Esoteric London

No. 562: Melton Street, NW1

Posted in Graffiti by esotericlondon on April 24, 2012

Melton Street, London, NW1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

Dickens’s Dictionary of London, An Unconventional Handbook – Charles Dickens Jr., 1879:

Opium Smoking Dens.— The best known of these justly-named “dens” is that of one Johnstone, who lives in a garret off Ratcliff-highway, and for a consideration allows visitors to smoke a pipe which has been used by many crowned heads in common with poor Chinese sailors who seek their native pleasure in Johnstone’s garret. This is the place referred to in the “Mystery of Edwin Drood” […]. A similar establishment of a slightly superior—or it might be more correct to say a shade less nauseating—class is that of Johnny Chang, at the London and St. Katharine Coffee-house, in the Highway itself.

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