In Fitzrovia News ten years ago

By Mike Pentelow Important findings on the link between air travel and lethal blood clots in passengers were released by Middlesex Hospital surgeon John Scurr.

It showed one in ten long haul flight passengers – 40 times as many as was previously thought – developed deep vein thrombosis.

“The study clearly demonstrates that there are measures, in this case elastic stockings, which are effective in controlling the development of blood clots,” said the surgeon.

Blood clots were found in ten per cent of passengers who had not worn lower leg supports, but none in a group which had.

A Radio 4 play was broadcast to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Russian spy Donald Maclean (1913-1983) spending his last night at Schmidt’s restaurant, 33-37 Charlotte Street, before escaping to Moscow.

“Absolute Beginners” by Colin MacInnes (1914-1976) was republished by Alison & Busby to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of the author, who lived at 29 Great Portland Street and 28 Tottenham Street.

Cavendish ward councillor, Harvey Marshal, was installed as the Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster.

From Fitzrovia News, June, 2001

4 Comments on In Fitzrovia News ten years ago

  1. Ah, yes. Schmidt’s German restaurant of blessed memory, in Charlotte Street. As an impecunious student in central London in the late 50’s and early 60’s, I visited it frequently. The elderly waiters were indeed surly to the point of rudeness (except to German or Austrian expats of their own generation), but did provide silver service (when the food eventually arrived). The waiting times were unbelievable, but the food was cheap even by late ’50s standards and usually good. The Wiener Schnitzel was authentic; the braised pig’s knuckle (Schweinehaxe?) was both glutinous and tasty. I was delighted to find when I returned to London in 1974 from a decade abroad that Schmidt’s was still there, essentially unchanged, but alas, having dined myself out from there early in 1977 before a lengthy trip to Turkey, when I returned later that year Schmidt’s, its waiters, and its deli, had all disappeared, and in its place was a glorified pasta house. Sic transit, etc.

  2. As a child I remember going to many extended family gatherings there in the 1960’s and 70’s until about 1975, with family members coming from all corners of the UK to enjoy a long lunch at Schmidt’s together. It must have closed around 1975/6, which was such a shame. It was authentic home cooked German/Austro-hungairan cuisine and we all loved it immensely. We also always bought something to take away for tea the next day from the deli. I remember scrubbed wooden floors and very long tables in the upstairs restaurant (wit the deli downstairs) and waiters in white aprons. Lashings of gravy with the meat dishes, goulash was my favourite and wiener schnitzel a close second! We often had the house speciality – Black forest gateau (authentic not fake like English ones) for dessert or a hot pudding! Yummy, the strong memories linger

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