Dearly departed department stores

Part 2: Central London’s lost department stores (a walking tour in two halves) The first post in this series focused on the stately and grand former heart of the Debenhams department store empire on Wigmore Street. It is not the only central London department store to have disappeared. Today, we look at the history and demise of some iconic names from across the heart of the capital – Regent Street’s Dickens and […]

Dearly departed department stores 1

Part 1: Debenhams of Wigmore Street  Every year, millions of shoppers converge on London’s major department store. Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Liberty feature amongst the capital’s most visited tourist attractions. They are also serious commercial operations – Harrods turned over £651 million in 2012 alone. With the department store enjoying a new millennium renaissance, it is easy to forget that London has, over the past century, lost a clutch of iconic […]

Coining the home nations 2

If you are reading this in the UK, have a look at the change in your pocket. One side features a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the other continues the monarchical theme by displaying one of an array of heraldic badges, devices and national icons. Changing over the years, the choice of these designs tells us something of the importance of giving equal weight to the constituent countries (England and […]

The price of privacy

London’s St James’s Park is one of the capital’s most popular and iconic open spaces. It forms the backdrop to stunning views of Parliament to the east and Buckingham Palace to the west. Weeping willows brush gently against the waters of the ornate lakes that glisten between pristine lawns and sumptuous beds. For a long time the park formed the central expanse of the private gardens to the Palace of St James’s. […]

London and the towers of (economic) doom 3

Does the completion of skyscrapers herald economic doom? This is the conjecture put forward by Barclays Capital and set out in a fascinating piece on the BBC News website. The bank’s research focuses on the correlation between the completion of world-record shattering skyscrapers and the onset of financial crises. The evidence presented is compelling – the Empire State Building was completed against the backdrop of a city and nation in the grip of […]