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Happy Families

January 6, 2013
by the gentle author

On Twelfth Night, when we celebrate the Feast of Misrule on the last day of Christmas and all the decorations come down, I dug out these gleefully grotesque picture cards from an old parlour game to amuse you – and to celebrate the old trades and small family businesses which were once part of the East End. Happy Families – A Most Diverting Game for Juveniles, Beautifully Coloured & Made at the Spear Works, Enfield, England.

You may also like to take a look at

Victorian Tradesmen Scraps

More Victorian Trades Scraps

Cries of London Scraps

7 Responses leave one →
  1. julie permalink
    January 6, 2013

    Master Thread looks like Jimmy Carr.

  2. Steven Gillan permalink
    January 6, 2013

    The best of the new year to you and to all the the grand people and places you have introduced to me here, so far away in Los Angeles. Happy New Year.

    Yrs, Steven

  3. January 6, 2013

    Oh! I used to have a set very like that. I wonder what happened to it? Thanks for the memory…

  4. January 6, 2013

    Love them. Thank you.

  5. Hazel Parker permalink
    January 6, 2013

    I just love your emails. I use some as my inspiration to do Art Work ( I stitch the on the sewing machine and make wall pictures) especially the architecture, doorways/lamp posts etc .
    I’m going to try to do one of the cafes .

  6. Sara permalink
    January 6, 2013

    well, not exactly the romantic picture i have of local businesses, but nice to see nonetheless.

  7. January 7, 2013

    Thak you, Gentle Author, I enjoyed the game cards, a reminder that once times were a lot more tranquil (no video games).
    Back in the 1970’s I had the good luck to spend two years in London. As a Yank, I was often amazed how a word that meant one ting in the Us had a different meaning in the UK. In that vein, I find myself stumped by one of the families, the Sands. What is the correlation between sand and a grocery store?
    When I was a little girl, the butcher shops here in NY covered their floors with saw dust. Did grocers cover their floors with sand?

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