Saturday, 22 February 2020


The always interesting Strange Company directs our attention to contemporary survey of the restaurants and public houses of Westminster that are still outfitted with the now sadly disappearing division bells (see previously) meant to recall members to Parliament to cast his or her vote.  These mechanical alarms, largely replaced by other forms of signals, are relics—usually maintained as marks of honour—from the rebuilding of the palace in 1834 after its devastating conflagration (see more), when kitchens and other provisioning sufficient for the entire chambers were not part of the rebuilding, and representatives were allowed to wander out during legislative sessions. Learn more at Spitalfield’s Life at the link above and even arrange getting a map of the establishments left with such a feature of democracy-in-action to recreate this gastronomic tour oneself.