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From a 1903 letter to Franz Xaver Kappus from Rainer Maria Rilke

I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

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“Live the questions now.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Thank you for visiting this page. I’m Julia, and I work as a psychodynamic psychotherapist, relationship counsellor, and clinical supervisor. I’ve been in private practice in the City of London and in south-west London for the past three years; for the decade before that, I worked as a specialist psychotherapist for working age adults in the NHS (where I’ve also run staff groups).

This is where you will find the posts on my London-based blog, which I update constantly through the week, almost as a stream of consciousness. It reflects my interests, including psychotherapy, and my weekly experience outside – though not divorced from – my work. It’s a contemporary version of the commonplace book – one where the thoughts, responses, and comments of others are welcome.

“carpe diem quam minimum credula postero,”

From Britannica.com:

“carpe diem, (Latin: “pluck the day” or “seize the day”) phrase used by the Roman poet Horace to express the idea that one should enjoy life while one can.

Carpe diem is part of Horace’s injunction “carpe diem quam minimum credula postero,” which appears in his Odes (I.11), published in 23 BCE. It can be translated literally as “pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the next one.” The phrase carpe diem has come to stand for Horace’s entire injunction, and it is more widely known as “seize the day.”

This sentiment has been expressed in many literatures before and after Horace. It appears in ancient Greek literature, especially lyric poetry, and it intersects with the teachings of the Greek philosopher Epicurus and what would come to be known as Epicureanism. In English literature it was a particular preoccupation of poets during the 16th and 17th centuries. Among the Cavalier poets, Robert Herrick expressed a sharp sense of carpe diem in the first stanza of “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” (included in Hesperides, published 1648):

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

Andrew Marvell, the most prominent of the Metaphysical poets, deployed the sentiment through a lover’s impatience in “To His Coy Mistress” (published posthumously in 1681).

The earliest known uses of carpe diem in print in English date to the early 19th century. Robert Frosttook on the subject with his poem “Carpe Diem,” first published in 1938 (below). In it children are encouraged by a figure called Age to “‘Be happy, happy, happy / And seize the day of pleasure.’” By the 21st century the phrase could be found in the names of catering companies, gyms, and educational travel organizations.”

Age saw two quiet children
Go loving by at twilight,
He knew not whether homeward,
Or outward from the village,
Or (chimes were ringing) churchward,
He waited, (they were strangers)
Till they were out of hearing
To bid them both be happy.
“Be happy, happy, happy,
And seize the day of pleasure.”
The age-long theme is Age’s.
‘Twas Age imposed on poems
Their gather-roses burden
To warn against the danger
That overtaken lovers
From being overflooded
With happiness should have it.
And yet not know they have it.
But bid life seize the present?
It lives less in the present
Than in the future always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing –
Too present to imagine.

“To His Coy Mistress”

Image: “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May is an oil painting on canvas created in 1908 by British Pre-Raphaelite artist John William Waterhouse.” (Wikipedia)

From Wikipedia:

“”To His Coy Mistress” is a metaphysical poem written by the English author and politician Andrew Marvell (1621–1678) either during or just before the English Interregnum (1649–60). It was published posthumously in 1681.

This poem is considered one of Marvell’s finest and is possibly the best recognised carpe diem poem in English. Although the date of its composition is not known, it may have been written in the early 1650s. At that time, Marvell was serving as a tutor to the daughter of the retired commander of the New Model Army, Sir Thomas Fairfax.”

