Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Golden Browne

The East Cliff's grimy back streets are remarkably clear of barkers' nests at the moment, and the crushed Carlsberg and Strongbow cans are easily circumnavigated, so I thought I'd vary my route for today's afternoon stroll. Blow me down if I didn't come across this:

A wall plaque commemorating John Collis Browne, inventor of one of the Victorian era's most famous patent medicines. It seems Mr Pfizer wasn't the only pharmaceuticalist to take a shine to this part of Kent! Upon closer inspection the plaque reveals that it commemorates the death of Collis Browne in the very house it's attached to at the, er, ripe old age of 65. So perhaps the stuff wasn't exactly the elixir of life.

Upon arriving back at my cliff top mansion, I took the liberty of looking the chap up on Wikipedia. Apparently his 'Chlorodyne' mixture sold in bucketloads. Not surprising, really, as it was mainly composed of opium, chloroform and cannabis.

I'm sure he'd be pleased to know that you can still buy at least two of those ingredients within yards of his plaque, albeit no longer from a chemist!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It strikes me that the lyrics of the Stranglers song you refer to could be adapted to suit our new Prime Minister:

Gordon Brown texture like sun
Lays me down with my mind he runs
Throughout the night
No need to fight
Never a frown with Gordon Brown

Hmmm. Maybe not.