003 March 2018 - Gerry Baxter
More than 30 of us got together for a wonderful afternoon with Gerry's talk on ‘The Origins and Traditions of the Pearly Kings and Queens of London’.
Gerry is the Pearly King of Streatham and gave us a very interesting talk. The practice of wearing clothes decorated with mother-of-pearl buttons, originated in the 19th century. The original Pearly King was Henry Croft, an orphan street sweeper who collected money for charity. His statue, originally on his grave in Finchley cemetery, is now in St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Gerry told us a lot about his charitable works, and that his son asked to become a Pearly King at the age of 19. The 'Pearlies' have to stitch on their own buttons. There is much on line about them