Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Great news - CLR James is the face of the Brixton £10 note! Two CLR James's has got to be better than one Adam Smith, no?

Aside from the inclusion of James and Olive Morris, and the welcome hoohah expressed by the media towards Brixton, I'm not quite sure I see the point of it other than to encourage localism. But even then, how will it work? You can spend your Brixton pounds at several local shops, but what do the shops then do with them? Could the Chinese supermarket on Electric Avenue use its B£s to buy frozen dumplings from the supplier? Presumably not. Could staff be paid in B£s? I suspect they'd rather stick to sterling, however devalued.

Like the man at Brixton Wholefoods (and many of the sceptical stallholders in the market, I suspect), it feels to me like a marketing ruse which will benefit the more upmarket shops more than the nailbars and butchers. Still, if it's a gimmick that persuades more people to visit Brixton Market, that must surely be a good thing.


DV and I went to Brixton windmill this weekend. An enthusiastic chap with the voice of James Goldsmith told us that there used to be seven windmills in Lambeth, but when the height of buildings grew in the mid-nineteenth century, most burned down or were demolished. Brixton Windmill stopped milling flour in 1935, and is now open to the public only a couple of times a year. There are some rather wonderful, Savage Messiah-esque drawings of the mill here.