Here is The Eagle.
This is a very old pub, located at a significant junction on City Road.
In the picture above, the alley on the right of the pub is called “Shepherdess Place”. It leads to a police car park, and several office blocks. I went down there to draw a picture of The Eagle from the other side.
The Eagle is mentioned in the nursery rhyme. We used to sing it as children without the least idea what it meant.
Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle That's the way the money goes Pop goes the weasel
Up and down the City Road
In and out the Eagle
That's the way the money goes
Pop goes the weasel
This needs translation. I don’t know what the reference to “tuppenny rice” means. It could simply mean “rice” of course, but given that the rest of the song is in rhyming slang, I wonder what ‘Tuppenny rice’ might mean. Tuppenny is “two pence worth”. That would be old pennies, of course, pre-decimal.
“Treacle” is rhyming slang: “Treacle tart”. Hence “treacle” is an affectionate term for “woman”, or perhaps “female sex-worker”. I have been called “treacle” by the market traders where I used to live. It was a friendly kind of a word. “Weasel” is rhyming slang: “Weasel and stoat”, hence “coat”.
So my translation is:
A little bit for food, A little bit for the lady-friend Then I don't have any money left So I pawn my overcoat
Having visited the [betting?] shops on the City Road and partaken of refreshment in the Eagle I don't have any money left So I pawn my overcoat
The Eagle was not just a pub. It was also a theatre. I wonder if the huge pitched roof I have drawn (top right in the second picture) covers a large hall. According to a plaque on the outside (pictured)
The Eagle Tavern, Grecian Theatre Pleasure Grounds, Grecian Saloon and Olympic Theatre, stood here 1825-1899. Here Marie Lloyd, music hall artiste, made her first public performance in 1885.
I wonder what “Grecian” meant in this context?
Here are some pictures of work in progress.
This junction is changing rapidly. The empty site on the other side of the road, an old bomb-site, now has construction vehicles in action. I took some photos just for the record, and found out a bit more about the site. See the page on this link if you are interested, and please comment if you know more.
Here are some other drawings I have done in the area:
This is at the junction of Shepherdess Walk and the City Road. Just off the picture to the left is the Eagle pub. Both the Eagle pub and the narrow building I’ve drawn are remarkably dilapidated, given their location in a trendy part of town, right near Old Street Roundabout. I feel their existences are … Continue reading “Shepherdess Walk at City Road”
Gambia House constructed 1968, 20 stories, 115 flats. Owned and managed by Islington. Planning proposal for external cladding, 18 Sept 2014. Eagle Dwelling 212 City Road, on the left of the picture, is a “specialist supported housing scheme for single homeless people who may also have additional complex needs”. It seems to be owned and managed … Continue reading “Gambia House from Shepherdess walk”
This is the view looking West from the junction of Nile St and East St, in the borough of Hackney, London N1. I was leaning against a wall on a wide pavement, on the corner. I judged that I was easy to avoid there, and social distance could easily be maintained. In fact, there were … Continue reading “Courage on Nile St N1”