A Booth Walk in Deptford
Tuesday 29 October
The Vinyl Café, 4 Tanners Hill, Deptford, SE8
Introduction to Booth’s Life and Labour of the People of London 1902:
‘My first attempt was to enumerate the mass of the people of London in classes according to degrees of poverty or comfort and to indicate the conditions of life in each class. In connection with this attempt I mapped out the streets in colours and endeavoured to show by sample descriptions the kind of persons dwelling therein, their habits and the manner of their lives. My principal aim is confined to the descriptions of things as they are. I have not undertaken to investigate how they came to be so, nor except incidentally to indicate whither they are tending and only to a very limited extent, or very occasionally, has any comparison been made with the past. These points of view are deeply interesting and not to be ignored, but are beyond the scope of my own work.’
Booth’s Notes on Deptford 1899:
South along Watergate Street. Cattle Market wall on west side. Men used to be decoyed here and robbed. Faint foetid smell prevails, overpowered in places by disgusting stenches, Rough women; one with head bandaged; others with blank eyes; one old harridan sitting on a doorstep with a dirty clay pipe; shoeless children. Costers, street sellers, gutcleaners. ‘wherever there is beer here, they are, and the more the better’ was the Sergeant’s summing up of these people.
Deptford today is