What Pegman Saw: Madam Light (Post number 1,000)

Image: Google Street View

To the Bobbies she’d give the names Molly Brand, Moll Prate, Maggie Gardener, according to her whim. But to us of the rookery she was always Madam Lighthouse – Light if she looked on you kindly.

It was Light who used the cabbies, the bill posters, the street sweepers and hawkers as her eyes and ears, gave protection in exchange for all they knew.

It was Light who warned us of fresh-faced beat coppers out for an easy collar, of gangs bringing their own toms and dippers into our patch. And when sober requests to move on were rebuffed, it was Madam Light’s boys who did what had to be done.

She shined bright, steady as Dover’s white cliffs, for twenty glorious years.

Until this morning.

She was found in her chair, boots on the grate, pipe hanging slack from her lips.

Light snuffed out.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Street View as inspiration. This week we visit Silver Bay, Minnesota. See here to join in.


Rookery – dense collection of houses, especially slums.

Bobbies/coppers – policemen (I would say ‘police officers’ but in the Victorian period in which this story is based, there were only male officers).

Toms – prostitutes.

Dippers – pickpockets.

Last month was Word Shamble’s fifth anniversary and this is my 1,000th blog post.

The blog has developed over time – I’ve tried humour, book-based posts, a serial and now mainly write flash fiction. I’ve had a lot of fun and ‘met’ a lot of lovely people – both in the UK and abroad.

Thanks to all who’ve read and commented over the last 1,000 posts, my WP family. Hope you can hang around for the next 1,000.

8 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw: Madam Light (Post number 1,000)

  1. Congrats on 1000, Lynn! You definitely have a knack for writing about this era. It’s uncanny, as if you were a time traveler. Or perhaps you lived in Victorian times in a previous life?


  2. Congratulations on your 1000th post. Good choice to have Miss Light beaming out from this celebratory post. And I have to say, you are now totally immersed in the Victorian era now.


  3. Dear Lynn,

    What a delicious serving of fiction right down to the Light being snuffed. Congratulations on your 1,000th post. I’m happy to be one of your readers abroad. 😉




  4. Great voice in this piece, Lynn. I especially appreciate the glossary. Every lighthouse has a story attached to it. I’ve always loved them. Thanks for participating!


  5. Nice milestone! Delighted to know you here. Appreciate the NB too 🤪 congrats on this achievement! No small feat.


  6. You plunge us into a different world (thanks for the glossary!), where we are beguiled into a society that scarcely recognises our middle-class customs and aspirations, and where the officers of the law are viewed with suspicion if not downright hostility. That’s impressive persuasion in 150 words!
    Congratulations of the 1000th post!


  7. You bet, Lynn! And I’m still hoping that your Grand Guignol serial will see the light of day in a paperback issue from my local indie bookshop!


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