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ENGLAND
Samuel Pepys
Elizabeth I
London's Underworld
Fleet Marriages.
The Cries of London
Updated.




London, thou are the flower of cities all! Gemme of all joy, jasper of jocunditie

-- Anonymous 16th century



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The Omnibus Workers
Posted by Bill McCann on (762 Reads)
The horse-drawn omnibus had its heyday in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and provided the major form of Public Transport in London at that time. The men who drove the vehicles or collected the fare from passengers worked long hours in all weathers for a small wage. In 1877 Adolphe Smith and his collaborator, the photographer J Thomson, interviewed one of these stalwarts, Cast-iron Billy.



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The Last of the Thames Watermen
Posted by Bill McCann on (1054 Reads)
The watermen provided the earliest form of Public Transport in London. Their trade began its slow decline in the age of Elizabeth I when the hackney carriage first ventured onto the streets. However, they made it, just, into the age of Victoria. In 1877 Adolphe Smith and his photographer collaborator J Thomsonwent in search of those that were left. Unfortunately, what he found was not all as noble as he might have hoped.



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London Trams and Trolleybuses
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (2460 Reads)
The tram was first introduced into Britain by an American gentleman with the wonderful name of George Francis Train. Unfortunately, his trams rattled too many fashionable tea-cups and lasted no more than six months. They were revived ten years later, however, and became both fashionable and successful. Then came the electric trams. These were seen as highly glamorous and the transport to be seen in! But the motor bus and the Trolleybus were fast catching up on the inside lane. The old-fashioned, inefficient tram was abolished in the 1950s and the motor engine ruled the day. In 2001 the tram became the answer to all the ills of modern urban transport ... Confused? Read on....

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London Taxis
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (1126 Reads)
Hired transport in London goes back to before the 12th century when the Watermen plied their trade on the river. Horses for hire (Hackneys) were given a Royal Patent (which fixed their charges) in 1396. The Watermen roundly resisted. Queen Elizabeth I used a Hackney carriage and the antics of an unruly coachload of ladies in 1694 had an influence on London transport which far outlasted their lifetimes and fame! The motor cab arrived in 1904. The Hansom Cabbies roundly resisted. The familiar black cab of today is a direct result of the strict specifications laid down by the Metropolitan Police - but the colour is not! Hackney to Cab to Hansom to Growler to Taxi and the modern chatty Cabbie and The Knowledge is almost a complete history of London itself.

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Public Transport in London: Introduction to the Series
Posted by Anthony Waldstock on (2985 Reads)
Archaeology suggests that there were boats for hire from the early days of Roman London and there is no reason to doubt that this continued through the dark ages. Our first records of conveyances for hire come from the 12th century. Public transport in London has always been a hot issue. The watermen objected to the coming of the hackney cabs, the cabbies to the coming of the trams and buses and all to the coming of the motor vehicle and the railways. This series explores the development (and demise) of the various forms of public transport "enjoyed" by Londoners down to today's clashes over access charges and a dreadful commuter train system.

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