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Today the skies were overcast and leaking drizzle. Jackie continued planting and weeding this morning, and I transported compost to fill the hole left by the ficus Aaron had removed yesterday.
This afternoon I scanned the next dozen colour slides from my Streets of London series, produced in September 2004.
‘There is something timeless about the appeal of an authentic rock and roll pub, where the floor sticks to one’s battered old boots and the whiskey-flavoured tang of a hundred past nights of recklessness is tangible in the air. Such places are hard to come by, for the swagger of tarnished glamour is not something that can be easily imitated. Filthy MacNasty’s on the corner of Amwell Street near Angel is one such place. Attracting weekend rock stars from all walks of life, with the lingering aura of countless cigarette breaths, Filthy’s was once home to a mad, mixed bunch of poets and dustmen, philosophers and gardeners. Its gritty credentials include a delightfully dishevelled list of clientele, including Shane McGowan, Irvine Welsh, Johnny Depp and of course Peter Doherty, who tended the bar here in the early days of The Libertines.
The pub is certainly ingrained in the blood stained pages of Doherty’s infamous Books of Albion, and The Libertines played many characteristic guerrilla-style gigs here, as well as serving as a place for Pete to sleep when he had nowhere else to go. In the height of Libertines furor, Filthy’s hosted an exhibition of the band’s gig posters, and girls would flock to the bar asking to see the walls of Doherty’s old bedroom upstairs.’
So wrote Jessica Andrews on the londonist in June 2013 when this establishment on the corner of Inglebert Street, EC1 was about to be closed and replaced by a gastropub.
Contemporary with Doherty’s band, Oasis advertises on the boarded up window of the empty Village Buttery on nearby River Street.
Crossing Amwell Street from there we come to Lloyd Baker Street, where Jessica, Michael, and I lived in 1974/5. This street,
and Granville Street are all parts of the listed Lloyd Baker Estate. The latter is now overshadowed by developments in
Kings Cross Road, opposite The Union Tavern, a splendid Victorian pub on the corner shared with Lloyd Baker Street.
Crossing Kings Cross Road at this point we reach Calthorpe Street WC.
From Lloyd Baker Street we had moved on to live in Horse and Dolphin Yard in Soho. Neal’s Yard, then just forming part of the Covent Garden developments, is, according to Wikipedia, ‘a small alley in London’s Covent Garden between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street which opens into a courtyard. It is named after the 17th century developer, Thomas Neale. It now contains several health food cafes and values driven retailers such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Neal’s Yard Dairy, Casanova & daughters and Wild Food Cafe.‘
Horse and Dolphin Yard was a tiny mews off Macclesfield Street which linked Gerard Street and
Shaftesbury Avenue. The eponymous theatre is shown in this shot. The car driver didn’t comment on my activity.
Regent’s Canal is not exactly a street of London, but I have run or walked many miles along this stretch, so it seems appropriate that a couple of slides of this slipped into the collection.
This evening we dined at Lal Quilla, where food and service was as excellent and friendly as ever. My choice was lamb achari and special fried rice; Jackie’s was chicken shashlick, salad, and vegetable curry. We both drank Kingfisher. The restaurant took delivery of a new range of food heaters yesterday, and presented us with two of the older ones which will come in very useful.