Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road is a street in central London running immediately north of St Martin-in-the-Fields to St Giles Circus and becomes Tottenham Court Road. It is so called because it serves Charing Cross railway station, what is now Charing Cross road was originally two narrow streets in the West End, Crown Street and Castle Street. Charing Cross Road was developed, in conjunction with Shaftesbury Avenue, the total cost of building at a cost of £778,238. The two streets and others such as the Thames Embankment, Northumberland Avenue and Aldwych were built to improve traffic flow through central London, the road required some of the worst slums in London to be demolished, which delayed progress in construction while they were rehoused. Charing Cross Road is renowned for its specialist and second-hand bookshops, most of these shops are located on the ground floor of a block owned by a housing association, which decided in 2001 to raise the rents sharply to bring them closer to the market level.
The associations counter-argument was that if the booksellers did not pay a market rent they were being subsidised by its low-income tenants, the booksellers attracted considerable public support and a reduced rent increase was imposed. Several of the bookshops closed nonetheless, including Silver Moon, reputedly Europe’s largest women’s interest bookshop, other shops closed more recently, Zwemmers art bookshop, Shipley the art bookshop in December 2008 and Murder One in 2009. Smaller second-hand and specialist antiquarian bookshops can be found on the adjoining Cecil Court, the northern section between Cambridge Circus and Oxford Street includes more generalist bookshops such as the venerable Foyles and Blackwells. A long-standing correspondence between New York City-based author Helene Hanff and the staff of a bookshop on the street, the book was made into a 1987 film starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins and into a play and a BBC radio drama. A small brass plaque, noted by Hanff in her book Qs Legacy, the music venue the Astoria was located here, as is one of the sites of St Martins Arts College, opening in 1939.
To the northeast of Charing Cross Road are the shops on Denmark Street. A number of theatres are on or near Charing Cross Road, such as the Phoenix Theatre and this road once joined Old Compton Street with New Compton Street. On the east side of the southern end, at the joining of St Martins Lane, is a statue of Edith Cavell. Towards the north end is the Phoenix Garden – an environmental garden run by local residents, in the Harry Potter books, the Leaky Cauldron pub is located on Charing Cross Road. Most interior filming was done on set
Metropolitan Board of Works
The Metropolitan Board of Works was the principal instrument of London-wide government from December 1855 until the establishment of the London County Council in March 1889. Its principal responsibility was to infrastructure to cope with Londons rapid growth. The MBW was a rather than elected body. This lack of accountability made it unpopular with Londoners, especially in its latter years when it fell prey to corruption, Londons growth had rapidly accelerated with the increase in railway commuting from the 1830s onwards. However, its government was chaotic, with hundreds of authorities having varying fields of responsibility. Providing a specific service in an area might need the co-ordination of many of these authorities. In 1835 elected municipal boroughs had been set up covering every major city except London, in 1837 an attempt was made to set up a London-wide elected authority, the wealthier districts of Marylebone and Westminster resisted this and ultimately defeated the move. In 1854 the Royal Commission on the City of London proposed to divide London into seven boroughs, the proposal to divide the city into boroughs was abandoned, but the board of works was set up in 1855.
In order to have a body to coordinate local work to plan London. It was not to be an elected body, but instead to consist of members nominated by the vestries who were the principal local authorities. The larger vestries had two members and the City of London had three, in a few areas the vestries covered too small an area, and here they were merged into a district board for the purpose of nominating members to the MBW. There were 45 members, who would elect a Chairman who was to become a member ex officio. The first nominations took place in December and the Board met first on 22 December 1855 where John Thwaites was elected as Chairman, the board took over the powers and liabilities of the Commission of Sewers and the Buildings Office on 1 January 1856. A major problem was sewage, most of Londons waste was allowed to flow into the Thames resulting in a horrendous smell in the summer months, in 1855 and 1858 there were especially bad summers with the latter being known as The Great Stink. A notable achievement of the Board was the creation of the core London sewerage system, including 75 miles of main and 1000 miles of street sewers, which solved the problem.
