|Old Newspaper Throws a Light on Victorian Putney|
Rent a terraced house for ten shillings a week and learn to play the banjo
Life time Putney man, Derek Wood discovered a Wandsworth Borough News from August 1974 where it devoted a page to what was in the paper in October 1893.
It shows what was of interest to Putney dwellers from those Victorian times.
The front and back pages were ads. Tobacconist Mr Jehu of 114 High Street advertised his brands which included Melachrino, Pride of Egypt, Mahomet, Crescent City, Richmond Gems, Duke’ Straightcuts and Ottrode Rose.
The White Lion had a large room for public meetings which was used by the Royal Commemoration and Earl Spencer Masonic Lodges; The Cromwell Music Society; Putney Rowing Club; Putney Cycling Club and the Albion Male Voice Club. The pub also offered “magnificent American bowling saloons”.
Elsewhere gin was offered at 12 shillings and brandy at £1 a gallon, ale was four old pence a pint and coal twenty five shillings a ton.
Madame Portia of Grand Parade, Putney offered to make ball gowns for ladies at 2.5 guineas; only 18/6 if the customer supplied her own material.
Mr Stevens on the High Street sold ventilators which he claimed would cure a house of “ consumption”.
John Sangers Royal Circus, Hippodrome and Menagerie was at the Half Moon Fields but only for one day.
Lots of men offered to reach the art of playing the banjo which was considered a vital part of the art of courtship.
The (local) news was dominated by court cases many for assault and wife beating was high on the list. A cab driver who didn’t clean his cab after taking a child to hospital with diphtheria was fined five shillings. A lady described as a laundress was arrested for the fiftieth time for being drunk and disorderly and had kicked in the windows of the Putney police station.
In the Jobs Vacant section a house on Oakhill Road had a vacancy for a housekeeper where the wages were “£14 a year and beer”. London Rowing Club was looking for a “respectable young woman”. There was a lot of demand for “strong lads”.
Lots of houses for let ,a terrace cost 10 shillings a week, and among the miscellaneous small ads were bicycles, pianos and ponies for sale. As well three nanny goats and a “single Brougham to suit medical men” were on the market.
October 8, 2021