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LIVING LONDON 



ITS WORK AND ITS PLAY 

ITS HUMOUR AND ITS PATHOS 

ITS SIGHTS AND ITS SCENES 



EDITED BY . . . 

GEORGE R. SIMS 



VOL. II— SECTION ir 



SPECIAL EDITION, WITH FULL-PAGE REMBRANDT PLATES 



CASSELL AND COMPANY, Limited 
London, Paris, New York & Melbourne 
All Rights Reserved 





OCT 28 1959 




LONDON TYPES: THE ORGAN-GRINDER. 

(From the Painting by W. Rainey, R.I,} 

15 




LONDON TYPES: THE WAITER. 

'From the Painting by H. H. Fllre.) 
19 







LONDON TYPES: THE FLOWER GIRL. 

(From the Painting by //. H. FUre.) 



CONTENTS. 



LONDON'S DRAPERS . 

HOUSE-HUNTING LONDON 

MUSIC-HALL LONDON . 

HOOLIGAN LONDON . 

HOTEL LONDON . 

THAMES PLEASURES AND SPORTS 

ROMAN CATHOLIC LONDON . 

LONDON THRIFT .... 

LONDON UNDER THE WEATHER 

SCOTTISH, IRISH. AND WELSH 
LONDON . 



LIGHTING LONDON 

SIDESHOW LONDON . 

BAR AND SALOON LONDON 

CHRISTENING LONDON 

COUNTY COUNCIL LONDON 

THE LONDON CITY COMPANIES 

LONDON GETS UP IN THE MORNING 

LONDON'S STREET INDUSTRIES 

BIRD -LAND AND PET - LAND IN 
LONDON .... 



SCENES FROM FACTORY LONDON 

LUNATIC LONDON .... 

A COUNTRY COUSIN'S DAY IN TOWN 

SERVANT LONDON .... 

LONDON'S LITTLE WORRIES . 

LONDON'S WASH-HOUSES AND BATHS 

SCENES FROM OFFICIAL LIFE IN 
LONDON 



SATURDAY NIGHT IN LONDON 



BY 

MRS. BELLOC-LOWNDES . 

GEORGE R. SIMS 

H. CHANCE NEWTON. 

CLARENCE ROOK. 
J. C. WOOLLAN . 
JOHN BLOUNDELLE-BURTON 

WILFRID MEYNELL . 

SIDNEY DARK 

GEORGE R. SIMS 



C. O'CONOR ECCLES. 

DESMOND YOUNG 

A. ST. JOHN ADCOCK 

GRAHAM HILL . 

SHEILA E. BRAINE . 

FREDERICK DOLMAN, L.C.C. 

CHARLES WELCH. F.S.A. . 

GEORGE R. SIMS 

P. F. WILLIAM RYAN. 



HENRY SCHERREN 
C. DUNCAN LUCAS 
T. W WILKINSON 
GEORGE R. SIMS 
N. MURRELL M ARRIS 
GEORGE R. SIMS 
I. BROOKE-ALDER 



L. BRINDLE . 

A. ST. JOHN ADCOCK 



PAGE 

209 
216 
222 
229 
236 
243 
249 
254 
261 

267 
274 
281 
286 
293 
298 
305 
311 
317 

324 
330 
338 
344 
351 
358 
364 



371 
378 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



London's Drapers : — 

A Work Room 209 

A Packing Room 210 

At Dinner on a Big Sale Day 211 

Left Outside 212 

A Cash Desk . . 212 

A Postal Order Room 213 

A Sale Day at Peter Robinson's 214 

HOUSK-HUNTING LONDON :— 

A Well-Known Establishment in St. James's Street . 216 

Shown into the Drawing-Room 217 

An Inspection by the Dog 218 

Let as Fast as Built 219 

A Choice of Agents 220 

Moving In 221 

Music- Hall London: — 

Ready to Pass in (" Wonderland ") 223 

Waiting to Go on at a Music-Hall 223 

Beneath the Arena (Hippodrome) 224 

Types of Music- Hall Performers 225 

Performing Dogs 226 

At the Corner of York Road 227 

Before the Doors Open (London Pavilion) . , . 228 

Hooligan London :— 

Attacked by Two 229 

Pitch and Toss 230 

Hooligan Weapons 231 

Hooligan v. Hooligan . . 233 

Sandbagging in the Fog 234 

A Street Group 235 

Hotel London : — 

Manager Receiving Guests (Hotel Victoria) . . . 236 

Page 236 

Arrival of an Oriental Potentate (Claridge's) . . . 237 

Porter 239 

The Palm Court (Carlton Hotel) 239 

Smoking Room (Grand Hotel) 239 

Chambermaid 239 

Lift Man . 239 

Commercials " Writing up the Mail " (Manchester Hotel) 239 

Drawing Room (Hotel Cecil) 240 

Dining Room (Oak Salon, Hotel Mdtropole) . . .241 

Lounge (Hotel Russell) 242 

Thames Pleasures and Sports :— 
The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race . . . -243 

Doggett's Coat and Badge 243 

Excursion Steamers Leaving Fresh Wharf, London 

Bridge . . . .... 244 

Bathing in the River 244 



PACB 

Thames Pleasures and Sports (continued) :— 

Ready for a Row 3*5 

A " Penny Sweat " 245 

At Practice 247 

■ " Boats to Let " 247 

River Steamer 248 

Roman Catholic London : — 

Leaving the Oratory, South Kensington .... 249 

Arrival of a Cardinal at Sardinia Street Chapel . . 250 
The Red Mass as Formerly Celebrated at Sardinia Street 

Chapel, Lincoln's Inn 251 

Unloading a Cart at Nazareth House .... 252 

Old Women's Ward, Nazareth House .... 253 

London Thrift : — 

The National Penny Bank (Hackney Road) . . . 254 

School Teachers Receiving Pupils' Pennies . . . 255 

Salvation Army Reliance Bank, Queen Victoria Street . 256 

Birkbeck Bank 257 

Hearts of Oak Certificate 258 

F'orester's Certificate 258 

A Christmas Eve Distribution of Turkeys, Geese, etc. 

(Aldenham Institute) 259 

Druid's Certificate . 260 

Post Office Savings Bank Stamp F'orm .... 260 

London Under the Weather :— 

During a Summer Heat Wave 261 

On the Kerbstone : Sun Hats 261 

High Holborn in a Storm 262 

By Torchlight 263 

At the Mercy of the Wind 263 

Ludgate Circus in a Fog 264 

Skating on the Serpentine 263 

Scottish, Irish, and Welsh London : — 

Playing in the Haggis on St. Andrew's Night . . . 267 

London Kymric Ladies' Choir 268 

Learning Irish Reels (Athenaeum Hall, Tottenham 

Court Road) 269 

Irish Guardsmen • . . . 270 

Shamrock Seller 270 

A London Irish Hurling Match 271 

Welsh Paper Published in London 272 

Highland Piper and Dancer in London , . 273 

Lighting London : — 

Laying Electric Cables 274 

Lamp-Lighter 274 

In the London Electric Supply Corporation's Works . 275 
Drawing Retorts by Hand (South Metropolitan Gas 

Company) 276 



VI 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



LiUHTING LOKDCIN ( ccnttnuea J :— 

I^mp Cleaner 

Haying out a Leaden Cable 

Supplying Arc Lamp with Carbon 

Lamp Repairing Shop (South Metropolitan Gas Company) 

Collecting Pennies from a Slot Meter .... 

Taking in Coal at Vauxhall (South Metropolitan Gas 

Company) 

Sideshow London -.-^ 

Punch and Judy 

A West-Knd Sideshow .... ... 

The Lion Jawed Man ...... 

A RiHe R.in,s;e 

A Tattooed Couple at Tea ... ... 

A Waxwork Show ..... ... 

A Fat Lady 

P>AR AND Saloon Lonho.-j : — 

Served Through the Window 

Inside a Public-House on Saturday Night 

The Chandos Bar and Lounge 

A City Wine-Bar (The Bodega, Bucklcrsbury) 

A Strand Wine-Bar (Short's) 

At a " Change " in the East-End 

During Prohibited Hours (Whitechapel) : Satisfying the 

Landlord ; Waiting to Enter 

Outside the " Bull and Bush," Hampstead, on Sunday 

Morning 



^78 
27S 

iio 

2b'0 



2S1 
2S2 

2« 
284 
284 
285 



285 
287 
288 
289 
289 
290 



291 
292 



Christeni.ng Lxjndon :— 

A Christening at a Wcst-End Church 

A Nurse : New Styie .... 

A Nurse : Old Style . . . . 

A Scottish Christening in London 

A Batch of Christenings . 

A Christening at the Italian Church, Hatton Garden 

A Salvation Army " Dedication " 

County Council London :— 

At the L.C.C. Licensing Sessions (Clerkenwell) ; E.\- 
amining a Witness ....... 

Four Days' Work : Pages from a Member s 

Diary 

L.C.C. Open Space Notice Board 

Fire Brigade Committee Starting on an Inspection . 

L C.C. Stonemasons at Work 

L C.C. Wharf 

A Sitting of the London County Council . . . . 

Thk London City Companies:— 

Dynamo Class at the City and Guilds Institute (South 
Kensington) 

Outside a Cell, Bridewell Hospital 

Court of the Cutlers' Company : Examining the Work of 
their Apprentices . . 

An Examination at Apothecaries' Hall .... 

The Copyright Registry, Stationers' Hall 

A Playing Card Design (Playing Card M.ikers' Com- 
pany) 



293 
294 
294 
295 
295 
297 

297 



299 

300 
300 
301 
302 
303 
304 



305 
30^) 

307 
308 
309 




London Gets Up in the Morning: — 
Mary Jane Descends. 
The Children Awake 
A Late Riser . 
Welcome News 
Reading the Press Notices 
The Bride of the Day 
In the Condemned Cell 

London's Street Industries : — 

Net Making ; " Sweep ! " ; Crumpets ; Sweetstuff 
Making ; Flags and Windmills ; Salt ; Bread 
Shrimps ; Window-Cleaning ; Watercress ; Fish 
Old Hats; Milk; "Scissors to Grind"; Kettle 
Holder Making; Saw Sharpening ; Chair Mending 
Coals ; Fly Papers ; Woolwork Picture Making 
Shoeblack; Old Iron; Step-Cleaning; Green 
grocer ; Brushes ; Clock-Mer.der ; Old Sacks 
Yule Logs ; Licensed Messenger 

317, 318. 319, 320, 321, 32 

Bird Land and Pet-Land in London :- 



A Pet Python 

Feeding Pigeons Outside the Guildhall . 

Gulls near the Thames Embankment 

Feeding Pigeons in Hyde Park 

Feeding Sparrows from his Hand (Hyde Park) 

Feeding the Ducks in St. James's Park 

A Bird Shop on Wheels .... 

In a Bird and Animal Shop (Great 

Street) 

Caged 

Feeding Pet Lemurs .... 
A Street Bird Stall 



Portland 



Scenes from Factory London : — 
Matchbox Filling .... 
Cream Fondant Moulding Room 
A Cigar Manufacturing Department 
Marking Soap for Hotels, Clubs, etc. 
The Potter at Work .... 
Wrapping Infants' Food . 
Printing " Living London " 



Lunatic London: — 

The Bethlem Magazine . . . . 
A Christmas Entertainment at St. Luke's 
Padded Room in a London Workhouse . 

Cricket (Bethlem i 

Gardening (St. Luke's) .... 
Needlework (Bethlem) . . . . 



A CouNT.RY Cousin's Day in Town : — 

Preparing Models (Madame Tussaud's) . . , . 

The Artists' Room, Pagani's 

The Coliseum : From the Stage . . . . . 
In the Brasserie, Hotel de I'Europe, Leicester 

Square 

After a Matinee ... . . . . 

The Empire Promen;ide 

" Good- Bye " ^ . 



323 



324 
325 
32s 
325 
325 
325 
326 

327 
328 
328 
329 



33^ 
33 1 
333 
334 
335 
336 
337 

338 
339 
340 
341 
342 
343 



344 
345 

347 

347 
348 
349 
35'^ 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Servant London :— 

In a Registry Office : Servants Seeking Situations . . 351 

Maid-ofall-Worlc ijt 

Housemaid ......... 351 

Outside a Registry Office : Reading the Notices . 352 

<^'"b Page . • 352 

Club Waiter 352 

In a Servants' Hall : At Dinner 353 

Coachman 354 

Gfoom 354 

Footman .... 354 

Servants' Fire Brigade at the Hotel Cecil . . . 355 

Serva.its' Recreation Room at the Army and Navy Club 356 

Lady's Maid Learning Hair Dressing .... 356 
Smoking Concert at a Servants' Club (St. Paul's, Knights- 

bridge) 357 

London's Little Worries :— 

The Pestering Acquaintance 358 

" Lost Ball " 350 

" I will Call for an Answer " 360 

"1 11 Shoot that Cat!" -360 

Behind the Smokers 361 

" My Purse is Gone ! " . . . ... 362 

A Whining Appeal . 363 

London's Wash-Houses and Baths : — 

In a Public Wash-House (Marylebone Road) : Washing 364 
Men's Private Baths (Hornsey Road Baths and Wash- 
Houses) . . 365 



London's Wash-Houses and Baths (coniinued) 

In a Public Wash-House (Marshall Street, W.) : Fold 

ing and Mangling 

Turkish Bath (Jermyn Street) : Shampooing Room 
Water Polo Match (Westminster Baths) 
Teaching Schoolboys to Swim (Kensington Baths) 
Turkish Bath (Jermyn Street) : Cooling Room 
Ladies Using the Chute (Bath Club) 

Scenes from Official Life in London : — 

Awaiting the Arrival of Ministers to Attend a Cabinet 
Council 

A Reception at the Foreign Office 

A Council at Buckingham Palace 

A Deputation to the Colonial Secretary .... 

After a Naval Disaster : Enquiries at the Admiralty 

Presentation of War Medals on the Horse Guards 
Parade : Arrival of the King ..,.'. 

Saturday Night in London : — 

Saturday Night in King Street, Hammersmith . 

Braces 

Boots and Shoes : Trying on 

Saturday Night in Whitechapel Road .... 
Inside a Big Provision Stores (Hammersmith) . 

China 

Outside a Public-House 

Selling Meat by Auction 






36s 
307 
367 
368 
369 
370 



371 
372 

374 
375 
376 

377 



378 
379 
379 
3»i 
382 
383 
383 
384 



Tlie IllvstratiojLs are from Drawings by J. H. Baco.v, Gordon Browne, R.I., R.B.A., James Durden, J. S. Eland, 
C. H. Finnemore, H. H. Flere, Clement Flower, A. H. Fullwood, Professor Maurice Grun, A. P. Garratt, 
W. H. HuMPHRis, E. Lander, W. H. Margetson, F. Pegram, H. Piffard, Victor Prout, W. Rainey, R.L, 
Edward Read, A. Monro Smith, Isaac Snowman, Allen Stewart, W. R. S. Stott, L. Campbell Taylor, 
H. E. Tidmarsh, F. H. Townsend, C. D. Ward, Enoch Ward, R.B.A. ; and from Photographs, nearly alt 
of which were specially taken for this work, by Messrs. Cassell and Company, Limited. 



LIST OF REMBRANDT PLATES. 



The General Post Office Frontispiece 

The Hotel Cecil To face p. 238 

The Roman Catholic Cathedral, Westminster ... „ 249 

The India Office „ 376 



209 




A WORK ROOM. 



LONDON'S DRAPERS. 

By MRS. BELLOC- LOWNDES. 



LONDON has long been, in the business 
sense of the word, the market of the 
world ; but only comparatively lately 
have been established, especially in the West- 
End, the well-known emporiums which now 
cater successfully not only for Londoners, 
but for those American and Continental 
visitors who formerly took the whole of their 
dress custom to Paris. 

A volume might well be written concerning 
life at the draper's ; the more so, that not 
content with what was originally their 
mainstay — namely, drapery, millinery, dress- 
making, and underclothing departments — 
many now join to these separate sections, where 
every household want is satisfied, from the 
morning tea and milk to the costly fruit and 
liqueurs required for a Lucullian banquet. 

The time may come when no drapery 
business will be able to live without these 
adjuncts ; but there are still many prosperous 
establishments which, like their French rivals, 
deal almost entirely with the art of dress. 
Let us content ourselves with, as it were, 
75 



taking off the roof of one of the half-dozen 
busy London hives which cater almost 
exclusively for the lady customer. It may 
be doubted whether this can be done more 
effectively than in tracing the various incidents 
connected with the brief existence of one of the 
many pretty items, say a hat or toque, dear to 
the feminine heart, from the day when it 
takes its place in the stockroom of a big 
West-End establishment to the moment 
when it is finally handed in at its purchaser's 
door by one of the army of ^;;///i?y/j belonging 
to the distribution service of the emporium 
in question. 

Paris is still supposed to hold the sceptre 
where feminine dress is concerned : accord- 
ingly, the managers of each great London 
drapery business have to make a point of 
being in constant communication with the 
gay city, and their buj'ers — many of whom 
are paid salaries averaging from six to twenty 
guineas a week — are always on the look-out 
for new ideas, and huge prices are paid 
without a murmur for really original model 



2IO 



LIVING LONDON. 




A PACKING ROOM. 

gowns, model hats, and even model under- 
clothing. 

"What," the reader will ask, "has this 
to do with the progress of any special article 
from the workroom to the customer's hat- 
box ? " Everything ; for the hat or toque 
in question owes its very existence to the 
care exercised by the buyer, whose business 
it is to keep himself in touch with the 
great Paris millinery houses ; and the piece 
of headgear under discussion is almost certain 
to be a clever modification of a Paris model, 
so arranged by the important lady whose 
business it is to superintend the millinery 
department. It is she who decides of 
what materials the hat or toque is to be 
made, and what price is to be asked for it. 

At the London draper's each day, properly 
speaking, begins at 8.30, but as early as 7 
o'clock the young men assistants, known 
to the trade as " squadders," have started 
work, cleaning, dusting, and finally un- 
packing the goods which are to be shown 
and offered for .sale that day. The young 
ladies, who, in some great establishments 
I could name, number as many as 250, have 
nothing to do with what may be called 
"squadder" work, although they dress the 
windows of their departments ; and, of course, 
the more delicate goods — and this especially 
applies to millinery — are taken out of boxes 



and from the 
tissue paper in 
which the}' were 
carefully wrapped 
up the night be- 
fore, to display 
them to the best 
advantage. It 
may be assumed 
that particular 
care is bestowed 
on those windows 
where the newest 
millinery is dis- 
pla)-ed, as so 
much depends, 
when headgear is 
concerned, on a 
first impression. 
In most good 
houses every 
article for sale is 
marked in plain figures, and there is a 
" marking-off room," where everything is 
priced ; but this only applies to goods that 
are not made by the firm. Before a hat or 
toque, for instance, has left the workrooms 
it is marked by the head of the department, 
for she alone can know what it has cost and 
what the profit should be. It may interest 
some of those ladies who spend much of 
their time " at the draper's " to learn that 
the best and newest goods, especially those 
copied from the more recent Paris models, 
are always at once put in the window. It 
is there that they are first seen by the 
public. 

The best-looking young lady assistants 
are generally to be found in the millinery 
department ; for human nature being what 
it is, many a middle-aged plain customer will 
the more willingly invest in a hat when she has 
seen it gracefully poised above the pretty 
face of the young lady who has been told 
off to attend to her wants. Once the piece 
of headgear has been chosen, the delicate 
matter of payment comes. If the customer 
has an account, and is known to the as- 
sistant, the amount of her purchase is 
simply debited to her ; if, on the other hand, 
she is a casual purchaser, she is, of course, 
asked to pay ready cash, but it is also open 
to her to pay on delivery. 



LONDON'S DRAPERS. 



211 



The question of payment satisfactorily 
settled, the hat or toque is packed by the 
vendor, and sent down to the despatch-room, 
where — and this is rather a curious fact — 
the parcel is opened, to see if everything is 
all right, by one of the many porters and 
packers whose duty it is to finally do up the 
hat-box and place it in the delivery cart. 

Few ladies seem to care to begin their 
shopping before 1 1 o'clock, but by midday 
business is in full swing, and the outside 
porters are busily minding the pet dogs which, 
by a wise rule, are not allowed to accompany 
their mistresses through the great glass doors 
which admit them to the modern woman's 
El Dorado. 

The busiest times of the day are from 1 2 to 
I o'clock and from 3 to 5 o'clock ; but time 
has to be found for dinner, and the shop as- 
sistants in most great emporiums take their 
meals in five parties — half an hour being 
allowed for dinner and twenty minutes for 
tea. The mid-day meal consists of an ample 
supply of well-cooked food — hot in winter 
and generally cold in summer, everything 
being done to vary the diet and to make it 
palatable. 

Time was when much of the drapery 
business consisted of unmade-up goods. 
Ladies preferred to buy their materials, and 
have them made up either at home or by 



their own dressmakers. Now, however, the 
large.st and most profitable side of the 
drapery business is the sale of made-up 
goods. Customers will .sometimes arrive in 
the middle of the morning and ask to be 
shown a gown that they can wear the same 
evening ! Accordingly, an important side 
of the business is that of altering bodices and 
skirts to fit the buyer's figure ; and the 
workroom, though never seen by the public, is 
a very busy department of a modern drapery 
business. 

The half-yearly sales, which play so promi- 
nent a part in the lives of those connected with 
great drapery businesses, and also, it may be 
added, in that of some of their customers, 
who are always looking forward to " sale 
time," take place soon after Christmas and 
about Midsummer. During the days of 
the sale everything in a really good shop 
is, as a rule, " marked down," especially every- 
thing in the shape of a made-up garment, for 
these must be cleared off at an " alarming 
sacrifice " if need be ; and amazing bargains 
may be secured in the millinery departments, 
for the simple reason that a winter or sum- 
mer piece of headgear, if it be put away for 




212 



LIVING LONDON. 




LEFT OUTSIDE. 

twelve months, always acquires a worn 
look. 

The preparation for a season's sale goes 
on for many days previous to the date 
advertised, for, as we have said, in respectable 
establishments all the articles offered during 
the days of a sale are " marked down " — that 
is, their price is lowered — and this means an 
extraordinary amount of careful work and 
thought for all those concerned. On the days 
of a sale, especially when some attractive "line" 
is offered at what seems to the average 
shrewd customer an exceptionally low price, 
it is quite usual for a large crowd of ladies, 
each and all eager for the fray, to gather out- 
side the large plate-glass doors some half an 
hour before they are actually opened ; and the 
scene, when the magic hour of nine is struck, 
recalls nothing so much — if one may credit 
the remark made by a certain stalwart soldier 
who had been through more than one cam- 
paign — as that of a town being taken by as- 
sault ! Once the establishment is full the doors 
are again shut, and impatient customers are 
often kept waiting half an hour before they 
also are allowed to join the eager throng. 

The more popular " lines," especially cheap 
footgear — .shoes, for instance, at a shilling a 
pair — and very cheap gloves, are cleared out 



in the first hour. But there still remains 
plenty to satisfy the bargain hunter, the more 
so that, as the day goes on, fresh supplies are 
brought out ; and the woman who is aware 
of such simple facts as that light silks cannot 
be stored for any length of time without 
becoming spotted, or that a ver)- showy 
Paris model will generally be "marked down " 
to a third of its value, can often pick up, at 
any period of a genuine sale, articles for 
which she would have to pay at least fifty per 
cent, more under ordinary circumstances. 

During the sales weeks of the year the 
assistants have scarcely time to breathe, and 
the pleasant room which the managers of 
most leading emporiums provide as a resting- 
place for their " young ladies " is practically 
deserted, the latter finding it as much as they 
can do to get their meals within an hour of 
the proper time. 

Strangely enough, the employes of a drapery 
emporium rather like sale times, and it may 
be hinted that those shop assistants with 
any sense of humour thoroughly enjoy the 
experience, for all that is eccentric and 
peculiar in London femininity is there seen 
to most advantage. Again, the lady customer 
attending a sale is generally far less hard to 




A CASH DESK. 



LONDON'S DRAPERS. 



213 



please than she is on ordinary days ; the 
delightful thought that she is acquiring a 
series of bargains — even if the articles pur- 
chased by her will never be of the slightest 
use to either herself or her family — filling her 
with unwonted self-satisfaction. Many more 
sensible people, however, wait patiently for 
sale time and deliberately buy with a view 
to what is to fill their wardrobe the following 
year; yet it is, from the manager's point of 



secure their bargains at once. One type of 
customer whom the experienced saleswoman 
can detect almost at a glance is she who 
orders a great number of things to be paid 
for " on delivery," and who then instructs her 
parlourmaid or butler to refuse the parcels 
when they arrive the same evening or the 
next morning. 

The shop-walker, that elegantly dressed 
individual who seems to the casual observei 




A POSTAL ORDER ROOM. 



view, surprising to note how often a customer 
who has a chance of securing a real bargain 
in silk or fur will pass it by, and perhaps 
spend just as many pounds in purchasing 
cheap articles of wearing apparel — gloves, 
veils, and last, not least, blouses — which have 
only been " marked down " a few pence, or, 
in the case of a blouse, a couple of shillings. 

Although a considerable strain is put on 
the parcels department, generally situated, 
by the way, under the showrooms, it is 
remarkable how many ladies, when attending 
a sale, are content to take away their pur- 
chases, even if the latter be great in 
bulk. They seem to think that they must 



to have so little to do, and yet who is con- 
sidered so important a member of his 
staff by the managers of each emporium, 
finds his duties greatly lessened on the 
days of a sale. It is at ordinary times, 
when business is more or less slack, 
that the shop-walker who knows his business 
shows to advantage. It is he who then 
indicates to the hesitating customer where 
she may hope to find exactly what she is 
seeking, or, better still, where she may be 
persuaded to purchase some article of which 
she is not in any sense in want. 

It has often been asserted that women 
cannot be taught the business side of life. 



LONDON'S DRAPERS. 



215 



The best answer to this charge is that in 
the great drapery establishments the cash 
desk is almost always occupied by a girl 
clerk, who does her work well and civilly. 

An important and profitable branch of 
the work performed each day concerns what 
may be called the shopping by post depart- 
ment. This is carried on in the Postal Order 
Room. Many country cousins have an 
account at a London shop, and all such 
important customers must be answered by 
return, and their wants, if it be in any way 
humanly possible, supplied. 

On one side of life at the draper's it 
is not quite easy to touch, yet it plays a 
part of no small importance. Now and 
again, under " Police News," appears a para- 
graph stating that " Mrs. or Miss So-and-so, 
of such-and-such an address, was charged 
with stealing various articles, valued at so 

much, from Messrs. , Ltd." Of course, 

the world at large never hears of the in- 
numerable cases when ladies, detected in 
appropriating more or less valuable articles 
from the counters and stands, are not taken in 
charge, either because they happen to be 
connected with old and valued customers, 
or, more often still, because it is extremely 
difficult to actually catch such persons in 
the act. 

One method, often pursued by an intelli- 
gent and well-dressed shop-lifter, is to actually 
purchase and pay for, say, a pair of gloves, or 
a piece of real lace, and, while the shopwoman 
is obtaining change, or even when she is only 
making out the bill, the thief manages to 
pull over the counter several other pairs of 
gloves or pieces of lace, and then, stooping 
•down, stuffs them into her hand-bag, which 
has been previously placed on the ground 
in readiness for the operation. 

The true kleptomaniac, as differentiated 
from the ordinary thief, not content with 
taking a number of valuable articles from 
■one counter, will go through the whole shop 
annexing pieces of dress material, rolls of 
silk, half-a-dozen pairs of stockings, veils, 
and even such articles as pairs of boots and 
shoes, not one of which will fit her ! This 
type is far more easily detected and punished 
than her wiser and more artful sister who 



contents herself with only stealing articles 
from one counter, and who choo.ses pieces 
of valuable real lace, or lengths of beautiful 
embroidery, in preference to heavier or more 
cumbersome articles. 

In connection with each emporium is a 
regular detective service, and during a big 
sale twelve to twenty detectives are present 
in the shop. At these times every drapery 
business loses, in spite of the vigilance on 
the part of the detectives, a great deal of 
real value, mostly in fur and lace. 

It is difficult to over-estimate the responsi- 
bility borne during sale days by these 
detectives. Much is left to their discretion 
and tact, for it is not too much to say 
that the making on their part of a " mistake " 
— that is to say, the arresting of an innocent 
person — would do the establishment with 
which they are connected incalculable harm. 
So true is this, that often when a detective 
sees a lady walking off with, say, a valuable 
piece of lace, unless he has reason to suppose 
that the lady in question is really a pro- 
fessional thief, he simply follows her to the 
door, and, taking the article, which still bears 
the ticket on it, from her hand or from under 
her cloak, remarks suavely, " Excuse me, 
madam ; I will have this sent home for you." 
As a rule, the thief quickly disappears in 
the crowd, but if she is a hardened klepto- 
maniac she may reappear the very next day. 

Once the day's work is over — that is, once 
the doors are closed — the young lady employees 
have the whole evening to play in or to work 
for themselves ; they also have Saturday 
afternoons from two o'clock. They are not, 
however, allowed to go out from Saturday 
to Monday unless they can show a letter 
from their parents authorising them to do 
so, and stating where they are going. 
Those young ladies who remain in have 
pleasant sitting-rooms in which to spend 
their time, and plenty of books and games ; 
while the young men have various forms 
of indoor amusements, including billiards, 
and on fine Saturday afternoons can enjoy the 
national games of cricket and football, large 
pieces of land near London having been 
secured for that purpose by several of the 
leading drapery firms. 



2l6 




A WELL-KNOWN ESTABLISHMENT IN ST. JAMES'S STREET. 



HOISE-HINTING LONDON. 

By GEORGE R. SIMS. 



EVERY day in the year a certain number 
of people are consulting agents, or 
referring to the advertising columns of 
the newspapers, or driving or walking round 
the residential portions of London in search 
of a roof for their heads. The bulk of them 
are people who are already householders, but 
who wish to change their addresses. Some- 
times the change is due to prosperity, some- 
times to adversity, frequently to the increased 
accommodation required by the growing up 
of little boys and girls. In some cases, in 
fact in many cases, it is the mere desire for 
change. But we have not, fortunately, to 
concern ourselves with motives — our task is 
the lighter one of accompanying the Lon- 
doner in that series of adventurous expeditions 
commonly known as " house-hunting." 

For the wealthier class there are West-End 
firms who undertake the whole business. 
These firms have always in their hands the 
letting of a certain number of first-class resi- 
dences in the localities favoured by rank and 
fashion. The fashionable hou.se-hunter can- 
not go very far afield in search of his new 



address. Society has certain quarters in 
which it keeps itself " to itself " as much as 
possible in these days of the millionaire, 
native and imported ; therefore the fashion- 
able house-hunter is confined to one of the 
aristocratic squares or streets of the West 
or South-West. These houses are not gener- 
ally advertised, nor do they display as a rule 
the notice boards which allow the passer-by 
to know that they are to be let. They are 
placed in the hands of a firm whose speciality 
it is to deal in " town mansions." The 
people who desire such a property send to 
such a firm and request it to find them a 
residence. The firm indicates the residences 
on their books, and the rest is merely a 
matter for the solicitors of the two parties 
to the transaction. When the purchase or 
the leasing is completed the world is in- 
formed in the " Society " columns of the daily 
papers that Lord This or Lady That has 
taken Number So-and-so, Berkeley, or 
Cavendish, or Portman, or Eaton, or Grosvenor 
Square, or Park Lane, as the case may be. 
Occasionally photographs are taken of resi- 



HOUSE-HUNTING LONDON. 



217 



dential properties of the first class and may be 
seen in the front windows of, let us say, Messrs. 
E. and H. Lumley, in St. James's Street. The 
higher-class house furnishers are also house 
agents, and have generally on hand a number 
of photographs, thus enabling their clients to 
see what a house looks like without the 
trouble of going to it. If the photograph 
makes a good impression, 
personal inspection follows ; 
but in some cases houses, 
principally furnished houses 
let for the season or a limited 
period, are taken for clients 
abroad who see their new 
home for the first time when 
they drive to it from the 
railway station. 

But for the great body 
of house-hunters, the ordin- 
ary family folk who have 
many things to consider 
before their address is altered 
in the Post Office Directory, 
the process of house-hunting 
is at once more absorbing, 
more anxious, and more 
fatiguing. 

The time has come when 
Mr. and Mrs. Horace Brown 
feel that their present house 
is not large enough for them. 
They started housekeeping 
two in family, with a couple 
of servants ; now they are 
five in family, and they have 
three servants. Mr. Brown 
is in the City, and a busy 
man. He hates the idea of 
moving, but his wife has dinned into his ears 
morning, noon, and night that it is quite 
impossible they can stay where they are any 
longer, and has at last induced him to consent 
to the taking of a more desirable residence. 

But he absolutely refuses to take any part 
in the preliminary search ; he has his business 
to attend to. Once or twice on a Sunday he 
has been cajoled into taking a drive round 
the suburban district which Mrs. Brown 
" fancies " in order to look at the houses which 
are exhibiting boards ; but none of them have 
seemed quite the thing, and he has declined 
to make any further sacrifice of his Sunday's 
76 



rest to the contemplation of house agents' 
boards stuck up in front gardens ; though 
these boards, as will be .seen in our photo- 
graphic illustration, " A Choice of Agents," 
sometimes make a brave show and furnish 
quite a large amount of reading. 

So Mrs. Brown has to go hunting alone. 
Her instructions are to find the place 




SHOWN INTO THE DRAWING-ROO.M. 

that will suit, and then Mr. Brown will try 
to get away from the City for an hour or 
two to look at it. It is an anxious time 
for poor Mrs. Brown. She reads the ad- 
vertisements in the papers, she calls at house 
agents', she gets their lists, day after day she 
hurries off hither and thither to look at this 
desirable residence and that eligible villa; but 
there is always a " something." At one house 
which she would have liked very much there 
are an absurd number of fixtures to be taken ; 
another, which is all that could be desired in 
the way of accommodation, is next door to a 
church with a powerful peal of bells. In 



2l8 



LIVING LONDON. 




A\ INSl'ECTION BY THE DOG. 

another she discovers that the drainage is not 
above suspicion ; in }'et another that a rail- 
way runs at the bottom of the garden, and 
that every ten minutes the " desirable resi- 
dence " rocks with all the premonitory symp- 
toms of an earthquake. 

She goes back to the house agent and 
enters into fresh explanations, and he sup- 
plies her with a list of six houses, each of 
which he thinks will exactly suit her require- 
ments. This time she insists on her husband 
accompanying her. She is most anxious to 
settle ; she wants his moral support in assist- 
ing her to a decision. Mr. Brown is grump)', 
but eventually con.sents to sacrifice an 
afternoon, and they set out together. 

The first hou.se is empty, and in charge 
of a caretaker. The caretaker is a woman 
with two children and a husband. The 
husband is out of work, and at home ; he is 
smoking a pipe, and has it in his mouth when 



he opens the door. Mrs. Brown 
boldly attacks the situation. She 
has come to see the house, and 
hands the man the agent's order 
to view. The man scowls, goes to 
the top of the stairs, and calls out, 
" 'Lizer — somebody to see the 
'ouse." 

'Lizer appears, wiping her hands 
on her apron, takes the card 
gingerly, and flings open the dining- 
room door \\ithout a word. Mr. and 
Mrs. Brown look at the dining- 
room, exchange a few remarks in 
a low \'oice — nobody ever talks 
loudly while viewing an empty 
house, for there is always a sense of 
restraint in the process — and come 
out into the hall. 'Lizer flings open 
the door on the other side, and says, 
"Drorin' room." While Mr. and Mrs. 
Brown are looking at the drawing- 
room and mentally measuring it a 
baby begins to cry in the basement, 
and 'Lizer goes to the top of the 
stairs and shouts down some do- 
mestic instructions to her husband. 
When Mr. and Mrs. Brown come 
out of the drawing-room 'Lizer con- 
ducts them upstairs. She walks 
much after the manner of a clergy- 
man preceding a coffin to the grave- 
side. She flings open the bedroom doors 
one after the other. Presently she gathers 
from the remarks of the visitors that the 
house is likely to suit them, and instantly 
her manner changes. She becomes more 
friendly, she volunteers little communications 
as to the length of time the house has been 
empty, she thinks that the reason no one 
has taken it is that it is damp. She even 
confesses that she and her husband have 
suffered from rheumatism a good deal since 
they have lived in it. She doesn't quite 
volunteer this information, she allows it to 
be dragged from her as it were. Mr. Brown 
is impressed with her candour ; Mrs. Brown 
is grateful. When the inspection is com- 
pleted 'Lizer is presented with a couple of 
shillings. " Thank goodness that woman 
was honest," says Mr. Brown when he gets 
outside ; " I shall save doctors' bills for the 
next seven years ; for I liked the house." 



HOUSE-HUNTING LONDON. 



219 



Inside, 'Lizer joins her husband in the 
kitchen. " They looked like taking it," she 
says; "but I told 'em it was terrible damp, 
and that settled 'em." The man heaves a 
sigh of relief. To have had to turn out 
just now would have been decidedly incon- 
venient. 

The next house visited by the Browns is 
occupied. The family are still in it. The 
housemaid, who opens the door, looks at the 
card and says, " Oh, to see the house ! " and 
vanishes, leaving the visitors standing in the 
outer hall. 

When she returns she says, " This way, 
please," and opens a door. Mr. and Mrs. 
Brown are about to enter when they discover 
that members of the family are there. The 
members of the family try to look agreeable, 
but glare. Mr. and Mrs. Brown remain on 
the threshold and just peer in. " Thank you, 
that will do," says Mrs. Brown. The same 
process is repeated in the next room, where a 
young lady is practising at the piano. " I — 
er — think you'd better go and see the bed- 
rooms," says Mr. Brown somewhat nervously 
to his better half; " I'll stay here." And he 
remains patiently in the hall, like a 
man who has brought a parcel from the 
draper's and is waiting for the money. The 
dog of the family suddenly appears and eyes 
him suspiciously. Mr. Brown feels rather 
nervous, especially as the dog approaches 
to make a closer scrutiny of his legs. For the 



first time in his life Mr. Brown is sorry he has 
never kept a dog ; he has always understood 
that if you keep a dog strange dogs discover 
it quickly, and become friendly. Just as he 
is wondering whether it would not be wise 
to call for a member of the family, in order 
that it may be explained to the animal that 
he is not there with dishonest intentions, a 
young gentleman makes his appearance, and, 
hurriedly seizing the dog by the collar, drags 
him away and pushes him through the swing 
door at the top of the kitchen stairs. " Keep 
Bill downstairs," he calls out ; " some people 
are looking over the house." Then he turns 
to Mr. Brown half apologetically. " 'Bliged 
to be careful with him," he says ; " he bit the 
washing man yesterday." 

Presently Mrs. Brown comes downstairs, 
looking hot and flurried. " Do you want to 
go into the kitchen ? " says the housemaid. 
"No — I- — er — think not," Mrs. Brown 
stammers. Mr. Brown is greatly relieved. 
In a few seconds he and his wife are outside. 
" Oh, my dear," she says, " I didn't see the 
house, I only went into two bedrooms. The 
eldest daughter was lying down in one with a 
bad headache, and there was an old lady in 
the other— the grandmother I think — who 
has epileptic fits. She was in one then, 
and, of course, I said I wouldn't disturb her." 
" And I've nearly been bitten by a savage 
dog," exclaims Mr. Brown. " No more house- 
hunting for me ! " 




LET AS FAST AS BUILT. 



220 



LIVING LONDON. 



with STABLINC«over 

SacresofGARDENjMEADOWS 

' . = TO BE LET 

>,^ua>Aiw>Ad<^54B0IXXJCH,,t5ZO<ANCERYUNE; 

-'^•}'J'r^.^::!r"!iyii>tI)iiyiiw/u/i„ii,l;i^,.,„niMiir... 



A CHOICE OF AGENTS. 



But the afternoon is still young, and a 
house must be found, so at last he is pacified, 
and calls with his wife at the next address. 
Here everything is satisfactory. The house 
is admirably adapted for their requirements ; 
it is sunny, it is dry, there is an excellent 
garden, a good view from the windows, and 
the caretaker says there are two " parties " 
after it. Mr. Brown says, " Ah ! this will do ; 
we'll go to the agent's at once, and see about 
the fixtures, and settle." The agent is at the 
West-End. They take a hansom and drive 
to his place of business at once. On the way 
they discuss the rooms. Mr. Brown selects 
one for a smoking-room, Mrs. Brown decides 
on one with a sunny outlook for her boudoir. 
In two of the rooms the old carpets will fit, 
which is a great blessing. They arrive at the 
agent's, and inform the clerk that they will 
take Laburnum Villa. The clerk goes into 
the private office, and returns quickly. " Mr. 

is very sorry, sir, but he has just had 

a telegram to say a gentleman who looked 
over the house yesterday, and had the refusal 
till to-day, has wired to say he will take it." 

What Mr. Brown says does not matter. 
Mrs. Brown feels inclined to cry. It is so 
annoying ; and it is getting late. Instead of 
seeing any more houses, the Browns go home, 
and the evening repast is a gloomy one. Mr. 
Brown is " sick of the whole business." He 
talks wildly about staying where they are — 



they will have the children's beds moved into 
Mrs. Brown's room, and he will sleep in the 
coal cellar. 

But with the morning comes reason, and 
more house-hunting. Eventually the Browns 
succeed in securing a house after their own 
hearts, and, after paying for about forty 
pounds' worth of fixtures which are of no 
earthly use to them, they move in. And 
once in Mr. Brown declares that he won't 
move out or go house-hunting again as long 
as he lives. 

Flats, with all their advantages, do not 
always retain their charm for Londoners. 
There is a great difficulty in getting good 
servants, for Mary Jane looks upon life on the 
third or fourth floor of a huge block of build- 
ings as too far removed from the world below. 
In many flats the kitchen and the servants' 
rooms look out on back streets or back 
gardens, and so the servant difficulty forces 
many a flat family into house-hunting. Then 
comes the difficulty that the furniture of a 
flat does not always suit houses which are 
differently arranged, and generally much more 
spacious in their room measurement. The 
flat house-hunter therefore hunts generally 
for a house which can be fitted and furnished 
with the flat " belongings," and makes many 
anxious inquiries as to rates and taxes, which 
were covered by the flat rent. The flat people 
invariably want more garden than anyone 



HOUSE-HUNTING LONDON. 



221 



else, because they have been without a garden 
for so long ; and, having had the use of a lift, 
they look at stairs with a critical eye. To 
find a house that will satisfy the family 
moving from a flat is one of the house agents' 
most difficult tasks. 

The small house-hunter is perhaps the most 
genuine hunter of all. She — it is generally 
the wife, for the husband is in employment 
and not his own master — covers ten miles in 
her search to the better class house-hunter's 
one. She has no agent to assist her, 
and not only is the rent a great con- 
sideration, but she must make sure that 
the 'bus or train service is convenient for her 
husband's daily journeys to and from his place 
of employment. As quarter day approaches 
the young wife becomes feverish in her an.xiety. 
Notice has been given to her landlord, and 
another tenant has been secured. Visions of 
her household goods piled on a van with no 
address to be given to the driver, and herself 
and little ones homeless in the street on a 
pouring wet day, haunt her imagination. At 
last she is in the condition when she will take 
anything. She sees a place that will suit — 
though it is not quite what she would have 
liked — and she hopes and prays that it will 
remain vacant till Saturday, for on Saturday 
afternoon her husband can go and see it. If 
he says it will do, her principal terror is 
removed — men's ideas of houses differ so 
much from women's. At last the house is 



taken, and the references given. The refer- 
ences are a worry to many men who have no 
banker. It is a delicate thing to write to 
a friend in a good position and .say " Will you 
be my reference?" As a rule, in small pro- 
perties the last landlord's reference is sufficient. 
But many landlords ask for two. The second 
reference keeps many an honest man awake 
of nights just before quarter day. 

The way in which the population of London 
drifts and changes, and flits from house to 
house and from neighbourhood to neighbour- 
hood, is always wonderful, but the most 
remarkable feature of the " general post " 
which takes place on the great moving days 
— Lady Day and Michaelmas Day — is that 
all the new villa residences springing up in 
every direction around the Metropolis are 
snapped up almost before the slates are on 
them. Hardly are the windows in before a 
large " Let " is whited on them. The old 
neighbourhoods are still densely inhabited, 
the boards after quarter day are few and far 
between ; but in some mysterious way a new 
population is continually entering the capital, 
and the stream of house-hunters spreads 
itself over neighbourhoods that a year 
previously were green fields and meadows and 
country lanes. A year later they will have 
their streets of thriving shops, their pawn- 
broker and hotel, their local Bon March^, 
their telephone call office, and their local 
newspaper. 




MOVING IN. 



222 



MISIC-HALL LONDON. 

By H. CHANCE NEWTON. 



ONE of the most remarkable developments 
in Living London of late years is that 
of the modern music-halls — or Theatres 
of Varieties, as they are mostly called, except 
when the_\' are described as Empires or 
Palaces. The variety form of entertainment 
now so prevalent is a real boon to those 
amusement-seekers who cannot, even if they 
would, indulge in playgoing at the so-called 
" regular " theatres. Working hours have 
for many to be continued until it is too late 
to reach home in time to come out again to 
the play — especially for those who are only 
able to afford unbookable seats. 

For these hampered toilers the music-hall 
or variety form of entertainment is the only 
thing of the show kind available. They can 
take or leave the entertainment at any hour 
they please — the programme given being, of 
course, everything by " turns " and nothing 
long. Besides all this — and it is an important 
factor — there is the chance of enjoying a 
smoke, a luxury prohibited in all theatres 
run under the Lord Chamberlain's licence. 

The most striking examples of the modern 
variety theatres in London are the Empire, 
the Alhambra, and the London Hippodrome. 
Next to these would undoubtedly rank those 
other popular West-End resorts, the Palace 
Theatre, the Oxford, the Tivoli, and the 
London Pavilion, together with the more 
recently established Coliseum and the con- 
verted Lyceum Theatre. 

The Empire is one of the most beautiful 
buildings, as regards its interior, to be found 
in the Metropolis. Its entertainment is of a 
high class, and its gorgeous ballets and other 
e.vtensive and expensive spectacular produc- 
tions are patronised not only, in addition to 
its large general audience, by our " gilded 
youth," but by all sorts of society folk. 

The Alhambra — a huge Moorish building 
— is, in its status and its style of entertain- 
ment, similar to the Empire, with the differ- 
ence that it claims — and rightly — precedence 



of all neighbouring places of the sort. Indeed, 
its own proud description is, "The Premier 
Variety Theatre of London." This house 
was certainly the first to introduce the big 
ballet and spectacular form of entertainment. 
For many years a large proportion of visitors 
to the Metropolis made the Alhambra their 
first variety "house of call." Nowadays, 
however, these visitors must perforce take in 
the Empire and the other important variety 
palaces. 

A few steps from these huge halls is the 
London Hippodrome, one of the most 
remarkable buildings in the great city. 
Although so close to the Empire and the 
Alhambra, the entertainments and the audi- 
ences are of a totally difterent character. 
The Hippodrome programme is principally 
made up of equestrian, gymnastic, and 
menagerie "turns," plus a burletta or pan- 
tomime. This last must include at least one 
aquatic scene of some sort, in which the 
comedians (most of them expert swimmers) 
disport on or in the large lake which, by a 
wonderful mechanical process, when required, 
fills up the circus ring. The Hippodrome's 
audiences are not of the lounging"after dinner" 
or " round the town " kind, but are in a great 
measure formed of family groups, headed by 
pater or mater, or both. Indeed, most of 
its 'patrons are of the sedate domestic sort. 
There is no doubt that the fact of the Hippo- 
drome being, like so many of the new large 
variety theatres, forbidden a liquor licence, 
is in itself (however unfair it may seem) an 
attraction for most of those who take their 
youngsters to such entertainments. The 
Hippodrome — the auditorium of which is 
a sight — resembles the Alhambra and the 
Empire in one respect, namely that not a few 
of its artistes are foreigners, and that many 
of its performances are in dumb show. Our 
photographic illustration on page 224 
depicts a scene beneath the arena of the 
Hippodrome. Here are heavy wooden 




READY TO PASS IN (" WONDERLAND "). 




WAITING TO GO ON AT A MUSIC-HALL. 



224 



LIVING LONDON. 



" properties " about to be con\eyed abo\e, 
while " supers " and stage hands are crowded 
together in readiness for their particular 
duties. 

The O.xford, the Tivoli, and the London 
Pavilion are likewise sumptuous if somewhat 
smaller establishments. At these resorts, 
however, comic and " serio " singing, sand- 
wiched with short acrobatic, dancing, and 
trick cycling " acts," and fifteen or twenty 
minutes' sketches, are the rule. The best 



Andre Messager'sZrt Basoche, Fortune frowned 
upon the enterprise. Ere long Sir Augustus 
Harris transformed it into a variety theatre, 
with its present name. Its entertainment is 
one of the best of its class, not only as regards 
its singers and dancers, pantomimists, mimics, 
sketch artists, and others of all nations and 
denominations, but also its beautiful and 
realistic biograph pictures. 

At the Coliseum, which has an electric re- 
volving stage,fourperformancesare given daily, 




BENEATH THE ARENA (HIPPODROME). 



available artistes are engaged at these three 
houses. Oftentimes the same " stars " appear 
on the same evening at the three halls, which 
are virtually run by one .syndicate. When a 
comic or a " serio " " star " books an engage- 
ment with this syndicate, he or she is required 
to stipulate by contract not to appear at any 
other hall within a radius of so many 
miles. This " barring out " clause, as it is 
called, has also of late prevailed in connec- 
tion with certain of the larger music halls in 
suburban I-ondon. 

The Palace Theatre, in Shaftesbury Avenue, 
is a beautiful building, which was opened 
by Mr. D'Oyley Carte as the English Opera 
House. In spite of such excellent operatic 
works as Sir Arthur Sullivan's Ivanhoe and 



the entertainment being principally singing 
and dancing ; while the Lyceum, with its two 
" houses " a night, resembles what are called 
"Empires." In each cheap seats are the rule. 

It is no wonder that the old-time stuffy 
music-hall has been killed by such places as 
the splendid variety houses referred to, to say 
nothing of those other large and admirably 
conducted halls such as the Royal in Holborn, 
the Metropolitan in the Edgware Road, the 
Canterbury in the densely crowded Lambeth 
district, and the Paragon in the still more 
densely crowded Mile End region. 

Besides these resorts there have sprung 
up several vast " Empires " such as those 
respectively at New Cross, Holloway, Strat- 
ford, Shepherd's Bush, and Hackney, all 



MUSIC-HALL LONDON. 



225 



under the direction of the wealthy syndicate that runs the London 
Hippodrome and a number of "Empires" in the provinces. 

