Avoid like the plague

A bitter pill

Once was the time that every Londoner knew who Doctor Butler was, and the alleged restorative properties of his famous brew. Such was his fame a number of London pubs carried his name. Alas all but [...]

Scratching Fanny in Cock Lane

Cock Lane, an inconspicuous narrow thoroughfare in Smithfield, in 1762 suddenly acquired international fame, or notoriety, when a house became one of London’s best known haunting. The spirit of Fanny Lynes accused someone of her own [...]

Penny Licks

John Hammond got it right, when faced with his imminent demise in Jurassic Park the entrepreneur played by Richard Attenborough, expecting to be eaten by dinosaurs – due to a power cut unlocking their cages – [...]

Smutty Streets

It is reputedly the talk around the table of every Islington dinner party – house prices. That might be so but the residents of one N1 street are probably less willing to discuss their good fortune. [...]

Mole Man resurfaces

It has all the ingredients of a Grand Designs programme for Channel 4, Kevin McCloud walking through the rubble and telling viewers that the restoration of 121 Mortimer Road poses problems not seen before and unlikely [...]

“Can I bring my budgie?”

. . . and other bizarre requests made of London Cabbies Cabbies in London get to see all walks of life. In fact, you never quite know who you’ll get in the back of your cab [...]

Run for the Hills

At the Tate Gallery among the paintings by Constable and Monet was a sight stranger than any picture by Jackson Pollock which would later adorn its walls. Wearing his pyjamas an off-duty policeman dived into the [...]

Last gasp

Great Marlborough Street was named in honour of distinguished soldier and statesman John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. But his name has become a byword for rocky canyons, dramatic sunsets, rugged mountains and manly imagery known [...]

A Quack’s Cure

Lionel Lockyer is not a person on everybody’s lips these days, but there was a time his name or at least his product was on the lips of every well heeled person in Georgian London. For [...]

Mayfair’s leering peer

When the Les Enfant terribles of apparel arrived at London’s centre of bespoke tailoring of all places opposite Prince Charles’s tailor the makers of sartorial elegance were up in arms to protect their image. Even worse [...]