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The Crawlers

Description

From 'Street Life in London', 1877, by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith: ?But old age, and want of proper food and rest, reduces them to a lethargic condition which can scarcely be preferable to death itself. It will be noticed that they are constantly dozing, and yet are never really asleep. Some of them are unable to lie down for days. They sit on the hard stone step of the workhouse, their heads reclining on the door, and here by old custom they are left undisturbed. Indeed, the policeman of this beat displays, I am told, much commiseration for these poor refugees, and in no way molests them. When it rains, the door offers a little shelter if the wind is in a favourable direction, but as a rule the women are soon drenched, and consequently experience all the tortures of ague and rheumatism in addition to their other ailments. Under such circumstances sound sleep is an unknown luxury, hence that drowsiness from which they are never thoroughly exempt. This peculiarity has earned them the nick-name of" dosses," derived from the verb to doze, by which they are sometimes recognized. The crawlers may truly be described as persons who sleep ?with one eye open.? For the full story, and other photographs and commentaries, follow this link and click through to the PDF file at the bottom of the description archives.lse.ac.uk/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&i...

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streetlifeinlondon | crawler | workhouse | shortsgardens | stgiles | london | oldlady | oldwoman | homeless | woman | baby | doorway | ageing

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The Cheap Fish of St-Giles

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From 'Street Life in London', 1877, by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith: "Awaiting the moment when the costermonger is able to procure a barrow of his own he must pay eighteen pence per week for the cost of hiring. Then he must beware of the police, who have a knack of confiscating these barrows, on the pretext that they obstruct the thoroughfare and of placing them in what is termed the Green Yard, where no less than a shilling per day is charged for the room the barrow is supposed to occupy. At the same time, its owner will probably be fined from half a crown to ten shillings so that altogether it is much safer to secure a good place in a crowded street market. In this respect, Joseph Carney, the costermonger, whose portrait is before the reader, has been most fortunate. He stands regularly in the street market that stretches between Seven Dials and what is called Five Dials, making his pitch by a well-known newsagent's, whose shop serves as a landmark. Like the majority of his class, he does not always sell fish, but only when the wind is propitious and it can be bought cheaply. On the day when the photograph was taken, he had succeeded in buying a barrel of five hundred fresh herrings for twenty five shillings. Out of these he selected about two hundred of the largest fish, which he sold at a penny each, while he disposed of the smaller herrings at a halfpenny. "Trade was brisk at that moment, though the fish is sometimes much cheaper. Indeed, I have seen fresh herrings sold at five a penny; and this is all the more fortunate, as notwithstanding the small cost, they are, with the exception of good salmon, about the most nutritious fish in the market." For the full story, and other photographs and commentaries, follow this link and click through to the PDF file at the bottom of the description archives.lse.ac.uk/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&i...

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streetlifeinlondon | fishmonger | stgiles | costermonger | sevendials | josephcarney | streetmarket | london | herrings

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An Old Clothes Shop, Seven Dials

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From 'Street Life in London', 1877, by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith. "The accompanying photograph represents a second-hand clothes shop in a narrow thoroughfare of St. Giles, appropriately called Lumber Court, where. several similar tradesmen are grouped together, all dealing in old clothes and furniture of a most varied and dilapidated description. It is here that the poorest inhabitants of a district, renowned for its poverty, both buy and sell their clothes." For the full story, and other photographs and commentaries, follow this link and click through to the PDF file at the bottom of the description archives.lse.ac.uk/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&i...

Subjects

streetlifeinlondon | sevendials | stgiles | lumbercourt | clothessellers | secondhand

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Thomas Giles

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This mug shot comes from a police identification book believed to be from the 1930s. It was originally found in a junk shop by a member of the public and subsequently donated to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums. No information is available to confirm which police force compiled it but evidence suggests it's from the Newcastle upon Tyne area. This image is part of the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums set Newcastle upon Tyne criminals of the 1930?s. Accession no. DX1190 (Copyright) We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you're unsure please email archives@twmuseums.org.uk

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criminal | portrait | id | crime | tynewear | blackwhite | crimeandinvestigation | britishpolice | character | theft | larceny | petty | dodgy | unsavoury | crook | felon | illegal | conviction | lawandorder | cops | robbers | scars | giles

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