Wendy Baron writes about the present work: 'In 1924 Sickert took rooms at 26 Noel Street in Islington, identified by Martin Bailey as the present 54 Noel Road. ... In Red Violet, Henry Hewitt Rayner includes an account of his visit to Sickert at Noel Street. Rayner described 'that small picturesque strip of water that issues from the 'basin' at old Danbury Bridge and disappears underground at the tunnel below Colebrooke Row by Duncan Terrace, where Walter told me he lived as a boy. "They are very happy memories, despite the fact that I had just recovered from a operation for fistula at the nearby City Road Hospital ... I lived here with my great-aunt; and on Sundays I would wander down along the canal and watch the barges float away into the dark recess of the tunnel ..."'.
Rayner describes the origins of the title of the present work: 'Here in Noel Street back gardens the emphasis was on hanging garments and bedsheets. And I asked him [Sickert] what he intended to do about a title, and he jocularly answered: "The hanging Garments of Noel Street". I suggested a much more noble name, and one with as much humour "The Hanging Gardens of Islington", and thus the matter rested' (loc. cit.).