Monday 6 February 2012

Remembering Victorian London

A brief but lovely reminiscence from the Times of 30 May 1930 -  ending with a tightly-regulated Hyde Park in which  'perambulators might only choose certain paths'.

About 55 years ago I looked down with joy through my barried nursery window at Jack-in-the-Green, in his laurel-covered twoer with attendant chimney-sweeps dressed in gay paper costumes, dancing down Chesham-street on May Day. Next our nursery party sallied forth for the regulation walk to Hyde Park, passing on our way a consumptive crossing sweeper established on an up-ended box near a kindly area gate, and then an active sweeper at Pont-street, with a short stubby broom; he ran before you and swept. In Lowndes-place the crossing-sweeper wore an old red hunting coat and despised the perambulator. In Lowndes-square, the toll-bar keeper had a tall coat and gold braided top-hat. At Knightsbridge the crossing was variously held and indifferently swept. (Once it was all “up” because the wooden conduit-pipes for drinking-water were being replaced by modern ones). In Hyde Park perambulators might only choose certain paths and no cabs or trade carts could enter there.
Miss MIRA F HARDCASTLE, 4 Golf Links-avenue, Hindhead, Surrey


  1. i just love the use of language,, so poetic and descriptive.

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