Dear old London. What has she got?

Which is so very wonderful...

Is it a place to make money.
Will you always love London?

Shopping in knightsbridge or Oxford street.

Good adresses for botox or facial surgery?

Great place for celebrity spotting?

Maybe The best restaurants? Yes I have found something which attracts me....the

restaurants...AH but where can I park,

Blow me down, you too. I've started wearing short trousers all the time to persuade people of my (hidden) youth.

Thank goodness for that! I thought I was going to have to retire next year.

No Neil, you're not that old... :) I remember the sandwich board man!

Thank goodness Neil that you have moved away from twisted knickers and are now thinking

about your past in Kensington.

Kensington market where Freddy Mercury and Brian May had a unit selling clothes.

And the college just further along the road where they first played....forotten the name of

the band but never forgot the voice.

Neil I rember the board....THE END of the world was nigh but I never gave

any thought to what he looked like. The chocolate brown....I still look for the

choc brown Biba lipsticks coulours.

But from postings here so far on this subject we can see that the opportunities

were out there for talented and interested people. Find something good and make it work

wether you were from the East, West and wether you had degrees or not.It they say now "It rocked".

Not Utopia but strong possabilities

I used to be part of the design team who produced a monthly newspaper for Biba, printed in shades of chocolate brown. The swinging sixties. There was the man who paraded up and down Oxford Street with a board saying 'Eat nuts' and the end of the world was nigh.

As a tourist you will go there to meet friends and you will have a period of time

when you are skipping in and out of restaurants and places for drinks.

No washing beds to make no cleaning.

Just spending your pennies.One of the joys of London Jaquiline...being a tourist.

I was born in London, commuted in for work every day for 10 years and although I am now very happy in rural France there is a little something that excites me every time I get to go back and be a tourist

I ran an architect's practice for several years in Wandsworth with nearly 40 employees. We diversified, we invested, we had management consulatnts in.We had projects all over London and the south, and it was possible to make 5 site vists a day. parking and traffic was not too bad. Then along came more and more parking controls and enforcement with traffic problems. I could do fewer and fewer visits a day. One day I was five minutes late for a meter and it cost me £400 to get the car back. Overal one was paying out thousands of pounds a year for parking and congestion charges. Fee levels generally dropped and dropped but the demands and ever changing demands of central and local government grew like topsy. Rents and rates went up. Banks became less and less easy, despite their ridiculous charges, and many was the self-satisfied lesson they gave me on how to run a business. It was easy to work out that the only person not benefitting from the business was frequently the owner who took all the risks. No fat pensions for any of us. London was a very dynamic place in the early days for me but many people in my profession find it less and less viable. There are those doing well I know but it seems to be fewer and fewer and even those are now extremely apprehensive as to the future. We were always confident about the future. I'm a raging optimist by nature but they can drain it out of you. I've talked to my sons' friends in London so it's not imagined.

Biba clothes. I think I would still love them now. After getting paid, we would get on the bus at Oxford St and got to Kensington and buy an outfit. The lovely dresses with the long sleeves that had the loop to go over your finger, oh, those were the days. :)

Barbara, I lived in Walthamstow as a child but moved to Mare St, Hackney. So, yes, I knew the Blind Beggar, The Globe, The London Hospital Tavern etc. My then father in law knew the Krays well. I dated a gangster from the Lion and Keys at Leyton at one point in my wild past LOL.

Ah yes David

The weekday trade for pubs and restaurants is vital.

The answer to many problems is LOWER RENTS and lower buiness RATES.
When I left Chiswick and closed Fabouche my overheads were crazy

I DO APPREICATE that revenue has to be collected but if it is miss used then

the problems just get bigger and only those who cheat systems survive.

That is not the way to live.