A large part of the work of the MBW was under the charge of the Chief Engineer, Joseph Bazalgette and its other activities included slum clearance, and the driving through of new streets to relieve traffic congestion. The most important streets built were Charing Cross Road, Garrick Street, Northumberland Avenue, Shaftesbury Avenue, from 1869 onwards the MBW acquired all the private bridges crossing the River Thames and freed them of tolls. It rebuilt Putney Bridge, Battersea Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, the Board wanted to build a new bridge to the east of London Bridge, which had been discussed for many years, in 1878 Bazalgette drew up plans which were estimated at costing £1.25 million
Palace Theatre, London
The Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster in London. Its red-brick facade dominates the west side of Cambridge Circus behind a plaza near the intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue. Richard DOyly Carte, producer of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas and it was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt and intended to be a home of English grand opera. The theatre opened as the Royal English Opera House in January 1891 with a production of Arthur Sullivans opera Ivanhoe. Although this ran for 160 performances, followed briefly by André Messagers La Basoche and he leased it to Sarah Bernhardt for a season and sold the opera house within a year at a loss. It was converted into a music hall and renamed the Palace Theatre of Varieties. In 1897, the theatre began to screen films as part of its programme of entertainment, in 1904, Alfred Butt became manager and continued to combine variety entertainment, including dancing girls, with films. Herman Finck was musical director at the theatre from 1900 until 1920, the Marx Brothers appeared at the theatre in 1922, performing selections from their Broadway shows.
In 1925, the musical comedy No, No, Nanette opened at the Palace Theatre, followed by other musicals, the Sound of Music ran for 2,385 performances at the theatre, opening in 1961. Jesus Christ Superstar ran from 1972 to 1980, and Les Misérables played at the theatre for nineteen years, in 1983, Andrew Lloyd Webber purchased and by 1991 had refurbished the theatre. Monty Pythons Spamalot played at the theatre from 2006 until January 2009, between February 2012 and June 2013, it hosted a production of Singin in the Rain. In June 2016, the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened at the theatre, commissioned by impresario Richard DOyly Carte in the late 1880s, it was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt. Carte intended it to be the home of English grand opera, much as his Savoy Theatre had been built as a home for English light opera, beginning with the Gilbert and Sullivan series. The foundation stone, laid by his wife Helen in 1888, can still be seen on the façade of the theatre, the theatres design was considered to be novel.
The upper levels are supported by heavy steel cantilevers built into the back walls, the tiers, staircases, landings are all constructed of concrete to reduce the risk and damage that might be done by fire. The theatre opened as the Royal English Opera House in January 1891 with Arthur Sullivans Ivanhoe, No expense was spared to make the production a success, including a double cast and every imaginable effect of scenic splendour. It ran for 160 performances, but when Ivanhoe finally closed in July, Carte had no new work to replace it, one opera is not enough to sustain an opera house venture. It was, as critic Herman Klein observed, the strangest comingling of success, towards the end of the run of Ivanhoe I was already preparing the Flying Dutchman with Eugène Oudin in the name part
West End of London
Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross. The West End covers much of the boroughs of Westminster and Camden, while the City of London, or the Square Mile, is the main business and financial district in London, the West End is the main commercial and entertainment centre of the city. It is one of the most expensive locations in the world in which to rent office space and it was close to the royal seat of power at Westminster, and is largely contained within the City of Westminster. Developed in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it was built as a series of palaces, expensive town houses, fashionable shops. The areas closest to the City around Holborn, Seven Dials, as the West End is a term used colloquially by Londoners and is not an official geographical or municipal definition, its exact constituent parts are up for debate. The Edgware Road to the north-west and the Victoria Embankment to the south-east were covered by the document but were treated as adjacent areas to the West End.
