Esoteric London

No. 653: Oxford Street, W1

Posted in London Labour by esotericlondon on August 29, 2012

Oxford Street, London, W1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

London Labour and the London Poor – Henry Mayhew, 1862:

There are a great number of costermongers about Drury Lane and that district, and my informant assured me that they found the profession very lucrative, for the lower orders, and industrial classes don’t care about going into shops to make purchases. They infinitely prefer buying what they want in the open street from the barrow or stall of a costermonger.

[ The stall wrapped in a tarpaulin for the night in the photograph above is not in the Drury Lane district but in Oxford Street. According to an article in The Independent newspaper back in July 2010 ‘the lower orders and industrial classes’ may not be able to buy from stall holders on Oxford Street for much longer. Apparently New West End Company, an organisation representing the shops on Oxford Street, as well as those on Bond Street and Regent Street, wish to make the street more like the Champs-Élysées and the stall holders and costermongers do not have a place in this vision. Another sad step towards the homogenization of our cities. R.D.]

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