Devoted to the unexpected details that help to make life in the city worth living
Saturday, 24 October 2015
Former Cooperative Store, 161 Bow Road E3
The skep, a beehive made of straw, was a powerful symbol of harmony in the workplace for early utopians such as Robert Owen and the founders of the Co-operative movement. Technically, the design was already obsolete in 1919 when this shop was built by the surveyor to the Stratford Co-operative Society, HE Tufton. Its lack of an internal structure for the honeycomb made it difficult to extract the honey, and the process often killed all the bees. But it looks pretty. The fence behind and the flowers growing up beneath add a rustic touch.