Tottenham Court Road Police Station Tales from the early 1930s

By Simon Glyndwr John My father Dai John, from Swansea, joined the Metropolitan police in 1929 and served until 1968. He served as a Police Constable (PC) at Tottenham Court Road Police Station (The “Nick”) from 1929-1938. From 1937 -1968 my parents, my sisters and I lived in the police flats, now Bloomsbury Terrace, in …

Ford Maddox Ford: at Fitzroy Square my eyes first opened

By Jess Owen One of the more glaring omissions in Mike Pentelow's Characters of Fitzrovia is Ford Maddox Hueffer. A grandson of the artist Ford Maddox Brown, he spent his childhood years at 37 Fitzroy Square. A poet, critic, editor and novelist; he helped transform English letters. But for him, it all began in Fitzrovia. …

The Boy From Charlotte Street: My first school years

By Sam Lomberg MBE From the age of four (1924) I attended Upper Marylebone Street School (later called Cavendish Street), just around the corner from Charlotte Street. A London County Council school opened in 1914 and divided into a boys school, girls school and infants school. It was a three-storey building, well planned, light and …

Discover Fitzrovia: “London’s forgotten community”

By Linus Rees Robert Elms described Fitzrovia as "one of London's forgotten little communities" as he chatted with artist Kristina O'Donnell on his BBC London radio show today, ahead of a fund-raising guided tour which will take place tomorrow evening (Thursday 16 June). Kristina was a guest on the show to talk about the project …

Writers, artists and boozers return to the scene of the crime

By Jack Warner The scene of the notorious murder that inspired The Blue Lamp will today be visited on a guided walk led by writers Paul Willetts and Cathi Unsworth, and artist Garry Hunter. The event is part of the Fitzroiva Noir arts trail currently taking place all over Fitzrovia. The walk will also be …

Fitzrovia pubs: 4. Stags Head, 102 New Cavendish Street

By Mike Pentelow This was the first port of call for poet Dylan Thomas most days and where his generous patron Margaret Taylor (wife of historian A J P Taylor) tried to track him down. He used to hide behind the bar from where "his hand would sneak round the flap, groping for another pint" …

What happened to the promise of better times?

There were “haves and have nots” when I was a child, but it seems to me there are now more “have nots” than ever. I’ve experienced squatters, hunger strikers and mass unemployment, so I can understand the present reaction to houses standing empty and poor housing, not to forget the increase of gated cities. And for me the most distressing part of my visit was the very sad sight of so many people sleeping on the streets – a lot of them so young.