Boris Bags

I‘ve always been amused when I pass this shop in Hackney Road. Bags what? A wife, a mistress, a brace of pheasant. Unfortunately, this manufacturer of luggage has nothing to do with our current prime minister – Boris.

So proud of their name, their old factory in Hertford Road has Boris emblazoned across the facade.

The red-brick 1913 building was erected for Willeys, a Devon gas equipment company. With its huge ‘Boris Limited’ sign, this has partly been used for storage in recent years. The adjacent mission hall was created as an adjunct to the nearby St Peter’s Church in 1887.

The mission hall at one time housed plastic injection moulding equipment used in the manufacture of Boris Bags rigid suitcases, which, at the time, was one of only three wholesale bag suppliers in the whole of London.

As well as services, the mission hall was when built to be used for ‘amusements of an elevating character such as concerts, addresses, lectures on history, biography and other kindred subjects, nothing unseemly or undesirable was to be permitted’.

Which I suppose brings us neatly back to that other ‘Boris’.

Derelict Boris factory by Paul Bolding (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) for information can be found on Layers of London

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