Why The Window?


Ah, Walkers Court, that insalubrious alleyway full of neon strip clubs between Brewer Street and Berwick Street, where you might bump into a trannie hooker or Sir Ian McKellen (Silk Sound studio is just behind the market stalls) – it has always felt oddly safe down there, but then I’ve rarely walked it after midnight.

And in daylight, it’s even odder. For example, Maurice House, the tiny living room that bridges the two sides of the court, seems to have a rocking chair and a toy car in the window. This is the last place in London where there would be any children. Does anyone here know why they’re there?

8 comments on “Why The Window?”

  1. Jon says:

    “This is the last place in London where there would be any children.”

    You say that and yet Soho Primary School is about 200 yards away – just next to the Windmill.

    One of the many pleasing quirks of Soho and London.

  2. Alan Morgan says:

    Eerie, blank-eyed children still dressed as Blitz refugees and seeking (having returned) where their parents went in their absence, where the bomb crater lies.

  3. Sluggo says:

    Sounds like a Dr Who ep. Alan — “Are you my Mummy?”

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Every neighbourhood where you are hesitant to walk has families with children who walk those streets every day.

  5. J F Norris says:

    That’s a carousel horse, isn’t it?

  6. Alan says:

    Helen made a very good point.

    I live in one of London’s more notorious Council Estates (indeed – it was mentioned in some “look at me putting my life of the the line to bring you real journalism” publication a couple of years back.

    But, when it gets dark, I am happy to get home where I am known, and safe.

    Neighbourhood/tribe – “nothing new under the sun”.

  7. Wayne says:

    Funny that isn’t it, i worked in Piccadilly for years before leaving london over ten years ago. I always found Soho one of the friendly parts of london and it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest the odd sight of a carousel horse. I loved sunday mornings in the back streets when the streets were quiet. No tourists blocking up the pavements, able to get a good bacon roll in peace. To me it was my Neighbourhood and visited every chance i got, there is more to it that the obvious. Why not live there with a family…. If you like city living and constant Hubub.

  8. Helen Martin says:

    I substituted at a school on the eastside of Vancouver, a school of which I was particularly fond, as a matter of fact, and I used to go for a walk at lunch time. The school gave us special badges so we wouldn’t be questioned by janitors, parents or other responsible people, and when I went on my walk I made sure the badge was visible. People sitting on porches, working in yards or walking down the street would stare at me until they noticed the badge and then they’d relax. It’s being an outsider that makes a neighbourhood dangerous. If you use that route to walk you will soon be accepted as long as you don’t do anything “strange”.

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