Had we but World enough, and Time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long Loves Day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges side
Should’st Rubies find: I by the Tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood:
And you should if you please refuse
Till the Conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable Love should grow
Vaster than Empires, and more slow.
A hundred years should go to praise
Thine Eyes, and on thy Forehead Gaze.
Two hundred to adore each breast:
But thirty thousand to the rest.
An Age at least to every part,
And the last Age should show your Heart.
For Lady you deserve this State;
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lye
Desarts of vast Eternity.
Thy Beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble Vault, shall sound
My ecchoing Song: then Worms shall try
That long preserv’d Virginity:
And your quaint Honour turn to dust;
And into ashes all my Lust.
The Grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hew
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing Soul transpires
At every pore with instant Fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our Time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapt pow’r.
Let us roll all our Strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one Ball:
And tear our Pleasures with rough strife,
Thorough the Iron gates of Life.
Thus, though we cannot make our Sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

“the despair that you and I have known”

From: Foreign Country – The Life of L.P. Hartley (2001), by Adrian Wright:

“…Virginia Woolf was less impressed, at least at their first meeting at Garsington in the early summer of 1923, one afternoon when there were ‘thirty seven people to tea; a bunch of young men no bigger than asparagus’. Her description of four of those young men is irresistible:

Lord David is a pretty boy. Puffin Asquith an ugly one – wizened,
unimpressive, sharp, like a street boy…

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/447391/index.html

Sackville West reminded me of a peevish shop girl. They all have the same clipped quick speech and politeness, and total insignificance. Yet we asked Lord David and Puff to write for the Nation, and also a dull fat man called Hartley.

For his part, Hartley thought Mrs Woolf ‘a cruel teaze’. True to form, he was frightened of her, but it was not a barrier he particularly wanted to break down; the couple did not meet often, and Hartley was never inclined to be part of the Bloomsbury set. In later years, with his back, as it were, against the critical wall, he would be unreservedly savage about Mrs Woolf. Edward Sackville-West, despite the rarefied appearance that made him the object of speculation in the street, would be a constant friend of Hartley’s as would Puffin Asquith. As natural inheritors of wealth and position and good family, they were prize examples.

But Harley’s greatest allegiance, if he had one, was to Ottoline Morrell, to whom he appeared almost anxious to open his heart. By now he was a regular visitor at Garsington, delighting in staying for the weekend and being accepted as part of the literary coterie that surrounded his hostess. He showered her with compliments. After a visit in March 1923 he confessed that if their discussion about mysticism had lasted any longer he would have had ‘an ecstasy’. He placed himself at her feet, and, often, at the feet of her circle. On one occasion he travelled from Garsington to Oxford with one of its most distinguished members, E. M. Forster, who, in Hartley’s presence, had made a great point about a novelist’s need to observe people. Terrified that he would be the great man’s study, Hartley leaned as far back in his corner as possible. He admitted to Ottoline that he might write more poems, though it seemed to him as if they occurred after some misfortune, and might therefore be unwelcome. He was confident enough about ‘Disparity in Despair’ to send her a copy of it, suggesting that the emotions it represented were still especially meaningful to him. The poem’s clumsy title is perhaps the weakest thing about it:

If the despair that you and I have known
Were accurately apportioned, each to each,
Not every pebble on a shingly beach
Not every grain of wheat for harvest sown
Mustered and piled, would bear comparison
With your despair; for your despair would reach
The stars: the volume of your griefs would teach
Astronomers a new dimension.

But mine, I think, would be a small despair
That I would carry with me, portable;
A caked cold cinder from the fires of hell
A souvenir, a trophy. I would wear
It carelessly, and sometimes I would tell
Its story, all save this: who found it there.

The very admission of that ‘small despair’ is subject to the restriction Hartley puts upon it – his refusal to disclose the identity of the person who recognises it. If there was a hidden message in the poem it was one he wanted to lay before Ottoline, for he felt that he was able to offer up to her at least some of the longings that threatened him. To her, he spoke of (Lord David) Cecil’s temperament being ‘far less mercurial than his mind and he knows his emotions well and hasn’t a moment’s doubt about them: though that wouldn’t prevent his changing them, alas! But he isn’t hasty or wayward, do you think?’ These are curious words; there is some sort of danger in them, but Hartley felt safe to confide them to Ottoline.”

Coal plates in Lordship Lane, London SE22

From the blog of Catherine Eddowes:

“Sunday, 2nd April 1871
CENSUS
225, Old Kent Rd, Shop, Southwark, St George Martyr, Surrey, England.
John EDDOWES, Head, aged 36, Ironmonger, from Alberbury, Shropshire.
Richard EDDOWES, Brother, aged 25, Ironmonger, from Alberbury, Shropshire.

