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‘Woe and Alas!’

I wanted to show you some dramatic pictures created by children during ‘wet play-times’ and then given to me when I return to continue the session with them. Obviously caught up in the story of the Great Fire, they felt the need to commit to paper the images conjured in their minds by the tale I tell.

Here you can see the fire taking hold of one house, as thick black smoke pours from one side and the slate roof turns red with the heat!


In this picture you can see a house of the better sort, a mansion house by my reckoning, engulfed by the fire. Also, if you look closely you can see a very foolish fellow standing a little too close. I am surprised he looks so composed.


This is my favourite image, one drawn on two sheets of paper which were then cunningly fastened together to become one long strip. It depicts the River Thames crowded with boats, wherries and barges as people attempt to escape the fire with their possessions.


I do believe these would make great illustrations for a poem from the time:

Great London that hath stood in state

Above six hundred years

In six days’ space

Woe and alas

Is burned and drowned in tears

Note: I suppose ‘In four and a bit days’ space wouldn’t have worked so well. The author must have applied for a poetic licence 🙂

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