Esoteric London

No. 382: Fashion Street, E1

Posted in Graffiti, Sport by esotericlondon on August 16, 2011

Fashion Street, London, E1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

The Hooligan Nights – Clarence Rook, 1899:

‘But it ain’t all lavender goin’ on beat round the Walk,’ continued young Alf, when he had refreshed himself with ginger-beer. I shan’t forget the time when we was ‘aving a bit of a game near the bottom of a alley that turns out of the Walk. There was eight or nine of us, an’ finkin’ about the cards, we didn’t spot the cop fore ‘e was right on to us. Raver a slippy cop, ‘e was, in his way. He was jest making a pounce at the cards we was playing wiv when one of the boys sings out ‘Dust-bin’! There was a big dust-bin in the corner, wiv a cover over it that fastened wiv a kind of catch. In less than ‘arf a mo, we ‘ad the copper up-ended an’ pitched into the rubbish ole, and shut the lid down. We filled is ‘elmet wiv any muck we could find, an’ set it atop, like they put a soldier’s ‘elmet on ‘is cawfin. We didn’t put ‘is truncheon wiv it, cause one of the boys ran that into a sort of curiosity shop for a tanner. Then we fort ‘e might be firsty in the dust-‘ole, so we kep’ ‘im supplied wiv water. Free or four buckets full we poured in. From what I unnerstand, he put in the best part of an hour of duty-time in the dust-bin; an’ then an inspector missed ‘im off the beat, an’ ran on to ‘is elmet an’ let ‘im loose. ‘Ealfy, wasn’t it?’

This did not betoken any special dislike of the policeman who was immured in the dust-bin, as young Alf subsequently explained to me. It was only part of the game, as  tackling is part of the game of football.

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