Saturday, January 31, 2015

Quote London - Stockwell Watchmen

It seems north Londoners have always felt a little bit nervous of security arrangements south of the river - I was mildly amused to come across this diary entry by Joshua Wingate Weeks for 30 January 1779:
"When the service was finished I took a walk on the other side of the river into the country as far as Stockwell which is a small village about 4 miles from London ... Vauxhall Gardens are also here, which we passed by. We dined at Stockwell & returned home by another road. It was late in the evening & the lamps which extended from London  to this place were lighted & formed a most august and beautiful appearance. At small distances watchmen armed with musquets are placed to prevent mischief & detect robberies & they have bells placed in such a manner as to give notice to each other by ringing them if any thing remarkable occurs, by which means they could readily come to each others assistance & be upon their guard to prevent the escape of any suspected person."

The security state has had a long history!

(Quote from A London Year: 365 Days of City Life in Diaries, Journals and Letters, compiled by Travis Elborough & Nick Rennison. Published by Frances Lincoln, 2013)

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