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  • Published: 15 October 2003
  • ISBN: 9780712636254
  • Imprint: Pimlico
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $49.99

Campbell Bunk

The Worst Street in North London Between the Wars




Most studies of the British working-class experience deal with labour aristocrats and the 'respectable poor'. Campbell Bunk gives the first full account of a 'rough', sub-proletarian community and the forces which moulded, changed, and eventually destroyed it.

From the 1880s to the Second World War, Campbell Road, Finsbury Park (known as Campbell Bunk), had a notorious reputation for violence, for breeding thieves and prostitutes, and for an enthusiastic disregard for law and order. A street where strangers never went and where police were afraid to go alone, it was the object of reform by church, magistrates, local authorities, and social scientists, who left many traces of their attempts to improve what became known as 'the worst street in North London'. In all that record, the voice of Campbell Bunk itself was silent. Campbell Road was eventually cleared as a slum in the 1950s. Campbell Bunk provides insight into the realities of life in a 'slum' community, showing how it changed over a 90-year period. Jerry White uses extensive oral history to describe in detail the years between the wars, revealing complex tensions between the new world opening up (especially for young women) in Campbell Bunk and the street's traditional culture of economic individualism, crime, street theatre, and domestic violence.

  • Published: 15 October 2003
  • ISBN: 9780712636254
  • Imprint: Pimlico
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $49.99

About the author

Jerry White

Professor Jerry White teaches London history at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the author of an acclaimed trilogy of London from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. His more recent books include Mansions of Misery: A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors' Prison and Zeppelin Nights, a social history of London during the First World War. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of London in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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