Although the carts and cabins that littered street scenes for centuries, supplying anything from food to music, have by no means passed away completely, their presence is now largely confined to tourist hot spots in our capital cities. The barrel organ, in particular, is emblematic of a London street culture that has long since passed. Italian immigrants in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century were associated with the barrel organs and ice-cream carts that they would push around the centre of the capital. These days, ice-cream carts have been replaced by ice-cream vans (still largely in the hands of Italian families), and the barrel organs have disappeared completely. This photograph of a barrel organ was taken in Warsaw, the first time I had actually seen a barrel organ being played in the street.
This is where we write about objects that have passed on.