I can finally show you my all time favourite photograph of Gertie Millar. As you can see, she is sitting on what is probably a flower stand in a fancy, striped playsuit acessorised by striped socks, lovely white shoes and a Struwwelpeter wig. The actress is surrounded by soft toys (what kind of animal is hanging next to her head?) as the photo alludes to Toy Town, a musical number from the revue Bric-à-Brac, which premiered at the Palace Theatre (the one where Priscilla Queen of the Desert has replaced Les Misérables) on 18 September 1915, roughly a year after […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
A few weeks ago I found myself surrounded by fascists. I was on my way to the West End when at Tower Hill station a large group of French-speaking men with assorted girlfriends and wives (I presume) entered my tube carriage.
The case of the missing Sherlock Holmes film
Sherlock Holmes, the most famous fictional Londoner of all time, is also one of the most portrayed characters in film and television history. He has appeared onscreen for over a century, with the role assumed by countless actors – from William Gillette to Benedict Cumberbatch. As the Museum of London prepares for the largest temporary exhibition on the super sleuth for over sixty years, there remains a mystery unsolved regarding one such film.