Cable Street

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Cable Street is a road in the East End of London, England, with several historic landmarks nearby. It was made famous by the Battle of Cable Street in 1936.


  • You are not to suppose, gentle reader, that the population of Ratcliffe is destitute of an admixture of the fairer portion of the creation. Jack has his Jill in St. George's Street, Cable Street, Back Lane, and the Commercial Road. Jill is inclined to corpulence; if it were not libellous, I could hint a suspicion that Jill is not unaddicted to the use of spirituous liquors. Jill wears a silk handkerchief round her neck, as Jack does; like him, too, she rolls, occasionally; I believe, smokes, frequently; I am afraid, swears, occasionally. Jack is a cosmopolite -here to-day, gone to-morrow; but Jill is peculiar to maritime London. She nails her colours to the mast of Ratcliffe. Jill has her good points, though she does scold a little, and fight a little, and drink a little. She is just what Mr. Thomas Dibdin has depicted her, and nothing more or less. She takes care of Jack's tobacco-box ; his trousers she washes, and. his grog, too, she makes; and if he enacts occasionally the part of a maritime Giovanni, promising to walk in the Mall with Susan of Deptford, and likewise with Sal, she only upbraids him with a tear. I wish the words of all songs had as much sense and as much truth in them as Mr. Dibdin's have.
  • The Battle of Cable Street is, excluding events connected to the Royal family and world wars, the most remembered day in twentieth century Britain. This article explores how the memory of 4 October 1936 was contested initially by contemporaries and then by subsequent generations in attempts to make it a 'usable past'. The pattern of remembering has been uneven, with periods of intense interest and then decline, but the 'Battle' has now gained mythical status and is represented in a wide range of artistic and cultural forms. The major argument of this article, following the general approach of Jonathan Boyarin, is that the processes of remembering and forgetting the 'Battle' are inseparable and cannot be seen as simple opposites. Indeed, as the century comes to a close there is a danger that the increasing commemoration of 4 October 1936 will be at the expense of remembering the specific events of the day itself.
    • Tony Kushner Long May Its Memory Live!: Writing and Rewriting "the Battle of Cable Street" (1999) ISBN 0853033625

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