes. But throughout its 32 boroughs, people are making propellers, bicycles, ballet shoes, military uniforms, cardboard packaging, neon signs, umbrellas, chocolate truffles, craft beer and much more. Today there are around 4000 manufacturers based in Greater London, building on the city's rich heritage of making. While producing world-class goods, they are all jostling for space and dealing with familiar challenges, such as rising rents and trying to keep developers at bay. This book provides a fascinating glimpse behind the doors of London's making and manufacturing companies: the processes and spaces that are so often hidden from view, and the people who work there, from sole traders to workforces numbering in the hundreds. The introduction is written by Mark Brearley, an architect and Professor of Urbanism at London Metropolitan Museum who also owns the London-based tray and trolley manufacturer Kaymet. The main part of the book is arranged into chapters grouping similar types of manufacturer. In total, 50 businesses are featured, ranging from the Ford Motor Company in Dagenham, the biggest factory in London; to William Say, third-generation tin-can makers, in Bermondsey; Nichols Brothers, bespoke woodturners, in Walthamstow; Growing Underground, a salad farm in old air-raid shelters under the streets of Clapham; and Jost Haas, Britain's last glass-eye maker, in Mill Hill. Specially commissioned photography by Carmel King captures the making process, the materials, the finished products and the staff at each manufacturer, while concise, engaging descriptions are provided by the design and architecture journalist Clare Dowdy. Made in London is a timely celebration of the vibrant manufacturing scene that contributes so much to the creativity, vitality and economy of the city.