Esoteric London

No. 825: Kingston Road, SW19

Posted in Entertainment, London Music, Markets by esotericlondon on April 26, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_9390 copy

Kingston Road, London, SW19. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

London Labour and the London Poor; A Cyclopaedia of the Condition and Earnings of Thse That Will Work, Those That Cannot Work, and Those That Will Not Work – Henry Mayhew, 1861:

A quiet-looking man, half-blind, and wrapped in a large, old, faded black-cotton great-coat, made the following statement, having first given me some specimens of his art:-
“I imitate all the animals of the farm-yard on my fiddle. I imitate the bull, the calf, the dog, the cock, the hen when she’s laid an egg, the peacock, and the ass. I have done this in the streets for nearly twelve years. I was brought up as a musician at my own desire. When a young man (I am now 53) I used to go out to play at parties, doing middling until my sight failed me; I then did the farm-yard on the fiddle for a living. Though I had never heard of such a thing before, by constant practice I made myself perfect. I studied from nature, I never was in a farm-yard in my life, but I went and listened to the poultry, anywhere in town that I could meet with them, and I then imitated them on my instrument. The Smithfield cattle gave me the study for the bull and the calf.

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