Sunday, 2nd April 1881
In Bermondsey, London, John EDDOWES had died on 19 Oct 1880 (age: 46), so John’s brothers Edward and Richard are now handling the Ironmonger’s business, with additional help from Walter EDDOWES and Thomas EDDOWES, children of another brother, Thomas EDDOWES.

1881 CENSUS
247, Old Kent Rd, Shop, Southwark, St George Martyr, Surrey.
Richard EDDOWES, Head, aged 35, Ironmonger, Lane Farm, Alberbury, Shropshire.
Mary Ann EDDOWES (née ENTWISTLE), wife, aged 33, Victoria Park, Middlesex.
Walter EDDOWES, Nephew, aged 19, Assistant Ironmonger, Vennington, Shropshire.
Thomas EDDOWES, Nephew, aged 16, Assistant Ironmonger, Vennington, Shropshire.”

65 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London SE22

From the Historic England entry:

“David Greig opened his first shop in 1870 at 54-58 Atlantic Road, Brixton. The Greig grocery chain was a rival to Sainsbury’s, who opened their first grocery shop in Holborn, one year earlier. The entrepreneurs were initially friends, but rivalry developed between the two families, because of disagreements over the selection of sites. The format of the store was designed to bring together the majority of staple requirements into one single place, therefore saving time for customers in the burgeoning metropolis. The stores were finished in glazed ceramic tiles with thistle motifs (the motif of David Greig shops), which were made by H&R Johnson of Stoke-on-Trent. By the late 1960s there were more than 220 Greig shops across the south of the country. However, the company was sold in 1972 after crippling death duties were incurred when several of the men in the family died in quick succession. David Greig was a notable philanthropist, leaving trusts for the benefit of Hornsey and the community, including the Greig City Academy School.

The former David Greig shop at 65 Lordship Lane, is situated on the ground floor of a building which dates from the later-C19. The first larger-scale Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1875 shows a run of terraced buildings along Lordship Lane, facing west on to open fields. By 1896, the OS map records the fields as built over, and the rear of the shop is now shown as extended. The granite stall risers and tile design at 65 Lordship Lane, suggest that the shop originates from the late C19.

MATERIALS: granite front with mahogany frame, plate glass, and iron fittings. Decorative tiled interior with marble work-tops.

PLAN: the shop front faces west on to Lordship Lane, and forms the ground floor of a three-storey property. It is largely open plan and at the rear there is a payment booth, with an opening either side to a late-C20 kitchen area and toilets.

EXTERIOR: the symmetrical shop is double-fronted, with a recessed entrance to the centre. The stall-risers of the front elevation are finished in pink granite, and surmounted by buff coloured chamfered granite. To each side of the entrance there is a large one-over-one pane sash window with a curved transom.

Above the fenestration, the fascia has a thistle motif at each end (the motif of David Greig shops), either side of a restaurant sign. The entrance has a tiled black and white floor with an inset rectangle displaying the words ‘David Greig’.

The entrance to the shop front has painted mahogany pilasters framing the plate-glass side-windows. The painted hardwood front door has two solid panels below, with plate glass above either side of a horizontal transom. To the top of the door architrave, there is a gablet with a twin thistle motif in relief.

INTERIOR: there are display areas at the base of each front window, which are delineated by light-grey marble slabs.

The main shop has marble shelves at waist and head height, which run the length of the walls.

The walls throughout are clad in cream glazed ceramic tiles, interspersed with thistle detailing, and a deep frieze of green thistle motifs running around the top.

The floor of the main shop area is formed of timber boards, and the ceiling is plain. The north wall has a circular metal gas light mounting. At the rear of the shop the wall is again panelled in glazed ceramic tiles, but here they are deep-brown, and interspersed with inset mirrors. In the centre, there is a payment booth which is surmounted by a tiled round arch with projecting keystone, and a counter section below.

