London 1978


Club window, Bride Lane, City, 1978
15m62: window, drinking club, club, Victorian

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I imagine from the window display that this club offered snooker as well as the Louis Kremer Champagne from Epernay. As champagne goes, Kremer is a relatively cheap house, though it dates from the mid nineteenth century, and now sells well in the supermarkets. Bride Lane is at the centre of the old Fleet St, next to the newspapermen's church of St Brides, the "Cathedral of Fleet Street", and a short walk from other drinking holes such as the Cheshire Cheese, still an interesting pub to visit and where I've attended a few dinners with old friends. Theyused to serve some of the finest roast beef I've tasted, but my last visit was a disappointment, and I've not returned.
Further down the alley is another link to the past, The St Bride Institute which includes the St Bride Library, which began life in 1895 as the library for the printing school and newpaper industry and contains a great collection related to typography and printing. Unfortunately since 2015 this is only open on a very limited basis.
I think that the window I photographed has no disappeared, and that the club is now the premises of the "City of London Distillery opened on 20th December 2012 inside Jonathan Clark’s cocktail bar."
I've never been a gin drinker, and it was a drink that caused much ruin in London, as Hogarth's 1751 'Gin Lane' illustrates, contrasting it with the much healthier and jolly 'Beer Street'.
And Wikipedia tells me Dickens said in his 'Sketches by Boz':
"Gin-drinking is a great vice in England, but wretchedness and dirt are a greater; and until you improve the homes of the poor, or persuade a half-famished wretch not to seek relief in the temporary oblivion of his own misery, with the pittance that, divided among his family, would furnish a morsel of bread for each, gin-shops will increase in number and splendour."