London has always been a hotbed for the seductive, saucy and down-right sordid. From the brothels of Roman Londinium and the stews of medieval Bankside to the Restoration Rakes and Soho’s swinging sixties, this city has long traded in the currency of sex. Erotic material – such as these relief tiles – was widely available in the 18th century, if one knew where to go and had the means with which to acquire it. Warning: explicit images in post! Read the full post
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
London Street Views 1840
New to London? Here for business or perhaps a little shopping? Looking for a specific building? These days we might use the internet or our smartphones to find the right places and navigate around the city, technology of which the Victorian visitor to London could only dream.
A few weeks ago I found myself surrounded by fascists. I was on my way to the West End when at Tower Hill station a large group of French-speaking men with assorted girlfriends and wives (I presume) entered my tube carriage.