If one should desire to get some notion of how the " toiling, moiling 
myrmidons " (as Beranger calls them) patronise these new " Empires," 
he has only to watch outside any of them just before the doors are 
opened for the first or second " house." For be it 
noted that two entire performances are given at 
each nightly, and at small prices of admission. 
Moreover, the programmes always contain several 
highly-paid variety artistes — whether of the comic 
singing, acrobatic, canine, or sketch kind. Indeed, 
it is not at all unusual to find here a favourite 
performer in receipt of at least one hundred pounds 
per week ; not to mention this or that leading 
serio-comic lady or " Comedy Queen " at a salary 
not much lower. Yet, in spite of such 
princely salaries, the prices of admission 
are small, ranging, say, from two shillings 
or eighteenpence in the best parts to 
threepence in the gallery. 

That these " Empires," " Palaces," and 
similar halls are run not only with ex- 
cellent programmes but 



placed be- 
fore them all 
sorts of 
"turns" be- 
sides those 
above-men- 
tioned, and 



also on strictly proper 
lines is proved by the fact 
that, moderate though the 
admission prices may be, 
the patrons come from 
some of the best parts of 
Hampstead, Stoke Newing- 
ton, Catford, Blackheath, 
Woodford, and 
so forth. Here 
recreation - 
seekers may — 
and do — have 





TYPES OF MUSIC-HALL 
PERFORMEKS. 

77 



comprising many examples, 
such as conjurers, acrobats, 
performing elephants, seals, 
bears, instrumentalist.s — 
comic and otherwise. Often 
be found old stagers 
or juvenile performers of dramatic 
sketches, sometimes made up of boiled- 
down plays — even of Hamlet, in a 
twenty-minutes' version of that play. 

To those amusement-seekers who 
may prefer to take their variety enter- 
tainment in a rough-and-ready form 
there are still such haunts as that 
Whitechapel resort fancifully named 
"Wonderland." In this big hall are 
provided entertainments of the most 
extraordinary description. They in- 
clude little plays, songs, and sketches, given first in 
Yiddish dialect and afterwards translated into more or 
less choice English by, as a rule, a Hebraic interpreter. 
This interpreter often improves the occasion by calling 
the attention of kind — and mostly alien — friends in 
front to certain side shows consisting of all sorts of 
armless, legless, skeleton, or spotted " freaks " scattered 
around the recesses of this great galleryless hall. When once the 
" freaks " have been e.xamined, or the " greeners " and other foreign 
and East-End " sweated " Jew toilers have utilised the interval to indulge 
in a little light refreshment according to their respective tastes, the 
Yiddish sketches and songs — comic and otherwise — are resumed until 
" closing time." 

It is, however, on its Boxing Nights (which in this connection means 



226 



LIVING LONDON. 



Mondays and Saturdays) that "Wonderland" 
is to be seen in its most thrilling form. 
Then it is indeed difficult either to get in 
or to get out. In the first place it is hard 
to get in because of the great crowds of 
hard - faring — often hard - faced — East - End 
worshippers of the fistic art ; several t\-pes 
of which are to be seen in our photographic 
illustration on page 223. In the second 
place, if \'ou do contrive to get in you 




PERP'ORMING DOGS. 

speedily find yourself so hemmed in by 
a .sardine-like packed mob that all egress 
seems hopeless. 

Several other extremely typical East-End 
variety resorts, each of a totally different 
kind, are close at hand. One is the huge 
Paragon Theatre of Varieties, further east 
in the Mile End Road. Another is the 
much smaller Cambridge Music-Hail, which 
is in Commercial Street, a little way west- 
ward from Toynbee Hall. There are also 
the Queen's Music-Hall at Poplar, the Royal 
Albert at Canning Town, and the Eastern 
Empire at Bow. 

In spite of its cheap prices and its seeth- 
ing audiences, the Paragon entertainment is 
exactly on a par with those given in the 
Wcst-l'Lnd and South of London Variety 
Theatres. Indeed, the entertainment at the 
Paragon is mostly identical with that supplied 
at the Canterbury, Westminster Bridge Road, 
and is under the same s^mdicate. As for the 
Canterbury, the better class South London 



tradesfolk and toilers go there, excepting, of 
course, when they visit the newer and equally 
well managed South of London variety shows. 
The Cambridge Music - Hall, between 
Spitalfields and Shoreditch, deserves a few 
special lines. In point of fact, ever since the 
time when, years ago, it was converted from 
a .s\-nagogue into a music-hall, the Hebrew 
residents of the locality have made it a 
point of honour to attend the Cambridge. 

With them they 
often bring not only 
their wives, but also 
their black-curled, 
black - eyed infants, 
who may often be 
seen toddling calmly 
about the stalls — 
especially during the 
earlier of the two 
" houses " per night. 

Round the corner 
in Shoreditch is the 
London Music-Hall, 
wherein the stranger 
who pays his first 
visit will undoubtedly 
fancy for the nonce 
that he has lost his 
way and has by acci- 
dent strayed into one of the best West- 
End halls. 

Further north there are several more or less 
large and more or less " classy " variety 
houses : for example, the two " houses " per 
night resort, the Euston, opposite St. Pancras 
Station ; the Bedford, in Camden Town ; the 
Islington Empire, which is next door to the 
Agricultural Hall ; the old-established music- 
hall, Collins's, on Islington Green ; and the 
newer Palaces atWalthamstow and Tottenham. 
The west-central district and southern 
suburbs are also well provided for in a 
music-hall sense. Among others, one notes 
the old Middlesex, or " Mogul," in Drury 
Lane ; the Granville, at Walham Green ; 
Empires at Balham and Deptford ; an 
Empress at Brixton ; a Royal Standard at 
Pimlico ; and a Star at Bermondsey ; and 
Palaces at Camberwell, Chelsea, the London 
Road (Southwark), and Croydon. To add 
to the number, the old Surrey Theatre is 
now run on music-hall lines. Besides these 



MUSIC-HALL LONDON. 



227 



may be mentioned Gatti's in Westminster 
Bridge Road, a Grand at Clapham Junction, 
and a Palace at Hammersmith. 

Like the halls themselves, the agents who 
supply the managers with artistes at so 
much per cent, commission on the salaries 
have, too, not only much improved in 
character, but have in many cases migrated 
from their former dingy haunts in the York 
Road, Lambeth, to more commodious — not 
to say palatial — offices in or around the 
Strand, the Haymarket, and elsewhere. 
Some few of them, however, still have their 
offices near a well-known tavern at a corner 
of York Road ; and at certain hours a large 
number of minor music-hall entertainers and 



Nowadays the music-hail ranks include large 
numbers of the worthiest of citizens. And, 
what is still better, they have combined 
together of late years to organise several 
protective associations, such as the Variety 
Club and the Music - Hall Railway Rates 
Association, as well as to found some excel- 
lent charities for benefiting their brethren out 
of health — or out of work — and to provide 
for the widows and orphans of comrades 
who have fallen by the way. 

The chief of these charities is the Music- 




AT THE CORNER OK YORK ROAD. 



their agents may — as shown in the above 
illustration — still be seen congregating near 
this old-established hostelry. 

Music-hall "artistes" (as they love to call 
themselves) have also vastly improved. Not 
many years ago these were mostly shiftless 
and thriftless from the "stars" downward. 



Hall Benevolent Fund, a very fine organisa- 
tion, the committee of which consists of many 
of the most important and most honourable 
men to be found in any department of 
life. From time to time the smaller associa- 
tions assist their parent fund, or the Music- 
Hall Home for the Sick and Aged, by 



:28 



LIVING LONDON. 



arranging matinees or sports. In the case 
of the Music-Hail Railway Rates Associa- 
tion all the surplus of the money subscribed 
thereto for the purposes of getting the fares 
reduced for travelling " artistes " is handed 
over to one or other of the aforesaid charities. 

And though the members of the smaller 
music-hall societies delight to call themselves 
by such names as " Water Rats," " Terriers," 
and " J's," and to dress themselves as ostriches, 
savages, cowboys. Red Indians, and so on 
at their annual sports, or to disport as comic 
cricketers in all sorts of extraordinary cos- 
tumes — what does it matter, seeing that they 
do it all for charit)''s sake ? Thus, by draw- 
ing vast crowds of the general public, they add 
substantially to the funds of their excellent 
charities. 

As will be seen from the photographic 
illustration on page 223, the " behind the 
scenes" life of Music-Hail London is not 
without its humours. In " Waiting to Go 
On " we have, indeed, a motley throng of 
variety " turns." These include a famous 
" serio " in Early Victorian " dandy " cos- 
tume ; a popular " comic " in the usual 
battered hat and ill-fitting clothes which 
such comedians always adopt ; a celebrated 



conjurer, a couple of clever " descriptive " 
singers, a noted strong man, and several 
others. This " Waiting to Go On " repre- 
sents, of course, quite a different state of 
things from the arrangements in a regular 
theatre, where every entrance and exit is 
fixed, and where the players have to report 
themselves, as a rule, some time before the 
curtain rises. Music-hall entertainers must, 
if they wish to earn a remunerative amount 
per week, do three or four " turns " a night ; 
and in order to travel from hall to hall, a 
brougham — or, in the case of a troupe, a 
private omnibus — has to be provided. 
When they arrive they are naturally in a 
hurry to get their work over, and are apt 
to get in each other's way, either in the 
dressing-room or at the wings. As most 
music-hall entertainers start from home 
already " made up," and even sometimes 
" change " in their vehicles en route, it does 
not take them long to be ready for their 
respective " turns " ; and their punctuality is 
remarkable. 

To sum up, it may in common fairness be 
said that without its Palaces of Variety and 
its Music-Halls Living London would only be 
half alive. 




BEFORE THE DOORS OPEN 
(LONDON PAVILION). 



229 




ATTACKED BY T«0. 



HOOLIGAN LONDON. 

By CLARENCE ROOK. 



IF you will take a walk — it will be a pretty- 
long one — round the inner circle of 
London, and keep your eyes open, you 
will see many interesting things. And, if 
your eyes are open for human character 
rather than for buildings or historical 
associations, there is one type that will 
probably remain as a lasting impression. 
Start from the Elephant and Castle, and 
work westward through Lambeth, cross the 
river to Chelsea, fetch Netting Hill in the 
circuit round by the Euston Road and 
Pentonville, and then take Bethnal Green 
on your way down to the Commercial Road, 
and back again across the Tower Bridge for 
a glance at the Old Kent Road and Wal- 
worth and the Borough. 

Whatever else you fail to notice on 
that walk, you will scarcely fail to notice 
this : the persistence of a particular type 
of boy. He is somewhere between fourteen 
and nineteen years of age, but he is under- 
sized and underfed. You will find him 
selling newspapers, or sitting on the tail of 
a van, or loafing among the cabs at a stand ; 



you will find him playing pitch-and-toss, 
with a sentry on the look out for prying 
policemen, on any convenient bit of waste 
ground ; or you may spy him at a game of 
cards — more especially on Sunday — on a 
deserted barge in the Pool. But you will 
not find him among the crowds that come 
at twelve and six o'clock out of the factories, 
or filter at odd hours from the big printing 
establishments. The boy of this special type 
which 3'ou cannot fail to notice has no fixed 
purpose or permanent employment, and he 
shows it in his face. He has found no place 
in the orderly evolution of society. He is 
a member of his Majesty's Opposition — the 
permanent Opposition to law and order 
which every big city develops. 

Before you cross the river again on your 
return journey, look a little closer. It is 
Saturday night, when half London is at 
leisure, and the other half ministering to its 
demand for " bread and games." The man 
who keeps the big cofiee-stall near the end 
of the bridge is making ready for his 
customers ; and the policeman who stands 



230 



LIVING LONDON. 



hard by stamps his feet to keep them warm. 
He is not permitted to take a walk, for it 
is his business to see that the disorder about 
the coffee-stall does not pass reasonable 
limits. But things are quiet enough at 
present, and the man in a reefer jacket, 



shoulders slightly hunched and elbows close 
to the side, which marks the London street 
boy. The policeman at the coffee-stall looks 
knowingly at them as they pass. He knows 
well enough that the belt which this boy is 
carefully tightening serves other purposes 




PITCH AND TOSS. 



bowler hat, and thick boots, who ostentatiously 
ignores the policeman, is quite conspicuously 
a plain clothes constable. Now and then, 
among the strollers and the women returning 
from market, there passes along a boy — 
sometimes two or three together — walking 
swiftly and with evident purpose. They 
are not nicely dressed ; though the night 
is cold there is not an overcoat among 
them ; but their jackets are buttoned tight, 
neckcloths supply the place of collars, and 
they walk with the curious light tread, 



than that of dress ; he knows that the 
unusual stiffness of that boy's arm is 
probably due to the presence of an iron 
bar up the sleeve. But there is no law 
which compels the wearing of braces instead 
of belts, and the policeman, from experience 
of his own, deduces the task which lies before 
some of his colleagues across the river. 

On the other side of the bridge these 
furtive figures scatter through the streets to 
left and right ; for they are moving to an 
attack on Pentonville, all directed by one 



HOOLIGAN LONDON. 



231 





WAISTBELT. 



mastermind. These a broken whip. 
are the boys from 
the Borough who 
have developed a 
feud with the boys 
of Pentonville, and 
their leader, a lad 
of seventeen, with a 
chopper in his breast pocket and some notion 
of tactics in his head, has foreseen the 
position of the enemy and designs 
to place him between two fires. A 
quarter of an hour later the move- 
ment has been developed. The 
Pentonville boys have been caught 
in one of those little streets off the 
Goswell Road. Belts are off, and 
the buckles swinging ; sleeves lose 
their stiffening of iron ; here and 
there a fortunate boy has a cheap 
pistol, which startles quiet citizens 
and occasionally kills them. The 
fighting is independent of the Geneva 
Convention ; there are no rules, only 
a general desire, born of the instinct 
of self-preservation, to get at once 
to close quarters, for fist and muscle 
are less deadly than buckle and bar 
and pistol. Then come the police — 
if there are enough within earshot. 
But that is generally after the fight 
is decided, and only the wounded 
appear next morning at the police- 
court and give texts for letters to 
the papers. The rest scatter and run, to 
gather again at the river. And if you are 
at the aforesaid coffee-stall at one in the 
morning you may see and hear the whoop- 
ing victors wheeling back the disabled leader 
on a barrow — doubtless borrowed. 

That is a typical instance of the feuds 
which rage between the street boys of the 
various London districts. In this case the 
cause of war was the oldest in the world, 
a Borough Helen abstracted by a Pentonville 
Paris. But these m.ysterious feuds exist, and 
are fought out, between many London 
districts, and there are times when a Lisson 



g 



n. 

III. 

I, CRUCIFIX. II. A 
KIND OF DAGGER. 
III. LOADED STICK. 



Grove boy would go east of Tottenham 
Court Road at his peril. All round London 
these gangs are ready for provocation. The 
organisation is loose, and depends mainly 
on some masterful spirit of lawlessness in 
direct succession to the original Patrick 
Hooligan, of Lambeth. But whether at 
Bethnal Green or Wandsworth, Pentonville 
or Fulham, so soon as the King of Misrule 
arises the ground of quarrel is assured. 

Sometimes the leader of a gang develops 
qualities of organisation and command which 
inspire respect among the police, who know 
quite well that the Hooligan is always on 
the verge of crime, and often topples over. 
Such was the head of a gang which 
terrorised Lambeth. He was only 
about seventeen years of age, but he 
had had a thoroughly good criminal 
education, and, while he had effected 
a burglary or two, picked up his 
living mainly by petty thieving. But 
he had acquired a remarkable in- 
fluence over the boys of Lambeth. 
He made it a point of honour for 
every boy who aspired to member- 
ship of his gang to show a shattered 
window, a smashed door, or a broken 
head — the broken head opened the 
way, as it were, to a commission in 
the gang. He had no settled resi- 
dence ; that were unadvisable ; but 
the boys knew where to find him 
and ask for their orders for the day. 
And he collected about him as enter- 
prising and capable a horde of young 
ruffians as you could wish to avoid 
on a winter's evening. 

For this lawlessness inevitably leads 
to crime. Street fighting is fun ; but why 
should not the lessons it teaches be turned 

to profit ? I-'rom 
cracking heads for 
love to bashing 
" toffs " for gain is a 
short step, and the 
boy who has served 
his apprenticeship in 
a gang — such as that 




WAISTBELT. 



LOADED STICK. 
HOOLIGAN WEAPONS. 



232 



LIVING LONDON. 



of Lambeth — is quite willing and able to 
commit an unprovoked assault on another's 
enemy for half-a-crown down and another 
half-a-crown when the job is done. And we 
often read the result in the " police intelli- 
gence" without a thought of the power of 
the capitalist who has five shillings and an 
enemy. Nor is the step from street fighting 
to highway robbery much longer. Imagine 
a couple of boys, brought up to the street 
fighting in which there are no rules, with no 
fear of God, man, or constable before their 
eyes, and with no money in their pockets — 
imagine them face to face with a lonely 
wayfarer in evening dress, carrying presum- 
ably a watch and a sovereign purse. It is 
the simplest thing in the world. One boy 
whips the overcoat back and imprisons the 
victim's arms ; the other goes through the 
pockets. The work of a moment, and so 
easy ! No wonder the Hooligan turns his 
sport to account ! The sandbag, too, is 
handy. It is an American importation, and 
has made some reputation in New York. 
Unlike the bludgeon, it leaves no visible 
mark ; unlike the cheap pistol, it makes no 
noise. It is easily hidden up the sleeve 
till required ; and a well-directed crack over 
the head with a sandbag — especially if the 
sand has been damped — will stun the 
strongest man for several .minutes. Not 
only gain, but also revenge, is a motive for 
the Hooligan assault, and the existence of 
a gang which had not been suspected was 
proved by the following letter which — 
marked " urgent " — turned up beneath the 
nose of an editor of a morning paper : — 



' Sir, — For your 



■ cheek in put one of our 



gang away we have Past a Rule that we will have 
your Life you will not know when we will be in 
your Liver tomorrow Saturday." 

This note, grubby from the hand that 
delivered it, was signed by the name of 
the boy who was " Secterary " to the Cam- 
berwell gang. The editor is still alive. But 
shortly afterwards, in the small hours of the 
morning, one of the compositors was set 
upon and nearly killed by a gang of boys 
who caught him at the southern end of 
Blackfriars Bridge. 

The Hooligan is a worshipper of muscle, 
quite apart from criminal application, and 



to him the latest hero of the ring is a god. 
His saints are the wearers of the gloves in 
those obscure boxing contests which take 
place, mostly on Saturday night, in all 
kinds of dim holes and corners of London, 
where if you wear a collar you are assumed 
to be a detective. There is one of these 
places tucked away under a railway arch 
in a certain dark street off Lambeth Walk. 
You enter through a sort of hole in a big 
gateway, and after stumbling forward tumble 
into a square room, lighted by a flaring 
gas-jet swung from the roof Space is 
limited, and you sit close packed around 
the square — which is called a ring. Row 
upon row of eager faces ; eyes fixed on the 
proprietor, in whose breast is locked the 
secret of the next fight. The lowest row 
is composed of the youngest — those who 
came first. Above are men who have fought 
their fights and apparently lost them. 
Highest of all appear the cap of an 
inspector of police and the helmet of a 
constable, for we are within the rules. 
The boys step into the ring ; their names 
are announced — not their real names, for 
the ring's traditions are as insistent as 
those of the stage, and with better reason. 
But the inspector, cocking an eye at the 
boy who turns out in fighting tights with 
a torso as clean and bright as a new pin, 
recognises the boy he knows as a grimy, 
grubby loafer in the street. Absolute clean- 
liness and neatness of attire are a point of 
honour in the obscurest boxing saloon, and 
that is something in its favour. 

It is a disillusion to see these boys, so 
lithe and clean in their fighting trim, huddle 
on their trousers and coat — they do it in 
a corner raked by the eyes of the audience 
— tie the wisp of cloth round their necks, 
and revert to the slavery of their usual 
habit. But the most remarkable feature of 
this saloon — and of others of its kind — is 
the expectant row of juniors, who got the 
front places by waiting. At the least hint 
of a hitch, if an expected combatant delays 
a moment in facing his antagonist, half-a- 
dozen coats are off, half-a-dozen shirts are 
pulled over head, and half-a-dozen clean, 
trained, eager boys are calling out " I'll tike 
'im on." For these boys who sit patiently 
night by night are waiting to get a foot 



HOOLIGAN LONDON. 



233 




HOOLIGAN V. HOOLIGAN. 



on the first rung of Fame's ladder, and are 
not going to miss a chance. Some day, if 
luck is theirs, they will box at "Wonderland" 
in the Whitechapel Road, where the audience 
is numbered by hundreds and wears collars ; 
and if the luck holds at the National 
Sporting Club, where the audience wears 
evening dress. 

To catch the street boy in his softer mood 
you need not wait for a Bank Holiday or 
travel so far as Hamp.stead, much less to 
78 



Epping Forest. On Saturday evenings they 
stand in long lines at the gallery doors of 
the less fashionable theatres and music-halls, 
having somehow acquired the price of two 
seats apiece. For every boy who has started 
life on his own account considers it a point 
of honour to possess a girl. The girls who 
stand at the gallery door waiting for the 
treat which they demand of their cavaliers 
are neither particularly clean and tidy nor 
very picturesque. They wear the clothes in 



234 



LIVING LONDON. 




SANDBAGGING IN THE FOG. 



which they work all the week at cardboard- 
box making, jam packing, match making, 
and so on — with the addition of the feathered 
hat which is the glory of a woman in this 
rank of life. But, on the whole, they are 
reasonably good. And it is a curious fact 
that the Hooligan boy seldom finds an ally 
in his girl when he wants to be flagrantly 
dishonest. She does not ask too many 
questions — she does not, for instance, 
inquire where he got the money to pay 
for a hot supper after the entertainment ; 
but she would prefer to think that her 
boy is " in work " and " earning good 
money," and she is perfectly capable of 
maintaining that proposition — -with tooth 
and claw, if need be — against any other 
lady who presumes to doubt it. 

The street boy of the type I have tried 
to describe is full of a certain spasmodic 
nervous energy, but he has neither ballast 
nor settled purpose in life beyond the present 
day. Long ago the Ragged School Union 
set to work to catch this continual growth 
of possible criminals and train it aright ; 
and to-day the energetic Secretary from 
the centre influences many institutions and 
workers. Our illustrations suggest some of 
the difficulties encountered in Hoxton by 
a devoted teacher who to this day is engaged 
in making silk purses out of unpromising 



material, with no little success. The waist- 
belt near the top of page 231, for example, was 
laid about the teacher's head by a voluntary 
scholar who had changed his mind about the 
charm of education. The loaded stick at 
the foot of the same page is a relic of a 
great street fight outside the school ; the 
missing piece was broken off over a victim's 
head. But perhaps the quaintest of this 
little collection is the crucifix. It is the 
offering of an apostate of eleven. He had 
joined a High Church club. But the world 
called him ; he enlisted under the leader of 
the Hoxton gang at the time, and, having 
chosen the life of disorder, presented his 
teacher with the symbol which had ceased 
to symbolise. 

A further impetus to the movement started 
by the Ragged School Union was given by 
the institution of Toynbee Hall, in memory 
of Arnold Toynbee, of Balliol. The public 
schools and the universities caught up the 
idea of " boys' clubs " which should be 
impregnated with something of the public- 
school spirit. At present East, South-East, 
and North-East London are the main seats 
of these settlements, while London is breed- 
ing boys from Wimbledon to Leytonstone 
whom careless parents throw upon the streets 
so .soon as they can run alone. Oxford 
House is a notable centre. It owes its 



HOOLIGAN LONDON. 



235 



success to Dr. Ingram, who before becoming 
Bishop of London was Bishop of Stepney. 
Go down to Bethnal Green — on a Saturday 
evening for choice — and at Oxford House 
you will find an interesting dining-hall and 
common-room. They are all of them young 
graduates. Some are barristers or journalists 
at work all day at their own affairs ; others 
are intending clergymen who wish to take 
a close look at the souls they shall save. 
A hurried meal, a snatched smoke, and they 
scatter to the clubs where they have to take 
control. 

We will go to one, typical of many, within 
a short walk of Oxford House. It is in a 
quiet street, but near the door boys with 
knitted brows are hanging about. The 
entrance fee is sixpence ; and just inside a 
genial official is receiving this sum — usually 
in pennies — from a new member. We go 
upstairs, and find a room full of boys playing 
billiards and bagatelle. There is an evident 
effort for cleanliness and neatness in attire. 
One lad with a note -book marks down 
the games and takes the money ; for the 
club is run, under supervision, by the mem- 
bers, and public spirit is strong against 
peculation or disorder. We go further, led 



by the sound of tramping feet, and find the 
newest recruits to the cadet corps at their 
drill. One of them, in an interval, tells you 
he has just joined the football club, having 
secured an income of a halfpenny a week. 
He is fifteen, he says. He would pass for 
twelve on a railway, and for eleven in an 
Eton preparatory school ; the London 
street boy is terribly undersized. In the 
basement we reach the theatre, where the 
minstrels of the club perform ; here, too, 
we find a boy solemnly punching the ball 
— for as boys will fight anyhow, they may 
as well join the club and learn to box at 
an initial and final outlay of one shilling, 
under the sanction of the Church and the 
Queensberry rules. But the boy who joins 
the Webbe Institute may get a great deal 
at cost price. He may even get a week 
in a seaside camp every August. This is 
only one of the clubs which are scattered 
about the confines of the inner circle. And 
music, too ! The drums and fifes cease for 
a minute, and you see the contingent of 
cadets join the main body and march off to 
the evening service at St. Matthew's Church, 
clean, erect, and enlisted from the forces of 
disorder on the side of law and right 




A STREET GROUP. 



236 




Ml 



MANAGER RECEIVING GUESTS (HOTEL VICTORIA) 



HOTEL LONDON. 

By J. C. WOOLLAN. 




PAGE. 



H' 



"OTEL London is great 
and growing. Perhaps 
no feature of London 
life was more conspicuous 
for a smart advance in the 
closing years of the last cen- 
tury and the opening of the 
new than hotel accommoda- 
tion of every variety, and 
what might be called the 
hotel habit — the living in 
hotels of even Londoners 
themselves. There was a 
time, not so very long ago, 
when London had to bear 
the reproach of giving less 
satisfaction in the hotel way to the visitor 
than almost any other great city. Even 
yet the foreigner has his complaints to 
make, especially when he comes to settle 
the bill, but in a general way the Metropolis 
has responded excellently to an increasing 
demand To-day she can fling at the cities 
of the European and American continents 
a boast that she will name twenty of her 



hotels, and challenge each of her rivals to 
produce twenty that are better, or even as 
good. 

You may never have reflected, and per- 
chance may not have had the materials for 
reflection, upon how vast and of what infinite 
variety is the Hotel London of to-day. Let 
us consider the first of the two points just 
named, and estimate in some small way 
the dimensions of Hotel-land within the 
confines of the capital. 

The most careful of calculations brings one 
to the safe conclusion that there are daily 
no fewer than 120,000 visitors in the Metro- 
polis. Not all of these stay over a single 
night, and of those who do a fair proportion 
welcome the hospitality of friends in private 
houses. Yet, when all deductions have been 
made and we have fined the figures down to 
tho.se of the net hotel and boarding-house 
population, it is discovered that there are, on 
an average, between 50,000 and 60,000 people 
who daily come within this category. Of this 
great number it is reckoned that the recog- 
nised hotels, licensed and of varying preten- 



HOTEL LONDON. 



237 



sions, are capable of accommodating just about 
half, and the boarding-houses and private 
hotels are well able to account for the rest, 
■existing as they do in their thousands. It 
has been found in actual practice that over 
8,000 guests have slept in twenty of the chief 
hotels on busy nights of the season. One 
single hotel has about 1,000 bedrooms, and 
there are five others with 500 or more. A 
dozen of the chief hotels make up an 
aggregate of only a few short of 6,000 
bedrooms, a proportion of which contain a 
couple of beds, so that in the whole these 
sleeping apartments will very likely accom- 
modate 12,000 people — the population of a 
small town. And the directory gives you 
the names of over 300 big licensed hotels 
in London. 

The story of the growth of Hotel London 
to these vast proportions is tinged with not a 
little of romance. Once upon a time there 
was an enterprising servant in a West-End 
mansion, which he forsook in order that 
he might start a boarding-house. The latter 
in due course developed into an hotel, and 
the hotel so thrived 
and grew that to-day 
it is one of the biggest 
in the Metropolis, 
whilst the quondam 
servant, for his part, 
is a rich country 
gentleman with large 
lands. He is not 
alone in his great 
success. And on the 
other hand, showing 
again the vast out- 
come of the enter- 
prise of the pioneers 
in the making of 
modern Hotel Lon- 
don, it may be cited 
that a score of the 
chief hotels among 
them represent a 
capital of about eight 
millions of money, 
and even the little 
group of Gordon 
Hotels are capable of 
accounting for three 
and a-half millions. 



But it is not our purpose to weaty with 
statistics, though such few as are in the 
foregoing lines will be pardoned for the tale 
of immensity which they alone can tell. We 
will discover now the variety of our Hotel 
London, and the even greater variety of its 
patrons. Each hotel is not for every patron. 
The Americans have claimed the biggest; and 
have, indeed, made the success of some of 
them. The Germans preponderate at others, 
and there is another where we may find 
a regular potpourri of highly respectable 
foreigners of different nationalities. Such is 
De Keyser's Royal, at the eastern extremity 
of the Victoria Embankment. Do not even 
the names of the hotels of the west tell their 
own little tales of foreign individuality and of 
cosmopolitanism ? There are the Hotel Con- 
tinental and the Hotel de I'Europe with 
expansive titles ; but there are so many 
others, many of which you may not know, 
but all by their names alone making a mute 
and often successful appeal to particular 
classes. 

However, with this brief general survey, let 




ARRIVAL OF AN ORIENTAL POTENTATE (CLARIDGE'S). 



238 



LIVING LONDON 



us particularise. With the duty we owe to 
rank let us return to the kings and nobles, 
and see where they most do congregate. 

You may find their majesties at two or 
three places in the fashionable west. Some 
time or other they are certain to be at the 
pre-eminently aristocratic Claridge's, in Brook 
Street, away from all the din and bustle, and 
in an atmosphere which is positively scented 
with exclusiveness and distinction. There 
are not many hotels in the world which have 
the e.xtremely restrictive peculiarity of 
Claridge's. This is no place for the mere 
man of money, who is nothing more than 
that — with not even a social aim. Whatever 
king he be, he may live here and move about 
in no disguise and with perfect freedom from 
any vulgar gaze. For here, tenanting the 
grand and costly suites of rooms, are men and 
women who are numbered amongst the fore- 
most of their respective lands, men and 
women who would make up for this king a 
court of which he might well be proud. There 
is an English duke, a Spanish princess, a 
Russian grand duke, a variety of counts, 
several leaders of London society, and, 
generally, a collection of people in whose 
veins runs the best blue blood of every nation. 
Wealth, rank, and power are represented. 
On a winter's evening, as we pass along the 
street, a carriage with a fresh arrival rattles 
up to the entrance, and with a passing fancy 
that we will stake the reputation of Claridge's, 
as it were, on this one haphazard throw, we 
pause a moment to discover the new comer. 
Claridge's wins. The American Ambassador 
has just arrived from Washington, and has 
driven straight to Claridge's, where he will stay 
for a few weeks. Another time an Oriental 
potentate comes driving up, and with some 
form and ceremony and his own native ser- 
vant in attendance he passes within. 

Yet even Claridge's has not a monopoly of 
the greatest. You may find royalty and 
nobles at the Albemarle, in Piccadilly, or 
at Brown's, in Dover Street, or at the Lang- 
ham, in Langham Place, upon which King 
Edward, when Prince of Wales, set the aris- 
tocratic stamp by opening. The grand and 
highly fashionable Carlton is, again, one of the 
most likely places in London for the foreign 
potentate or the social star of home to be 
temporarily housed in, e.specially if there is a 



desire to be, in the colloquial term, " in the 
thick of it." In the Palm Court here one 
may lounge to perfection amongst the best- 
known people of at least two continents. 
Different celebrities, too, have their own con- 
servative tastes and their own hotels ; and 
there are old-fashioned country families, most 
highly respectable, who would prefer to pay 
Claridge's and Carlton prices at hostelries 
of far less renown but of guaranteed 
" tone." 

To leave the rank and fashion pure, and 
seek the greater rendezvous of wealth and 
lu.xury we must proceed a trifle eastward and 
southward, dip down to Trafalgar Square and 
Northumberland Avenue, and walk a few 
score paces along the Strand. In the main- 
tenance of such hotel luxury as we are speak- 
ing of the American contribution pre- 
ponderates. Our cousins of the States are a 
very notable factor indeed of Hotel London. 
At the opening of the bright summer 
season they arrive with their trunks and their 
money in thousands, till the Transatlantic 
accent hums in the region to which we have 
just passed. Always for the biggest, their 
first thought is for the Cecil ; and so pass into 
the courtyard any fine morning in the season, 
and walk up to the tables and chairs at the 
foot of the steps, where the loungers recline 
preparatory to their day's assault upon the 
lions of London, and you will not need to 
search for the man with the American voice, 
or for the girl with American smartness. 
They are everywhere — here outside, inside, 
there still dallying at the breakfast table, 
penning picture postcards in the writing- 
room, and — just a few thirsty souls are these 
— sipping iced concoctions downstairs at the 
American bar. There is special accommoda- 
tion for the American, even to the chef. 
This middle-aged man, with the kindly face 
and the grey moustache, stepping into a 
hansom is a great American railroad king 
who means to revolutionise railway London ; 
the slight dark figure in the porch is that 
of a man who is an engineer of monopolies 
and trusts. These are men who are feared. 
The richly-apparelled lady who is sweeping 
along a corridor is an American society 
woman who recently gave a dinner in New 
York which cost twenty pounds a head. 

You will discover also a great American 




o 
u 

O 



H 
O 
X 

bJ 

Z 

h 




I. PORTER. II. THE PALM COURT (CARLTON HOTEL). III. SMOKING ROOM (GRAND HOTEL). 
JV. CHAMBERMAID. V. LIFT MAN. VI. COMMERCIALS " WRITING UP THE MAIL " (MANCHESTER HOTEL). 



240 



LIVING LONDON. 



contingent, as well as a fine smattering of 
other nationalities, at the Metropole, the 
Victoria, and the Grand — all Gordons, all in 
Northumberland Avenue, and all palatial and 
luxurious. The great First Avenue in Hol- 
born and the Grosvenor at Victoria are also 
Gordons. Well-to-do Frenchmen, well-to-do 
Germans, and many besides are here in 
numbers ; but then, as has been said, 
De Keyser's Roj'al, on the Embankment, is 
the particular resort of the Continental 
visitor. Germans are here in force, and if you 
move still more eastward and come to Fins- 
bury Square you will find a further batch of 
hotels with great German reputations. Klein's 
and Seyd's are in the Square, and Buecker's 
is also there. In Finsbury Square, where 
beef is "bif," the sons of the Fatherland 
may live precisely after the manner of the 
German fighting cock. 

Other nationalities, other hotels ; and many 
more, especially in the east, could be added 
to this already long list. In these followings 
of the foreigner we are neglecting the strangers 
of our own country who are temporarily 



within the hospitable gates of the Metro- 
polis. 

Whence comes the provincial ? We dis- 
cover that he comes very largely vik the termini 
at Euston, St. Pancras, and King's Cross, and 
here we find the great railway companies 
have raised palaces for his temporary 
residence. The railway hotel is essentially 
the hotel for the busy man who must live in 
style and comfort, but who is always catching 
express trains, or who in catching but a few 
must make a quick certainty of them. Of 
course, such hotels as the Midland Grand — 
truly grand — the Euston, and the Great 
Central are for other people besides — for 
families and for pleasure folk as well. All 
sorts and conditions of British people, but 
especially business people, are here. One of 
the greatest financiers of modern times has 
worked his deals from a suite of rooms in the 
Midland Grand, and such is high commer- 
cial loyalty that in another suite may be 
found a celebrated director of the Midland 
Railway itself At Charing Cross Station is 
another railway hotel, and at Cannon Street,. 
in the heart of the City, one more— 
which is perhaps the most business- 
ike of all, for a long programme of 
big company meetings is negotiated 
here every day. Shareholders have 




DRAWING ROOM {HOTEL 
CECIL). 



HOTEL LONDON. 



241 




rejoiced and 
sorrowed, con- 
gratulated and 
stormed, in the 
Cannon Street 
Hotel as in no 
other. Then there 
is the more purely 
commercial 
hostelry, of which 
the Manchester, 
in Aldersgate 
Street, the Salis- 
bury, off Fleet 
Street, and An- 
derton's, in the 
middle of news- 
paperdom, are 
great examples. 
You may witness 
a busy scene at the 
Manchester in the 
evening, when the 
commercial travel- 
lers, their City 
wanderings over, send their reports and 
instructions to headquarters, or, as they call 
it, " write up the mail." 

Forsaking commerce, we will seek out 
the hotels of the studious, and we shall find 
them in Bloomsbury, hard by the British 
Museum, busy hive of brainworkers. The 
Thackeray, Kingsley, and Esmond trade, one 
might almost say, upon the Museum ; even 
the telegraphic address of one of them is 
" Bookcraft." These three are temperance 
hotels; so, too, are Cranston's Waverleys ; 
and, in passing, let it not be forgotten that 
London accommodates excellently the people 
who prefer the teetotal establishment. Wild's, 
in Ludgate Hill, and the Buckingham, in the 
Strand, are two more among many. 

If we tried we could not before leaving 
Bloomsbury miss the magnificent Russell, 
fashioned on the Gordon system, and bearing 
the Frederick name. For patrons of a 
different character, in the long street 
arteries which feed Bloomsbury are count- 
less private hotels, which faithfully serve 
a mission of cheapness. Mostly they are 
numbered, but some of them take names 
to themselves ; and, being bound by no 
traditions, desiring only to be up to date, 
79 



DINING KOO.M (OAK SALO.N, lIOTliL .MiTKOPOLEJ. 



fearful and wonderful specimens of hotel 
nomenclature are prepared in a single night. 
What was a modest title at eventide glares 
forth pretentiously as " Hotel Pretoria " next 
morning, wars and patriotism just then 
making the blood to leap. And by the 
same token when there was a scamper for 
Alaskan gold fields an " Hotel Klondyke " 
came topically forward. In these days, from 
highest to lowest, it is Hotel this and Hotel 
that — a la mode " hotel " comes first. 

Away in the farther West-End are many 
other hotels of great reputation. Beginning 
at Westminster, there are the cosy St 
Ermin's, the Windsor, and the Westminster 
Palace. At South. Kensington there is 
Bailey's ; overlooking Rotten Row is the 
Alexandra, of most pretentious appearance ; 
hard by is the Hyde Park Hotel, carried 
on in conjunction with the Carlton Hotel ; 
whilst the Buckingham Palace, the Royal 
Palace, the De Vere, and many others are all 
institutions of the Metropolis, and there are 
others, such as Morley's in Trafalgar Square, 
the Holborn Viaduct Hotel, and the Queen's 
in Leicester Square, which a London visitor 
can hardly help but see. 

Of the oddities, peculiarities, individualities 



242 



LIVING LONDON. 



of Hotel London — ah ! they are so man\', too 
many for one short survey. The trades and 
the professions have their own hotels. To 
take two wideh- different e.xamples, one might 
point out that, whilst all who attended the 
great wool sales from the country and abroad 
would staj' at the Great Eastern, countr)' 
lawyers and clients whose business is at the 
Law Courts would favour Anderton's or the 
Inns of Court, which vie with each other 
in proximity to the great headquarters of 
Justice. And the space in between these two 
could be well filled. Come with me to Covent 
Garden, and I \\ill show )ou a big hotel with 
200 rooms which will not admit ladies — it is 
" for gentlemen only." There is another not 
far awa)- \\hich has obtained a peculiar 
patronage from persons arri\ing in London 
by P. and O. steamers, who know nothing 
whatever of Hotel London, and have grate- 
fully accepted a hint that was given them. 
There is a clerical hotel ; ships' captains 
have their own in dock-land ; there is a 
Jewish hotel ; and in the neighbourhood of 
Regent's Park there is even one which is 
advertised as " the only Spiritualist hotel 



in London." After that, it would be futile 
to attempt a further illustration of the 
possibilities of hotel individualism in the 
great Metropolis. 

We will go back to the Strand, and see that 
each street as it runs from the great thorough- 
fare southwards to theThames is honeycombed 
with hotels of different sorts and sizes. And 
in perambulating westwards again we may 
this time note the Savoy, with its abundance 
of fair fame, which we could on our last 
journey hardly couple with the Cecil, though 
they adjoin. The Sa\oy is as aesthetic as it 
is big. 

Such is Hotel London in all its magnitude 
and with all its wonders. And in the 
enumeration of .so many wonders we dispel 
at least one. There is such a \ariety and 
such a choice in hotel life that more and 
more are Londoners of means forsaking their 
homes and living only in hotels, with all their 
careless freedom. 

Lor years Hotel London has been passing 
through an interesting process of evolution, 
and the end of the process will not be in the 
twentieth century. 




LOUNGE IHOTEL RUSSELL). 



243 ■ 




rhoto : H. Moyu. Putnty. >. H". 



THE OXFORD AND CAMHKIDGH BOAT RACE. 



THAMES PLEASURES AND SPORTS. 

By JOHN BLOUNDELLE-BURTON. 



THE pleasures and sports of the Thames 
are principally above bridge ; the 
business part lies below. Yet let none 
forget that there is plenty of pleasure and 
sport and fun to be obtained below bridge 
also, and found at Greenwich, Gravesend, 
Southend, Margate, Ramsgate, and elsewhere. 
But, even to start for these places beloved of 
a certain portion of Living London's popula- 
tion — and visited often enough by a totally 
distinct stratum of that popu- 
lation, whose cry, as a rule, 
is " anything for a change " — 
one sets out by water from 
above-bridge : i.e. from the Old 
Swan Pier. Whenever one 
does so in the summer time, 
and providing the weather is 
fine, the cruise is certain to be 
an amusing as well as an en- 
joyable one. There is always 
a band on board (harp, cornet, 
and flute), refreshments may 
be obtained, all are determined 
on enjoying themselves, and 
lovers are abundant and shed 
a rosy glow around. In the 
case of the " husbands' boat " 
— for Margate on Saturdays 




DOGGETT S COAT AND 
BADGE. 



— it is the married men, hastening to join 
their wives until Monday, who represent the 
votaries of Hymen, late Cupid ; yet they too 
are happy. 

But we will turn to the absolute subject of 
this sketch, the pleasures and sports of the 
Thames. , 

By priority of age comes the race for 
Doggett's Coat and Badge, a sum of money 
having been left by Thomas Doggett, a 
Drury Lane actor of the early 
Georgian period, to commem- 
orate the accession day of the 
first Hanoverian monarch, i.e. 
August 1st, 1715. This fur- 
nishes a waterman's coat and 
a silver badge — the latter as 
large as a pie-dish and bearing 
the white horse of Hanover on 
it — and is open to any six 
young Thames watermen who 
desire to compete, the course 
being originally from the 
" Swan " at London Bridge to 
the " Swan " at CheLsea. As 
the event hcis existed for nearly 
two hundred years, the old 
actor's loyalty and enthusiasm 
have been pretty well stamped 




EXCURSIOX STEAMBOATS LEAVING FRESH WHARF, LONDON BRIDGE. 




BATHING IN THE RIVER. 



THAMES PLEASURES AND SPORTS. 



245 



into the minds and memories of several 
generations of Londoners. The ground, or 
rather water, covered by this course, and the 
shores from London Bridge to Chelsea, not 
only comprise almost all the chief historical 
portion of the river as rejjards sport and 
pleasure, but also the grandeur and might 
and power of the greatest city in the 
world. And — which should give us further 
food for reflection — Father Thames is still 
adding to our history while even now 
serving the purposes of recreation and 
amusement. 

Lean for a moment over Chelsea Suspen- 
sion Bridge on a summer day and look 
around and below you. Passing under the 
bridge is a steamer on its way to Kew and 
Richmond and Hampton Court. Here, too, 
you may see, especially if it is Saturday 
afternoon, single, double, treble sculling boats 
with young maidens, and, of course, their 
swains, prepared for an outing, or jaunt — for 
a Saturday " up the river." You may ob- 
serve, also, men of sterner metal and inten- 
tions passing beneath you — brawny and 
muscular oarsmen sculling in wager boats, 
and practising for some race the stakes of 
which may be well worth winning — stakes 
that may enable whosoever gains them to set 
up in business as a boat-builder and a man 
who will have " Boats to let," or as the land- 
lord of some riverside public-house, which, as 
every riparian resident knows, is the " be all 
and end all," in the majority of cases, of 
the professional sculler's existence. 

On one side of this bridge is Chelsea 
Hospital, where once stood, close by, the 
celebrated Ranelagh Gardens : on the other 
is Battersea Park, formed out of what was 
originally a marshy, undrained piece of sub- 
merged land. Now it is a very pretty place, 
much given up to cyclists, especially beginners 
who do not care to roam too far afield at 
first or to encounter the dangers of street 
traffic. 

In this park, especially in summer — since it 
is then green and leafy and at its best — youths 
and maidens make and keep their rendezvous, 
as they have always done and always will. 
The nursemaid loves to saunter on its paths 
with the inevitable perambulator, whilst the 
warriors from Chelsea Barracks across the 
river cast admiring glances at her. Once, in 



the early sixties, the West-End terminus of 
the Brighton line was near here, before the 
railway came farther into town and before 
Victoria terminus and the railway bridge 
were built. Beyond this, as wc proceed up the 
river, there is nothing much to call for .special 
remark in the present day until we come to 
Putney. 

Putney is the metropolis of boating men ; 
and on its embankment are the boat- 
houses of the Thames, Vesta, Lcander, and 
London Rowing Clubs — world -renowned 
establishments, if not for their own celebrity, 
which is considerable, then because, al.so, it is 
from one or other of these that the boats of 
the Oxford Rowing Club and the Cambridge 
Rowing Club put off for their practice daily 
during the fortnight before the 'Varsity Race, 
and also on the momentous morning of the race. 
This they have practically done since the 
year 1849, when, in consequence of there 
having been no race in 1847 or 1848, two 
races were rowed in the former year, while 
previous to 1849, with one solitary excep- 
tion, the race was rowed from Westminster 
to Putney. 

We witness a busy scene when the start 
for the great race takes place soon after 
the steamers for the Press and the Uni- 
versities arrive from London; when the 
river is cleared for what the reporters call 
the great " aquatic contest," much as the 
Epsom course is cleared for the Derby, and 
when hansoms, drags, char-a-bancs and 
omnibuses line the esplanade, as they line 
every spot where vehicles can go. The ladies 
all wear favours and rosettes of their favourite 
University, or, as the cynics say, of which- 
ever blue suits their complexions and toilettes 
the better ; and it has been whispered that 
some who have sported the losing colours 
before the race change it for the winning 
colour afterwards. This is, however, probably 
scandal. 

Once off and the start made, horsemen and 
light vehicles, such as hansoms, tear off from 
the starting-point, make a dash across Barnes 
Common to the " White Hart " at Barnes or 
the " Ship " at Mortlake— the huge bend 
north of the ri\er favouring the short cut — 
and so get in in time for the death, or, rather, 
the finish : the result being made known by 
the hoisting of the winning colour above the 



246 



LIVING LONDON. 




READY KOR A ROW. 

losing one on Barnes Railway Bridge, after 
which a scene of wild excitement takes place. 
Old Blues — and young ones, too — clergymen 
from distant parishes and lawyers from town 
shake hands and nod pleasantly to each 
other if their 'Varsity has won, while those 
belonging to the losing side swallow their 
disappointment as best they can. The negro 
minstrels commence their soothing strains 
and the men who swallow hot tow or allow 
stones to be broken on their bare chests 
give their performances ; the adjacent 
public-houses become crowded ; a few 
fights take place ; pigeons are let loose 
for distant villages ; air-balloons 
bearing the names of theatres 
and their performances, or of 
enterprising newspapers or Turf- 
tipsters, are sent up. The vehicles 
either speed back to town or take 
their occupants to Richmond ; the 
steam-launches turn their heads 
Londonwards, and the sight- 
seers on foot stream off to the 
railway stations ; while the 
"sportsman" who invites you 
to back the " 'art, the hanker, 
or the diaming," or find the 
queen as he performs the 
three-card trick, packs up his 
traps and departs. The boat 
race is over and done 
with for another year. 



Only a passing line of 
reference need be made 
to Hurliiigham. So long 
connected with pigeon- 
shooting — for which it was 
principally founded in the 
early 'sixties, while water- 
polo was introduced ten 
years later — it still stands 
at the head of other asso- 
ciations of a similar kind, 
that, while they may even- 
tually rival it in its beauty 
and aristocratic associa- 
tions, are never likely to 
surpass it. Here the visitor^ 
or guest, finds all that can 
minister to his enjoyment. 
Excellent bands discourse 
sweet music beneath the 
ancient trees that grow down almost to 
the water's edge ; and during the London 
season the best dressed women of fashion 
may be seen attended by men equally well 
known. 

The river — especially its pleasures and, in 
a smaller way, its sports — would not, however, 
have full justice done to it if attention were 
not called to one of its most popular haunts 
— i.e. Kew. For here, indeed, the home of 
pleasure for many holiday-makers is estab- 
lished, and there are those who think that the 
succulent winkle and shrimp may be found 
at their best in this resort. Bread and 




' PENNY SWEAT. 



THAMES PLEASURES AND SPORTS. 



24; 



butter, too, are, as all the world knows — or 
should know — partaken of in large quan- 
tities, accompanied by the health -<^iving 
watercress while washed down by a stron<j 
highly-flavoured tea, good for promoting 
■digestion after a stroll in the celebrated 
gardens. Who has not seen the mystic 
legend inscribed over many a river- 
side door here — the legend announcing 
" Tea and hot water, gd." ? and who has 
not gently wondered why the hot 
water should be so emphatically 
mentioned, since, to make tea without 
hot water, is at present regarded as 
an almost unattainable feat ? 

Kew has its visitors, however, for 
other things besides the Botanic 
Gardens and the above appetising 



river can provide. And here is the spot 
where sweet-scented and beautifully varie- 
gated bouquets have been sold near the 
steamboat pier and the south side of the 
bridge — the old bridge — from long past days, 
and are still sold. 

One wonders sometimes what Londoners 
would be like if it were not for the river. Its 
waters have not, it is true, been pellucid for 
many a day ; salmon is no longer caught at 





I. AT PRACTICE. II. " BOATS TO LET. 



refreshments. Anglers come here to fish 
for barbel, of which there is still a famous 
■" swim " even lower down, namely, at 
Barnes ; and there is an eyot where 
skeleton leaves can be obtained in large 
quantities — the kind of leaves our grand- 
mothers pinned and pressed between the 
pages of books with, often enough, an 
auspicious date marked against them and 
the initials of what was, doubtless, a masculine 
name. Here, too, are rowing clubs capable of 
producing crews and scullers of no mean 
prowess, quite fitted to contend for victory 
in any regatta or water contest which the 



Putney as it was 
in the middle of 
the eighteenth 
century, and the 
nightingale no 
longer sings out- 
side Barn Elms or 
Craven Cottage, 
where Bulwer- 
Lytton lived some 
time. But boys 
have bathed from 
time immemorial 
in the stream, and 
will continue to do so ; they have also for 
a long while hired boats in which to take 
what is called " penny sweats " — i.e. enough 
of them band together to hire a boat (not 
generally the best the boatman has to let), and 
so get their modicum of exercise. Who, too, 
has not rowed on the classic stream, either in 
outrigger, racing-boat, or randan ? — who that 
is a Londoner has not plunged "the labouring 
oar " into its waters and rowed his lady-love 
up river, or, if the tide is very strong, gone 
ashore and towed the boat containing the fair 
one, the luncheon-basket and the tea-kettle, 
as well as other things ? Who, too, has not 



248 



LIVLNG LONDON. 



fed the swans that abound on the river, and 
alternately teased or played with them, while 
some, perhaps, have even witnessed the cere- 
mony of swan-upping, which is occasionally 
called " swan -hopping"? This ceremony 
consists in marking the birds on the upper 
mandible of the bill with nicks ; the Royal 
swans, of which there are many, having 
two diamonds, those of the Dyers Company 
one nick, and those of the Vintners Company 
two nicks. From this old practice comes 
the corrupted inn-sign, " The Swan with 
Two \ecks." 

