Whiffs and Pongs of Bermondsey

On Wednesday 30th January 2013, Bubble invited storytellers, volunteers and supporters to Whiffs and Pongs of Bermondsey — a workshop that used smells of factories from bygone years to evoke memories and stories.

During interviews we have been told consistently of smells produced by the factories once populating Bermondsey. Some of these smells were pleasant and welcomed; biscuits from Peak Freans, Jam from Hartley’s Jam Factory. Others were repellent and avoided, like leather from the tanners or glue.

We wanted to tease conversations and stories from those who were present during these smelly days. Thus, our smell maker Breaky  made 10 replicate smells that were described to us during interviews. We then asked participants, what does the smell make you feel? What does the smell remind you of? Can you associate the smell to a particular event? And these are some of the answers.

“Walking round Bermondsey was like an assault on the senses”

“My geography teacher took us on field trips as far as Bermondsey Street. You didn’t need to go further, there were smells from around the world”

“All coz you can smell it, don’t mean you can have it”

To read how Breaky conjured up the smells read his blog entry here https://www.londonbubble.org.uk/blogpost/2013-02-thoughts-from-the-smell-mak/

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