View of Red Lion Street
View of Red Lion Street
119965
View of Red Lion Street
View of shops and houses in Red Lion Street, Wapping (now Reardon Path) at its junction with Tench, Watts and Reardon Streets, taken looking south.

In the left foreground is a barber’s shop, with a red and white striped pole. Next door is a house and next door to that is the Tee To Tum tea shop, which has a pavement café in front of it. There is something that looks like a statue of a bear by the doorway of the shop.

A teetotum was a kind of spinning dice with letters on it instead of numbers (the dreidel is a descendant of it) that was popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

In c1891 a Mr Buchanan had opened his Teetotum café in Shoreditch High Street and the shopkeeper in Red Lion Street seems to have copied the name. There may also be a pun on ‘teetotal’ as Webster’s Dictionary defines a teetotum as “a working men’s resort conducted under religious influences as a counteractant to the drinking saloon”.

There are several unidentifiable shops in the street. In the right-hand foreground there are several adverts pasted to the wall on both Red Lion Street and Tench Street. The one on Tench Street says “Great Progressive Vision” and under this “Cosling 1365 Smith 1350” and the names Foster and Wells are below this but the rest of the poster is illegible, as are all the posters on the Red Lion Street side of the building.

This corner building was demolished in 1904 or 1905 and Wapping Fire Station erected on the site. The fire station opened on 21 December 1905, closed in 1947 and is now the Wapping Youth Centre.

The rest of the row on the right is a mixture of shops and houses. Most of the houses have attic skylights for weavers.

There is a crowd of children looking at the photographer and behind the children is a horse and cart. The horse is eating from a nosebag. The children are dressed in their Sunday best and two of the girls are carrying babies.

A child or young woman is looking out of a top-floor window in the house between the barber’s and the Tee To Tum tea shop and there are several adults standing and sitting behind the children.

None of the buildings in the photo is in existence today as they have been replaced by the youth centre, blocks of flats and Wapping Gardens.
1904
London Metropolitan Archives
LCC Photograph Library
photograph
SC_PHL_01_397_70_632
2245
Exact
Subjects
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