Living London

Do you know of the 3 volume work Living London; its work and its play, its humour and its pathos, its sights and its scenes; by Sims, George Robert, 1847-1922? As it was published in 1902 – 1903 it’s a resource worth knowing if you’d like a view of the place and times.

Each volume has nearly 60 chapters with copious illustrations. Do you want to know about football, rugby, cricket or athletics? There are chapters on those. Others include London Awakes, Marrying London, Russia in East London, Sweated London, Trial at the Old Bailey, Artistic London, Christmas London. It goes on.

This extract from the start of the chapter on the Thames Police gives an idea of the style.

A dark narrow flagged passage between two waterside buildings in a dingy East-End street, with a solitary figure in uniform stationed beneath the rays of the blue lamp at the entrance : on one of the flanking walls a long array of placards, of which the headline ” DEAD BODY FOUND ” is alone discernible : and beyond, a vague, blurred vista of the great river, its darkness studded with the glow-worm lights of the shipping and its distant wharves silhouetted against the night sky. Such is the sombre and striking picture presented after dusk by the headquarters of the Thames Police at Wapping ; a scene that haunts the memory, and seems fitly to symbolise much in the lifework and the associations of the river force.

Access the volumes in various formats from

It’s free, even better value than the original 7d price.


3 Replies to “Living London”

  1. Thank you John. I have lived and worked in London area for most of my life, as did many of my ancestors, so, it’s wonderful resource

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