One Last Knees Up

Charlotte Leedham

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With an ageing membership, dated traditions and a shortage of pearles - cent buttons - the Pearly Kings and Queens of London - a charitable organisation characterised by their Cockney heritage and working-class traditions - cling on for dear life as their numbers continue to dwindle.

Aside from introducing the Pearlies and their remarkable history, One Last Knees Up takes an in-depth look at the limitations facing the group and asks, should the Pearlies’ presence in the city continue to fade, what implications would their disappearance have upon working-class teens, Londoners and the city from which they came and played an integral role in defining.

Since the late 1800s, their volunteers have trawled London’s streets to improve the lives of those less fortunate. But with the growing commercialism and corporate nature of charities, is there a place for the archaic practises of the Pearlies?