Esoteric London

No. 698: Moorgate EC2

Posted in Lettering, Shops by esotericlondon on October 31, 2012

F. Flittner, Moorgate, London, EC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

All the Year Round – Conducted by Charles Dickens, 1876:

“If you will take a seat, sir, and amuse yourself with the newspaper for five minutes,” remarked the barber, civilly, “I shall be at your service.” It was a ticklish situation. There was once a barber, Sweeny Todd by name, if I rightly remember, who kept a shop in Fleet Street, ostensibly for cutting hair and mowing beards, but whose real business was the cutting of human throats. There was a trap-door in the floor of Sweeny’s shop on which the victim’s chair was placed, and, after he had been lathered, Mr. Todd would say, “Just tilt your head a little farther back, sir, so as I may get at the underneath part!” And then – slish! and in a jiffy the body was robbed, the bolt that held the trap withdrawn, a splash was heard in the turbulently flowing Fleet Ditch below, and a mop and a handful of clean sawdust made the shop clean and tidy for the next customer.

[F. Flittner, whose sign is in the photograph above, have been cutting gentlemen’s hair, not their throats, in their barber shop on Moorgate since 1904.

The full article from which the above excerpt is taken can be read at http://www.victorianlondon.org by clicking here. R.D.]