No. 1041: Kensington High Street, W8
Kensington High Street, London, W8. Photo © Roger Dean 2013
Curiosities of London Life: or Phases, Physiological and Social, of the Great Metropolis – Charles Manby Smith, 1857:
A FROST PIECE – ST JAMES’S PARK.
It is a day of hard frost, about the middle of February, and the hour is near noon; in the country the air would be clear, with the exception of the few drifting snow-flakes which the east wind drives in fantastic courses ere they settle on the ground; but in London, though there is no fog, the smoke refuses to rise far above the level of the house-tops; and, congealed by the breath of winter, wraps every distant object in a semi-transparent curtain. We happen to be out for a ramble in the neighbourhood of Charing-cross, and gathering from certain unmistakeable indications, in the shape of new skates curiously crossed with virgin straps, and dangling from the hands of gentlemen about town, that the ice in St. James’s Park will bear, we take a short cut through Spring-gardens, and in a few minutes are standing upon the banks of the “ornamental water,” a spectator of the winter sport of the Londoner.