x1 Language Paper 2 – Letter to the Times newspaper, 1842

In the 19th century one popular children’s game was to roll a hoop with a stick. However this game wasn’t without dangers as this letter published in The Times newspaper on 1st October 1842 illustrates.


Sir, I have not for many years read a paragraph in The Times which has afforded me The-Timesgreater pleasure than that which heads your “Police” report of this day, conveying Mr. Hardwick’s just complaint of, and directions to Inspector Baker, on the hoop nuisance.

As a daily passenger along the crowded thoroughfares of London- bridge and Thames-street, where boys and even girls, drive their hoops as deliberately as if upon a clear and open common, I can bear witness to its danger and inconvenience. I have at this moment a large scar on one of my shins, the legacy of a severe wound, which festered, and was very painful for an entire month, inflicted a year ago by the iron hoop of a whey-faced, cadaverous charity-boy from Tower-hill, who on my remonstrating with him on his carelessness, added impudence to the injury, by significantly advancing his extended fingers and thumb to his nose and scampering off.hoops

Aware that I had no redress, that the police would not interfere, I was compelled to grin and bear it while I hobbled away. The nuisance calls loudly for the interference of the Police Commissioners.

Your daily reader,



whey-faced pale

cadaverous corpselike

charity-boy a boy who attends a charity school for the very poor