Saturday, 9 August 2008

Bootscrapers

Bootscrapers are one of those items of street furniture that are now pretty much redundant. Can you recall the last time you felt the urge to remove the accumulate sludge from your own shoe arches? I suppose at a time of poor drainage, cobbled streets and a multitude of horses then it might have been a good move to at least make the effort to remove any obvious aromatic lumps before visiting a customer, Bank Manager or church. Now days though they have either been filled in, removed or just left to rot as there's not many alternative uses around (although one newsagent has made a valient effort!)

Parsons Green, Fulham

The villas to the east of the green have their date of construction recorded above the door (1770's seem to be the average). This is the only one to retain a scraper by the front gate though.
Off Regent Street, London
I spotted this plain but intact scraper in one of the small streets behind Regent Street. The scraper itself has been adapted into a chaining point for the newsagent to prevent his board being stolen or blown away.
Wimbledon Broadway SW19
Solid, robust and devoid of any Fancy-Dan trimmings, this is one of a pair outside a local Catholic ChurchChurch
Wimbledon Village, SW19
My limited knowledge of bootscrapers doesn't stop me from recognising one of the most common decorative features - the head of a Medieval King at the top of the arch. Why this should be the case I've no idea but the head is about the best preserved feature of this sadly decayed scraper
Wimbledon Village, SW19
This example is situated outside a very impressive looking bank and has the simplicity and authority of a great Victorian institution
Clapham Common, Old Town
This one has the look of a home-made effort, although I'm sure it's not. I wonder who swept the scrapings out at the end of the week?
Upper Richmond Road, Putney SW15
The whole scraper is quietly rusting away in this example. No-one can even be bothered to remove the scraper section which now lies unused on the floor.

2 comments:

Jane said...

you might be interested in this lot on Flickr...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/janepbr/sets/72157606632931055/
There are 29 members but only 5 of us have caught the bug (especially me!)
And I have written about them on my blog too:
http://janepbr.blogspot.com/search/label/bootscraper

Yelfy said...

Hi Jane
Lovely photos on your site (as always)and some really interesting designs. My 'patch' of South London tends to be mainly late Victorian suburban development so I rarely get to find the more exciting examples that you seem to have as standard. However I did take a series of bootscraper shots from Dartmouth and Totnes which I'll be posting soon. Not London but then once you've got the bug it's difficult to pass one by!