Esoteric London

No. 568: Lyme Street, NW1

Posted in Architectural, Drink, Pubs, The Thames by esotericlondon on May 2, 2012

The Prince Albert, Lyme Street, London, NW1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

Saunterings in and about London – Max Schlesinger, 1853:

Here we are! On a small steamer, next to a black Scotch coaster, crowded to suffocation, and just casting off. The boy at the hatch is waiting for the captain’s signal; and the captain, walking his paddle-box, moves his hand; the boy calls out, the engineer makes a corresponding movement, and the steam enters the large cylinders. The machinery is in motion, and the vessel has left the shore. ‘Don’t be in a hurry, miss you can’t leap that distance. You’ve missed the boat, as a thousand respectable girls do daily, amidst these vast comings and goings of London. There will be another Greenwich steamer in five minutes; so the misfortune, after all, is not very great!’
What an astounding spectacle the Thames presents at this very point below London Bridge! In autumn, when the great merchantmen, heavily laden, coming in from all parts of the world, cast their bales and casks on the shore, from whence a thousand channels of trade convey them to and distribute them over the whole of the earth—in autumn, I say, this part of the river presents a spectacle of a mighty, astounding activity, with which no other river can vie. The vessels are crowded together by fifties and hundreds on either side. Colossal steamers, running between the coast-towns of France, Germany, and Scotland, have here dropped their anchors, waiting until the days of their return for passengers and merchandise.

[The anchor in the above photograph is part of a Charrington’s advertisement that adorns the exterior wall of the Prince Albert pub on the corner of Royal College Street and Lyme Street in Camden. You can see what else the pub has to offer by visiting the website by clicking here. R.D.]

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