25.8.31

On the night of the 25th I started off from Chelsea with about 14/- in hand, and went to Lew Levy’s kip[1] in Westminster Bridge Road. It is much the same as it was three years ago, except nearly all the beds are now a shilling instead of ninepence. This is owing to interference from the L.C.C. who have enacted (in the interest of hygiene, as usual) that beds in lodging houses be further apart. There is a whole string of laws of this type relating to lodging houses,* but there is not and never will be a law to say that beds must be reasonably comfortable. The net result of this law is that one’s bed is now three feet from the next instead of two feet, and threepence dearer.

*For instance, Dick’s café in Billingsgate. Dick’s was one of the few places where you could get a cup of tea for 1d, and there were fires there so that anyone who had a penny could warm himself for hours in the early mornings. Only this last week the L.C.C closed it on the ground that it was unhygienic.

[1] kip: originally a brothel; then a common lodging house (as here) and by extension, a bed: today a sleep. Peter Davison

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