Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The last week of January.

Hello all...
I've been noticing your habits change this week and I'm guessing it's because it's the famous last week of January blues and money is running thin..until pay day...which is soon although I'm never sure, I get paid in milk and seed sandwiches everyday so I guess every day is pay day...sort of ! anyhow, back in the old days, gin was cheap enough to keep you going through tough times...

Being a pigeon I don't get to drink much gin but apparently Londoners in the 1700's drank more gin than they did beer!

The gin of the 18th century was very different from today.Originally a Dutch import,(Madame Geneva) it was very lethal and cheap and for a penny a dram you could get very drunk very quick.

London's gin craze was helped along by the government removing distillation regualtions, to the extent that one in 5 households was making and selling gin!

Well,one thing led to another and by the 1720's London town was spinning out of control.The economy relied on the hard work of the poor, who were now drunk most of the time,sloshed on the doorstep of a gin shop! Who wouldn't be?

In came the first gin act...1729, increasing tax on gin...then another gin act of 1736...increasing the tax to 20 shiilings per gallon...getting pricey this stuff...good old Londoners rioted in 1743 and the tax was reduced...this didn't last long..
In 1751 yet another gin act came in..(is this starting to sound familiar?) and massive restrictions were imposed....William Hogarth's etching of Gin Lane depicts the decay of London during this time.

So many gin acts later, times can be tough in London, sometimes, but Friday is coming...maybe celebrate with a nice large gin!

I would!

G'night all

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

London Peculiar old london fact!

Apparently on this day in 1569 Britain got it's first state lottery! I rarely do the lottery, being a pigeon and all, but you can get tickets from most places these days, but in 1569 you had to go to St Pauls Cathedral to make your strange..
I wonder what the prize was...20 groats, or goats,? who knows...does anyone know?

Must fly (!) I like to meet Eric on Nelson's hat for a beak wag before bedtime.
Goodnight all


Saturday, 8 January 2011

London Peculiar HQ

Hello again...

I'm in my coop at LPHQ today...the weather here in town is too wet and it does tend to make your wings a bit heavy to fly, so I thought I'd stay indoors.
I did sit in a tree in Soho Square for a bit.I like Soho Square, its been here since the 1600's and was originally called Fryth Square, then Kings Square, probably because it is home to a statue of and King Chalres II.The square used to be mainly residential.It must have been quite posh! but in the 1800's more business moved into the area...including Cross and Blackwell factory.

Anyhow, I hope the weather improves a bit tomorrow, I know we have a micro climate here in town but it's still a bit cold for us pigeons!

Good day all

Sunday, 2 January 2011

My first Pepys

Hello London , and the world, if you can see me!

This is my very first blog so forgive my novice like approach! plus my claws keep slipping off the keys!

Let me introduce myself :
My name is Pepys and yes I am a pigeon. I live in Central London and about six months ago met the lovely people at London Peculiar.
They are a nice bunch of people and since I've been visiting them in their workshop in Soho,they've been showing me all sorts of fancy stuff they've collected from's amazing and some of it is really old too.They have a shop, (online I think they call it )..where they sell it to nice folk who appreciate historic London things..

Anyhow, after meeting them ,one thing led to another and after lots of tea, bread and some strange seeds (didn't like them at all) we are super friends now and I try keep my eyes open for stuff for their shop. They've set me up with a little coop, free of charge in exchange for my work on the blog and keeping them updated with London stuff.
I  keep an eye on what's going on in London town and hope to keep you up to speed with any new things that are happening round here.

London is truly a wonderful city. I'm very lucky that I can spend the day flying around looking at the sites and seeing whats going on and perching on buildings watching the world go by and the like...which reminds me, I'm sorry to the lady in the red coat on the South Bank last Tuesday, I really am quite ashamed about what I did and I didn't mean to hit you...Sorry!

So, now I have set us this blog for London Peculiar, I'll be transmitting (is that what its called?) regularly to keep you informed about all that is London and London Peculiar.
I'll sign off now, from my window I can see the London eye and I fancy a little spin before bedtime.

warm wishes,

A first for the new year, the first london minted coin

This isn't the prettiest thing in the world, but wow, this is one of the first London minted coins. Minted in London, by the Romans. It just looks like a small lump of bronze, but I think I would too if I was 1710 years old.

About the size of a modern 5 pence piece, for me this is a fantastic piece of London history. It took some time hunting it down I must say. It makes me wonder about who bought what with it all those years ago, and how London looked back then... just a river, a bridge and dwellings around the Thames, later to spread and spread and become the sprawling mass it is today.

I imagine this coin must have seen some action, if only it could talk!