One of the problems which has been well documented that Britain and London has spent enormous funds promoting tourism, at a time when PERMANENT employment and econonomic activity is greatly needed. Long term jobs of quality not basic wage security guards. The Olympics are after all a rather short phenomenon. Yet when people from quite a few countries request visas the UKBA makes it as difficult and expensive as possible to get there. We eventually spent nearly 1000 euros getting to my own son's wedding on account of my wife's nationailty requiring a visa. While we were in London we were due to have had a party in Putney for about 60 friends but we cancelled that as we had already spent the money on the visa.

I occasionally go to London for business and I have observed that many pubs and restaurants are empty midweek. Pubs are closing at a fair old rate. Back in the sixties/seventies we used to go out most nights, now I understand that it's a weekend thing only. We even used to have a cheap restaurant lunch every day. Now it's sarnies only. To get a successful economy going it has to be year round.

That made sense rent for factories in East London was affordable and the

people around there needed jobs. Much the way so many industries made

things feasable in those days and before.This gave buisness a chance to bloom.

But now every area seems to be unafordable to the small operator making way

on for those with huge financial resources.

Hence this keeps pushing more people out job hunting AND with little chance in

finding off shoots setting up a new product.

Here in France where we seem to have gardens and more space we are able

to live off the land....EVEN if it is partially.

Mostly Italy. Some in England including in the East End. Her friend in those days was the dress department 'boss' and had to do all visits with Barbara. Certainly all boots and shoes were one company in Italy, my sis used to have to visit to do quality controls.

The Biba clothes...of Abingdon Road where were they made?

Not in India?

Very brave for BH to enter food retail....very risky.

The restaurant was fun...dinner and dance..Pasadena Roof Orchestra.

Haha, Biba. My sister worked there in the original shop and then over at what had been Derry and Toms and unlike many others young women lasted a long time. She was in charge of the shoes and boots department in the big store, married a drummer through being there and had quite a lif. She still knows Barbara and has visited her in Miami, was at Fitz's funeral in the mid-90s and so on. I think those people moved on. Biba kept working and her designs are more to do with interiors than fashion, my sister has a domestic cleaning agency. No more High Street Kensington glamour and certainly my sis, although she lives in London but has lived out of the UK earlier on, never reminisce except about people - mostly those who are no longer with us.

Judith I am aware of the emptyness....In London.

It is not an empty London which I desire and love but a London with

great characters and filled with wonderful characters.

Many of the people who added natural spice to London have scattered.

Almost all of the owner run shops have closed and made way for chains.

Plenty of shopping to be done but not so unique.

The glory days of a Biba dresss and matching ballet shoes where a delight

for a girl about to dance till the early hours at the SCENE club. A place where

the Rolling Stones might play or Georgie Fame.

Brian I feel that your friend and so many others have fear of the memory of

London as it was in 1966 and those who did not go through this time can not

appreciate London as it was ....not as safe shell but a true spirit ...

Your friend like so many others protects himself with material things to retain

a sense of happiness.It is not only glitz and glamour which create fun is finding out

what you like about the world you live in and learn how to enjoy.

Many of the younger people in London seem to be unhappy, searching for, contentment,

family togetherness.

I hear about this from friends and journalists.

There has been so much progress and development but in the construction

the fragrent and true elements of London have suffered.

My room mate and after flatmate for three years had never been to London until we started going down weekends. Once he got a taste that was it. The Midlands was out of the question and he never returned to live there. No, Dave found a job in London with House of Fraser, Barkers, Derry and Toms and Pontings where he negotiated their advertising, then climbed up the ladder of a big advertising agency, moved to insurance in the City. He got entirely out of the dope taking but never out of the music, food and so on. He married a so-called Chelsea girl who had a couple of pictures in Vogue who has also never left London. He started in Haringey and now lives in Hampstead, fat and very well off but as if nowhere else in the world exists. Sure, his holidays are Montego Bay, Great Barrier Reef and so on but always with Heathrow and the all encasing womb of London where his children were born and now his many grandchildren. When he and I get together at a college thing it is all nostalgia, but as safe as he feels wrapped up in London he never talks about London now. I think he sees 1966 and those first few years as fresh now as then. That is his London, not the city as it is now. Perhaps many of us live in that same safe shell.