Two radical addresses in South East London

26 Barset Road SE15

26 Barset Road SE15

According to Sarah Young’s map of ‘Russian’ sites in London, 26 Barset Road (as above) was one of the correspondence addresses for Iskra. Clearly this is not the same building as, and possibly not even the site of the original No. 26, which may have been something like these houses nearby:

Howbury Road may have the only original houses hereabouts

Howbury Road may have the only original houses hereabouts

Meanwhile, not so far away at 22 Stondon Park SE23 we find a house with a plaque to commemorate Jim Connell, who wrote the words to The Red Flag while coming home by train in 1889.

22 Stondon Park SE23

22 Stondon Park SE23

Shaky picture of plaque

Shaky picture of plaque

It’s interesting that the second verse

Look ’round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise;
In Moscow’s vaults its hymns are sung,
Chicago swells its surging song.

seems to refer to the Haymarket Affair of 1886, recently alluded to in this blog.  ‘Moscow’ could refer to the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 and the consequent loss of his proposed constitution and other liberalising reforms.

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