Tag Archives: berwick street

Oliver Spencer

Oliver Spencer


Words & Photography Kirk Truman


“I wanted to open on Berwick Street. I really believed it was the high street of the neighbourhood.”

Farringdon, Portobello, Lambeth: familiar names of London districts, but also those of a range of garments designed by Oliver Spencer, whose clothes, full of stylish accents and practical details, have earned a reputation for distinction, comfort and sheer cool. Designing and making handcrafted garments for modern men and women, Bloomsbury-based Spencer has produced his own individual take on relaxed British style, and a special relationship with the Soho neighbourhood stretching back to his youth.

Having grown up in Coventry, Oli first moved to London in the early 1990s to study art. Frustrated by the limitations of art school, he abandoned his studies and enrolled in what he describes as the University of Life, selling second-hand clothes from a stall at Portobello Market. “Lots of things happened which I would describe as being pivotal in framing where my life would go next. I learnt lots of lessons – some good and some bad,” he says. He woke up at 4.30am every day so he could get his pitch, and it was there on the market stall that his relationship with clothes really began, giving him with an enduring love of the product and a passion for shopkeeping.

Oli spent a decade creating and expanding his first venture, formalwear brand Favourbrook, during which time he designed waistcoats for the 1994 film Four Weddings And A Funeral and began to establish his place on London’s design map. Eight years later, he wanted to embark on a new venture with even greater ambitions – success on the global scene. His plan was to produce a range of clothing that combined the quality and craft of traditional tailoring with a more relaxed modern style. His philosophy: quality needn’t mean formality; casual needn’t mean careless. “I have a feeling towards clothing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s dressing up or dressing down – it’s involved in every step of my life in any case,” he says. “When my customers purchase something from us, I want them to feel a sense of belonging – as if they’ve bought something that’s like their best friend… something they’ve owned forever. Every season, I strive to get there. I want to create clothes that talk to people. Most of my customers like to be seen but not heard – that’s why I don’t brand my stuff.” The Oliver Spencer label was born in 2002, and its founder’s philosophy soon found a number of adherents in the heart of Bloomsbury and beyond. Oli’s arrival in Bloomsbury came about through friend and founder of Folk Clothing, Glaswegian fashion designer Cathal McAteer. The Oliver Spencer brand first came to Lambs Conduit Street in 2007, and Oli’s store at No 62 is home to the latest collection each season, with the original surviving shop fittings making for an immaculately dressed setting.

Since launching on Lambs Conduit Street, Oliver Spencer has continued to expand across London, opening shops in Shoreditch and Soho – an area that’s been important in Oli’s own life since 1989. “I first came here with an ex-girlfriend of mine who was a couple of years older than me. At this point, I was already into fashion. It was the middle of the summer, and I was wearing an old second-hand two-piece check suit with sandals – aged 18. I remember getting some strange looks! People could see I definitely wasn’t from the area,” he says. “My relationship with Soho has always been that of a stranger really. It’s always held this awe for me – I’ve always been a bit scared of it to be honest. When I was a kid at art school, Soho was this tricky place. It felt so grown up, with so much going on all around. To a young kid, it was a bit intimidating. It was full of many different tribes, and not everybody was necessarily nice, especially if you were an outsider coming here. Everywhere you turned, there were dark streets and characters lurking. Since then, my fear has turned into a fascination. On a Friday evening, I know if I get here after 9pm, I won’t be home until at least 3am. Its an absolute vortex.” After opening his Bloomsbury stores, Oli had always planned for Soho to be his next destination. “I knew exactly where I wanted to open: I wanted to open on Berwick Street. I really believed it was the high street of the neighbourhood. It was the first store we opened where the tills began to ring from the very first day… if the shoe fits, as they say.”

Oli is uncompromising in the standards he sets for production and provenance, sourcing the finest fabrics and yarns from artisanal British and Italian mills. He prides himself on producing his garments in only the best European factories and workshops, with around 40 per cent of the collection made here in London or elsewhere in England. Despite the emphasis on British quality, Oliver Spencer’s eye is firmly fixed on the global market. Today, his clothes are stocked in many of the world’s leading department stores, from Selfridges to Liberty of London, and he has opened shops in Toronto and Paris, as well as developing a profitable international online business. With wearers of his brand including Daniel Craig, Tinie Tempah, Alex James and Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, Oli confesses that his next ambition is to become a household name.

oliverspencer.co.uk

@oliverspencer

Cloth House

Cloth House


Words Gordon Ritchie

Photography Kirk Truman


“There are treasures to be discovered everywhere you look.”

