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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Period Drama and Vintage Carriage Traffic in London

I watched the last episode in series one of Downton Abbey on Sunday.  This is British period drama at its finest and series two cannot come soon enough for me. If you missed it, here is a link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/index.html

On a modeling assignment in London, circa 1990.  A friend calls this photo, "Wherefore art thou, Mr. Darcy?"

 Feeling a little homesick for my surrogate city, London, I trawled through some vintage footage from the British Film Institute and found these street scenes shot over 100 years ago.  I was shocked to see double decker buses pulled by a team of horses.  I spent a lot of time on double decker buses during my time in London, but was completely unaware that they were originally pulled by just two horses.

It seems the adverts that cover every available inch of public transport is not a new idea by Madmen.  Think how little has changed in 100 years- Nestle chocolate, Lipton tea, and what has: Kodak.  Traffic hasn't got much worse, either, and only a little bit faster. Traffic in present day London moves at about 11 mph along the same routes in the vintage footage: the Strand, Pall Mall, and Hyde Park Corner.

In addition to the double decker buses, handsome cabs, drays and commercial vehicles, I think I spotted quite a few broughams, a demi-mail phaeton, an omnibus and a park phaeton.  Then, of course there was the single motor car.  Driving a car in London is difficult enough, but I don't know if I would have had the mettle to handle a team in that turn of the century congestion.  Methinks, I'd have wanted a coachman.  And an Earl with an estate...just like Downton Abbey.


Kind Regards,
Michelle Blackler
Serendipity is an Accidental Sagacity Corporation company.