Electric Avenue

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Electric Avenue in 1895
Brixton Market in Electric Avenue

Electric Avenue is a street in Brixton, London. Built in the 1880s, it was the first market street to be lit by electric lights[1] (The first street to be lit by an incandescent lightbulb was Mosley Street, in Newcastle upon Tyne). Today, Electric Avenue contains various food and domestic provisions retailers, and hosts a part of Brixton Market which specialises in selling a mix of African, Caribbean, South American and Asian products. It is located just around the corner from Brixton Underground station (1972). The street originally had elegant cast iron Victorian canopies over the pavements which were removed and destroyed in the 1980s.

History[edit]

The road lent its name to Eddy Grant's 1983 single "Electric Avenue", which reached #2 on both the UK and US singles charts.[2] The song itself was inspired by the 1981 Brixton riot. In 2016, Eddy Grant was invited to switch on a new illuminated street sign, installed as part of a £1 million refurbishment.[3] Afterwards, Grant was given one of the previous signs as a keepsake.[4]

On 17 April 1999, the neo-Nazi bomber David Copeland planted a nail bomb outside a supermarket in Brixton Road with the intention of igniting a race war across Britain.[5] A market trader became suspicious and moved the device to a less crowded area of Electric Avenue, where 39 people were injured in its explosion.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Eddy Grant To Switch On Brixton's Electric Avenue Lights". Londonist. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" Lyrics Meaning". Song Meanings and Facts. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Eddy Grant to switch on illuminated Electric Avenue sign in Brixton tonight, 17th Oct". Brixton Buzz. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  4. ^ "How We Made: Eddy Grant's Electric Avenue". The Guardian. 3 September 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Profile: Copeland the killer". BBC News. 30 June 2000. Retrieved 16 April 2011.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 51°27′44″N 0°06′50″W / 51.46229°N 0.11377°W / 51.46229; -0.11377