art, artist, arts, battle, begger, beggers, birmingham, canvas, chalk, chalker, chalking, chalks, england, for, history, news, newspaper, pavement, pavement art, paving, philip, publication, screever, screeving, tramps, uk, urban, urbancanvas
A Newspaper for Tramps
Researched by Philip Battle
A newspaper has recently made its appearance in Birmingham, England; but though it is printed in English it would be wholly unintelligible to the ordinary reader. The paper is called “The Abraham Man’s News” and is, as it were the official organ of tramps and vagrants. Typed on a single sheet of paper, the journal costs one “flach” (halfpenny) and is written in a slang only its vagabond readers can understand.
The paper is a mine of information to its readers.
In it the “Screever” (pavement artist) is told where he can lend chalked pictures for a “sucheroon” (five shillings) a day: the “gloak” (beggar) who is “quisby” (broke) and cannot find a “down earwig” (sympathetic clergyman) is enlightened by cryptic signs of the nearest “dolly shop” (illegal pawnbroker) where he can “jug” (pawn) whatever portable property he may have gathered in his travels, and so dine in luxury off a “two-eyed steak” (kipper).
The best of the “woodholes” (workhouses) receive honourable mention and a list of addresses of “flatlews” (public houses) on collateral security. Is always an eagerly sought out feature of the columns.
Published in the Saskatoon Star- Phoenix October 18th 1929
Visit my Artists of the Paving Stone page on Facebook!