Esoteric London

No. 398: Cannon Street Road, E1

Posted in Churches by esotericlondon on September 7, 2011

St George-in-the-East, Cannon Street Road, London, E1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

Off the Track in London – George R. Sims, 1911:

If St. George in the East has not slain the local dragon he has at least so maimed and crippled the monster that it crawls about to-day in a shame-faced manner. The fire that it breathes from its nostrils is but a pale flicker compared with the lurid flames of the day when the now quiet St. George’s Street was riotous Ratcliff Highway. Then the crimps did a roaring trade in its pestilent purlieus, and the sailors of the world reeled along the notorious thoroughfare from drinking-bar to dancing-room, and from dancing-room to back courts and alleys, where they were always robbed, frequently injured, and occasionally murdered.

The docks were the life of St. George’s in the old days. It is because the docks are no longer busy that life in St. George’s has become quieter. It is more respectable and more monotonous. Even about the men waiting at the dock gates there is an air of resignation. You can see a crowd of them at most hours of the day hanging about Pennington Street, a fine row of picturesque eighteenth-century houses, which form an admirable background to the waiting “dockers.” Most of the men here are Irish. The population on the south side of St. George’s to the river are nearly all from the land of poetry, politics, and potheen.

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