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Chapter 24 - Daisy Roots - Boots

East Ham High Street where I walked endless miles.

Daisy roots is cockney rhyming slang for boots and the strange thing about boots is you start by wearing them in and then you wear them out.

John Boot opened his first chemist shop in 1849 at 6, Goose Gate in Nottingham. It was originally known as The Botanical Establishment as opposed to a chemist shop because it specialised in alternative herbal remedies. Boot was actually a farmer, not a chemist, who changed his job due to ill-health, thus his obsession with vegetable and herbal solutions for various illnesses. His obsession led to probably the most famous ever shop in the high street.

At the opening of his first shop he certainly didn’t sell contraceptives, cotton-buds, cosmetics, hair driers or electric toothbrushes. He didn’t give away gift vouchers either, but it's John Boot we must thank for the invaluable chemist shop that became that fixture in the high street. He only opened three days a week as the rest of the time he spent gathering herbs and wildflowers from nearby fields that would become the backbone ingredients of his medicines. Within fifty years there were a thousand branches of Boots scattered around the country.

To continue reading this chapter click on this absolutely stunning picture I painted not unlike Tracey Emin.


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