Billy Waters: The Busker of the West End

Thus poor Black Billy’s made his Will, His Property was small good lack, For till the day death did him kill His house he carried on his back. The Adelphi now may say alas! And to his memory raise a stone: Their gold will be exchanged for brass, Since poor Black Billy’s dead and gone.…

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Savoy to Albemarle: The Tale of Wilde’s Demise

The Savoy On the 2nd March 1893, the Savoy Hotel’s adjoining rooms 362 and 361 were checked into by an Oscar Wilde rapidly approaching the apogee of his dramatic career. Soon to be joined by Lord Alfred Douglas – or ‘Bosie’ – to whom Wilde had been introduced some two years earlier, the pair would…

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Two Short Accounts on the Old Waterloo Bridge

Before structural issues led to a redesign (resulting in Giles Gilbert Scott’s concrete bridge built in 1942), Waterloo Bridge was considered the most beautiful of all London’s bridges, whose aura was captured more than once by artists: including Constable and Monet during his stays at the Savoy. The following accounts, one by an English archeologist…

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Dracula Stalks the Strand

The names 'Terry', 'Stoker', and 'Irving', carved into the Lyceum Theatre on Burleigh Street. Photo by Fran Allfrey.

On the back wall of the Lyceum theatre in Burleigh Street are three engraved names: Stoker, Irving and Terry. They honour three great characters of the British theatrical world  in the late 19th century.  Henry Irving was the actor/manager of the Lyceum from 1878 to 1902.  Ellen Terry was one the most famous actors of…

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A Dickensian Necropolis, our ‘new normal’ London

Dimly lit Victorian London street

As we entered a new decade, little did we know that three months down the line our bustling thoroughfare would come to be haunted by the shadows of London’s Victorian past. Transforming into a flaneur-like figure in the dead of the night to combat his insomnia, Charles Dickens documented his traversing of London in the…

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