Friday, 25 January 2013

Thames Frost Fairs

"1788/89

With the temperature within the city of London recorded as 11 degrees below freezing as early as the 25th November, throughout December and January fairs were held on the ice in London from Putney Bridge to Rotherhithe, a greater area than previously recorded.  Various amusements included turnabouts, puppet-shows, bear-baiting and a travelling menagerie of animals.  On one booth a sign was was raised :
'This booth to let.  The present possessor of the property is Mr. J. Frost.  His affairs however not being on a permanent footing a dissolution or bankruptcy may soon be expected and the final settlement of the whole entrusted to Mr. Thaw'.

Printing presses were installed and from one came the following verse:
The silver Thames was frozen o'er
No difference 'twixt the stream and shore,
The like no Man had seen before
Except he lived in days of yore. "

Frosts, Freezes and Fairs  Ian Currie


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