Found - a city guide book from 1948 - the year of the London Olympics. The tone is upbeat. There is no mention of the war or austerity, there is even talk of one businessman commuting to work by helicopter. The guide was put out by a long defunct car hire company called Walter Scott, possibly named after the novelist…the guide book is a good snapshot of late 1940s London. The letters of appreciation from aristocrats and a 'world famous actress' are especially amusing.
GAD ABOUT GUIDE
busy people get about London quickly.
GADDING THROUGH THE AGESEver since Boadicea had an urgent appointment with a Roman general–not a rock's throw from the present Bank of England–the question of getting quickly about London has been uppermost in the minds of visitors (and Londoners alike) who value every minute of their time.
Our brass-hatted British Queen, on her way to sack the Roman garrison, solved her problem with a two-wheeled chariot with hollow-ground hub blades. In Medieval times, the horse-drawn litter, a kind of four-poster bed on shafts, carried the nobleman swiftly over the cobbles to his appointments. More comfortable, perhaps, was its descendant, the 16th century coach, though not without drawbacks. For its occupant journeyed in constant fear of an enterprising type of rogue, a spring-heeled spiv whose speciality was to leap on to the back of the carriage, slash open the canopy and snatch his wig, which might easily have cost two hundred pounds.
Later on, our 18th century gadster became chairborne. Reclining in his Sedan, a scented pomander ball held between his elegant nose and the strong odour of the populace, he was borne by trusty retainers about the Town. Even so, there were certain setbacks. Across the entrance of Landsdowne Passage, at the eastern end of Curzon Street, one may still see the iron posts placed there to stop the exploits of a dangerous highwayman who would often use this narrow alley as a quick getaway after robbing passers-by in Piccadilly.
Enter the 19th century with a clatter of cab-wheels, a great company of carriages and coaches, of broughams and barouches, and a marked absence of careful driving in the streets of London. Here is Charles Dickens describing a typical scene :–
Need we say it was the red cab, or that the gentleman with the straw in his mouth, who emerged so coolly from the chemist's shop and philosophically climbing into the little dickey, started off at full gallop, was the red cab's licensed driver?
Time marches on and the ways and means of getting about London have waxed and multiplied since Dickens' time. But they have brought new and more ingenious pitfalls of their own. Perhaps the saddest story we know concerns the old lady from the country, laden with parcels, attempting again and again to descend backwards from an Inner Circle train at a certain station, only to be assisted forwards by a helpful porter, assuming that she was trying to get in. And for all we know she may still be describing inner circles to this day.
Naturally, many brave attempts have been made to control the restless surge of London's vast ever-moving population. As Belisha gave us the beacon, so the modern planner has given us the staggers, but neither with conspicuous success.
And so, in his turn, the present-day visitor to London who really values his time, has looked round for a better solution to his coming and going with the maximum mobility and the minimum fuss. And in the hiring of a private car he has found the answer–a car, to all intents and purposes of his own, for just as long as he needs it, piloted by a knowledgeable chauffeur. That is the modern way–the Walter Scott way.
DINING OUT IN LONDON
These are names to conjure with, and everyone who elects to visit such universally known and appreciated restaurants knows what kind of service to expect. But there are other places, often equally famous and accomplished in the art of good living but varying in characteristics and tariffs.
AU PETIT CORDON BLEU
AU JARDIN DES GOURMETS
"Most of the good things of life are either illegal, immoral or fattening."–Daily Paper.
ECU DE FRANCE
THE WALTER SCOTT SERVICEBehind what seems to be an effortless service, there lie many years of experience, extending back to 1903, when at Goldhurst Terrace, Hampstead, Walter Scott–with the aid of the new Renaults and Panhards, the best cars of the day–commenced the very earliest chauffeur-driven Car Hire Service.
