How many of you students of English in London know the meaning of the word “flask”. In my dictionary it says: “ a narrow necked bulbous bottle for wine or as used in chemistry”. In the 1700s the Flask pub in Flask Walk, Hampstead, not far from central London, was named because it supplied bulbous bottles to Mr Phelps at the Eagle and Star pub in Fleet Street right in the centre of London and also two other pubs. But it was not wine in the flasks but water. As one of Hampstead’s attractions was the pure water from the Chalybeate springs which came out of the ground and was the safest liquid anyone could drink at this time. Mr Phelps paid 1.5p per flask. Over a century later the railway arrived at Hampstead Heath so people could collect their own clean water but more than this they were able to holiday in the summer on the 324ha heath which was nick-named “ ‘Appy ‘Ampstead” during August.
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