According to Ed Glinerts West End Chronicles the districts falling within the West End are Mayfair, Covent Garden, one of the local government wards within the City of Westminster is called West End. This covers a area that defined by Glinert, Soho. The population of this ward at the 2011 Census was 10,575, the New West End Company is a business improvement district and runs services including street cleaning and security on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street. NWEC runs the Red Caps service, the West End is laid out with many notable public squares and circuses, the latter being the original name for roundabouts in London. London West End Things to do General overview of what to do in the West End
Bartitsu is an eclectic martial art and self-defence method originally developed in England during the years 1898–1902. In 1903, it was immortalised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although dormant throughout most of the 20th century, Bartitsu has been experiencing a revival since 2002. This art, he claimed, combined the best elements of a range of fighting styles into a unified whole and he defined Bartitsu as meaning self defence in all its forms, the word was a portmanteau of his own surname and of Jujitsu. Bartitsu included a physical culture training system. Judo and jujitsu, which are secret styles of Japanese wrestling, the same, of course, applies to the use of the foot or the stick. Between 1899 and 1902, Barton-Wright set about publicizing his art through magazine articles, interviews and he established a school called the Bartitsu Academy of Arms and Physical Culture, known informally as the Bartitsu Club, which was located at 67b Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho. In an article for Sandows Magazine of Physical Culture vol,6, journalist Mary Nugent described the Bartitsu Club as.
A huge subterranean hall, all glittering, white-tiled walls, and electric light, kaneo Tani and Yamamoto soon returned to Japan, but Yukio Tani stayed and was shortly joined by another young jujutsuka, Sadakazu Uyenishi. Swiss master-at-arms Pierre Vigny and wrestler Armand Cherpillod were employed as teachers at the Club, as well as teaching well-to-do Londoners, their duties included performing demonstrations and competing in challenge matches against fighters representing other combat styles. It is likely that the actors Esme Beringer and Charles Sefton, in mid-1901, the curriculum of Bartitsu was further expanded to include breathing exercises under the tuition of Mrs. Kate Behnke. As well as the gymnasium, the Bartitsu Club incorporated a well-appointed salon equipped with a wide range of electrotherapy machines. Promoters of the Club included politicians Herbert Gladstone and Lord Alwyne Compton, Barton-Wright reported that, during this period, he had challenged and defeated seven larger men within three minutes as part of a Bartitsu demonstration he gave at St.
Jamess Hall. He said this feat earned him a membership in the prestigious Bath Club and a Royal Command to appear before Edward, Prince of Wales. Unfortunately, Barton-Wright suffered an injury to his hand, due either to a fight in a Kentish country lane or a bicycling accident, the goal was to master each style well enough that they could be used against the others if needed. This process was similar to the concept of cross-training and it can be argued that Bartitsu itself was more in the nature of a cross-training system than a formal martial arts style. In 1899, Barton-Wright summarised the essential principles of Bartitsu as, to surprise him before he has time to regain his balance and use his strength. If necessary, to subject the joints of any parts of his body, whether neck, elbow, back, ankle, etc. to strains that they are anatomically and mechanically unable to resist. Savate and boxing methods were used to segue between these two ranges, or as a means of first response should the defender not be armed with a walking stick
Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green was a civil parish and a metropolitan borough in the East End of London, England. It was formed as a parish in 1743 from the Bethnal Green hamlet in Stepney ancient parish. The vestry became an authority to the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. In the 1900 reform of government caused by the London Government Act 1899 the parish became a metropolitan borough which bordered Hackney, Stepney. In 1965 it was abolished and merged into the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, until 1743 Bethnal Green formed a hamlet within the large parish of Stepney. By the 17th century the settlement had achieved a measure of self-government, with its own overseer and beadle. It remained an area until the beginning of the 18th century. The population rapidly increased and in 1743 an act of parliament constituted Bethnal Green as a separate parish, as well as forming a parish for ecclesiastical purposes, Bethnal Green was created a civil parish with responsibility for relief of the poor and maintenance of highways.
The government of the parish was shared by a vestry, governors of the poor, a further board of paving and lighting commissioners were established in 1843. 1 or East, No.2 or North, No.3 or West, in 1889 the Metropolitan Board was replaced by the London County Council, and Bethnal Green was formally removed from Middlesex to the new County of London. Bethnal Green was part of the ancient parish of St Dunstan, Stepney in the Diocese of London, accordingly, in 1900, a borough council consisting of a mayor, five aldermen and 30 councillors replaced the vestry. The boundaries of the borough and parish were realigned at the same time, Bethnal Green Town Hall in Patriot Square was opened in 1910, and extended in 1936-9. The architects were Percy Robinson and William Alban Jones, in 2010 the building was reopened as a hotel, much of the original art deco interior has been retained. His identity was revealed at the wedding feast of his daughter Bessie, a depiction of the beggar had appeared on the head of the beadles staff dating from 1690.
