This is the first in a series of selected quotes from old Punch magazines, chosen by guest blogger and Punch enthusiast Katie Marriott. Katie has an eye for choosing the most interesting and entertaining ‘snippets’!
THE OLD CLOTHES LINE
The subjoined are portions of a letter which has appeared in a country paper:-
HASLEMERE.- TAKING A CHILD’S SHOES FOR A RAILWAY FARE.
To the Editor of the West Sussex Gazette.
Sir, – Upon coming to London by the 6.15 train from Portsmouth, on Sunday evening last, and when at Haslemere station, amid torrents of rain, a respectable mechanic got into the train, with a most delicate child of five years of age, who to our great surprise had his feet tied up in a white handkerchief. Upon our inquiring the cause, he informed us that he had travelled down that morning, having paid for the single journey, but not finding his friends, who had left the place, he was under the necessity of immediately returning to London. Not having sufficient money to pay the fare for himself and child back again, they at the Haslemere Station took the man’s waistcoat, which not being sufficient, they took the poor child’s new boots off his feet also… The man’s name is Johnson; he works at Mears’s factory, Blackwall, and lives in the parish of Bromley, Essex.
This pick of Punch appeared in the 5th November 1859 edition, with the quoted letter from the West Sussex Gazette dated 19th October 1859.