Magazine article The Spectator

Now and Then

Magazine article The Spectator

Now and Then

Article excerpt

H.V. MORTON'S collection of essays The Heart of London was published in 1925. Here his London is compared with that of today:

Women - always women; and in such numbers, too, and in such remarkable variety... so gather the wedding fans, ready, if need be, to prod a policeman in the ribs with an umbrella in order to watch another woman walk through a wedding-ring into a home...

No eager audience awaits the brides emerging from Chelsea Town Hall's register office. The King's Road bustles with strangers, but they have been drawn by Habitat's sale, not the romance of a wedding. New brides are churned out at 20-minute intervals, all day long; no grand ceremony such as attracted the fans outside Morton's church.

Pink young men in morning clothes, white gardenias in their button-holes, fuss helplessly, asking each other whispered questions, pointing, hesitating, muddling. The next bridal party waits on the Chelsea pavement - and still the young men look uncomfortable in their morning suits. …

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