I’d always been slightly intrigued by the window displays on Berwick Street, up near the Oxford Street end. What exactly went on at the Cloth House? Was it an undercover meeting spot for a secret tie-die society of Soho, or a triad of sewing ninjas who specialised in reading illegible messages printed on the squares of delicate fabrics strung along lines in the window? “The collection is sourced all over the world. It is an inspiring mixture of new and vintage products, always changing, and carefully curated.”

I’d always walked past, despite being a man of the cloth myself. Brought up in the land of wool, tweed, and cashmere I spent many an afternoon from a young age in material shops, factory stores and mill shops, waiting while my Mother picked skirt lengths, yards and metres of cloth to make her own clothes from paper Burda, sometime Vogue patterns. The whirr of the sewing machine, brown paper shapes being laid and pinned onto cloth, pinking shears cutting through cloth, it was a regular feature of my childhood home. These shops were filled with older women, or younger girls who looked like they wanted to be older. My parents eventually opened their own fabric store, and I helped with the buying. Trips to warehouses in Edinburgh, cloth merchants in Manchester became part of my days, helping out in the shop when I could. It was just something I did.

In Soho the Cloth House seemed to have been there forever. “Cloth House is a family run business established in 1984 by husband and wife Jay and Niki. We are one of the original Cloth Stores in Soho and have been in the street for over 25 years. Many things on the street have changed over the years, but the fabric shops are what Berwick Street is famous for, and we feel part of the original Soho.” One day I walked in. This wasn’t the remnant kings of my childhood, the shop felt bright, felt vibrant, felt right. Whitewashed brick walls, wooden floor, and rolls and rolls of cloth. Tubes of buttons in old wooden furniture, the shop was busy and there was a buzz about it. Young girls buying, and the staff, young girls selling. Bikes parked in tucked away corners and up on platform mezzanines. This was the spot for fresh faced girls who made their own clothes for cycling down country lanes, or at least cycling home from Soho through Clerkenwell to London Fields. Spots, daisies and repeat pattern prints on the dresses they had sewn themselves.

“Our customers range from home sewers and crafters, to design students, clothing and costume designers for film and theatre. We have such a wide range of customers, it’s always inspiring to hear about what visions each individual has for a material – one customer may imagine a material into a jacket, whilst another might plan for a quilted blanket and cushion from the same fabric. We love to see what’s been fashioned from our materials. Every week we meet new sewers and first time visitors to our shop, and every week we see old customers and friends who have been buying from us since the 80s! Many of our customers are from overseas. Being in London we have a large fashion student clientele. We’re also lucky to meet fashion students who visit us from all over the UK, and the world! Our student customers never fail to surprise and inspire, manipulating our products to create their vision. Some of our staff members are also current fashion students, and the majority of our staff have completed fashion/textile courses.”

You could see it was the spot for fashion students putting together their toiles and their graduate pieces at Central St. Martins Though now not so central over in Kings Cross, once it had stood as a cornerstone of Soho looming over Charing Cross Road. “Cloth House stocks a huge variety of beautiful fabrics, but we are perhaps best known for our collection of cottons and linens. From hand printed cotton to washed linen and crisp denim we have a huge variety of natural cloths. The Japanese and Indian collections are perhaps some of the most beautiful, unusual and inspiring fabrics. It is important for a shop to have personality. A unique feature of Cloth House is the vast mixture within the shop. Japanese materials sit next to French, and beautiful polyesters drape alongside crisp cottons. The longer you look, the more you will find, from the bejewelled Indian sari trims to vintage buttons.”

The fabric selection at The Cloth House is inspiring and stunning. Cottons, poplins, chambray and selvedge denim, prints that I kept thinking would look great on a shirt. “I think it’s possible to walk into Cloth House with absolutely no idea or inspiration, and find a print or a texture that really gets you thinking and wanting to design and make.”

