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Hanway Street 2

the Survey ofLondon4 December 2015

Since Hanway Street was formed in the early eighteenth century, its occupancy has shifted from a mix of shopkeepers, tradesmen and the poor, to coffee bars, clubs and restaurants known for their offbeat vibe. As part of our current study of south-east Marylebone, the Survey of London has created a table to record the uses of buildings on the north side of Hanway Street in 1792, 1910 and 2012 (the table is accessible here as a pdf). The latter-day character of Hanway Street has had much to do with adjacent Soho – but please, this is not Noho, oh no.

Bradley's Spanish Bar at 42-44 Hanway Street in 2014, from the north-east (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Bradley’s Spanish Bar at 42-44 Hanway Street in 2014, from the north-east (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave). If you are having difficulty viewing images, please click here.

Small Italian-run refreshment rooms had arrived by the 1920s, including in the prominent corner premises at No. 32 by 1933. At No. 22 the Acapulco coffee bar opened in 1953, run by John and Tommy Milo, Greek-Cypriot twins and amateur wrestlers. Its name, ownership and the addition of the Sombrero club notwithstanding, it was Spanish-themed – John Milo’s wife was said to be Spanish. At No. 32 the Dickens Chop House was succeeded around 1955 by the Chiquito club and espresso coffee bar. Its first proprietor, K. D. Emihea, was imprisoned for contempt of court and in 1957 it was licensed for just two guitar players and no dancing, the basement being a ‘skiffle singing room’. It featured prominently as a happening place in the film Expresso Bongo (1959), which launched the career of Cliff Richard. No. 38 was Le Moulin Rouge from about 1953; later that decade it became the Andalucia Casa del Café featuring a distinctive semicircular window to the street. A resident of 2 Hanway Place opposed the renewal of licenses to these three establishments in that year on the grounds of ‘nuisances of various sorts ranging from simple urination to sexual intercourse in the doorways’. [1] The Chiquito introduced striptease in 1960.

A view of Costa Dorada, Hanway Street from the north-east in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

A view of Costa Dorada, Hanway Street from the north-west in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

No. 42 had long been a wine merchant’s, from the 1890s Long & Co., who gave customers biscuits and sandwiches with their wine in an establishment that was ‘a cut above the public house’, [2] continuing to import and serve Spanish wine and sherry into the 1950s. An Irish manager, William Bradley, President of the Hanway Club from 1930 to 1962, persuaded the Milo twins to buy the premises in the 1960s and so began Bradley’s Spanish Bar. A ‘Little Spain’ character was further reinforced on Hanway Street’s south side as the Meson Del Ruso, Costa Dorada and flamenco shows followed. Yet in the 1970s No. 22 became the Heidelberg Bierkeller Restaurant, No. 38 the D.U.B. Club and on Hanway Place was the Mandeer Vegetarian Restaurant.

The interior of Bradley's Spanish Bar in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

The interior of Bradley’s Spanish Bar in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Bradley's Spanish Bar in 2014; fixing the jukebox (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Bradley’s Spanish Bar in 2014; fixing the jukebox (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

The influential architect Cedric Price was among those who enjoyed the seedy glamour of Hanway Street, which he likened in 1973 to ‘a film set of old London’. [3] By the 1980s second-hand vinyl outlets had joined the Spanish bars and late-night clubs. Vinyl Experience painted the façade of No. 20 with characters from Yellow Submarine, removed in 2013. Casablanca Records, established in 1979 at No. 20, continued next door at No. 22 under its owner Tim Derbyshire as ‘On The Beat’ up to its closure in 2014. In 2013, when Blow Up, Paul Tunkin’s DJ firm, departed from No. 40, another vinyl shop at No. 36 closed, only to be replaced by the Vinyl Bar in 2015.

‘On The Beat’ Record Shop at No. 22 Hanway Street in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Tim Derbyshire, the owner of the 'On The Beat' Record Shop at 22 Hanway Street in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Tim Derbyshire in ‘On The Beat’ in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

'On The Beat' Record Shop at 22 Hanway Street (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

‘On The Beat’ at 22 Hanway Street in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

There have been refurbishments at Hanway Street, with tidying of street furniture and of residential accommodation, as at 1 Hanway Place, refitted in 1986 by Building Design Partnership, which was based at the back. Hanway Street was designated a Conservation Area in 1990. The former Westminster Jews’ Free School was converted into flats in the late 1990s, as was 18 Hanway Street for the Soho Housing Association in 2013. Bars, clubs, DJ supply shops and casting agencies have continued among a miscellany of commercial uses at the same time that Frogmore and Land Securities is homogenizing the south side in redevelopment that began in 2014. Transport for London recently announced plans for a new station entrance and Crossrail 2 construction site at the corner of Oxford Street and Rathbone Place. Derwent London has bought up 36–38 and 42–44 Hanway Street, along with 50 Oxford Street adjoining.

