Walk this way, please...
Posted by Bob Whitworth on August 17, 1998 at 12:09:06:
I thought this would be of interest to you all. It is from Joseph Ballard's "Reflections and Comments..on a Trip through Great Britain...1815."
"In walking the streets in the city a person must always keep upon the right-hand side or he will receive many a knock. The carriages always drive the reverse. There is always an immense number in the street, extending as far as the eye can reach, one line coming and another going, the side paths so full at the same time of foot passengers, that if one makes a full stop he stops fifty behind. As I came from the church I met a funeral. It was preceded by two mutes, with black staffs and bands, then a man bearing a board full of black ostrich feathers upon his head; after this the plumed hearse 'came a nodding on' followed by mourning coaches and mutes in bands and cloaks. There is always enough to attract a stranger's attention in the streets of London; persons with large labels pasted upon boards to inform you where are the best eating houses, or who always sells the highest prize, or some wonderful medicine that cures every disease. These fellows thrust small papers into your hand as you pass by. Any tradesman who has served the royal famile, even in the minutest articles, immediately becomes pastry-cook, &c. to his royal highness the prince regent, and by raising the royal arms elegantly carved and gilded over his door takes special care that none shall remain ignorant of his honor."
Further on Ballard states: "I will make an extract from an account of the numbers which are computed to pass over the respective bridges daily, viz;
Blackfriars Bridge: Foot passengers, 61,069; wagons, 533; carts & drays, 1,502; coaches, 990; gigs, 500; horses, 833.
London Bridge: Foot passengers, 89,640; wagons, 769; carts & drays, 2,924; gigs, 740; horses, 764."
Let's all remember this when we're stuck in traffic gridlock. Nothing ever changes.
- And even before then...... Caroline 14:25:59 8/17/98 (0)
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