Esoteric London

No. 874: Harrow Road, W10

Posted in Funereal, London Labour, The Docks, Transport by esotericlondon on July 4, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_2109 copy

Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, London, W10. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

London. A Pilgrimage – Gustave Doré and Blanchard Jerrold, 1872:

“There is no end to it! London Docks, St. Katherine’s Docks, Commercial Docks on the other side, India Docks, Victoria Docks; black with coal, blue with indigo, brown with hides, white with flour; stained with purple wine – or brown with tobacco!”
The perspective of the great entrepot or warehouse before us, is broken and lost in the whirl and movement. Bales, baskets, sacks, hogsheads, and wagons stretch as far as the eye can reach; and there is a deep murmur rising from the busy fellows within. The solid carters and porters; the dapper clerks, carrying pen and book; the Customs’ men moving slowly; the slouching sailors in gaudy holiday clothes; the skipper in shiny black that fits him uneasily, convoying parties of wondering ladies; negroes, Lascars, Portuguese, Frenchmen; grimy firemen – and (shadows in the throng), hungry-looking day-laborers landing the rich and sweet stores of the South, or the breadstuffs of the generous West-all this makes a striking scene that holds fast the imagination of the observer, who has just skirted the dull outer wall of a great dock, faced by the low and shabby shops of poor Jack’s arch enemies.
He who wants to study every form of ship, every kind of rigging, the thousand and one details of spars and ropes, the delightful play of light and color which is a perpetual beauty about a clipper’s deck; the sad human stories that crowd the emigrant vessel; the sailor of every clime and country; in short, the immensity of commerce that counts warehouses by the mile and goods by the hundred thousand tons – can have no better field than these watery acres that give hospitable welcome to every flag.

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