In the first election to the council, held on 1 November 1900 the Progressives gained a majority. The Moderates formed the 8 member opposition group, the Progressives increased their majority to 24 at the 1903 elections, and in 1906 they won all the seats on the council. The Progressives held the council against the Municipal Reform Party until 1919 when the Labour Party gained a majority and Liberals regained control at the 1925 election, holding power until 1934. In 1934, Labour again took control, and from that held all the seats on the council until the boroughs abolition
The Apollo Theatre is a Grade II listed West End theatre, on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, in central London. The only complete theatre design of architect Lewin Sharp, the Apollo was specifically designed for theatre and named after the Greek god of the arts. It was constructed by builder Walter Wallis of plain London brick in keeping with the neighbouring streets, the structure encloses a four-level auditorium, with three cantilevered balconies and a first-floor central loggia, decorated in the Louis XIV Style by Hubert van Hooydonk. In keeping with European style, each level has its own foyer, owing to the death of Queen Victoria the previous month, it became the first London theatre to be completed in the Edwardian period. The capacity on the night,21 February 1901, was 893. The capacity today is 775 seats, with the balcony on the 3rd tier considered the steepest in London, owing to a relatively unsuccessful opening, impresario Tom B. Davis took a lease on the building, and hence management of operations, from 1902.
The theatre was renovated by Ernest Schaufelberg in 1932, with a private foyer, Prince Littler took control of the theatre in 1944. Stoll Moss Group purchased the theatre in 1975, selling it to Andrew Lloyd Webbers Really Useful Group, nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer purchased the theatre and several others in 2005, creating Nimax Theatres, which still owns the theatre. It brought down a lighting rig and a section of balcony, there were 720 people in the audience at the time. The incident was preceded by heavy rain, the emergency services responded with 25 ambulance crews, an air ambulance rapid response team,8 fire engines with more than 50 firefighters, and the Metropolitan Police. Casualties were taken to the foyers of the adjacent Gielgud and Queens theatres, the London Ambulance Service stated that they had treated 76 injured people, with 58 taken to four London hospitals, some on commandeered buses. Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust said 34 adults and 5 children were treated in accident.
The venue reopened on 26 March 2014, with an adaptation of Let the Right One In produced by the National Theatre of Scotland. The owners were able to reopen the theatre by sealing the fourth level and balcony with a temporary floor, the opening caused a public uproar, with a selected audience for the first performance, on Thursday 21 February 1901, and the first public performance scheduled for 22 February. The Times refused to review the private opening, instead waiting until the first public production on the following day, the opening production was the American musical comedy The Belle of Bohemia, which survived for 72 performances—17 more than it had accomplished when produced on Broadway. The production was followed by John Martin-Harveys season, including A Cigarette Makers Romance and The Only Way, george Edwardes produced a series of successful Edwardian musical comedies, including Kitty Grey, Three Little Maids and The Girl from Kays. Between 1908 and 1912 the theatre hosted H. G.
Pelissiers The Follies, after this it staged a variety of works, including seasons of plays by Charles Hawtrey in 1913,1914 and 1924, and Harold Brighouses Hobsons Choice in 1916. Inside the Lines by Earl Derr Biggers ran for 421 performances in 1917, gilbert Dayles What Would a Gentleman Do
West End theatre
West End theatre is a common term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of Theatreland in and near the West End of London. Along with New York Citys Broadway theatre, West End theatre is considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London, in 2013, ticket sales reached a record 14.4 million, making West End the largest English speaking audience in the world. Famous screen actors frequently appear on the London stage, helen Mirren received an award for her performance as the Queen on the West End stage, and stated, theatre is such an important part of British history and British culture. Theatre in London flourished after the English Reformation, the first permanent public playhouse, known simply as The Theatre, was constructed in 1576 in Shoreditch by James Burbage. It was soon joined by The Curtain, both are known to have been used by William Shakespeares company.
