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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
17th August 1990 Actress Rachel Hurd-Wood was born in Streatham, London.
17th August 1968 Actress Helen McCrory was born in Paddington, London.
17th August 1798 Medical pioneer Thomas Hodgkin was born in Pentonville, London.
The Last Wherryman's Seat
This is the last surviving Wherryman's seat.
Location: Bankside, Southwark Bridge, Southwark
Description: Here, wedged into the wall of The Real Greek restaurant on Bankside is a peculiar stone tablet. It's at the top of Bear Gardens, and not far from Shakespeares Globe Theatre, and it's actually a seat.
According to shiny plaque above it, this is the last surviving example of the many boatmen's seats that once lined London's South Bank.
Avoiding tolls on the few bridges back then, wherrymen ferried passengers across the Thames and back again, in narrow water taxis called wherries. The 'wherrymen' waited on these rather slim rough stone benches while their passengers boarded.
This part of Southwark was similar to our present-day Soho, full of various many much unsaloubrious entertainment of the night. Bear baiting took place a hundred yards down this road.