More from Jack Dykstra
Button’s Coffee House: a new way to socialise (coffee trail 3)
Home to London’s wits, Button’s Coffee House held a vision for a new way to socialise and the improvement of society via the ideal coffeehouse. To achieve it, they enlisted the help of a lion to root out the city’s misdemeanours.
The Jamaica Wine House: the arrival of coffee (coffee trail 1)
The story of how coffee of arrived in London, not from Italy or America, but from the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth century. It tasted bitter, but also of Islam and the East. This is how England learnt to love the ‘wine of Islam’ and the ‘Vertue[s] of the Coffee Drink’.
Lloyd’s Coffee House: maritime insurance and the slave trade (coffee trail 5)
As the fountainhead of maritime insurance Lloyd’s is the most famous coffeehouse. Its story is emblematic of the rise and fall of London’s coffeehouses: part of their meteoric rise was the appeal of auctions; their fall came when these public spaces turned private. Exploring Lloyd’s also reveals the coffeehouse’s deep links to the slave trade, from auctions and escaped enslaved Africans to the insuring of slave ships and their human cargo.
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Horrors of the Battersea Funfair
In the 1950s Battersea Park opened it’s own Funfair, and once it did the horror filmmakers came running. Horror films – including “The Mutations” starring Donald Pleasance and “Gorgo” London’s 1969 answer to Godzilla – used the bright lights of the funfair to contrast with dark stories, that is until the Battersea funfair had a real-life horror of its own.