All the horrors of 18th-century Gin Lane are here, including instances of child alcoholism. In an effort to stop the entire population of London reeling with gin, successive governments tried different restrictions. But the determined always found a way. Captain Dudley Bradstreet set up a secret distillery in Holborn in 1736; in the street outside the door he placed a wooden cat, with a leaden pipe concealed under its paw. Customers would approach and whisper “puss”; if they heard a “miaow” in reply, they would then whisper their order, put coins in the cat’s mouth and the gin would be funnelled through the pipe.