[Citation Needed] Union Street

Ilona Sagar

UNION STREET, running west-east between BLACKFRIARS ROAD and BOROUGH HIGH STREET, is fast becoming an artistic corridor between WATERLOO and the BOROUGH. UNION STREET has taken on a more urban character with the completion of JOCK HARTY ARENA, GOODWIN and WALTER LIGHT HALLS, and more recently STAUFFER LIBRARY, and by the planting of trees in paving and raised planters. UNION STREET ,CHURCH LANE, UNION ROAD, GEORGE STREET, CROSS STREET, NELSON STREET and DOVER STREET were all developed and villas were built for the wealthier sections of the population. UNION STREET in particular was intended to provide an impressive approach into the city from the south (and west); previously the route had been somewhat citcuitous. It was built, along with the adjoining KING STREET, in the beginning of the 19th Century under plans suggested by Charles Abercrombie to provide an impressive entrance way into the city, and nearly bankrupted the city when it was built1 . By the 1880s nos 50 to 72 UNION STREET contained ten houses, a shop and a hotel. THe hotel still survives on the corner. Nos 64 to 66 were the earliest ones built in UNION STREET.

In 1813, QUEEN STREET and DUKE STREET were remaned UNION STREET. In 1908 CHARLOTTE STREET , at the western end of UNION STREET, was also renamed to be part of the street. The street is approximately one mile long and a feat of engineering skill involving the partial levelling of ST. CATHERINE'S HILL and the building of arches to carry the street over PUTACHIESIDE. A bridge was constructed on UNION STREET in 1793 joining the town lands north and south of BROADKILL CREEK. The DENBURN VALLEY crossed UNION STREET by UNION BRIDGE (constructed 1801–05), which has a single span arch of 130 feet (40 metres). THe first train traversed the UNION STREET RAILROAD BRIDGE on Saturday, March 15, 1913, over 95 years ago. The re-use of this historic landmark emphasizes SALEM'S sustainability efforts — the re-purposing of the UNION STREET RAILROAD BRIDGE is using a 20th century asset to meet the demands of the 21st century.

Charles Booth (30 March 1840 – 23 November 1916) was an English philanthropist and social researcher. He is most famed for his innovative work on documenting wirking class life in LONDON at the end of the 19th century. THE MAPS DESCRIPTIVE OF LONDON POVERTY are perhaps the most distinctive produt of Charles Booth's Inquiry into Life and Labour in LONDON (1886–1903). An early example of social cartography, each street is coloured to indicate the income and social class of its inhabitants. People were listed with occupations they appear to have been working in local industries, such as shipbuilding and sailing. Frequented by sailors from all over the world, UNION STREET was once known as one of the most infamous streets6 and red-light districts.7

"London's magistrates had taken the view that prostitution though sinful, was like sin, ineradicable and a money-spinner. Hence ‘screws’ (brothels) ought to be licensed and located where they would cause least trouble"

Despite its upper-class associations, UNION STREET was the location of the first outbreaks in PLYMOUTH of cholera in the 1849 epidemic3 . At the time, these outbreaks in July of that year were believed to be caused by works connected with the new MILLBAY RAILWAY STATION, during which the drains of several houses had become blocked and their lower premises oweflowed with sewage4 . Without a comprehensive sewage system SOUTHWARK would stink of disease, sealed by a thick air of industry. Soap, lead manufactories, hatters, a “skin market”, SOUTH LONDON GAS LIGHT WORKS, filled the spaces between the ALMS HOUSES, the workshouses and the rented and non-rented properties in late GEORGIAN SAINT SAVIOUR'S.

THE GREATER LONDON COUNCIL (GLC)2 was formed between 1960–1980 to replace and build upon the LONDON county council's administrative authority. Boroughs expanded dramatically, SOUTHWARK incorporating three metropolitan areas alone. Responsibility for building and schools fluctuated between the changing councils.

The Council recognizes the potential archaeological significance of the properties located near the confluence of the SAINT JOAN RIVER and the NASHWAAK RIVER (historic site of For NASWAAK) on both sides of UNION STREET and will provide opportunity for historical interpretation of these sites from the recently City acquired ‘CRAIG ELECTRIC’ property.

Now UNION STREET consists of council flats, derelict buildings and late night pubs. It has a noticeable police presence late at night and early into the morning, to control drunk and lively people. As of 2002, it was also patrolled by military police to maintain a degree of integrity among sailors and marines12 , though it is less frequented by service personnel than it once was.

Plans are to maintain and enhance residential areas of the UNION STREET area by stabilizing historic neighbourhoods and providing direction for new innovative housing opportunities. During 2007 and 2008 hundreds of expensive new flats have been built immediately south of UNION STREET towards the CROSS CHANNEL FERRY DOCK at MILLBAY and the local shops and businesses are fast reviving [CITATION NEEDED]

Proposal: an extract from my most recent work, [Citation Needed] Union Street, which is on show at the Jerwood Space. The piece utilises the conventions of the exhibition space as a means of representing a complex and layered topographic and historical narrative, drawn from current and historical references sourced online.

I have camouflaged this collage of text and images as having an authentic provenance which it does not deserve, the text seems to been a very dry local history or archive. [Citation Needed] is presented as wall mounted texts, a magazine and now hopefully online, allowing it a plausibility which it should not merit.

The material derives from a disparate number of sources using 'Union Street' a datum. The location and meaning of the datum term is as disconnected as the source material. Thus creating a place in between fact and fiction, exposing the framework which allows '[Citation Needed]' to seem to be informing the audience with an unchallengeable truth.

The way in which we traverse life is governed by languages that we respond to in a comparable way to the dimming of lights of a theatre. We know what the codes mean and we know how to respond to them, yet it is something we do not consciously have to think about. Our individual identity and the way in which we negotiate our surrounds is formed upon a complex series of collective identities, played out through our interaction within public and private space.

“what often are called collective identity, memory and history are complexly stitched together fragments with competing demands, notions of the authenticity of each given experience of the past and history.”

iii Okwui Enwezor

There have traditionally been two methods of historical record, 'The Grand Narrative' being the official voice and "The History From Below' being the vernacular one. With the introduction of interactive media such as the Internet, the definition of the two categories has been blurred. As the material was all sourced online, I would like to pose an experiment. What happens to the meaning of the narrative and its subplot when it is put back to its source?

Points of reference