This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Monday, 15 February 2021

The Jigsaw Project.

I remember my parents having this jigsaw - Pubs & Shops of London in the late seventies or very early eighties - and, looking for something to do during lockdown - was heartened to find a copy on eBay.

As a kid being fascinated by the shop fronts featured so, around forty years on, having completed the jigsaw, I set about learning about the outlets, curious to find out how many - if any - still existed.

The eventual plan is to visit each address, take a photo and recreate the montage featured - maybe even have it turned into another jigsaw!

This is very much a work in progress - I’m currently about half way through - but when time allows will dig a little deeper and add or update as necessary.

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20210215_1536491. Floris. 89 Jermyn Street. Perfumers since 1730 and received their first Royal Warrant in 1820. Along with perfumes other specialities were combs, toothbrushes and mouthwash. The Spanish mahogany cabinets and glasswork were purchased at The Great Exhibition in 1852 are still in the shop today. Notable customers from the past include Florence Nightingale, Sir Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming and Marilyn Monroe.

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2. The Markham Arms. 138 Kings Road. Built in the mid 19th century and is a grade II listed building. Was under the Ind Coope banner and like many London pubs had an international staff. One particular chap that worked there recalls serving Rod Stewart, George Best and Elton John amongst others. Popular with the gay community on Saturdays. Closed in the early nineties and is now a bank but, being a listed building, many features remain.

Resources: Closed Pubs | Historic England | British Listed Buildings

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3. James Smith & Sons. 53 New Oxford Street. Umbrellas, walking sticks, seat sticks and accessories. Mr Smith started making and selling umbrellas in 1830 and moved to the current premises a few years later. The shop is still there today.

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4. Tessiers. 26 New Bond Street. Jewellers and another listed building. Difficult to pin down exactly when the company was established but looks to be around the early to mid 1800’s. Moved to Burlington Arcade at some point but have since disappeared. The premises at New Bond Street, occupied most recently by another jewellers is showing ‘to-let’ on Google Maps. Savills agents reported in December 2019 that luxury retailer Faure le Page would be taking over the property although to date their website does not indicate such.

Resources: Historic England | Sussex Photo History | William Walter Antiques 

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5. The Old Curiosity Shop. 13-14 Portsmouth Street. A 16th century London Landmark and built from reclaimed ships wood, it survived the Great Fire of 1666 and was patronised by Charles Dickens. Originally a dairy and a later a bookstore in Dickens’ days it is now a high end shoe retailer.

Resources: Atlas Obscura | London Town

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6. Philip Antrobus. 11 New Bond Street. Jewellers established in 1815 who were commissioned by Prince Philip to design the Queens’ engagement ring, along with a bracelet containing diamonds from his mothers’ tiara. The company was acquired by Pragnell at some point and the unit has been occupied by Blanc Pain since 2014. It is possible that Philip Antrobus descended from the Antrobus family in Congleton.

Resources: Pragnell | Antrobus Pages | A Scrapbook of Cheshire

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7. R Allen & Co. 117 Mount Street. High class butchers since 1830 and at the Grade II listed building at Mount Street since around 1880. The business was bought out in 2006 and closed in 2015 after falling into administration, the shops’ many fans taking to social media to blame the landlords for skyrocketing rents. Companies house report that R. Allen & Co Ltd (Butchers) was dissolved in 2017. In it’s place is a luxury deli from the Italian Marchesi group.

Resources: London Town | This is Money | Companies House20210215_153741

8. John Walker, a watch and clock maker with a strong connection to railways all over the world was established in 1830. A similar photo online puts the shop at 63 New Bond Street but that has been occupied by Fenwicks since 1891. The addresses shown on the front of the shop indicate previous locations. Apparently the firm was located at 1 South Molton Street in 1906 and moved to 64 South Molton Street in 1981, where a repair and restoration service continues today.

Resources: The Old Watchword | The Science Museum

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9. Mr Pickwicks. 70 Leman Street. Originally the Garrick and renamed sometime prior to 1983, there has been a pub here since around 1831. The licence was revoked in 2010 following a drugs bust. It appears to have been taken over and renamed The Oliver Conquest in the same year and continues under that name today.

Resources: East London Advertiser | Pub Wiki | What PubPubs & Beer

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10. Carrington. 25 Old Bond Street - another Grade II listed building. Carrington & Co. jewellers and silversmiths were established in 1873, however all references point to them being at 130 Regent Street. I can’t as yet find definitive connection to them at Old Bond Street, however it seems likely it was the same company. Carrington received several Royal warrants and were later bought out by Collingwood. Collingwood appears to have closed in 2004. The premises has been occupied by Tiffany & Co since at least 2001.

Resources: Hancocks | Gazette

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11. The Goose & Firkin. 47/48 Borough Street. Once part of the Firkin pub chain - set up in 1979 by David Bruce who bought run down pubs from the major breweries, and reintroduced the almost forgotten practice of brewing beer on the premises. The chain grew rapidly but was sold in 1988, eleven years later ending up in the hands of Bass who stopped brewing on site. The pub continues as the Duke of York now owned by Kent brewer Shepherd Neame.