What was then a novelty is now part and parcel of the daily round. Whereas it was then an event, and at times an adventure, to be taken for a drive in one of these motor cars, to-day, by dialling a telephone number and waiting for just the time it takes for a modern car to travel from the nearest Walter Scott depot, you can be picked up anywhere by an immaculately turned-out car and whisked away to wherever you want to go. You can be called for at your home or hotel and taken to dinner, after which "your car," waiting outside, delivers you effortlessly at the theatre or wherever you have elected to relax. Later it meets you again to take you to supper and eventually, to round off your evening, returns you to the point from which you started. And not once during the evening have you had a moment's anxiety about getting from place to place. No question of whether you will be able to get a taxi or as to where you may park or not park your own car. And the freedom from transport worries which you can have for any one evening, can be yours by the day, the week or even longer.
More and more business men are realising the value of being free from all the anxiety about getting from place to place when out and about in Town. They find Walter Scott Car Hire economical too, from the point of view of time saved, and much to be preferred to the worry and expenses of using one's own car in Town.
As soon as you have ordered your car from Walter Scott it is, to all intents and purposes your own car. It may be a Rolls-Royce de Luxe without Hackney Carriage plates or any other nameplate or identification mark, or one of the modern Armstrong-Siddeley 7-seater Limousines, or medium size saloon cars that make up the Walter Scott fleet.
It will be in beautiful condition, driven by a chauffeur who is carefully selected and trained.
You can identify the car that meets you at the station by a discreetly displayed card bearing the name "Walter Scott", that is put away immediately you arrive. Thence forward the car is virtually your own to take you where you will at any time on business or pleasure.
OUTSIDE BACK COVER
Be it understood that the itinerant gadster, be he endowed with compass, gun, camera, and the most astute sense of direction, will be hard pressed to reach his destination by the use of this map alone. Rather let him look upon it as a map designed for amusement–and amazement–only, though none the less exact in all its quarters. He will be well advised to entrust the more serious purpose of his travelling from place to place, to the able and willing services of Walter Scott.
MAIN LINE RAILWAY STATIONSouthern Region
Charing Cross - WAT 5100
Holborn - WAT 5100
London Bridge - WAT 5100
Victoria - WAT 5100
Waterloo - WAT 5100
Kings Cross - TER 4200
St. Pancras - TER 3600
Eastern & North Eastern
Liverpool Street - BIS 7600
Marylebone - PAD 3400
AIRWAYSAer Lingus: 19 Regent Street, S.W.1. Sloane 0701.)
Air France: 2 Eccleston Street, S.W.1. (Whitehall 0838.)
Airways Terminal (for all lines): Buckingham Palace Road, S.W.1. (Victoria 2323.)
A.O.A.: 180 Regent Street, W.1. (Regent 8414.)
B.E.A. Terminal: Kensington High Street. (Weston 7227.)
B.O.A.C.: 75 Regent Street, W.1. (Regent 8444.)
K.L.M.: 202/4 Sloane Street, S.W.1. (Sloane 0331.)
S.A.B.E.N.A. 205 Regent Street, W.1. (Regent 4333.)
POSTAL INFORMATIONIt is of interest to note that there are two post offices (one in the City and one in the West End) which are open all night for "all classes of postal and telegraph business." They are :–
King Edward Buildings,
King Edward Street,
(Nr. St. Paul's Underground
39 Charing Cross Road,
(Opp. Leicester Square Tube
LOST PROPERTYThis is one telephone number that you will not find in any directory or guide–the Lost Property Office. They get so many enquiries that they have to insist on a personal visit. So, if you lose your memory, your sense of humour or merely your gloves, in London, here are the addresses :–
(for property lost in taxis)
London Transport, 200 Baker Street.
(just beyond Baker Street Station)
There are also Lost Property Offices at all the Main Line Stations.
Open both Day and Night.
