Fine Dining, Weird Flicks, Homesick GIs: The Piccadilly Lights

I take a look behind the Piccadilly Lights: What buildings once stood on the block they're attached to? What tales can they tell from bygone times?

The Hackney Downs Train Crash: A Forgotten Disaster

I revisit a long-forgotten, wholly avoidable 1902 disaster just outside Hackney Downs station caused by a broken axle.

The Siege of Holland’s Leaguer

In December 1631, forces of law and order attempted to raid the most deluxe bordello London had ever seen. But things didn't go quite the way they expected.

The Lives and Times of the Pall Mall Restaurant

Just how many high-class restaurants in the West End called the Pall Mall were there? And what became of them?

The City’s shadowy figure in the under-gallery

The City Remembrancer, a role dating from 1571, is just one of the curious officials employed by the City of London Corporation. I walk the tightrope of political impartiality to explain what he does.

Westminster Riverside: Arias never sung, bells never heard, a murder never solved

A 19th century riverside development opportunity close to Parliament would see a political club, unfinished opera house & the iconic New Scotland Yard.

The City of London’s ‘Abbey Road’ Moment

The Square Mile is not the sort of place one associates with recording studios, yet Decca once had their main studios in the heart of the City, close to London Bridge.

Random Observations on Currants

I strike a blow for small dried black grapes in this modest, whimsical and ever-so-slightly-festive post

The Bath Club: Royalty, Murder & Shunned Pastries

For my second look at unusual gentlemen's clubs in London, I examine the Bath, a club so exalted that kings and their children swam and played squash there, yet forward-thinking enough to admit women from the outset.

Human Cannonballs, Dead Whales, Strongmen & Sombreros

It started as an attempt at the 'moral elevation' of the people and ended as an amusement palace. The story of the Royal Aquarium is full of curious tales and eccentric people.