see also Henry Mayhew in London Labour and the London Poor - click here
see also Henry Mayhew in Letters to the Morning Chronicle - click here
see also Albert Smith in Sketches of London Life and Character - click here
see also George Sims in Living London - click here
... and in winter the certainty that we should be allowed to buy ready-roasted chestnuts to put in our pockets, first to warm our hands, and afterwards to eat in the schoolroom; or the chance of meeting the hot potato man, with his red-eyed portable oven and his fragrant store of potatoes. He never ceased to be surprised at our refusal of his butter and pepper additions, but despite that we preferred to keep the skins intact and to put in the necessary butter with what we knew was a clean knife at home. Does any celebrated artist buy hot potatoes and chestnuts in the street now for his children? I wonder: but I rather expect the children would object even if he did not, and would insist on being taken to one of the up-to-date Bond Street teashops instead.
Mrs. J.E. Panton, Leaves from a Life, 1908