Rapid change on Hanway Street, showing Nos 22 and 20 in 2014 (left) and 2013 (right) (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Rapid change on Hanway Street, showing Nos 22, 20 and 18 in 2014 (left) and 2013 (right) (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

The former Westminster Jews Free School on Hanway Place in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

The former Westminster Jews’ Free School on Hanway Place in 2014 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Sources

  1. London Metropolitan Archives, GLC/AR/BR/7/4838
  2. London School of Economics, Booth notebooks, B355, pp.71–3
  3. Evening Standard, 5 June 1973

Links

Glimpses of Hanway Street in the film Expresso Bongo (1959), via the Reel Streets website.

Another glimpse of Hanway Street in a visualisation showing redevelopment at 34-48 Oxford Street by BC Retail, Frogmore and Land Securities.

Hanway Street 1

the Survey ofLondon2 December 2015

The narrow byway that is Hanway Street, off which Hanway Place loops even more obscurely, is a vestige of irregular development unique in Marylebone.  This is the first of two posts on Hanway Street, the second of which will explore its character in more recent years.

 Extract from the Ordnance Survey First Edition map of London XXXIV, showing Hanway Street c. 1870 (Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland)

Extract from the Ordnance Survey First Edition map of London XXXIV, showing Hanway Street c. 1870 (Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland). If you are having difficulty viewing images, please click here.

In origins, topography and status Hanway Street relates more closely to late seventeenth-century growth in neighbouring St Giles in the Fields. Joseph Girle was the main late seventeenth-century landowner hereabouts. Rebecca Girle, the daughter and heir of his only son, married Major John Hanway, a Board of Ordnance engineer who was engaged from 1709, inter alia, in the fortification of Harwich and Sheerness. After 1718 the Hanways appear to have settled to a quieter life in what had been Girle’s house on Oxford Street. The Major served as a local magistrate and, Cambridge-educated, published Latin versions of Psalms in 1723 and translations from Horace in 1730, also tackling Catullus, Martial and other poets before his death in 1736. A teenage nephew, Jonas Hanway, later an eminent reforming philanthropist, probably stayed with his uncle in 1727–8.

View of Hanway Street from the north-west in 2015, showing (from left) Nos 42, 40, 38 and 36 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

View of Hanway Street from the north-west in 2015, showing (from the left) Nos 42, 40, 38 and 36 (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Behind the house lay Hogsty Alley, alternatively Marybone Mews, with extensive stables as might be expected in such a marginal location. Hanway, who was used to overseeing building, undertook modest brick development of his small estate. He formed a new street, giving it an arc to bisect yards to its north and south and to open onto the two nearby main roads. A cornerstone of 1721 marked and named Hanway Street. By 1723 the north side had five houses, at least one with a shop, and there were eight houses on the south side. Five more went up in the mid-1720s and others followed in what were sometimes called Hanway Rents, later Hanway Yard. Some small sense of what Hanway Street’s first development was like may still be gained from the property at No. 40.

From 1726 John Petty, a Soho joiner, took stables and a carpenter’s yard to the north and laid out what is now Hanway Place as Petty’s Court and, to its east, John’s Court. These frontages were by 1738 gradually built up with eighteen small brick houses. Many early occupants were identified in ratebooks as poor.

Hanway Street and Hanway Place (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

A view looking north to Hanway Place from Hanway Street (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Occupancy of this enclave in the 1790s was mixed and commercial, few addresses not housing either a shop or a tradesman. Tenancies were often short and the courts were said to be ruinous and occupied by the very poor ‘of the worst description’. [1]  A bookshop at the west end of the straight section of the street’s south side was taken by William Godwin in 1805 at a low point in his career. He traded here with (and behind) Thomas Hodgkins, a publisher, until 1807 as the Juvenile Library, for the sale of children’s books including those written pseudonymously by Godwin (for example Edward Baldwin’s Fables, Ancient and Modern) and the Lambs’ Tales from Shakespeare.

Edward Holmes Baldock also had premises and a yard on the south side of Hanway Street from 1805, first dealing in china and glass, then by the 1820s in antique furniture. He operated at the top of this trade, supplying royalty and remaking and designing as well as selling high-quality furniture. Numerous other antique dealers and restorers followed. On the site of No. 42, near Oxford Street, Charles Gast had a ‘muffin shop of some celebrity’ from the 1820s, continued by his wife and son into the 1860s. [2]

Hanway Place was redeveloped in the 1880s and the south side of Hanway Street in the early 1890s for Frascatis, the great Oxford Street Restaurant, and enlargement of the Oxford Music Hall, which was succeeded by the larger Lyons Corner House Restaurant from 1928.

Hanway Street and the Marylebone boundary bollard at the junction with Hanway Place (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Hanway Street and the Marylebone boundary bollard at the junction with Hanway Place (© Historic England, Chris Redgrave)

Sources

  1. City of Westminster Archives Centre, DD 3519
  2. Old Bailey Online, 18310217.