Friday, 10 April 2015

Selling Styles Go BANANAS 1633 -2013 #HappyLondonBananaDay or 1560

Happy London Banana Day

380 years before UK  banana endorser, One Direction's Harry Styles gave "Baby Nanas and Fyffes bananas " a plug on his famous  Instagram post of 2013  , bananas made their London Début on 10 April 1633 in a shop window.

It was the shop window of shopkeeper Thomas Johnson, who had a herbalist shop on Snow Hill in the neighbourhood still called Holburn (Holborn) 

G Hone and Sons in Farnham, Surrey UK'
Shop Window 10th April 2015
He hung up the Bananas, which were from Bermuda, both to ripen them and to display them. 

It was thought this was the first time Bananas were seen in London. Thomas Johnson was  also the editor for Gerard's Herball.

Archaeologists, though, are now disputing that this was indeed the first time bananas came to London.

In June 1999, archaeologists working on the south bank of the Thames near Southwark  were excavating a soggy rubbish heap dating back to Tudor times  and found a banana skin, black and shrivelled, that dated back to about 1560. ( Only a few years after Wolf Hall era)

The area had been used for fish tanks lined with lumber that had been used for raising fish. 

They were abandoned, likely as the waters of the Thames grew too unwholesome to raise fish in. 

The tanks filled up with soil, rubbish and sewage, and were eventually built over, but the soil underneath remained waterlogged, helping to preserve everything in the pit.

Despite both these early starts, Bananas weren't regularly available until the 1800s, when they came from Madeira, and even then they were still a great novelty and luxury

G Hone and Sons in Farnham, Surrey UK'
Shop Window 10th April 2015
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