Monday, March 11, 2013

Quintin Hogg

Memorial to Quintin Hogg by Sir George Frampton, 1906
Portland Place
London, October 2009

“My first effort was to get a couple of crossing-sweepers whom I picked up near Trafalgar Square, and offered to teach how to read. In those days the Thames Embankment did not exist, and the Adelphi Arches were open both to the tide and the street. With an empty beer bottle for a candlestick and a tallow candle for illumination, two crossing-sweepers as pupils, your humble servant as teacher, and a couple of Bibles as reading books, what grew into the Polytechnic was practically started. We had not been engaged in our reading very long when at the far end of the arch I noticed a twinkling light. ‘Kool ecilop,’ shouted one of the boys, at the same moment ‘doucing the glim’ and bolting with his companion, leaving me in the dark with my upset beer bottle and my douced candle, forming a spectacle which seemed to arouse suspicion on the part of our friend the policeman, whose light it was that had appeared in the distance. However, after scrutinizing me for some time by the light of his bull's-eye he moved on, leaving me in a state of mental perturbation as to what the mystic words I had heard hollered out meant, and to ask myself, what I, who a year before had been at Eton, was doing at that time of night under an Adelphi Arch? Afterwards, when I became proficient in 'back slang' I knew that ‘kool ecilop’ was ‘look (out for the) police’ spelled backwards, the last word being evidently the original of the contraction ‘slop’, a familiar nickname for the police of London today. Altogether I did not think my first effort a very successful one, and I cast about in my mind how I could learn the language of those boys, and ascertain their real wants and their ways of life.”
(The Founder, Quintin School History)

2 comments:

cieldequimper said...

I had never heard of him. Very nice statue.

Wim said...

He looks a bit like Lenin to me.