In 1599, the timber from The Theatre was moved to Southwark and these theatres were closed in 1642 due to the Puritans who would influence the interregnum of 1649. After the Restoration, two companies were licensed to perform, the Dukes Company and the Kings Company, performances were held in converted buildings, such as Lisles Tennis Court. The first West End theatre, known as Theatre Royal in Bridges Street, was designed by Thomas Killigrew and built on the site of the present Theatre Royal and it opened on 7 May 1663 and was destroyed by a fire nine years later. It was replaced by a new designed by Christopher Wren and renamed the Theatre Royal. Outside the West End, Sadlers Wells Theatre opened in Islington on 3 June 1683. Taking its name from founder Richard Sadler and monastic springs that were discovered on the property, it operated as a Musick House, with performances of opera, as it was not licensed for plays. In the West End, the Theatre Royal Haymarket opened on 29 December 1720 on a site north of its current location.
The Patent theatre companies retained their duopoly on drama well into the 19th century, by the early 19th century, music hall entertainments became popular, and presenters found a loophole in the restrictions on non-patent theatres in the genre of melodrama. Melodrama did not break the Patent Acts, as it was accompanied by music, these entertainments were presented in large halls, attached to public houses, but purpose-built theatres began to appear in the East End at Shoreditch and Whitechapel. The West End theatre district became established with the opening of small theatres and halls. South of the River Thames, the Old Vic, Waterloo Road, the next few decades saw the opening of many new theatres in the West End. It abbreviated its name three years later, the theatre building boom continued until about World War I
The name Chinatown has been used at different times to describe different places in London. The present Chinatown is part of the City of Westminster, occupying the area in and it contains a number of Chinese restaurants, supermarkets, souvenir shops, and other Chinese-run businesses. The first area in London known as Chinatown was located in the Limehouse area of the East End of London. At the start of the 20th century, the Chinese population of London was concentrated in that area, the area began to become known through exaggerated reports and tales of opium dens and slum housing, rather than the Chinese restaurants and supermarkets in the current Chinatown. However, much of the area was damaged by bombing during the Blitz in World War II. After World War II, the popularity of Chinese cuisine. The present Chinatown, which is off Shaftesbury Avenue did not start to be established until the 1970s, up until then, it was a regular Soho area, run-down, with Gerrard Street the main thoroughfare. Other businesses included a bakers, the Sari Centre, Lesgrain French Coffee House, Harrison Marks Glamour Studio.
Probably the first Chinese restaurants opened in Lisle Street, parallel to Gerrard St, the Tailor & Cutter did not close down until around 1974. The area boasts over 80 restaurants showcasing some of Londons finest and most authentic Asian cuisine, in 2005, the property developer Rosewheel proposed a plan to redevelop the eastern part of Chinatown. The London Chinatown Community Centre has been housed in the Chinatown area since it was founded in 1980 by Dr Abraham Lue, the Centre claims to have received 40,000 people for help and assistance since its foundation. Located since 1998 on the 2nd floor of 28-29 Gerrard Street, vale Royal House, a large residential block, houses a number of families and single men and women. The block was built in the 1980s and houses the China Town car park underneath it, john Dryden lived for a while at 43 Gerrard Street, which is commemorated by a blue plaque. Another plaque, on number 9, marks the meeting of Samuel Johnson and Joshua Reynolds at the Turks Head Tavern to found The Club, a dining club, in 1764.
In fiction, Charles Dickens sets the home of Mr Jaggers, rather a stately house of its kind, but dolefully in want of painting, and with dirty windows a stone hall. A Royal Society of Arts blue plaque commemorates Edmund Burke at 37 Gerrard Street, in the Roaring Twenties, the 43 Club was set up at number 43, as a jazz club notorious for outrageous parties frequented by the rich and powerful. It was eventually closed down by order of the Home Office. Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club started in Gerrard Street in the basement of No.39, in 1953, No.4 Gerrard Street was a small studio where the theatrical photographer George Harrison Marks and his partner Pamela Green and worked
Cambridge Circus, London
Cambridge Circus is a traffic junction at the junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road in central London. The junction is situated halfway between Tottenham Court Road tube station and Leicester Square. The Palace Theatre is located on the west side of the junction, the BBCs Gordon Corera notes that the entrance described by Le Carré most closely resembles that of 90 Charing Cross Road, just north of Cambridge Circus. The actual MI6 has never occupied premises in or near Cambridge Circus