Monday 6 February 2012

Fully Authorised Crossing Sweepers

THE CROSSING SWEEPERS OF BELGRAVIA.-- The authorities of the Grosvenor district, which possesses a jurisdiction of its own, and comprises the localities of Grosvenor-place, Belgrave, Eaton, and Lowndes squares, and Chesham-place, have just taken the initiative in organizing the crossing-sweepers who occupy the many crossings in that locality. For some time past none have been permitted to hold a "commission" or "carry brooms"  in that neighbourhood without the sanction of the trustees; but yesterday each man was properly enrolled, and furnished with a blue cloth badge to fasten round the left arm, upon which were worked the letters G. P. D. (Grosvenor-place district), and a corresponding number to one which is registered at the secretary's office against the wearer's name. Most of these men are old soldiers, and being of an active disposition, are very useful in carrying messages or posting letters during the "season" for the servants, when those functionaries are too busy to do it themselves. On account of this they have at last come to be an "institution" of this strictly fashionable and aristocratic quarter, and it has frequently happened that when a crossing-sweeper had been away on an errand some tattered stranger has opened shop under false colours, and the false assumption of being "connected" with the regular man, or "it's the same concern," and, having obtained something to carry, has carried it away altogether. To remedy evils of this character the present organization has been undertaken, and the vacancies will henceforth be filled up by candidates of "established reputation;" so that, whenever they are employed upon an errand, those employing them will have some guarantee; and the place cannot be temporarily occupied by an unknown sweeper. as they will be obliged to wear the badge when "on duty".

Times, 15 September 1854

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