Esoteric London

No. 716: Cricklewood Broadway, NW2

Posted in London Types, Wildlife by esotericlondon on November 26, 2012

Cricklewood Broadway, London, NW2. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

London Labour and the London Poor – Henry Mayhew, 1851, 1861- 62:

The sale of the May, the fragrant flower of the hawthorn, a tree indigenous to this country – Wordsworth mentions one which must have been 800 years old – is carried on by the coster boys (principally), but only in a desultory way. The chief supply is brought to London in the carts or barrows of the costers returning from a country expedition. If the costermonger be accompanied by a lad – as he always is if the expedition be of any length – the lad will say to his master, ‘Bill, let’s have some May to take back.’ The man will almost always consent, and often assist in procuring the thickly green branches with their white or rose-tinted, and freshly-smelling flowers.

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