Of late years old customs have been 
revived on the Royal River which had 
quite sunk out of fashion, and they now 
share with the boat-clubs of men and 
women the office of furnishing both pleasure 
and sport upon it. Regattas have much 
increased and multiplied ; so, too, have water 
carnivals. Richmond, amongst other places, 
organises several of the latter, and the beauti- 



ful and brilliant scenes on the illuminated 
water and the river banks on a summer 
night are not unworthy competitors with 
those of Venice. Indeed, the Thames above 
bridge, while having its fair share in utility,, 
is the greatest contributor to the Londoner's 
open-air enjoyment, and is without a rival. 
For the pleasure-seeker can bathe and row^ 
if he chooses ; he can, on the other hand, if 
he is not athletically disposed, be conveyed 
upon it in steamers or launches or sailing- 
boats, and he can dwell on its shores at any 
point which he choo.ses to select ; while, when 
he has left London a few miles behind him^ 
he can, if an angler, fish to his heart's content. 
Moreover, no part of England is better fur- 
nished with good hotels and inns where 
everything that the heart of man can desire 
is to be found, so that, as one poet has 
remarked, the holiday-maker can " take his 
ease at his inn," and, in the words of another, 
" find his warmest welcome there." 




RIVER STEAMER. 




The Roman Catholic Cathedral, Westminster, 



249 



ROMAN CATHOLIC LONDON. 

By WILFRID MEYNELL 



LONDON entertains, perhaps unawares, 
some half-million of persons professing 
the Roman Catholic faith. Not all of 
this multitude actually practises its religion 



cover a larger total area of earth, and West- 
minster Cathedral boasts the broadest nave of 
all. A bold man is he who builds a cathedral ; 
he has about him the tongues of Babel, and 




LEAVING THE ORATORY, SOUTH KENSINGTON. 



by going to mass on Sundays and to its 
"duties" (confession and communion) at 
Easter. " The world is too much with us " 
is a Wordsworthian sigh upon the lips of 
nominal adherents of every creed. 

" Nominal Catholics," therefore, exist; other- 
wise the antithetical term "practical Catholics " 
would not need to be very commonly heard 
among them. Of the number of these 
practical Catholics, failing an official census, 
nothing can be certainly known. But 
London has no fewer than eighty churches 
for their accommodation — and in nearly all 
of these a succession of masses on Sunday 
morning, so that every seat may have been 
occupied twice or thrice. The Westminster 
Cathedral, dreamt of by Cardinal Manning 
and realised by Cardinal Vaughan, possesses 
that ideal conjunction — an actual as well 
as an official pre-eminence. Only the Abbey 
and St. Paul's of all churches in London 
80 



in this Westminster case nearly Babel's tower. 
Cardinal Vaughan heard, and, more difficult 
still, did not hear. He wasted on idle dis- 
cussions none of the energy which was 
otherwise required. Fortune and generosity 
supplied the ;if 200,000 that had to pass into 
the bare outwork of bricks. 

Next to the Westminster Cathedral in 
size comes the Oratory Church at South 
Kensington. It is served by over a dozen 
fathers. These do not belong to an " order " 
in the sense in which Franciscans or Bene- 
dictines do ; but they live in community. 
Their rule is that of St. Philip Neri, adapted 
to English life by Cardinal Newman. He 
(from Birmingham, too !) was the nominal 
founder of the London Oratory ; but its 
actual founder was Father Faber — he whose 
hymns, sung within their native walls at Sun- 
day and week-day evening services, are echoed 
in churches and chapels of every other creed 



2 so 



LIVING LONDON. 



— in truth, a great " conspiracy of song." 
Its site lies wiiere se\eral ways meet and 
part — types of the many crises of the 
spiritual life its walls have witnessed— the 
fare-veils involved by " conversions," the 
meetings, the marriages, the last rites over 
the dead. In this church, or in its prede- 
cessor on the same site, Lothair (the third 
Marquess of Bute) was married (but not 
to Corisande), Lord Beaconsfield languidl)- 



churches which need, for the most part, no 
special description. But " Farm Street " — 
the church of the Jesuit Fathers, planted amid 
the mundane glories of Grosvcnor Square 
— demands a word. Between Oratorians 
and Jesuits may be supposed to exist a 
certain "holy rivalry," which the westerly 
and south-westerly trend of the social stream, 
perhaps, intensifies. But the sons of St. 
Ignatius, who are sometimes called the 



looking on. Here, too, the Marquess of " Apostles of the Genteels," are really of 



Ripon laid do\\n his 
wand as Grand Master 
of the Freemasons, Mr. 
Gladstone metaphoricalh' 
observing anything but 
languidly ; forging, indeed, 
out of that hot mood, a 
famous new arrow - head 
for his quiver as an 
anti- Vatican pamphleteer. 
Here was the Requiem 
sung over beloved Car- 
dinal Manning's bier ; here 
was held the Victorian 
Diamond Jubilee .service 
of 1897 ; here Edward 
VII., when Prince of 
Wales, has assisted at a 
nuptial mass ; and here, 
too, is a bench which 
has been the judges' — all 




ARRIVAL OF A CARDINAL AT 
SARDINIA STREET CHAPEL. 



no fixed time or place. 
They are a floating popu- 
lation, sent hither and 
thither by their superiors 
— it may be to martyr- 
dom in Japan, or in the 
London slums, or in the 
fumes of Widnes. They 
come and go. At one of 
these altars, where mem- 
bers of the devout female 
sex, and of the sex that 
is not devout, may be 
seen kneeling at all hours 
to-day. Manning said his 
first mass. Only a few 
weeks earlier he was 
"charging" Chichester as 
its archdeacon ; and in 
later years, by another 
great change of domestic 



gathered together to pay the last tribute sentiment, he ceased to love Jesuits. 

of homage to Lord Russell of Killowen. The mention of Manning recalls his 

History gets made quickly, you perceive ; saying that pulpit oratory is one of the 

for it is only about fifty years since the three wounds of the Roman Catholic Church 

first Oratorians in England (most of whom in England. Sermons, in fact, take a 

were Oxford and clerical converts) settled secondary place to-day, as ever, in Catholic 

on this site, and were stoned in the streets services ; preaching is not practised as an 

for their pains. Their own pile of stones art. " Farm Street," however, has its eloquent 

is that which remains, and the noble dome preacher in Father Bernard Vaughan, as 

which crowns the edifice is an admitted the Oratory has in Father Sebastian Bowden 

adornment — amid a hundred modern de- (formerly an officer in the Guards) its direct 

facements — of London. Apart from its one. Of this Mayfair church Mrs. Craigie 

memories (and a full share of sad ones) (" John Oliver Hobbes ") — herself a wor- 

the church is a " show " one, by reason of shipper there — says, in " The Gods, Some 

its size, its abundance of marble, its many Mortals, and Lord Wickenham," that her hero 

altars, its .saints and cherubs, with all the " used to sit near the altar of Our Lady of 

flourishes and flying draperies of the Italian Lourdes, where he could see, at the end of the 

Renascence. aisle, another altar and the pendant lamps 

I dwell on this very representative church before it. The odour of the flowers, incense, 

because what is said of it can be more or melting wax, and that .something else, like 

less applied to the other seventy and nine the scent of goodly fruit stored away for 




THE RED MASS AS FORMERLY CELEBRATED AT SARDINL\ STREET CHAPEL, 

LINCOLN'S INN. 



252 



LIVING LONDON. 



the hungry winter, gave liim a welcome. 
The little silver hearts which hung in a case 
by the altar had each some stor)^ to tell of 
a faithful vow." This is the literature of 
fiction. The literature of fact has its 
devotees inside the large red-brick house 
adjoining the church ; and among the busiest 
researchers at the British Museum are sons 
of St. Ignatius. 

To the east and to the west, two miles 
each way from the Marble Arch (the site 
of old T)-burn, where many a Jesuit was 
hanged, drawn, and quartered, lie the churches 
of St. Etheldreda and of St. Mary of the 
Angels, served by sons of St. Charles Bor- 
romeo. The " Tube " covers in a few minutes 
the four miles between them. In Ely Place, 
an enclosure on the very confines of the Cit}', 
and within sight almost of La Belle Sauvage 
Yard, stands St. litheldreda's Church, with 
its thirteenth-century cr_\pt — an ancient fane, 
and one of the few of the actual churches of 
" The Old Religion " restored to the ancient 
rites. It somehow got into the market, and 
was bought by Father Lockhart, a relative 
of Walter Scott's son-in-law, and himself the 
first of Newman's young community at Little- 
more to secede from the Anglican Church. 
Long will the memory remain of his hand- 
some face and figure, as he stood in the 
surrounding streets preaching on the tee- 
totalism he practised. He belonged to the 
Fathers of Charity ; and there was full 
accord between his aim and name. The 
sons of St Charles Borromeo (he was an 
archbishoiJ of Milan, who loved the poor 




UNLOADING A CART AT NAZARETH HOUSE. 



and fought the plague and established Sunday 
schools) were planted by Manning among 
rather mean streets in Bayswater. You note 
the meanness, because it contrasts with the 
reputed " ambition " of its founder. Hither 
to him came the world to which he would 
not go ; and " receptions into the Church " 
— the only receptions he ever loved — have 
not ceased to be an order of the day. 

To churches with specialised congregations 
— for Italians, in Hatton Garden, and others 
— reference is elsewhere made in this work. 
The Sardinia Street Chapel, Lincoln's 
Inn, once tolerated and protected only 
as a chapel of an ambassador, became in 
the fulness of time the scene of the Red 
Mass (so called in Paris from the colour of 
the legal robes), where Roman Catholic 
members of the Bar gathered at the beginning 
of a term to invoke a blessing on its labours 
— a notable gathering in which might be 
seen, at one time or another. Lord Brampton, 
Lord Russell of Killowen, Sir John Day, 
Sir James Mathew, Sir Joseph Walton, and 
Lord Llandaff. Cross the water to South- 
wark, and you find its own cathedral, famous 
for its congregational singing, and the centre 
of a circle of spiritual and temporal activities 
for the amelioration of the lot of the poor 
who, as Charles Booth shows, are poorest 
of the poor in that region. 

The Religious Orders are dotted about 
London, which loses in picturesqueness by 
the non-appearance in the streets in their 
own religious dress of Friars of Orders 
Grey and of monks who make their habits, 
though habits do not make the 
monk. By Act of Parliament they 
are forced into the coats, trousers, 
and headgear that mean despair for 
the artist. The Carmelites abstain 
from flesh, and rise by night to sing 
the Divine Office, in Church Street, 
Kensington ; the Dominicans are at 
Haverstock Hill, the Capuchins at 
Peckham, Franciscans at Stratford, 
Passionists at Highgate, Benedictines 
at PLaling, Augustinians (whose habit 
Luther wore) at Hoxton Square ; 
and there are Canons Regular, 
Redemptorists, Servites, and many 
more. Congregations of women 
abound ; and their habits are seen 



ROMAN CATHOLIC LONDON. 



253 




OLD WOMEN S WARD, NAZARETH HOUSE. 



in the streets, for in this matter of the 
rehgioiis dress, as in most others, it is women 
who lead. Carmehte nuns, with St. Teresa's 
habit, and Poor Clares, do not come from 
their enclosure. But Sisters of Nazareth 
will call anywhere in their carriage — 
they name it a cart — on anyone in " the 
world," and they do not always wait for 
invitations. They beg in fact from door 
to door for food for the six or seven hun- 
dred poor whom they entertain at Naza- 
reth House, Hammersmith. In this great 
family are young children and old men and 
old women, into one of whose wards 
our illustrator has taken no idly intru- 
sive peep. The Little Sisters of the 
Poor are of their kindred ; and there are 
Sisters of Mercy, who, among their works of 
the same kind, include the Hospital of St. 
John and St. Elizabeth for suffering children 
at St. John's Wood ; nuns of the Good 
Shepherd, with their great laundry worked 
by penitent women ; the nuns who manage 
the French Hospital ; the Sisters of Zion, 
those of the Sacred Heart, and those at the 
Convent of the Assumption, to all of whom 
flock girls of Catholic parents for education — 
these and many more ; the Sisters who go 
out to nurse (and do not refuse a small-pox 



case), and the Sisters who carry on the great 
night Refuge in Crispin Street ; those who 
assist the Rescue Crusade among boys, 
and, last but not least in a list not easily 
exhausted, the Sisters of Charity, in whose 
great house, in Carlisle Place, Lady Ethel- 
dreda Howard amid other all noble women 
has chosen the life of sacrifice. 

Come, finally, to Archbishop's House, 
Westminster, where Archbishop Bourne 
rules, and preserves a stately solitude, 
though surrounded by a large working 
staff.' 

He has a word for everyone — well judged, 
shrewd, fatherly. Forms and formalism are 
not necessarily related. The Archbishop is 
a young man among the Bishops over 
whom he presides. These include Bishop 
Hedley, a literary man and a Benedictine ; 
also Bishop Amigo, from Southwark, like 
the Archbishop himself, a teetotaller. Then 
you see an ex-Army chaplain, wearing 
military orders ; and you have been able, 
perhaps, before you have taken your leave, 
to tell Monsignor John.son how indebted 
to his " Catholic Directory " is any writer 
(and therefore any reader) of a paper such 
as this — crumbs gathered from his abundant 
table. 



2S4 




THE NATIONAL PENNY BANK (HACKNEY ROAD). 



LONDON THRIFT. 

By SIDNEY DARK. 



IT is doubtful whether, both from the nature 
of his being and the character of his 
environment, the Londoner of any class 
can be said to be unduly addicted to thrift. 
In the sense in which the French peasant 
and the Paris bourgeois, the Scotsman and 
the Cornishman, always save a little, however 
small may be their income, the Londoner 
is a monument of extravagance. It must, of 
course, be remembered that expenses of living 
in the Metropolis are immeasurably greater 
in proportion to income than they are almost 
anywhere else, and the storm and stress of 
life in a great city practically compel a man 
to spend a certain part of his income in 
amusement and distraction which in healthier 
circumstances he would not require. At the 
same time, alongside the manifold agencies for 
spending money that exist in our city, there 
are innumerable agencies for the encourage- 
ment of thrift, from great institutions like 
the Post Office Savings Bank, with its 
millions of depositors, to the humble Slate 
Club held in the top room of a public- 
hou.se, with its constant difficulties of ob- 
taining subscriptions from its members and 



sometimes of getting them back from its 
treasurer ! 

The baby's money box may be said to be 
the beginning of thrift ; but in these pro- 
gressive days the money box, from which 
ingenuity and a dinner knife can extract the 
pennies, is naturally regarded with suspicion. 
So the modern baby obtains, presumably 
through his legal guardians, a form from the 
nearest Post Office, turns his pennies into 
stamps, and sticks them on to the form, 
and then, when he has collected twelve, 
lodges them at the nearest Post Office, where 
the money, instead of lying idle and unpro- 
ductive like the talent of the unfaithful servant 
hidden in a tin money box instead of a napkin, 
earns, as soon as a pound has been accumu- 
lated, two and a-half per cent, for the thrifty 
infant. Or, if the legal guardian to whom I 
have referred is a person of individualistic 
tendencies who regards the enlargement of 
governmental action with suspicion, the child 
may take his pennies to the nearest branch 
of the National Penny Bank, which receives 
deposits from a penny upwards, and there 
the directors will guard his money for him, 



LONDON THRIFT. 



2SS 



and also give him a certain rate of interest. 
There is even for the budding capitalist a 
third alternative. The Salvation Army Reli- 
ance Bank will provide him with a money 
box not of unsubstantial tin or brittle wood 
which will enable the greed for chocolate 
of to-day to break through and steal the 
careful forethought of yesterday, but a strong 
receptacle, recalling in a miniature manner 
the masterpieces of the great safe-makers. 
This bo.x is supplied with a strong padlock, 
the key of which is in the hands of the Salva- 
tion Army agent, who at certain periods visits 
the house, unlocks the box, counts the pennies, 
for which he gives a receipt, and, going one 
better than the Post Office allows the youthful 
depositor three per cent. 

In any account of the way London saves, 
the Post Office, both from the magnitude of 
its transactions and its governmental position, 
naturally claims first consideration. More 
than ;^i40,ooo,ooo are deposited in the 
Post Office Savings Bank, and of this huge 
sum, though there are no official figures, 
London may be assumed to own a quarter. 
Of the total number of depositors sixty per 
cent, are women and children, ninety per 
cent, own less than fifty pounds, and pro- 
bably seventy-five per cent, belong to the 



industrial clas.ses. It is natural and 
inevitable that amongst the folk, who in 
their most prosperous times are only removed 
one hair's breadth from .semi-starvation, the 
women should be the most thrifty. This fact 
is illustrated in the figures issued by institu- 
tions similar to the Post Office Savings Bank. 
There are a thousand branch savings banks 
in London. At the central office 3,000 
persons, of whom nearly half are women, 
are engaged in managing the savings of the 
poor man. The Post Office encourages 
youthful thrift by allowing school teachers to 
collect the pennies of their pupils either by 
the use of stamp forms or by instituting 
penny banks, the funds of which are placed 
in bulk in the Post Office Savings Bank. 

Somewhat similar in aim and method is the 
National Penny Bank, founded by Mr. (now 
Sir) George C. T. Bartley, M.P., with the late 
Duke of Westminster, the late Earl of Derby, 
and other friends, in 1875. The Penny 
Bank, which began as a philanthropic insti- 
tution, has by careful management been put 
on a thoroughly sound commercial basis, 
and its depositors have the .satisfaction 
of knowing that they are obtaining the 
benefits of a genuine business and not of a 
mere charit}'. The National Penny Bank has 




SCHOOL TEACHERS RECEIVING PUPILS PENNIES. 



256 



LIVING LONDON. 




SALVATION ARMY RELIANCE BANK, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET. 



thirteen branches, of which that in the 
Hackney Road is one of the busiest. As 
an illustration of its operations, during 
one week before Christmas ;^ 150000 was 
withdrawn by its depositors, while during 
the week previous the weight of money 
paid over the counters was i ton 18 cwts. 
1 1 1 lbs., of which ninety per cent, was silver. 
The ledgers are probably the most remark- 
able documents owned by any banking house. 
Here is a typical account. It began on 
the first day of a month with the deposit 
of a penny, which was increased four days 
afterwards to eightpence. Two days later 
it was brought down to twopence by the 
withdrawal of sixpence. It then rose again 
in three jumps to one and twopence, fell 
again to , threepence, then to a penny, and 
after an interval of three months the account 
was closed. This is an instance of the 
intricate nature of the bank's account. Some 
years back there was, for various reasons, a 
run on the bank. Customers poured in 
demanding their money. Everyone was paid, 
including two costermongers, who drew out 
between them in gold and silver something 
like fifty pounds. About an hour afterwards 
they returned and asked the cashier if he 
would kindly take their money back again. 
" What has made you alter your minds ? " 



said the cashier. " Well, guv'nor," said one 
of the costers, " me and my mate, w'en we 
got outside, didn't know wot to do with the 
stuff, so Bill sez to me, ' Let's tyke it to 
Coutts's.' We went dahn the Strand, guv'nor, 
and blowed if Coutts's man didn't refuse to 
tyke it ! So we've come back to you." 

The Salvation Army Reliance Bank, which 
has its headquarters in Queen Victoria Street, 
is, as far as its deposit side is concerned, 
worked in much the same manner as the Post 
Office. The bank itself, with its counters 
and brass railings, flanked with clerks in 
red jerseys with " S.A." on their collars, has 
a novel and unexpected appearance ; and 
on my visit I could not help being impressed 
by the unusual cheerfulness and civility of 
everybody, from the happy-looking old 
gentleman acting as hall door porter, who 
directed me when I entered, to the able and 
courteous manager — also in a red jersey — 
whose manner and appearance were about 
as unlike one's ideas of a financial magnate 
as well could be. The curious mixture of 
spiritual fervour with business acumen which 
is characteristic of a great deal of General 
Booth's organisation was exemplified by the 
fact that this officer was reading when I was 
shown into his room a copy of the latest 
Stock Exchange prices, to settle, no doubt. 



LONDON THRIFT. 



257 



in which direction to invest his bani<'s 
money. 

Turning to another branch of the subject, 
it would be impossible to attempt even to 
enumerate the different benefit and friendly 
societies of one sort or another that exist 
in the city of London. Inquiries go to prove 
that in almost every large business — railway 
companies, foundries, manufactories, and so 
on — there is, in addition to the larger outside 
societies, some sort of benefit fund attached 
to the firm itself, in which the men's subscrip- 
tions are often augmented by subscriptions 
from the masters. These funds are looked 
upon with a very great deal of distrust by 
the trade unions and friendly societies' 
leaders, and there seems some reason to 
believe that in certain cases they are ad- 
ministered too much by the master and too 
little by the men, though I am inclined to 
think that this is rather the exception than 
the rule. A large number of publicans and 
licensed grocers in working class localities 
also start goose clubs and Christmas clubs 
amongst their customers, in which, again, the 
few pence or shillings put by every week for 
the Christmas festivities are often increased 
by the publican. 



Perhaps more important and more inter- 
esting are the great friendly societies and 
their host of small imitators. Briefly, the 
object of a friendly society may be stated 
to be the payment of a certain weekly sum 
to the members in time of sickness and 
sometimes, also, when out of work, and of 
a certain sum to the widow or orphans 
on the decease of a member. No one 
unacquainted with the London poor can 
have any idea of the extraordinary desire, 
especially amongst the women, for what is 
called a decent funeral ; and I find by 
inquiries amongst clergymen in the poorest 
districts of London that the burial club 
is a far more popular institution than the 
organisation which provides funds to tide 
its members over bad times, whether from 
sickness or from want of employment. 
There is a well known story of a poor 
woman who dearly loved her .son, but who, 
rather than spend certain money in buying 
port wine and risk his having a pauper's 
funeral, left him to die without the wine, 
and had a burying which astonished the 
neighbourhood. I myself once overheard a 
conversation in an omnibus between two 
elderly matrons, one of whom said to the 




81 



BIRKBECK BANK, SOUTHAMPTON BUILDINGS. 



25S 



LIVING LONDON. 







HKARTS OF OAK CERTIKICATE. 



the Sons of Temperance, and the two 
Orders of Sons of the Phoenix — the last 
four being teetotal organisations. Their 
ramifications are very difficult to follow, 
and much of their proceedings is kept 
secret from the outsider. But generally 
they may be fairly accurately said to be 
a combination of freemasonry and an 
ordinary friendly society. The Foresters, 
for example, which is the most interest- 
ing of them all, is said — I do not vouch 
for the accuracy of the statement — to 
have been founded by Robin Hood. 
Anyhow, a court was in existence in 
Leeds in 1790, and Forestry was intro- 
duced into London in 1837. It con- 
sists of nearly a million members, male, 
female, and juvenile, and its funds are 
approaching seven millions sterling. 
The admirable objects of the Foresters, 
which again may be taken to be fairly 
typical of these societies, are : — 

To establish and maintain benefit funds, 
from which, on satisfactory evidence of the 
death of a member of the society who has 
complied with all its lawful requirements, a 
sum shall be paid to the widow, orphans, 
dependents, or other beneficiary whom the 



and it must 
pore thing, to 



other, " Oh, it was a beautiful funeral ! 
After we come back we had wine and 
biscuits and sangwitches 
'ave done 'er 'eart good, 
'ave been able to bury 'er 'usband so 
nice." Of course, it is easy to philosophise 
over the wastefulness of money spent on 
elaborate funerals, but it is all very 
human and very touching. 

Christmas goose clubs are held in con- 
nection with many institutes and clubs. 
The Aldenham Institute, St. Pancras, 
has a club consisting of nearly 2,500 
members, who pay weekly contributions 
towards a Christmas dinner, the distribu- 
tion of the good things taking place on 
Christmas Eve. Thanks perhaps to 
Dickens, putting by for Christmas Day 
is one of the most popular forms of 
London Thrift. 

Among the friendly societies having 
branches in London are the P^oresters, 
the Buffaloes, the Druids, the United 
Patriots, the Oddfellows, the Rechabites, 




FORESTER S CERTIKICATE. 



LONDON THRIFT. 



259 



member has designated, or to the personal re- 
presentative of the member, as laid down in the 
said laws. 

To secure for its members such other advantages 
as are from time to time designated. 

To unite fraternally all persons entitled to member- 
ship under the laws of the society; and the 
word " laws " shall include general laws and bye- 
laws. 

To give all moral and material aid in its power to 
its members and those dependent upon them. 

To educate its members socially, morally, and 
intellectually. 

To establish a fund for the relief of sick and 
distressed members. 

A characteristic of the Foresters and most 



called " death money." Young men in good 
health in receipt of a wage of not less 
than 24s. per week are eligible for membership 
between the ages of eighteen and thirty. 
The entrance fee is 2s. 6d., and the sub- 
scription about £2 a year. For this the 
benefits include i8s. a week in case of sick- 
ness, ^20 for a member's funeral, and ;^io 
for the funeral of a member's wife — ladies 
apparently costing less to bury than gentle- 
men — 30s. for a wife's lying-in, and £1$ for 
loss in case of fire. The tremendous business 
done by the Hearts of Oak, as well as the 
fertility of its members, may be gauged 




A CHRISTMAS EVE DISTRIBUTION OK TURKEYS, GEESE, ETC. (AI.DENHAM I.NSTITUTE). 



of the other societies I have mentioned is 
found in their picturesque regalia. 

The older trade unions also very largely act 
as benefit societies, and offer much the same 
advantages to their members. But it will be 
remembered that when the new Unionist 
movement started after the Dock Strike, it 
was made a great feature that the trade 
union should be exclusively a fighting body, 
and that its power to fight for higher wages 
and better conditions of labour should not be 
weakened by including within its functions 
those of a friendly society. 

The Hearts of Oak, which has its head- 
quarters near Fitzroy Square, is a benefit 
society worked from a central office. It, too, 
offers to its members sick pay and what is 



by the fact that from 1842, when the society 
was founded, to the end of December, 1904, 
no less a sum than ;^ 1,1 90,628 was paid for 
lying-in claims alone, while the total money 
disbursed for all benefits amounted to over 
seven and a half million pounds. 

Before leaving this branch of the subject it 
is interesting to notice that the Jewish and 
the foreign quarters of London have their 
own friendly societies, with their own peculiar 
names, of which the following may be taken 
as specimens : — The Podumbitzer Friendly 
Society, United Brothers of Kalish, Socheti- 
bover Sick Benefit, Grand Order of the Sons 
of Jacob, and so on. 

The building society is the favourite means 
of thrift among the artisan and clerk classes. 



26o 



LIVING LONDON. 




f 






"^£^ 



^ 



DRUID S CERTIFICATE. 

There are innumerable building societies all 
over London, some of which are, rather oddly, 
connected with Dissenting chapels, and often 
have the minister of the chapel as one of the 
trustees. The method of the building society 
is to collect money in small sums from a large 
number of persons and lend it to others 
upon real securit}'. The method has many 
variations. Usually after a member has de- 
posited a certain amount with the society 
sufficient to pay a proportion of the price 
of a house the directors, after an in- 
vestigation by their surveyor, advance the 
balance of the purchase price, holding the 
deeds as security, and this advance, together 
with interest, has to be repaid in instalments 
over a specified number of years, the result, of 
course, being that the borrower pays probably 
rather less a sum than 
would be demanded of 
him for rent, and in the 
course of a few years owns 
a house of his own. In 
one instance which has 
come to my knowledge a 
doorkeeper of a factory in 
the Euston Road has in 
the course of forty years 
acquired about twenty 
houses in this manner, and 
has become possessed of a 



comfortable income which he will, of course, 
be able to bequeath to his heirs. 

There are between 2,000 and 3,000 build- 
ing societies in England and Wales, and the 
amount of business they do may be gauged 
by the fact that in the Birkbeck — one of 
the best known London societies — during a 
recent twelvemonth 8,700 persons became 
depositors, and the total cash received during 
its first fifty years of existence amounted 
to over ^290,000,000 sterling. Our photo- 
graphic reproduction on page 257 depicts 
the interior of the well-known Birkbeck 
Bank, where the business both of the 
building society and of the bank itself is 
transacted. 

Among interesting minor thrift societies 
mention may be made of a very admirable 
idea which has been started in West London 
by one or two ladies, whereby servant girls 
contribute a small sum monthly to the funds 
of what is called a Clothes Club, and are 
provided with rather more than the value of 
their subscriptions in garments. 

I have endeavoured to give a kaleido- 
scopic view of the many varied organisations, 
some entirely engineered by the members 
themselves, others guided and fostered by 
clergymen, philanthropists. Government of- 
ficials, and employers of labour, which have 
for their aim the encouragement of putting 
by for a rainy day — the enunciation 01 
the doctrine that to look after the pennies 
is a sure and certain way of finding that 
the pounds will look after themselves, and 
that by the help of that marvellous institution 
called interest, if you cast your bread upon 
the waters, it will come back to j'ou largely 
increased in bulk. 



■.■•^^■' 



Poslagc Sl;niips for 



DcpoMi of Oiiii .shiiUng in' the Post Office 
Siivinsrs Bank. 



12 Penny Stamps to be aHl^ed below. 



4 






I 



POST OEFICE SA\I.\GS BANK STAMP FOKM. 



26 1 




DUIUNG A SUMMER HEAT WAVE. 




LONDON INDER THE WEATHER. 

By GEORGE R. SIMS. 

THE stapl 
commodit 



le 
ity 
of London 
conversation is the 
weather. In the 
street the usual 
greeting among 
passing acquaint- 
ances is " Fine 
day," or "Wretched 
weather," as the 
case may be. At 
the social gather- 
ing the weather is 
the subject which 
usually breaks the 
ice, and at the 
clubs the members 
meeting in the 
hall, or gazing out 
of the big front windows, invariably refer to 
the atmospheric conditions. Of late years 
it has been the fashion to describe most of 
the seasons as " trying," and to-da}' the news- 
papers have taken to headlining their me- 
teorological paragraphs. The word "phenom- 
enal " has come into vogue for the autumn 
that is hot and the spring that is cold. The 



ON THE KERBSTONE : 
SUN HATS. 



Londoner seems to be always hardly used 
by the atmosphere, and the elements are 
continually against him. If it is hot, it is a 
" heat wave " and unbearable ; if it is cold, 
it is a " blizzard " and murderous. 

Having made up their minds that the 
weather is extraordinary, Londoners comport 
themselves under its variations in a more 
or less extraordinary manner. They are 
never prepared for heat or cold. A few 
days of blazing sunshine fill the streets with 
eccentric costumes for man and beast alike. 
A few days of snow drive the borough 
councils to the end of their wits, and paralyse 
the traffic of the busiest city in the world. 

But though only the extremes of heat and 
cold emphasise the Londoner's helplessness 
to the point of ridicule, the weather in all 
its phases frames a picture of serio-comic 
suffering which is well worth the attention 
of the student of men and manners. 

London in the heat wave is always inter- 
esting. The streets suddenly become white 
with the straw hats of men and women. 
The waistcoat of civilisation is abandoned, 
and daring young men wear sashes of 
colour around their waists which are dignified 
by the name of " cummerbunds." The ladies 



262 



LIVING LONDON. 



in their lightest array anxiously shield their 
complexions beneath umbrellas or parasols 
of. sufficiently large dimensions to be of use 
as well as ornament. Aristocratic London in 
the heat wave — so much of it as remains in 
town — seeks the shade of the Park at an 
early hour. Occasionally it breakfasts in 
Kensington Gardens ; it dines at night with 
its windows wide open amid shaded lights ; 




HIGH HOLBORN IN A STOUM. 

and the balconies of the west have an 
Oriental character until the midnight hour. 
Ordinary London — working London and 
loafing London — maintains no dignity in 
the heat wave. Its coats come off in un- 
accustomed places ; the business man carries 
his Panama in his hand, and mops his brow ; 
the 'busmen and the cabmen adorn their 
horses' heads with straw bonnets, and tuck 
handkerchiefs under their own hats, after 
the fashion of the Indian puggaree. " Ice " 
becomes the legend in the public-house 
windows ; the sale of white linen hats 
becomes a trade of the kerbstone ; and 



tattered humanity reclines in the streets^ 
after the manner of the Neapolitan lazzaroni. 
The steps of St. Paul's in the height of a 
heat wave are frequently used for the at 
fresco siesta of worker and loafer alike. 

London in a thunderstorm is a scene 
of panic. At the first clap women utter a 
little cry of terror in chorus, and make 
hurried darts into drapers' shops or con- 
venient doorways. Pre- 
sently the heavens burst, 
and a terrific storm of 
rain sweeps over the 
town. Instantly, as if by 
magic, the streets are 
cleared : where the pedes- 
trians have vanished to 
is a mystery. But the 
'buses and the cabs can- 
not escape. The 'buses 
are full inside ; the out- 
side passengers bend 
their heads to the pitiless 
storm, cowering under 
umbrellas if they have 
them. 

The cabmen turn up 
their coat collars, and the 
wet reins slip through 
their hands ; but the cab 
horse plays no pranks in 
the heavy downpour. 
The rain rattles against 
the lowered glass ; a 
small Niagara pours off 
the brim of cabby's hat 
and further impedes his 
view ; the wheels splash 
through small rivers 
of muddy water ; and presently the shop 
windows and the adjacent rails are mud- 
bespattered, as if they had been pelted by 
an indignant crowd. When the storm abates, 
macintoshed stragglers appear in the streets, 
but the outlook seems dank and miserable. 
The ladies compelled to be abroad tread 
gingerly on the tips of their toes. A cat 
has no greater horror of wet under foot than 
a female Londoner. 

London in a fog ! The " scene " is unique ; 
no other capital in the world can show the 
equal of " the London Particular." When 
the yellow, choking mist commences to roll 



LONDON UNDER TIIK WEATHER. 



263 



up in the daytime, 
London is filled with 
Rembrandtesque 
effects even at high 
noon. The h'ghts 
in the shops are 
flaring, the hghts in 
the private houses 
are full on. You 
see more of the 
""domestic interior" 
on a foggy day than 
at any other time, 
for the blinds are 
not drawn. There 
is no more pictur- 
-esque peep-show 
than the London 
"domestic interior" 
lighted up in the 
daytime with the 
firelight flickering 
■on the walls. 

Towards night, when the fog has not 
Hfted, the situation becomes tragic. Fog 
signals explode with startling detonation on 
the railways ; Dante's Inferno seems to have 
been transported to the town upon the 





liV TOk(.HI.U;HT. 



AT THE MEKCY OF THE WIND 



Thames. Boys and men wander here and 
there with torches, and lend a diabolical 
element to the Cimmerian gloom ; the warn- 
ing shouts of 'busmen and cabmen, as they 
move slowly forward, now getting on to the 
pavement, now colliding with a lamp-post, 
come from the unseen. Wayfarers, busi- 
ness men returning from their occupation, 
belated travellers bound for distant parts of 
the Metropolis, grope their way blindly along, 
clutching at the railings of the houses to 
make sure that they do not wander into the 
roadway ; when they come suddenly upon 
something that looks like a policeman, they 
ask in plaintive voices for topographical 
guidance. But somehow or other everybody 
gets home — the cabmen find their stables, 
the 'busmen their yards. On the morrow, when 
the gift of sight is once more of practical use, 
we relate our adventures as humorous ex- 
periences to our friends who had the good 
fortune to remain indoors during " a London 
fog." 

London in a gale. London, when the 
wild north-easter blows over a wind-dried 
city, is trying alike to the temper and the 
dignity. As the sign-boards swing the 
nervous pedestrian glances uneasily aloft. At 
times he ceases to glance anywhere, and, 
turning his back on the blast, closes his eyes ; 




LUDGATE CIRCUS IN A FOG. 



LONDON UNDER THE WEATHER. 



265 



for the dust which has eddied and swirled 
in the roadway comes on a sudden gust, in 
a thick cloud, straight at him. In this position 
the male pedestrian is uncomfortable enough, 
but the female pedestrian is an object to melt 
the heart of a woman-hater. To keep her hat 
on and stand her ground, as the wind blowing 
fifty miles an hour spends its fury on her 
ample skirts, is a feat that requires long 
practice. If she is wise she clutches at a lamp- 
post or a railing ; if she trusts to her own 
unaided efforts she is generally blown along 
in a series of undignified little jumps. 

When the wind blows furiously in London 
the pavements and roadways are strewn with 
rubbish and torn paper, fragments of news- 
paper contents bills, and shop sweepings. 
It is as though a caravan of dust-carts had 
strewn their contents about the Metropolis. 
The newspaper bills have a partiality for the 
middle of the roadway, where they frighten 
horses or, occasionally rising like kites in the 
air, wrap themselves round the face of a 
carman or an outside 'bus passenger. The 
theatre boards and newspaper boards outside 
the shops are blown down here and there 
with a sharp little bang, and the spectacle 
of a gentleman wildly careering among the 
traffic after his hat is common. A gale is 
usually more prolific in accidents than a fog, 
and there is always a long list of casualties. 

London in a drizzle — the damp, warm 
drizzle that goes on and on and colours 
all things a gloomy drab — is a misery unto 
men and a woe unto women. There is a 
penetrating dampness about the London 
drizzle that seems gradually to mildew the 
mind. The weather is repeated in the 
countenance of everybody one meets. The 
pavements have become gradually like the 
sea sand at low tide. They are a series of 
small puddles relieved by pools where the 
stones have been removed for repair. The 
nice conduct of an umbrella is not within the 
genius of the Londoner, and so where the 
crowd waits for the 'buses that are always full 
inside, or in the busy streets where there are 
always two opposing streams of pedestrians, 
there is constant collision and apology, 
and occasionally one man's umbrella drips 
down the neck of his neighbour. The 
bestowal of wet umbrellas in omnibuses and 
tram-cars is a fertile source of trouble. With 
82 



twelve saturated umbrellas all draining at 
once on to the floor of a crowded vehicle, and 
frequently down the garments of the 
passengers, the inside of a public conveyance 
closely resembles a bathing machine. 

There is a peculiar blight that descends on 
London occasionally and lies heavily upon 
it for days. The skies are of a smoky grey, a 
yellowish haze narrows the horizon; in the 
parks and open spaces a light blue mist 
hangs upon the grass and envelops the 
trunks of the trees. The birds are silent, the 
church clocks strike with a muffled sound. 
The depression extends alike to beast 
and man. The cab and 'bus horses go 
lazily, the crowds of human beings move about 
as though they had a silent sorrow. It is 
then the words " Beastly weather " are heard 
everywhere, and men yawn publicly. There 
is even a pessimistic note in the public Press, 
and if Parliament is sitting a dyspeptic tone 
pervades the debates. 

But it is when London has had a snowstorm 
that the Londoner is seen under the most 
depressing conditions of all. The beautiful 
snow of the Christmas number has no joys for 
him. Short spells of frost may come now 
and then, but they are marred by the dread 
anticipations of the thaw that must follow. 
London under a rapid thaw is the paradise 
of plumbers, but it is the other place for 
everybody else. 

Yet London half-flooded by thaw is but a 
minor evil compared with the flooding of 
certain low - lying districts that follows a 
long period of heavy rain. South London 
is sometimes the scene of an e.xtensive 
inundation. Lambeth Marshes are under 
water ; houses in this neighbourhood are 
flooded in cellar and basement, founda- 
tions are rendered unsafe, and the inhab- 
itants are for many days amphibious. The 
Thames once e.xtended as far as the 
Elephant and Castle and Newington Butts, 
and at times of heavy downpours the 
dwellers in this district are unpleasantly 
reminded of the fact. 

But to return to the snow. When the 
Londoner wakes up in the morning and 
sees that it has fallen heavily in the night 
— when the Londoner looks out upon a 
" white city " — he for a moment appreciates 
the poetry of the picture. But directly 



266 



LIVING LONDON. 



London begins its day's work the scene 
is changed. The traffic, foot and horse, 
rapidly crushes the snow into a slushy paste 
resembling chocolate in the early process 
of manufacture. The pavements become 
slippery, the wood and the asphalt are 
skating rinks. If the snow still continues 
and the roads freeze hard, or only partially 
thaw, London does nothing. The unemployed 
are immediately remembered, and indignant 
citizens rush into print, demanding an army 
of men for the relief of the situation. 

Presently the authorities summon up courage 
to attack the difficulty. The householder has 
felt compelled to clear so much of the pave- 
ment as lies in front of his habitation, or has 
emplo\-ed the men with spades who peram- 
bulate the suburbs shouting, " Sweep your 
doorway." But the municipal officials have 
" waited." When they set to work they 
generally clear the roadway by shovelling the 
snow into great heaps on either side. 
London then becomes a miniature Switzer- 
land with a small Alpine range running along 
its roadways. 

If the frost holds and the London lakes 
freeze over, then the Serpentine and the 
ornamental waters in Regent's Park revive 
for a day or two the vanished glories of 
the Ice Fair. The banks are lined with men 
who bring old cane-bottomed or Windsor 
chairs with them, and do a roaring trade 



in affixing skates to the boots of the select. 
Sliding is the sport of the small boy, who 
is largel}' represented on these occasions. 
Picturesque figures are the Royal Humane 
Society men in their cork jackets, and not 
infrequently their services are reauired to 
rescue an adventurous skater who has dis- 
dained the warning notice-board of danger. 

London while the frost holds and the snow 
is hard is exhilarating for the young and the 
idle ; snow-balling is indulged in in spite 
of police prohibition, and in some parts of 
the suburbs you may come upon the juvenile 
sculptor's effort at a snowman. But snow dis- 
organises the traffic, and the business man 
suffers and growls, while the poor feel their 
situation acutely. Many trades cease. Frozen- 
out gardeners and bricklayers make their 
appearance in slowly walking little groups, 
and seek to open the purse strings of the 
charitable by chanting doleful ditties. 

But London under the snow that is half 
snow and half slush — London under a week 
of alternating snow and frost — is a piteous 
spectacle. A general paralysis attacks the 
whole working organisation. The train 
service gradually dissociates itself from the 
time tables, the omnibus service is cut down 
to infinitesimal proportions, and the news- 
papers are filled with sarcastic comments 
concerning " The Beautiful Snow." Then 
indeed is London " Under the Weather." 



w 






• ^ It. 

4w W 



Fkolo : rori 4 Son-, yotung ihll. If. 



SKATING ON THE SERPENTINE, 



267 



SCOTTISH, IRISH, AND WELSH LONDON. 

By C. O'CONOR ECCLES. 



EVERY year from Scotland, from Ireland, 
and from Wales young men flock in 
hundreds to London. They are of 
all classes, all degrees of education, united 
in one common aim, that, namely, of making 



squares to struggling practitioners in White- 
chapel and South wark. Irish barristers are 
numerous, and, thanks to the eloquence which 
is their birthright, win fame and fortune in 
their profession. Journalism likewise attracts 




PLAYING IN THE HAGGIS ON ST. ANDREWS NIGHT. 



a living. The new-comers find employment 
in many different ways. Scotland and 
Ireland largely recruit the ranks of the 
police force. The Civil Service, too, in all 
its branches employs many Irishmen, whose 
brilliant talents often enable them to rise 
from small posts to places of high emolument 
and power. Mercantile clerkships attract the 
Scot, who has a happy knack of coming 
South with the traditional half-crown in his 
pocket, and by thrift, ability, and industry 
amassing a fortune. Scottish and Irish 
doctors, too, abound, from men who have 
made a name and dwell in fashionable 



large numbers of Scotsmen and Irishmen 
so that it is a saying in Fleet Street that 
English editors are kept simply to correct 
the " shalls " and " wills " of their colleagues. 

Welshmen in their pursuits are usually 
either musical or mercantile, and frequently 
both. Many of London's leading singers, 
both men and women, are Welsh, though 
both Ireland and Scotland contribute their 
quota of musical talent. Indeed, perhaps, 
the gayest and most picturesque figure to 
be seen in London streets is the itinerant 
Scottish piper with his bagpipes, a man 
who, if he does not rank in the eyes of the 



268 



LIVING LONDON. 




LONDON KYMRIC LADIES CHOIR. 



world with the musical celebrities of his 
nation, would seem to have a " guid conceit " 
of himself, and to enjoy mightily the interest 
he rouses in quiet residential quarters. 

From music to milk is an easy transition, 
if we may judge by the innumerable old 
Welsh ballads which begin by stating that 
"Winnie" or " Nesta " was a milkmaid. It 
is consequently interesting to learn that 
the milk trade of London is to a great 
extent in the hands of the Welsh. Several 
drapery establishments, too, are owned by 
enterprising Welshmen. 

Very many Irishmen of the poorest class 
likewise drift to London in search of employ- 
ment. Debarred by lack of means from 
lodgings where the rate of payment is high, 
and yet compelled to be near the great 
industrial centres where chance jobs may be 
most easily picked up, they and their 
families are automatically forced into slum 
dwellings in such neighbourhoods as Poplar, 
Islington, and Southwark, where they form 
colonies of people wonderfully good and 
helpful to each other, but over-crowded, 
deprived of all that brightens and beautifies 
existence, and compelled to bring up their 
children under circumstances that give the 
little ones but a slender chance of developing 
their highest po.ssibilities. 

The Scot who comes to London is sure 
sooner or later to find himself in touch 



with the Scottish Corporation in Crane 
Court, Fleet Street. This body occupies 
No. 7, a spacious building at the extreme 
end, with high-pitched roof, small turrets 
to the front, and other features of Scottish 
architecture. Scottish life in London centres 
round the spot. It is the headquarters of 
many county associations, of the Highland 
Society, the Caledonian Society, the Gaelic 
Society, and various other organisations. 
Because of the innumerable activities and 
interests concentrated there, 7, Crane Court, 
has been called " The Scottish Consulate." 
The house is modern, having been rebuilt in 
1880 on the site of the old hall purchased at 
the end of the eighteenth century by the 
Corporation from the Royal Society. Sir 
Isaac Newton's presidential chair was saved 
from the fire which destroyed this original 
building as well as many valuable paintings 
and records ; it now stands in the board 
room. 

Ever since 1665 the Corporation has held 
an annual dinner on St. Andrew's Night, 
where the guests in full Highland costume 
are marshalled to their places by skirling 
pipers, who later in the evening head a 
majestic procession of cooks, each bearing 
on a trencher a haggis, " great chieftain of 
the pudding race," the national dish which 
to the palate of the true-born Scot surpasses 
all that the South can offer. At this festival 



SCOTTISH, IRISH, AND WELSH LONDON. 



269 



some prominent Scottish nobleman presides, 
and on the walls appear Scottish emblems, 
" the ruddy lion rampt in gold," the banners 
and shields of Highland clans, with clay- 
mores, dirks, and pistols. Funds are collected 
for the relief of distress, and thanks to 
Scottish benevolence many a humble home 
has been kept together, and many a decent 
body, brought low by misfortune, has been 
pensioned and enabled to spend his last 
days in peace. It is an interesting sight 



clad in the Stuart tartan, and ready at their 
teacher's word to sing plaintive Jacobite 
ballads in sweet childish trebles. Their 
soft notes have more than once melted the 
hearts and loosened the purse-strings of 
Scottish visitors. Practical good sense is 
shown in the training given. 

Scottish gentlemen of position, officers of 
Scottish regiments and others, foregather at 
the Caledonian Club, 30, Charles Street, 
St. James's. The house is roomy and old- 
fashioned, with wide corridors and lofty, 
spacious apartments. The Club, though 
only established in 1898, numbers over a 
thousand members, and, like the famous 




LEARNI.NG IRISH REELS (ATHEN^UM 
HALL, TOTTE.NHAM COURT ROAD). 



to see the old people come for their pensions 
once a month. 

Should an indigent Scotsman die in 
London, or a Scottish soldier, sailor or 
marine be disabled when on active service, 
his children will be received at the Royal 
Caledonian Asylum, which has now its head- 
quarters at Bushey. It is worth while to 
go down any morning and, escorted by the 
kindly Secretary, see the kilted boy pipers 
march up and down skirling bravely, or 
watch the little lads dance the Reel, the 
Highland Fling, and the Sword Dance. 
There are about ninety of them, all well-fed, 
well-cared-for, well-taught, and bright-faced. 
Along the corridor, on the girls' side of 
the building, are some si.xty bonnie lasses, 



giantess, is " still growing." Ladies are 
admitted as guests daily to lunch and tea, 
and once or twice a week to dinner. The 
fine reading-room with its panels of dark 
green silk brocade is given over to them, 
and a special dining-room is reserved for 
them and their hosts. 

The Scottish Golf Club at Wimbledon, 
founded in 1865 by a group of London 
Scotsmen, has a large body of members, 
devotees of the national game. 

Seldom is a London winter sufficiently 
rigorous to admit of curling, but when the 
ice bears, the members of the Shinto Curling 
Club are there, ready to take advantage of 
it for this exciting game. 

The Irishman finds in London his own 



270 



LIVING LONDON. 



literary, athletic, political, and social institu- 
tions. He may join the Irish Literary 
Society, and stroll down to its headquarters, 
where he can read all the Irish papers, have 
luncheon, tea, or dinner, and meet his friends, 
since this organisation combines the advan- 
tages of a club with lectures, concerts, and 
other attractions, and is becoming more and 
more the chief centre of social intercourse 
for the Irish in London. It is non-sectarian 
and non-political, and, as its primary object 
is the advancement of Irish literature, appeals 
to all parties. To it belong many literary 
men and women of Irish nationality. Several 
of these are members of a kindred association, 
the Irish Texts Society This was estab- 
lished to publish, with English translations, 
glossaries, and notes, the large and interesting 
body of Irish MSS. which still e.xists. 

The most Irish of the Irish belong to 
a flourishing young organisation which is 
friendly in its relations with the Irish 
Literary Society, though quite independent 
of it. I allude to the Gaelic League, which 
attracts a number of the most energetic 
and practical of the younger generation, and 
has its headquarters at Duke Street, Adelphi. 
Its direct object is to extend the living 
Irish language, and preserve the store of fine 
Irish songs and traditions that, without such 





SHAMROCK SELLER. 



