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Don't take it as red

The mystery of the red laundry on Doyce Street.

It’s difficult to run far in this part of London without finding a reminder of its fascinating past.

On a sleepy Sunday I was running in London and happened upon this interesting display of red washing. It made me wonder: is this another sign of London’s secret history?

Doyce Street, near Copperfield Street and Little Dorrit, sits in the heart of Southwark’s Dickensian history.

On the same 20m long street, you’ll see the Commit No Nuisance sign: a polite reminder to uphold high standards of behaviour, originating from a Welsh congregational chapel which has been at the site since 1806.

Just round the corner on Park Street, you’ll notice the Take Courage motto painted on the wall of an old brewery – a lingering reminder of the numerous breweries required in Southwark to fuel what was London’s pleasure quarter for many years.

As I run through London’s history-filled streets I wonder if the red laundry is a tribute or symbol to some forgotten past.

Could the red laundry be a left-wing flag? This area of London, which Secret London Runs explores in its In the Shadow of the Shard tour, screams poverty in recent history; home to the slums and plague pits of the 19th century, it would be no surprise to see symbols of social equality voiced here.

Running through Southwark, there are countless reminders of the deprived recent past of the area, for example Arthur's Mission on Snowfields, with the evocative plaque, Feed my Lambs.

Or does the red washing stand for danger, pleasure and passion; does it show that Southwark was London’s first red light district?

Of course, it might not be another London secret, but simply some Welsh rugby fans celebrating another victory...

Would you like to contribute to Secret London Runs' blog? We are looking for contributers to write about running, things they've seen or done in London, London's history... Email us for more.

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