There is huge choice, a massive selection. The staff provide friendly smiles and hellos and group themselves around the till. Down the stairs and others hold court over small batches of girls in the corners, helpfully, and with a smile offering advice, choices and options. It’s a happy place, a happy atmosphere, I had to stop myself from smiling. “Our staff are always available to help and inspire. All of our staff have a creative background/interest, and one of the most fun aspects of the job is discussing projects with customers, and coming up with creative ideas and solutions. We offer a sample service for customers where we send out swatches and take telephone orders. We have a blog for textile inspiration and making ideas and recently started a ‘what are you making?’thread where we invite customers to send us images of their creations using Cloth House materials. To inspire and be inspired is such a rewarding part of this creative industry, customers like to share pictures on Instagram and email us.”

Wandering amongst the props around the shop, you might find girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, others with the knowledge to tell you what the pattern is or piles of old books that are tied up with string, but these are not my favourite things. In the Cloth House it is definitely the cloth. The fabric, a social fabric that brings together a fresh young sewing circle of people to Soho, at the House of Cloth.

 

 

Paul Raymond

Paul Raymond


Words Kirk Truman

Illustrations Luke Stuart


“There will always be sex – always, always, always.”

There is no denying it, I did not know him and neither did you. Though, still his methods and his legacy are forever lingering and echoing about this neighbourhood. About the vibrancy of the evening along Brewer Street, the un-glowing neon beacon of the Raymond Revuebar is hung high above the street unnoticed by the people that tangle below. The Box Soho screams obscenity; nudity and sex before our very eyes unravelling. But from whom did this idea prosper: the world centre of erotic entertainment? Sex, publishing, property and Soho – Paul Raymond shall be forever renowned as the king of Soho.

The man who pioneered Soho strip clubs and the soft-porn magazine trade for more than 40 years began his career as an entrepreneur selling nylons and hairnets from a stall. Born into a Roman Catholic family in Liverpool, Paul Raymond was an early continental stage name he had chosen for himself – he was born Geoffrey Anthony Quinn. His mother wished for him to have a sound job in life, such as a railway ticket office clerk, thus never fully accepting his somewhat obscene chosen career path. As a youngster, Raymond’s father absconded from his life when he was just five. Despite his success and the confidence which his trade is known, as a youngster Raymond was shy and often stammered. His childhood would’ve taught him the deep requirement to establish his own independence which ultimately led to define his character.

A working-class boy, Raymond left school at 15 and started working at the Manchester ship canal as an office boy. His first passion was devoted to percussion – though he would claim he was rather good, it wasn’t enough to make it as a professional. Under the direction of wartime labour laws, he went down a mine as a Bevin Boy for one day only with the police bringing him back. After a stint in the RAF he left legitimately, beginning to move toward theatricality. In Liverpool, Raymond became a theatrical agent and a theatrical impresario in a small way later in Manchester. He then humorously purchased a mind reading act for 25 pounds though he was ‘never quick enough’ as he would describe it. The manager of a theatre said to Raymond that he would allow him and his two female colleagues on to his stage with a catch; only if the females were to be entirely nude. He offered the two girls an extra 10 shillings a week and they agreed. At this point, the law stated that on-stage nudity was permitted providing women didn’t move whilst on stage. Being a man who sought to find a way around any obstructions in his path, Raymond found a way to make the women rotate in order to make his earlier shows a success. Here began Raymond on a path through a changing Britain and Soho that would lead him to become the richest man in the country, going on to present risqué sex shows such as Yes, We Have No Pyjamas, Come Into My Bed and Let’s Get Laid.

Raymond saw that the Lord Chamberlain’s restrictions surrounding on-stage nudity could be simply bypassed by turning theatres into private clubs. The old Doric Ballroom in Walker’s Court soon became the makings of The Raymond Revuebar, hosting an array of daily explicit shows. The club was one of very few legal venues in London offering full frontal nudity. Though homosexual acts between men were illegal at this time, the Revue bar was also able to incorporate a Sunday night show aimed at a gay audience. Amid the controversy of the club and Raymond’s reputation, the chairman of the London Sessions called his show “filthy, disgusting and beastly,” fining him £5,000 in 1961. The publicity for his shows was, of course, worth many times £5,000. By the late 1960s the venue was solely hosting striptease performances. This in turn made way for big budget erotic shows of the type presented by continental clubs such as the Crazy Horse. With a small number of male dancers, performers were mostly female. Performances involved a mixture of solo striptease acts mixed with simulated boy/girl and girl/girl on-stage sex. Pieced together with as many as three performances nightly, they were known as The Festival of Erotica which ran for many years.