Open both Day and Night
Aldwych - Tem 6404
Ambassadors - Tem 1171
Apollo - Ger 2663
Casino - Ger 6877
Coliseum - Tem 3161
Comedy - Whi 2578
Criterion - Whi 3216
Duchess - Tem 8243
Duke of York's - Tem 5122
Garrick - Tem 4601
Globe - Ger 1592
Haymarket - Whi 9832
Hippodrome - Ger 3272
His Majesty's - Whi 6606
New - Tem 3878
Palace - Ger 6834
Palladium - Ger 7373
Piccadilly - Ger 4506
Playhouse - Whi 4788
Prince of Wales - Whi 8681
Prince's - Tem 6596
St. James's - Whi 3903
St. Martin's - Tem 1443
Saville - Tem 4011
Savoy - Tem 8888
Stoll - Hol 3703
Strand - Tem 2660
Theatre Royal - Tem 8108
Drury Lane - Tem 8108
Whitehall - Whi 6692
Windmill - Ger 7413
Winter Garden - Hol 8881
Wyndham's - Tem 3028
Astoria - Ger 5528
Carlton - Whi 3711
Curzon - Gro 3737
Dominion - Mus 2176
Empire - Ger 1234
Gaumont - Whi 6655
Leicester Square - Whi 5252
London Pavilion - Ger 2982
Marble Arch Pav. - May 5113
Metropole - Vic 4673
Odeon, Leicester Square - Whi 6111
Odeon, Marble Arch - Pad 8011
Plaza - Whi 8944
Rialto - Ger 3488
Ritz - Ger 1234
Tivoli - Tem 5625
Warner - Ger 3423
Cameo - Piccadilly Circus
Cameo - Leicester Square
Cameo - Victoria
Eros - Piccadilly Circus
Monseigneur - Trafalgar Square
Monseigneur - Leicester Square
Monseigneur - Piccadilly Circus
Monseigneur - Strand
Studio Two - Oxford Circus
Tatler - Tottenham Court Road
Time News - Baker Street Station
Victoria - Victoria Station
Waterloo Station - Waterloo Station
World's News - Edgware Road
Cowdray Hall, Bond Street
Kingsway Hall, Kingsway
Queen Mary Hall, Tottenham Court Road
Wigmore Hall, Wigmore Street
Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington
Caxton Hall, Tothill Street S.W.1
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, W.C.1.
Rudolf Steiner Hall, Baker Street
WEST END RESTAURANTS
Berkeley - Reg 8282
Boulestin - Tem 7061
Cafe Royal - Reg 8240
Carlton - Whi 7300
Claridges - May 8860
Dorchester - May 8888
Grosvenor House - Gro 6363
Ivy - Tem 4751
Lansdowne - May 1657
Le Coq d'Or - May 7807
Mirabelle - Gro 1940
Monseigneur - Reg 6957
Piccadilly - Reg 8000
Prunier - Reg 1373
Quaglino's - Whi 6767
Savoy - Tem 4343
Scott's - Ger 7175
Trocadero - Ger 6920
Waldorf - Tem 2400
or MAida Vale 0191 or Paddington 0164.
WALTER SCOTT MOTOR CO., LTD.
How to get in to places
Adams, H. J., 139 New Bond Street, W.1. (Mayfair 4775.)
Chappell & Co., Ltd., 56 New Bond Street, W.1. (Mayfair 7600.)
Hays, Alfred, Ltd., 74 Cornhill, E.C.3. (Avenue 3060.)
Keith Prowse & Co., Ltd., 45 Aldwych, W.C.2. (Temple 2828.)
Cecil Roy, Ltd., 74 Old Brompton Road, S.W.7. (Kensington 0121.)
Theatre Tickets & Messengers, Ltd., 100 St. Martin's Lane, W.C.2. (Temple 1023.)
THEATRES AND CONCERTSThe great thing to remember when trying to get into a show (especially a popular show) is not to be floored! London is a big place and if the sources you tap first have run dry of tickets, then try further out—one of the suburban branches of the big agencies may not have sold all their stock and be able to give you what you want. Also don't overlook the possibilities of booking at the theatre itself. Many theatres sell a certain number of seats first thing in the morning (first come, first served, about 9 a.m.) for the performance the same evening.
