Esoteric London

No. 613: Club Row, E2

Posted in London Types by esotericlondon on July 4, 2012

Club Row, London, E2. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

A Looker-On in London – Mary H. Krout, 1899:

Through the courtesy of the Lord Mayor, Sir Faudel Philips, and Mr. John Kirk, the Secretary of the Ragged School Union, I received a card to the dinner given the crippled children in Queen’s Hall, People’s Palace, Mile End Road. The card was quite formal and artistic, the border and vignette portrait of the Queen in gold, with gold and scarlet lettering.
The morning was oppressively hot, the sun blazing in a cloudless sky, and the long journey by the underground railway, in an atmosphere stifling with smoke and gas, was like a descent into the Inferno. I had anticipated some difficulty in making my way through unsavory and ill-smelling crowds, which it might reasonably be expected would assemble in Mile End Road. But the poor cannot indulge too frequently in holidays, and shops were open, people were occupied as usual, and there was nowhere any indication that any unusual event was pending. Many of the decorations of Tuesday still remained; flags, portraits, and loyal mottoes and paper flowers, gaudy and profuse.
Approaching the People’s Palace the cripples began to appear; first, a stout, panting woman in a heavy black woolen dress climbed up the steps of the tram, carrying with difficulty a little girl of ten; she held the card of admission in one coarse rough hand, the nails black and broken[…].

[ The People’s Palace was designed by E.R. Robson and opened in 1886 on the Mile End Road in London’s East End. It was intended to be the East Ends equivalent of North London’s Alexandra Palace and South London’s Crystal Palace. R.D.]

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