One of the two paper labels on the side of my old suitcase is handwritten. The ink has run quite a bit from water damage, I'm assuming, but it still is fairly legible. This is my biggest link to this suitcase's past, and even this is not enough to get the true history of this old case.
If you enlarge this photo enough I think you will agree it says.
D or W Hewitt Co. Ltd
98 Leadenhall St.
At first I thought it said Leadenhill St, and so I started my research there - but nothing came up. So I started replacing the letter "I" in hill - first with a "A" - and bingo... There is a Leadenhall Street in London, and it is in the heart of the financial district which might makes perfect sense for a company's address.
Leadenhall street is also close to to the Thames River, The Tower of London, The London Bridge, The London Wall, Queen Victoria Street - in other words - "Old London"
The closest address I could find to 98 Leadenhall St was 122 Leadenhall St.
Since late in the first Century 122 Leadenhall St has been a market place. In the 1300's it was a meeting place for poulterers and cheesemongers. Later it was the place to buy leather, cutlery and later after the Great Fire of 1666, it became a Beef and Herb market.
It has been rebuilt and redesigned many times over the years, and in 1991 it was extensively restored. One Lonely Planet Review said this about the market. "It's like stepping into a small slice of Victorian London".
I would like to believe that my suitcase has been part of this legacy... and this fits so well with my intentions for this case..... but that's another post!