Close-up of ghost sign high up on a c. 1755 Georgian house, Colebrook Row, Islington. It reads:
HOTEL (or HOSTEL)
9D & 1/- PER NIGHT
4/6 & 6/- PER WEEK
D stood for pence and /- for shillings. The sign probably dates to the first couple of decades of the 20th century. Between 1894-1900, the house was owned by St Nicholas Industrial School for Roman Catholic Boys, and was a halfway house for boys making the transition between the school and the world of work. .
Boarding or lodging houses were prevalent from the middle of the 19th century to about 1930, as large scale migration to cities had created great demand for accomodation. New inventions such as the telephone and typewriter had also resulted in the creation of many new jobs, most of which were taken by women. .
Women's lodging houses provided a safe, temporary living arrangement for single working women living in the city. Running a lodging house was also a good way of making a living for widows and other independent women who found themselves owners of property, but still needed to make an income. .
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