IRISH GUARDS.VIEN. 



timely help, might die 
out; indirectly — being 
based on principles of 
national self-reliance — 
it stands for the revival 
of Irish industries, for 
all that is at once 
national and progres- 
sive. The visitor to the 
Athenaium Hall, Tot- 
tenham Court Road, 
will find on any Mon- 
day evening some two 
hundred young men 
and women assembled 
to study Gaelic. There is always a large 
mi.xture of Irish speakers who make it a 
point of honour at these meetings to speak 
in Gaelic only. Amongst them are some who, 
though born and bred in London and speak- 
ing English without a trace of accent, are 
well acquainted with the sweet native tongue 
of their forefathers. The League has fifteen 
Irish schools in the Metropolis. Recreation, 
on traditional lines, is not lost sight of. The 
Irish dancing classes are always popular, and 
in addition there are in summer pleasant 
Seilgi and Scoruidheachta, or excursions and 
social gatherings, with now and then a Pleraca 
or dance, while an annual musical festival is 
held at the Queen's Hall. This has a large 
number of Gaelic songs on the programme, 
and the music is exclusively traditional. 
This festival is now considered the central 
event in the Irish musical year. It is distinct 
from the Irish concert now held at the 
Queen's Hall on St. Patrick's Night, which 
is on the lines of the popular Scottish con- 
cert on St. Andrew's Night, and attracts the 
same kind of audience. On St. Patrick's 
Day there is a wonderful sale of so-called 
" shamrock " in the London streets — most 
of it, alas, pure clover that grew probably 
in Surrey meadows. It is often decorated 
with sparkling bits of gold foil, and to the 
uninitiated looks cheap at a penny a bunch. 
The expert, however, notes the white dot 
on each leaf and the hairy stems, and prefers 
to get his button-hole direct from Ireland, 
where, indeed, there is a considerable export 
trade in the genuine article about this time. 
The religious service in honour of St. Patrick 
at the Roman Catholic Church, Dockhead, is 



SCOTTISH, IRISH, AND WELSH LONDON. 



271 



unique, the hymns, sermons, and responses 
being respectively in Irish and Latin. It 
attracts a crowded congregation. 

The GaeUc Athletic Association possesses 
some eight or nine clubs, mostly in North 
London, devoted to hurling, football, and 
athletics generally, their chief grounds being 
at Muswell Hill and Lea Bridge. They 
hold no matches or competitions with 
English clubs. The "G.A.A." has its head- 
quarters in Ireland, and Great Britain ranks 
as one of its provinces, London being con- 



pected later to play All Ireland for the 
championship. 

In Holborn there is an Irish club the 
members of which are civil servants, medical 
men and others ; the medical men having also 
an association of their own at II, Chandos 
Street, one of the objects of which is to 
secure the recognition of Irish degrees by 
London hospitals, which in distributing 
appointments often refuse to accept Irish 
qualifications, however capable may be the 
men holding them. 




A LONDON IRISH HURLING MATCH. 



sidered a county. There are in the Metro- 
polis a large body of members, of whom 
over 200 belong to the Hibernian Athletic 
Club, the oldest of the group, which was 
founded in 1895. Hurling, as practised by 
Irish teams, differs in certain respects from 
hockey, and is a more dashing game ; while 
the Gaelic Athletic Rules for football prohibit 
handling, pushing, or tripping, which are 
permitted by Rugbj' rules. When the grass 
is very wet, however, some of the pla\'ers 
discard boots and stockings. The various 
G.A.A. clubs in London challenge each 
other, and then the winning team challenges 
some other county, as, for example, the 
Manchester and Liverpool G.A.A. The 
winner in this latter match is always ex- 



While the various Irish counties have no 
such societies as the Scottish for bringing 
natives together, a province, Ulster, has its 
own association. It owes it origin to the 
casual encounter of two or three enthusiastic 
Northerners who lamented that, proud as 
was the position of their compatriots in 
London, they had no general meeting place. 
Its inaugural banquet was held in Januar}', 
1897, when many recruits joined the Society, 
and, thanks to excellent management, the 
membership has since greatly increased. 
Balls, concerts, Cinderella dances, banquets, 
and a river trip are among the entertainments 
offered. The headquarters of the as.sociation 
are at the Hotel Cecil. 

In the days of Parnell, the Westminster 



2/2 



LIVING LONDON. 




tk« -LONDON KXLT.- 



• Cymtw^. \XVH. Y Ph<c«l a Hw«m« Jmms, JLA. 



: m^ 









ar5ir--:»'i.-=it=: -; * 






i 



PUBLISHED IX LONDON. 

Palace Hotel was a favourite rendezvous 
of the Irish Nationalist Members of I'arlia- 
ment. Nowadays, however, they have no 
recognised centre, but hold their meetings 
sometimes at one place, sometimes at another. 
Some of them have town houses, others live 
in apartments, others again chum together 
and have rooms or chambers in common, 
whether in localities like Kensington or 
Chelsea, or on the Surrey side, which, if 
less fashionable, is within easier reach of the 
House of Commons. There are, it may be 
added, many purely political associations for 
Irishmen in London. 

The above may be taken as covering 
Irish Ireland in London, but there is also 
fashionable Ireland, which, if the bull may 
be pardoned, is not Irish at all, since it 
includes wealthy non-resident Irish landlords 
who, for the most part, like the Duke of 
Devonshire and the Marquess of London- 
derry, are Englishmen born and bred, but 
hold estates across the Channel. Many 
wealthy women, however, in this circle do 
good work in buying Irish manufactures, 
and no trousseau of an aristocratic bride 
is complete unless the dainty stitchery, the 
fairy-like embroidery, and the costly lace 
are provided by workers in some Irish 
convent. The Irish Peasantry Society at 
Stamford Street, Blackfriars, offers a free 
education to a certain number of the 
London born children of Irish parents. 



preference being given to those whose fathers 
were soldiers or sailors. This Association 
also offers small prizes in Ireland for the 
best kept cottages. 

Since the establishment of the Irish Guards 
by Queen Victoria, in compliment to Irish 
valour in South Africa, the uniform and the 
flat cap with its green band have become 
familiar in the London streets. The three 
figures in our photographic illustration on 
page 270 are shown standing in front of a 
coat of arms affixed to a wall in the Tower 
of London. There is also a well-known Irish 
Volunteer regiment, the London Irish Rifles, 
already mentioned in the article on " Volun- 
teer London." 

The Welsh inhabitants of London, though 
they number some fifty thousand, have no 
such central meeting places as the Scots 
and Irish. True, they possess an admirable 
literary society, the Cymmrodorion, which 
gives aid to necessitous members of the 
community, but Welsh life in London 
centres chiefly in the chapels, and its 
activities for the most part are religious, or, 
at any rate, connected with religion. To 
gain some idea of its true inwardness, one 
cannot do better than attend the New 
Jewin Chapel or the Welsh Tabernacle in 
the Pentonville Road some Sunday evening 
when a popular preacher has come up to 
address the congregation. The stranger will 
find the building thronged with well-dressed 
people, for the most part prosperous business 
men and women, the number of the former 
sex being remarkable. The majority are 
Calvinistic Methodists, for to this body 
the bulk of the London Welsh population 
belong, though there are also many Welsh 
Congregationalists, Baptists, and Wesleyans 
in the capital, while the Established Church 
finds a certain number of adherents. The 
sermon, the hymns, the announcements are 
all in Welsh, so that the visitor feels himself 
an outsider and a foreigner, despite the 
familiar aspect of everyone and everything. 
As might be e.xpected where a race is .so 
musical, the congregational singing is ex- 
ceptionally good. The organist at the Welsh 
Tabernacle, Mrs. Frances Rees-Rowlands, is 
conductress of the London Kymric Ladies' 
Choir, of which Lady Puleston is president. 
The members are selected from all the Welsh 



SCOTTISH, IRISH, AND WELSH LONDON. 



273 



chapels, the best voices only being picked 
out, with the result that this choir was 
awarded the first and second prizes at the 
Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales, and 
has appeared before Royalty. All the singers 
are dressed in their national costume, with 
the Welshwoman's characteristic hat. 

On St. David's Eve Welsh people have 
special services at the City Temple and 
St. Paul's ; and on St. David's Day, though 
few of them sport the leek as the Irish 
sport the shamrock, they eat it at their 
annual dinner in the form of Cawl Cenin, 
a favourite soup. The Welsh in London 
possess a political society, the Cymru Fydd, 
which is Radical in its tendencies, and to 
which most of the Welsh Members of 



Parliament belong. Moreover, they have a 
newspaper of their own printed partly in 
their own language, and bearing the title of 
The London Welshman {Cymro Llundain). 
Thrifty, cleanly, industrious, neighbourly 
and united, the London Welsh form an 
important and valuable addition to the 
population. 

Indeed, the Scottish, Iri.sh, and Welsh 
elements do and have done much towards 
making London a world city, and in leaven- 
ing the Anglo-Saxons with Celtic impetuosity 
and mental alertness have, with other causes, 
given to metropolitans a width of outlook 
and a receptivity not to be found in pro- 
vincial towns where these elements do not 
bulk as largely or act as potently. 




HIGHLAND PIl^EK AND DANCER IN LONDON. 



83 



274 




LAYING ELECTRIC CABLES. 



LIGHTING LONDON. 

By DESMOND YOUNG. 



IF one could only hover in a balloon over 
Central London as night falls ! To see, 
as the man with the long stick makes 
his round and switches are turned on and 
levers pulled behind the scenes, the trans- 
formation scene gradually unfold and the 
myriad lights spurt out of the grey gloom 
beneath: the sinuous Thames 
become outhned by moonlike 
arc lamps ; the bridges start 
up as if set pieces of fire- 
works ; Leicester Square 
assert itself as the hub of 
Pleasure London in a blaze 
of bluish - white refulgence, 
more than ever eclipsmg its 
sedate neighbour, Trafalgar 
Square ; long lines of stars 
shoot out from the busy, 
pulsing heart below, radiating 
in all directions, beginning 
with steady white orbs and 
fading away in glimmering 
specks of yellowish luminosity 
— what a picture it would be ! 
Innumerable are the lights 
of London and well-nitjh in- 




LAMP LIGHTER. 



conceivably vast is the system by which 
they are produced and maintained. Scores 
of private companies, as well as a number 
of public bodies, including the County 
Council, are engaged in the work ; the capital 
sunk in it is fabulous in amount ; and the 
pipes and cables connected with it form an 
amazingly complex subter- 
ranean network, of which 
Londoners get a glimpse 
when the streets are " up." 

Electricity is generated in 
the Metropolis at scores of 
points. The oldest company 
distributing the energy is the 
London Electric Supply Cor- 
poration, whose station at 
Deptford was long the largest 
in the world. Whether it is 
now or not, its capacity is 
enormous. To obtain even 
a superficial knowledge of 
the lighting of London these 
works must be visited. Here 
we are, then. A bewildering 
maze of engines and 
machinery fills the large 



LIGHTING LONDON. 



275 



engine house. To the right is the older 
plant — powerful engines connected to 
dynamos by rope pulleys. To the left are 
some of the newer engines, coupled direct 
to huge dynamos which are revolving so 
rapidly and noiselessly that but for the 
little sparks that come and go they would 
seem to be motionless. At present — it 
is 1 1 a.m., with a bright sky overhead — 
there is a light load on, not much electricity 
is being consumed. Hence there are only 
two engines running. As the demand in- 



etc, of the mysterious current that is passing 
through the cables below, and the handles 
enable them to regulate it. Though they 
seem to have it completely in harness, 
this is the most dangerous part of the 
works. 

Among the municipal corporations which 
supply electricity St. Pancras and Shoreditch 
occupy important positions. Of the London 
authorities St. Pancras led the way in open- 
ing a station, while Shoreditch was the first 
borough in the country to combine on a 




IX THE LONDON ELECTKIC SUPPLY CORPORATION S WORKS, 



creases others will be started to keep pace 
with it. There is no drawing on reserves 
when the rush comes about dusk, as at a 
gas works. As electricity is wanted so it 
must be generated and supplied, because 
storing it, while possible, is not commercially 
practicable. And, as a consequence, some 
engines are always running. 

On a gallery to the left the switch-board 
is situated. It has as many rows of dials 
as a clockmaker's shop, and underneath arc 
ranged levers like those in the signal cabin 
on the iron road. The quivering hands of 
the gauges show the attendants the pressure. 



large scale the destruction of dust and refuse 
with the production of electricity. The two 
things often go hand in hand now. Still, 
to Shoreditch is due the credit which should 
always be given to the pioneer. 

Let us take a peep at its station. Begin 
at the yard, into which the refuse — household, 
trade, and street^is brought. Little moun- 
tains of clinkers from the furnaces are here 
a feature of the scenery. The economic 
disposal of this waste is one of the most 
important problems connected with the 
undertaking — which is not creditable to us 
as a commercial nation. Among it, for one 



LIGHTING LONDON. 



277 



thing, are some articles which would pass 
as relics from Pompeii. 

Cross the yard, and we are at the lift which 
raises the rubbish to the top of the furnaces 
(already described in the article on " London's 
Toilet "). Through the engine house, along the 
gallery in front of an elaborate switch-board, 
and into another room containing a switch- 
board for public lighting. If you pulled 
down one of those levers projecting from it, 
all the arc lamps on one side of a street 
would go out. The lights are, except when 
fog envelops the borough, switched on and 
off according to a time table. And that 
points to the coming doom of the man with 
the stick as well as of the lamp cleaner with 
his light, portable ladder. Electric lamps, of 
course, do not need their attention. Both 
will be superseded by the now familiar 
figure who supplies the arc lamps with 
carbon, which is consumed in the production 
of the light. 

Electricity is coming more and more into 
use in London for lighting. Hundreds of 
miles of streets are laid with cables, and yet 
it is impossible to walk very far without 
seeing more being put down. The road is 
up. In the gutter stands a huge reel of 
leaden cable. Presently this is rolled nearer 
the hole, and then the passers-by stop and 
gaze expectantly. At last they are going 
to behold that famous little dog which rushes 
through the earthenware pipe with a string 
tied to its tail and thus makes a connection 
between two lengths. But, alas I this 
sagacious animal is purely mythical. No 
dog is used, no member of the brute 
creation, though there is a tradition that 
a rat was once pressed into service, and 
that to ensure all possible speed a ferret 
was sent after it to tell it to hurry up. 
Instead of resorting to any device of this 
kind, the men put an ordinary drain rod 
through the pipe. To the end of this very 
prosaic tool a string is attached, and to the 
end of the string a rope, and to the end 
of the rope the beginning of the cable. It 
is all very simple. Londoners, however, are 
likely to see much of it in the near future. 

Gas is supplied to the great city mostly 
by two corporations. One, the Gas Light 
and Coke Company, has more than sixty 
square miles of territory north of the Thames 



and makes, in round figures, 22,21 i.ooo.cxx) 
cubic feet of gas per annum. Its works are 
scattered all over London, though the output 
at Beckton is as large as at all the others 
combined. The other great company is 
the South Metropolitan, which supplies an 
enormous area on the south side of the river 
with 11,272,916,000 cubic feet per annum. 
These companies, with the Commercial Com- 
pany, supply most of the gas u.sed for street 
lighting, as well as that consumed by the 
" flares " on theatres and other public build- 
ings. There are, however, a number of minor 
companies — the Crystal Palace, the Totten- 
ham, the West Ham, the Wandsworth and 
District, and others. 

To see one of the sources of the old- 
fashioned light we cannot do better than 
journey up the Old Kent Road to the 
headquarters of the South Metropolitan 
Gas Company. Through the gateway past 
towers, stacks of pipes, heaps of coke, shops 
in which lamp-repairing and other work is 
being carried on, and enormous gas-holders, 
and, behold ! the egg stage of gas-mak- 



ing — taking in the coal. 



Belc 



the 



Surrey Canal, to our side of which 
three barges are moored. High above, 
a number of cranes. With a rattle as the 
chain runs over the wheel at the end of the 
arm, an iron tub descends, lights on a heap 
of slack in the hold of one of the craft, 
opens like a pair of scissors, and closes on 
the top of the mass. Then a signal, and 
away the big bucket swings aloft. It is as 
if a giant's arm had reached down and seized 
a handful. The illustration on page 280 
shows the coal being taken in at the 
Vauxhall works of the South Metropolitan 
Gas Company. 

Next, the retorts — the old type of retorts, 
fed by hand, and not the modern gas-extract- 
ing chambers that are stoked by machinery, 
though there are some of these in the works. 
And now it is hot, scorchingly hot. Mounted 
on a platform that runs on rails, a half-naked 
stoker, black, shiny, arms and face so beaded 
with perspiration that they catch and hold 
every speck of dust, stands in front of one 
of a whole series of doors something like 
those of an ordinary steam boiler, from the 
top of each of which a pipe runs upwards. 
Mopping his brow with one hand, he takes 



278 



LIVING LOiNDON. 




LAMP CLEANER. 



a light from a jet 
close by, and ap- 
plies it to the 
door. Pop ! A 
flame bursts out 
all round it, burns 
for a few mo- 
ments, and then 
dies out. That 
gets rid of the 
gas in the retort. 

And now there 
is a blinding, 
searing glare of 
light that casts 
the muscular 
worker into vivid 
relief. He has 



thrown the door open. 
One glance, with his 
hands shading his eyes, 
and, having cleared the 
opening of the pipe of 
the tar which has been 
deposited in it, he plunges 
a rake into the retort, 
and draws out the car- 
bonised contents, from 
which smoke ascends in 
clouds as they fall down 
between the platform and 
the retorts on to sloping 
iron shelves below where 
we stand, there to have 
water played on them 
and assume the appearance of the coke of 
commerce. Soon the retort is empty, an 
incandescent tube, whose sides are white with 
the intensity of the heat. 

Perspiration pours from the silhouetted 
figure of the stoker. You can see it oozing 
out of him in great beads. But on ! on ! 
there is no time to lose. The retort must 
be charged speedily, else the cold air will 
bring about a certain loss of efficiency. So 
he wheels round to a long scoop like an 
enormous cheese taster that has been filled 
with coal from a heap in the rear. By the 
help of his assistants, he raises the end of 
this implement to the mouth of the retort, 
runs it in and turns it over, thus discharging 
the contents. Again and again does he 
repeat this operation till the retort is charged. 



There ! the work is done — done for six 
hours. Remember, however, that only one- 
half of the process has been visible to us. 
An exact duplicate of the scene we have wit- 
nessed has taken place on the other side, 
for the retorts are drawn and filled from 
both ends. And, of course, some of the re- 
torts are emptied and fed without using the 
movable platform, as shown in the illustra- 
tion on page 276. 

We cannot follow the gas from the retorts 
to the mains. That were too long a 
journey. Enough that it is drawn off by 
engines, known as " exhausters," which 
send it through the works— through plant 
where it is cooled, washed, etc. ; through 
the meters, which are of the size that the 
harassed householder sometimes sees in his 
dreams at the end of the 
Christmas quarter (they 
are as big as a railway 
carriage and register up 
to hundreds of millions 
of cubic feet on seven 
dials) ; and, lastly, into 
the huge, towering gas- 
holders, the largest of 
which — the famous tele- 
scopic "Jumbo" — has a 
capacity of 5,500,000 
feet. Vast as this 
monster is, however, 
there are two larger 
at the South Metro- 
politan Company's 




PAVLNG OUT A LEADEN CABLE. 

works on Green- 
wich Marshes 
One of these is 
actually double 
the size of 
" Jumbo " ! 

I<"rom the huge 
holders the gas 
passes, at a pres- 
sure regulated just 
inside the gates, 
into the mains, to 
be distributed 
among hundreds 
of thousands of 
customers. Within 
recent years these 
have increased 




SUPPLYING ARC LAMP 
WITH CARBON. 



LIGHTING LONDON. 



279 



enormously. Thanks to that beneficial in- 
vention, the coin-freed meter, gas companies 
have tapped a new public — a public which 
purchases gas by the pennyworth ; and now 
consumers of this class are numbered by 
the million and are being added to daily. 
The South Metropolitan Company alone has 
more than 120,000 slot meters in use, and 
is installing others at the rate of 250 or 300 
per week. 

Not that these figures repre.sent so many 



Round that special instrument tragedy and 
comedy centre. It gives the gas industry 
a human interest which it did not possess in 
the old days. Let us take a short walk with 
one of the officials who collect the coppers 
from meters of this class. Before we reach 
his round — and matters are so arranged that 
every person who buys gas by the penny- 
worth is visited once every five weeks — he 
tells of a Mrs. Jones who sent a message 
post-haste to the works the other day. That 




LAMP REPAIRING SHOP (SOUTH METROPOLITAN GAS COMPANY). 



new customers. No ; some people who feel 
the pinch of poverty acutely clear out their 
ordinary meter h\d get a slot one in its place. 
The advantage is obvious. They pay as 
they go on. There is no bill running up, 
no looking forward with anxiety to the end 
of the quarter, no risk of receiving the com- 
pany's terrible ultimatum, " Pay up, or your 
gas will be cut off." It is true that this 
threat is not often carried out, even when 
an unfortunate consumer cannot scrape 
together enough to wipe off the debt ; but 
how many thousands there are in this great 
city who expect to hear it four times a 
year ! In general, however, the installing of 
a slot meter means the gaining of a new 
customer. 



message, as delivered accurately enough by 
her daughter, was this : — - 

" i\Iother wants you to send a man to open 
our meter at once. She's put some money 
in, and she can't get father's dinner." 

Now the collector begins to make his calls. 
For a while he proceeds without incident ; 
but presently he picks out a two-shilling 
piece from among a lot of coppers. What is it 
doing in that galley ? Accident ? Ignorance 
of the principle of the meter ? No ; the 
occupier of the house deliberately put it 
there to prevent herself from spending it. 
So she is not surprised when the collector 
hands her is. iid. Slot meters, that official 
observes afterwards, are very popular as 
money boxes. 



2S0 



LIVING LONDON. 




COLLECTING PENNIES FKOM A SLOT METER. 

And SO we go on till we come to an un- 
occupied house, the late tenant of which 
has not given the gas company notice of 
removal. Perhaps the collector will find 
that he has been anticipated — that one of 



those ingenious and enterprising gentry 
who make a speciality of entering empty 
dwellings and breaking open slot meters 
has been here before him. But no ; the 
money is safe. 

By this time the collector is burdened 
with copper. We will satisfy our curiosity 
as to how he gets rid of his load, and then 
will leave him. There proves to be no great 
mystery about the matter, after all. He has 
shopkeepers who take the bronze from him 
in small quantities, and such as he cannot 
dispose of in this way he leaves at a branch 
of the company's bank. 

But the mass of coin he and his fellow 
collectors — nearly a hundred in all — handle 
in the course of a year is enormous. Con- 
ceive, if you can, ;^320,ooo, the takings per 
annum from the slot meters, in pennies. 
Seven hundred and fifteen tons of bronze ! 

What mind can grasp the vastness and 
the infinite ramifications of the lighting 
system of London ? None. The subject 
is too large, too complicated, and is yearly 
becoming larger and more complicated. 




TAKING IN COAL AT VAUXHALL (SOUTH METKOPOLITAN GAS COMPANY). 




PUNCH AMJ JUDY. 



SIDESHOW LONDON. 

By A. ST. JOHN ADCOCK. 



TO repeat a highly respectable platitude — 
London is one vast Vanity Fair. You 
can walk about and see most of its 
shows and sideshows for nothing, but there 
are proprietorial sideshows in it that you 
cannot see without first paying a penny at 
the door or putting at least a halfpenny into 
the slot. 

This " slot " variety is a recent development, 
and managers of the older sideshows find it 
such a formidable competitor that they adopt 
it now as a supplement to their customary 
exhibits ; hence the pleasure-seeker is tempted 
in some busy London thoroughfare by a 
display of automatic picture machines ranged 
round an open-fronted shop, at the rear 
of which a shooting range yawns like a 
gigantic baker's oven, with gas jets shining in 
the depths of it ; while for a penny paid to 
a vociferous showman he can go upstairs and 
admire a bearded lady seated in an otherwise 
empty drawing-room, and look into the un- 
furnished dining-room where, for his delight, 
three reputed Africans lick red-hot pokers 
that sizzle on their tongues, and quaff boiling 
lead out of rusty ladles with manifestations 
of keen enjoyment. 
These upstairs exhibitions do not commence, 
84 



as a rule, until evening, so if you are bent on 
a round of visits to Sideshow London you 
begin with the automatic shows, the shooting 
galleries, and the penny waxworks, which are 
open all day. 

Shops devoted wholly to automatic shows 
have multiplied rapidly, and are as popular in 
Blackwall, Kentish Town, and Lambeth, as in 
Oxford Street and the more select ways of 
the West. Some drape their doors with 
crimson hangings and are ornately decorated 
inside, others are unadorned to very bleak- 
ness ; but it is a rare thing to see any of them 
without visitors, and of an evening they are 
all crowded. 

The public enter gratis and, sooner or later, 
succumb to the fascinations of one or other of 
the machines, and drop in a penny or a half- 
penny as the case may be, to set little leaden 
figures under glass playing cricket or foot- 
ball, or peer down a glazed opening and turn 
a handle to witness, in a series of biograph 
views, a scene from a familiar melodrama, the 
changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, 
or some ludicrous episode of domestic life. 

Suppose, however, you make Piccadilly 
Circus your starting point, and, pacing one of 
the most fashionable streets thereabouts, drop 



28: 



LIVING LONDON. 



into a typical West-End sideshow of more 
catholic pretensions. 

It is a frontless shop in which well-dressed 
people stroll among groves of automatic 
machines ; at intervals a coin rattles into 
a slot and the whirr of the handle turning 
breaks the quiet of the place, or the sharp 
crack of a rifle sounds from the select shoot- 
ing gallery at the end, where a marksman 
is disbursing a penny on two shots at the 
target. 

Near the shooting gallery is a curtained 



appears on a cramped stage to astonish all 
beholders with tricks of parlour magic. 

On your way to this sideshow, if in your 
north-west passage you navigated the sombre 
old backwaters of Bloomsbury, it is more 
than likely that, as you turned into Russell 
Square, }'ou were greeted by reedy tootlings 
and that quavering nasal chatter that is the 
birthright of Punch, and there you beheld his 
striped theatre erected against the railings 
and a semi-circle of auditors, mostly juvenile, 
spreading out before it. 




A WEST-END SIDESHOW. 



doorway, with " Pay here " on a label pinned 
to the curtain, and if )-ou hand sixpence to 
the lecturer waiting there he will usher you 
into a small lobby and call your attention to 
the beauties of a huge painting that is less 
patronised by daylight critics than by young 
and elderly connoisseurs who swagger in 
and out in evening dress after the gas is 
lighted. 

Across London, in the north-west, is a 
similar sideshow, larger but less aristocratic, 
noisy with the jolly ripple and rumble of 
a piano playing popular airs by machinery, 
and possessing, instead of the shooting 
gallery, a dapper juggler who periodically 



Of course, you have known his prepos- 
terous drama by heart since childhood, yet 
you were constrained to linger shamefacedly 
and laugh at it again, looking over the 
children's heads, and when the solemn show- 
man, piping and thumping his drum, shook 
his little bag insinuatingly under your chin, 
your hand went involuntarily to your pocket 
for old remembrance sake. 

Perhaps, if you are a well-to-do father or 
grandfather, when the performance ended and 
the other showman was walking off with the 
theatre, you stopped the man with the drum 
and retained Mr. Punch and his company as 
a sideshow for an imminent children's party ; 



SIDESHOW LONDON. 



283 



in which event there 
will be work to do in 
the way of rehabilitating 
the puppets to-night 
when the show gets 
home. 

There are peripatetic 
waxworks that wander 
about London restlessly 
and, conscious of their 
own artistic d e- 
ficiencies, occasionally 
acquire alien attractions 
by leaguing themselves 
with a cheap palmist or 
phrenologist and keep- 
ing him on tap, as it 
were, in a bower among 
the effigies. But our 
half-dozen permanent 
penny waxworks are 
superior to this, and 
we will take a peep 

at a typical one of them. The window 
tempting you with a waxwork nur.se 
soothing a wounded waxwork soldier by 
showing him a bottle of physic, you pay 
at the turnstile in the doorway, the lady 





THE LION-JAWED MAN. 



A RIFLE RANGE. 

attendant discontinuing a fantasia on the 
barrel organ to take your penny. 

The shop and the floors above are rich in 
waxen allegories symbolising the might of 
the British Empire ; also in wax models 01 
statesmen, warriors, thinkers, with here and 
there distributed among them renowned 
ruffians who have been crowded out of the 
Chamber of Horrors, which galaxy of great 
criminals is on the third floor here, though in 
some of the other waxworks it is down in the 
basement, and gains an additional horror 
from its situation. 

The chief object in the principal room is a 
waxwork Cabinet Meeting, obviously called 
together at a supreme crisis, for three 
Ministers have risen to speak simultaneously, 
and a choice collection of British generals is 
crowded into a tight corner in the immediate 
background ready for any emergency. You 
may not recognise everybody, but that 
is immaterial, as each gentleman has his 
name written on a scrap of paper pinned 
to his chest. 

As for the shooting galleries, like the 
automatic shows they are everywhere. A 
few are attached to cutlers' shops ; a few to 
barbers' shops, where customers improve their 
marksmanship while they wait to be shaved ; 
most of them, however, are independent 



284 



LIVING LONDON. 




A TATTOOED COUPLE AT TEA. 

of such trade connections. The primitive type 
with rows of bottles for targets still survives, 
but the better equipped, thoroughly modern- 
ised gallery is more generally favoured, and 
not infrequently flourishes under the special 
patronage of local rifle associations. 

There is one of this latter class at Islington ; 
it is a fixture there all the year round, and at 
the right time of year the proprietor enlarges 
his enterprise by engaging travelling showmen 
to set up their shows in his first-floor apart- 
ments. 

The right time 
of year is in the 
winter. Through- 
out the summer 
living skeletons, 
midget families, 
and such like 
celebrities tour 
about in caravans 
end are to be 
viewed in tents 
at country fairs ; 
but winter drives 
them into 
London and the 
big provincial 
cities. 

Here their 



showmen sometimes hire untenanted shops 
at low rentals till they are re-let, and run 
shows on their own account ; oftener they 
are glad to get engagements for successive 
weeks at regular show places, such as the 
two at Islington, those in Whitechapel, 
in Kilburn, in Deptford, or in Canning 
Town. 

Wherefore, while the Cattle Show and 
later the World's Fair are in progress 
at the Agricultural Hall, you may pay 
your penny and be entertained over the 
shooting gallery at Islington by a pair 01 
Oriental jugglers in one room, and in the 
other by a gentleman and his wife who 
are tattooed from necks to heels with 
ingenious designs in half the colours of 
the rainbow. 

Going again next week you find the 
front room appropriated to an elegant 
" electric lady," who communicates electric 
shocks to those who touch her ; while the 
back room is the happy hunting ground 
of a noble savage. Good living and little 
exercise incline him to obesity, but he exerts 
himself in a war dance when enough pennj' 
spectators are present, and performs the feat 
that has won for him the proud title of 
" The Lion-jawed Man." Having crammed 
four bones as large as human fingers cross- 
wise in between his teeth, he inserts the 




A WAXWORK SHOW. 



SIDESHOW LONDON. 



285 



mouth of a tankard into his own, closes 
his thick lips all round it like a sucker, 
and thus holding- it defies mankind at large 
to pull it out. 

During this same period the Whitechapel 
establishment is graced by the presence of 
a fat woman of stupendous girth and weight. 
Here the shows are held in the shop itself, the 
rearward half of it being temporarily curtained 
off just now and transformed into a living- 
room for the stout lady, she taking no 
pleasure in going up and down stairs. 

Her showman shouts 
at the door, while one 
of his subordinates 
manipulates the barrel 
organ with masterly 
skill ; and as soon as 
-a satisfactory percent- 



Next week she is bewitching: Islington ; 
the tattooed people have transferred them- 
selves to Canning Town ; and the noble savage 
is earning fresh laurels with his tankard in 
the wilds of Kilburn. 

One of the regular show shops has a weird 
predilection for dead skeletons. Two or 
three of them have a touching belief in the 
attractiveness of freaks preserved in spirits ; 
and these are plentiful, whereas the living 
article is by way of becoming scarce in 
London, for good live freaks gravitate to 
Barnum's nowadays 
unless a minor show- 
man is lucky enough 
to hear of them in 
time and intercept 
them. It is true you 
may e\en yet be 




A FAT LADV. 



age of the crowd outside has come in and 
paid its pennies, the organist stops to breathe, 
and the showman, posing by the drapery 
that conceals his treasure, cries impressively, 
" Ladies and gentlemen, the young lady will 
now appear ! " 

She is always a "young lady," whatever her 
age may be, and she dawns on our expectant 
eyes from between the curtains, gliding with 
a solid and queenly dignity that is only 
slightly marred by the fact that she carries 
an oyster shell in which she will presently take 
a collection for her private exchequer, the 
taking of private collections being a weakness 
inherent in all freaks and living sideshows 
from time immemorial. 



startled by seeing in a shop window a 
presentment of an elephant-headed man 
larger than life, with one leg elephantine 
and the other human, and a writhing trunk 
of the first water ; but inside you discover 
that he dwindles to a leathery-looking object 
pickled in a glass jar, and having the 
appearance of a fossilised small boy playing 
a flageolet. 

Nevertheless there was once a real elephant- 
headed man about town , likewise an elastic- 
skinned man, and other personages equally 
gifted, and you may go and see them immor- 
talised in wax to this day in one of the per- 
manent pcnn)' waxworks ; but in the flesh, 
Sideshow London knows them no more. 



286 




SKK\ED THROUGH THK WINDOW (WHITECHAPEL ROAD). 



BAR AND SALOON LONDON. 



By GRAHAM HILL 



WITH the exception of one particularly 
privileged house in Covent Garden 
— which is permitted to be opened 
on three days of the week for twenty-one and 
a-half hours out of the twenty-four — the 
licensed hours within the Metropolitan area 
are twenty and a-haif a day. The public- 
house is the first to open its doors in 
the morning ; it is the last to close them 
in the early morning following. Mid-day 
and midnight are both embraced in the 
working hours of the London licensed 
victualler. There are suburbs in which the 
closure is applied at 1 1 p.m., and bars 
in the West-End where the presence of 
a customer before eleven o'clock in the 
day would be regarded as an intrusion. 
London has been styled the city of great 
contrasts, and the truth of this remark is 
emphasised to the visitor who regards the 
Metropolis from the " licensed to be drunk 
on the premises " point of view. Lu.xury 
and squalor, gilded affluence and shame- 
faced dinginess, the marble entrance-hall 
and the swing doors, stand shoulder to 
shoulder through the heart of the town. 

If we would obtain a comprehensive im- 
pression of Bar and Saloon London we 
must be astir with the dawn. All through 
the night the market carts have been jogging 
into town, and although it is not yet three 



o'clock Covent Garden Market has been long 
awake. Already a small crowd is gathered 
around the portals of the market house. 
With the first stroke of three the doors 
are unbolted, and the business of the day 
commences. For the next four or five hours 
the smart-looking, alert barmen will, literally 
and figuratively, have their hands full. 

The buffets at the terminal railway stations 
are among the earliest saloons to open, and 
as we make our way to Piccadilly through 
the smaller thoroughfares signs of activity 
are everywhere observable in the licensed 
world. Tubs of bar refu.se, which repose 
on the kerbs against the coming of the 
dustmen, attract the scrutiny of the early 
prowler, potmen are polishing the huge 
swinging lamps and plate-glass windows, 
and barrels of beer are being lowered into 
dark yawning cellars. The four thousand 
licensed houses and beer shops of the 
Metropolis are being put in order for the 
daily round. 

Let us pause for a moment in the security 
of the island pavement in Piccadilly Circus. 
Here such well-known bars as the Piccadilly 
and the Leicester Lounge are in sight, 
while behind the solid blockade of buildings 
that hedge about the Circus half a hundred 
licensed houses are within a few minutes' 
walk of our halting place. We proceed along 



288 



LIVING LONDON. 



Cranbourn Street, glancing at the Hay- which cover the walls. Stageland in the 

market as we go, and if we decide to more exalted form of leading actors and 

pass through Leicester Square and thence theatrical capitalists is to the fore again at 

walk on to Maiden Lane — we have no Romano's, which rears its striking yellow 

time to look into the handsome bar of frontage in the Strand. Other well-known 




THK CHAXDDS BAR AND I.OUNGP:. 

the Queen's Hotel, or dive into the beer resorts are also in this part of the town, 

saloon of the adjacent Brasserie on our including the Gaiety and Short's famous 

way — we shall find at Rule's an interesting wine-house. The Garrick is a somewhat 

gathering of people. There is a distinctly newer theatrical rendezvous, and facing it, 

theatrical flavour about the company, and hard by St. Martin's Church, is yet another, 

the theatrical traditions of the house are the Chandos, with its imposing bar and 

recalled by the pictures and playbills lounge, a morning house of call for ladies who 



BAR AND SALOON LONDON. 



2S9 



have paid their 
diurnal visit to one 
or other of the 
dramatic and 
musical agencies 
that flourish in the 
locality. 

In the wine 
houses a different 
class of customer 
is usually en- 
countered. At 
Short's, whose chief 
branch is just east 
of the Gaiety 
Restaurant in the 
Strand, port is the 
favourite beverage. 
A few wine shops 
are conducted by a 
privileged class 
called "free 
vintners " — men who have completed service 
under indentures with a free vintner — who 
require no licence, and who have the con- 
solation of knowing that, on dying, their 
businesses can be carried on by their widows 
with the same immunity from restrictions. 

The Cheshire Cheese, rich in tradition of 





A CITY WIXE-B.\K ' - 

(THE BODEGA, 

BUCKLERSBURV) 

85 



STRAND WINE-BAR (SHORT S). 

Dr. Johnson and his contemporaries, still 
retains its ancient form. We approach the 
sanded bar through a narrow court, and 
warm ourselves before the old shell-shaped 
iron grate in a company that is repre.senta- 
tive of journalism rather than literature, the 
journalism of sport predominating. The 
Rainbow Tavern, which for scores of 
years did one of the most serious, 
select, and conservative businesses in 
London, is now a Bodega. The 
Bodegas adapt themselves to circum- 
stances. They cater for men and 
women or for men only, according 
to locality and environment. Let us 
drop into the commodious branch in 
Bucklersbury, sometimes known as the 
" Free Exchange." The heavy swing 
doorway is flanked on either side by 
a sandwich counter and a cigar stall. 
The circular bar occupies the centre 
of the shop, and on an adjacent stand 
reposes a whole Cheddar cheese of 
noble proportions ; while baskets of 
plain but wholesome lunch biscuits 
are within reach. Besides the above, 
mention may be made of Henekey's 
wine house in High Holborn, which 
was established as far back as 1695. 

The Stock Exchange has for years 
resorted to Mabey's, in Throgmorton 



290 



LIVING LONDON. 



Street, for both meat and drink. It is a hat- 
less and hustling crowd that one encounters 
in this famous establishment, a note-book 
and pencil-carrying crowd, that converses 
in figures and argues in vulgar fractions. 
Mabey's from the outside has the appearance 
of a City sale room ; some of the other bars 
of the neighbourhood are small and dimly 
lighted offices, fitted up with a counter and 
stocked with good liquor. There are half a 
dozen such within hail of Shorter's Court. 

Going further east into Bishopsgate Street 
Without we come to " Dirty Dick's," so 
named after its original proprietor, who 
found a grubby consolation for blighted 
matrimonial projects — his intended bride 
died on the morning appointed for the 
wedding — in a protracted abstinence from 
soap and water. 
Dirty Dick is 
also known to 
history on 
account of the 
rule, that was 
rigorously en- 
forced at this 
house during 
his lifetime, 
which denied a 
customer more 
than one drink 
at each visit. 
At an adjacent 
hostelry in 
Artillery Lane 
this " one call, 
one cup" 
system still ob- 
tains, and a 
printed copy 
of the rules of 
the house is 
presented to 
each new 
customer. For- 
merly another 
curious East- 
End public-house — which was merely a 
wooden building — stood, detached and 
apart, like an island, in the middle of 
Mile End Road. Near by, in White- 
chapel Road, there is to be seen an 
open bar — the only one of its kind in 




AT A 



London — where, as shown in our photo- 
graphic illustration on page 286, customers 
stand on the pavement about the pewter- 
topped window-ledge, and imbibe their 
refreshments in sight of the passers by. 

Discussion halls, which constituted a 
popular feature of public-house life some 
fifty years ago, are now almost extinct, 
and the time-honoured practice of formally 
celebrating a change of ov/nership of licensed 
property is fast falling into disuse. The 
Cogers' Hall, near Fleet Street, still holds 
discussions ; but the custom of inviting 
some of the nobility and gentry of the 
neighbourhood to spend a long damp day 
at the joint expense of an outgoing 
and an incoming tenant is now seldom 
observed. A modified form of " a change " 

is still occa- 
sionally to be 
witnessed, but 
the proceedings 
are marked by 
their brevity 
and orderli- 
ness. T h e 
gaugers em- 
ployed by the 
two contract- 
ing parties- 
having com- 
pleted Iheir 
duties of 
checking the 
stock, the legal 
deeds are 
signed, the 
money is paid 
over, and an 
adjournment is 
then made to 
the bar. A 
fund is started 
by the new 
and the old 
landlords, the 
other interested 
parties also contribute, and the proceeds are 
devoted to the disbursement of champagne 
and other liquors among the assembled 
well-wishers of the new management. 

Sunday closing in London, though rigor- 
ously paraded, is rarely strictly observed. 



IN THE EAST-E.ND. 



BAR AND SALOOiN LONDON 



291 



Many houses in the City proper and the people assemble on the Sabbath to sell 

West-End are held on the six days' licence, and purchase ready-made and re-made 

which precludes a Sunday trade, but by clothes. The doors of the local hostelry are 

far the greater number of publicans are open for bond fide travellers, but they are 




entitled to 
open on Sun- 
days between 
the hours of 
one and three 
in the after- 
noon and from 
six to eleven 
in the evening. 
The licensing 
law permits a 
traveller, who 
has journeyed 
a distance of 
three miles, to 
obtain refresh- 
ment during 
closed hours, 
provided that 

he has not travelled for the express 
purpose of obtaining the drink to 
which he is legally entitled. But this 
provision is seldom enforced. 

For example, on Sundays during 
the summer months the Bull and Bush 
at Hampstead is a very popular resort 
with pedestrians, cyclists, horsemen, 
motorists, and travellers in every 
description of conveyance. All the 
morning there is a continuous stream 
of visitors, and the broad roadway is 
filled with a great variety of vehicles, from 
the neat dogcart to the stately four-in-hand. 
Stylish gowns mingle with cycling suits and 
immaculate frock coats, the outer walls 
present a network of spokes and handle-bars, 
and the snorting motor is oftentimes the 
centre of an interested group apart. 



zealously guarded. The proprietor, with 
note-book in hand, interrogates every 
aspiring customer. If he is without a 
railway ticket, his name and address 
are duly entered upon the landlord's 
tablet ; if he produces his " return half," 
it is subjected to clo.se scrutiny. Should 
the date be obliterated — by accident or 
otherwise — the policeman on point duty 
is consulted. The precaution is adopted 
at all the houses in the neighbourhood. 
It was an observant Frenchman who, 
arguing from 
insufficient in- 
formation, was 
deluded by 
the obvious 
into the re- 
flection that 
the omnibus 
system of 
London was 
arranged for 
the purpo.se, 
when it was 
not taking 
travellers from 
a public-house 
to a railway 
station, or 
from a railway 
station to a public-house, of conveying pas- 
sengers from one public-house to another. It 
is, of course, a fact that the termini of the 
majority of 'bus routes are made at public- 
houses, and that the average Londoner, in 
pointing out the way to a stranger, will 
punctuate his directions with references to 




DURING PKOHIBITED HOUKS (WHITE- 
CHAPEL) : I. SATISKVIXG THE 
LANDLORD. IL WAITING TO 

ENTER. 



In the poorer parts of the Metropolis the well-known taverns. Tell the most puzzled 



authorities assume a more precautionary 
attitude towards travellers who demand to 
be served with liquid refreshment out of 
licensed hours on Sunday morning. The 
same law applies to both Hampstead and 
Whitechapel, but in the latter neighbour- 
hood it is dispensed with rigid formality. 
In the Clothing Exchange, locally known 
as " Rag Fair," which lies off Middlesex 



cabman the name of the nearest hostelry, 
and you give him his bearings in a word. 
Wonderful structures are these establish- 
ments that give individuality to neighbour- 
hoods. Islington has its "Angel," Crickle- 
wood its " Crown," Kilburn its " Lord 
Palmerston," Newington its "Elephant and 
Castle," Camden Town its " Mother Red 
Cap," Hendon its "Welsh Harp," Finsbury 



Street {nh Petticoat Lane), thousands of Park its " Manor House," Finchley its " Bald- 



292 



LIVING LONDON. 



Faced Stag," Kentish Town its " Mother 
Shipton," and Pimlico its " Monster," while 
" Swiss Cottage " is named after its dis- 
tinguishing hostelry. No Londoner could 
associate any of these houses with any other 
neighbourhood. Structurally they may be 
widely different, but in their general plan 
and their working arrangements they are 
so much alike that a description of one 
will stand as a description of all. 

Let us glance into this palatial building 
that runs like a headland into the sea of 
traffic and divides the current of it into 
two streams. Omnibuses are drawn up 
against the kerb on both sides of the house, 
and a dozen huge lamps throw a flood of 
light far across the roadways. The interior 
is divided into some half-dozen compart- 
ments, which are duly labelled, and the 
printed announcement, " Parlour prices 
charged in this department," or " Glasses 
only," signifies that a practical purpose is 
served by these partitions. There is a great 
deal of noise, but no technical disorder, in 
the " four-ale " bar, where a small crowd of 
omnibus drivers and conductors are making 
full use of their short respite. In the 
corresponding bar opposite the " horny- 
handed sons of toil " are interspersed with 
lady customers ; and in the bottle and jug 
department more women are to be descried. 



who while their vessels are being filled are 
fortifying themselves against the return 
journey. Of children there are none to 
be seen. This is a flourishing house, and, 
rather than be bothered with the labour 
of " corking and sealing " the vessels and 
interrogating the deceptively ancient-looking 
youngsters as to their age, Mr. Publican 
will not serve any children under the age 
of fourteen years. The distinction between 
the " private " bar and the " saloon " bar is 
subtle. The same prices are charged in 
both. The customer whose desire is to 
escape the " mutable many " will patronise 
the former ; the latter is affected by the 
"lads of the village" and their ladies. 
The saloon bar is the ante-chamber of the 
billiard-room, its habitues are mostly known 
to the landlord, and often address the bar- 
maids by their Christian names. 

As the hour of twelve-thirty approaches, 
preparations for closing are ostentatiously 
paraded ; the potmen look to the fastenings 
of doors, lights are lowered, and cries of 
" Time, gentlemen, please ! " grow more 
peremptory as the minute hand creeps to- 
wards its nadir. With the clock strike the 
customers are outside, the doors are bolted, 
and the policeman on duty disperses the 
reluctant groups and clears his beat of 
dawdlers against the visit of the inspector. 




QUTSIDE THE '" liULI, AND BUSH," HAMPSTKAD, ON SUNDAY MORNING. 



293 




A CHRISTENING AT A WEST-END CHURCH. 



CHRISTENING LONDON. 

By SHEILA E. BRAINE. 



BABIES may be all alike — to quote a piece 
of masculine heterodoxy — but anyone 
who looks into the subject will speedily 
discover that christenings differ. The tiny 
pilgrims just starting on life's strange 
and perilous journey have their feet set for 
them in this path or that. The Church, 
broadly speaking, receives them : but there 
are more creeds and churches than one, and, 
in consequence, varying modes of reception. 
London, city of the world, furnishes us with 
many examples in kind and in degree. 

Let us begin at the top of the social scale, 
and find ourselves for the nonce among the 
highest in the land. Here comes a white- 
robed nurse, tall and elegant, with trailing 
skirts ; she carries in her arms a royal infant, 
and a powdered footman precedes her. Arrived 
at the drawing-room, where an august party 
is already assembled, a lady-in-waiting takes 
the precious baby from her, and the christen- 
ing service begins. She then presents him to 
the Queen, the chief sponsor, and her Majesty, 



at the prescribed moment, hands him to the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. The princeling 
is baptised with consecrated water brought 
from the Jordan, while the " font " is re- 
presented by a golden bowl of exquisite 
design, which, by the way, is used for all 
infant " royalties " born within the limits of 
the United Kingdom. Around it the sponsors 
are grouped, according to their rank. An 
ordinary baby contents himself with three, 
but the heir to a throne may have as many 
as a dozen, all told. 

Needless to say, the hero of the day is 
always clothed in the daintiest and most 
costly of garments : nothing is too beautiful 
for him. He wears pure white, naturally, 
as we think ; but less than half a century back 
another royal baby went through a similar 
ceremony in all the bravery of a silver cloth 
dress tied with pink bows, and an enormously 
long train. Any sum, say the authori- 
ties on such matters, may be paid for a 
christening robe trimmed with real lace. 



294 



LIVING LONDON. 



Fifteen guineas is an ordinan- price : one from 
the Paris Exhibition was sold by a Kniglits- 
bridge tradesman for fift\- ! Some families 
possess historic christening suits, which are 




A NURSE : NEW STYLE. 



preserved with the greatest care. A London- 
Scottish young lady was baptised in her 
grandmother's wedding veil and the robe 
worn successively by her father and two 
aunts. 

The Chapel Royal, St. James's, sees many 
a christening in " high life " ; so does All 
Saints' Church, Knightsbridge. A favourite 
time is shortly after luncheon. The guests 
then return to the house for tea, at which 
[jopular and informal gathering a splendid 
cake is sure to figure, with Baby's name and 
the date of his birth writ large upon it. 
Sometimes a Mamma of sentiment will save 
a slice for her darling to taste in after-years. 

The ceremony at the church is neither 
long nor elaborate. The family and friends 
group themselves near the font. The god- 
mother, when the time arrives, gives the 
baby to the officiating clergyman — a terrible 
moment for the }Oung, unpractised curate — 
and the chief godfather replies to the question 
" Name this child." The clergyman either 
sprinkles the baby or pours a few drops of 
water on its face from a carved, silver- 
mounted shell. 

The carriages convey the christening party 
back to the house, or, if the guests .separate, 
they probably meet again at a grand dinner 
given in honour of the son and heir. Baby 
in full array and Baby's presents are on view, 



while Nurse, all smiles, does not disdain any 
occasional offerings slipped discreetly into her 
palm. Very different is she from the " Sarah 
Gamp " portrayed by Dickens. As to the 
christening gifts, a simple silver mug is no 
longer the only article that suggests itself 
to the mind. Wealthy godfathers and " fairy 
godmothers " bestow a handsome sum of 
money, from £iOO to ;{^ i ,000, or arrange that 
the child shall have a certain amount of 
" pocket money," paid regularly on each 
birthday until his twenty-first. Here is 
a list of presents given to some lucky 
babies of both sexes : A clock, Irish loving- 
cup, gold bowl (from the King), perambulator, 
carriage rug, gold bangle, Louis XV. spoons, 
silver porringer of antique pattern, clasped 
Bible, prayer book and hymn book, any 
number of lovely embroidered robes, and 
real lace handkerchiefs and veils. A popular 
present is a tiny gold charm representing the 
sign of the Zodiac under which the child 
was born ; this the little angel wears, hung 
round his neck for luck, by a fine gold 
chain. 

