Cromwell Street in on the way to London and Victoria , I stopped and took pictures of a side street lined with sunlit townhouses. The repetition of the building styles combined with the sunlight was quite a sight. Albert Museum
Just as I was putting my camera away, a gentleman down on his luck, came up and started talking to me. My first reaction, I’m sorry to say was, “I don’t have any money to give him.” Instead I answered his first question, “Where are you from?” and listened to a very interesting piece of history.
“You can always tell that particular architect by the style of his decorative detail. The layout of each house was designed the same. The first floor was for welcoming guests and entertaining; the second and third floor was for the family; and the fourth was for the servants.” He continued with the social atmosphere of the time and how today some of those same issues remain. Today of course, all those lovely homes are “flats” or apartments.
Standing on the street, appreciating this man’s knowledge and ability to share it, made me wonder how many of us could or would do the same in our town. When this retired lawyer finished his discussion and told us to enjoy the rest of our day, I no longer cared about the dirty paint splattered clothes and glasses, the shuffle, or general unkempt appearance. I had acquired an enlightened sense of history and the photograph I took would be more than just a pretty street scene.