Resources: What Pub | Good Beer Good Pubs

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12. Barbers. 26 Bedfordbury. Originally Peter’s Gents Hairdressers - although apparently no-one called Peter has ever ran it - but since the eighties was run by younger family members and known as George the Barber. A screenshot from Google Maps, taken in July 2019, shows Peter’s Barber Shop on the door.

Resources: Shopfront Elegy | George The Barber

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13. Cock & Lion. 62 Wigmore Street. Allegedly the only Cock & Lion in the whole of the UK. First licenced in the late 1700’s as the Lyon & Cock at 25 Wigmore Street and rebuilt in 1880. Still going today and just around the corner from Oxford Street.

Resources: Pub Wiki | What Pub

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14. Coach & Horses. 5 Bruton Street. Thought to be one of the first properties to be built in Bruton Street and first licensed in 1738. Rebuilt in 1933 in mock Tudor style and features caricatures of 19th century politicians and cleric on it’s walls. A Youngers pub at the time of the photo and until at least 2007, it is now under the Green King banner .

Resources: Pub Wiki | What Pub

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15. The George. 213 The Strand. Sitting opposite the Royal Courts of Justice the Tudor style frontage dates from a 1898 rebuild though it is said there has been a pub on the site since 1723. Other sources state that it started life as a coffee house. Greene King ales on offer.

Resources: What Pub | Pub Wiki

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16. G.F. Trumper. 9 Curzon Street. Gentlemen's’ barbers and perfumers since 1875. The original mahogany cubicles remain and alongside haircutting and shaving they offer a number of men's’ beauty treatments and high end associated products.

Resources: Wikipedia

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17. The Wig & Pen. 230 The Strand. The first of many thanks must go to the members of the Facebook Group London in the 60’s & 70’s for this one. I had mistakenly assumed that the building to the right was an entirely separate image when in fact it is one and the same. The two people walking to the right should have been a clue as well. An exclusive private members’ club and, as the name might suggest, was popular with lawyers and journalists. Once the home of the gatekeeper of Temple Bar who used to sell wares to the many who came to view the severed heads of traitors on the spikes of Temple Gate! It is said to be one of the few buildings in the area to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666, however it wasn’t so lucky in 2018 when it was hit by a London bus. The club closed in 2003 and is now the home of a Thai restaurant.

Resources: BBC News | The London I | TripTide | The Guardian

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18. G. Smith & Son’s. 74 Charing Cross. Road. Tobacconist established in 1869, offered a walk in humidor for cigar fans and and numerous blends of loose tobacco and snuff too. It seems to have finally closed in 2011. Now occupied by waistcoat, tie and jewellery specialists Andy & Tuly.

Resources: Shopfront Elegy | Jane’s London

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19. Gordon Gridley Antiques. 41 Camden Passage. Established in the early seventies by Mr Gridley - an  English teacher who turned his passion for antiques into a second income, eventually opening the shop. Said to be the oldest antiques shop in the Passage - Mr Gridley himself was 81 in 2013 when interviewed for an article - Posh Totty Designs have occupied the unit since 2017.

Resources: 32 Magazine | Ham & High 

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20. The Opera Tavern. 23 Catherine Street. A Blue Plaque, visible in more recent photo’s gives the date as since 1879 but records indicate there has been a pub here since the 1791, initially the Yorkshire Grey, then the Sheridan Knowles, back when it was still Brydges Street. The name change to The Opera Tavern appears to have occurred in 1861. The name remains to this day but became a tapas bar and restaurant in around 2011.

Resources: Pub Wiki | Andy Hayler

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21. The Camden Head. 2 Camden Passage, although the address is listed as 2 Camden Walk. Thanks must go once again to the London in the 60’s & 70’s Facebook group for helping me identify this. Not to be confused with The Camden Head in Camden High Street, the pub dates from 1849, has it’s own ghost (obviously) called George and has hosted comedy nights for many years. Another pub currently under the stewardship of Greene King.

Resources: Camden Passage | Pub Wiki 

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22. M.B. Newman. 70 Charing Cross Road. Another identified with help this time from the Old London Photographs Facebook group. Charing Cross Road was always a likely bet given the plethora of bookshops there, however other information is proving difficult to come by. A photo online shows the bookshop in 1967 and the unit is now occupied by Cards Galore.

Resources: Getty Images

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23. Nell of Old Drury. 29 Catherine Street. First licensed in 1835, rebuilt in 1883 and renamed in 1965 after Nell Gwynne, mistress  of King Charles II, although it’s also reported that there has been a pub on the site since at least 1660. A tunnel running between the pub and the Theatre Royal opposite was reportedly used by the King to visit Nell. Comedy nights seem to have been a feature more recently but current status is uncertain - they were still trading in 2020 but their website is currently unavailable.

