London Spring 2021 | The Jigsaw Project | Part 5

Wednesday 2nd June

Today was a designated day off from the project as I’d booked a train to go and see my cousin up in Colchester, with Jan recovering from a recent operation. An easy 1 hour or so run from Liverpool Street station but, consulting the locations I’d plotted on Google Maps, there were two to the east that were sort of on the way, that I could knock off without too much deviation and still make my intended train if I left early enough. On to the Transport for London website to look at amended route.

Ensuring I had my mask this time I left Patsy soon after 9am, taking bus No. 363 for the hour or so trundle to Elephant & Castle. From there it was a 10 minute walk to my first port of call; Borough Road.

The Duke of York sits at No.47 on the corner of Southwark Bridge Road, just by the railway bridge. Originally  The Goose & Firkin it was once part of the Firkin pub chain - set up in 1979 by David Bruce who bought run down pubs from the major breweries, and reintroduced the almost forgotten practice of brewing beer on the premises. The chain grew rapidly but was sold in 1988, eleven years later ending up in the hands of Bass who stopped brewing on site. Currently owned by Kent brewer Shepherd Neame.

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The UK Bus Checker app promised a bus within a few minutes and so it proved, the 344 taking me across London Bridge to Monument station where I boarded the tube to Aldgate East. It was just one stop and really not that far but it was getting warm and was conscious of the time - that’s my excuse anyway.

With the exit on Leman Street it was only a short walk to the next location; No.70. Originally the Garrick and renamed sometime prior to 1983, there has been a pub here since around 1831. The licence was revoked in 2010 following a drugs bust. It appears to have been taken over and renamed The Oliver Conquest in the same year and continues under that name today. Sadly it was impossible to get a better picture even with the phone’s wide angle lens. Possibly a return visit.

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Then it was back to the Underground for the ride to Liverpool Street. I was later than planned but there were plenty of trains and got on the 11:18 Greater Anglia service heading to Clacton. I’d seen a lot online about their new trains but this was clearly one of the older ones. No air-con and hot, stuffy and pretty uncomfortable. I was glad to get to Colchester and get in the air conditioned comfort of Andy’s car.

Well a very pleasant afternoon was had, much chin-wagging and a BBQ washed down with a couple of Timothy Taylor Landlord ales, specially procured by Andy. Both his girls came to visit too - I’d seen neither for nearly a year. All in all it was a fantastic visit.

I’d debated to myself what time to leave - on the one hand I didn’t want to get back to Patsy too late - on the other I wondered how busy rush hour would be in London once I got to Liverpool Street. Having decided on the 5:15pm train I was back at the station in good time and the 5:00pm one was at the platform so I boarded that. A completely different kettle of fish entirely from the first, this was sleek, modern, cool and very comfortable. I was also faster, getting in to Liverpool Street just 50 minutes later.

I could have got a bus from here to Brixton but journey time was looking like an hour, and with another 30 minutes or so thereafter back to the site, I just didn’t fancy it so instead opted for the tube.

The first leg, to Bank was ok, where I changed lines - this train was rammed and, given how things are just now a little uncomfortable. Fortunately, the vast majority of people were complying with the rules and had masked up.

Thankfully the train emptied considerably at the next stop and was relatively quiet all the way to Stockwell where I changed for Brixton, finally boarding the good old No.3 again for the last leg of the journey back to site. Patsy had hit 27 degrees and the fridge was struggling a little - luckily there’s not much left in it.

Some nibbles, procured in the usual Sainsbury’s Local, went down well and the eyelids became heavy soon after. I called it a night a little earlier than usual but it had been a cracking day all around.

  • For the record; public transport journeys taken (excluding train to Colchester): Bus 363 to Elephant & Castle, Bus 344 to Monument, Underground to Aldgate East, Underground to Liverpool Street, Underground to Brixton (3 trains) Bus 3 to Crystal Palace. Total cost capped at £7.40

Thursday 3rd June

The day started a little overcast but the forecast looked pretty good and by the time I came to leave for the bus was pondering the wisdom of donning leather jeans and waistcoat for the day - but decided to anyway, getting the usual odd looks through the site. I can’t understand it - I’d left my coat off. Standards.

The project was very much on the home straight now with with just seven addresses left to visit, the majority being centred around the jewellery area in Old and New Bond Street. First on the list though was one I’d originally mis-plotted on the map and so headed, via Brixton of course on the No.3, on the No.59 again, alighting on Kingsway near Holborn Station.

207 High Holborn was once occupied by Shapland. A Grade II Listed building, at one time a tobacconist but by 1849 a pawnbroker, the name Shapland first appearing around 1891. The name remained until the early eighties when it became a branch of Goldsmiths. Most recently occupied by Cards Galore it is currently empty.

