Esoteric London

No. 1187: Trinity Road, London, N22

Posted in Architectural, Entertainment, London Places, London Types by esotericlondon on April 13, 2015

©RogerDean_RED_8257 copy

Prince of Wales Pub, Trinity Road, London, N22. Photo ©RogerDean 2015

Odd People in Odd Places – James Greenwood, [1883]:

One of the most favourite sailors’ dance-rooms in the Highway is not a great distance from Ship Alley. It is upstairs, and, though the place is of considerable size, to economize valuable floor space the orchestra is accommodated in a kind of hanging pen against the wall. There are tables and chairs ranged all round the dancing space, and here, when disengaged, sit the ladies of the company. Many of them are so gorgeously arrayed one might well suppose that they intended to take part in some theatrical spectacular performance, and were waiting to be “called on.” Trains of brilliant velvet sweep the ground, spangles sparkle on their bodices; faces are pencilled, and ruddled, and powdered; and pearls and lace and feathers of the ostrich combine to build up a head-dress, such as seen on the head of a Fijian belle by the early explorers would have afforded subject matter for at least three pages of printed description. They are stage properties, in a manner of speaking. The plumed hats, the pink satin shoes, the sky-blue velvets and laces, even the earrings on their ears, and the rings on their fingers, are not the personal effects of those who are adorned in them. Should they be so rash as to suppose otherwise, but let them endeavour to dispose of one single article, and they will speedily find what will happen. They are borrowed, and at a handsome rate, too. They belong to the obliging landlady of the den where the wearer lodges.
Look round the dancing-room, and you will discover here and there a hawk-eyed hag occupying an unobtrusive seat at a table, and taking no part in the proceedings other than keeping a sharp look-out for the wearing apparel, &c., they have lent on hire. It is only for the evening the things are lent. To-morrow morning-any morning-the poor flaunting creatures who wear them, as the most approved and successful bait for Jack-fishing, will cut a very different figure. They may be found in dozens gin-drinking at the bars of the public houses of the neighbourhood, dirty, blear-eyed, and hideous after their last dissipation, wearing a draggle-tail ragged gown, and with a tattered old shawl cast hoodwise over their tangled tresses, while, in the place of the satin shoes, a pair of dilapidated old boots a cobbler would not undertake to mend.
But fine feathers make fine birds, and Jack does not see them until they have mounted their borrowed plumage.

2 Responses

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  1. said, on April 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Love this photo Doc! Prof

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