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stalls of tinned fruit, wireless stalls. That almost obsolete form of transport, the horse and
cart, comes into its own in Douglas Way, and very nice these carts sometimes are, too, dec-
orated with curvy flourishes, fat roses, and carving, here and there. It is like the London of
Phil May, less vigorous, perhaps, but the jokes still have the special London quality. At the
end of the street are junk dealers' stalls - pitches only, many of them - a pile of miscel-
laneous goods laid out on the pavement, but the junk and marine store dealers appear to be
decreasing in numbers. Although I have made one or two finds in this market, including a
complete set of old kitchen jars for four shillings, straight off the pavement, the wares have
a dreary look about them. Battered suitcases minus a lock or a handle are nearly always
found. Victorian sewing machines, also hardy perennials, fail to arouse a desire for posses-
sion, and there are impossible beady lampshades left over from the 1920s. Great shapeless
masses of scrap iron erupt on the paving stones, together with decrepit television sets, old
clothes, ancestors with mutton-chop whiskers, and other articles whose specific purpose,
if they ever possessed such, can now only be guessed.
Deptford High Street is crossed by a rather interesting bridge, carrying the Greenwich
Railway. The bridge is supported on Doric columns of cast iron, and dates from the late
1830s. Saturday morning is the time to see the human element at its richest in Deptford,
and in the crowded High Street are all sorts of buskers and street entertainers whose pres-
ence gives additional character to the street: an organ grinder, perhaps, whose instrument
is more properly termed 'a street piano' (there is still one firm left hiring out the 'pianos'
in London, near Saffron Hill: look for the pictures of Edwardian beauties on the panels of
the organ), one-man bands, sellers of Old Moore's Almanack and so on. Today, a couple of
stocky, red-faced men take their stand under the railway bridge - one plays an accordion
and the other sings 'The Mountains of Mourne'. Appropriately, too, for Irish ideas are not
lacking in Deptford - witness the large pub charmingly named The Harp of Erin and here
today at the Catholic Church a gaudy Irish wedding takes place. As the bride and groom
assemble on the steps, they are joined by their families and friends, the women in pale blue
and the men in navy-blue suits. All wear large pink carnations, and the men's faces, each
creased in a wide grin, are all red from the application of yellow soap. Small boys, also
in blue suits and with even shinier faces, cross their legs uneasily, and the accordion plays
'The Meeting of the Waters'.
Off the High Street is one of the most remarkable streets in the East End of London,
Albury Street, with its extensive collection of doorways, one of which is drawn here . Both
sides of the street have a succession of early eighteenth-century houses of two or three
storeys. The architect is unknown, but almost identical houses occurred in Rotherhithe.
The comparison can no longer be made, as the latter have now been demolished, but this
similarity led me to think especially in view of the carving (foliage, cherubs' heads, and
whole cherubs) that these houses were the homes of ships' captains and officers of stand-
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