I’ve been enjoying an old book I got for my birthday last week. It’s Ward Lock & Co’s London Illustrated Guide Book, dated from World War II. I’m learning lots of new things. For instance, how to dress in London:
DRESS – Visitors from abroad desirous of doing in London as Londoners do may welcome a hint or two under this head, though great latitude is allowed, and all varieties of costume may be seen in the streets. For formal calls and social events of importance a black morning coat and silk hat are de rigueur, but City and business men are usually content with lounge suits, and soft felt hats and “bowlers” are generally worn. Evening dress is usual when dining at high-class restaurants, and is compulsory for those who desire to dance (this does not, of course, apply to dance teas). At theatres, evening dress is nearly always worn in the boxes and stalls, and generally in the dress circle.
And I couldn’t believe it when I read this paragraph:
POLICE – Although a large proportion of the offenses committed in the United Kingdom take place within the borders of London, a comparatively small number of policemen is found sufficient to protect its inhabitants from the Ishmaelites whose hands are against every man.
And I’m only to page 33. Fascinating stuff and a good reminder of how much the world has changed in a relatively short time.