Esoteric London

No. 951: Goulton Road, E5

Posted in The Docks, Wildlife by esotericlondon on October 21, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_5022 copy

Goulton Road, London, E5. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

Curiosities of London Life: or, Phases, Physiological and Social, of the Great Metropolis – Charles Manby Smith, 1853:

In conjunction with the barbel-fishing in the Thames, we may notice the bream-fishing in the different docks. It seems an odd thing that there should be any connection between the corn-laws and fishing for bream; yet a connection there certainly is. Some of the docks appropriated for the reception and unlading of vessels freighted with grain became gradually well-stocked with this particular fish, which thrives well upon a bread diet. Corn that from long hoarding under a high duty had become weaviled and worthless, was frequently thrown overboard, and that in vast quantities; and the consequence was, that enormous specimens of full-fed, aldermanic-looking bream were occasionally lugged forth to the light by the amateur anglers of the docks. We have seen them hauled up to the surface from a depth of twenty feet, looming through the green water like the broad, white waistcoat of an alderman through the reek of a civic feast. Apparently too fat to wag their tails, they dangled supine upon the treacherous hook, and only winking a bleared eye under the unwelcome light of day, “gave up their quiet being” without an attempt at a struggle.

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