B.B.C. SHOWS"Itma" is usually broadcast from the Paris Cinema in Lower Regent Street. This luxurious little cinema, with its red plush armchairs, is used exclusively by the B.B.C. for broadcasts of shows with audiences, and " Much Binding in the Marsh " is also broadcast from there. Both it and "Itma" sometimes emanate from the Aeolian Hall in New Bond Street, also a B.B.C. studio. The great People's Palace, Mile End Road is also the scene of big broadcasts, particularly "Variety Band Box." "Tuesday Pop," the orchestral programme, comes from the Maida Vale studios, and sometimes from the Concert Hall, Broadcasting House. Television shows are very occasionally broadcast with an audience from the hilltop Alexandra Palace in North London. Tickets for all these shows are obtainable by writing to the B.B.C., Broadcasting House, Portland Place, W.1.
LONDON'S HIGHEST LIFTIt is 200 ft. high (accompanied by a staircase of 375 steps, if you prefer that!). At the top, looking from the 284 ft. tower you can see (through a safety grille) thirty miles on a clear day—from the Surrey Hill south of London to Harrow in the north. The lift is in the tower of Westminster Cathedral (nr. Victoria Station) and is open from 9 a.m. till dusk, according to the time of the year.
GETTING ON TO
LONDON'S RIVERNot only can you view central London's great buildings from the Thames, together with the Pool of London with its ocean shipping, but you can also travel upstream to Kew, Richmond, Hampton Court, etc., from Westminster Pier (Whitehall 2074) and downstream to Ramsgate, Margate, and other seaside towns, from Tower Pier, by Eagle Steamers (Royal 3200).
GETTING SOME RECREATION IN LONDON
If you want to play billiards in London, your best plan is to find a friend who is a member of a good club—for instance, the Albany is reputed to have a very good billiard table. Some clubs, such as the Army & Navy, the United Services, have a working arrangement with provincial clubs, for the interchange of members. You can watch very fine billiards at the Leicester Hall (the old Thurstons) in Leicester Square, or at Burrows and Watts in Soho Square.
This may be had, per hour, booked in advance, with the attendance of a pro, at Harrods, Simpsons, Selfridges, Lillywhite's, and Gamages.
Hacks may be obtained from :——
Cadogan Riding School, 91 Cadogan Lane, S.W.1. (Sloane 8201.)
Knightsbridge Riding School, 34 Queens Gate Mews, S.W.1. (Western 8474.)
Savoy Turkish Baths :——
92 Jermyn Street, S.W.1. (Whitehall 9552.)
12 York Street, S.W.1. (Whitehall 7125.)
25 Northumberland Avenue, W.C.2. (Whitehall 8007.)
Bishopsgate Churchyard, E.C.2. (London Wall 3373.)
LONDON'S CURIOUS LICENSING LAWS
To those who relish a late drink, it may be of use to understand the following phenomena. If you are having a drink with some friends in, say, Kensington, your evening will be terminated at 10 p.m., the local closing time; but if you take a bus to Knightsbridge, you will find that they are open there till 11 p.m. If, after dinner, in Soho you are having a drink, say, in Charlotte Street, and are overtaken by the area's 10.30 p.pm. closing time, a brief walk to the south side of Oxford Street will bring you within an 11 p.m. area. Likewise, you can go from, say, the "Rising Sun" or the "Black Horse" in Tottenham Court Road (10.30 p.m. closing) to the "Camden" or the "Gower" in Store Street (closing 11 p.m.). Or, if in Swiss Cottage (10.30 p.m.), you can go down to St. John's Wood (11 p.m.). Thus do Father Time and the Licensing Justices add variety to London life!
