Blackstock Road, London, N4. Photo ©RogerDean 2014
London Up to Date – George Augustus Sala, 1894:
The first article that I contributed to Dickens’s Household Words was called “The Key of the Street,” and was a description of the night-wanderings of a Cockney who had been accidentally locked out of his own house, and who, during the small hours, much to his own discomfort, had to make the acquaintance of Oxford Street – “Stony-hearted stepmother,” as De Quincey called that populous thoroughfare, – and many other streets, courts, lanes, and alleys besides.
[The key in the photograph above is painted on the exterior wall of Mix Hardware on Blackstock Road, N4. It is only one of the many images all over the facade depicting the stock that can be found within. R.D.]