London 1839

This is (as far as I know) the oldest remaining image of London. I’m afraid I don’t know where it is but wow!!

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Victorian Images

 

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

Z Nation

Well not exactly…but here’s an interesting image from 1900 (just got in there!)

Apparently outside Buckingham Palace….if anyone has any more info i’d be interested!

Dickens London Haunts

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http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-dickens-london-1924/

Take a look at this. The real London locations which formed the settings for various Dickens novels are shown, sometimes with characters from the books superimposed. The remaining locations are all associated with scenes from the books: the Old Curiosity Shop off the Aldwych, the Adelphi arches (now Embankment), the site of the blacking factory at Hungerford Market and Jacob’s Island from Oliver Twist.

Based on a successful magazine, the film series Wonderful London captures the life of the capital in the 1920s. These simple travelogues contrast different aspects of city life; East End and West End, poor and rich, natives and immigrants, looking beyond the stereotypes to show surprising views of the city. These six restorations by the BFI National Archive reintroduce the films’ original colours, with new piano accompaniments by John Sweeney.

Homes of the Homeless: Seeking Shelter in Victorian London, the Geffrye, London, 24 March-12 Jul

Mealtime-at-the-in-St-Mar-010Homes of the Homeless: Seeking Shelter in Victorian London, the Geffrye, London is an exhibition running from 24 March-12 July.

People are still sleeping rough in London tonight, sadly thanks to government policies 6,437 people were seen rough sleeping in 2012-13, compared with 5,768 the previous year, a 13% rise year on year and an increase of 62% since 2010-11, an alarmingly sad statistic for such a wealthy country.

William Booth interviewed many homeless men in the capital in 1890. The story of Booth’s Salvation Army hostels will form part of a major exhibition this spring.

319eaa7c-035b-4889-9abf-a19e3bc75913-1020x612The men of 1890 didn’t seem think they had found too bad a bed. “It’s very fair out here of nights, seat’s rather hard, but a bit of waste paper makes it a lot softer. We have women sleep here often, and children too,” one told him. There was rarely any trouble: “We’re too sleepy to make a row” and yet it must have been a hard life.

This exhibition will include photographs and paintings, but the poorest who went through the hostels owned almost nothing. Treasures in the exhibition include a few colourful bits of broken pottery excavated from a pit at Gun Street in Spitalfields, once the outdoor privy for a common lodging house. These institutions were mainly regarded with horror – one report called them “extremely filthy and disgusting”. The crockery, however, is a different story: the pink roses and willow pattern fragments could have come from any middle-class house.

“If you were elderly, or ill, or a child, then often there was no alternative to going into an institution. You were stuck, and it could be very grim. But some of the able-bodied learned to play the system very well, went into and came out of shelters repeatedly, and some learned a trade and managed to get themselves out of poverty. The experience of the Victorian homeless was far from uniform” says Hannah Fleming, a curator at the Geffrye in east London.

With a choice between a coffin bed (wooden boxes barely big enough for a body) or a wet cold doorway, many thought a hard but dry, clean bed was a fine thing. Hannah went on to say that “The Salvation Army in particular was very keen on carbolic, and put a very high store on keeping everything clean” A woman in Hanbury Street shelter, Whitechapel, in 1894 told a visitor: “I did used to think myself lucky if I’d the chance of a fourpenny lodging, but now I’d a deal sooner sleep in a bunk and have the feelin’ of safety there is about this place.”

Middle-class Victorians expected the poor to be meek and grateful for their charity, but many were not, undertandably like today there is a resentment building up at the disgust of the wealthy 1% having a say how the rest of us live and it was no different then.

Homeless man in LondonSimilarities to the growing problem of homelessness in 21st-century British cities are brutally obvious, and deliberate. The Geffrye a museum devoted to the home in a charming square of 17th-century almshouses will have a parallel exhibition created by the New Horizon Youth Centre, whose members are themselves homeless or vulnerable.

One told a Geffrye researcher: “It seems to be going back to the way this was … it seems that all the changes that were being made in a positive way … to try and make things better for homeless people… you know, it’s just going backwards.”

Victorian values play a part for many in today’s Britain but they are not the value of leaving the poor to fend for themselves and leaving the homeless to die on the streets…

If anyone is going to this a review would be great.

New Images of late victorian East End

In 2009, anonymous London blogger The Gentle Author set out to write 10,000 stories about the East End’s Spitalfields at a rate of one a day.  He has now published The Gentle Author’s London Album, a compilation of more than 600 previously unpublished photos showing a century of east London life.  Here is a few…

A real pea-souper!

fogLondon during the Victorian era was famed for its pea-soupers, in fact London was famous for pea-soupers for at least 500 years before that.

Pea-soupers or for that was so thick you would be lucky to be able to see 10 feet in front of you, apparently they could be so thick that people walked into the Thames. They had a greenish tinge to them that the nick name pea-souper.

The River Thames tended to cause fog but mixed smoke from the coal fires (there being no gas or electricity) that every Victorian house had.

From a handbook of the time:

Not only does a strange and worse Cimmerian darkness hide familiar landmarks from sight, but the taste and smell are offended by an unhallowed compound of flavours, and all things become greasy and clammy to touch.

During the continuance of a real London fog-which may be black, or grey or more probably orange-coloured-the happiest man is the one who can stay at home.

And lets face it a Victorian film without fog…that would be no good would it!