Central London, and Soho in particular, is being demolished and redeveloped at an alarming rate, with many of its dearly loved buildings vanishing behind hoardings, often never to reappear.
The Crossrail development has swallowed up so much of Charing Cross Road and Dean Street that it has rendered north east Soho unrecognisable to even the most observant.
THIS SAVE LONDON PAGE is here to support the heritage campaigns that are trying to preserve the character and diversity that make Soho unique.
There have been many campaign victories recently, including Grade II listings for 6 and 7 Denmark Street, courtesy of Johnny Rotten’s graffiti, plus the ex-12 Bar Club location at 26 Denmark Street is to be retained as a grass roots music venue. The Half Moon in Putney has recently been given a reprieve from development, and Madame JoJo’s looks set to return after an overturned court ruling. Even Soho Square had to be campaigned for, to save it from being turned into a CrossRail work depot.
The struggle goes on to save The Soho Curzon Cinema, Denmark Street, and Croydon Fairfield Halls, so please keep in touch with them via the Twitter links on this page.
MUSIC HERITAGE UK is a campaigning charity, set up to fight for the UK's vast wealth of music heritage. Their part in the recent victory to keep the George Tavern from developers is one of many reasons to be cheerful that they work so hard on our behalf. You can express your support by visiting www.musicheritageuk.org or by following @MusicHeritageUK
ROCK TOURS OF LONDON is also determined to reinstate proper access to the Heddon Street locations that David Bowie used to bring us the artwork for his 1972 Ziggy Stardust album. You can express your support for this campaign by following @23heddonstreet on Twitter.
On a cold, rainy night in January 1972, David Bowie and two ornate-looking women visited photographer Brian Ward's Heddon Street studio to shoot seventeen photos, some of which would go on to feature on the cover of Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album. Although the K West sign was 'rescued' by a devoted fan in 1982, and the road was pedestrianised in 1995, the original building remains. Around the corner from 23, at 27 Heddon Street, there is still a phone box on the spot where the photo for the back cover was taken; although it's not the original one - the original red K2 [K stands for Kiosk] series phonebox is rumoured to be in the possession of an American collector.
When David Bowie died, in January 2016, Heddon Street became the most obvious and natural gathering point to meet and celebrate his life. These days, though, the front cover photo location at 23 Heddon Street has been swallowed up by an al-fresco restaurant - Momo - making the recreation of the album front cover photo impossible.
Rock Tours of London will be campaigning for the tables and foliage to be removed from outside their premises, on both sides of the restaurant, so that photo access can be reclaimed, and the location fully recognised as part of Soho's rock heritage. According to Bowie himself, hundreds of fans sent him pictures of themselves with their foot on a dustbin under the K West sign; this kind of tribute is now impossible, due to the restaurant's outside tables.
We will be lobbying Westminster Council to have an original K2 iron phonebox to be reinstated in the alley location at 27 Heddon Street, to replace the K6 aluminium one that is there now. We will also be lobbying to get a replica of the original K West projecting sign reinstated above the door of 23 Heddon Street.