Readers of the blog will doubtless be aware that I work in the City of London; a mere five minutes from the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street. The area surrounding the 'Old Lady of Threadneedle Street' is a fascinating myriad of buildings old and new; of small alleyways and secret courtyards lost within modern and classical office buildings, shops and hostelries of every type. Of particular interest in this respect is the block between Cornhill and Lombard Street - it is full of small alleyways and with surprises appearing at almost every turn.
One my personal seasonal traditions is to reread Charles Dickens book - A Christmas Carol during the week before Christmas. I have done this for many years now and always enjoy the experience; more so this year because my offices are located virtually in the heart of where most of the book was actually set - within the heart of the City of London.
Whilst Dickens does not offer much in the way of actual place names in his book by virtue of some local knowledge and some 'google-fu'; together with my trusty electronic copy of A Christmas Carol, I have managed to identify a couple of places featured in his story.
Ebeneezer Scrooge was a businessman with offices in the City of London. The actual location of 'Scrooge and Marleys' is not revealed although reference is made to him conducting business in or around the Royal Exchange as Dickens described 'Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to.' At the time of writing A Christmas Carol (1843) the present Royal Excahnge building was still under construction and was not finished until 1844, the previous building had burned down in a fire in 1838. However, across the way from Cornhill is Change Alley so did Scrooge conduct his business there perchance?