London’s Forgotten Faces
After the post (and interesting reader comment) about Camden junking its past, I was thinking further on the subject.
You can care about the past and not be a nostalgist, just interested. But it’s getting harder. Walking down Berwick Street in Soho, through the market that has been there for a hundred years, I was shocked to find it almost completely gone. In its place stand the ubiquitous tourist tat stalls that nobody wants.
Here’s how Berwick Street looked in 1907, when Jessie Matthews was born above one of its butchers’ shops.
Matthews was unquestionably the biggest star in Britain. Her film First A Girl’ was remade as ‘Victor, Victoria’. My friend Michele points out that she once went to a Jessie Matthews festival at the Theatre 80 St. Mark’s in New York. I find it incredible that New York would host a festival dedicated to a star nobody here remembers or cares about. Thanks and a tip of the hat to this lovely site, which has the full story.