Charing Cross

September 20, 2009

Charing Cross

Lance lived underneath the arches somewhere left of Charing Cross station almost certainly in a void below The Savoy off The Strand. A Geordie burglar Lances’s demise and funeral was patronised by prominent members of The Spiritualty, Parliament and The Business World. He carried a bag of pepper in his brown worsted overcoat to throw into the eyes of pursuing coppers. Lance occasionally walked over to Westbourne Grove to meet Barrow Boys from South Shields (a community from which he sprung), living in a squat.

Lance’s route marked out an axis between Charing X and The Church Commissioner’s Estate on Notting Hill, which still has a monastry on Portabello Road. As The Church Commissioner’s Estate had developed these fields as squares like Powys Square, (in a ring roughly beyond Euston Road to the Grand Union Canal), they were all curiously run down in the 1970’s as England languished in a pre-oil boom slumber.

Dave Brock and others from Hawkwind may have been a few doors up in houses now demolished on Westbourne Grove, Paddington.

About 1974 The Cycling Fraternity was then witnessing the appearance of Mountain Bikes.

Just up over the canal bridge Ari Up and John Organ were working in That Tea Room. The Blond Girl in The Slits worked their too. John spent summer in Mid Wales in a Tippi and sold IT magazine on the street corner, a hippy magazine he edited.

Just above Westbourne Grove Bus Garage graffitti by Piers Corbyn on corrugated iron sheeting read ‘If the Luftwaffe did’nt get you, the GLC will’. Further up on Elgin Avenue a similar signn read ‘Hume Sweet Hume’ both refering to the Squatting off Harrow Road and Ladbroke Grove.

Charing Cross Road in the 1970s was decorated with an elegant curved Georgian or Victorian terrace just up from the National Portrait Gallery but now demolished.

On the night Heaven was created underneath the arches on a Thursday, Barry Noble, Richard Branson and A N Other from Brighton stumbled on the name when Barry asked what in heaven should they call it.

Heaven was, as was The Embassy Club served by Les Daly in Red Satin Shorts and his Scotsman friend The Manager who also managed The Embassy Club.

Straight Nite Thursdays at Heaven was once or twice graced by a performance by New Order.

Barry Noble, dressed like a Gateshead Gypsy in a pony trap had just bought The Pavilion Pier, Brighton for £50 million. His black Rolls Royce parked out The Gay Hussar (ibid) he was nearly thrown out for being inappropriately dressed.

The Strand refers to a beach which was in view and lapped by the raw river before The Embankment was built.

N.B. You could only get into The Blitz if Steve Strange, the doorman, liked how you dressed.

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