Raymond became a British institution and in his own words, “there will always be sex – always, always, always.” His realisation that the beauty of the live female body could in fact do better at the box office if relocated from the dark sweaty cellars of Soho to be rejuvenated within the world of theatre was key to Raymond’s success. When taking over the Whitehall and the Windmill theatres, the formula he continued was to provide nudity without actionable crudity, which he too applied to publications such as Men Only. Raymond’s wealth and empire began to spread throughout Soho rapidly with the purchasing of buildings throughout the area.

At an early stage in his career, Raymond refused to have partners or even a board of directors, thus leading to his organisation of theatres and magazines, sitting alongside a mass of around 400 properties in the Soho area, becoming a commercial giant that dwarfed other theatre managements. Come the late 1980s, profits from the numerous clubs he owned, his West End theatres and girlie magazines totalled more than £6m a year, continuing to rise yearly. Having acquired the lease of numerous other properties throughout Soho, they went from making Raymond into a multimillionaire then later into a billionaire, with the values of properties in the UK ever-rising. With an estimated fortune of more than £1.5bn, by 1992 he had ousted the Duke of Westminster as Britain’s richest man. Still, Raymond was simply ill-equipped to constructively employ or enjoy such wealth, remaining shy and often stammering in company. Despite his insistence that he was an entertainer, a show business man, he was frequently coined a pornographer and a crook by the British media, leading him to dismiss the much harsher claims made by journalists that he had little interest in anything other than his cabin cruiser, drink and his iconic gold-plated Rolls Royce.

Despite his overwhelming success, his personal life was often problematic, even tragic. In 1974, his wife Joan divorced him after 23 years of marriage after Raymond confessed to adultery with the well-exposed star of some of his shows, Fiona Richmond. With him and his ex-wife not nearly on speaking terms, his turbulent relationship with his son and presumed heir, Howard, had bettered until his drug problems ensued. The year Raymond became Britain’s richest man in 1992, his daughter Debbie Raymond, who had helped him run his business, died of a tragic heroin overdose.

Tortured by the untimely death of his daughter, Raymond came to confine himself in his Green Park penthouse, located next door to the Ritz hotel. Though still his story of financial success continued on. The receiver in 1994 accepted Raymond’s £15m offer to buy the Café de Paris, the Rialto cinema site and shops and offices in Rupert Street and Coventry Street in Soho, with him also buying the Queen’s House leisure complex in Leicester Square for £12m two years later. When appointing Joe Daniel, a Barclays banker, as his managing director it wasn’t long until rumours of cancer and bad health started to spread. In 1997, he sold his legacy, the Raymond Revuebar, to former Marseilles Ballet dancer Gerard Simi. The Revuebar dwindled with its eventual closure in 2004.

Raymond progressively thinned his connection with the organisation he had built, despite insistence that he was still in charge with his brother, Dr Philip Quinn, becoming a director of his Organisation in 2000. Falling out of the media limelight in his later years, aged 82, Raymond died of respiratory failure in 2008. Forward to today, his granddaughters, Fawn & India, continue his legacy and love for the neighbourhood that brought the success of his career amid a changing Britain and Soho. The sign of the Raymond Revuebar may no longer glow high above Brewer Street, but his methods and his legacy shall forever last in the neighbourhood which he helped shape. The king is dead. Long live the king.

Sister Ray

Sister Ray


Words Martin Copland-Gray

Photography Manu Zafra


“I do think people quite like vinyl as a product because it is timeless, it is a fabulous piece of kit, it feels great, it sounds great. You have to engage with it, you have to actually put the damn thing on the record player and half-way through you have to turn it over!”

Those of us old enough to remember our first meeting with vinyl can claim to have experienced an almost religious moment. The dazzling cover art of something like Led Zeppelin IV, the paper sleeve gently holding the beautifully crafted disc of black gold in place, carefully sliding it out to hold at its edges, slowly placing the vinyl down on the turntable and then finally taking the playing arm from its resting place and ever so gently placing it in the groove at the start of the record.  All this before the music has even started!