COMING EVENTS IN LONDON
|5-7||Evening News Garden Lovers' Show–Olympia.|
|11-21||International Congress of Mental Health–London.|
|12||Athletics–British Empire v. U.S.A.–White City.|
|14||Olympic Games Closing Ceremony–Wembley.|
|14-19||Cricket–5th Test Match–Oval.|
|16-20||International Horse Show–White City.|
|4-29||Photography Exhibition–195 Piccadilly, W.1.|
|4||Royal Canoe Club Regatta–Teddington.|
|26||Brass Band Contests–Harringay.|
|28||Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra–Albert Hall.|
|1-9||Commercial Motor Show–Earl's Court.|
|4||Old Custom–Opening of Pudding Season, The Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street, London.|
|International Motor Show–Earl's Court.|
|6||Art Exhibition–195 Piccadilly, W.1.|
|9||Lord Mayor's Show.|
|19||Art Exhibition–Portrait Painters–195 Piccadilly, W.1.|
|1||Football–England v. Switzerland.|
|20||Bertram Mills Circus–Olympia.|
|31||Chelsea Arts Ball–Royal Albert Hall.|
SOME BOUQUETS FROM SATISFIED CUSTOMERS
"I should like to send a personal line of commendation of the driver who met me last night. My plane was switched with hardly any notice from Heath Row to land at Croydon. All the people at Heath Row could tell him was that the plane was not coming in there, but that it might, and probably would, come to Croydon, as if I landed there I should be stranded. He made an excellent cross-country journey and saved me any amount of time and trouble."
a former Cabinet Minister.
"The Dowager Viscountess . . . would like to state to the Walter Scott Motor Co. that she was exceedingly satisfied with the entire expedition. She found Henry a most capable driver, and exceedingly willing and helpful in every way. She hopes he may be free to drive her in London later on."
"We are very much obliged for the courtesy and prompt service given us on this occasion."
a City business house.
"I would like to add my complete satisfaction for this service, and for the civility and courtesy of the chauffeur."
an Eminent Soldier.
"I should like to say how much I appreciated the courtesy and kindness of all your drivers on the occasion of my daughter's wedding. They were helpful in every way."
a World-famous Actress.
"I would like to thank you very much for the splendid service you gave me and for the courteous way all the orders are carried out. I always find your drivers so extremely civil and helpful and am most grateful for your co-operation at all times."
a South Coast Resident.
"I meant to write directly after my late trip to East Kent to say how much I appreciated, not only John's driving, but also his general helpfulness and pleasant manner. He never puts a foot wrong."
a noted City Business House.
"Lord C ––– and I would like to say how much we appreciate the punctual and very good Car Service you have supplied and would be grateful if Messrs. Walter Scott could know we had such nice and helpful chauffeurs, who have made all the difference to our comfort."
"I should like to take this opportunity of expressing our appreciation both for the cars and drivers placed at our disposal. The drivers were particularly good in that no demand put upon them was too much trouble, and we shall have no hesitation in recommending your Company to our friends on future occasions."
A Midland Industrial Federation.
'CAR HIRE TARIFF'
Chauffeur Driven Day and Night Service
ROLLS ROYCE LIMOUSINESFirst two hours, £2 2s., allowing 20 miles. 15s. an hour or 1s. 6d. a mile thereafter.
Day (8 a.m.-6 p.m.), £6 6s., allowing 60 miles.
To and from West End theatres, £2 2s., allowing 20 miles (additional journey to a restaurant, 15s.).
Weddings, £2 10s. for two hours and 15s. an hour after.
Minimum charge £2 2s.
Our fleet of modern Rolls Royce cars is probably without equal in London. These cars carry no "Hackney Plate," and are indistinguishable from the finest privately-owned vehicles.
ARMSTRONG - SIDDELEY 7-SEATER LIMOUSINES1s. 6. mile for first 20 miles. 1s. 3d. a mile after or 12s. 6. an hour.
Day (8 a.m. - 6 p.m.), £4 14s. 6d., allowing 60 miles (excess time or mileage, if any, at above rates).
To and from West End theatres, £1 10s., allowing 20 miles additional journey to a restaurant, 12s. 6d.).
Minimum charge 12s. 6d.
MEDIUM SIZE SALOONS1s. 3d. a mile first 12 miles. 1s. a mile or 10s an hour thereafter.
Day (8 a.m. - 6 p.m.), £3 13s. 6d., allowing 60 miles (excess time or mileage, if any, at above rates).
To and from West End theatres, £1 allowing 16 miles (additional journey to a restaurant, 10s.).
Minimum charge 7s. 6d.
With the compliments of
MOTOR COMPANY LTD.