The Characters of Fitzrovia

The Characters of Fitzrovia

Words Peter West

Illustrations Sarah Maycock

Fitzrovia, with its welcoming village atmosphere and bohemian lifestyle, has always attracted creative individuals. Here we focus on five famous characters who have contributed to the creative spirit of Fitzrovia.

Dickens, Woolf, Thomas, Dylan and Hendrix. Just five of the famous names who have either lived or frequented Fitzrovia.  And the legacy will continue as many more poets, painters, writers and musicians are drawn to one of the most creative places in London.

The images featured here have kindly been provided by Fitzroy Place who commissioned artist Sarah Maycock to create a series of illustrations to celebrate the creativity of Fitzrovia.


Jimi Hendrix

The musical revolution in the 1960s also produced Jimi Hendrix and he was another to gravitate towards Fitzrovia. He arrived in 1966 and formed his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in the October of that year.

Around that time one of the most popular late-night venues in London was the Speakeasy Club on Margaret Street, which was alleged to be owned by the Kray Twins. Jimi played with many famous names at the club and also frequently met friends there during the late sixties.

On one occasion Mick Jagger turned up, with his then girlfriend Marianne Faithfull, to watch Hendrix play. After the set, it’s reputed that Hendrix sidled up to Faithfull and whispered in her ear “What are you doing with this jerk?” Years later in an interview, Marianne was reported to say “It’s one of the greatest regrets of my life. I should have said, ‘Okay mate, let’s go.’”

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