Thus started a quest to find the picture and my bumpkins. The very helpful archivist at Whitechapel Art Gallery, which now incorporates the old library, told me that the tiles has been stored away when building work started, but I could find a picture at the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archive. So off I went on a damp. grey afternoon last week to the comforting fug of the archives where the charming staff unearthed a box of photos for me. And there it was - carts, horses, hay and my bumpkins. Probably not shepherds after all now I've seen it again. But I do like them. The dreamy looking chap in the middle of the picture, a slip of greenery tucked into his hat, always caught my eye.
So I give you today a fanciful glimpse at rus in urbe - bumpkins in Whitechapel.