Four Meals for Fourpence by Grace Foakes
We lived in Wapping High Steet. Now 'High Street' today sualy means a street where there are shops of all kinds, but our High Street had very few shops. It stretched from one end of Wapping to the other, with the dock bridges in between. On each side were wharves and warehouses. The roads were made of cobblestones, with a narrow path on one side only. All traffic was pulled by horses for there were no motor cars. The drivers of these horses had great whips, with which they beat them to encourage them to pull faster. Sometimes two horses would be harnessed to one cart if the load was heavy. In winter the roads would be in a very slippery state and sometimes the poor creatures would stumble and fall. Then the driver would dismount and whip them until they struggled to their feet again. This was very cruel, for in most cases the load was far too heavy. My sister and I would watch while this went on. It was an everyday sight and nobody seemed to care, but we would hold hands and cry in sympathy for the poor creatures.