The booth has some C19 timber fittings, and above there is a David Greig shop-sign with the letters picked out in gold leaf, behind brown painted glass.

To the both sides of the booth there is an open archway with a brass architrave.”

“good Venetians exchange confidences at a distance of half a mile.”*

*Henry James: Venice (1882).

https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp72495/clifford-henry-benn-kitchin

From: Foreign Country – The Life of L.P. Hartley (2001), by Adrian Wright:

“Hartley had his first view of Venice as he arrived at the Grand Hotel, where (Clifford) Kitchin was already installed. He was enthralled:

It is most delightful here. It has been sunny all the time and I bathed on what must be the safest shore in the world, the Lido. Beautiful trapezes emerge from the water so that you can fall in from all possible angles … It is the least arduous town in the world – the gondolas are so soothing and the journey, though long, is as easy as falling off a log.

There is little hint here of the tremendous effect the city had on him when first he saw it; like so many others before and since, Venice offered Hartley too much, defied the organisation of words to describe it at a first meeting. He explored a few of the many churches, peering at their paintings in the often impenetrable darkness, saw ‘acres’ of Tintoretto and Titian, visited the Doge’s Palace and the dungeons at the Bridge of Sighs. Time had to be set aside for the ‘Social Offensive’. Elizabeth Bibesco had given him an introduction to the Princess de Polignac, said to be of Bohemian tastes ‘but I hope, good social standing’. Venetian society seemed even more difficult to break into than its English counterpart. Many years later, in his story ‘Mrs Carteret Receives’, Hartley described the period between 1890 and 1940 when

English people, emigrants or semi-emigrants, had established a hold, based on affinity, in many cities of Italy, chiefly Rome, Florence, and Venice. Others went further afield; but the lure of Italy, for many English people, especially those with aesthetic tastes, was irresistible. There was a genuine feeling of affection, based on more than mutual advantage, between the two nations. I remember my gondolier saying to me when the troublous relationships between our two countries began over Sanctions, ‘There was a time when an Englishman was a king in Venice.’

It was, in its upper reaches, a snobbish society, at its core an Anglo-American colony of residents living in Venetian splendour. It looked down on what it called the Settembrini, the wealthy visitors who paraded the Lido and retired to highly populated hotels. The Italians of Venice seemed to live apart from this select band of moneyed invaders, often pleased to accept their hospitality but slow to return it. It was the colonial circle, presided over by Mr and Mrs Humphrey Johnstone, who had inherited the mantle once worn by Lady Radnor and Mrs Curtis, the friend of Henry James, that Hartley needed to break into. By this time the colony was not as distinguished as it once had been, but the Johnstones ruled over it, with a strong sense of moral disapproval, from the Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo, overlooking the island of San Michele. Mrs Johnstone (on whom Hartley models Mrs Carteret) was a formidable hostess with a rigid expectation of behaviour, a mission to keep out the profane and vulgar: an unmarried couple living together would not be given an entrée in this Venetian aristocracy. Dinner-parties at the Johnstones can hardly have been easy going occasions. Venetian evenings, according to Mrs Johnstone, were ‘meant to reconcile us to the grave’.”

https://attinghamww1stories.wordpress.com/tag/venice/

https://www.artic.edu/artworks/111610/the-garden-of-palazzo-contarini-dal-zaffo

“We link Durkheim with social fact, and Weber with Verstehen. Durkheim’s writings led to functionalism while Weber’s writing led to symbolic interactionism.”*

*Phil Bartle, writing at Community Empowerment Collective.

