Would you Adam & Eve it? Overnight the number of visitors to this journal has hit the 50,000 mark. I have to admit, it’s a bit humbling, for in model making terms, never before has so much been written with so little to show for it, and I can only assume that it’s the historical aspect to the journal over the last two and a half years has proved to be popular, but I want to redress the balance to a 50/50 split between historical witterings and modelling progress reports over the next 12 months. Stop laughing over there in Cambodia.
The ability to see which country readers are in has only been available to me for the last four months, and perhaps not surprisingly visitors from the UK account for more than 8/10ths of visitors, with the USA and Australia in second and third place respectively.
Of course there are many dropping in through various search engines – Google, not surprisingly leading the pack, and I suspect image searches or unrelated terms picking up some obscure factoid in the journal accounts for some of the more exotic locations such as Vietnam appearing in my daily reports (or maybe someone from Ho Chi Minh City really is interested in a Victorian knocker-up!).
However, referrals from specific sites, whether through links I’ve created, or those made by website owners who have a genuine interest in what’s written here also account for a large proportion of visitors. Andy York’s RMWeb forum leads the way by a considerable margin (and I’ve recently set up an RSS feed to a mirror of this blog over there), with Steve Fulljames’ Fairlight Works blog, Cynric Williams’ Western Thunder forum, James Wells’ Eastmoor Blog, several threads on London Reconnections (thanks Lemmo!) and Paul Marshal Potter’s Albion Yard all sending a considerable footfall this way. Thanks chaps!
Some referrals cause a sharp intake of breath, or a smirk, and some pure bewilderment such as the recent ones from the infectionvaginalyeast blog… I’ll omit the link to that last one and leave you to find it yourself if you really have a need to find out more.
A couple of weeks ago, with his eye on the stats, Graham asked what was I planning to do to mark the occasion, and I replied that a celebratory old photograph was the obvious choice, but of what?
A pie and mash shop? Too Beckham…
A pub? Too Cameron…
A Royal Jubilee? Too Will.i.am…
After a long search it turns out that excepting the aforementioned Royal Jubilees of 1887 and 1897 and annual ecclesiastical celebrations, very little merrymaking en masse seems to have gone recorded by camera and emulsion, and it wasn’t until the Peace Parties of 1919 photographs that street revelries seem to have become more common.
You might expect that the hard life of the average East Ender of the late Victorian and early Edwardian period gave them little little reason for conviviality. Not so, it seems, as given half a chance and a little music, folk were more than inclined to cast off the burden of everyday woe and dance a cheerful jig, and there are plenty of contemporary photographs to prove it. Indeed, the work and play of the East End inhabitants became quite a popular subject for contemporary postcards.
And so here is a perfect example; the photo was probably taken during the mid-Edwardian period and turned into a postcard by J. Beagles & Co circa 1910. It is entitled ‘The Piano Organ’ and shows that that the arrival of the organ player and his repertoire of jolly tunes to a typical East End street is all the excuse needed for the locals to have a bit of a knees-up.
Thanks for reading!