Friday, 2 November 2012

Bumble Was A Beadle

I was much surprised to discover that Britain still has some remnants of the 'private police forces' that were set up just prior to the formation of the first London and national police forces in the Victorian era ... there are actually several of these forces of which perhaps the most famous are the 'Burlington Arcade Beadles' who still patrol this exclusive shopping mall in their traditional uniforms including top hats and frock-coats.

Founded in 1819 by Lord Cavendish from his family regiment the 10th Hussars, they pre-date the Metropolitan Police Force by some 10 years, and are believed to be the worlds smallest private police force in existence. Their original aim was to enforce Lord Cavendish's code of behaviour in the shopping mall,and to keep the 'Hoi Polloi and general Riff Raff' out of the place, while assisting the 'gentry' in shopping safely.

Burlington Arcade Beadles

The 18th Century livery in dark blue, claret and silver, is a reflection of Lord George Cavendish's regiment uniforms, and is still provided by the livery tailor's at Henry Poole, which was founded in 1806 ... tradition within history.

History's a funny old thing, sometimes its hard to eradicate its footprints, and echoes of a different age can still be heard if only we stop and listen.

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