From: “Slightly Severely Injured”: childhood trauma, the family and sociology in L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between, by Michael Erben, in Auto/Biography Review (2019):

“Biographical note
Michael Erben was for many years Director of the Centre for Biography and Education at the University of Southampton (UK) where he now holds an Honorary Fellowship. He is also lucky enough to be that most prized of things, an Independent Scholar. (mde@soton.ac.uk)

…It is not difficult to say that The Go-Between is a story of the loss of childhood innocence – that is obvious. And true as that may be my angle on the matter is about cause not the secondary result. It is saying essentially, in possibly Durkheimian terms, that The Go-Between is a treatise on the essentially destructive power of unregulated passion, but in a manner that is unsensational and completely serious. While Durkheimian in its concern for social deregulation it is Weberian in providing us with an almost Ideal Type of the phenomenon. It examines how dysfunction works – or rather how everyday dysfunction can escalate from a quotidian event into something like tragedy. From the precis of the story given above we see an alarming social clash – patterns of accepted behaviour and norms of conduct are violated in extreme ways…”

Abstract of ‘Sociology, Psychoanalysis, and Marginalization: Unconscious Defenses and Disciplinary Interests’, by Lynn S. Chancer, in Sociological Forum Vol. 28, No. 3 (SEPTEMBER 2013):

“American sociology as a field tends to marginalize psychoanalytic perspectives despite scholars Cavalletto and Silver showing that this was not the case during Talcott Parson’s intellectual heyday in the 1940s. From the 1970s on, though, constructionists emphasized the conservative rather than liberatory side of the Freudian tradition and symbolic interactionism took the place of psychoanalysis as the legitimised framework for understanding individuals. Marginalization has occurred for at least three reasons: (1) the legacies of positivism created a bias toward empirically observable rather than relatively unmeasurable concepts like the Freudian unconscious; (2) psychoanalysis uses internal data whereas sociologists look externally rather than inward; (3) because psychoanalysis focuses on individuals and sociology on groups, it is argued that the two are incommensurate. Nevertheless, even in the face of marginalization, some scholars have combined psychoanalytic and sociological perspectives in myriad ways conceiving of multi dimensional rather than rationalistic individuals within social and cultural settings; exploring interactional dynamics that are at once psychic-and-social; and, as in the work of Wilfred Bion, studying the psychoanalytic mechanisms of groups themselves. I posit that the ongoing marginalization of psychoanalysis deprives the discipline of an innovative tool of analysis, an especially salient one at times when the emotional and psychological dimensions of social life are glaringly evident.”

“Although devoid of personal interaction Leo manages his reduced future life. He dedicates it to facts as a library cataloguer.”*

*from: “Slightly Severely Injured”: childhood trauma, the family and sociology in L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between, by Michael Erben, in Auto/Biography Review (2019).

From: the Descriptive Cataloging Manual of the Library of Congress:

“Collection-level cataloging involves the creation of a single bibliographic record for a group of monographic, serial, or archival materials. Collection-level cataloging draws from long traditions both of bibliographic cataloging and archival processing for complex collections of historical materials. Collection-level cataloging for the latter takes advantage of the natural relationships which exist among the items within the collection and recognizes the importance of capturing these relationships in the bibliographic record.

This manual is divided into three sections: Selection, Arrangement and Description, and Cataloging. The first section, Selection, describes the types of materials that are candidates for collection-level cataloging and explains which parts of the Library are authorized to make these decisions. The second section, Arrangement and description, provides general advice concerning methods of organizing and processing collections, pointing the way to the array of already published resources in this area. The third section, Cataloging, describes characteristics of collection-level MARC records, stating requirements and pointing out alternatives…

…Arrangement is the process of sorting individual items into meaningful groups and of placing those groups into meaningful relationships with each other. Materials can be arranged in many logical ways, and the “look” or design of the arrangement and the records and documents which will reflect that arrangement should be determined by examining the material to consider the types of access most likely to serve the needs of researchers and other potential users. Individual collections will require differing levels and methods of arrangement. For these reasons, decisions about arrangement must be made on a collection-by-collection basis…”

From: The Library Catalog Gets a Makeover – a glimpse behind the veil of The Met library’s catalog, by William Blueher (Aug 4, 2021):

“…This attention to past cataloging practices has also opened our eyes to ways the language of the past is still very much present in our catalog today. This most dramatically came to light when, in March of 2016, the Library of Congress (LC) announced that it was replacing the heading “Illegal aliens” with two new headings: “Noncitizens” and “Unauthorized immigrants.” This sparked a political backlash from Republicans in Congress and the heading remains unchanged to this day. (There’s a great documentary on the controversy, Change the Subject, which can be streamed for free here.) Library catalogs are riddled with such terms, and librarians across the country are proactively engaged in trying to change them, updating their catalog records to include more humanizing language. We have been doing the same, and have made the local decision to move away from the above LC subject heading and instead use “Undocumented immigrants.” We’ve made changes to several other offensive headings as well, and will continue to do so as more come to light.

