I wonder if he knew the stories beneath his canvas, this quietly non-communicative young man wedged halfway down Ferry Lane. Was he aware that the first death from Bubonic Plague early in 1900 was one, Arthur Payne, of No. 10 Ferry Lane? That the poor souls of Ferry Lane, and Windmill Street, and Pottinger Street who had nothing to begin with, had even less after the rat catchers, and the fumigators, and the council inspectors had decimated the suburb.
The lane is gentrified now. Arthur's house is memorialised. 'The Paddock' is filled with slides, and swings, and climbing frames. The air resounds with accents from afar. The middle-class pick their way gingerly down the flagged lanes, eager to be at their seat before the curtain rises to reveal Her Cate-ness or His Geoffrey-ness.
And for Arthur, perhaps a pauper's grave at the Quarantine Station out on windswept North Head, in Cemetery No. 3. With too many of the 102 other victims. Away from society's sensibilities. And as our heels clatter on the flagstones that tumble down uneven Ferry Lane, the memory of Arthur's era dims ...
This is my contribution to the City Daily Photo Blog Monthly Theme Day. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants