Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oysters return to London

Originally uploaded by LoopZilla

Oysters are now back in the River Thames.
Pay as you Oystercards will be available on the river boat services in 2009.
It the time of Dickens, oysters used to be plentiful in River Thames ...

In the early nineteenth century, oysters were very cheap and were mainly eaten by the working classes
The discarded shells feature in a description of
Jacob's Island in Bermondsey in 1849.

"The water was covered with scum almost like a cobweb, and prismatic with grease. In it floated large masses of rotting weed, and against the posts of the bridges were swollen carcases of dead animals, ready to burst with the gases of putrefaction. Along its shores were heaps of indescribable filth, the phosphoretted smell from which told you of the rotting fish there, while the oyster-shells were like pieces of slate from their coating of filth and mud. In some parts the fluid was as red as blood from the colouring matter that poured into it from the reeking leather dressers’ close by."

Much has changed, much has remained the same...