No flourish of trumpets heralds the recep- 




A NUKSE : OLD STYLE. 

tion of a " slum " baby into the bosom of the 
Church. No cake, no presents, no lace 
furbelows are for him 1 He arrives rolled up 
in an old shawl, and wearing a hood borrowed 
from a neighbour. In some parishes — at 
Poplar and Westminster, for example — there 
are evening christenings once a week, to fit in 
with the hard-working parents' daily engage- 
ments. Wander in some Wednesday night 



CHRISTENING LONDON. 



295 



about half-past eight, and 
you may chance upon a 
curate, two women, and a 
baby standing round the font, 
in a silent, dimly - lighted 
church. Sponsors? Well, 
"Albert Edward" has a god- 
mother, at any rate, although 
his godfathers are con- 
spicuously absent ; and, being 
a wise child, he sleeps placidly 
through the entire ceremony. 

Sunday afternoon is a 
grand time for christenings 
in populous neighbourhoods. 
The officiating clergyman 
may find as many as half a 
dozen babies awaiting him, 
decked out as finely as their 
proud mothers can manage. 
One, disliking the whole pro- 
ceeding, starts crying ; the rest 
follow suit: and the parson's voice is drowned 
by a chorus of wails. Poor little souls, they 
already find life too hard for them ! 

Not unfrequently the clergy are called upon 
to bestow rather singular names in holy 
baptism. The parents have a leaning 
towards something flowery, as, for instance, 
" Dahlia Lorella " ; or they desire to " date " 
their offspring, and so label them " Corona- 




A SCOTTISH CHRISTHXI.NG IN LONDON. 

tion," " Mafeking," " Magersfontein," or some- 
thing equally terrible. Royal appellations are 
popular ; hence we get the certainly startling 
'' Queen Victoria " Jones, also " Princess 
Alice Maud Mary," shortened for common 
use into " Princess Mogg," and the less 
ambitious " Princess." The last mentioned 
was selected by a harassed father, because 
the relatives fought pitched battles about 




A BATCH OF CHRISTENINGS. 



296 



LIVING LONDON. 



the baby's name, and he decided that 
" Princess " could give offence to no one. 
In the register of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields 
we find " Alice Centurion." One small scrap 
of humanity had to be " Bill," for the reason 
that William and Willy were already there ; 
while a certain wee Jack owned an elder 
brother John and a father also Joim. 

The tall Scottish minister entering )onder 
house is about to christen a " bonny 
bairn," and the family and sundry friends 
are already seated round the drawing-room. 
They rise as he enters, in his ordinary attire, 
and the brief and simple ceremony commences. 
A white cloth is spread upon a small table, 
and the family punch-bowl, an old relic, serves 
for a more sacred purpose than the one for 
which it was originally designed. A trying 
moment soon arrives for the father : he has 
to stand, the rest being seated, while the 
minister solemnly and pointedly addresses him 
on behalf of the child, indicating his duties 
and responsibilities towards it. Then the 
mother places the baby in her husband's arms, 
and it is he who presents it to the minister. 
Dark eyes, olive complexions, the murmur 
of a Southern tongue — signs are these that 
we have reached the Italian quarter of our 
all-embracing Metropolis. Entering the 
Italian church, Hatton Garden, one presently 
discovers, by the dim light of a dull afternoon, 
a couple of tiny bambini, probably from 
Saffron Hill, with their attendant guardians. 
Italians, be it remarked, choose their 
children's godparents most carefully, for the 
latter will henceforth rank almost as mem- 
bers of the family. 

An old nurse, with strongly marked features, 
dressed in her native costume, carries Annun- 
ziata, aged five days, who is wrapped in a 
voluminous white shawl, tied round the 
middle, rather like a Christmas cracker, with 
a broad, red ribbon. Baby number two, 
small Agostino, wears a mantle, a much be- 
ribboned hood, and a cap with a blue bow. 
As he is to be christened first, these adorn- 
ments are removed with speed. 

The baptismal service used in the Roman 
Catholic Church is a highly .symbolic one : 
we can but glance briefly at its most salient 
details. The priest asks, meeting the 
baptismal group, " Agostino, what dost thou 
demand of the Church ? " and the sponsors 



reply, " Eternal life." The evil spirit is 
exorcised that it may come out of the child, 
the sign of the cross made upon the little 
one's forehead and breast, prayers are offered, 
and the " salt of wisdom " is put into its 
mouth. Arrived at the font, the priest touches 
the child's ears and nose ; a burning taper is 
also placed for a second in the tiny hand, in 
token that it must keep its light shining be- 
fore the world. The sponsors holding it over 
the font, due east and west, the priest anoints 
it with oil between the shoulders in the form 
of a cross. He next pours the holy water 
three times upon the little head ; and, with 
a brief exhortation, the service is ended. 

Wesleyans have no sponsors for their 
children, neither have the Congregationalists ; 
with the latter baptism, although generally 
practised, is optional. Quakers do not christen 
at all, and the Salvation Army " dedicates." 

A " dedication " is naturally of a military 
character. We are passing the barracks ; let 
us enter the hall where an evening prayer- 
meeting has begun. Yonder stands the Captain 
of the corps, and the Adjutant and his wife, 
parents of the child about to be " dedicated." 
Behind them are rows of earnest faces, many 
framed in the dark blue bonnet we know so 
well. The little girl smiles in her mother's 
arms, recking not of future warfare, while her 
parents promise to train her up as a " faithful 
soldier " and to keep her from " intoxicat- 
ing drink, finery, wealth, hurtful reading, 
worldly acquaintance." The Captain takes 
the child, the corps stand, and solemnly 
" Mary Greenwood " is dedicated to the 
service of God and the Salvation Army. He 
calls out, energetically: "Those who will pray 
for these parents and this child, and in every 
way they can help them to carry out the 
promises made this day — Bayonets — fix I " 

" God bless these parents ! " 

" Amen ! " 

" God bless this child ! " 

" Amen ! " 

" God bless the Army ! " 

" Amen ! " 

The " volleys " rattle through the hall ; 
the new recruit cries. 

Does not this touch of nature make all our 
babies kin ? And so, having brought them 
to this first stage on their earthly pilgrimage, 
let us take our leave of them. 




I. A CHRISTENING AT THE ITALIAN CHURCH, HATTON GARDEN. II. A SALVATION ARMY 

" DEDICATION." 

86 



298 



COUNTY COUNCIL LONDON. 

By FREDERICK DOLMAN, L.C.C. 



THE London County Council has nothing 
like the Lord Mayor's Show with 
which to impress the Londoner in the 
street, and the annual dinner of its Chairman 
cannot yet pretend to the prestige of the 
Guildhall banquet. Yet during its exist- 
ence it has acquired for London's millions 
a human interest and a living significance 
such as no other public body has ever pos- 
sessed. In the civic activity it calls forth 
the Council's election every three years is 
comparable only with London's share in Par- 
liamentary general elections. 

On the other hand, it would be hard to find 
a provincial town which knows so little of its 
municipal rulers and the actual method ot 
their daily work as does London of its County 
Council. At election time the Council and 
its work are the subject of hundreds of meet- 
ings, of thousands of newspaper columns, and 
millions of leaflets and pamphlets. At all 
times Londoners are constantly confronted 
with the letters " L.C.C." — at street improve- 
ment works, in the parks and on the bridges, 
on fire-engines and tramcars, and so on. But 
you might ask a dozen men in the street to 
direct you to the Council's meeting place 
without obtaining the desired information. 
London has not yet its Hotel de Ville, 
like Paris or Brussels, to be regarded not onl}- 
as one of the sights of the capital for its 
strangers, but also as the head-centre of muni- 
cipal activity for its citizens. Perhaps this is 
largely the rea.son why Londoners, now well 
acquainted with the civic energy which is 
transforming the face of their great city, are 
at present apt to know so little of its 
source. 

Of the hundreds who are crossing Trafalgar 
Square at this moment, I wonder what small 
fraction are aware that within a stone's throw 
— up a side street — are the headquarters of 
the largest municipality in the world, with a 
revenue exceeding that posse.ssed by several 
of the European states. It would require 



some enterprise for any one of them to 
discover the " Entrance to Public Gallery " 
between the shops in Cockspur Street, 
although to a few earnest students of 
municipal affairs this is a place of weekly 
pilgrimage. As it is nearly half-past two on 
Tuesday afternoon, the County Hall's front 
door round the corner in Spring Gardens might 
be identified, after a few moments' observation, 
by the intermittent stream of members 
making their way to it for the usual weekly 
meeting at that hour. 

It is a formidable programme of business 
which each member finds ready for him on 
his seat in the unpretentious but comfortable 
council chamber. There are over a hundred 
large pages in the " agenda," to be disposed 
of in the four hours and a half which 
usually represent the limit of the sitting! 
Nothing surprises the stranger in the gallery 
so much as the speed with which, at times, 
page after page of this agenda is turned 
over by the Chairman, amidst the silent 
acquiescence of the members. The stranger 
afterwards learns that practically the whole 
business of the Council is put before it in the 
shape of reports from its committees, which 
the members of the Council generally have 
already carefully read in the privacy of their 
homes, the agenda invariably reaching them 
by Saturday night's post in readiness for 
Sunday's leisure. Furthermore, the com- 
mittees work so well that, as a rule, it is only 
on important matters of policy that their 
decisions are ever challenged in the open 
Council. 

Nor is debate on these matters ever unduly 
prolonged. A fifteen minutes rule prevails at 
Spring Gardens, and the member who would 
speak longer than this time must receive the 
consent of the Council, whilst with the 
approval of the Chairman the debate can be 
"closured" at any time. Notwithstanding 
these time-saving expedients, the Chairman 
finds it necessary to travel through the agenda- 




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300 



LIVIXG LONDON. 



MONDAY, May 16th. 


WEDNESDAY, 17th. 


A«ylum Sub-Committ«e (BftnstMd), at A$glHm ... 10J& 

d*o Lo<tge Kestdcnti&l School MwiuiDg 

<:^'mmn^tt. at the School 1O.30 

Education dub-OonxBUttec (Dar Schools— SectioD 

r« Examtnatioa*), ol Atfucolutt f^KcM ... H.O 

Thames ConserTUCj Board -11.30 

Education Sub-CommittM (l>Kf Schools— Section 

rt Vacation SchooU), of Arf<H»>(t»n OJflt*§ .. 13,30 

Buildinc ActComuuftee 3.0 

EducaUun Sub-Corn. (Buildirgs and AttendAaoe; 

.Accounts, at 1.30). at £dwat,»n Oltutt ... 2.0 
EJui-atiun t>ub-Coinmittee [Speci*! Schools). 

Anertvy Residential School Managing Com- 

TtaiX**, at tkt School J,0 

Oenerai X^^rpo«es Sub-Oommitt«e (General) ... JJO 
Jvint Committee on Underfed Childrtsn, ut OomhIv 

Hall 2-30 

Oeneral Purposes Committee 3.0 

Education i)ub-Oommitte« (OenenI Purpoees— 

Accounts at 3.30^, dr Cuunfy tfd// 4.O 

ruMic Health Sub*Committee fCattlc Inspector),.. 4.0 
Rivers Committee 4.15 

TUESDAY, 16tn. 


Education , Sub-Committee {Teaching Staff- 
Section rt Selecuon o( Teaohen and Inbtructora) 

at Sducatton Ofices 10,0 

Firo Brigade Committee (View). {Train lemvtt 

Charing-crot4 Railwajt Station (>. E. & c. R.) at 10.32 
Educatioo Sub-Committee ^Special Schools— In- 
dustrial Schools Coses Section), at Hdacation 

OffLMM , 11.0 

Housing of the Working Classes Committee ... 11.0 
Fiuanue Sub-<.:omimtt«e (Education Accounts], at 

hducatton Officet 13.0 

Education Comtuittee, at County Halt 3-0 

Improcements Committee 8.0 

Finance Sub-Committee (ileneralAooounls) ... 2.15 

Undges Committee 2.30 

Theatres 8ab-Committ«e 330 

Fmanoe Committee 3.0 

Theatres and Music Halls Committee 3.30 


THURSDAY, 18th. 


AiiTlura Sub-Committee (Cone Hill), at As\/lum... lOJiO 
Ed'ucition Sub-Com. [Special Schools). " Sha/tea- 
but7 " IVaining Ship Managing Committee, at 

the Ship . ^ 11.15 

Parks Committee ( Vihit to places in S.E. district). 

Mtft at ChariuQ-crott Are brigade Pier at ... 1^0 

at Education 0]ficet 3.0 

Establishment CommitteP 3-0 

Mum DrainoKe Sub-Committee (Accounts) ... 3,15 

Uigtiways Committee 3.30 

Main Drainage Committee 2.;iO 

Fire Brigade Committee 8.30 

Public Health Committee 3.30 

Parliamentary Conunittee ... 4.0 

Education Sub-Com. (Polytechnics and Evening 
SchooU) (Accounts and Requisitions, 4.15), at 
Aducation Offieet 4.30 


E4- Sub-Com. (Day Schools^, at Edwation Offictt 10.30 
Eiiucatiun Sub-Com. (Special Schoolt). Drury- 

lane Day Industrial School Managing Com- 

ntittM, at the School 10-80 

A'Tlums Sub-Committee (General Purposes) ... ll.Q 
lii«bways Sub-Committee (Acoounta, Stores and 

(ienewl) 12.0 

Housing Sub-Committee (Estates) 13.30 

Ix>onl Government Sub-Cora. (Street Naming) ... 3.0 
Parliameriury Sub - Committee ( rbomes Con- 

serTancy UillJ i/Fif«j»nrj/ 2,0 

Public Control Sub-Committee (Ix>comotiTes on 

Highways! 2.0 

COUNtCit 9.30 



FOUR D.WS WORK : PAGES FROM A MEMBER S DIARY. 



paper at a high rate of speed, and as he 
proceeds it may be observed that first one 
member, then another, shows an anxious 
alertness, ready to strike in at the proper 
moment with his question or his challenge. 

" Report of the Committee," calls 

out the Chairman of the Council. " I 
move the reception of the report," responds 
a voice from the front row of the semi- 
circular benches on which seats are allotted 
to the chairmen of the committees. " That 
the report be received," says the Chair- 
man of the Council. If it is the report of 
a committee, such as the " Highways " or the 
" Theatres," dealing with some subject of 
great current interest, there will be a bunch 
of questions for its chairman "on the reception 
of the report," and possibly a general debate. 

The report having been received, its 
recommendations are enumerated. To any 
of these recommendations an amendment may 
be moved, the usual form of which is to refer 
it back to the committee " for further con- 
sidei'ation," with sometimes a statement of 
the reason for this course. A show of hands, 
as a rule, decides the fate of such amend- 
ments, the decisions mostly confirming that of 
the committee. On the rare occasions \\-hen 
ten members rise in their places to claim a 
division, the division is taken by passing 
through an " aye " and " no " lobby as in the 
House of Commons. 



Although the benches 
are always fairly well filled, 
the stranger in the gallery 
will notice much coming 
and going on the part of 
members. There is a con- 
stituent or a friend to be 
seen in the lobb)-, a book to 
be consulted in the library, 
or even a cigarette to be 
enjoyed in the smoking- 
room. After four o'clock 
the desire for tea begins 
to manifest itself The 
Council's tea-room is an 
important feature in what 
may be termed the inner 
life of the L.C.C. Tea, with 
the kindred beverages that 
cheer without inebriating, 
bread - and - butter, and a 
dainty assortment of cakes form the only 
refreshments obtainable at Spring Gardens, 
and they are provided, together with the 
service of waitresses, at the councillors' own 
cost. Now and again the Council's sittings 
have been unduly prolonged, and on such 
occasions these edibles have, of course, 
proved wofully inadequate. The minority, 
it is said, once nearly starved the majority 
into surrender on an important question by 




L.C.C. OPEN SPACE NOTICE BOARD. 



COUNTY COUNCIL LONDON. 



301 



keeping the Council sitting till long past 
midnight, sustaining themselves in the mean- 
time on a pre-organised supply of provender 
from one of the political clubs. 

But if the tea-room is deficient in its 
resources in such an emergency, it has at 
normal times an important influence on the 
good-fellowship of the members of the Council, 
and therefore on the easy working of the 
great administrative machine which is in their 
hands. 

Apart from exceptional occasions, such as 
the Chairman's garden party in the summer, it 
affords the general body 
of , members their best 
opportunities of becoming 
personally acquainted 
with each other. Over the 
teacups sit together in 
amity Moderate and Pro- 
gressive who would other- 
wise remain strangers 
unless they happened to 
belong to the same com- 
mittee. Over the teacups 
they learn to respect and 
even esteem each other 
without compromising 
their differences of opinion. 
In the tea-room, too, 
members entertain the 
visitors they have intro- 
duced to the Chairman's 
dais, and it is often graced 
by the presence of ladies, 
whose animated talk is 
arrest on their catchin^ 
inspiring maps or plans with which the walls 
are usually adorned, the room being devoted 
to the labours of committees on other days 
of the week. 

Yes, if you could see this room on the 
morrow you would begin to realise the vast 
amount of the Council's varied work, of which 
this weekly meeting is only a sort of synopsis, 
a synopsis which is again reduced to the 
smallest proportion in the newspaper reports, 
from which alone Londoners generally learn 
of their Council's doings. Probably ten or a 
dozen members of a committee of fifteen are 
seated round a long table, their chairman 
at the head, with a clerk and one or two other 
officials by his side. They are steadih' going 



through a paper of business which may con- 
tain over a hundred items, listening to official 
reports, examining maps and plans, perhaps 
interviewing small deputations representing 
affected interests ; then quietly discussing in 
an easy conversational style matters on which 
difference of opinion shows itself. The com- 
mittee has been sitting for two hours, and 
may sit for two hours more. It is the Council 
in miniature, with the diflerences which 
privacy creates. On some matters, for ex- 
ample, speech is freer from the absence of 
reporters, and a useful part is taken in the 




FIRE BRIGADE COMMITTEE STARTING ON AN INSPECTION. 



prone to sudden 
sight of the awe- 



deliberations of the committee by members 
who never have the courage to rise from their 
seats in the Council chamber. 
• If we leave this room and pass along 
the lobby, we shall probably find four or fi\e 
rooms in succession similarly occupied. 
There are over twenty standing committees, 
and only six rooms at Spring Gardens avail- 
able for their meetings. Some meet weekly, 
others fortnightly, and, including sub-commit- 
tees, it is a common thing for sixty engage- 
ments to figure on the Council's printed diary 
for the week. Although, as we shall see, 
some of these are not at tlie County Hall, 
it is obvious that each of the six committee- 
rooms sees a great deal of service, whilst 
occasionally even the library and the smoking- 
room have to be invaded for purposes of 



302 



LIVING LONDON. 



joint deliberation. The largest of the com- 
mittee-rooms, for instance, is this afternoon 
tenanted by the Theatres Committee, which is 
just now in consultation with a distinguished 
actor-manager respecting alterations in his 
theatre required by public safety. To-morrow 
it may be occupied b\' the Parliamentary or 
the Public Health Committee, the one busy 
with the preparation of the Council's legislation 
for the coming session, the other immersed in 
important details concerning the regulation of 



1 1, Regent Street ; if you then desire to inter- 
view some member of the Chemist's staff, you 
must retrace your steps to Craven Street, 
only to find that }'ou have passed on the 
way in Pall Mall the office of a gentleman 
whom it is necessary to consult on some 
architectural matter. There is no estimating 
the loss of time and temper which during 
a single week of County Council London is 
thus occasioned to officials and business men 
generally. Let us hope that with their 




L.C.C. STONE.MASOXS AT WORK. 



cowsheds, slaughter-houses, common lodging- 
houses, and the .sanitary supervision of 
London generally. On another afternoon it 
will be taken possession of by the General 
Purposes Committee — the Cabinet at Spring 
Gardens, consisting mainly of the chairmen of 
all the other committees, and advising the 
Council on all matters of policy — or the 
scarcely less influential Finance Committee, 
which regulates its purse-strings. 

In the County Hall it.self there is room for 
only a small portion of the professional and 
clerical staff employed by the Council. This 
is scattered in about thirty different build- 
ings, .some of them very nearly half a mile 
away. If you have business with the Parks 
Department, for instance, you must go to 



expletives they mingle prayers for the time 
when the whole central staff shall be con- 
centrated in a County Hall which shall be 
worthy of the Imperial capital. 

This central staff, which maintains an ex- 
cellent esprit de coi-ps with the help of their 
own monthly journal and several recreative 
clubs, forms, of course, but a small proportion 
of the army of workers employed by the 
L.C.C. — an army now about 15,000 strong, 
or 35, 000 if school teachers are included — 
whose operations extend all over the 1 18 
square miles of County Council London, and 
a good distance beyond. In the illustration 
on this page are to be seen a few of the two 
or three thousand men — masons, bricklayers, 
navvies, and others — in the regular em- 



COUNTY COUNCIL LONDON. 



303 



ployment of the Works Department of the 
Council. 

As I have said, members of the Council 
themselves have to travel far and wide in 
fulfilment of their duties. Let us accompany 
some of them on their journeying.s. 

It is about half-past nine on Monday morn- 
ing when a little group of L.C.C.'s meet on 
the platform of Waterloo Station. They 
are members of the Education Committee, 
and are bound 
for Feltham, 
where is situated 
one of the 
L.C.C. schools 
for reclaiming 
boys from an 
evil 1 i f e. It 
is an hour's 
journey in train 
and waggonette, 
followed by a 
tour of inspec- 
tion and two or 
three hours' 
work round the 
committee- 
table, with an 
interval for 
luncheon pro- 
vided from the 
school stores at 
the individual 
cost of each 
member. Once 
a month this 
visit is made ; 
and every 
summer, at the 
annual sports, 

the whole Council has an opportunity of 
becoming acquainted with the school, while 
the best cricketers among them will probabl}' 
engage in a match with the school team. 
The care of these boys takes members of 
the committee further afield than Feltham 
and Mayford, inasmuch as the Council has 
a home at Lowestoft for apprentices to the 
fishing smacks, whilst other boys are given 
their start in life on farms to which one of 
their legal guardians, out of regard for their 
welfare, occasionally pays surprise visits. 

Most of the work of the Asylums Com- 




L.C.C. WHARF. 



mittee similarly involves its thirty or forty 
members in journeys out of London, the 
main body dividing themselves into sub-com- 
mittees for regularly visiting the .seven L.C.C. 
asylums in the country around the Metropolis. 
It is one of the largest committees, and at the 
same time the one for which there is least 
competition among the general body of the 
Council's 137 members. This is not simply 
because of the exceptional demand it makes 

upon the mem- 
bers' time — 
several of them 
often spend 
about half the 
week, I believe, 
in visiting 
asylums — but 
because of the 
nervous strain 
imposed by 
constant inter- 
course with 
hundreds of 
painfully af- 
flicted people. 

Everyautumn 
the members of 
the Theatres 
Committee hold 
sittings at the 
Clerkenwell and 
Newington Ses- 
sions Houses, 
sitting one day 
to licen.se places 
of entertainment 
north of the 
Thames, and 
another day to 
license those situated south of the Thames. 
Nearly all the other committees have occa- 
sional " views " to undertake. During the 
summer the members of the Parks Committee 
spend some of their Saturday afternoons 
driving round to the Council's many open 
spaces, in order that improvements may be 
considered and difficulties grappled with on the 
spot. Once a year the Fire Brigade Committee 
inspects every fire station in London, driving 
through each district in its turn on one of the 
Brigade vans, and making one or two trips 
up and down the Thames in a Brigade tug. 



304 



LIVING LONDON. 



Now and again the members of the Main 
Drainage Committee are conveyed from 
Charing Cross Pier in the Council's launcli 
Beatrice to see the progress of worl< at 
Barking and Crossness, where the sewage of 
London is so dealt with before reaching 
the river that whitebait can now be caught as 
well as eaten at Greenwich, and there are 
rumours of salmon at Staines. Then the 
Bridges Committee may have to visit one 
of the ten Thames bridges which are under 
the control of the L.C.C. Then, again, 
the Housing Committee must occasionally 
make an expedition to Tottenham and 
Edmonton, in furtherance of its scheme for 
the establishment of a County Council town 
there with some 40,cxx) inhabitants ; or 
possibly to some such place south or west 
of London, with a view to the purchase of 
another estate for the accommodation of 
overcrowded Londoners. 

As for the officials of the Council, they are 
ubiquitous, although it is practically only the 
firemen that the general public ever recognise 



at their work. In one street survej'ors will 
be examining an infringement of what is 
known as the " building line " — securing 
uniform width of road and pavement — for 
report to the Building Act Committee. In 
another representatives of the Public Control 
Department have stopped an itinerant coal- 
vendor and are testing his weights. This 
shop is visited on a complaint that the young 
women employed there are worked excessive 
hours or are unprovided with seats ; that 
factory is being surveyed to ascertain whether 
it has adequate means of exit for its hundreds 
of workers in the event of fire. And so 
on through the whole range of social and 
industrial life in the Metropolis. There are 
important features of the L.C.C. 's administra- 
tion, such as the schools and parks, to which 
I have only incidentally alluded, for they are 
dealt with elsewhere in this work. But in 
numberless relatively small matters, lost in 
the crowd of its larger activities, the County 
Council day by day has its part in Living 
London. 




A SITTING OK THK LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL. 



30S 




DYNAMO CLASS AT THE CITY AND GUILDS INSTITUTE (SOUTH KENSINGTON). 



THE LONDON CITY COMPANIES. 

By CHARLES WELCH, F.S.A 



OF London it may be truly said that the 
past lives in the present. Turn whither 

we will, we find sturdy modern institu- 
tions, fully up-to-date and foremost in the 
ranks of progress, whose origin dates back to 
a venerable antiquity. Especially is this the 
case with those great public bodies, known to 
most Londoners in little more than name — 
the City Livery Companies. Some of their 
functions have become closely identified with 
our national life. Take, for instance, the 
term " hall-marked." How many of us realise 
that we owe this expression to the stamping 
by the Companies of the approved wares 
of craftsmen ? What was once a practice 
with most of the guilds now survives almost 
solely with the Goldsmiths' Company, which 
carries out these duties by virtue of ancient 
charters and modern statutes, and without 
cost, either direct or indirect, to the trade 
or to the public. The ancient ceremony 
known as the " Trial of the Pyx," for testing 
the coinage of the realm, also takes place at 
Goldsmiths' Hall, under the joint direction 
of the officers of his Majesty's Mint and 
those of the Goldsmiths' Company. 

87 



Little is generally known ol the inner life 
of these great corporate bodies. Let us take 
a peep behind the scenes. The Companies 
follow an ancient order of precedence which 
includes eighty-nine crafts. Of these seventy- 
.seven only survive, but the gaps caused by 
the extinct corporations have not been filled 
up, each Company still retaining its ancient 
rank. At the head of the list are the twelve 
Great Companies, distinguished from the 
remainder by their greater wealth and import- 
ance. The relative importance of the Minor 
Companies, as the rest are called, is fairly 
well indicated by their position on the list, 
with but one or two exceptions. The 
Mercers are the premier Company, and an old 
dispute as to seniority between the Skinners 
(the sixth) and the Merchant Taylors (the 
seventh) is now only remembered by the wise 
decision of the Lord Mayor of the time, who 
ordered that each Company should every year 
invite the other to dinner. 

The governing body varies in the different 
guilds, but usually consists of a Master, 
Bailiff, or Prime Warden, two or more other 
wardens, and a Court of Assistants the latter 



^o6 



LIVING LONDON. 



being elected from the general body of 
the Company who are known as Liverj'men. 
Another class, that of the Freemen, have 
no share in the government, but possess a 
claim upon the charity of the Company. 
Substantial fees are payable to qualify 
for each of these grades, the first step 
being to " take up the Freedom." Those 
who enter by " patrimony," as sons of Free- 
men, or by " ser\itude " as apprentices of 
Freemen, are received at a lower scale than 
" redemptioners," who, as outsiders, have no 
claim upon the Company for admission, which 
they can obtain only by special consent. 

The Master and Wardens wear gowns 
deeply trimmed with fur, and in certain Com- 




OUTSmE A CELL, BRIDEWELL HOSPITAL. 

panies a hood is also worn. Some Companies 
provide silver medals for their Liverymen, 
and a gold badge for each of the Assistants ; 
others present a badge to every Past-Master. 
These insignia become the personal property 
of the recipients, but the official badge of the 
Master, a jewel of far higher value, is solely 
for official use. 

The election day, held on the feast of the 
Company's patron saint, is the red-letter day 
of the year, and very quaint are the ceremonies 
observed on the occasion. These vary, of 
course, in the different guilds. With 
some, the new Master and Wardens are 
crowned at table by the outgoing officials 
with the ancient election garlands. In 
other Companies the new officials are 
pledged by their outgoing brethren in the 



loving cup during the course of the banquet 
Many of the Companies attend a neigh- 
bouring church in procession to hear a 
sermon before or after the election. The 
Mercers' Company has a chapel of its own 
at its Hall in Cheapside, where divine service 
is performed every Sunday throughout the 
year. 

Each of the Halls has a court-room, where 
the meetings of the governing body are held, 
the Master and Wardens being clothed in 
their robes, attended by the Clerk and other 
officers in their official dress. Our photo- 
graphic illustration opposite represents a 
sitting of the Court of the Cutlers' Company, 
at which the Company's apprentices attend to 
show specimens of their work. 

Some of the Companies possess 
estates in Ireland which form part 
of the original Plantation of Ulster 
in the reign of James I. Two of 
the Companies, the Vintners and the 
Dyers, have important privileges on 
the river Thames, enjoying with the 
Crown the right of keeping a " game 
of swans." The Fishmongers per- 
form a very useful public office in 
seizing all unsound fish brought for 
'M ^^'^ *^° Billingsgate. 

Perhaps the greatest work which 
the Companies perform is in the 
cause of education. Their public 
schools have a world-wide reputation. 
To the Mercers Dean Colet entrusted 
his great foundation, St. Paul's 
School, which is now housed in a splendid 
building at Hammersmith. This Company 
has also its own school at Barnard's Inn. 
Merchant Taylors' School, which long stood 
in Suffolk Lane, is now more pleasantly 
accommodated at the Charterhouse. The 
Haberdashers are trustees of the Aske 
Schools at Hoxton and Hatcham, the 
Skinners have their famous school at 
Tonbridge, and the Drapers, Stationers, 
Brewers, Coopers, and other Companies have 
well-known and flourishing schools under 
their charge. The Ironmongers' and Haber- 
dashers' Companies, though possessed of 
small corporate incomes, administer most ex- 
tensive and varied educational endowments. 

The University scholarships and exhibitions 
which so many of the Companies have in 



3oS 



LIVING LONDON. 



their gift are tiie means of launching man)- 
an earnest student of slender means upon 
a successful career in life. But apart from 
their trust income the Companies liberally 
support the claims of national education ; 
a noteworth}- instance being that of the 
Drapers' Companj', which has bestowed 
upon each of the Universities of Oxford 
and London munificent grants of several 
thousands of pounds. 

The City Companies were the pioneers in 
technical education, and jointly with the City 
Corporation founded in 1880 the City and 
Guilds of London Institute. Here, at the 
Institute's City and West-End colleges, 
young students receive at moderate fees 
practical as well as theoretical instruction 
in various arts and handicrafts. The Gold- 
smiths' Company for long had an Institute 
of their own at New Cross, and the Drapers 
extended similar support to the People's 
Palace in East London. The latter insti- 
tution — already referred to in " Institute 
London " — combines general with technical 
instruction, and has a recreative side. 

Many of the Companies also make in- 
dependent provision for technical instruction 
in their particular crafts. The Carpenters 
hold lectures and classes at their Hall, and 




AN EXAMINATION' AT APOTHFXARIES HALL. 



other Companies hold periodical exhibitions, 
at which prizes are awarded for excellent 
workmanship. The Clothworkers' Company 
follow their industry to its principal .seat 
in Yorkshire, where they have established 
and support successful technical colleges. 
Another useful work is that of registering, 
after examination, duly qualified workmen, 
who receive certificates of competency, and 
in some cases the freedom of the Company. 
The Plumbers took the lead in this direc- 
tion, and have sought legislative authority 
for compulsory registration. The Spectacle 
Makers' and Turners' Companies have also 
taken action on these useful lines. 

Great as are the educational trusts com- 
mitted to the care of the City guilds, their 
charitable endowments are even more 
numerous, and comprise almost every form 
of practical benevolence. The oldest form 
of provision for the aged and decayed guilds- 
man was the almshouse. In many a quiet 
corner of the City until recently were to be 
seen the almshouses of the various Com- 
panies. Later on, the value of City land 
and the need of less confined quarters led 
to the removal of these retreats to more 
open sites. 

Of the grants and subscriptions made by 
the Companies to our great national charities 
it is unnecessary to speak : the donation lists 
of these institutions show how greatly they 
are indebted to such munificence. 
An entire wing of the London 
Hospital was built by the Grocers' 
Company at an e.xpense of 
;6^25,ooo. Some Companies ad- 
minister trusts for special classes 
of sufferers — the Clothworkers 
and others have in their gift 
important charities 
" '- for the blind. The 

Home for Conva- 
lescents, estab- 
lished by the 
Merchant Taylors' 
Company at Bog- 
nor, is free, e.xcel- 
lently managed, 
and replete with 
every comfort. 

Each Company 
has a marked in- 



THE LONDON CITY COMPANIES. 



309 



dividuality, which comes upon the visitor as 
a pleasant surprise. At the election feast of 
the Broderers there is a Master's song, which 
the newly elected Master is required to sing. 
The Fruiterers present every new Lord 
Mayor with a magnificent trophy of fruit, 
and are in return invited to a banquet at 
the Mansion House. The Makers of Playing 
Cards present each guest at their annual 
Livery banquet with a pack of cards, the 
back of which is embellished with an elabo- 
rate artistic design. (On the next page is a 
facsimile of one of the designs.) The Clock- 
makers have a library and museum, both of 



exclusive right of publication of any work 
it must be •' entered at Stationers' Hall," 
This process, which is effected in the Registry, 
is illustrated on this page. 

The Halls of the Companies are among 
the chief public ornaments of the City. 
Some of the minor Companies have never 
possessed Halls; many others, whose Halls 
were destroyed in the Great Fire of London, 
or subsequently, did not rebuild them ; and 




which are deposited in the Guildhall Library. 
At Apothecaries' Hall the aspiring medical 
student can, after duly satisfying the examiners, 
obtain a qualification to practise medicine 
and surgery ; here, too, the profession and 
the public can obtain pure drugs. The Gun- 
makers have a proof-house at Whitechapel, 
where they examine and stamp firearms. 

The Stationers are strictly a trade company, 
and, like the Society of Apothecaries, have 
a trading stock, shares in which are allotted to 
their members in rotation. Their chief pub- 
lications are almanacs, and among these 
is the authorised edition of the celebrated 
■" Old Moore." Of much greater importance 
are the duties devolving on the Stationers 
under the Copyright Act. To secure the 



THE COPYRIGHT REGISTRY, STATIONERS HALL. 

the number of existing buildings of this kind 
is thus reduced to thirty-seven. In most 
cases these sumptuous structures have to be 
sought for, their street frontage being insig- 
nificant. This is especially the case with the 
Mercers', Drapers', Merchant Taylors', and 
Clothworkers' Halls, where one enters through 
a narrow doorway into a veritable palace. The 
gardens have almost all disappeared, but that 
of the Drapers, in Throgmorton Avenue, and 
the famous mulberry tree of the Girdlers, in 
Basinghall Street, still afford a refreshing 
sight in summer. 

These stately homes of the Companies have 
the highest interest for the connoisseur, on 
account of their many historic and art trea- 
sures, some of which are of great antiquity, 
while others are masterpieces of modern art. 
To the former belong the specimens of 
ancient plate, illuminated records, tapestries, 



3IO 



LIVING LONDOxN. 



early paintings, and ancient armour. The 
latter include modern paintings, sculpture, 
porcelain, etc., found chiefly in the Halls of 
the more wealthy Companies. 

The privilege of the Honorary Freedom 
and Livery is granted at rare intervals by 
many of the guilds to eminent statesmen, 
warriors, travellers, philanthropists, and others. 
Even ladies have been thus honoured by the 
Turners' and other Companies, whilst many 
of the guilds permit women to take up their 
freedom by patrimon}-. Twice in the year 
the whole of the Livery are summoned to 
the Guildhall — on Midsummer Day to elect 
the Sheriffs, and on Michaelmas Da\' to elect 
the Lord Mayor and other officers. They 
have also a vote in the election of members 
of Parliament for the City. Apprentices are 
bound at the Halls and encouraged by gifts 
and good advice, receiving also in some cases 
help to start in business. The disobedient 
and incorrigible are brought before the City 
Chamberlain, who, in his court at Guildhall, 
has power to commit them to a short term 
of imprisonment at Bridewell. Part of one 
of the cells in tliis Hospital is shown in our 
illustration on page 306. 

The hospitality of the Companies is ex- 



tended to all the most notable in our land, 
and to distinguished visitors from our colonies 
and from foreign countries. The Salters 
present each guest with a pair of little bone 
spoons, a survival, possibly, of the old practice 
which required all who came to dinner to 
bring with them their knife and spoon. At 
many of the Halls the guest is presented, 
on leaving, with a box of cakes or candied 
fruits, technically known as " service." 

The position of the City Companies of 
to-day is unique, not only in the history of our 
own countr}', but in that of the world. Their 
existence, in the case of the most ancient 
guilds, for a period of from 700 to possibly 
1,000 years ; their past and present services 
to the country ; the immense trusts of which 
they have been the chosen and faithful 
almoners ; the independence and admirable 
fitness of their present condition ; and the dis- 
tinguished men who have adorned and still 
adorn their roll of members — in all these re- 
spects they present a combination of age, 
excellence, and modern vigour absolutely 
without parallel. Well may we join in the 
sentiment of the toast so often heard in their 
Halls, "May they flourish, root and branch, 
for ever." 




A PLAYING CARD DESIGN (PLAYING 
CARD makers' company). 



311 



LONDON GETS IP IN THE MORNING. 

By GEORGE R. SIMS. 



LONDON is a city that never sleeps, but a 
> very large proportion of its inhabitants 
take a night's rest, and consequently 
have to get up in the morning. The process, 
simple enough in itself, has many attendant 
variations. There are lazy people who some- 
times envy the domestic dog, who wakes, 
stretches himself, shakes himself, wags his 
tail, and is ready for another day of life ; 
there are others to whom the 
ablutions and toilet are 
a delight, not to be 
hurried over or me- 
•chanically performed. 

It is a wonderfully 
human picture — this 
rising of the people of 
a great city for the 
labours and pleasures of 
the day — that would 
greet our eyes could we, 
like Asmodeus, lift the 
roofs and gaze within 
the houses. Let us 
glance at a few of its 
details. 

In the hospitals, the 
great palaces of pain, 
certain nurses and 
officers remain on night 
duty till the waking 
hour. Between five and 
Jialf-past the sufferers 
who are asleep are 
gently roused by a 
nurse, and tho.se who 
are able to get up begin 
to wash and dress. 
Then the stronger 
patients, those who are 
■getting better, make 
their tea and boil their 
•eggs and help to prepare 
breakfast for the ca.ses 
■who are too weak to mary jane 




help themselves. By seven o'clock the wards 
are all awake, the day nurses have come on, 
and everything is being prepared for the 
visit of the matron, to be followed by that 
of the house surgeon. 

After the hospital is up, the patients who 
can get about pay little visits of sympathy to 
the bedsides of their weaker fellow sufferers. 
Pale faces appear at the windows, sunken 
eyes look out upon the daily life of the streets, 
and, in fancy, see far 
away to the home where 
dear ones are waking 
and whispering, maybe, 
a little prayer for the 
absent one fighting the 
battle of life and death. 
But there are men, 
labouring men, whose 
waking hour is earlier 
than that of the hos- 
pitals. By four o'clock 
in the morning certain 
workers must be sum- 
moned, for the day's 
toil will begin at five — 
at the dock gate and 
in the great markets 
you must be afoot be- 
times. In the common 
lodging-houses there is 
frequently a " caller," 
who goes round and 
wakes the heavy 
sleepers. The man who 
lives in lodgings and 
has no wife is occasion- 
ally roused by a passing 
policeman, who performs 
the friendly act from 
the street. 

The rising of the 
domestic servant is fre- 
quently one of the little 
DESCENDS. worries of the good 



312 



LIVING LONDON. 



housewife. She has generally a quick ear, 
and, tread Mary Jane never so softly, should 
she descend the stairs at a later hour than 
usual the mistress will hear her, and there 
will be " words " later in the morning. 

Cook, in the ordinary household in which 
there is no kitchenmaid, is the first to rise, 
for she has to light the kitchen fire and 
prepare the kitchen breakfast. One by one 
the girls come down, as a rule listlessl}-, for 
domestic service lends itself to heavy sleep, 
and the household work of the day begins. 

In houses where there is a nursery it is 
there that the first Joyous sounds of a new day 
of life are heard. Young children, like the 
birds, have a habit of saluting the morning 
either with song or its equivalent. Romps 
are frequently indulged in before nightgowns 
are off and baths are ready. There is an 
urgent enquiry for toys directly the little eyes 
are open. Baby girls betray the maternal 
instinct in a demand for dolls, while little 
boys have been known to introduce, not only 
woolly rabbits and baa-lambs on wheels into 
the nursery bed, but have frequently emptied 
the entire contents of a huge Noah's Ark on 
the counterpane pell-mell with Shem, Ham, 
and Japhet, who have passed an open-eyed 
night in close quarters, their necks entangled 
in the hind legs of the greater carnivora. 
If, in a weak moment. Papa has bought 
the baby boy a 
trumpet or a 
drum, music will 
sometimes 
assault the 
parental ear at 
an hour when it 
is least soothing. 

It is not in- 
freq uently 
Baby's gentle 
task to wake 
Mamma, especi- 
ally if it is a 
first baby. 
When Baby has 
grown to the 
age of four or 
five he — if it is 
a he — occasion- 
ally toddles out 
of his bed and 



rouses Papa, bringing a new and favourite 
toy with him. The fond father, who wakes 
up with a terrified start to find a black kitten 
sitting on his neck, easily checks his wrath 
when he finds that it is his little son who 
has placed it there, and is eagerly waiting 
for Daddy to have a game of romps with 
him. 

The family getting up in the morning 
where the children have to start for school 
before nine o'clock is to many a mother a 
daily anxiety. There is so much to be done 
in a short time ; and when it happens also 
that Papa is a City man, who goes early to 
business, there is a double strain. Between 
her husband's comfort and the punctual 
despatch of the children with the maid, who 
sees them safely to the seminary, her time 
is fully occupied. Sometimes everything 
goes wrong. The servants begin it by over- 
sleeping themselves. There is trouble among 
the children — sometimes a quarrel and tears. 
Boots at the last moment are found not to be 
ready ; a school-book has been mislaid. Papa 
has found his razors have been used by 
Master Tom for wood-carving, and the 
shaving process has involved loss of time and 
temper. 

But at last the children have been hastily 
despatched, with injunctions to hurry, for 
they are ten minutes late. At last Papa, 




THE CHILDREN AWAKE 



LONDON GETS UP IN THE MORNING 



313 



with a piece of black sticking- 
plaster on his chin, has gone 
grumbling down the garden 
path on his way to the suburban 
railway station. Then the sorely 
tried wife and mother returns 
to the empty breakfast table, 
and has a strong cup of tea to 
soothe her nerves, and for a 
few minutes forgets her family 
cares, until the housemaid 
comes in to clear away. Then 
she takes the opportunity of 
expressing her views upon early 
rising. 

In the getting up of the idle 
classes the variety is endless, for 
the riser has, as a rule, but 
himself or herself to please. 
The society belle may continue 
to take her beauty sleep long 
after the ordinary world is astir, 
and then enjoy the extra luxury 
of breakfast in bed ; or she 
may be one of the bright, 
healthy English girls who are 
up betimes, and taking their morning canter 
in the Row between eight and nine a.m. 
The young gentleman who, living in bachelor 
chambers, is studying life from its late side, 
is not an early riser. His valet looks in 
occasionally as the morning advances, and 
finding him still sleeping retires discreetly. 
Such a young gentleman, when he wakes 
to the consciousness that another day has 
arrived to be killed, occasionally feels 
" hipped," and requires a slight stimulant 
before he rises and performs his toilet, and 
in dressing-gown and slippers lounges into 
his sitting-room and toys with a carefully 
prepared breakfast. His earlier toilet is 
not an elaborate process. He postpones 
the artistic touches until he is ready to 
saunter out and allow the fashionable 
streets of the West to become aware of 
his presence. 

But the waking up is not all comedy even 
to the well-to-do and well dressed. The 
night is merciful to most of us in that it 
brings a little space of forgetfulness, but 
with the morning the knowledge of life 
returns. Many a beautiful English girl opens 
her eyes to the morning sunshine and finds 
88 




A LATE RISER. 



no joy in it, or in the song of the glad birds 
that fill the air with melody. 

For her the course of true love has 
justified the proverb. There are jealous 
pangs gnawing at her heart, perhaps despair 
is in her soul. The scene of last night's ball 
comes back to her as the flood-gates of 
memory are opened. It may have been only 
a lovers' tiff, it may have been the parting 
of the ways ; but it makes the waking hour 



a sad one, and the doubting maiden sighs 
with Mariana that she is weary, and she rises 
with a pale face and dresses listlessly. 

The morning postman plays an important 
part in the domestic drama of " The Awaken- 
ing." The envelope pushed into the little 
box with the familiar rat-tat, now in many 
districts supplemented by the vigorous ring 
■ — for knockers are .somewhat out of fashion — 
may contain the best or the worst of news. 
Brought to the bedside of the late sleeper 
it may make his waking hour one of tragedy 
or flood the room with sunlight on the 
foggiest November day. 



314 



LIVING LONDON. 



The letter may be eagerly expected, or 
anticipated with dread. It comes at hist, 
and nearly al\va\s by the first post. If 
you are in doubt as to the view \\hich 
the Fates have taken of the situation, you 
either tear the envelope open hastily with 
trembling fingers or you turn it over and 
over and then put it aside for a while, post- 
poning the verdict as long as possible. 

In many a little home the morning letter 
ma\- mean ruin or salvation. The young 
clerk out of a berth, with a wife and child 
to keep, has sent in his application for a 
situation that has been advertised. He has 
mentioned his references ; he has spent his 
last sixpence in postage stamps. When he 




WELCOME NEWS 



wakes in the morning— lying late, as he 
has no work to do — his anxious wife stands 
by his bedside with a letter. 

He takes it, but dreads to open it. Is it 
a mes.sage of hope bidding him call at a 
City office, or is it the stereotyped reply which 
some firms are courteous enough to send to 
applicants if they are not too numerous? 

The wife waits ; the man sits up, and, 
nerving himself for his fate, tears the envelope 
open. Tremblingly he unfolds the letter and 
scans the contents. " Thank God ! " he cries, 
" Thank God ! " There is no need to say 
more. The loving little wife's eyes fill with 
grateful tears as she falls on her knees and 
puts her arms round her husband's neck. 
The letter lies open on the counterpane ; 

she can read the glad news. " Mr. is 

requested to call at the City office. If his 
references are satisfactor}-," etc., etc 



There are certain days in our lives when 
most of us wake with eager anticipation of 
the postman's burden. The birthday means 
loving greetings from relatives and friends 
long after it has ceased to mean presents, and, 
because it is still customary to consider the 
knocking off of another year of our allotted 
span as a feat to rejoice at, most men and 
women who have retained the "joy of living" 
wake smilingly upon their birthday morn 
and ask for their letters. 

The waking of the dramatist on the 
morning after the production of his new play, 
of the actors and actresses who have taken 
part in it, is largely influenced by the 
previous night's reception ; but all are anxious 

"to see the papers" 
'iU"|if 1 which are brought 
to them with their 
morning tea. No 
matter what may 
be happening in 
the world, no 
matter how mo- 
mentous may be 
the events of the 
day, theatrical folk 
^_, have only one 

4^^J^ *^^i* thought when they 

~" ^ open the great 

journals. They 
scorn the leaders, 
' ' and spare not a 

glance for the latest news. The criticism of 
the new play is the printed matter in which 
their interest is centred. They read notice 
after notice, sometimes with a smile, 
.sometimes with a frown. On the nature of 
the notices, so far as they are individually 
concerned, depends the humour in which the 
player folk will get up in the morning. 

There are times when the " paper in bed " 
makes half the country rise gloomily from 
slumber. The news of a disaster to England's- 
arms, of a terrible accident at sea, of the 
death of a popular member of the Royal 
Family, affects the spirits of the whole 
thinking community. There have been days 
when all London has risen with an aching^ 
heart, and gone .sadly and wearily forth to 
the day's work. 

And there are days when the greater part 
of London rises gaiiy. These are the days 



LONDON GETS UP IN THE MORNING. 



315 




of national rejoicing, of street pageantry, of 
general holiday-making. The spirit of the 
gala day is infectious ; even those who can 
take no part in it have a kindly sympathy 
with it, and get up with a sense of pleasure 
which has no part in the 
ordinary working day. 

So vast is London, and so 
small the area usually covered 
by a public pageant, that early 
rising is the order of the day 
on most of these occasions. 
The police regulations compel 
the crowd to concentrate on 
the given points long before 
the hour of procession. Then 
the knuckles of the housemaid 
knock at the bedroom door at 
an unaccustomed hour, and 
there is no turning of the 
sluggard for the " slumber 
again." Habitual late risers 
are invariably the first to get 
up on these occasions. They 
make elaborate over-night pre- 
parations for not being late 
down, and are among the 
earliest in the streets. If the 
morning is fine and warm, they 
descant loudly on its beauty, 
and announce their intention 
of turning over a new leaf and 
enjoying the early hours of 
London's sunshine more fre- 



quently. Rut the.se promises 
are rarely kept. 

On Sunday morning the 
majority of Londoners take " an 
e.xtra hour " in bed. There are 
good folk who go to early ser- 
vice, and many Roman Catholics 
who go to early mas.s. There 
are people bound for distant 
country trips who are up and 
about before the life of the day 
begins ; but as a rule the .ser- 
vants have a little indulgence, 
and breakfast is later. The 
workers, enjoying the relief 
from labour, and accepting 
Sunday as a " day of rest," 
interpret the phrase literally, 
and take a portion of it in bed. 
The " getting up " is a slower and more 
elaborate process. The creeping hands of 
the clock inspire no terror of lost trains, the 
warning horn of the express 'bus will not 
sound to-day, and church, which is generally 



KKADI.VG THE 
I'KESS NOTICES. 




THE BRIDE OF 
THE DAY. 



316 



LIVING LONDON. 



close at hand, does not begin till eleven. 
In humble homes Mother is up and about 
long before F"ather ; for the children must 
be dressed neatly and sent to Sunday 
school, with credit to themselves and their 
parents. 

