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jellied eel establishments has disappeared, and instead I have drawn one almost identical
across the border in Islington. Eel-pie saloons appear to date from the turn of the century;
at least, the one I have drawn has ornamental glass windows of the period. The Camden
one had posters inside, stuck on the walls with the legend, 'Cups of tea, fresh-brewed,
2d.' I liked the fresh-brewed bit and the '2d' had a figure '2' about three feet high, almost
filling the poster. The eating-boxes (similar to the boxes in the chop-houses of Dickens's
time) are filled with large women accompanied by abnormally vigorous infants drinking
Tizer, lorry-drivers, and old, shuffling men with cloth caps. The menu includes hot meat
pies on thick plates or you can have pies with mash. This is served with a helping of a liv-
id pale green liquid of unearthly appearance, which stains the potato mash like verdigris.
The tiled walls are lined with mirrors and reflect the huge bottles of vinegar and outsize
salt cellars that repose on marble tables. Devouring eels is a solemn rite in all the working-
class districts of London, and assisting in these rites is a sad-faced man who appears from
the rear at intervals carrying an enamel bucket of the green liquid. He picks his way over
the sanded floor to deliver his cargo of fluid at the counter where the pies are dispensed. I
strongly recommend a visit to an eel-pie saloon for they are one of the few places where
the Edwardian working-class life of London survives unchanged; the only innovation is
the strip lighting in the ceiling.
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