‘London’s Nightly Carnival’


London is not ‘the city that never sleeps’. It has an engine – the low hum of business – that awakes at around 5:30am, and goes to sleep again towards midnight. The timings have always been the same, although before the wars of the 20th century and the rationing of travel Londoners ate much later. […]

The Return Of Piccadilly’s Cinemas


A boxy screen and sticky steps, shuffling punters and fag smoke…the old cinemas of Piccadilly Circus were drenched in melancholy, a place where loners passed time waiting for homegoing trains, most of which were one an hour. The shows were each an hour in length and showed cartoons and newsreels. The cinemas also attracted lonely […]

Moving Londoners About


Another day, another poll, but there are some surprises here. Now that London is the 3rd most expensive place on our planet after the Cayman Islands and Switzerland, the things we hate most have appeared in yet another new survey (please tell me when you’re bored with these damned things!). 37.8 per cent of respondents […]

Summer Never Arrived So Let’s Do Winter


It always rains at London’s Notting Hill Carnival, and it did again this week. Why we think August would be anything but wet and horrible is a mystery. Enough of pretending we’re not freezing in shorts and T-shirts – after yet another miserable, cold, wet, non-existent ‘summer’ here I am now revising my options. This […]

The Tin Pan Alley Horror

Tin Pan Alley

Get ready to say goodbye to parts of Denmark Street, London’s Tin Pan Alley, where everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Sex Pistols tried out their guitars in the shops and studios. The demolition squads are heading for the street and its alleyways, including Denmark Place, a row of battered terraced houses off Charing […]

New Heights Of Vulgarity


Just when it seems that London’s bling-property economy may be faltering (as reported in the press this week), the ‘developers’ of the new FutureSlums (sorry, ‘Luxury Loft Lifestyle’ Apartment Buildings) at South London’s Nine Elms are planning to bring to our fair city, or at least 1% of 1% of London, this hilarious Six Senses-style […]

A New Theatre But Where’s The Fringe?

900 Seater

So there’s going to be a spiffy new 900-seat theatre beside Tower Bridge from Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, who oversaw 12 years of artistic and commercial success at  the National, running the show. It’ll be the flagship home for the London Theatre Company and will operate entirely on a commercial basis with no subsidies or […]

The Rowton Houses


You couldn’t mistake them; they were vast, ugly red-brick castles with mean little windows, ‘grim places, echoing with the cries and coughs of defeated men’ – a chain of monolithic hostels built across London by the Victorian philanthropist Lord Rowton to provide decent accommodation for working men in place of the squalid lodging houses of the period. […]

London’s Street Bankers


Whenever my gran wanted ‘a flutter’ on the horses or the dogs, she sent for the man over the road who acted as the street’s banker. Every working class street had a Mr Fix-It, as well as a local woman you could visit for ‘marital advice’. The men ran book, bought and sold, lent money, […]

London Tough


It’s said that if a girl can look good in London, she can look good anywhere. Everything conspires against her. We have the hardest water I’ve found anywhere in the world. It silts pipes and cracks skin. We have key hotspots of overcrowding (tip: avoid the Piccadilly Line between Russell Square and Piccadilly during rush […]