All the hopes and fears of life come home 
to London in its waking hour. Some of 
its children rise with their hearts elate and 
their nerves braced for high endeavour ; 
others wake with a sigh for the days that are 
no more, and with grim forebodings for the 
future. 

The bride of the day, her heart full of 
love for the man whose life she is to share, 
wakes for the last time in the old, familiar 
home. Some little mist may gather in her 
eyes as she thinks of the parting from those 
who have been beside her always until now, 
and she is filled with vague wonder as to 
how the new tie may mould and fashion the 
life that is to be. 

But she has given her heart long ago, and 
to-day she is to give her hand. And so love 
overcomes all the pain of parting, and hope 
is in her heart, though the tears may be in 
her eyes as she looks round the little room 
for the last time, and begins the elaborate 
preparations that lead up to the bridal dress 
and veil and the little family circle of admira- 
tion, before she timidly goes down the steps 
to the carriage leaning on her fathers arm, 



and is driven away to change her name and 
be linked by a golden fetter to the man of 
her heart. 

And there is one waking hour on which 
all thoughts are concentrated now and again 
as the days go by. 

When the hour of doom is to sound for 
a fellow creature, the hour known and fixed 
beforehand, many a man and many a woman 
wake with a feeling of intense pity — not so 
much, perhaps, for the condemned criminal 
as for those who love him. 

When a hanging morning dawns on London 
our thoughts go out to the condemned cell in 
which a fellow creature is waking from his 
last sleep on earth. 

It is said that most of these unhappy ones 
sleep soundly until the warder approaches 
and, gently touching them, bids them rise 
and prepare for the awful moment that has 
come. 

It is not good to dwell upon this waking 
scene. But, with all its horror, the mental 
torture for the victim is a question of an hour 
or two at most. 

But for the mother, the wife, of such a man. 
Ah ! God help them in their waking upon 
that fatal day. The pity of every human 
heart is theirs when the hour of doom strikes 
upon their listening ears, and they know 
that, far away from them, to son or to husband 
the awful end has come. 




I.V THE CONDKM.NED CP:lL. 



317 




NKT MAKING. 



' SWEEP 



LONDON'S STREET INDISTRIES. 

By P F. WILLIAM RYAN. 




T 



^RADE followed 
the flag ! Trade 
was a chubby 
fellow about the height 
of an umbrella, with an 
empty bottle clutched 
tightly under his arm. 
With his left hand he 
helped along a tiny mite 
who was as yet but a 
novice in the art of 
walking. The mite's 
left fist, about the size 
of a small tomato, was 
clenched desperately. It was an exciting 
moment ; the eyes of the children proclaimed 
it. Fifty or sixty yards away was the man 
selling flags and windmills, his handcart 
surrounded by an eager crowd of juveniles. 
What a calamity it would be if the two 
arrived on the scene only to find his stock 
sold out ! Their troubles were not quite over 
when, breathless, they reached the spot ; for, 
though there were plenty of flags, there was 
still some danger that they might have to 
wait for their proper turn amongst a dozen 
customers. In the Borough you never wait 
for your turn. You make it, and take it. 
The elder boy was a staunch Imperialist. 
He handed over his bottle and accepted a 
miniature Union Jack reverently. The babe 



solemnly opened his fist and looked at his 
halfpenny. What would it be — flag or wind- 
mill, windmill or flag? His small soul was 
torn with doubt, yet they cruelly hurried him. 
Then he took a windmill, just because he 
wanted a flag, and toddled away broken- 
hearted to cry his big blue eyes out for his 
folly and his halfpenny. 

The toffee-man enjoys beyond all his peers 
the admiration of the juniors amongst the 
rising generation. They would make him 
a Minister of the Crown if only in his flight 
to Downing Street he would forget to leave a 
deputy-warden of his stock-in-trade. The 
toffee-man manufactures his sweetstuff" under 




CRUMPETS. 



31!^ 



LIVING LONDON. 




FLAGS AND WINDMILLS. 



the e\-es of his patrons. 
In this respect he 
differs from all his 
rivals. In Farringdon 
Street, Fleet Street, the 
Strand, Ludgate Hill, 
and many other tho- 
roughfares pedestrians 

are tempted with nougat and American 
caramels, Turkish delight, and other mys- 
terious compounds set out on handcarts 
with some pretence at artistic effect. 

Besides the street confectioners and 
fruiterers, who pander, of course, to mere 
lu.xur)', there is a legion of men and women 
who make a living out of the sale of homely 
delicacies. Some of these are nearly as well 
known as though their names figured in 
beautiful gilt letters over a shop in Piccadilly 
or O.xford Street. Watercress is much 
favoured by Londoners, and the numberless 
hawkers who trade in it find a 
ready sale for their stock. The 
shrimp -sellers hardly command 
such extensive patronage, but they 
nevertheless cater largely for the 
metropolitan tea-table. In many 
quarters there is a brisk demand 
for mufifins and crumpets ; nor is 
there any lack of customers for 
fritters. The fish hawker is a 
regular feature of street life. In 
the eastern districts especially his 
hand-cart is a great aid to the 
humble housekeeper in varying 
the daily menu. 

The baker, the milkman, and 



the saltman ma)- not be popular idols, but 
from a commercial point of \iew their posi- 
tion is impregnable. The milkman labours 
under the imputation of slavishly imitating 
the early rising habits of the lark. A sleepy 
age might forgive him the plagiarism ; what 
e.xcites its wrath is the spirited reveille he 
performs with his tin cans on the area 
railings. 

Most of those who culti- 
vate a street industry adhere 
absolutely to one line of 
business. Take the men who 
hawk hats — and there are 
many of them — they never 
think of bartering any other 
article of dress. Almost any 
day one can buy a brand 
new silk hat for five or six 
shillings in certain streets. 
The seller is usually also the 
maker, which accounts for its 
cheapness. Its pattern might 
not be the theme of universal 
laudation at a church parade ; but hats are 
worn at other places. Then there is the 
vendor of hats that have seen their zenith, 
and in the autumn of their days are glad 
to find a resting place on anybody's head. 




BREAD 



They are at the 
best second-hand ; 
and at the worst, 
goodness knows 
how many hands 
they have passed 
through. But the 
best as well as 
the worst go for 



LONDON'S STREET INDUSTRIES. 



a song. 

thread 

trifles 



Needles and 

and similar 

for women's 




SHRIMPS. 




319 

of the limited liability 
companies which 
exist for purposes of 




WATEKCKESS. 



use are hawked from 

house to house in the 

poorer neighbourhoods, while many an honest 

penny is turned by the sale of plants suitable 

for suburban gardens. 

To one man, at all events, London never 
metes out hard times. It is always the 
harvest of the chimney-sweep, whose familiar 
cry brings his calling within the category 
of Street Industries. One sees him every- 
where, and the richness of his workaday 
complexion serves as well as an auditors' 
report to demonstrate his prosperity. On 
Sundays he often drives out with his family, 
happy in the consciousness that neither war 
nor pestilence can eliminate soot from this 
beautiful world. The window-cleaner is 
almost equally happy so far as business 
is concerned, for the climate is 
his faithful ally. Sometimes he 
is a permanent servant of one 



WINDOW-CLEANING. 



There is, 
quite an 




this trade 
however 

army of window-cleaners who work for 
themselves. These are often Jacks-of-all- 
trades, ready to put in a pane of glass as 
well as to polish it. 

The coal man is known by his cry. As 
he leads his horse through the streets he 
occasionally curves his hand round his mouth 
and indulges in a demoniacal yell, which is 
doubtless his professional rendering of " Coal ! 
Coal ! " Nobody understands him ; everybody 
hears him ! Another familiar street trader is 
the greengrocer, who carts his stock from door 
to door, and whose brisk business many a 
shopkeeper might envy. The china-mender 
is a less striking figure in the streets than 
the chair-mender. When the latter is at 
work a contingent of children 
belonging to the neighbourhood 
generally act as his overseers. 




FISH. 



UI.I) HA'i'S. 



MILK. 



320 



LIVING LONDON. 




SCISSORS TO GKIXD. 



Sometimes 
he is assisted 
by his wife, 
somet i mes 
he labours 
in single 
blessedness. 
Occasionally 
the chair- 
mender is a 
woman — the 
wido\\', \'cry 
likely, of one 
of the trade. 
The broken 
chair is 
usually 
taken to a quiet square or to a retired 
quarter of the pavement, and there operated 
upon. The industry is far from being as 
good as it once was. 

The periodical visits of the scissors-grinder, 
with his impressive machinery, is an event in 
the more gloomy streets of the Metropolis. 

It could not 
well be 
otherwise 
seeing the 
fuss his 
w heel 
makes, not 
to speak of 
the sparks 
he sends 
flying when 



a knife bearing signs of long and arduous 
ser\ice is submitted to his tender mercies. 
Judging b)' appearances, the scissors-grinder 
is often one who has acquired a hankering 
after " cold steel " in the ranks of the King's 
army. Saw sharpening is much less show)% 
much less exciting. There are no sparks, 
and but a poor substitute in the form of 
a diabolical noise that might well set even 
artificial teeth on edge. To the butcher, how- 
ever, it is a delicate' operation, to be watched 
with the same solicitude as a Paderewski 
might bestow upon his piano when in the 
tuner's hands. 

Street manufacturers are not numerous. 
Amongst them, however, must be reckoned 





I. KKTTLE-HOLDER MAKING. 



II. SAW SHAKPEXI.NG 



CHAIR-MENDING. 

the old ladies who make holders for kettles 
and irons. The tinker is never at a loss for 
opportunities to practise his calling ; and his 
wife, with the most praiseworthy 
industry, adds to the family income 
by making wire stands for flower- 
pots and similar trifles, which she 
hawks from house to house. That 
fishing nets should still be made 
by hand at a seaside village seems 
only natural ; but to see them in 
process of manufacture in a London 
thoroughfare lends an unexpected 
suggestion of poetry to a prosaic 
scene. Greater dignity, however, 
belongs to the woolwork-picture 
maker, for he is an artist. With 
his needle and thread he launches 
coquettish yachts on frolicsome 
waves, and dots the horizon with 
armadas. The photographer is an 



LONDON'S STREET INDUSTRIES. 



i^'i 



aristocrat amongst those who make a living 
in the streets. The engraver on glass finds 
his patrons mainly amongst publicans, though 
glass ware has now become so cheap that his 
services are little needed. 

One's sympathies go out to the shoeblack 




more than to any other 
class of street industrial- 
ist, except perhaps the 
flower-girl. Little 
wonder ; for his life is a 
hard one, his earnings are 
sometimes precarious, and 
yet he is always civil, 
and apparently content 
with a small payment. 
The shoeblacks, following 
the example of more 
important crafts, have 
trade societies. Of these the 
oldest and most important 
belongs to the City. Its mem- 
bers, like those of the Borough 
organisation, wear red jackets. 
Blue is the colour of the 
fraternity in East London. In 
Marylebone they affect white, 
and at King's Cross brown. Some of the 
more well-to-do members of the trade 
provide chairs for their patients, with 
convenient pedestals for the feet. To the 
average customer five minutes in one of these 
imposing chairs must be rather trying. It is 
probably for the purpose of assisting modest 
patrons to bear with equanimity the "splendid 
isolation " of the position that the proprietors 
sometimes keep on hand a supply of periodical 
literature. One remarkable member of the 
corps has a partner in the business — a cat. 
Since the days of her kittenhood she has been 
89 



in the trade. A most worthy cat she is in 
all respects, her one fault being a pronounced 
spice of vanity. At a word of praise, such as 
one might let drop as a matter of course with- 
out any thought of flattering a reprehensible 
weakness, she arches her back and rubs 
against your ankles, purring in an ecstasy ol 
delight. 

Step-cleaners in the Metropolis — " step- 
girls " they are usually called — are legion. It 
is a curious calling, but those who follow it no 
doubt prefer it, with all its drawbacks, to 
employment which would impose restrictions 
on their liberty. As a class they are in a 
sense alien to the hard-driven sisterhood 
of more mature years who offer 
their services as charwomen. The 
vendor of fly-paper is more than 
a business man, he is a humani- 
tarian. He displays samples of 
his goods on his hat, a mode of 
advertisement that is frequently 
productive of painful surprises to 
the unthinking fly. Many humble 
workers eke out an existence by pre- 
paring firewood. The pulling down 
of an old 
bu ilding 
comes as 
a godsend 
to these 
people. 
The rotten 
timber is 




bought for 
next to 
nothing, and 
cut into 
small pieces. 
It is then 
hawked 
through the 
poorer quar- 
ters in a 
barrow, and 
sold by 
measure. 



I. COAI.S. n. FI.Y-PAPEKS. 
HI. WOOLWORK PICTURE 
.M.AKING. IV. SHOEBLACK. 



32 



LIVING LONDON. 



The parts that are too tough to be sawn up 
are called " chump wood." There is firewood 
and firewood ! It is a prosaic trade till 




OLD IRON. 



Christmas comes. 
Think of the logs 
flaming and crackling 
in the grate on a 
December night — tJic 
Night — when the 
blinds are drawn, and 
the light shines on 
the faces of loved 
ones, and transmutes 
to gold the mistletoe 
berries, and to 
globules of glistening 
crimson the ripe holly 
fruit. The Yule-log 
man is not there, he 
is out in the shadows; 
but he has thrown 
the glamour of poetry 
over that English 
hearth. 

Perhaps the day is wet. 
man offering sacks to 





STEP-CLEANING. 



is now a pathetic figure amongst the army of 
street dealers ; his trade is no longer what it 
was. The man who buys old iron is one of 
the few who make a living on the streets by 
paying out money rather than taking it 
in. 

What cannot you buy in London's high- 
ways ? Here is a hawker with feather dusters 
on cane handles, and another with brushes of 
all sorts and sizes. There are artificial 
flowers of tints to make a botanist green with 
envy, and artificial butterflies of tropical 
brilliancy. A man with " counter cloths " — 
used for mopping up the liquor which over- 
flows from customers' glasses — is disappearing 
into a public-house. 
At your heels is a 
locksmith rattling a 
hundred keys on a 
huge ring. The 
traffic in old leather 
bags and portman- 
teaux is limited. On 
Saturday nights you 
may see a barrow 
laden with them in 
the neighbourhood of 
a cheap restaurant or 
a big public-house. 
On Sunday after- 
noons in summer 
choice fruits are 
hawked noisily 
through the residen- 
tial streets of the 
west. But in summer 
and winter, through 



Here is a sales- 
keep out the rain. 
This one is old and blind, and in other days 
was a miller. He is useful still ; for, though 
some people are above facing the weather in 
a closely woven sack, there are carters and 
scavengers and errand boys who think little 
of fashion and much of a dry skin. A parcel 
has to be .sent post-ha.ste ; you can purchase 
the services of a licensed messenger at the 
nearest corner. You drive up to your door in 
a four-wheeler. Before you have stepped on 
to the pavement a couple of rivals for the 
privilege of helping with your luggage have 
appeared as if by magic. The clock-mender 




GREENGROCER. 



every night of the year, there is a delicacy 
on sale which shames the language of eulogy 
— the baked potato. There it is, big as 



LONDON'S STREET INDUSTRIES. 



323 



a melon, and piping hot, its jacket of 
brown crisped in parts to big, shiny, coal- 
black blisters. 

The children of Little Italy supply a fair 
proportion of those who trade in chestnuts 
and ice-cream. Often the Italian cannot 
speak a word of English. What does it 
matter! The coppers of his customers are 
sufficiently explanatory. In the City and the 




URUSHES. 

leading arteries of the town business is good, 
but one can only marvel how the chestnut 
man in the quieter districts wards off starva- 
tion — sometimes, indeed, famine must press 
close upon his heels. There is a young 
Sicilian who rolls his barrow to one of 
the sleepiest of the central London squares. 
Why he should select such a pitch is a 
mystery. For hours the nuts on his fire 
crisp, and crisp, and burn ; yet, except on 
Sundays, hardly a coin comes his way. In 




CLOCK-ME.NDER. 

the deepening gloom of a winter's evening, 
when the tide of life sets homewards, one 
sometimes sees a group of children gathered 
round him. They are not buying. They are 
gaping at him in silence, hypnotised by 
his pinched face, his great haggard eyes, his 
air of patient, abject poverty. The tattered 
dreamer, the wondering children, the battered 
furnace, form a strangely unreal picture, half 
buried in the shadows that swathe the square. 
The man is a helpless, hapless, stricken 
lotus-eater ; the melancholy antithesis of the 
eager, alert, strenuous army — the tireless, 
dauntless army, of all ages and all nations 
— who wring a livelihood, copper by copper, 
in the fair way of trade from the countless 
simple needs of the World's Emporium. 




OLD SACKS. 



YULE LOGS. 



LICENSED MESSENGER. 



324 



BIRD-LAND AND PET-UND IN LONDON. 

By HENRY SCHERREN. 




A PET PYTHON. 



LONDON 
/ is a para- 
dise of 
birds. Here 
you may see, 
b e t w e e n 
January and 
December, a 
wealth of bird 
life which can 
scarcely be 
paralleled in 
any equal 
area in the 
British Isles. 
The Metro- 
polis is one 
vast preserve; 
and there is no other city where such interest 
is taken by the people in the birds. 

All have watched the gulls on the Thames, 
with their outlying flocks that spread into St. 
James's Park, making the sky white with 
their pinions, or flecking the river with silver- 
grey patches as they settle on its bosom. At 
the working man's dinner-hour there will be 
few among the crowds that line the Embank- 
ment who have forgotten their feathered 
friends. The gulls swoop down to the 
parapet to seize the food thrown to them in 
the air, the bolder ones coming so near as to 
be within hand's reach, but all fearless from 
past experience of their treatment. Here is, 
then, the link between man and the gulls. 
The birds have learnt that it is pleasanter 
to spend the winter on a sheltered river, 
where people provide them with food, than 
to forage on the sea-shore, when close-time 
is over, and the plume-hunter is on the look- 
out for " wings." 

London has its share — its full share — of 
sparrows. They swarm everywhere ; they 
nest under the eaves, in trees, bushes, in ivy 
and other climbing plants, and the predatory 
cat takes heavy toll of their young. They 



come to the window-sill for breadcrumbs, 
squabble in the streets for the corn dropped 
from the nosebags of the cab horses, and 
carry off dainty morsels from beneath the 
bills of larger birds. They soon learn to 
know their friends. A gentleman feeds those 
in Hyde Park and St. James's Park. The 
birds fly to meet him, circle round him, and 
have grown so tame that they will take food 
from his hand. 

The London pigeons are as familiar as 
those of Venice, from which they differ in 
being the pets of the people, not of visitors. 
Illustrations on the opposite page show how 
they are fed outside the Guildhall and 
in Hyde Park. Similar scenes may 
be witnessed any day round St. Paul's 
Cathedral, where are two colonies — one 
frequenting the east and the other the west 
end of the building — that do not intermix. 
At the British Museum many of the regular 
visitors to the Reading Room make a practice 
of bringing food for the pigeons that come 
flying down from their resting places among 
the statuary of the pediment. Let me de- 
scribe a pretty incident of which I was an 
eye-witness. The children of a boarding 
school were feeding some birds which were 
enjoying the feast, and hard by was a group 
of poorly-clad girls and boys, looking on with 
wistful eyes. A dainty little miss, after con- 
sulting her governess, left her companions, 
and pressed her bag of food into the hands 
of one of the astonished children. East and 
west were immediately united in the pleasant 
task of feeding the birds. 

Among the strangest facts of London bird- 
life are the numbers and the tameness of the 
wood-pigeons which began to settle here about 
1880. In St. James's Park, in many of the 
squares, and on the Embankment, they may 
be seen strutting about quite fearlessly 
heedless of the presence of man. This is 
in strong contrast to their wildness in the 
country. They are summer visitors — leaving 




I. FEEDING PIGEONS OUTSIDE THE GUILDHALL. II. GULLS NEAR THE TH.^MES EMBANKMENT. 

in. FEEDING PIGEONS IN HYDE PARK. IV. FEEDING SPARROWS FROM HIS HAND (HYDE PARK). 

V. FEEDING THE DUCKS IN ST. JAMES's PARK. 



326 



LIVING LONDON. 




A BIRD SHOP ON" WHEPXS. 

US in the autumn to return again in spring, 
and many nest here. Birds, and of course 
other animals, have means of communication 
of which man knows nothing, beyond the 
fact that it exists. A naturaHst, passing 
through a West-End square, saw a soHtary 
wood-pigeon. He scattered some corn on the 
ground, of which the bird picked up a few 
grains, and then flew off in the direction of 
St. James's Park. It returned in a few 
minutes accompanied by its mate. It had 
evidently imparted the good news that there 
were free rations for wood-pigeons within 
easy distance. 

London is a great centre for homing 
pigeons, which so many people miscall 
" carriers." As one comes into town, 
especially on the east side, one must notice 
the dormer windows leading into the lofts 
of the pigeon-flyers. Not that pigeon-racing 
is confined to the East-End. The King and 
the Prince of Wales are among its patrons. 
At a race of the London North Road Federa- 
tion thirty birds from the royal lofts were 
tossed with the rest ; and at a show at the 
Royal Aquarium birds from the Sandringham 
lofts have been exhibited. The London homers 
fly to, wot from, the Metropolis. Their power 
of finding their way back is due to training 
for condition and for knowledge of the route, 
over which they are tossed at constantly in- 
creasing distances. Even with this training a 
considerable percentage of birds is lost in 



long-distance races. Some 
of the London newspapers 
still employ homing 
pigeons to bring " copy " 
and sketches from Epsom 
and the 'Varsity Boat 
Race. 

" Fancy " pigeons are 
largely kept, bred, and 
exhibited. At the Crystal 
Palace and the Royal 
Aquarium showsare penned 
the finest specimens of the 
numberless varietie.s. Here 
are heavily wattled carriers, 
snaky magpies, pouters 
swelling with the sense of 
their dignity, snowy fan- 
tails that emulate the 
peacock in display, and a 
host of other breeds, nearly every one of 
which has its special club, all governed by 
the rules of the Pigeon Club, which takes 
cognisance of matters relating to the " fancy " 
generally. 

Rookeries, with the exception of the colony 
in Gray's Inn, are confined to the suburbs. 
Interference with the trees, as in Kensington 
Gardens, has driven the birds away. But one 
may be pretty sure of seeing a magpie in 
Regent's Park, the jay in some of the out- 
lying districts, and an occasional jackdaw. 

In all the parks the ornamental waterfowl 
are a great feature ; and feeding the birds 
constitutes one of the chief pleasures of the 
children. The stately swan is conspicuous 
among the ducks and geese. The dabchick 
and moorhen have nested on some of the 
lakes ; the kingfisher and mallard have been 
noted on the Regent's Canal ; and the ring- 
plover has been photographed on her nest 
within the postal district. From time to time 
the surplus stock of waterfowl belonging to 
the County Council is sold in Battersea Park. 
The parks have become the home of a 
number of species of smaller birds that 
there find sheltered nesting places. In the 
County Council parks miniature aviaries 
have been erected, in which many bright- 
plumaged species are kept, to the delight of 
the visitors. 

Bird-lovers are social. In one of the large 
rooms at a famous West-End restaurant, 



BIRD-LAND AND PET-LAND IN LONDON. 



327 



after a modest dinner, the members of the 
British Ornithologists' Club discuss matters 
relating to birds, and exhibit rare specimens. 
The East-End, too, has its social evenings, 
devoted not so much to exhibition as to 
singing contests, in which the birds seem to 
take as much interest as their owners. 

Pet-Land is an extensive region, with 
boundaries that cannot be strictly defined. 
Just as "one man's meat is another man's 
poison," so one man's pet may be, and often 
is, the abhorrence of his next-door neighbour. 
The man whom Shylock quoted as unable 
to abide the " harmless, necessary cat " was 
neither the first nor the last of his kind. 
Nevertheless, he may have had a Pet-Land 
of his own, though its limits were too strait 
to admit of Puss dwelling therein. To feline 
as well as to canine pets, however, I need 
merely refer, for they have 'oeen already 
dealt with in the article on " Cat and Dog 
London." 

The providing of pets is a distinct calling. 
In many of the places where costermongers 
have their " pitches " may be seen a bird 
stall, usually with a pretty good stock. 
Here, at a reasonable price — perhaps from a 
perambulating dealer — one may buy a grey 
parrot, with an unimpeachable character as 
to language, a gaily-plumaged pafrakeet, or 
a cockatoo. Java sparrows and other East 
Indian finches are here in plenty. The 
buyer who wants a 
British bird can be 
supplied, for the stock 
includes a jackdaw, a 
magpie, a jay, larks, 
starlings, blackbirds, 
thrushes, linnets, bull- 
finches, and a goldfinch 
or two. These dealers 
will also supply cages 
— gorgeous affairs, re- 
splendent with brass 
and gilding — for their 
permanent residence, 
or small wooden 
structures in which to 
take the new pets 
home. When the pur- 
chaser declines to pay 
the few pence asked 
for a small wooden 



cage, the bird is deftly put into a paper 
bag, with the corners twisted up, and so 
carried off by its new owner. 

From the street-dealers other pets may 
be procured — gold-fish for the aquarium ; 
pond-tortoises, as surely carnivorous as the 
land-tortoises (mendaciously warranted to 
clear the garden of slugs) are vegetarians ; 
green lizards imported from the Continent ; 
the smaller lizards of our own country and 
their legless relation, the slow-worm ; newts, 
brilliant in nuptial attire, with a waving crest 
all down the back ; Wack-and-yellow .sala- 
manders from Central Europe ; and tree-frogs, 
scarcely to be distinguished from the leaves 
on which they have taken up their position. 

Larger and rarer pets are to be obtained 
from the shops where such things are 
made a speciality. Does the purchaser want 
a monkey? The dealer will show him a 
macaque from India, a green monkey from 
Africa, or a capuchin from South America, 
and might guarantee to deliver a gorilla 
within a reasonable time. Are lemurs 
more to his taste ? Here are all sorts 
and sizes, from the tiny " mouse " he can 
carry away in his pocket, to the ruffed 
lemur, as big and as fluffy as a Persian cat. 
Would he like a suricate, or meerkat, as the 
C.I.V.'s learnt to call this funny little beast 
in South Africa ? There are half a dozen 
sitting bolt-upright, like tiny mungooses, and 




IN A BIRD AND ANIMAL SHOP (GKKAT PORTLAND STREET). 



328 



LIVING LONDON. 



... ■ 


1 


■ .. 


^ p 




■ r^ 


.-.1 *i^ 


au 


m ilk - 


^p^ 


■■j yg 


Bm 




^^^^Kss£d^HriU 



CAGKD. 

scratching away at the wire-netting in vain 
efforts to get out. A few armadilloes are 
pretty sure to be in stock ; and, if something 
specially "creepy" is wanted, there is no lack 
of snakes, or a few baby crocodiles may 
be produced for inspection. 

In such a shop there is sure to be plenty of 
bird.s — Indian mynahs that " talk," the rarer 
parrots and parrakeets, the monstrous-billed 
toucans, and a host of others to be seen year 
after year at the Cage Bird Shows. There 
are special shops where the stock consists of 
canaries of various breeds — Norwich, Hartz 
Mountain Rollers, Lizards, etc. — • fancy 
pigeons, poultry, and waterfowl. 

Children affect guinea-pigs, rabbits, white 
mice and rats. Birds require too much 
attention for them, and will not bear the 
vigorous display of interest the average child 
takes in its pets. Guinea-pigs may be 
handled and rabbits carried about by the 
ears without ill-consequences ; while mice 
and rats will thrive under conditions that 
would soon kill any cage-bird. A little girl 
of my acquaintance has a pretty pet rat, 
which is tame and affectionate. Immediately 
its cage door is opened it runs to her, climbs 
on her shoulder, and waits to be fed. 

The goat is the pet of the children of the 
poor, and may be said to be, in some degree, 
their playmate. It has also another charac- 
ter — it is their draught animal ; and some 



of them show considerable ingenuity in 
utilising an old box for a carriage and scraps 
of rope for harness. 

There are not very many London dwell- 
ings in which a pet of some kind is not 
kept. Among the labouring classes who 
have migrated to town from rural dis- 
tricts larks and blackbirds are in high 
favour, and the song brings back memories 
of green fields far away. The poor are 
always considerate towards their pets, and 
many instances are . known in which they 
have denied themselves necessaries that their 
favourites should be fed. 

Everyone will recognise the first illustration 
on this page as characteristic of not a few 
London homes, especially in the suburbs. 
Some rail at the cruelty of keeping caged 
birds ; but even in the case of those that have 
been deprived of their freedom there is 
another side to the question — the brightness 
these petted little prisoners bring into dull, 
grey human lives. That all caged birds are 
not unhappy is shown by the fact that some, 
when released, have returned of their own 
accord. They are well fed and cared for, 
and the loss of liberty is not too high a 
price to pay for such advantages, to which 




FEEDING PET LEMUKS. 



BIRD-LAND AND PET-LAND IN LONDON. 



329 



must be added security from their natural 
enemies. 

The fowls and ducks of suburban gardens 
are on the confines of Pet-Land rather than 
true denizens ; but many fanciers make pets 
of their poultry, especially of stock birds 
whose progeny have won honours in the show- 
pen. 

The monkey, from its intelligence and 
affection, is a king of pets, when its propensity 
for mischief can be kept within due bounds. 
If a census could be taken of the pet monkeys 
in London, the number would come as a 
surprise to most people. The temper of these 
animals is, however, somewhat uncertain ; 
and some which are on their best behaviour 
with the master will scratch and bite the 
children or the maids. The Monkey-House 
at the Zoological Gardens is a sort of 
penitentiary for such naughty pets. 

The second illustration on the opposite page 
represents a collection of pet lemurs and 
squirrel monkeys probably unequalled in this 
country. The animals are kept in roomy 
cages, with space for exercise ; the house is 



just warm enough, with a current of pure air 
flowing through. They are well cared for 
by the man in charge, but their owner and 
friend would feel he had missed a pleasure if 
he omitted to visit them at least once a day 

The lady to whom the lo-foot python 
shown on page 324 belongs is exceedingly 
proud of it, as she may well be, for it is a 
fine reptile, quite tame, and seemingly de- 
lighted to be handled by its mistress, and 
showing no sign of resentment when taken 
up by others. Every Friday it is treated 
to a swim in a large bath, and the next 
day it gets its weekly meal. 

The care shown for wild birds and for pets 
of all kinds is repaid a thousand-fold by the 
pleasure derived from the consequent fear- 
lessness in the one case and the affection in 
the other. A bond of sympathy is thus 
established between Man and the lower 
animals over which he has dominion. But 
the care of pets imposes obligations, and 
these will be best discharged if we resolve — 

" Never to blend our pleasure or our pride 

With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels." 




A STUEKT lilKn STALL, 



90 



3>o 




MATCHBOX FILLING (MESSRS. R. BELL AND CO., LTD.). 



SCENES EROM FACTORY LONDON. 

By C. DUNCAN LUCAS. 



WE are early astir to-da)'. The resi- 
dential west is like a city of the 
dead : not a blind is up ; save for 
a few stragglers — a weary-eyed policeman 
or two, a white-faced night-bird in evening 
dress tramping to his rooms, and a sprinkling 
of loafers — the streets are deserted. The 
only sound that breaks the stillness is the 
clatter of our cab-horse's hoofs. En route 
to the east we pass the great City work- 
rooms, affording employment to thousands 
of men, women, and girls — tailors, dress- 
makers, shirt -makers, milliners, tie- makers, 
makers of artificial flowers — too many, in 
fact, to name. Little by little the .scene 
changes. As each mile is covered it be- 
comes more animated. The drama of 
the day is beginning. London's toilers 
are turning out, multiplying minute by 
minute, and as the tall chimneys come 



into view we are plunged into a stream of 
hurrying humanity that carries everything 
before it. The humble homes are sending 
forth their wage-earners. A kiss on the 
doorstep, a wave of the hand, and the father 
or mother has joined the great throng. 

It is a many-sided crowd, a crowd repre- 
senting almost every nationality in Europe, 
and every kind of man, woman, and child. 
A picture of more violent contrasts you 
could not imagine. Extreme age walks side 
by side with adolescent youth, and rude 
health brings out in sharp relief the pallid 
features of the consumptive. Every turning 
helps to swell the tide, which sweeps on 
fast and furious until at length there is a 
diversion. We are now in a factory quarter 
of London, and the crowd suddenly scatters. 
A thousand eager souls race for this building, 
another thousand for that. The rest dis- 



SCENES FROM FACTORY LONDON. 



33' 



appear through big gates as if by magic. 
There are factories for the preparation of 
almost everything that mortal man can 
desire — for tinned meats, jams, biscuits, 
pickles, cheap clothing, hats, babies' food, 
mineral waters, sweets, cakes, soap, matches, 
tobacco, pipes, jewellery, upholstery, leather, 
pottery — indeed it is difficult to call to 
mind a single article in everyday use in 
the manufacture of which the Metropolis is 
not concerned. 

The average person has little idea of the 



arrayed in many colours have just trooped in. 
They are match-makers, and the factory 
belongs to Messrs. R. Bell and Co., of Bromley- 
by-Bow. Picture to yourself a gigantic room, 
clean and airy. To the right a couple of 
drums in charge of women are revolving, 
and on these drums are strands of cotton — 
a hundred of them, and each one 2,500 yards 
in length. On its way from one drum to 
the other the cotton is drawn through a pan 
of hot stearin until its coating of wax is of 
the required thickness. It is then put aside, 




CREAM FONDANT MOULDING ROOM (MESSRS. CLARKE, NICKOLLS AND COOMBS, LTD.). 



immensity of London's Factory-land or of 
the vast number of people who find employ- 
ment there. In its busy hives hundreds of 
thousands of workers are engaged day by 
day in performing some essential service to 
the British race ; and it is not too much to 
say that if its factories were to disappear 
this big, ever-growing city would be bereft 
of half its strength. 

Let us visit that huge place opposite, the 
yard of which is stacked with timber. A 
regiment of bright-looking women and girls 



and when it is sufficiently firm it is given 
over to the young woman on our left. 

She is a fine-looking girl. Quietly dressed 
and with an air of responsibility about her, 
she is a young mother. Her husband is 
employed at the soap works hard by, and 
though some one has to tend the babies 
during the day she is happy — happy because 
there are two incomes to maintain the bairns 
in plenty. Her daily output is 2,500,000 
match stems. Watch her. She has a cutting 
machine all to herself, and as the strands of 



332 



LIVING LONDON. 



wax flow into the frame she presses her 
thumbs at a certain spot, and behold a 
hundred stems are cut. Her thumbs never 
wear)'. The stems ready, up the_\- go to the 
roof to be dipped. A man stands at a shib 
on which is spread the composition — a thick 
paste. He tai<es a frame and presses it on 
to the slab, and in ten seconds you have 
10,000 finished matches. If anj' one should 
suffer from the deadly " phossy jaw " this 
man should, for he has been dipping matches 
for a quarter of a centur\-, but he breathes 
the air of Heaven — the kindly proprietors, 
who do not look upon their employes 
merely as so many machines, lay stress on 
this — and as a further precaution fans are 
kept going throughout the day to drive 
away the fumes. 

No one is idle here. Big strapping girls 
are making wooden boxes at the rate of 
120 gross a day : others are filling the boxes 
with matches at a speed that beggars descrip- 
tion ; while over the way men are cutting 
timber for wooden " lights " with knives as 
sliarp as razors. 

If time did not press there would be much 
more to see, but we are due at Hackney 
Wick to witness 2,000 men and women 
making sweets. 

The factory of Messrs. Clarke, Nickolls 
& Coombs supplies the sweet - toothed 
brigade of Great Britain with 2,000 varieties 
of sweets, and so agreeable is the stuff that 
in the course of twelve months from fifteen 
to twenty tons of it are consumed by the 
employes themselves. Step into this building 
by the railway where the workers are a 
hundred strong. Some are boiling sugar in 
great pans ; some are kneading a thick, jelly- 
like, transparent substance that we have never 
seen before. It is sugar and water. One 
woman is especially vigorous, and we admire 
her biceps. Presently she flings her jelly 
on to an iron peg and proceeds to pull it 
about with the strength of a Sandow. In 
two or three minutes it resembles a beautiful 
skein of silk. Later on it will go through 
a rolling machine, from which it will emerge 
a delicious sweetmeat. 

There are few more curious sights than 
those that are presented at a sweet factory. 
On our tour of inspection we drop into the 
fondant room. It is full of grey-headed 



women. But they are not aged. Their 
greyness is merely starch. Wash away the 
starch and you have pretty young English- 
women. These grey-faced damsels make 
the starch moulds into which the fondant 
material in its licjuid state is dropped to be 
properly shaped. Walk upstairs and you 
have a contrast. An apartment is reserved 
for the exertions of half a dozen girls whose 
complexions are of a rich coffee colour. 
Brown as a berry, we put them down as 
thorough-bred Africans. But they are 
Cockneys, and brown only because they 
dabble in coffee and cocoa beans. They 
are experts in chocolate. 

What an industry this is ! Men and 
women, old and young, scrupulously clean, 
2,000 of them, are working for dear life. 
Literally tons of sweets are in the process 
of making. Suddenly a bell clangs. It is 
the dinner hour. Labour ceases on the 
instant, and 700 women troop into the great 
dining-hall, where penny, twopenny, and 
threepenny meals are in readiness. There 
is some chaffing going on to-day, and on 
inquiry we learn that a chocolate specialist 
is about to be married. As she has been 
making sweets for five years the good- 
natured firm will present her with a five- 
pound note on her wedding day. 

We will now introduce ourselves to the 
soap-worker. Stand on tip-toe — we are in 
the factory of Messrs. Edward Cook and Co., 
of Bow — and peer into that colossal pan. 
The perspiring individual by our side is the 
soap-boiler, and the tumbling yellow liquid 
that we see is soap in its first stage. There 
are a hundred tons of it, and the men are pump- 
ing it into an iron vessel. Passing through 
iron pipes into an adjoining room it flows 
into frames, where it remains for forty-eight 
hours until it has cooled. They are extra 
busy to-day. One lot of frames is already 
cold, and the men are attacking the soap — 
great solid blocks over half a ton in weight. 
These blocks are carried away, and busy 
hands will presently cut them up into 
bars. 

Women, girls, and boys, as well as men, 
find employment here. It is a case of soap 
in every nook and cranny. One woman is 
engaged on toilet soap. As the slabs are 
pushed into the mill she adds the colouring 



334 



LIVING LONDON. 



matter and pours in the sweet-smelling scent, and they make cigars all day long, from two 



Round and round goes the mill, and presently 
the soap is thrown out in beautiful long 
ribbons. These ribbons are subsequently 
put into a machine which binds them. Tons 



to three hundred per day apiece. There is 
no busier spot in the universe than a tobacco 
factory. Scrutinise these men ; read their 
faces. Doggedness is written all over them ; 




MARKING SOAP FOR HOTELS, CLUBS, ETC. (MESSRS. EDWARD COOK AND CO., LTD.). 



upon tons of soap are in preparation. One 
group of workers is marking soap for hotels, 
clubs, shipping companies, etc. Not a 
moment is wasted. Study the face of that 
young bread-winner in the blue blouse. It 
is as clear as noonday that she is thinking 
of her home One of a little group, she packs 
up soap from early morning till dewy eve. 
And observe that lad over there. He is the 
sole support of a widowed mother. As 
a shop boy he might be worth five or si.x 
shillings a week, but here as a soap-wrapper 
he earns double that sum. 

Glance now at our photographic picture 
of a corner of a department in the great 
tobacco factory belonging to Messrs. Salmon 
and Gluckstein, Clarence Works, City Road. 
In this room are employed some 250 persons 
— Englishmen, Scotsmen, Welshmen, Irish- 
men, Frenchmen, Germans, Scandinavians, 
Dutchmen, Belgians, Poles, and others — 



their fingers are never idle ; their backs never 
ache. As soon as a man has finished his 
hundred cigars away he rushes to get enough 
leaf to produce another hundred. He earns 
on an average from £2 los. to .^3 a week. 
In the next room women are just as busy. 
These are stripping the stalks from the 
leaves ; those are sorting the leaves for 
quality ; to the right, men are employed in 
preparing the leaf for the cigar maker. Ic 
other rooms you find girls busily engaged in 
banding, bundling, and boxing cigars, which 
are then passed on for maturing. In an ad- 
joining department cigarette making is in 
progress on a colossal scale, and many 
machines are here running at a high rate of 
speed, producing huge quantities of cigarettes 
hourly. Apart from these machines, very 
large numbers of men and women are en- 
gaged in making cigarettes by hand. 

The whole factory is a beehive of activity 



SCENES FROM FACTORY LONDON. 



335 



Yet despite the feverish movements, which 
form the chief characteristic of this splendidly 
equipped establishment, there is a pleasant 
sense of comfort about the place. Of stuffi- 
ness there is none ; every room is well lighted 
and ventilated, and both men and women are 
not only interested but happy in their work. 
Perfection of organisation and consideration 
for the welfare and health of the employ(fs are 
apparent throughout this huge and up-to-date 
tobacco factory. 

Down at Lambeth, at Messrs. Doulton's, 
we have the artistic factory hand — the potter. 
The clay is brought by ship and barge from 
the pits, and when it has been crushed, 
washed, and mixed is passed on to the 
potter. Come into the potter's room. There 
he is at his wheel spinning round a piece 
of clay that is soon to be a tea-pot. He is 
a genius this fellow, and has innumerable 
differently-shaped articles to his credit. Close 
by a muscular little fellow is committing a 
violent assault and battery on a lump of clay. 
Dashing it down on a slab, he punches it for 
all he is worth. There is humour in his 
bright young eye ; he belongs to a boxing 

club. He is not playing, however. He is 

" knocking the wind out of it," so to speak, 
so that when he hands it to the potter the 

latter will have no difficulty in dealing with 

it. From the potter's room we go to the 

turners' room. Here a dozen men are giving 

our potter's vessels — they have been put 

aside for a while to get stiff — the 

finish necessary for decorative pur- 
poses. Each man 

is working his 

hardest. The big 

fellow to our right 

is putting on 

handles and 

spouts ; the small 

boys who look so 

chirpy carry the 

vessels away — on 

their heads — when 

they are complete 

and ready for 

ornamentation. 
Downstairs are 

the studios. The 

one we stop at is 

tenanted entirely 



by ladies. Twenty of them are seated at 
a table. They are colouring and decorating 
the ware prior to its despatch to the kilns. 
The colours are all very quiet in effect, but 
will ultimately be developed by the firing. 
Now to the kilns below. One of them is 
as big as a house. It is choke-full of ware. 
Stokers are here, there, and everywhere, 
and the fires are at white heat. The 
kilns are unapproachable, so fierce are the 
flames ; yet the jugs and the candlesticks 
and the teapots and every other sort ot 
ware must remain in that fiery furnace for 
nine days. Such is the work of the potter. 

By way of a change we will visit a babies' 
and invalids' food factory at Peckham. To- 
day at Messrs. Mellin's they are making 
enough food-stuff to fill a hundred thousand 
little stomachs for a month. The factory 
is a mass of food. British babies must be 
fed, and men and women are scurrying 
hither and thither intent on one purpose 
only — the nourishing of the young. Yet 
there is absolute cleanliness and, strange to 
say, scarcely any noise. The food is non- 
farinaceous, or starch free, and in the process 
of manufacture the wheaten flour and malt 
after saturation are transformed at a certain 
temperature and then strained through the 
finest of sieves and taken into vacuum pans 




THE POTTEli AT WOKK CMESSRS. DOi;i,T0X AND CO., LTD.). 



336 



LIVING LONDON. 




of great capacity — five in number — in which 
the liquid is evaporated until the result is 
a fine powder. A great point of interest in 
connection with the food is that it is un- 
touched by hand. 

The next process is the most interesting 
of all ; but we must see this for ourselves, 
so we will look into the bottling department. 
A number of men are standing at a narrow- 
table. At the far end is the bottling 
machine. At the top is a hopper, and a 
conveyer feeds the machine which rotates 
and fills the bottles — four thousand in an 
hour. And the men ? They are working 
like mad, for the bottles are being carried 
along the table by an endless chain, 
and each man has .something to do 
and something that must be done in a 
second. One is putting a strip of cork into 
the mouths of the bottles as they travel by, 
another is dropping in the stoppers, a third 
is pressing the stoppers down, and so on. 
It is a kind of magic. Upstairs women are 
wrapping the food as fast as they can go. 
Baby is clamouring, and his appetite must, 
of course, be appeased, and at a break-neck 
pace too. 

And now before quitting Factory Land 
let us glance at those who produce " Living 



WKAPPING INF.ANTS FOOD (MESSRS. 
MELLLn's food, LTD.). 

London." The vast printing works of La 
Belle Sauvage are teeming with life. We 
will not wait to count the men, because their 
name is legion, but we will count the 
machines. There are forty of them in the 
basement, besides others in different parts 
of the immense buildings, and monthly 
magazines and weekly periodicals, presently 
to be scattered over the face of the globe, 
are being reeled off at the most furious 
rate. So great are the bustle and the din 
that it is impossible to hear one's self speak. 
Those machines over yonder are printing 
" Living London." The boys at the top, 
as agile as young monkeys, are slipping in 
the paper, one sheet at a time. Away it 
goes, round rolls the sheet over the type, and 
out it comes at the other end. It falls into a 
tray, and a clean shaven man, very wide- 
awake, having satisfied himself that it is 
perfect, it is left where it is until the tray 
is full. Before anything further can be done 
the ink must be allowed to dry, so the 
hillock of sheets is put into a lift and sent 
up to the next floor to the drying room. 
In this chamber " Living London " remains 
for a couple of days, when, the ink being 
dry, it goes away to a machine to be cut 
up into sheets of eight pages. 

Ascend now to the fourth storey, to an 



SCENES FROM FACTORY LONDON. 



337 



airy room which is full of women. Several 
thousands of sheets have just come up. 
This young woman with the jet-black hair 
is looking after a machine which is folding 
the sheets into four ; her colleagues at the 
tables are folding them by hand. Further 
on we introduce ourselves to a battalion of 
British maidens armed with long needles. 
They are sewing the folded sheets together. 

From the sewing department " Living 
London " proceeds to an adjoining room, 
where it is bound into parts. Observe that 
big man with the enormous glue pot. A 
pile of stitched parts of " Living London " 
is by his side, and he is smearing the 
backs with glue. As fast as each pile is 
finished it is passed on to another regiment 
of women, who fix on the outside covers : 
and then the copies are trimmed and tied 
up in parcels. How many hundreds of 
parcels lie before us one is unable to say, 
but presently an attack is made on them. 
A number of broad-shouldered men appear 
and pack them away in the lift, which 
conveys them to the ground floor, from 



which they are transferred to the publishing 
department, where for the time being we 
leave them. Returning early on publishing 
day we witness one of the busiest and 
most interesting scenes in the world of 
print. La Belle Sauvage Yard is crammed 
with vehicles. Newsagents' carts, carriers' 
carts, railway vans block up the entire 
space ; while from the publishing office per- 
spiring men and boys are hurrying out with 
stacks of " Living London " and other 
publications on their backs. One by one the 
carts and vans pass out with their loads, 
and " Living London " has started on its 
journey across the English-speaking globe. 

Such is the useful life of some scores of 
thousands of dwellers in the great city. 
When the hands of the clock — how anxiously 
they are watched ! — point to six, seven, or 
eight, as the case m.ay be, comes the hour 
of release. The bells begin to sound, the 
streets are once more full, and the factory 
worker heads for home, happy in the 
consciousness that a good day's work has 
been accomplished. 




PRINTING "living LONDON" (.MESSRS. CASSELL AND CO., LTD.). 



91 



338 



LINATIC LONDON. 

By T. W. WILKINSON. 



"Cinder tbe IDoine. 




F 



Th£ QuARTERlV MaoaZINE- nF 

Beihum RofAL HosmAL. 



THE BETHI.EM MAGAZINE. 

ROM Whitehall the roads of Lunatic 
London radiate in all directions — to 
the " mental " wards in workhouses, 
to Bcthlem and St. Luke's Hospitals, to 
private asylums and the more distant county 
institutions, to remote suburban solitudes 
where doctors, unknown to most of their 
clientele, have charge of " single patients." 

Whitehall is the hub, because there is 
situated the office of the Commissioners in 
Lunacy, under whose care the law places 
all who are certified to be mentally deranged. 
But a number of those found insane by 
inquisition — " Chancery lunatics " — are 
detained in private houses and chartered 
hospitals, and, being frequently .seen by the 
Lord Chancellor's visitors, they are, as a 
result, most carefully looked after. 

I-'or those lowest in the social scale — 
pauper lunatics — the workhou.se is usually 
the first place of custody. Bright, well- 
fitted rooms are here their quarters unless 
they become violent, when they are placed 
in a padded room. Padded room ! The 
sound conjures up all sorts of unpleasant 



visions. But the newest type of such prisons 
is as comfortable as maniacal fury warrants. 
It is about three feet wide and seven feet 
high, and lined throughout — top, bottom, 
sides, and door — with perfectly smooth 
padded rubber, more yielding than a pneu- 
matic tyre inflated for a lady's weight. 

Lunatics not suitable for treatment in the 
workhouse are transferred sooner or later to 
the county a.sylum. They are sent away 
singly or in batches, and then London may 
see them no more, may never hear of them 
again. Sometimes a man is lost to the outer 
world for ever when he leaves the poorhouse 
gate, and never in more pathetic circum- 
stances than when he is absolutely unknown. 

This is of a truth one of life's tragedies. 
A poor creature, found wandering, is brought 
to the workhouse by a policeman. " What's 
your name ? " A stare or a guttural noise: no 
intelligible reply. " What's — -your — name?" 
Still silence. Further questioning, then 
.searching, then attempting to induce him to 
write are alike futile to discover his identity. 
Not a word does he utter, not a letter does 
he form on the slate. At the asylum renewed 
efforts are made to find out his name. It is 
all in vain. Who he is, whence he comes, 
to what circumstances his mental condition 
is due — these things are mysteries, and 
mysteries they remain to the end of the 
chapter. He continues to be a nameless 
lunatic as long as life lasts, and ultimately 
descends to the grave unknown. 

Patients whose condition appears to admit 
of amelioration, and who, while belonging 
to a superior class to that confined in public 
madhouses, are yet unable to pay the cost 
of maintenance in a private asylum, are 
eligible for admission to Bethlem and St. 
Luke's Hospitals. Of the two charities the 
former is the older and more important, 
and, if no longer one of the fashionable 
sights of London, is nevertheless deeply 
interesting. 



LUNATIC LONDON. 



339 



Enter it, marking as you cross its portals 
the notice prohibiting visitors from posting 
patients' letters without showing them to 
the medical superintendent — a rule made, 
of course, solely in the interests of the 
general public. At once you arc struck by 
the blending of the old and new. The 
building itself, the third Bethlem, belongs to 
the first decade of the nineteenth century ; 
its fittings and appointments are only of 
yesterday. In the board-room, you discover 
presently, there is a collection of shields 
bearing the names, crests, and mottoes of 
an unbroken line of presidents and treasurers 



of the hospital extending far back into the 
sixteenth century ; in the wards the most 
modern methods in the care and treatment 
of the insane can be studied. Ancient as 
Bethlem is, it is the centre whence the latest 
knowledge pertaining to the medical aspects 
of lunacy are diffused all over the world. 

