A Little Bit of Christmas Fun
As it’s Christmas time, here in the Historic UK office we have put our heads together and come up with a short Christmas story – with a nod to Charles Dickens!
Just for fun, see how many references to Historic UK articles you can pick out in our story. Leave your guesses in the comments box below.
“Bah Humbug!!” said Scrooge, as the acrid aftertaste of arsenic hit his taste buds. “Another bad batch of boiled sweets from Bradford”.
He was making his way roughly through the crowded streets of Victorian London, pushing aside ragged children and starving dogs as he hurried home through the sleet and gathering twilight.
Turning into Drury Lane he could hear merry laughter coming from inside the White Hart tavern in this seedy part of town. Feeling a little thirsty now, he turned inside, banging the snow from his wellington boots and ignoring the advances from good-time-girls Moll Maggot and Edgworth Bess in the doorway.
“A wee dram of uisge beatha, please landlord” demanded Scrouge at the bar of the pub. ” Sorry sir” the landlord replied, “We don’t have any whisky. All we have is mother’s ruin, beer and cider. And if you’re hungry, I can recommend our famous homemade Cornish pasties.”
As he sipped his pint of Herefordshire cider he glanced around the room. Dimly lit by candles and with a roaring fire in the inglenook, the ragged clientele gently steamed in the warmth of the room. Buxom wenches served tankards of ale and joked with the customers, whilst in the corner a group of pearly kings and queens were singing lustily.
He was suddenly rudely interrupted. “‘Scuse me sir, can I interest you in a Christmas gift for your young lady? She’ll love it – I call it a cracker because it goes ‘bang’ when you pull it”.
“On your way sir, I have no need of such frivolities!” retorted Scrooge bad temperedly. Getting to his feet he downed the last few drops from his glass and ventured back outside into the snow.
“There are dangerous men out and about in London, preying on ladies of the night like yourselves you know” he warned the two women who were still soliciting in the doorway. “Oh we’re ok sir, we ain’t scared of no Spring Heeled Jack or Jack the Ripper, the Peelers will take care of ’em,” Moll and Bess replied.
Taking a short cut down Farting Lane he was met by a group of carol singers, softly illuminated by the golden glow of a sewage lamp.
“Bah humbug!” he thought to himself again, “Christmas! Everyone is so happy, the world has gone mad. All these festivities! Don’t people realise you can die from overeating or drinking too much cordial water and end up dead as a door nail in Highgate Cemetery. Christmas trees, stockings, carols, Christmas cards and Santa Claus – whoever invented a Christmas like this?”
How many references to Historic UK articles can you pick out? Leave your guesses in the comments below!