Workshop

1 Cleve Workshops on Boundary Street was built in 1895 to the plans of architect Reginald Minton Taylor. The first in a row of decidedly compact, single-storey work units tucked into a nook of the slum-supplanting red-brick Boundary Estate, it is open weekends, and the second half of the week, for the perusing and trying-on of garments.

Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles

English Heritage listed the workshop — for its special architectural and historic interest — about twenty years ago. “Yellow brick, low pitched roof to eaves, one storey,” is how the place was described back then. “Wide door to the right, planked with upper part glazed; small panes; glazing bars. Above and to left of door further glazing; small panes, glazing bars. Party walls project above the roofline between units. Integral part of the pioneering Boundary Estate.”

Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles

Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles
Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles
Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles

Things have changed little since, nor in the hundred-plus years since it was built. Apart from there now being two levels — neither which permit a full-size person to quite stand upright — the workshop is the same diminutive, north-facing box of brick it always was.

Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles
Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles
Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles

The upper floor of the workshop is the work part: for designing, finishing, packing, and so on. Downstairs is what could politely be called the shop part — and that’s where the garments are. Garments on pegs and garments on a rail or two. New garments and newer garments — sometimes garments made, finished, and pressed at the factory that same day — here weekends, and some of the week, to be looked at, talked about, and tried for size.

Workshop    Garments made with the makers of the British Isles