For Phil Barton of Sister Ray Records on Berwick Street, vinyl has been his life. His introduction to record shops was in Whitstable, where he grew up. “I used to go and buy my Sham 69 7” in a store there, and from then on I thought record shops were really cool. Then I went to college in Nottingham and I used to walk past this shop called Selectadisc, I ended up buying it eventually – one of the stupidest things I ever did!  Anyway I walked in and said ‘can I have a job?’ And they’re like, ‘We haven’t got any!’ So I kept going in and going in until they gave me a job! I was working nights in a pork pie factory and then I was working in the record shop. It was the most fantastic thing I’d ever done.”

Later, whilst enjoying a successful career working for EMI, as a salesman for Parlophone he met Neil Brown who had a record store in Soho.  As he says, “I was one of the first reps to pop in and say do you wanna buy some of our gear? They opened an EMI account and I sold them stock. Not a problem. Back then you could sell anything to anyone.”

For followers of Soho music culture, Number 34 Berwick Street is forever enshrined in popular culture as it features on the front cover of Oasis’ classic album (What’s the story) Morning Glory?. Of course that was when the store was named Selectadisc and was owned by Brian Selby who also owned the store in Nottingham that gave Phil his first stab in the music business, “I’ve known Brian all my life who sadly died a few years ago and he said to me – look I’ve had enough of being in London, do you want to buy the shop? So Neil and I got some money together, the days when you could borrow money, and we bought it. It was a stupid thing to do in 2003 because in 2007 it was on its knees and we went into administration and I bought it back with some help for a ludicrously small amount. We started it up again without any costs and I paid everybody back eventually. We’re still here in 2015, over the road in a new unit and it’s actually making money. For the first time we don’t have to look over our shoulders and think ‘who are we not going to pay this month?’ We’re in a good position and that’s because people are buying vinyl records and the reason I think is that people like shopping, they like the physical piece of product.”

So how have things changed since our love of vinyl has returned even though we seem to be heavily entrenched in the age of downloads and MP3s? Phil seems to think that people have wised up to how music is now being made and marketed – “It’s because downloads don’t sound very good.  Most people don’t back their stuff up really. So, if your computer gets corrupted or whatever, then you’ve lost it all. I do think people quite like vinyl as a product because it is timeless, it is a fabulous piece of kit, it feels great, it sounds great. You have to engage with it, you have to actually put the damn thing on the record player and halfway through you HAVE to turn it over!”

As a fan of The Who and The Clash, with a pretty impressive record collection himself what does he think of the current music scene? “I’m not gonna knock it because it’s a sound in itself. There’s probably going to be a genre that we’ll look back at in 10 years’ time and it’ll be MP3 Pop or something because there’s no physical record of a lot of it. A lot of stuff kids are exchanging will never exist on anything other than MP3. A lad who used to work here has gone to work for a dance label and they don’t release anything physically.”

There’s been a Sister Ray, named after the Velvet Underground song, in Soho since the shop first opened at 94 Berwick Street, down at the Market end, 1988, which is due to be redeveloped in the next 6 months.  At one time there were 20 record shops in Soho, a specialist shop for every single genre you could imagine, but now there are only six left.  After being on the street nearly 27 years, Phil can be proud of what he and his colleagues have achieved over that time. “I don’t look over my shoulder and think they were the good old days. You have to look forward, you have to realise that things are different. What I do love is that I do love vinyl records and I do realise that there is a niche for someone doing it really well and if your shop looks good and you have a good amount of stock, interesting stock, and every time you walk in there’s something different there then people keep coming back and I like that.  I like to think that what we do here people appreciate because we work really hard at it. We clean the records, we grade the records, we look after the stock. We take a bit of pride in what we do and we really want to put on a show so when people walk in they’re like ‘Oh wow!’”

With vinyl back on the up once more and the likes of Paul Weller, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page walking through the doors to purchase albums from Mod to Blues, World Music and beyond, as well as another Record Store Day looming in April, life is pretty good for this Soho institution. But for Phil his most favourite moment of the last quarter of a century was when an exhibition on The Clash was held in Berwick Street. The Sister Ray store was used as a chill out area and, as Phil remembers, “To have Mick Jones stand downstairs in your shop, rolling a spliff on your photocopier, going ‘I love your shop mate it’s great’ and them being my favourite band of all time, ever… it’s rather nice!