Resources: What Pub | Pub Wiki

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24. Roundhouse. 83-85 Wardour Street. The current building dates from 1892 and it was the Round House from 1862, renamed from the Blue Cross which appears to have been established around 1756. Popular at one time as a blues and skiffle club, it had certainly lost the Round House name by 2013. It currently houses Soho Residence, a ‘premier bar, club and lounge space’.

Resources: Pub Wiki | Cyril Davies | Grounded London

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25. Paxtons Head. 153 Knightsbridge. Rebuilt in 1852 and renamed in honour of Joseph Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace, at around the time. The site of a public house since at least 1632, previous names being Kings Arms and Marquis of Granby or similar. Grade II listed and another that’s now under the stewardship of Greene King.

Resources: Pub Wiki | Historic England | What Pub

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26. Ellen Keeley. 33 Neal Street. Ellen Kelly barrow makers were established in Ireland in 1830, the family coming over to England at the time of the potato famine. Likely at Neal Street from 1900-1982, the company, whose customers were mainly market traders', branched out in the 60’s hiring out to the film industry. Keely Hire exists today in Hertfordshire as a supplier of props to the film, television and events sector. The premises at Neal Street is currently a jean store.

Resources: The Seven Dials Trust 

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27. J. R. Wall & Co. 399 St John Street. Thanks once again to members of the London in the 60’s & 70’s Facebook group for their help in locating this butchers. Sadly I have been unable to glean much more information about J. R. Wall & Co. but the name of the original owners - Bland - can be seen on the tiling below the windows and they were there from the later part of the 19th century. Since the early 2010’s the premises has been occupied by Turner & George - also butchers - or meat merchants as they have branded themselves. The building is listed and the white tiling remains to this day.

Resources: Shop Front Elegy | London Picture Archive | A London Inheritance

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28. E. Joseph. 48a Charing Cross Road. Another bookseller, established by Emmanuel Joseph and at Charing Cross Road from around 1900. It became Quinto bookshop in 1983 until 2010 when they moved further up and since 2020 now operate solely online. Patisserie Valerie currently occupy the unit.

Resources: Abe Books | David Brass Rare Books | Spitalfields Life

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29. Berry Brothers & Rudd. 3 St James Street. originally a coffee supplier and established in 1698 by a widow and mother by the name of Bourne. George Berry joined the company in 1803 and by 1810 it was his name above the door. It was the turn of the century before the company began to focus exclusively on wine. Hugh Rudd joined the company in 1920 and in 1940 a limited company was formed with the name that remains to this day. For a more in depth look at the history, do have a look at the About section on their website.

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30. Worcester Arms. 89 George Street. Appears to have been established in 1839 and in 1869 the address was 42 George Street before renumbering took place. The pub finally closed in around 2002 and a major redevelopment of the unit and surrounding buildings took place lasting several years. It is currently occupied by Santo Mare - and Italian seafood restaurant.

Resources: What Pub | Pub Wiki | Pubology

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31. F. W. Collins & Sons. 14 Earlham Street. Ironmongers established in 1835 and owned by the Collins family for seven generations. The shop closed in 2008 and has been occupied since 2009 by The Vintage Showroom - specialists in vintage clothing and accessories. They’ve even named their in house clothing line F. W. Collins in honour of the previous occupants. Grade II listed.

Resources: Facebook Page | The Vintage Showroom Bio | Historic England

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32. The Sherlock Holmes. 10 Northumberland Street. A pub since 1846 and rebuilt in 1883. The Northumberland Arms until 1957 when, then owners Whitbread recreated Holmes’ sitting room at 221b Baker Street with items rescued from the Holmes exhibition, part of the 1951 Festival of Britain. The sitting room can still be viewed through glass from the upstairs dining room and the pub is another currently under stewardship of Greene King.

Resources: Atlas Obscura | What Pub | Pub Wiki

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33. L Cornelissen. 22 Great Queen Street. ‘Artists colourmen’ said to have been founded by a Belgian lithographer, initially at Drury Lane and reportedly moving to Great Queen Street in 1855, it’s home until 1977 when it closed following the death of the last of the Cornelissen’s. The name re-emerged at 105 Great Russell Street in 1979, now run by Nicholas Walt where it continues to this day. The most recent occupants of 22 Great Queen Street were Estate Agents.

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34. Old King Lud. 12 Ludgate Circus. Built in 1870 and originally ‘The King Lud’, the name was changed to distinguish it from another pub - New King Lud - which had opened nearby, at some point before 1981. Closed in the very early nineties but emerged as ‘The Hogshead in Ludgate’ in 1993 as part of the Whitbread group, later changed to simply ‘Hogshead’ . It closed in 2005 and is currently home to a branch of the Leon fast food chain.

Resources: Closed Pubs

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35. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. 145 Fleet Street, although the entrance is in Wine Office Court. Grade II listed and rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of London, there has been a pub on the site since 1538. Such literary figures as Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and P.G. Wodehouse amongst others are thought to have visited. The pub was home to an African Grey parrot - Polly - for over forty years. It’s death in 1926 was the subject of obituaries in newspapers worldwide. Now part of the Samuel Smiths group of pubs.

Resources: Wikipedia | Pub Wiki | What Pub