It is now eleven a.m. The wards are nearly 
deserted, most of the inmates being in the 
extensive grounds at the back. Let us pause 
here for a moment. Down below, spread 
like a panorama, there is a slice of the 
gardens, with a maze of trees and shrubs 
and flower beds, among which females are 




A CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENT AT ST. LUKES. 



3lo 



LIVING LOXDOx\. 




PADDED ROOM IN A LONDON WORKHOUSE. 

winding in the sun. Nearer the building 
more are pacing to and fro ; and over 
there others are resting on seats. With 
these male figures are mingled — figures of 
doctors, who are making their morning 
round. 

A few steps, and we gaze on a companion 
picture, which includes men only. And now 
there is more life and movement, and the 
babble of v'oices and the sound of joyous 
laughter rise on the fresh morning air. 
Yonder the tennis courts — seven or ei<jht 

o 

in number — with their light-hearted players, 
and there the rackets courts. Not at all 
like prisoners are those men. And, indeed, 
some of them are not such in any sense 
whatever. Several could walk into Lambeth 
Road this minute, for they are voluntary 
boarders— patients, that is to say, who have 
come here of their own free will and without 
being certified. 

In the background is another remedial 
agent, which looks from here like the 
apparatus of a lark-catching combine, but 
which is really an all-the-year-round cricket 
ground. The pitch is of asphalt covered with 
cocoa-nut matting, while the ball — which is an 
ordinary composition one — cannot travel far 
before it is pulled up .short by a net. Play 
takes place on this pocket ground two or 



three times a week, summer and winter alike, 
and it has been the scene of a distinct 
novelty in English sports — a cricket week 
at Christmas. 

To one ol the female wards now. It is 
a long, narrow apartment, with a bright and 
cheerful air and a dominating note of com- 
fort. Some of the female patients are 
occupied with needlework ; in the middle 
distance a young lady is seated at one of 
the many excellent pianos that are scattered 
about the building ; and be}-ond her another 
female guest is working and curing herself 
simultaneously by painting flowers on the 
panels of the door leading to the adjoining 
ward. The pursuit of art, as well as of 
music and literature, is encouraged to the 
utmost. Neither here nor at St. Luke's is 
it possible to carry out the rule in county 
asylums of finding most patients bodily work 
— though at the latter institution some of 
the inmates are employed at gardening, etc. 
— because the guests generally belong to 
the educated and professional classes. So 
the policy followed at Bethlem is the culti- 
vation of music, painting, and literary com- 
position. This practice, unlike that in opera- 
tion in large institutions for the insane, does 
not effect a financial saving on the one hand, 
and, on the other, it necessarily affords no 
physical exercise. But the other reasons for 
which lunatics are employed — occupying the 
mind and restoring confidence — are fully 
attained. 

To see the Bethlem .system in operation 
let us take a peep into a male ward after 
dinner. Why, the place is a regular academy 
of fine arts. All the pianos are engaged ; 
easels are scattered over the floor, with an 
inmate working away in front of each ; and 
here and there a guest is bent over a table, 
pen in hand, and committing his thoughts 
to paper — writing, perhaps, for the quarterly 
magazine of the hospital. Under the Dome. He 
may be on the staff of that entertaining little 
periodical, which has its own art critic — 
who, of course, " does " the picture exhibitions 
— or one of the regular gentlemen who attend 
concerts and confer immortality on instru- 
mentalists and vocalists. Or he may be 
(this is a frightful drop, but no matter) only 
an outside contributor, bent on submitting 
a poem or an essay to the editor in spite 



LUNATIC LONDON. 



341 



of that gentleman's notice that he cannot 
undertake to return rejected communications. 
Altogether, the ward is the very antithesis of 
that conjured up by the popular imagination. 

Pass now to the recreation room, noticing 
on the way the many pictures with which 
the walls are hung. Some are from the 
brushes of inmates, and are consequently 
interesting apart from their artistic merit, 
which in some cases is considerable. The 
most curious example is not in the wards, 
but near the main staircase. The subject 
is Father Christmas, but Father Christmas 
as he was never yet conceived by a sound 
mind. Scarcely recognisable is our old friend 
in the character presented — as a man of 
sorrows, with long-drawn face and tear-laden 
eyes. 

But to the recreation room. Night is the 
time to see this delightful side of the hospital. 
Viewed from the back when a play is 
presented, it is like a West-End 
theatre on a small scale. From the 
orchestra — which is occupied by a 
band composed of doctors, attendants, 
and inmates under treatment — come 
the strains of the overture. Then 
there is a lull, broken only by the 
usual chatter, which presently ceases 
abruptly. Another burst from the 
orchestra, the curtain which has hidden 
the fine stage ascends, the characters 
in the " opening " are " discovered," 
and then all settle down with a 
buzz of expectancy. The play has 
begun. 

Such is the scene on one night. 
On another there is a dance, on a 
third a " social " or concert, and so 
on. Entertainments follow one an- 
other in quick succession. And 
Bethlem was once a show place, 
where the morbid flocked to see its 
inmates in chains ! Nowadays it 
merits the name by which it is 
known to many of its guests — 
Liberty Hall. 

Grimy, forbidding St. Luke's is 
essentially the twin-sister of Bethlem ; 
not so comfortable, perhaps, not with 
such fine grounds, but broadly a 
replica of the famous cure house. 
It receives the same class of patients, 



has pretty much the same rules, and has the 
same system of wards. 

Though it is not seen at its best and 
brightest soon after lunch time, we will stroll 
through it when the inmates are indoors, 
resting after their mid-day meal. Into a 
long room, windows overlooking Old Street 
on one side, doors leading into sleeping 
chambers on the other. Silence, absolute 
silence. The taciturnity of the insane, 
coupled with their self-absorption and their 
love of solitude, makes the patients seem 
more like lay figures than living, breathing 
men. Through one of the windows a man 
appears to gaze on the kaleidoscopic bustle 
and movement below — appears, because his 
eye is fixed as if he saw nothing and his 
face is marble in its impassivity. Near him 
a younger man, his gaze fixed on the ceiling 
with the same stoniness. To right and left 
men asleep or looking fixedly at nothing 




CRICKET (BETHLEM). 



342 



LIVING LONDON. 




GARDENING (ST. LUKES). 



but a chair, the legs of a couch, or the floor. 
Over all an air of unreality. With one 
exception, the patients are automata. That 
exception, the only natural and life-like 
personality in the room, sits at a table — 
a greybeard, engaged in his favourite pastime 
of making copies, in water colour, of pictures 
from the illustrated papers. 

Another room, where the worst female 
cases are associated. More movement and 
noise here, but not much. Yonder is 
a group of patients, with two attendants 
of neat, nurse -like appearance. In one 
corner a woman is to be seen standing like 
a pillar ; in another a lunatic is in the atti- 
tude of prayer — outwardly, a rapt devotee ; 
and close by a poor deluded creature is 
kneeling before a box of paints, some of 
which she has been sucking. 

And here is a striking contrast. While 
a middle-aged woman is sitting in listless 
vacuity, her head drooping, her hands clasped 
in her lap, fit model for Melancholia, in the 
middle of the room there is another striding 
to and fro with regular steps over a fixed 



course — so many forward, so many 
back — muttering unintelligibly and 
raising her arms aloft with machine- 
like regularity. 

How truly painful it is to study 
the faces of the patients in this and 
other rooms ! The knitted brow of 
acute melancholia, the grotesque 
indications of delusion — here per- 
plexity, misery, and fear, there 
dignity and exaltation — the fixed 
look of weariness indicative of the 
reaction that follows acute mania, 
are all present, with many other 
characteristic expressions. The rage 
depicted on some faces might make 
a thoughtful man apprehensive. 
What chance would the attendants 
have if a number of the patients 
banded together and attacked them? 
Yes, but by a blessed dispensation 
of Providence lunatics never combine; 
they have lost the faculty of com- 
bination. 

Very different from the ordinary 
routine aspect we have seen is that 
which the hospital wears on St. 
Luke's Day. For then its little 
chapel is filled with inmates and officials, and 
a sacred concert is given, as well as an 
address, which is generally delivered by an 
eminent divine. Christmas also is a great 
festival at St. Luke's, having for many years 
been celelarated with much seasonable fare 
and fun. 

With these and other red-letter days, 
frequent dramatic and musical entertain- 
ments, occasional dances, billiards and other 
games, and ample reading facilities, life in 
the hospital is not so dull and monotonous 
as thousands who pass along Old Street may 
ipiagine. Everything possible is done to 
rouse and amuse patients, and that in this 
the officials succeed is attested by the high 
percentage of cures — a percentage which, 
happily, increases every year. 

Another part of Lunatic London remains 
to be noticed briefly. It is composed of a 
large number of ordinary dwelling-houses 
interspersed with private asylums, and 
inhabited by the general body of that section 
of the insane who can afford to pay for care 
and treatment. The tenants of the common- 



LUNATIC LONDON. 



343 



place residences are mostly doctors, who 
receive " single patients " — harmless, chronic 
•cases, as a rule — for about two guineas per 
week, for the same reason that " paying 
guests " are received. Whether they all give 
adequate value for the money is a point 
which, interesting though it may be, need 
not be entered into here. 

The other establishments, which are 
euphemistically known as " licensed houses," 
because they are licensed annually by the 



Commissioners in Lunacy, who have power 
to grant, renew, or withhold such licences 
in their absolute discretion, vary as much 
in comfort and charges as in size. Some 
have all the appointments of a good private 
house, and a patient may, if he or his 
friends choose to pay accordingly, have 
his own private suite of rooms and his 
own special attendant. And no doubt these 
proprietary asylums are, as a whole, well 
conducted. 




NEEDLEWORK (BETHLEM). 



344 




PREPARING MODELS (MADAME TUSSAUD's). 



A COINTRY COISIN'S DAY IN TOWN. 

By GEORGE R. SIMS. 



MOST of us have country cousins. Some- 
times they come to town. When they 
come in a family party they have, as a 
rule, a definite programme, and can be relied 
upon to " do " many of the sights of the 
Metropolis without your personal guidance. 
But the male country cousin occasionally 
comes alone — comes for a day — " runs up to 
London," having previously sent you a 
letter to say that he shall take it kindly if 
you will meet him and show him round. 

In my mind's eye I have a typical country 
cousin. He is of frugal mind and not given 
to jauntings. But there is an excursion 
from the Lancashire town in which he 
lives — one of the so-called pleasure trips 
which take you from your home in the 
dead of night and deposit you in London 
shortly after breakfast time, giving you a 
long day in the capital, and picking you 
up again on platform I2 about midnight for 
reconveyance to the town in which you have 
a vote and a bed. 

It is a country cousin of that kind I am 
waiting for this autumn morning at St. 



Pancras. Punctually at nine o'clock the 
long " excursion " by which he is travelling 
steams into the station. I grasp his hand, 
hurry him into a hansom, take him to my 
house, where he " smartens himself up " and 
has a hasty breakfast ; and then we sally forth 
to put an amount of hard work into the four- 
teen hours' holiday that lie before us that 
would justify the charge of " slave-driving " 
against any employer who compelled us to do 
it for money. 

First, because I live in Regent's Park, near 
Baker Street, I take my country cousin to 
the famous waxworks of Madame Tuisaud. 

At the great waxwork show, after we have 
made the acquaintance of kings and emperors, 
rulers and statesmen, literary and historic and 
scientific celebrities, and that great gallery of 
criminal notorieties who remain permanently 
underground, I have the good fortune to meet 
Mr. John Tussaud, the modeller to the 
world-famed exhibition. Here is a chance 
of taking my companion behind the 
scenes, and showing him something that 
the ordinary visitor would never see. 



A COUNTRY COUSIN'S DAY IN TOWN. 



345 



Following Mr. Tussaud into his atelier, we 
find several celebrities rapidly approaching 
completion. The figures have been built up, 
the features have been modelled — in many 
instances from sittings given by the originals 
— and now they are ready to have their hair 
on and their eyes put in. 

In the wig department there is a stock of 
every shade of hair. Directly the correct 
nuance has been ascertained, the hitherto 
bald head is carefully covered. The parting 
is scientifically made, and the curling or 
waving, if any, is performed by an experi- 
enced coiffeur. Mr. Tussaud, as we enter 
his atelier, points to a reigning sovereign 
whose hair is 
at present 
much in the 
condition it 
would be 
afte r his 
morning 
bath. 

"We can't 
do his hair 
yet," says the 
artist, " be- 
cause we 
don't know 
whether he 
parts it in 
the middle 
or at the 
side." 

At that 
moment the 
assistant enters with a telegram in his hand. 

" The Emperor of parts his hair at 

the side, sir," he says, holding up the opened 
" wire." 

Tussaud's have telegraphed to the Court 
Chamberlain asking for the information, and 
thus the parting of his Imperial Majesty's 
hair has been settled beyond dispute. 

We notice that another figure, that of a 
woman who has just been tried and found 
guilty at the Old Bailey of poisoning her 
husband, is without eyes. The sockets are 
empty. Presently the eye specialist enters, in 
a blouse such as sculptors wear at their work. 
In his hand is a box containing eyes of all 
possible colours. Pinned to the figure is a 
memorandum on which are all the details 
92 




TH'E artists' room, PAGAKI'S 



of identification that u.sed to be given on 
certain foreign passports. The eyes, accord- 
ing to this memorandum, are light blue. The . 
specialist picks out a couple of eyes, and Mr. 
Tussaud steps back and criticises the effect. 
" Too dark," he says ; " try a lighter pair." 
The eyes are removed, and a fresh pair 
tried. This time the effect is considered 
satisfactor}'. The eyes are passed. P^or 
years to come the visitors to Tussaud's will 
gaze into them, and perhaps wonder how a 
woman with such gentle eyes could have 
been guilty of so cruel a crime. 

We should like to stay longer at Tussaud's, 
for my country cousin is intensely interested 

in this pri- 
vate view, 
but time is 
on the wing, 
and so must 
we be. 

We hurry 
off to the 
Baker Street 
station of the 
Metropoli- 
tan Railway, 
jump into a 
train just as 
it is starting, 
the doors are 
closed one 
after the 
other by an 
acrobatic 
porter, and 
we plunge into the dark tunnel with "Bang! 
bang!! bang!!!" ringing in our ears. In 
a short time we alight at Mark Lane, and 
steering our way through the busy throng.s 
of business men and workers we enter the 
charmed precincts of the Tower. 

Every country visitor looks upon the 
Tower as one of the sights of London that 
must on no account be missed, though there 
are thousands of Londoners living within 
a mile or two of it who have never entered 
it. In " Living London " it has a special 
article to itself 

After an hour at the Tower we make 
our way out, and joining the great stream 
of dull drab humanity hurry to Cheapside ; 
where, to show my friend a phase of City 



346 



LIVING LONDON. 



life, I take him into Pimm's, and let him 
elbow bankers and stockjobbers and City 
merchants and clerks at the famous luncheon 
counter. Here he eats with appetite a mag- 
nificent slice of game pie, and when he has 
drained the foaming goblet of ebony stout 
asks for another, and fills me with envy of 
his digestive powers. He would have taken 
his time, amid the rush of hasty snacksmen, 
but I have to tear him awa}-, for the items 
on the programme are not few, though far 
between. 

We now make our way towards the great 
amusement centre, and find there an em- 
barrassment of riches. We are in good 
time for the afternoon performance at the 
Hippodrome, and it takes the fancy of 
my country cousin at once. I have to im- 
press upon him the fact that unless we hurry 
we may fail to get a seat. The magnificent 
Roman chariot with the prancing steeds that 
crowns the edifice has caught his eye, and 
he is gazing aloft at it with open-mouthed 
astonishment, in the manner of a rural popu- 
lation paralysed by the unexpected appear- 
ance of a balloon in the skies above. 

When at last I get him comfortabl}' seated 
in a spacious fauteuil, he continues to gaze 
around him at the appointments of the 
building. The decorations attract him first, 
then the packed audience in the upper 
portion of the house. But when the splen- 
did orchestra finishes the overture with a 
crash of melodious sound, and a bevy of 
charming young ladies, attired as courtiers 
of the days of Historical Romance, line up, 
and form an avenue of beauty through which 
the performers concerned in the first item on 
the programme enter, my visitor settles him- 
self in his seat for a couple of hours' enjoyment. 

He is delighted with the ring " turns," and 
the "turns" on the stage, but the climax of 
his excitement is reached when the entire 
arena is transformed before the eyes of the 
audience. The rolling up and wheeling away 
of the great carpet positively thrill him. 
When, as if by clockwork, an army of as- 
sistants obey the whistle of the ubiquitous 
stage manager, and a fairy scene is built 
up by a .series of " Hey Presto's," he is doubly 
impressed. 

When I tell him that sometimes, when a 
water carnival is the close of the entertain- 



ment, the whole floor of the arena sinks down 
several feet, and the space is rapidly filled by 
a small ocean of fresh warm water, he says, 
" I have heard about it. Some friends of 
mine at home came here and saw the 
plunging elephants. They talked about it 
for a month afterwards." 

After the wonders of the Hippodrome have 
come to an end, and we are in the street, I 
suggest that we shall have some tea, and 
then go to the Coliseum. We make our 
way to Piccadilly, pass through a crowcl^ 
largely composed of ladies, coming away 
from a matinee at St. James's Theatre, take 
our tea at the Popular Cafe, of which he has 
heard and read a great deal, and then — I had 
anticipated this item of the programme, and 
secured seats earlier in the day — we join the 
eager crowds that are pressing towards the 
colossal building in St. Martin's Lane. 

Again my country cousin gazes spellbound 
at the beauty of the appointments and the 
palatial magnificence of the house of enter- 
ment, at which you can secure an advanced 
and numbered seat for sixpence. The per- 
formance is beginning as we take our seats. 

The song scenas my cousin thinks delight- 
ful, and he is greatly attracted by the white- 
garbed chorus sitting on either side of the 
proscenium. When he gets a scena from a 
grand opera, sung by grand opera favourites, 
he is silent. He has temporarily exhausted 
his vocabulary of admiration. But he re- 
covers his power of speech presently, and 
remarks that it is the most marvellous show 
he ever saw in his life. 

I tell him that this vast building is packed 
four times a day, and he accepts my state- 
ment, but wonders where so many people 
with nothing to do but amuse themselves 
can come from. I assure him that, vast as 
the population of the capital is, that is a 
question which Londoners very frequently 
ask themselves. 

The big " sea piece " of the show, with the 
moving panorama, and the stage that seems 
a live thing performing miracles on its own 
account, brings mj' country cousin's en- 
thusiasm to a climax, and as we pass out 
with the mighty crowd into the street, with- 
out the slightest confusion or difificulty, he 
grasps my arm and says, "It was worth 
coming to London only to see this. By 




THE COLISKUM : FROM THE STAGK. 




IN THE BRASSERIE, HOTEL DE l'EUROPE, LEICESTER SQUARE. 



34S 



LIVING LONDON. 



Jove, I'm not sure I wouldn't like to go 
back again and see the next show — the one 
from 9 to ii. It's all different, isn't it?" 
" Yes," I reply, " every item is different. 
There's a double company. One company 
plays from 12 to 2 and 6 to 8, and the other 
from 3 to 5 and 9 to 11." "Four shows a 
day," he murmurs. " Well, it's wonderful. I 
suppose presently you Londoners will want a 
show that never leaves off at all ! " 

It is now eight o'clock, and in our hunger 
for amusement we have forgotten all about 
dinner, so I venture to suggest that we 
might find a place in the programme for a 
form of entertainment which, if not exciting, 
is always agreeable. My country cousin 
confesses that an idea of refreshment a little 
more elaborate than a cup of tea has been 
passing through his mind. So I take him to 
Pagani's, because I want to show him some- 
thing that everybody who dines at a restaurant 
does not see. 

By the courtesy of Signor Meschini, one of 
the proprietors, the world-famous little 
" artists' room " is reserved for us, and 
there we dine a deux: 

A wonderful room this, and renowned over 
Europe ; for here the most artistic of London's 
visitors and London's celebrities have written 
their names on the wall 
Here in lead pencil are 
autographs that the col- 
lector would give gold 
for. Here are drawings 



made on the spot at the hour of coffee and 
cigars. The Italian prima donna, the world- 
famous pianist, the fashionable artist, the great 
humourist, the queen of tragedy, the king 
of comedy, have all contributed to the wall of 
celebrities. One day not long since a new 
waiter, eager to show his usefulness, began to 
scrub out what he called " the scribbling on 
the wall." Messrs. Pagani have in conse- 
quence protected the signatures of their world- 
famed patrons with thick sheets of glass. 
These have been obligingly removed for our 
photographer. 

From Pagani's soon after eight o'clock we 
set out on foot. We pass down Regent 
Street, where, thanks to the sensible habit of 
some of the tradespeople of leaving the shutters 
down and the shops lighted up, the gloom of 
the desert no longer prevails after closing 
hours ; and so across Piccadilly Circus, gay 
with illuminated devices, into the ever 
gorgeous Leicester Square. 

First I take my friend into the Alhambra. 
Here we see one of the poetic and beautifully 
draped ballets for which the house is famous, 
and my friend, who has music in his soul, 
is loud in his praise of the magnificent 
orchestra. 

There is many a tempting item upon the 
programme, but the 
hours are hastening on. 
Leaving by the Leicester 
Square exit, we stroll 
across to the brightly 




AFTER A MATINEE 



A COUNTRY COUSIN'S DAY IN TOWN. 



349 




THE EMPIRE PROMENADE. 



glittering brasserie of the Hotel de I'Europe, 
where at comfortable tables, amid jewelled 
lights, one can drink the long glass of lager 
in the most approved Continental manner, 
and listen to the strains of an admirable 
band. 

Here are the citizens dark and fair of many 
capitals, little family parties, husbands and 
wives, lovers and their lasses, folk from the 
country slightly overawed by the surrounding 
splendour, and young Londoners complacently 
accepting the new advance towards the 
comfort and roominess of the Continental 
bier halle and cafe. My country cousin 
would gladly linger over his lager. But the 
hour of the Biograph is approaching at 
the Palace, and thither we wend our way. 

The Palace is peculiar among the great 
theatres of variety. It has no promenade, 
and its stall audiences are frequently as 
fashionable as that of the opera, with here and 
there a tourist not in evening dress, who 
only heightens the effect of the surrounding 
toilettes. 

The Biograph is the distinguishing feature 
of the Palace. It followed the living pictures, 
and has not disappeared ; it looks like 
becoming a permanent feature of the pro- 
gramme. There are a truthfulness and a 



reality about the Palace pictures. They are 
always original, up to date. You can see the 
Derby run over again on the evening of the 
race ; a Royal reception repeated within a few 
hours of its happening. The journey on a 
railway engine through Swiss valleys or 
Canadian snows gives one the feeling of 
travelling. When my friend has travelled 
by the express train of the Palace Biograph 
over the Rocky Mountains, and finds himself 
as the lights go up still sitting in his stall, 
he jumps up and exclaims, " Do we get out 
here ? " 

I reply in the affirmative, for still before us 
lies another palace of pleasure, the famous 
Empire. At the Empire we stroll about, 
for I want the man from the North to see 
something of Living London as it takes 
its evening pleasure in grand array. 

To point out to him the famous men about 
town, the great financiers, the eminent counsel, 
the "club men," the racing men, and the 
literary and artistic celebrities who promenade 
in the grand lounge and chatter in the famous 
foyer, amid the rustle of silks and the flashing 
of diamonds, is exhausting, so I suggest 
that we should take two seats, for which 
we have already paid, and see the perform- 
ance. We are in time for the finish of the 
grand ballet. All that lavish outlay and 



3 so 



LIVING LONDON. 



artistic taste can accomplish in the matter 
of adorning the female form divine is accom- 
plished at the Empire. Nowhere in the 
world is the grand finale of a ballet presented 
with more costly and at the same time 
refined magnificence. The three great variety 
theatres of London — the Alhambra,the Palace, 
and the Empire — are unique ; no other capital 
has anything like them. As a consequence, 
and also to a certain extent because the enter- 
tainment does not demand a great knowledge 
of the language, they always include among 
their audience a very large proportion of 
foreign as well as provincial visitors. 

Soon after eleven the audience in mostplaces 
of entertainment in London begins to make 
a decided move. At the variety theatres the 
stalls for some reason empty first, although 
one would have thought that the train and 
tram and 'bus catchers to the suburbs would 
have been the earliest to go. 

Byt at ten minutes past eleven the house 
empties rapidly from all parts, and by half- 
past eleven most of the lights of the theatres 
and halls in the West-End of London have 
paled their highly effectual fires. 

At a quarter past eleven, having given my 
country cousin a hurried peep into one 
of the bars found near Piccadilly Circus, 
and allowed him to feast his eyes upon 
the tempting display of lobsters and crabs 
in the famous front windows of Scott's, I 



assure him it is time to take a hansom. 
But we are outside the entrance to the 
Cafe Royal, and he suggests that, as he has 
a long journey before him, he shall be 
allowed to take his final refreshment .seated 
comfortably on a luxurious lounge at this, one 
of the oldest and also one of the best-known 
cafe restaurants of London. 

And so it is twenty minutes to twelve 
when at last I succeed in putting him into 
a hansom, which bears us swiftly to St. Pancras, 
where we find platform number 12 rapidly 
filling with the excursionists who have had 
a day in London, and are now going to have 
a night on the railway. 

The clock points to ten minutes past 
midnight, the porters begin to shut doors, 
the rear guard waves the green lantern, and 
with a hearty " Good-bye " my country cousin 
is whirled away into the darkness. 

And, having seen more of the amusements 
of London in one day than I generally see in 
six months, I go home to bed, and dream 
that all the shows of London are performing 
round me, and that I am vainly endeavour- 
ing to fight my way through the crowd of 
wild performers and seek refuge in a hermit's 
cell beside a silent pool. 

A country cousin can accomplish an amount 
of sight-seeing in twelve hours without fatigue 
which would leave the ordinary Londoner a 
hopeless wreck. 




' GOOD-BYE.' 



351 




IN A REGISTRY OFFICE : SERVANTS SEEKING 
SITUATIONS. 



SERVANT LONDON. 

By N. MURRELL MARRIS. 




r-pi 



^HERE are 
no s e r- 
vants to 
be had ! " 

The cry begins 
with the mis- 
tresses, it is 
taken up by the 
registry offices, it 
is repeated in the 
Press. Yet in 
London alone we 
have a great 
army of servants, 
who spend their 
lives waiting 
upon a still 
larger army of their fellow men and upon 
each other. 

There are always servants for the rich. 
Money will buy service, if it will not buy 
faithfulness ; it will buy plausibility, if it can- 
not secure honesty. In the humbler house- 
hold, where the servant is truly one of the 
family, character becomes a matter of the 
utmost importance ; and amid this great army 
the friendly, faithful domestic is still to be 



MAID-OF-ALL-WOKK. 



found. Servant London is an integral part of 
all London life, and the class which employs 
no servants most often supplies them. So 
huge is the panorama now unfolded, that only 
a few of its scenes can be given, only a few 
of its figures can be sketched in 

When the great city wakes, the servants 
wake with it. Peep through the grey and 
curtainless 
windows of 
West m i n s ter 
Hospital. In 
the servants' 
quarters the 
drowsy ward- 
maids and 
kitchen staff are 
dressing. It is 
only half- past 
five, and a raw 
winter morning; 
yet within an 
hour the great 
building will be 
cleaned down 
from top to 
bottom, and the housemaid. 




35= 



LIVING LONDOxX. 




their day's work : 



long procession of 
meals will have begun. 
No chattering over 
work, no exchange of 
amenities at the area 
steps; housemaid, 
ward maid, kitchen- 
maid, cook — all are 
subject to rigid dis- 
cipline. 

Eastward the sun is 
rising, and the river 
glows a fitful red ; 
eastward still, past the 
Tower, where the 
ofificials' households 
are waking and the 
soldier servants begin 
east, and further east to the furthest edge of 
the city, where Greater London is now wide 
awake. Follow the river till you reach a 
desolate region lying below high-water mark, 
not very far from the Victoria Docks — a 
region where still the pools on the waste land 
are salt when the tide is high, and where 
thousands of grey-faced houses, built squat 
upon the reeking earth, lean towards each 
other for mutual support. 
This is the servantless land. 
These endless rows of expressionless grey 
houses, with their specious air of comfort and 
gentility, their bay window and antimacassar- 
covered table, are tenanted by two, it may 

even be by 
three, fami- 
lies housed 
in the four 
r o o m s . 
These are 
the people 
who "do 
for them- 
selves." And 
here many of 
our servants 
get such 
guidance in 
housework 
as serves 
them for a 
training. 
Here are 
CLUB PAGE. born and 



OUTSmE A KKGISTKV OFFICE (TOTTENHAM 
COURT KOAD) : HEADING THE NOTICES. 




bred the sisters of the 
little " Marchioness," 
true " slaveys " in all 
but spirit, who recount 
the last battle with 
the " missus " with 
that dramatic instinct 
which never fails the 
child of the street. 
" And I give 'er as 
good as 'er give me, 
I did ; and well she 
knows I won't stand 
'er lip ! " 

Louisarann is fortu- 
nate; she left school in 
the seventh standard 
(says her mother proudly), and now the 
" Mabys Ladies " (Metropolitan Association 
for Befriending Young Servants) have been 
able to find her " a place — ^8 a year all 
found, and no washin'." Lucky girl ! Alice 
Mary, her sister, left school as ignorant as she 
entered it, but she too has found work. She 
has gone as " ' general ' to the public-house 
round the corner — father bein' an old cus- 
tomer, and the ' Pig and Whistle ' mos' 
respectable." She minds the " biby " during 
the day, and perhaps takes a turn at " mindin' 
the bar" during the evenings. 

Let us follow Louisarann to her first place. 
A lodging-house is " genteel," but life there 
is not very amusing. It is about six when, 
on a winter morning, a small 
object, she 
creeps out 
of her dingy 
pallet bed at 
the back of 
the under- 
g round 
kitchen 
which is 
her home. 
A grated 
window 
shows the 
filthy pave- 
ment, the 
yellow fog, 
and the 
boots of the 
passers-by. 



shivering 




CLUB WAITER. 



SERVANT LONDON. 



353 



Hastily gathering her meagre wardrobe from 
the bed where she has piled it for warmth, 
she dresses herself, gives her face a shudder- 
ing smudge of ice-cold water, and draws on 
a pair of old gloves given to her by " one 
of the gents upstairs," to keep the soot out 
of her broken chilblains while she cleans 
her flues. Poor Louisarann is neither quick 
nor skilful, and she gets blacker and blacker 
as she works 

She has only time to wipe off a few of the 
worst smuts before she is carrying hot water 



when she has a chance, and she gives an 
extra " shine " to the " drorin'-room gent's." 
He is a " real swell, and mos' considerut, the 
dinin'-room bein' a commercial gent," good- 
natured, but stingy as to tips. The gents are 
all right, " but it's the top floor widdy and me 
as falls out!" 

To be rung up three pair of stairs just to 
be sent all the way down and up again for 
" an extry knife, as though hanyone couldn't 
wipe the bacon fat off on a bit o' bread, is one 
of the widdy's narsty ways." Louisarann has 




IN A servants' HAI.L : AT DINNER. 



up to the top of the house. Down she 
clatters, and snatching her brushes climbs up 
again to do the grates in the three sitting- 
rooms ; then up and down she toils, carrying 
coal and removing ashes. Her mistress, half 
awake and proportionately cross, comes into 
the now warm kitchen to make herself a cup 
of tea and get the breakfast for husband and 
household. Upstairs Louisarann removes the 
dirty glasses and cigarette ends, gives a hasty 
" sweep up," and then, amid the appetising 
smell of frizzling bacon, toils again up and 
down stairs, staggering under the heavy 
breakfast trays. While all the hungry souls 
but herself are breakfasting, she cleans the 
rows of boots. 
93 



She likes to do things well 



to snatch her breakfast — as she does all her 
meals — standing. 

But the girl has pluck ; she refrains from 
" langwidge," when " missus " is worse than 
usual, being determined to stay long enough 
to get a character. Behind all is the great 
consolation — the day out ! To-day she 
makes her way through the thick and filthy 
fog to a great house in Berkeley Square, 
where her cousin Jane is housemaid, " second 
of four." Carefully the " slavey " feels her 
way down the area steps, and is admitted. 

Jane is a little ashamed of her cousin's 
shabby appearance, so she takes Louisarann 
upstairs and " tidies her up a bit." The 
" slavey " looks round the neat room, and 



354 



LIVING LONDON. 



thinks of her bed in the back kitchen, and 
then and there makes up her mind to " better 
herself, for she wouldn't stay no longer, not if 
she was rose every month, she wouldn't." 
And Jane, sympathising, offers to step round 
with her to the registry office, if she can get 
off b)--and-by, and speak for her. As they 
go downstairs, the " slavey " sees a young lady 
sitting by a fire in a pretty room, sewing, 
while a housemaid " takes up the bits." Jane 
gives an expressive shrug, but as the lady 
looks up saj's sweetly, " Good morning, 
mademoiselle." Jane wants to buy her next 
best dress from her ladyship's maid, who has 
all the " wardrobe," and who knows how to 
put on the price 
if one is not over 
civil. Allda\-long 
the panorama of 
life below stairs 
unfolds itself be- 
fore Louisarann's 
astonished gaze ; 
and she reads 
with awe the 
printed rules 



ably, and in some great state is observed. 
Then the upper servants, among whom the 
groom of the chambers is numbered, do not 
take their meals with the " hall " servants. 
They are served in the steward's room, and 
sup per 
at nine 
o'clock is 
really 
dinner in 
m i n i a - 
ture. Each 
c o u r s e 
which ap- 
pears up- 





FOOT.M.W. 



regulatmg 
the work 
of the huge 
household. 
During 
dinner the 
butler 
takes the 
head, the 
cook the 

foot of the table ; men sit one side, women 
the other. As the meat is cleared away, the 
butler and cook, lady's maid and valet, rise 
and sweep from the .servants' hall. They 
have gone to the housekeeper's room for 
dessert and their after-dinner chat. The 
distinction between " room " servants and 
"hall" servants is rigidly maintained. 

Customs in the big houses vary consider- 



COACHMAN. 

stairs is re- 
peated below 
for the "room" 
servants, even 
to the "second" 
ices, prepared 
by the still- 
room maids, 
and dessert of 
every kind. A 
glass of claret 
replaces the homely beer — occasionally some- 
thing costlier than claret. The ladies are 
in demi-toilette, with evening blouses, and 
not seldom with gloves and fan ; on great 
occasions the lady's maid appears in full 
dress, with ornaments and even jewels, a 
complete copy of her ladyship. Precedence 
is strictly observed, and the servants sit 
according to their masters' rank. The valets 
and ladies' maids staying in the house join 
the party in the steward's room. When 
there are a number coming and going, the 
presiding butler and housekeeper do not 
trouble about the individual names, but use 
those of the master for convenience. Thus 
the inquiry may be heard, " What can I 
pass your ladyship ? " " Duke, what will you 
take ? " 

Where do these servants all come from — 



SERVANT LONDON. 



355 



who supplies them ? There are formal and 
informal registry offices. One coachman 
carries the news of Jones leaving to another ; 
there are inquiries at the china shop, or the 
mistress "just mentions it" to her butcher, a 
most respectable man, who has served her 
since her marriage. There are also Servants' 
Homes, to each of which a registry is at- 
tached, and which may be termed, in fact, 
if not in name, 
Protection So- 
cieties, as the 
officials fight the 
servants' battles 
for them, recover- 
ing wages due 
and giving them 
that " character " 
without which 
they can never 
get a respectable 
situation. The 
difficulties of 
securing true 
characters are 
enormous — 
about one - half 
the mistresses are 
employed in ob- 
taining servants' 
characters from 
the other half — 
and when ob- 
tained they are 
not always to be 
relied upon, for 
a mistress " does 
not like to have 
unpleasantness." 

The law of master and servant also is suf- 
ficiently rigid, and prevents a mistress from 
recording suspicions which she is not able to 
prove. 

Certain registry offices (especially the larger 
ones in the West End) have a black list, 
which is always kept carefully posted up and 
which records the history of the black sheep, 
male and female. Even as there is a trade 
in the writing of begging letters, so there is 
one in the manufacturing of servants' char- 
acters, and such a calling will prosper, in 
spite of all risks of detection and punish- 
ment, so long as a written character is 




SERVANTS FIRE BRIGADE AT THE HOTEL CECIL. 



deemed sufficient. What can there be to 
prevent the accomplice from impersonating 
the complaisant mistress who is losing a 
" treasure " ? The Associated Guild of Regis- 
tries does much to separate the sheep from 
the goats, but it cannot prevent the risk to 
servants who answer specious advertisements 
There are " situations," with " good wages 
for suitable young women," which are not 

" places " within 
the accepted 
meaning of the 
word, and if the 
lights in Servant 
London are 
bright the 
shadows are 
black indeed. 

A much-dressed 
lady is deep in 
conversation with 
the head of the 
registry office. 
She is the wife 
of a rich trades- 
man at Clapham. 
She keeps a 
cook - general, 
house-parlour- 
maid, and nurse. 
They are all very 
trim and neat, 
and the house- 
parlourmaid 
wears the latest 
thing in cap 
streamers. The 
nurse's white 
dress in summer 
and her grey uniform in winter mark her 
separation from the common nurse in 
coloured clothes. These servants have good 
places, and they know it, although the rule 
of " No followers allowed " is strictly adhered 
to. They serve their mistress fairly, though 
they do not care about her. The children 
are the bond between them ; and " cook " is 
always sure of a kiss if she asks for one, for 
the children — as yet — are no respecters of 
persons. Next door to them lives Selina, 
grim and grey, who serves her old-maid 
mistress with a faithfulness proof against 
all temptations, but who rules her with a 



J3^ 



LIVING LONDON. 




servants' kecreation room at the 
akmv and navy club. 

combination of obstinate humility and rampant 
remonstrances. Yet her mistress, who some- 
times sheds a tear in secret because " Selina 
is so cross," would not change her for all the 
streamer-bedecked parlourmaids in the world. 

Across the road a young housemaid sings 
as she does her work. She has joined the 
Girls' Friendly Society, and a portrait of 
her "G.F.S. lady" is on the mantelpiece in 
her pretty attic bedroom looking over the 
Common. On Sundays she gets out to 
service regularly. She lifts her dress high to 
show the starched white petticoat beneath it, 
and as she carries iier new prayer-book in the 
other hand she feels sure that soon there will 
be a desirable young man only too ready to 
walk out with her, and then she would not 
change places with anyone in the world. 

Let us now enter one of the fashionable 
squares on a summer afternoon. Servant 
life is manifest on every hand. In the 
garden nurses are sitting under the trees ; 
from the doors the children and nursery 
maids are driving off to the park, with the 
schoolroom footman on the box. A newsboy 
comes leisurely across the .square, making it 
ring with his cry, " Mall the winners ! " He 
knows his customers. The door of a great 
house opens. A powdered footman stands on 
the steps and signals to the boy ; his face is 



anxious as he takes the 
paper. He is gone in a 
moment, and the house 
is impassive and undis- 
turbed once more. A 
little later the butler 
comes out, and makes his 
way along Piccadilly to- 
wards Charing Cross. He 
drops in, say, at the 
Hotel Cecil for a moment, 
and hears news of the 
latest interesting arrival. 
He has several friends 
there, one a chef in the 
servants' kitchen, which 
provides for the wants of the staff of 
500 persons ; another a waiter in the banquet- 
ing-room. The latter is one of the hotel 
fire brigade, and the butler stays to witness 
a drill and practice. His master is a naval 
officer, so he next visits a friend, a waiter 
at the Army and Navy Club, who gives 
him the latest gossip; for in the recreation 
room set apart for the club servants the 
day's news is discussed with vigour over a 
game of billiards. 

In connection with St. Paul's, Knights- 
bridge, is a Servants' Club which offers a 
variety of attractions. The Chesterfield 
Union, a benefit society for gentlemen's 




LADY S MAID LEARNING HAIR-DRESSING. 



SERVANT LONDON. 



3S; 



servants, meets on the ground-floor. Above 
are a couple of billiard tables and one for 
bagatelle, while in the basement are a skittle 
alley and a fine ping-pong table. The top 
floor contains a reading and dining room, 
where a chop and tea may be obtained at 
one end, and light literature at the other; 
here, too, smoking concerts such as are de- 
picted in our illustration below are organised 
by the members. 

A coachmen's club is to be found in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Berkeley Square, 
and the Duke of Westminster gave land for 
the Grosvenor Club in Buckingham Palace 
Road ; but here, though there are a number of 
members who are servants, men engaged in 
other occupations are also admitted. 

Hyde Park is the real recreation ground of 
West-End servants. Before the dew is off 
the grass the grooms are exercising the 
horses. Here is a grey-haired man, grown 
old in the service of " the family," now 
proudly superintending the baby horseman- 
ship of the young heir on his diminutive 
pony. Behind him flies a young girl at 
full canter, her long hair streaming in the 
wind, as the groom thunders along after his 



delightful little mistress. As the sun grows 
hotter the " generals " bring their " bibies " 
to sprawl and sleep on the grass. The neat 
maid returning from a hairdressing lesson in 
Bond Street has an interesting chat with a 
gentleman's gentleman who has just turned 
his master out in first-class style, and is him- 
self as near a copy of him as possible. In 
the late afternoon the magnificent coachman 
surveys with stolid pride his equally magnifi- 
cent horses, as they sweep round into the 
Drive — " my horses," which even " her lady- 
ship " cannot have out at will. As dusk falls 
sweethearts crowd the shady alleys of the Pa rk 
or wile away an hour upon the Serpentine ; 
and more than one of the cyclists enjoying 
the cool of the evening is a domestic servant. 

" What ! " exclaimed a visitor to her friend, 
" another new bicycle, and such a beauty ? " 
as she looked at two machines side by side 
in the narrow hall. 

" Oh, no ! That is not mine ; that is cook's — 
she says she can't keep in condition unless 
she has her ride every day." 

The great wheel of life in London is for 
ever turning, and the hands which turn it are 
those of the servants. 




SMOKI.NG CONCERT AT A SERVANTS* CLUB (ST. PAUL'S, KMGHTSBRIDGE). 



358 




THE PESTERING ACOUAINTAXCE. 



LONDON'S LITTLE WORRIES. 

By GEORGE R. SIMS. 



SOME one has said that a succession 
of Httle worries lias a worse effect 
on the nervous system than one great 
big worry. Whether that be true or not, 
there is no doubt that the Londoner's hfe is 
beset with httle worries, and that he manages 
to bear up against them with commendable 
fortitude. 

The business man has a hundred little 
worries beside the ordinary and legitimate 
cares of his business. Let him be guarded 
in his office never so effectually the worriers 
will manage to get at him. They will 
waylay him in the street as he goes to his 
lunch, stop him on the steps of the Metro- 
politan Railway as he is about to dive 
down below for his evening train, seize his 
arm as he is stepping into his hansom or 
his brougham. As a rule these people have 
some slight claim of acquaintanceship or 
introduction, or the City man would make 
short work of them. The worrier generally 
succeeds in capturing his prey just when 



every second is valuable. There are heads of 
great business houses who face a commercial 
crisis with iron nerves, but are haunted day 
and night by the dread of being held up 
by one of the worrying fraternity. 

While the business man is suffering in 
the City, his wife has frequently her little 
worries at home. In this catalogue the 
great servant question does not enter, for 
when a worry comes in that direction it 
is almost always a big one. The next- 
door neighbours are a fruitful source of a 
wife's little worries. The family on one side 
have dear little children who play at ball in 
the garden. If they would keep the ball on 
their own ground all would be well, but it 
is constantly coming over into some one 
else's. If you are the some one else and 
amiable, you don't object to your servant 
answering the pitiful little cry, " Please will 
you give me my ball ? " say three or four 
times a day. But if the youthful pleaders 
cannot make anyone hear ihcy will come 



LONDON'S LITTLE WORRIES. 



359 



to the front door and ring and ask per- 
mission to go into the garden themselves and 
hunt for the missing property. If it has 
hidden itself among the flower beds the 
search is not always conducted with dex- 
terity of tread. When it dawns upon you 
that your neighbour's children are making 
your garden their daily hunting ground for 
lost balls, you lose your temper. One day 
you pronounce an ultimatum. You will 
preserve your flowers though a hundred 
balls be lost. Then you are looked upon 
as unneighbourly by the children's parents. 
They scowl at you when you meet in the 
street. Occasionally on fine summer even- 
ings they make audible remarks to your 
disparagement. 

A small vendetta grows sometimes out 
of this lost ball business. You find a dead 
cat in your garden path, and you credit it at 
once to the big brother next door. Occasion- 
ally you look up from your garden chair 
and discover the small children at an upper 
window making rude faces at you. A letter 
for you, left by mistake at your neighbour's 
house, is kept for two days and 
then given back to the postman. 
Unneighbourly messages are sent in 
when you have a musical evening. 

Music enters largely into the 
catalogue of London's little worries. 
The piano next door is a fertile 
source of annoyance. In a flat it 
occasionally embitters existence. In 
most London houses there is a 
piano, and it must occasionally be 
played. But the hours of practice 
are, as a rule, ill chosen. A piano 
against a wall in terraces or semi- 
detached villas invariably plays into 
two houses at once. The next-door 
piano sometimes leads to the Law 
Courts. 

There are three animals who 
contribute largely to London's little 
worries — the dog that barks, the cat 
that trespasses, and the cock that 
crows. The parrot is a rarer source 
of annoyance, but he makes up for 
it by being more persistent. To 
live next door to a screaming parrot 
would tax the patience of Job. 
People who have suffered under the 



infliction have often wondered why it was 
not included in the lengthy list of that good 
man's visitations. 

The dog does not matter so much in 
the daytime ; such noise as he makes 
mingles with and is lost in the general 
brouhaha. But when in the dead of night 
— the hour of sleep — he begins to howl, or 
to bark savagely at imaginary burglars, or 
to bay the moon, he is a source of discom- 
fort to an entire neighbourhood. Many a 
father of a family forgets that his wife is 
awake too, when out of the fulness of his 
heart his mouth speaketh. 

The cat worry leads to a retaliation of 
a more practical kind. It has been known 
to cause threats of murder to poor pussy. 
" If she comes into my garden again, madam," 
cries the indignant householder proud of 
his floriculture, " I'll shoot that cat ! " There 
is a more terrible end than being shot. 
It is one to which poor Tom often comes 
through playing Romeo under the balcony 
of a feline Juliet. The Capulets in their 
wrath with the Montagus seek the Apothe- 







" LOST liALI.. 



36o 



LIVL\G LONDON. 



cary, and the dose proves fatal to Romeo, 
who, finding a tempting supper in Juliet's 
garden, partakes of it and crawls home to 
die. You may see at any time in London 
handbills offering a reward for information 
which will lead to the detection of the 
poisoner of a favourite cat. In the Dogs' 
Cemeter}' in Hyde Park a heartbroken 
mistress has buried her murdered tabb\-. 
Over its grave originally was an inscription 
which consigned to dreadful torture here- 
after the heartless assassin. The inscription 
was considered out of order in a cemetery, 
and the lady was compelled to remove it. 
So she went to a Chaldean student and had 
the inscription translated into that language. 
There it now figures on Pussy's headstone. 
As no one can read it, it gives no offence. 
But the curse remains. 

The parrot up to a certain point, when 
his language has been carefully selected for 
him, is amusing. But he begins to be the 
reverse when he is placed in the balcony 
to enjoy the sunshine of a summer's day. 
In his joy he becomes incoherent, and 
shrieks. When a jubilating parrot shrieks 
for a couple of hours at a stretch he is 
the little worry of an entire neighbourhood. 

The begging letter impostor who knocks 
at your door and leaves a catalogue of 





'I WILL CALL FOR AN ANSWER. 



" I'll shoot that cat ! " 

his miseries, stating that he will call for 
an answer later on, is an infliction so 
widespread that he deserves an article to 
himself He often works in connection with 
a gang. 

The rush for the omnibus is a little 
worry which the fair .sex appreciate more 
than the mere man. You can see a crowd 
of ladies at certain hours of the day 
standing at well-known street corners, and 
every face is anxious. For 'bus after 'bus 
comes up full inside and out. On wet days 
the anxiety is increased, for then " inside " 
is a necessity. To make sure of securing a 
seat in the 'bus is always an anxiety to a 
woman, when her time is limited, or she has 
to be at a certain place at a certain hour. 
When it is a case of the " last 'bus," the 
anxiety becomes tearful, almost hysterical. 
For to many a cab is a consideration ; the 
difference between half-a-crown and two- 
pence is sufficient to worry the careful house- 
wife who has a limited income, the young 
professional lady, the governess, or the shop 
assistant. 

In the winter time there are little worries 
with the domestic interior which disturb 
the whole family. The chimney that will 
fill the sitting room with a choking smoke 
is one of them. In the summer the chim- 



LONDON'S LITTLE WORRIES. 



361 



ney, always a fertile source of anxiety, 
varies the performance by emptying its 
soot suddenly over the hearthrug and 
carpet, and reducing antimacassars and 
chair covers to a pitiful plight indeed. In 
the winter, when the frost sets in, comes the 



never so well-to-do the loss is a worry 
to him. He regrets that watch and refers 
to it for many a month afterwards. If it 
is a gold one he registers a vow never 
again to wear anything but a Waterbury. 
The lost umbrella is a little worry familiar 



head of the articles that Londoners have 
a habit of losing. It is left in cabs 
and trams and railway trains and on 
counters. It occasionally happens that you 
are utterly unable to say where you left it. 



worry of the frozen cistern and the waterless to all of us. The umbrella stands at the 
home. When the frost is followed by a 
sudden thaw comes the worst worry of all 
— the bursting pipe. Then the household 
assembles hurriedly with cries of terror, as 
through the ceiling descends a sudden moun- 
tain torrent. The servants rush 
hither and thither with basins and 
buckets to collect the cataract, 
and a male member is despatched 
in hot haste for the plumber. In 
most cases the plumber is wanted 
in half a dozen houses at once 
and arrives when the last possible 
pound's worth of mischief has 
been done. 

The chimney on fire, in addition 
to the mess and anxiety and the 
damage, means a summons and 
a fine. " Only a chim." is the 
official report at the fire station 
when the message for help comes 
through, but " only a chim." is 
very expensive to the London 
householder. 

One of the worries to which 
all Londoners are subjected is 
that of having their pockets 
picked. There is not a day 
passes but a lady finds that while 
shopping, or travelling by 'bus or 
tram or by train, she has been relieved of The umbrella acquires a new value in the 




BEHIND THE SMOKEKS. 



her purse, which she invariably carries in 
a manner to facilitate its extraction by the 
expert London thief When she returns 
to her home pale, tearful and excited, and 
gasps out, " I've had my pocket picked — 
my purse is gone ! " the worry is shared 
by her family. Then there is frequently 
much anxious calculation as to what was 
in it. People who lose their purses are 
rarely quite sure what was in them. Some- 
times there is intense relief to find that a 
five-pound note or a trinket had been left 
at home. Papa does not carry his money 
so recklessly as Mamma, but he occasion- 
ally loses his watch, or a pin, and be he 
94 



Londoner's eyes when he comes home 
without it. In the first hour of his bereave- 
ment he discovers that his umbrella was 
very dear to him. Few of us lose an 
umbrella with equanimity. It is always a 
passing cloud across the everyday skies of 
life. 