Berwick Street cries out loud…

Berwick Street cries out loud…


Words Laurence Glynne

Illustrations Alexandria Coe


It is 12:00 midday, I have just left a meeting and all I can think is that I must go to Soho. I have to buy my fruit and vegetables for a special dinner party. My wife is fairly OCD when it comes to entertaining and I am OTT when it comes to food being the chef chez nous, and quality of grub is a priority when I am cooking! So I am racing along Wells Street, Fitzrovia, to cross over Oxford Street into Berwick Street, but wait a moment! This street has a history and is lined with Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Deco buildings to admire (though admittedly some not so admirable) on our way along this “micro gem” of a street. Surrounded also by warehouse buildings, office blocks making architectural statements, many with delicious façades, others not so appealing to the eye, but hey that’s what gives the area it’s ‘Sohemian’ vibe, and I don’t use this term loosely because there is definitely a vibe in this precious West End spot.

Now I have reached my destination at the southern end, on the corner of Peter Street and Berwick Street, have also passed Noel, D’arblay, Broadwick to mention a few. “Hi Dennis, what is Darren on?” I say. “Oh matey he never stops, been doing it for years, bursting my ears.”

I am laden with fruit and vegetable goodies from his stall before I head back to my office. I leave Berwick Street market still loud, bustling, manic, alive and vibrant which is the norm, particularly as it is lunchtime. With No. 56 almost kissing the corner of Oxford Street on the north-side leading all the way to Peter Street; this is where the Berwick story begins.

Records show that, in 1585, there was no Soho, let alone any streets. And all that could be heard was the haunting cry “Soho” for the best part of the century. Darren, John & Ross were all shouting three hundred and five years later in the late 1980s, offering their flowers, fruit and veg, “Fill yer boots with banana-lana at 19p a pound.”

Berwick Street is not just about the market, far from it. This patchwork quilted thoroughfare, built in 1687 to 1703, was named thus after James Fitzjames, the first Duke of Berwick, illegitimate son of James II and Arabella Churchill. Booze, fashion and music all contributed to this remarkable Soho pitch, surprisingly rich historic treasure. The Green Man site has been occupied by a tavern dating back as early as 1738 and the antique lighting shop, W. Sitch & Co are still trading since the 1870s – today it is the oldest surviving shop. They supplied lighting for films such as Titanic and the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and numerous other notable films.

Rags to riches has been the theme for years and still continues, known as ‘the guinea gown shops’ competing with Oxford Street, trading often at half the price, is only half of the picture. Legendary tailor Eddie Kerr made his name in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and his son continues dressing his clients to this day. Gaze up at the pattern of tailors above the shops plying their trade. The Silk Society, Mison Fabrics, The Cloth House, Berwick St Cloth Shop and menswear boutique Oliver Spencer ensure the fashion scene (thank goodness) remains.

“The golden mile of vinyl” in the 1980s brings music echoing along the street, supported by independent renowned stores, Reckless Records, The Music and Video Exchange and Sister Ray play their sounds in the immediate vicinity. Soho and music go together like love and marriage, fish and chips, sex and rock n’ roll. It’s still cutting a groove!

The infamous John Profumo unveiled a famous blue plaque in memory of the Jessie Matthews (a famous actress and dancer in the 1920s) on the wall of the blue post public house, whilst columnist Jeffery Bernard viewed the street from Kemp House, overlooking the market from his flat on the 14th floor. Marc Bolan (the late and infamous founder of T. Rex) evidently worked on his mums stall in the market in the ‘60s. The street was later to become the location for the cover art of the legendary Oasis album (What’s the story?) Morning Glory.

This brings me back to our flower man John who works with Ronnie of Ronnie’s Flowers opposite Kemp House which, at the moment, has not yet been pedestrianised, as has part of the street from Broadwick Street. Originally, he worked roman market where Alan Sugar (Amstrad) and Mr. Cohen (Tesco) began trading. Now, 20 years later, John is still selling a bunch or two to regulars who prefer the fresh market vibe than going to a multiple, but this is sadly an exception to the rule. He chats with his neighbour’s son on the stalls and in the cafés opposite who have also been there for many years but will soon be gone as the site is being redeveloped, they are unlikely to be offered alternative units and cannot afford the replacements.

Will the street talk continue on as the norm on Berwick Street? “Morning luvvie, how yer doin’? Family alright? How’s bizz, not ‘arf cold innit” will not be communal much longer only to see retail units raising the commercial bar, sanitising the street which I would like to still call a Soho gem. This is progression but let us endeavour to savour our memories and rejoice that some of the history in the street remains. Berwick Street cries out loud.