These are just some of the things our database maintenance team has been up to over the last several months. If you’re looking for similar content about the evolving history of cataloging, check out my colleague (and database maintenance teammate) Tamara Fultz’s post, “The Path to Standardization at Thomas J. Watson Library.”

“David Kirkaldy opened his ‘Testing and Experimenting Works’ in 1866 and moved into a purpose-built facility in Bankside in 1874. Over the entrance of his works he carved the words ‘Facts not Opinions’.” (Britain Express)

Lloyd George in London

Image: “An outdoor bronze sculpture of former British prime minister David Lloyd George (1863-1945) by Glynn Williams stands in Parliament Square in London, United Kingdom.” (Wikipedia)

From quoteinvestigator.com:

“…The Prime Minister did include an instance of this expression in volume two of the “War Memoirs of David Lloyd George” which was published in 1933. Lloyd George used the word “abyss” instead of “chasm” and his phrasing differed from the most common modern versions. The topic was passing difficult legislation in two separate steps. Boldface has been added to excerpts:

Even under the accommodating Premiership of Mr. Asquith there were ominous growls and occasional outbursts of impatience from the straitest of his supporters. They resented conscription, which had consequently to be carried in two steps. There is no greater mistake than to try to leap an abyss in two jumps.

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/blue-plaques/david-lloyd-george/

If you search online for former homes of David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1922, you’ll find a range of interesting locations. At some point, as shown by the blue plaque above, he lived at 3 Routh Rd, London SW18. The Greater London Council had erected a plaque to commemorate Lloyd George here in 1967, but it mistakenly gave his date of birth as 1865. A new plaque with the correct year was installed by English Heritage in 1992.

Ten minutes’ walk away, at 191 Trinity Rd, London SW17, and opposite the former home of Thomas Hardy, there’s a little clue that he also resided here for a time – the building is now named Lloyd George Mansions, and has its own less official plaque.

THE
RIGHT HONOURABLE
DAVID LLOYD GEORGE, O.M.
PRIME MINISTER,
LIVED IN THIS HOUSE,
1900 To 1904

“The Drapery”, 67-83 Seven Sisters Rd, London N7

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

“drapery (n.)

early 14c., draperie, “cloth, textiles,” from Old French draperie (12c.) “weaving, cloth-making, clothes shop,” from drap “cloth, piece of cloth” (see drape (v.)). From late 14c. as “place where cloth is made; cloth market.” Meaning “stuff with which something is draped” is from 1680s.

drape (v.)

c. 1400, drapen, “to ornament with cloth hangings;” mid-15c., “to weave into cloth,” from Old French draper “to weave, make cloth” (13c., in Modern French “to cover with mourning-cloth, dress, drape”), from drap “cloth, piece of cloth, sheet, bandage,” from Late Latin drapus, which is perhaps of Gaulish origin (compare Old Irish drapih “mantle, garment”). Meaning “to cover with drapery” is from 1847. Meaning “to cause to hang or stretch out loosely or carelessly” is from 1943. Related: Draped; draping.”

From the website of Brooks Murray:

“The Drapery was once a large art deco department store for general drapery, fashion goods and men’s outfitting on Seven Sisters Road in north London. It had previously been converted and extended into mixed office and commercial space by the twenty-first century.

Brooks Murray were commissioned to retain the character of the existing building whilst converting it for residential use. The team obtained planning permission to house 111 flats within the fabric of the building, a new floor and new wing which encloses a central courtyard.