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There followed a walk down Shaftesbury Avenue and into Soho. Google Maps predicted 14 minutes, my legs said 18. Running roughly East to west I was able once again, vampire like,  to keep in the shade of the buildings for the most part. Soho was busy with delivery vehicles but not much else to be honest - nothing like it is usually.

83-85 Wardour Street used to be the Roundhouse. The current building dates from 1892 and it was the Round House from 1862, renamed from the Blue Cross which appears to have been established around 1756. Popular at one time as a blues and skiffle club, it had certainly lost the Round House name by 2013. It currently houses Soho Residence, a ‘premier bar, club and lounge space’. The Roundhouse name can still be seen on the corner.

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Continuing west along Brewer Street brought me to where Old & New Bond Street meet and directly opposite was my next port of call.

25 Old Bond Street and another Grade II listed building. Carrington & Co. jewellers and silversmiths were established in 1873, however all references point to them being at 130 Regent Street. I can’t as yet find definitive connection to them at Old Bond Street, however it seems likely it was the same company. Carrington received several Royal warrants and were later bought out by Collingwood. Collingwood appears to have closed in 2004 and the premises has been occupied by Tiffany & Co since at least 2001.

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There were certainly more people about here, a queue to get into Hermes stretching around the corner. I eyed some artwork in the street as hefty - if not necessarily fit - security guards - present by most of the shops - eyed me warily. Clearly I didn’t like look a potential customer.

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At 11 New Bond Street used to be Philip Antrobus. Established in 1815 who were commissioned by Prince Philip to design the Queens’ engagement ring, along with a bracelet containing diamonds from his mothers’ tiara. The company was acquired by Pragnell at some point and the unit has been occupied by Blanc Pain since 2014. It is possible that Philip Antrobus descended from the Antrobus family in Congleton. Now occupied by Blanc Pain.

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Further up at No. 26 another name had disappeared. This one was difficult to pin down exactly but Tessiers  looks to be have been established around the early to mid 1800’s. Moved to nearby Burlington Arcade at some point but have since disappeared. Most recently occupied by Lucie Campbell who closed in March 2019, Savills agents reported in December 2019 that luxury retailer Faure le Page would be taking over the property although as you see it still appears to be empty. Again, apologies for the skewed image, taken with the wide angle lens leaning against a DHL van which was parked directly in front!

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The Bond Street Kiosk at 34/35 New Bond Street appeared to occupy a spot directly in front of Sotheby’s auction house. Sparse information on this one however a Private Limited Company was incorporated in 1971 and a stock photo shows it still there in 1991. The company was dissolved in 1996. It has some claim to fame, being shown in the 1983 James Bond Film Octopussy - Roger Moore can be seen standing outside with a magazine.

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And so, on to the very last one on my list and it was perhaps appropriate that it was a pub. A slight reverse ferret and right turn brought me past the aforementioned Hermes store and into Bruton Street. At No.5 stands the Coach & Horses, one of the quaintest buildings I’ve seen on this trip.

Thought to be one of the first properties to be built in Bruton Street and first licensed in 1738. Rebuilt in 1933 in mock Tudor style and features caricatures of 19th century politicians and clerics on it’s walls. A Youngers pub at the time of the photo and until at least 2007, it is now under the Greene King banner.

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A celebratory pint would have been in order but it was a little too early for me and more importantly for them too, as they were shut.

Instead I took a slow walk back down Old Bond Street and along to Piccadilly, down Haymarket and past Trafalgar Square to Whitehall. I could have got on a bus almost straight away here but the Red Lion was very much open and the temptation was too much. I downed my first draught pint of the trip outside watching the world go by before boarding the bus back to the site, crossing the Thames at Lambeth Bridge,  for a late but much enjoyed bacon and Stilton baguette. The usual nap, blog writing, dinner and telly followed.

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  • For the record: Public transport used: Bus 3 to Brixton, Bus 59 to Holborn, Bus 3 to Crystal Place. Total Cost £3.10.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this. From doing the jigsaw that I remember as a kid back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, to all the research done during the winter lockdown, to finally getting to visit all the places featured on the jigsaw. To follow will be a new montage, recreating the original image, once I sort the appropriate software.

In all I did 22 bus journeys and 8 separate underground trips. Cost for the week: £31.25, capped on several days through the TFL Oyster system.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this this series of blog posts. I do hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have putting them together. It’s took me to parts of London that I haven’t been to for years, sometimes back to when I was a kid visiting with my parents, which was longer ago than I care to remember.

Cheers

Rich.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rich, I just want to say thank you for putting this jigsaw project together. It's been 20+ years now since my feet stomped the streets of London and this fascinating read has led to many a retrieval of fond memories for me. It is such a wonderful project and good on you for doing it.

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