Victorian Images


A variety of images from the late Victorian era, all from London…there are some lovely shots here…enjoy!

Victorian Cooking…Orange Fritters

Orange Fritters

Mix two tablespoonfuls of flour smoothly with one well-beaten egg, a quarter of an ounce of butter, and a quarter of a pint of cream, and add a pinch of salt and a dessert-spoonful of brandy.

Peel four or five large sweet oranges; take away the white pith, and divide them into sections without breaking the thin skin that divides them. Dip the pieces first into sherry, then into sifted sugar, and afterwards into the batter.


Fry them in hot lard until they are lightly browned. Drain them on blotting paper to free them entirely from fat, and serve piled high on a hot napkin, with sifted sugar strewn over them. Time, eight or ten minutes to fry the oranges. Sufficient for four or five persons.


This a tasty and easy recipe to follow and I added some Cinnamon…Highly recommended!

Victorian cooking…Chicken Pie Recipe

Our food today owes much to its Victorian forebears so I have decided to feature some of the recipes I have cooked and the fun of trying to figure out hoe to cook as near to the real thing.

img11216_4So this Chicken Pie recipe is from Cassell’s New Dictionary of Cookery (I have a 1910 edition but was first published in 1892) which boasts about 10,000 recipes!

I managed to pick my edition up for about £20 but you can a pdf/kindle copy here


Chicken Pie

20160102_194700Take two large chickens, (I used two large breast) and cut them into neat joints. Put the trimmings, neck, and bones of the legs into a stewpan, with some pepper and salt, a blade of mace, an onion, a bunch of savoury herbs, and a little water, or stock.


Let these simmer gently for one hour and a half. They are to make gravy. Line the edges of a pie-dish with a good crust. Put a layer of chicken at the bottom, and then a layer of ham cut in slices and over that some. (I used ham, chicken and herbs. simmered for 1.5 hours, drained and had a lovely light gravy)

Sausage-meat or forcemeat, (forcemeat is essentially Victorian stuffing and is lovely)

Forcemeat 417 (Mrs Beeton)

417. INGREDIENTS – 2 oz. of ham or lean bacon, 1/4 lb. of suet, the rind of half a lemon, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley, 1 teaspoonful of minced sweet herbs; salt, cayenne, and pounded mace to taste; 6 oz. of bread crumbs, 2 eggs.

20160102_175411Mode – Shred the ham or bacon, chop the suet, lemon-peel, and herbs, taking particular care that all be very finely minced; add a seasoning to taste, of salt, cayenne, and mace, and blend all thoroughly together with the bread crumbs, before wetting. Now beat and strain the eggs, work these up with the other 20160102_180011ingredients, and the forcemeat will be ready for use. When it is made into balls, fry of a nice brown, in boiling lard, or put them on a tin
and bake for 1/2 hour in a moderate oven. As we have stated before, no one flavour should predominate greatly, and the forcemeat should be of sufficient body to cut with a knife, and yet not dry and heavy. For very delicate forcemeat, it is advisable to pound the ingredients together before binding with the egg; but for ordinary cooking, mincing very finely answers the purpose. Average cost, 8d.

Sufficient for a turkey, a moderate-sized fillet of veal, or a hare.

20160102_183022and some hard-boiled eggs cut in slices. Repeat until the dish is full. Pour over all a cupful of water or white stock, and place a cover on the top. Brush over it the yolk of an egg. Bake in a good oven.

When the pie has been in the oven about half an hour, place a piece of paper over the top to prevent the crust from being
frizzled before the meat is sufficiently cooked. When it is ready, raise the cover and pour in the gravy made from the bones. Put a trussing- needle into the pie to ascertain whether it is sufficiently cooked. If it goes through easily, take the pie out.


A pie made with two chickens, sufficient for six persons. Probable cost, 6s.

King William Street Station

King William Street Stations construction was difficult with regular subsidence due to the water-logged ground around the river but the tunnel and station were eventually completed on 4th November 1890 and the public service commencing on 18th December. The then Prince of Wales did the honour of opening the line.

king will

The new line was heavily used from the opening day and the station layout quickly proved unsatisfactory. To overcome this, a Bill was introduced into Parliament in 1882 to construct a new line from Borough to Moorgate Street and abandon the unsuitable terminus. The Bill received Royal Ascent in 1883 but this was for a long term solution. To alleviate the congestion problems in the short term, surface facilities were improved by taking a lease on an existing building in Arthur Street East for a Ladies Room, Parcels Room and Left Luggage Office. A plan to install a third lift was dropped because of cost.

tikWith 15,000 passengers using the station daily, improvements were also urgently required at platform level so the single line was replaced by twin lines running into an island platform which was completed by December 1895. A scissors crossing was added at the south end allowing trains to use either line but this required a shortening of the platform which could now only be used by three car trains.

February 1900; the station and the tunnels running under the Thames to Borough were abandoned. Initially no use was found for the tunnels but as early as 1901 it was suggested they could be used for cultivating mushrooms or as a bonded store. The favoured solution was to use the tunnels to carry telephone or electric cables but no user could be found.  Initially the track remained in place and was used to store empty stock.

In later years it was used as an air raid shelter.



Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

The Abominable Bride eh…!

So Sherlock and Dr Watson are in both the Victorian era and modern era.

For me it was great to see the boys in their natural setting of Victorian London…it was beautifully shot, the story line had warmth and humour along with referencing some classic story’s like ‘The Five Orange Pips’ or ‘The Final Problem’ that sees Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls fighting for their lives.


Holmes is of course in his ‘Mind Palace’ trying to figure out how Moriarty is both dead and yet seemingly alive. It made perfect sense to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it but some of the comments I have seen seem defy belief…for instance:

‘Why was Sherlock time travelling?’

‘It was rubbish…I didn’t understand it’

‘It was self indulgent rubbish’

and many more. Clearly this was a little taxing for people who didn’t really know Sherlock through his TV series or through any of Conan-Doyle’s written works which I found kind of disappointing.

Sherlock is about Sherlock, all the episodes have subtext, admittedly this one more than most but maybe people could pick up a book and read about the character, learn a few things…maybe start to tax our brains a little.






Dickensian by the BBC…

What do you think?

A big mix up from all corners of the Dickens universe and more.

I have to say I like it…it is not Dickens but then of course it isn’t but with some great casting and great creative writing it is fun and has potential.

So what do you think? Is it sacrilege…should Dickens wonderful characters be used like this?

Would Dickens enjoy it?


Victorian he-she!

Untitled 1

Well, Victorian Transvestites…the story of Fanny and Stella, otherwise known as Frederick Park and Ernest Bolton who sadly ended up arrested as ‘he – she’ ladies.
The two lived in Wakefield St, Regent Square, where on most nights, they and others would dress up as women before going out to the theatre and generally have a good time which was rather risky or risque or both.

When the case came to court, Newspapers had a field day, reporting on what silk their dresses were made from, the frills on their handkerchiefs and how stubbly their chins were.
However they had been arrested only a year before in 1870 and charged with conspiring others to commit unnatural offences at the Strand Theatre.
When they appeared at Bow Street Magistrates Court the next morning. still in their evening dresses, huge crowds were waiting outside to see this unusual spectacle. You can only imagine the conversations that were had at tea time! The case was seen as a farce by many and Fanny and Stella were let off.

One year later and the two men found themselves sitting in the dock of the Court of the Queens Bench in London, on trial for something they hoped and believed would help towards ending the vicious anti gay laws of that time but they acquitted. It is possible that one of their fathers being a judge may have helped their case…