News Feature: Brilliant Brick Lane
By Nasra, Emily and Noah
Recently, the Year 13 Geographers went on a trip to Brick Lane. Their teacher, Ms Funnell, said, “The purpose of the trip was for Year 13 to really experience Brick Lane and Spitalfields as a contrasting area to Wandsworth.” An old Bolingbroke parent was the tour guide who showed them the area, presenting the history of Brick Lane and allowing the students to understand the changes over the years.
Ms Funnell said, “I love that we are now in a position (post-Covid) to take Year 13 on a trip to finally see the place we’ve been learning all about!” In fact, this trip to Brick Lane had not been her first there – as part of her A Level Geography studies, she had been there. Commenting on the area, she said, “It was great to see how it has changed since then too!”
Through their trip, they learnt about global migration patterns and the way they influenced the character of Brick Lane. Naarah, one of the Geographers, explained to The Bark what she learnt on the trip: “Due to a large influx of Jewish migrants to the area during the World War periods, there are many Synagogues remaining as well as one of the largest Jewish schools in London.”
She continued: “Migration of the Bangladesh community in the 20th century for economic opportunities meant that one of the Synagogues became a mosque.” Naarah said that her favourite part of the trip was surveying “the various art installations each portraying some part of the area’s history.”
Mariejoy, who kindly provided the photographs in this article, told us they had to make notes on any factors which affected the identity of the place and compare it to the identity of Clapham Junction and Battersea. She said she learnt that “Brick Lane had a lot of Huguenot migrants from France and this made up the majority of the demographic in the 1700s.” Another thing she learnt was about Spitalfields Market, pictured above, and how it changed: “from a local place of selling wheat and produce to a more commercialised place selling jewellery and trinkets.”
When asked about her favourite part of the trip, she shared the same sentiment as Naarah, lauding the art installations “that allowed me to appreciate all of the different cultures that have resided in Brick Lane over the years.”
Another place the Year 13 Geographers visited was Petticoat Lane Market. The colourful market, photographed above, provided one of many opportunities found during this trip to learn about the history and identity of the area. It also allowed the Geographers to visit a real example of change in an area to aid them in their Changing Places module.
Finally, Ms Funnell added: “They fantastically represented the Bolingbroke Community on the walking tour, and it was amazing that the tour guide was himself an old BBA parent. It was great seeing how engaged all the students were, keenly writing notes to add to their case study knowledge!”
We wish the Sixth Form Geographers all the best with their work!