[This following text serves as an annotation to the author's "Mr Pooter: an Alternative Point of View."]

The Cow and Hedge is of course the Old Bull and Bush, still there on the slopes of the Hampstead Hills. In 1903, Florrie Ford popularised it in a music hall song:

Come, come, come and make eyes at me
Down at the Old Bull and Bush,
Da, da, da, da, da,
Come, come, drink some port wine with me
Down at the old Bull and Bush.
Hear the little German band,
Da, da, da. da, da,
Just let me hold your hand, dear,
Do, do, have a little drink or two
Down at the Old Bull and Bush,
Bush, Bush.

The original building is said to have been a farm house dating from 1645, in the Civil War. It was licensed in 1721. Hogarth took his ale there while painting the Rake's Progress. The present building dates from the 1920s, though a Georgian bay window or two, and some fireplaces, survive. The area was badly damaged by a parachute mine in 1940.

An Edison Bell phonograph cylinder of Florrie Ford singing the Old Bull and Bush survives.

German bands, usually of four or five brass players, were quite common. Mayhew reported five in London in 1850. They busked in the streets but also worked in dance halls, hotels and public houses with beer gardens. By Florrie Ford's time they seem to have been very popular: older people in the 1950s remembered them fondly. 1914 finished them off, of course.


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Last modified 23 August 2006<