Esoteric London

No. 771: Orange Yard, W1

Posted in Catastrophes, Crime and Punishment, London Types, Shops by esotericlondon on February 11, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_8431 copy

Orange Yard, London, W1. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

The Leisure Hour – 1877:


The omnibus, or ‘bus’ as it is familiarly called, rightly claims first notice, as being decidedly the most predominant feature in locomotive London, and as performing a species of service which long habit has rendered indispensable to Londoners. It is to our busy, calculating citizen the universal chaise-and-pair; it goes anywhere and everywhere at any hour and all hours of the day; it takes us up wherever we may happen to be, and sets us down wherever we choose to stop, and it does it at a cost which all, save the very poorest, can afford to pay. If it is not a luxurious accommodation it is a punctual one, and has become so necessary to our pursuit both of business and pleasure, that were it to be suddenly withdrawn something like anarchy must result.

[ The Freedom Press bookshop, better known as the Anarchist Bookshop, is tucked away in Angel Alley off Whitechapel High Street in London’s East End. Freedom Press was set up by a group of friends including Peter Kropotkin and Charlotte Wilson, in 1886 and has been in operation almost continually since. Now I have been meaning to do a post about this very special independent bookshop for a while but only just found an image I thought would accompany the text. Upon doing some research into the the history of the bookshop I found that only this month the shop has been badly damaged in what is thought to be a firebomb attack. On top of the damage to the shop a vast amount of the stock has been lost and possibly, although this hasn’t yet been confirmed, the paper’s archive. Unfortunately they were not insured and so volunteers have been rallying round to help get the place back on it’s feet. They are still looking for help both physical and financial and if you would like to help them out you can find more information about how you can do so by visiting their website by clicking here.

Should you wish to read the whole of the article London On Wheels from which the above excerpt is taken then you can find it at R.D.]

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