The original building was designed in 1929 as a department store on the same principle as Selfridges in Oxford Street, but by the 1960s with the general decline in the popularity of this type of shopping, it had become predominantly offices.

The Brooks Murray team sought to maintain and preserve the character of the existing building, including the special glazed external tiling, and distinctive stair cores, but extended the wing left open in the original design to allow ‘carriage access’. The result was 111 flats, many looking on to the landscaped central garden.”

From the Jane’s London blog:

Alan I remember as a boy Mum taking me to Santa’s grotto in the basement at North London Drapery stores and the lift with brass levers operated by a ‘lift attendant’.I think we arrived by trolleybus.It was a 2-way street still. The gas board was on the corner of Hornsey Road there, by ‘your’ Hornsey Baths.

Jane Isn’t it such a shame that there are no photos of that lift and the Christmas displays

Dave Harvey North London Drapery Stores was owned by Provident Clothing and Supply (don’t know when from) but was sold to Canadian and English Stores in 1961. They changed their name to Northgate and English Stores in 1962, and owned a variety of stores, wholesalers and manufacturers, including Oxleys department stores in the North West. In 1969 a court case was brought by Austin Securities and it seems that after the case (that looks like they lost) they created Combined English Stores, headed by Murray Gordon. It was at this point some of the stores were closed including North London Drapery, which was BB Evans at this point. Combined English went on to try and buy David Greig.

Jane Thanks for this extra info Dave. I have been researching the NLDS site for quite some time now, taking it back to its origins as a single independent Victorian drapery store. But I didn’t know the link to David Greig stores which I also have as a separate research folder here on my desktop – DG was a successful family grocer chain that expanded quickly in the C20th but met its sad demise due to crippling inheritance tax.”

Above: Exmouth Market “By the 1920s David Greig’s architects’ department was headed by Philip Woollatt Home (1877-1947) who had designed kitchenless houses for Brent Garden Village in 1909-11 and was in partnership with William Hollis until 1912. Home’s name crops up in relation to David Greig stores in several locations throughout the 1920s and 1930s, including Exmouth Market, London (1924), Windsor (1927), Basingstoke (1930) and Clacton (1932-33). He may also have had a hand in designing the Hitchin branch, with its faience front. In general, Home appears to have engaged local builders to execute works for David Greig.” (Kathryn A. Morrison)
59-61 Exmouth Market, London EC1 “even today the words ‘David Greig’ and the monogram ‘DG’ can be spotted occasionally on façades and mosaic floors, while the company’s plump thistle logo – a nod to the family’s Scottish antecedents – might be seen on the pilasters, consoles and stall risers of shopfronts.” (Kathryn A. Morrison)

From the Barnsbury Boys blog:

“Mickey Isaacs
There was a department store in Seven Sisters Road very close to the junction with Hornsey road, (just round the corner from the baths) which I think was a fairly early casualty, I seem to remember the building was fairly modern, but the name escapes me, anyone know ? Just the other side of the junction with Hornsey Road. I believe there was a club of ill repute where a policeman got shot sometime in the ‘fifties – anyone shed a light?

John Pearce
That was The North London Drapery Stores. My Dad was the credit manager there. Me and Mickey O’Donnell worked in there on Saturdays in the curtain dept.

Mick O’Donnell
I remember the North London very well. Do you recall some of the characters we worked with, particularly Mad Mary and Gay Albert from the pots & pans dept dancing the mashed potato behind the counter?

It was like something out of Grace Brothers. I think we were paid £1.5s.0d for a 9 hour day. As I recall Keith Fulton also did a stint on hardware. Later I was moved onto bedding and then toys. At 5.30 it was straight on the bus for a couple of games at the billiard hall at Highbury Corner, and later, a light ale in the Angel & Crown. (bottom of Laycock Street)

John Pearce
Yes I remember Mad Mary, she was very friendly with one of the Flanagans – Chinnie if I remember right, & also you. And Gay Albert. What about the old man and woman who worked on the counter, they had done an apprenticeship at the store in their early days and lived in at the store.”