In humble homes washing day is a 
little worry — especially to father. Mother's 
mind is occupied, and the feminine nose is 
not so delicate in the matter of the steamy 
odour which washing diffuses through 
the house. In the humble home, scrub- 
bing day is also a trial to the male 
members. For this reason many respectable 



362 



LIVING LONDON. 




" MV I'lRSE IS GONE ! " 

working - class fathers do not immediately 
return to the domestic roof when released 
from toil on Saturday afternoon. 

Spring cleaning and house painting are 
little worries with which all Londoners are 
familiar. I hesitate to put spring clean- 
ing in the catalogue. It extends over a 
period of time, and runs into so many 
" new " things in the carpet and curtain 
line which " we really must have " when the 
house has been done up, that it strikes the 
major rather than the minor note in one's 
" troubled lot below." 

The latchkey occasionally leads to a little 
worry. Sometimes we go out without it 
when we are supposed to have it with us. 
This always happens when its possession 
is most sorely needed. Paterfamilias is 
going to a City banquet, or to dine at 
his club, and won't be home till late. 
The household retires at its usual time. 
About one o'clock the head of the family 
returns from the festivity in a hansom. 
He pays the driver and dismisses him, 
then puffing calmly at his cigar puts his 
hand in his pocket for his latchkey. It isn't 
there. There is nothing for it but to knock. 
It is no good ringing, because the bells ring 
below, and everyone is upstairs. So he 
knocks, gently at first, then, seeing no light 
moving about, he knocks again and presently 



loses his temper and 
bangs furiously. The 
whole neighbourhood 
probably hears him before 
his own people. But 
eventually he sees a light, 
and inside the door he 
can hear a nervous hand 
manipulating the chain. 

The forgotten latchkey 
is a little worry that wise 
men have decided to 
avoid. They now carry 
the useful and convenient 
article on a chain attached 
to their braces. 

There are Londoners 
who suffer systematic 
annoyance from the un- 
fortunate peculiarities of 
the locality in which they 
have made a home. 
Brown is in a constant state of fever owing 
to the proximity of certain church bells, 
which he declares ring without ceasing. 
Jones is the victim of a steam whistle, 
which at some large works hard by his 
happy home makes hideous disturbance at 
an unearthly hour in the morning and at 
intervals during the day. Robinson is the 
victim of " vibration," a railway passing near 
his residence, his windows are perpetually 
rattling, his house occasionally " shudders," 
and when a limited mail passes in the night 
his bed (the expression is his) " rocks him " 
not to sleep but out of it. 

Street noises have become such madden- 
ing minor worries to Londoners of late 
years that the law has been invoked. The 
old London cries are no longer prized for 
their quaintness. The street hawker is 
ordered to moderate his methods by the 
passing policeman, and the newspaper boy 
gets fourteen days for announcing another 
" great railway accident " or a " shocking 
murder" to the homestaying householder. 

There are little worries of the outdoor 
walk with which all Londoners are familiar. 
Orange peel and banana skins on the 
pavement are so worrying to pedestrians 
that special police notices are issued with 
regard to them. 

The Londoner who doesn't smoke is con- 



LONDON'S LITTLE WORRIES. 



363 



stantly finding a worry in the Londoner 
who does. Since the fair sex and the " pale 
young curate " have socially elevated the 
top of the 'bus and the roof of the tram 
there has been continual outcry against the 
outside smoker, who puffs his tobacco 
into an eye that looks upon it unsym- 
pathetically. On some 'buses and trams 
in the back seats only may pipe, cigar, or 
cigarette be indulged in. The tobacco smoke 
worry has been relieved to this extent. 

There is another little worry which many 
Londoners have endured for years almost 
uncomplainingly, that is the worry of trying 
to buy a postage stamp after 8 p.m. in a 
suburban neighbourhood. It occasionally 
leads to another little worry, namely, a letter 
of no particular interest, for which you have 
to pay the postman twopence. 

That the area merchant — the gentleman 
with a bag on a barrow — who calls at 
your area door to barter with your cook- 
is a worry is proved by the large number 
of London houses which now exhibit in 
bold display the printed legend " No 
Bottles," sometimes in conjunction with the 
warning hint " Beware of the Dog." 



Against this worry one can always barri- 
cade one's doors, but there is a worrier from 
whom there is little protection. The whin- 
ing beggar who follows nervous women in 
the lonely street after nightfall is not easily 
disposed of If the beggar is a man he has 
only to look villainous and to talk gruffly 
to levy his blackmail. If the beggar is a 
woman she sometimes obtains her object 
by pleasantly referring to the fact that she has 
left the bedside of a child who is suffering 
from scarlet fever, small-pox, or some other 
infectious disease. There are nervous ladies 
who, after being accompanied for a few 
minutes by such a woman, not only bestow 
alms in their alarm, but rush home and 
disrobe and subject their clothes to a dis- 
infecting process before they wear them 
again. For the worrying beggar with the 
scarlatina child always takes care to rub 
shoulders with her prey. 

These are but a few of London's little 
worries, but they are a sample of the 
mass. They are inevitable in the complex 
life of a great city. On the whole they are 
borne philosophically by everyone — except 
the people personally affected by them. 




A WHl.NI.NG APPEAL. 



3^4 



LONDON'S WASH-HOISES AND BATHS. 

By I. BROOKE-ALDER. 



GREAT as ha\-e been the improvements to 
London, and numerous the benefits 
bestowed upon its inhabitants during 
recent years, there is probably no item of 
advancement more noticeable than that 
which concerns provision for cleanliness. 
Time was when to find a fitted bath-room in 
an otherwise elegant private house was the 
exception, and when a swimming bath was 
a well-nigh unknown luxury to dwellers in 
the Metropolis ; but nowadays quite modest 
houses boast their hot-water furnished bath, 
rendering the all-over wash an easily acquired 
feature of the daily programme ; and almost 
every district owns its public bathing estab- 
lishment, comprising under one roof several 
grades of baths — private and swimming. 

But besides these noteworthy signs of 
grace, immense progress has been made in 



regard to wash-houses, or laundries, where, 
under the new order of things, the public 
is provided with accommodation and every 
time-saving appliance for the washing of 
clothes and household belongings. For the 
rapid increase in the facilities for cleanli- 
ness thanks are due to the various Borough 
Councils and to the liberality of certain 
philanthropists, who, in conjunction with 
the (ordinarily) grumbling ratepayers, have 
provided the means to this satisfactory 
end. The modern public baths and their 
adjacent wash-houses are the natural result of 
the gradual adoption of an Act of Parliament 
relating to this subject. The comprehensive 
scale of their enterprise can be gauged by 
realising the extent to which they have been 
adopted in the Metropolis and its suburbs. 
Their far-reaching influence for good can, 




IN A PUBLIC WASH-HOUSE (MAKYLEBONE KOAU) : WASHING. 



LONDON'S WASH-HOUSES AND BATHS. 



3<5S 




MEN S PRIVATE BATHS (HOKNSEY ROAD BATHS 
AND WASH-HOUSES). 

however, only be adequately judged by those 
who are familiar with the daily life of 
Living London, in its many phases, from 
the lowest upwards. 

To such a well-informed Cockney the con- 
sideration of " how London washes " would 
provide a fairly exhaustive review of 
Metropolitan existence. He would see in 
his mind's eye the various representatives 
of hard-working poverty washing their 
meagre scraps of clothing ; the moderately 
prosperous mem- 
bers of the 
tradesman class 
enjoying frequent 
hot baths ; the 
vast numbers 
that stand for 
energetic youth 
taking lessons in 
swimming, or 
joining in aquatic 
sports ; and the 
smaller detach- 
ment which im- 
personates 
leisurely wealth 
indulging in the 



various kinds of comparatively expensive 
baths, such as medicated, electric, vapour, 
spray, and Turkish. 

The first visit to a public wash-house is an 
experience that is not easily banished from 
the memory, especially if it take place in 
a poor locality and on a popular day. Shore- 
ditch, Hackney, Bermondsey, Westminster, 
Soho (Marshall Street, Golden Square), are 
fruitful examples, and Friday and Saturday 
notable days. Marylebone runs them close. 
It is remarkable that as the week progresses 
the class of person who brings her possessions 
to the wash-houses deteriorates. By some 
unwritten law or unpublished code of manners 
the orderly members of the local community 
almost entirely monopolise the first half of 
the week, whilst the last three days belong 
to a gradually descending scale. The ex- 
ceptions to this almost invariable rule are 
furnished by those whose wage-earning 
employment leaves them free only during 
the "early closing" hours of Saturday. On 
Monday come demure dames, primly 
precise of bearing, arrayed with an almost 
awe-inspiring neatness, even to the full 
complement of buttons on boots and gloves, 
and the exact adjustment of the chenille 
spotted veil. Behind these worthy matrons 
is borne by an attendant the brown paper 




IN A PUBLIC WASH-HOUSE (MARSHALL STREET, W.) : FOLDING AND MANGLING. 



366 



LIVING LONDON. 



enclosed consignment of linen destined for 
the soapsuds. Tuesday sees a reproduction 
of such dignified processions, with, perhaps, 
less dignity as the afternoon advances. By 
Wednesday all pomp and vanity have dis- 
appeared. Washing is frankly carried, tied 
up in a sheet by the laundress herself, the 
great bundle protruding from the shawl that 
serves her as hat and mantle combined, or 
it shares a crippled perambulator with two 
small children. To Tom and Sallie the 
weekly sojourn in the wash-house ante-room, 
'"long er Mrs. O'Hagan's Pat and Norah," 
while their mothers do the washing, is the 
most delightful of outings ! 

On entering such a laundry from the street, 
or a cool stone staircase, the immediate 
impression is of overwhelming heat and 
discomforting clouds of steam ; but that soon 
passes, and one is conscious of a lofty, well- 
ventilated room, divided from end to end 
by rows of troughs, separated into couples 
by six-feet high partitions. In each division 
stands a woman washing ; at her feet a pile of 
dirty clothes, and behind her a basket of 
clean ones. Her arms are plunged elbow- 
deep into one of the two troughs of which 
she is temporary proprietress. Water in 
plenty, hot and cold, is hers for the turning of 
overhanging taps, whilst the conversion of 
the rinsing trough into a copper is as easily 
accomplished— by opening a steam-containing 
valve. Her " wash " completed, she carries 
her basket to one of the men in charge of 
the row of wringers situated in an adjoining 
room. A few moments of rapid water-ex- 
pelling whirling whilst the laundress " stands 
at ea.se," and the clothes are returned to 
her almost dry. She folds them on long 
tables near at hand, and puts them into 
a mangle, many of which machines are, it 
should be stated, now worked automatically. 
Should she wish to iron her finer items, she 
has but to take ready-heated irons from the 
stove hard by. Would she air her clothes 
she hangs them on a "horse" and pushes 
it into a hot-air compartment. 

And for all this luxury as laundress the 
authorities charge but three-halfpence an 
hour ! Soap and soda they do not provide, 
nor do they limit her to any given number of 
hours ; so she may stay from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
should she feel disposed. The average attend- 



ance at each wash-house of the Metropolis 
is from two to three hundred persons every 
weekday. 

It is curious to notice in the most crowded 
districts hew many nationalities are repre- 
sented by these people — a blonde Swedish 
girl helping a dusky daughter of the South 
to get through a heap of ironing, or a broad- 
nosed Russian grudgingly lending a piece of 
soap to a sharp-featured Polish Jewess. 
Strange peeps into home tragedies can some- 
times be gained, as when the overworked 
looking eldest child comes clattering up the 
stone staircase bringing to its mother for 
a little while, the few-weeks-old baby ; or 
when the half-sober husband lounges in to 
bully the price of another drink out of her. 
She is the breadwinner, it seems. 

The price charged for hot baths and use of 
towels is twopence, fourpence, and sixpence, 
according to class and locality, and half each 
of these sums for children. All such private 
baths are kept scrupulously clean, and the 
cabins in which they are fixed are furnished 
with a seat, hooks for clothing, and, in the case 
of the best, a strip of carpet, mirror, and 
brush and comb. That these liberal con- 
ditions are appreciated is testified by the 
fact that they are used by between fifty and 
seventy thousand persons at each institution 
annually. At Westminster they tell a tale of 
a certain flower-seller which is well worth 
quoting: Every Saturday evening, week in, 
week out, comes this girl, clad just as she 
would be when crying " Penny er bunch " on 
the kerb-stone She enters from the street 
by the " wash-house " door, and proceeds to a 
private room, where she takes off all her 
clothes but her skirt and jacket, and puts her 
front locks into curlers. Then she hires a 
trough, mangle, etc., for an hour, submits her 
underwear to the cleansing process, finally 
hanging it up to air ; that done, she buys a 
ticket for a twopenny hot bath, bathes herself, 
puts on her clean clothes, combs her fringe, and 
for the expenditure of threepence-halfpenny 
emerges as good an imitation of "new woman " 
as anybody else could compass at any price ! 
For those who can afford a " first-class " 
bath a comfortable waiting-room is provided, 
with fire and a goodly supply of newspapers. 
It often serves as a sort of House of Assem- 
bly to a certain set of local worthies, who 




TURKISH BATH (JERMYN STREET) : SHAMPOOING ROOM. 




WATER POLO MATCH (WESTMINSTER BATHS). 



36S 



LIVING LONDON: 




TEACHING SCHOOLBOVS TO SWIM (KKXSIXGTON BATHS). 



count on the opportunity thus afforded to 
meet neighbours and discuss the affairs of 
the nation. 

That swimming should at last have come 
to be regarded by the School Board as a 
necessary item of education is a fact on 
which we should heartily congratulate our- 
selves. Thanks in the matter are undoubtedly 
due to the persistent efforts of a few private 
enthusiasts as well as to the energy of such 
philanthropic bodies as the Life-saving 
Society, the Swimming Association of Eng- 
land, and the London Schools Swimming 
Association. 

Practical testimony is given to the serious- 
ness of the modern views of J:he situation 
by the provision of free lessons in swimming 
at the public elementary schools. All the 
summer large detachments from the various 
Board schools, in charge of masters or mis- 
tresses, present themselves daily for lessons 
at several of the baths. Funny scenes 
occur when the children take their first 
plunge into so large an expan.se of water ! 
Some of them decline to leave the steps at 
the shallow end, or cling desperately to the 
rail that runs round, only gaining courage 
by very slow degrees and after having been 
carried about by the patient instructor. But 
such alarms are gradually conquered, and 
the children become as much at home as 
ducks in the water, and willingly take part 
in various sports and life-saving instruction, 
their competency as swimmers and life-savers 
often being the means of rescuing playmates 
from drowning in the course of holiday expe- 



ditions. It has even happened that a child 
has rescued his father. 

In order to bring the benefits afforded by the 
swimming bath within the reach of most young 
folk the ordinary twopenny entrance-fee is 
reduced to a penny for schools ; and that the 
art of natation may be more generally acquired 
many University men and others generously 
give their services as instructors and also pay 
for the bath. There are, for instance, associa- 
tions formed amongst the Post Office employes, 
telegraph boys, shop assistants, poor boys 
and girls in Homes, and others, all of which 
are encouraged by well-known enthusiastic 
experts, and meet for practice and instruction. 

The swimming clubs of London number 
about two hundred, and are composed of 
members of every class — boys and girls, 
young men and maidens, representing all the 
various grades of well-being. In several 
instances their formation resulted from the 
initiative of some of the large employers, 
such as Messrs. Cook, Son and Co., of St. 
Paul's Churchyard, whose care for the 
physical development of their clerks and 
others has had the happiest effect both 
mentally and physically. The " Ravens- 
bourne " is the designation by which Messrs. 
Cook's club is known ; and, thanks to the 
excellent work done at its weekly meetings, 
its annual display at Westminster Baths draws 
great crowds of spectators^friends of the 
competitors and members of similar asso- 
ciations. 

Another popular meeting is the free public 
display held every summer at the Highgate 



LONDON'S WASH-HOUSES AND BATHS. 



369 



Ponds by the Life-saving Society, at which 
as many as 30,000 spectators assemble. 

A curious lack of knowledj^e of self-pre- 
servation is disclosed by our soldiers, it having 
been found necessary to teach swimming to 
thousands of the Guards. They learned 
the art at St. George's Baths, Buckingham 
Palace Road, and it was amusing to note 
that some of the stalwart fellows, absolutely 
dauntless in other circumstances, showed an 
almost childlike timidity in facing so un- 
accustomed an experience. How well their 
quickly acquired courage and ability in 
dealing with water have served them has 
since been remarkably demonstrated. 

Although the feminine portion of the 
community is making undeniable progress 
towards the popularising of swimming, it 
is found somewhat difficult to interest the 
poorer classes of girls in this art. Broadly 
speaking, they do not care for gymnastics of 
whatever sort in anything like the degree 
that their brothers do. This they prove by 
their disregard of the opportunity for e.xercise 
provided all the winter by the covering in 
and fitting with gymnastic appliances of 
some of the swimming baths. But the same 
remarks do not hold good in connection with 
the sisters of our public school boys. Uni- 
versity men, and so on ; they are veritable 
mermaids ! Ambitious mermaids, too, with 
a. very decided in- 
tention to rival all 
comers in pro 
ficiency and grace. 
Thanks to their 
comprehensive love 
of frame-develop- 
ing sports, their 
achievements in the 
water are of no 
mean order. To 
see them at their 
best one should 
belong to the Bath 
Club, a luxurious 
institution in Dover 
Street, Piccadilly, 
once the town 
mansion of Lord 
Abergavenny, 
where, whilst en- 
joying all the 
95 



advantages of an ordinary social club, one 
has the run of every variety of bath — Turki.sh, 
shower, douche, swimming, etc. — provided 
on the premises. This popular and well- 
managed establishment is frequented by both 
ladies and gentlemen, who claim the use 
of the baths on alternate days. There are 
2,000 members, of whom 500 are of the 
gentler sex. 

The swimming bath at this club is unique 
in its accessories, having suspended over the 
water, besides several diving boards and 
Newman's water-chute, not a few gymnastic 
appliances, such as trapeze and travelling 
rings. The contests at the Bath Club, either 
for the men members or their feminine 
relatives, always attract a large attendance 
• — spectators filling the gallery and thickly 
surrounding the bath edge. The variety of 
costumes worn by the ladies — some of 
mermaid-imitating scales, others of gaily 
striped materials — and the floral decorations 
of the place provide a very attractive 
spectacle. 

The height of luxury in the way of taking 
a bath is attained by the Turkish variety. 
It is practised in perfection at the Hammam 
(or Turkish bath) in Jermyn Street, St. James's. 
It costs four shillings, and it takes two hours ; 
but nothing yet invented by Londoners, or 
annexed from abroad, has ever come near 



cftrtri." 






£;^5l>^ i? 



SirV. 



TURKISH BATH (JEK.MVN STREET) : COOLING ROOM. 



370 



LIVING LONDON. 



the delicious experience or the restorative 
quality of the Turkish bath. One enters, a 
world-weary wreck, tired from travelliny^, 
working, pleasuring, ma\-be, rheumatic ; one 
sits, or reclines, in a succession of hot-air 
rooms, each of the eight hotter than the last 
—varying from 112° F. to 280° F. — until a 
sufficient perspiration has been attained. 
Then one is conducted to the shampooing 
room, and, whilst reposing on a marble slab, 
one is massaged by light-handed attendants. 
That process is followed by a series of 
brushes and different soaps ; and, after a 
variety of shower douches and a plunge into 
cold water, the bath is complete. A sojourn 
in a lofty cooling room, a quiet smoke, or 
a light meal, and one sallies forth a new 
being. A visit to the gallery of the attendant 
hairdressers makes perfection more perfect. 

This bath is patronised by gentlemen only, 
but many districts now boast their Hammam, 



open to both sexes — among others, Charing 
Cross, Earl's Court, Islington, Camden Town, 
Bri.xton — at all of which the price is ex- 
tremely moderate, some even descending to 
one shilling. 

The vapour bath (obtainable at the 
Marylebone and a few other public baths) 
is an excellent substitute for the Turkish 
should limited time be a consideration. 
Various medicated baths are also used by 
a section of Londoners — such as pine, bran^ 
sulphur — to cure certain ailments, as alterna- 
tive to foreign springs, etc., whilst electricity 
is impelled through the water at the request 
of some others. This sort of bath is occasion- 
ally used in conjunction with the Swedish 
system of treatment (massage and exercises 
by means of mechanical appliances), now 
much practised in the Metropolis. 

Given the desire to wash, the means are 
certainly not lacking in Living London. 




LADIES USING THE CHUTE (BATH CLUB). 



371 




AWAITING THE AKkl\ AL Ob Mi.MSTEKS Tu A'lTE.NU A CABINET COUNXIL. 



SCENES EROM OFEICIAL LIEE IN LONDON. 

By L. BRINDLE. 



IT has been said, and with very good 
reason, that the things that impress 
one most in London are the thincfs 
that one does not see, which one cannot 
see, but of which one has a tolerably ac- 
curate knowledge if a student of such 
matters, derived and assimilated from a 
hundred sources in the course of many 
years. 

Royalty, Parliament, the City, all these 
are in truth wonderfully impressive, and we 
see them, or something pertaining to them, 
almost every day of our lives in London. 
But all the time there is something else 
which we feel among us, but which we 
never .see unless we are more than usually 
favoured mortals. In London, especially 
when some country visitor is with us, we 
often feel a sense of pride and import- 
ance which may be partly accounted for 
by the ostensible wonders of the capital 
and partly by the common instinct to 
which Dr. Johnson gave utterance when he 
remarked to Boswell, " I will venture to say 
there is more learning and science within 
the circumference of ten miles from where 
we now sit than in all the rest of the 



kingdom." Yet even with all this there is 
a balance still to be accounted for, and I 
think that if most of my readers will 
examine their own minds on the subject 
they will agree that it is made up of that 
other instinct which consists mainly of one's 
appreciation of the fact that here in Lon- 
don we are pulling every day the strings 
of the Empire, the greatest empire which 
has ever existed. We do not see these 
strings, nor do we see anybody pulling 
them — seldom indeed do we catch a glimpse 
of the dignitaries who perform this awe- 
inspiring task. But we know that it is 
done, and we know furthermore that there 
is not a nation of the world but has just 
as much appreciation — it may be admiring 
appreciation or it may be bitter appreciation 
— of this great and all - important fact as 
we and our country visitor have. We 
walk with him along the western side of 
Whitehall, and we point out to him the 
solid and stately structures which make this 
such a noble thoroughfare. And it is 
here, within an area of but a few acres 
after all, that these strings are for the most 
part pulled. To-day a Minister in one of 




A RECEPTION AT THE FOREIGN OFFICIi 



SCENES FROM OFFICIAL LIFE IN LONDON. 



373 



these buildings dictates an instruction to 
one of his private secretaries ; an hour 
later the message which is the result of 
it is speeding its way along thousands of 
miles of the ocean bed. To-morrow our 
great pro-consul acts upon the order which 
he has received, and the news of the sig- 
nificant departure in policy is cabled back 
to every newspaper in London, to every 
newspaper in the world — more than that, 
to the chancellery of every Power ; and the 
foreign Ministers knit their foreheads and 
bite their pens and scowl when they read this 
news, and understand that Downing Street 
has advanced another point. One of the 
big strings has been pulled again. 

And, again, there is a crisis in some home 
affair which is of urgent importance to the 
well-being of a very large number of people. 
It may pertain to the care of an industry, 
or to the soundness of the people's educa- 
tion, or to any other of the thousand ques- 
tions which ever and again are troubling 
the public mind. Interested persons hurry 
now to Whitehall, and there are long 
conversations in the rooms of Ministers, 
after which the interested persons, with 
their minds all in a state of doubt and 
trepidation, go their way. A few hours 
later an order is promulgated from the seat 
of authority, and, as likely as not, the 
trouble at that moment is at an end. One 
of the smaller strings has been pulled. 
We never see the pulling of these strings, 
but we feel each and every day that it is 
being done here in London as it can be 
nowhere else, and somehow this grand, 
this exalted official life that is being lived 
in the Metropolis permeates the atmosphere 
which we breathe and gives us a quicken- 
ing sense of pride and importance. 

But now, though we have said that none 
of these things are visible, we will avail 
ourselves of a more than usually special 
permit — which we will say at once would 
be granted to no person alive, save the 
King and his Ministers — and will take brief 
glimp.ses at some of the scenes which are 
enacted in Downing Street and other places 
curtained off from the public gaze. When 
we come down to a cold analysis there is 
much that is quite ordinary in these scenes ; 
but they inspire a vast amount of awe not- 



withstanding. To all outward appearances 
a meeting of company directors is much 
the same as a meeting of kings, but they 
are very different meetings after all. So it 
is with these scenes. 

What meeting, for instance, would one 
regard with greater interest and curiosity 
than a meeting of the Cabinet, fraught 
as it often is with the destiny of the 
nation ? This is so well realised that, 
especially on a cold damp afternoon in the 
middle of winter when the Ministers gather 
themselves together from the four points of 
the compass in Downing Street for the first 
time since the beginning of the autumn recess, 
there is quite a big crowd to see them going 
in, one by one, to their solemn deliberations 
which have regard to the programme of 
the forthcoming session of Parliament. 
Some come on foot, .some in hansom cabs, 
others drive up in their own well - ap- 
pointed carriages, and Ministers have even 
been known upon occasion to ride up to a 
Cabinet Council upon their cycles. It is 
the same with other Cabinet Councils, which 
are held in frequent succession after the 
first one, but it is in this that the public 
interest is keenest, because it marks the 
awakening of official life after the autumn 
siesta. The people see the Ministers come 
and see them disappear under the archway 
that leads to the great quadrangle, and then 
as far as they are concerned, the Cabinet 
Council is at an end, for they witness no more 
of it, and only the most meagre paragraph 
report of its doings, and that usually 
mere speculation, ever finds its way into 
the papers. 

A wonderful secrecy is preserved with 
regard to all that pertains to these meetings. 
They are usually held in a room on the 
ground floor at the Foreign Office, and 
in white letters there is painted on the 
door of it " Private." The furniture of ihe 
room is not elaborate, and there is little 
to distract the attention of Ministers from 
the business in hand. The Prime Minister 
takes his seat at the head of the table, 
and the other Ministers place themselves 
round the board as best suits their con- 
venience, but in no set order. Then the 
door is closed, and upon no pretence 
whatever may any outsider gain admission 



374 



LIVING LONDON. 



to the chamber until all is over. The 
Prime Minister has an electric bell at his 
elbow, and if need arises he summons 
a departmental official or a servant to the 
room, but he docs so as seldom as possible, 
and when the outsider is present the de- 
liberations are suspended. Ministers may 
bring with tliein the private Government 
papers which have been addressed to them, 
and of which the>- have need, and there are 
also upon the table documents that have 
been printed in the private Government 
printing office, and which are endorsed 
" Most Secret. For the use of the Cabi- 
net " ; but they may produce no paper 
for the making of notes for their own 
use as to the proceedings of the day. It 
is a strict rule that no minutes of any 
kind whatsoever shall be made of the 
business which is discussed, each Minister 
having perforce to content himself with 
his mental impression of what takes place. 
This is all for the sake of secrecy. The 
business may be comparatively trivial, and 
may last but half an hour ; or there may be 
laid before this meeting of the executive 
Government a threat of war or a proposal 
for peace from some foreign country, and 
for hours and hours the Cabinet may sit 



with anxious faces and minds which hesitate 
between two courses upon which depend the 
future of our Empire. Ministers have even 
been known to be summoned to a meeting 
of the Cabinet when Big Ben hard by has 
been striking the midnight hour, and have 
remained in conference until the daylight 
has streamed through the windows upon 
their ashen, worn-out countenances. 

But there is another great Council of 
the State, about which we are privileged to 
learn even less. The only report which we 
are ever allowed to read is the simple 
one contained in the Court announcements, 
which may run thus : — 

" His Majesty The King held a Council at Buck- 
ingham Palace to-day at 12 o'clock. There were 
present : — The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke 
of Devonshire, K.G. (Lord President), the Duke of 
Norfolk, K.G., and the Marquess of Cholmondoley." 

That is all. It is a Privy Council which 
has been held in this case, and it usually 
assembles in one of the royal residences, the 
King, of course, presiding. There are many 
members of the Privy Council ; but as a 
rule only Ministers, certain great officers of 
the Household, and sometimes the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, are summoned to the 
meetings. 




A COUNCIL AT BUCKINGHAM i'ALACK. 



SCENES FROM OFFICIAL LIFE IN LONDON. 



375 



A summons to the whole 
Council is sent out only upon 
the most extraordinary occa- 
sion. What the functions of 
the Privy Council precisely are 
it is hard to say ; a Privy 
Councillor himself would 
have difficulty in answering 
such a question. But in 
theory it is what the Cabinet 
is in practice. Its real prac- 
tical value is as a necessary 
medium between the throne 
and the executive Govern- 
ment, and so we may imagine 
at these meetings the King 
and his Ministers chatting 
over points in matters of 
State, or perchance discussing 
details of some ceremony 
which is soon to take place. 
The Privy Council is thus 
of service ; but perhaps the 
general sentiment concerning 
it as a whole, as apart from 
its divisions, is that it is a 
very good reserve council, 
which might conceivably 
upon occasion be of the 
greatest utility. The Privy 
Councillor, whom we see in 
our fancy with the King, has taken an oath 
that he will " advise his Majesty to the best 
of his cunning and discretion," that he will 
keep the King's council secret, that he will 
help and strengthen the execution of what 
shall be resolved, and, amongst other things, 
that he will observe, keep, and do all that 
a good and true Councillor ought to do 
to his Sovereign Lord. Besides the King 
and his Councillors there is admitted to 
the apartment the Clerk of the Council, 
who has also to take a most solemn oath 
that he will reveal nothing of what is dis- 
cussed. 

These are the Councils of the chiefs ; 
consider the latter now in their own de- 
partments where they are certainly not less 
interesting, and only a trifle less private. 
There are two of the ministerial offices that 
help to make up the great quadrangle to 
the left of Downing Street, which possess 
deeper interest for the curious outsider than 




A DEPUTATION TO THE COLONIAL SECRETARY. 



most of the others, and these are the 
Foreign Office and the Colonial Office, the 
work of each of which is of vast and en- 
during importance. 

Observe the Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs at work in his own room. 
As befits the apartment which is reserved 
for the man who deals direct with the 
heads of all other Governments, it is lux- 
uriously furnished. There are beautiful, 
morocco leather - covered chairs, and there 
is a particular one of them upon which 
scores of ambassadors have in turn been 
wont to sit when they have called upon 
the Minister to discuss some matter of 
urgent international importance. There is 
a writing table in the room with a number 
of pigeon-holes attached to it, labelled 
" Home Secretary," " Minister of the 
Colonies," and so forth. It is not too 
much to say that here are contained the 
secrets of an empire. At the Foreign Office 



376 



L1\I.\G LONDON. 




AFTER A NA\AL DISASTER : ENQUTREKS AT THE ADMIRALTY. 



upon occasion his Lordship will hold a great 
reception, and there will come to it the 
Corps Diplomatique, and many other persons 
of high degree, presenting an imposing and 
even showy spectacle. 

There are perhaps fewer displays of 
magnificence in connection with other great 
departments, but they are scarcely less 
interesting. The Foreign Office may deal 
with the world ; but at least the Colonial 
Office, on the other side of the great arch- 
way, concerns itself with all that part of 
the world which we have the pleasure to 
call our own. Wending our way up the , 
wide and handsome staircase, having some 
business with the Colonial Secretary or one 
of his subordinates, we are ushered by an 
attendant into a waiting-room overlooking 
the quadrangle, which is pleasant enough in 
its way, but which is principally decorated 
with maps with big blotches of red upon 
them. This is indicative of the business of 
the office. I'robably there are many other 
persons waiting in this room, even some 
with dark skins who form a deputation to 
the Minister from one of those far-off lands 
which are under the British sway. Within, 
the Colonial .Secretary is hard at work with 
more maps around him. Everything in the 



room suggests work, 
hard work, and heavy 
responsibility. 

In another depart- 
ment there is the Home 
Secretary on duty. He. 
too, is a very busy man, 
controlling as he does 
most of those insular 
matters which more 
closely affect the comfort 
and prosperity of people 
at home. Ordinary folk 
understand the functions 
of the Home Secretary 
better than they do 
those of the Foreign 
Minister. Some of 
them may have heard 
that he has in a little 
room hard by his own 
a telephone by means 
of which he may speak 
direct to New Scotland 
Yard at any time without a moment's 
delay upon a matter of life or death. It 
is really .so. 

A little further down Whitehall there is a 
building, one of the Government group, 
at the sight of which all but millionaires 
are often apt to experience a curious creepy 
feeling. This is the Treasury, which is pre- 
sided over by the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, and whence the income tax and 
all other taxes come. It is the headquarters 
of the national finance, and when folk want 
to grumble whilst there is yet time — as 
they invariably do — at the taxes they have 
to pay, they repair to the Treasury in 
deputation form, and talk the matter over 
with the Chancellor. But whoever he be, the 
Chancellor is invariably a .shrewd man 
with a cold heart, and the deputation in 
departing is not often a merry one. Else- 
where there are the Education Office, the 
Board of Trade, the India Office, and 
others, the precise characters of which are 
indicated in their titles. There is an office 
for everything and everywhere. 

There are still two which have not yet 
been mentioned, but in regard to which 
public interest is always keen ; at special 
times exceptionally so. The War Office 




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SCENES FROM OFFICIAL LIFE IN LONDON. 



377 



and the Admiralty, controlling as they do 
the mighty forces of the Empire on land and 
sea, have in due season news to give which 
will make London throb with pride, and 
which will at the same time cast a per- 
petual shadow over many homes that 
were once the happiest in the land. There 
may be a report that a British warship has 
foundered, and there are groups of terror- 
stricken mothers and wives and sisters — 
perhaps male relatives also — in the comfort- 
less corridors of the enormous building which 
lies between Spring Gardens and the Horse 
Guards. Looking from one of the windows 
the King, with a brilliant staff of War Office 
officials, may perhaps be seen distributing 
the medals of victory to his soldiers upon 
the Horse Guards Parade, but these poor 



creatures in the Admiralty can hardly think 
at such a time of the glory of arms. A sooth- 
ing word may be spoken by one of the officials 
attired in a blue uniform with an anchor on 
his cap, but what consolation is that? 

In the War Office itself the Secretary of 
State is assisted in the multifarious duties 
he performs by the distinguished men 
who form the Army Council. In imagina- 
tion one may see a line of red and khaki 
spreading from the War Office to the 
uttermost ends of the Empire, and with 
our preliminary reflection in mind the 
War Office then is a convenient spot to 
terminate a tour through secret places 
which have told such a tale of the great 
imperial body of which London is the 
mighty throbbing heart. 




rholv: rtHutU i Snnt. Hati'CSt. , Vf. 

PRESENTATION OF WAR MEDALS ON THE HORSE GUARDS PARADE : ARRIVAL OF THE KING. 



96 



378 



SATURDAY NIGHT l\ LONDON. 

By A. ST. JOHN ADCOCK. 



FOR persons who live above a certain 
social level Saturday night has no 
particular features to distinguish it 
from any other night of the week ; but for 
the vast majority of those who live below 
that serene altitude it is the most important 
night of the secular six : it means to them 
pretty much what a coming into port means 
to the seaman or a harvest-home to the 
farmer. 

The City emptying itself much earlier than 
usual on Saturday, outgoing trains, 'buses, 
and trams are crammed to excess between 
one o'clock and five ; then, from six to eight, 
incoming trams,, 'buses, and trains are equally 
burdened, for many who went out early are 
returning now with friends, sweethearts, 
wives, or, at pantomime time, with small 
excited members of their families, in a hurry 
to add themselves to the extra long Saturday- 
night queues stretching away from the pit 
and gallery doors of the principal theatres. 



Now, too, when there is a chance of 
escaping observation in the darkness, the 
pawn-shops are at their busiest : shrinking 
figures, mostly of women, flit in and out by 
obscure side-doors, some on a regular Satur- 
day night errand to redeem Sunday wearing 
apparel that is as regularly put away again 
on Tuesday or Wednesday when the domestic 
treasury is again exhausted ; others carrying 
household articles sufficiently mortgageable 
to raise the price of to-morrow's dinner, a 
husband being out of work, or delayed on 
the way home exhaustively refreshing himself, 
and not expected to arrive with any con- 
siderable salvage of his week's wages. 

There are insignificant, comfortable people 
who sent a servant out to do their shopping 
this morning or ordered their Sunday require- 
ments of tradesmen who call at the door, and 
this evening they will go, perhaps, to some 
little party at the house of a friend, or give 
a little party of their own ; or, during the 
summer and autumn, they may make an 
afternoon excursion up the river to Hampton 
Court or down to Greenwich, and come back 




SATUKUAY NIGHT IN KING STREET, 
HAMMERSMITH. 



SATURDAY NIGHT IN LONDON. 



379 




BRACES. 

pleasantly tired, just in time to share a 'bus 
or a railway carriage with jovial amateur 
cricketers or footballers homing from a 
Saturday's match. 

In the main, however, Saturday night is 
given over to the great weekly shopping 
carnival of the poor, and of all such as 
live carefully on limited incomes. They do 
their marketing, from custom or necessity 
or for sheer preference, in the very last 
hours of the last day of the week, and they 
do most of it in those boisterous, cheerful, 
plenteous, cornucopia-like thoroughfares where 
costermongers are still allowed to congregate 
and compete with the shopkeepers. 

Of course, the genteel business ways of 
the west know nothing whatever of that 
carnival. In that region shutters are up 
early, and when Berwick Street and other 
arteries of Soho are congested with stalls 
and buyers and sellers, and doing a roaring 
trade in every sense of the phrase, the select 
shops of Oxford Street, Regent Street, and 
Piccadilly are, nearly all of them, closed and 
enjoying a foretaste of their Sunday sleep. 

Broadly speaking, Saturday night's trade 
follows the costers, and finds them all over 
London : it finds them south under the arches 
and littering the streets around Brixton 
Station, in the Old Kent Road, on Deptford 
Broadway ; up north in Phcenix Street, in 
Chapel Street, Islington, in Queen's Crescent, 



Kentish Town ; away west straggling for a 
mile or more along Harrow Road, or in 
King Street, Hammersmith ; eastward in 
Chrisp Street by the docks, and nowhere in 
greater variety, more breezily good-humoured, 
or attended by a more cosmopolitan crowd 
than in Whitechapel Road. 

On the way thither, through Aldgate, we 
pass Butchers' Row and the uncommonly 
miscellaneous line of stalls facing it, where 
business has been steadily increasing ever 
since noon. Some of the butchers have put 
up intimations that they make a speciality 
of " kosher " meat, and other signs are not 
wanting that we are in the neighbourhood 
of the Ghetto : round the side-streets are 
Jewish hotels and restaurants; in the High 
Street there are bakers, printers, all manner 
of traders who have announcements in 
Hebrew characters painted on their windows ; 
a Hebrew theatrical poster appeals to us 
from a hoarding ; dusky foreign Jews pass 
in the crowd chattering in a barbarous 
Yiddish. 

As we push farther east the crowd becomes 
denser and livelier : an incongruouslj' blended 
multitude in which abject squalor elbows 
coquettish elegance, and sickly misery and 
robust good-humour, and frank poverty and 
poverty decently disguised, and lean knavery 
and leaner honesty, drunkenness and sobriety, 
care and frivolity, shabby home-bred loafers 
and picturesque, quaintly-garbed loafers from 
over sea, all hustle or loiter side by side, in 
one vast, motley, ever-moving panorama 




BOOTS AND SHOES : TRYING ON. 



38o 



LIVING LONDON. 



By this we are past the Pavilion Theatre 
and on the broad pavement that sweeps 
down to IMile End Gate. Up between flags 
of the pavement sprout stunted trees that 
drip dirty tears in the foggy \\'eeks of winter 
and with the coming of spring break into 
a pleasant laughter of dusty green leaves. 
They are girdled with iron railings, and 
betwixt and before and behind them coster- 
mongers' stands and barrows are scattered 
in great plenty. 

There are fruit and vegetable stalls, there 
.are fish stalls, haberdashers', stationers', tailors', 
toy, jewellery, butchers', cutlery, boot, hat and 
cap, and unmistakably second-hand ironmon- 
gery stalls, all along to Mile End Gate ; and, 
to add to the crush and the tumult, enter- 
prising shopkeepers have rushed selections 
of their goods out of doors and ranged them 
among the stalls and set assistants bawling 
in wildernesses of furniture and crockery, or 
chaunting incessantly amidst clustered pillars 
of linoleum and carpet like lay priests in 
ruined temples. 

The stalls and these overflowings of the 
shops are intersected by stands where weary 
marketers may solace themselves with light 
refreshments in the way of whelks liberally 
seasoned with vinegar and pepper, cheap but 
indigestible pastry, toffee, or fried soles ; and 
there are ice-cream barrows that dispense 
ices and ginger-beer in summer, and in winter 
supply baked potatoes and hot drinks. 

Intersecting other stalls are a cripple in 
a wheeled-chair manipulating a concertina ; 
a man with a tray suspended round his neck 
selling " electric " pens ; an enormous brass 
weighing machine that soars up glittering 
and catching light from all the surrounding 
naphtha lamps till it seems itself a thing of 
fire ; a galvanic battery and a " lung-tester," 
both popular with boys, who take shocks 
from the one and blow into the long tube 
of the other with a joy in the results that 
is worth at least twice what they pay for it ; 
and, with a naphtha lamp all to himself, a 
.sombre, wooden-legged man presides over 
a seedy collection of umbrellas stuck in a 
ricketty home-made stand and holds a 
specimen umbrella open over his own head 
as if he lived at the be.st of times in an 
invisible shower. 

And buyers are stopping to haggle with 



the sellers ; loafers and lurchers go by con- 
tinuously ; passing by also are rough artisans 
in their working clothes out shopping with 
their wives, and dainty fascinating young 
Jewesses dressed in ornate imitation of the 
latest West-End fashions and escorted by 
dapper young Jews in tall hats, resplendent 
linen, and suits reminiscent of Piccadilly. 

Stand aside and see them passing ; and 
here, passing with them, a couple of jovial 
sailors, arm-in-arm, flourishing their pipes 
and singing lustily ; a wan woman in rusty 
widow's weeds leading a child in one hand 
and carrying her frugal marketings in the 
other ; a young man wheeling a perambulator 
with a baby and some beef and a cabbage 
in it, while his wife, a keen, brisk little 
woman, chaffers at the fish stall for some- 
thing toothsome to take home for supper ; 
dowdy women, ]ew and Gentile, in faded 
bonnets, or bright-coloured shawls, or with 
no other head-covering than their own 
plenteous hair ; three dandy soldiers making 
a splash of red where the throng is drabbest ; 
a sleek Oriental, astray from the docks, in 
his white linen costume and white turbair 
or crimson fez ; a lank, long-bearded Hebrew 
in an ample frock coat and ancient tall hat, 
moving in profound meditation, with a certain 
air of aloofness separating him from the 
surging, restless mob, as if the sanctities of 
the Synagogue and his newly-ended Sabbath 
still wrapped him about in an atmosphere 
of unworldly calm. 

A few paces farther on, and here is a 
weedy youth swathed in a white apron 
shrilly inviting attention to a pyramid of 
pigs'-trotters on a board on trestles against 
the front of a public-house, in the saloon 
doorway of which a pair of musicians are 
manufacturing music with a diminutive har- 
monium and a tin-whistle, while outside the 
smaller public-house near by gossiping men 
and women with no taste for either music 
or pig's-trotters lounge drinking in the open 
air. 

Across in the New Cut, and Lower Marsh, 
Lambeth, there is the same crush and uproar, 
the same smoky flare of innumerable naphtha 
lamps, the same bewildering miscellany of 
stalls, but the customers and idlers are, on 
the whole, more poverty-stricken, more 
depressed, more common-place. There are 




SATURDAY NIGHT IN WHITECHAPEL ROAD. 



382 



LIVING LONDON 



flower-stalls and second-hand book stalls 
here, as there are in Farringdon Street and 
Shoreditch High Street ; there is a sedate 
optician's stall with wilted old ladies and 
gentlemen pottering about it at intervals 
testing their sights at different-sized letters 
printed on a card and sparing a trifle from 
their week's addlings to treat themselves to 
new pairs of spectacles ; there is a misan- 
diropic-looking man sitting on a stool in 
the gutter with piles of muffins on a small 
table beside him ; and there are the 



the road is blocked by an eager concourse 
of girls and young and elderly women, and 
peering over their agitated shoulders we 
focus with difficulty a low, improvised 
counter buried under stacks of ladies' jackets, 
blouses, dresses, shawls, while four feminine 
hucksters, one at each corner of the counter, 
hold up articles of such wearing apparel for 
inspection and cackle persuasively in chorus. 
They do the thing better in such a place as 
Hoxton Street, for there the roadway is left 
to every other description of stall, and the 




INSIDE A BIG PROVISION STORES (HAMMERSMITH). 



usual hawkers wandering up and down with 
toasting forks, boot-laces, braces, song-sheets, 
and meat-jacks with wooden legs of mutton 
turning on them to illustrate their uses. 

In nearly every market street to-night 
there are cheap-jacks selling crockery, and 
quacks vending corn-cures and ointment, 
and in .some, notably in Stratford High 
Street and Deptford Broadway, there is 
occasionally a male quack, or one of the 
gentler sex, who, to create a sensation and 
gather an audience, will plant a chair in the 
public eye and extract the teeth of penurious 
sufferers gratis. 

Half way through one Saturday market 



trade in women's clothing is carried on in 
skeleton shops, the fronts of which have 
been knocked out so that passing ladies may 
stray in without hindrance and wallow in 
second-hand garments that hang thickly 
round the walls and are strewn and heaped 
prodigally about the floors. 

In other streets we have side-glimpses of 
brilliantly-lighted interiors opulently fes- 
tooned and garlanded and hung with cheap 
boots and shoes, and, thus environed, men 
and women, affluent with Saturday's wages, 
examining and selecting from the stock, or 
a small child on a high chair having a pair 
of shoes tried on under the critical gaze of 



SATURDAY NIGHT IN LONDON. 



383 




CHINA. 

its father and mother and the shopman ; or, 
especially in such localities as Leather Lane 
and Whitecross Street, where boot-stalls 
abound, a similar scene is frequently enact- 
ing in the open air, with the diminutive 
customer perched, for " fitting " purposes, 
close to the stall. 

In all the tumultuous market streets, and 
in broad, centre thoroughfares where there 
are few or no costermongers, big drapers have 
a passion for Saturday clearance sales that 
no woman who loves a bargain is stoical 
enough to ignore ; and provision shops and 
mammoth general stores, in a cheery glamour 
of gas or electric light, are simmering and 
humming like exaggerated hives. Smart 
servant-maids in some districts, and in all 
practical housewives, domesticated husbands, 
children, singly or in pairs, and furnished with 
baskets and pencilled lists of their require- 
ments, flow in and out of these emporiums 
in apparently endless streams. 

While the Saturday saturnalia is thus at 
its fiercest and gayest and noisiest throughout 
the main roads and market streets, in grimy, 
quiet byways of Whitechapel there are snug 
Hebrew coffee rooms and restaurants, re- 
awakened after a Sabbath snooze, wherein 
Jews of divers nationalities are gossiping 
over coffee and wine and cigarettes, or 
beguiling the hours with dominoes and 
card-playing. In other dim, sinister byways 
there is, here and there, in an obscure room 
behind some retiring hostelry, a boxing 
match going forward for the delectation of 
an audience of flashy, rowdy sportsmen and 



their down-at-heel hangers-on ; like- 
wise, about Whitechapel and Ber- 
mondsey, Southwark and Soho, in 
shyer, furtive dens that are over- 
shadowed always by fear of a police 
raid, there are feverish, secret gamesters 
gathered round the green tables. In 
the neighbourhood of Soho — much 
favoured by exiles from all countries 
— they are more numerous and of 
superior quality, and in some exclusive, 
elegant, equally secret clubs you may 
gamble with bejewelled gentry whose 
losses on the turn of the wheel or 
the cards arc far from being limited 
by the size of a week's salary. 

Meanwhile, theatres are full, and 
music-halls ; and Saturday dances, sing- 
songs, and smoking concerts in assembly 
rooms and over public - houses are liberally 
encouraged. When people begin to come 
out from these entertainments, the crowd 
that is still abroad marketing is of a poorer, 
hungrier stamp than that which enlivened 
the streets an hour or two ago. Stalls are 
beginning to disappear, and those that remain 
are mostly refreshment stalls, or fruit and 
meat stalls that are trying to sell off their 
surplus stock by auction. 

Fruit stalls in Whitechapel Road have 
a special weakness for finishing up in this 
way — a way which is common to the meat 
shops and stalls in all the market streets 




OUTSmE A PUBLIC-HOLSK. 



384 



LIVING LONDON. 



everywhere. The large cheap butchers' shops 
in Bermondsey and elsewhere make a practice 
of "selling off" by auction all the evening, 
but elsewhere it is the custom to adopt this 
course only after ten o'clock. 

Then, after ten o'clock, you may see 
feminine butchers hammering on their stalls 
with the blunt ends of their choppers, and 
shouting and cheapening their primest beef 
and mutton as frantically and as successfully 
as any butcher of the sterner sex who, 
goaded to frenzy by the approach of mid- 
night, is pedestalled on his stall, or on the 
block in his doorway or the sloping flap 
outside his window, and is lifting meat 
boastfully in both hands, offering it at 
absurdly high prices, and yet selling it for 
ever so little a pound to whomsoever will 
buy. 

Rain or snow will thin the streets by 
keeping folk at home or driving them to 
the nearest shops, or to such roofed paradises 
for the small trader as the Portman Market 



off Edgware Road. But to-night has been 
fine, and everything at its best. 

And now 'buses and trams begin to fill 
with laughing, chattering myriads returning 
from the theatres, and with shop assistants just 
emancipated. Laundry vans are coming 
back from delivering the last of their wash- 
ing ; in thousands of lowly, decent house- 
holds busy mothers are ironing the last of 
to-morrow's linen on a corner of the supper 
table, or the whole family are seated to a 
rare but inexpensive feast at the latter end 
of a hard week. 

Twelve strikes, and the public-houses close, 
not without brawling and a drunken fight 
or two ; but the last stragglers will soon be 
making for home ; the last stall will soon 
have packed up and gone away ; the latest 
shop will be putting up its shutters, and all 
the flare and fever and flurry and wrangling 
and business and merriment of Saturday 
night will be quieting down at last under 
the touch of Sunday morning. 



■f^J^Sp^^^".-"'t^^*^'^^ 




SELLING MEAT BY AUCTION. 



Peinted by Casseli, and Company. Limited, La Belle ^auvage, Ludgate Hill, London, E.G. 



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SIMS, G.R. 
Living London. 



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