Jan. Dandelions were always known as 'wet-the-beds' although we weren't usualy so polite and they were more often refered to as 'p*** the beds.'
Esther. I don't know when the sand was first put on the beach at Tower Hill, But it was most definitely there in the fifties. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, it was known as 'the poor man's Southend.'
I remember the small strip of sand chalkey right near the bridge i think..I shall now refer to my previous posting of wet-the-beds as mum would have walloped us as piss would have been a punishable offence!
Hi Chalkey - I remember the escapologist at Tower Hill, too. My memory is that while he was in his sack wrapped up in tightly in chains and padlocks, big swords pushed along the length of the sack underneath the chain-links, he'd have his masked assistant roaming around him cracking a whip (it kept us spectators well out of the way),and collecting money while he rolled and writhed around in his sack to make his escape.
I regularly used to watch this as a boy and was fascinated - a flavour of the the dark history of that part of London (almost a kind of throwback to it) was, I suspect, what made it so memorable to me, a 'taste of those times' that I still recollect vividly some 50+ years later.
It ain't like that around Tower Hill any more, is it? (My, how times have changed...)
Do you - does anybody out there? - know anything about this escapologist and his assistant? Names, personal histories, anything like that? Their act at Tower Bridge (did they perform anywhere else at all?) certainly imprinted the memory of it on me, you, and I suspect, many others.
I can't add any more info re the escapologtist, but Tower Hill was a regualr summer Sunday day out for me as a kid back then. I remember I used to also sit on the cannons facing out over the Thames. So long since I was there, (over thirty years,) so don't know if the cannons are still there. Don't see why they shouldn't be. I do hear that they now have a lady Beefeater there. Whoops! Sorry, 'Yeoman of the guard.'
I'm all for equality, but if it's a woman, how can she be a Yeo-MAN of the guard? Have they got a new title for the now mixed company?
Interesting article, Tom, but it does bring back the memory of when my youngest daughter picked a dandelion head for the first time and took a deep breath in readyness for blowing the seeds and got a lungful. Lesson learned.
Interesting too reading the comparison of the nutritional value of dandelions compared to spinach. Don't know if it's factual, but I did hear once that although spinach is very high in iron content, our bodies cannot release it during digestion. So it's only value is as a green vegetable and not a rich source of iron. Sorry Popyey.