Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Underneath the Arches

So here's more from the Archives. My first event with alternative nightlife meetup was Leyshon Brothers. This was a pop up Victorian experience in a railway arch near London Bridge. There was great secrecy surrounding the location and a secret password . Anyway there I was at London Bridgestation with a bit of paper with a map on for the pub we were to meet in and a slight perturbation not knowing quite what to expect.. So after a slightly longer wander than expected, I located the pub . It was a smallish pub with tables round the outside outside of a square central bar  and desperately racking my brain to remember what my fellow attendees looked like. A task complicated slightly by the fancy dress birthday party that was occurring on the first floor . Although I have to admit  Spiderman doesn't look very Victorian. Although there is probably a steam punk version out there.

After a couple of drinks we set off for the secret location. Although the long queue of Victorian themed people at a scruffy set of green painted wooden doors kind of gave it away.

A quick note on period fancy dress for the beginner. Not wanting to spend too much I opted for a pair of braces over a white shirt and dark trousers . Now for those on a budget this can get you from Victorian Times to at least the 1950's by adding braces to items you already have in your wardrobe..

Now we stepped back in time to Victorian Times. Our first stop was the gin palace where a chatty / flirty to the ladies italian barman made us a gin cocktail. After this libation we wandered along a tunnel  past some Victorian style games of chance / fair ground slideshow type things.

At the top of the tunnel l was a I suppose morecworking class  Victorian pub. At least the drinks were sold in metal mugs.

There was a fortune teller but she was doing such a thorough reading that the queue was very long.

There was another slightly classier pub with attached music hall.

We  we're on the second sitting for the show.  The entertainment ranged from zither playing to a strongman act . Including a stripping magician, of the male variety.

As my first experience of alternative london it was mixed. I'd met some nice and interesting people. It was great to see a lot of effort put into costumes, it was an unusual use of a brown field site. Unfortunately the last one as the railway was reclaiming the land.

There could have been more to do, especially as it was the last one. Maybe more happened after I left. As I had to dash up the northern line. It was fun but I'm not sure I'd have gone back if it had been an option.

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