Sleepless in Sydney

This letter to the editor definitely has the vibe of being written by a sleep deprived curmudgeon.

Bell’s Life in Sydney – 29 November 1851

Original Correspondence.


To the Editors of Bell’s Life in Sydney.

GENTLEMEN. – Last week you put an excellent article in your paper on the above invention. Will you use your influence with the “By-Law Committee of the Corporation” to abate the   following nuisances :-

1. Butcher’s’ carts rattling through the streets, so that no man with a decent bred horse has any chance of not being either run against, or run down-brown !”‘

2. Baker’s carts, “or turnovers,” that invariably go the wrong side, ” rolling ” over everything that comes their way.

3. Milk and “ginger beer” carts, – (also) – i.e. from bad springs, and loaded with milk cans or aer-rated bottles, being the reverse of  “a pig’s whisper” in the thereabouts of the streets of Sydney.

4. Grocers’ Carts – More furious drivers than any. Some of these have proprietors, very influential “men of the Ward.”  I will, on division of the house, leave these out rather than risk the foss-for-us influence. These carts are particularly noticed on the South Head Road, and are fair facts to be noticed and described.

5. Breaks. Not only from the vulgar jingling noise they make, but from their reckless mode of exposing themselves to the vigilance of a certain person called the V.I.N., or Vigilant Inspector (and) No mistake! I have expected this information long ago. They had better take care.

6. Night-man’s Carts that for half a mile are heard only to disturb and awake you to the sense of “ammoniacal suffocation” the rest of the night.

Yours truly,


A pig’s whisper – “A very short space of time; properly a grunt – which doesn’t take long” – Brewers’ Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.