Blog / 2014

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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To round off the end of the year, here's a fresh update on one of the first posts I ever made on his blog, which is now - incredibly - seven years old. Mornington Crescent. I blew them up in it, then moved them out of it, but it's still a great little building. Elderly detectives Arthur Bryant & John May left their offices above Mornington Crescent tube station (pictured below) as the unit was…
5 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I've mentioned the possibility here in the past, but now the rumours have been confirmed; Scotland Yard's so-called 'Black Museum', which houses the exhibits from Britain's most notorious crimes, will go on display once it has found a sponsor and a venue. The renamed Crime Museum is to raise funds because of government cuts. Until now, only serving police officers — and special visitors by…
1 comment
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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It's all about opening a window to the past. As cities change they shed their pasts. This was never London's problem because past and present have always existed together in an ever-changing collision of styles and tastes. One senses that this is now coming to an end as international corporate architecture flattens life from the metropolis. And yet. Dennis Severs (he of the celebrated house in…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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A wander into Waterstone's Piccadilly reveals an avalanche of new London books in time for Christmas; so many specialist subjects and being broken down and explored through the prism of the city. I and my pocketbook have abandoned the idea of trying to keep up with them, but I can recommend three more which are worthy of your attention; I'm surprised that no-one has thought of this one before.…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I once wrote a Christmas single. It didn't chart, thank God - I can only say that I was 23 and stupid - but I do still own a copy (45 rpm vinyl) to remind me how horrible music gets at Christmas. This year Enrique Iglesias's 'Bailando' (a worldwide mega-smash) barely managed to reach 75th place in the UK charts after not being promoted 'because it's in Spanish', but 'Do They Know It's Christmas'…
5 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I know what you're thinking. It would be dead easy at this time of year to knock together a bunch of obvious choices for Christmas outings, but lately you can't move without falling over ice rinks and pop-ups and Christmas markets, so here are some odder alternatives. 1. Most Secret Theatre 'The Railway Children' is on in a pop-up theatre in my 'hood, King's Cross, with a real steam train shunting…
3 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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It's cold and sunny, so another morning of research takes me through the Square Mile, where several nasty shocks await. First, all around Bishopsgate are vast holes where entire city blocks have been razed, ready to have Tokyo-style skyscrapers dropped in. I hope they keep the alleyways and ginnels that ran between so many of them. Next, the courtyard of the Royal Exchange has been turned into a…
5 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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It's no idle boast to reiterate that the London black cab is still the best in the world; new editions have hands-free doors and are the size of your living room inside, like tardises. The drivers may not wear white gloves like they do in Japan, but they're endlessly entertaining, curious-minded individuals, and talking to them is part of the fun of the ride. I love black cabs, and feel as if I…
15 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I don't keep my own books on display at home. I worry that it looks egotistical, so they're hidden away at the top of a cupboard (two cupboards now; there are rather a lot of them). And there are things about some I don't enjoy looking back at. Any job, if you do it for long enough, eventually exposes your weaknesses. I know I write terrible synopses and outlines, mainly because my books change so…
4 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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It looks like a Victorian coliseum. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is a very odd pub, and has proudly been so for a very long time - most of my lifetime at least. Bear in mind that you're within spitting distance of the Houses of Parliament, and the thought of drag queens on ceiling swings singing Gilbert & Sullivan arias takes on a strange new resonance. London's cabaret bars can trace their origins…
3 comments

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