Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Regent Street (Londonopoly #3)

Happy New Year to you all.

Time to complete the green set on that well known board game that we can't mention, but referred to here as Londonopoly. Hence, onwards to Regent Street on a grey, damp and windy day (4th January).

Regent Street is one of the few examples of grand urban street design in London. It has three sections - the main one that everyone thinks of as Regent Street is the grand curve of shops that stretches from Oxford Street to Piccadilly Circus, but there is also a northern section from Oxford Street to Langham Place (sadly for this posting stopping short of the clocks at All Souls church and Broadcasting House), and a southern section from Piccadilly Circus to Waterloo Place.

Despite its length, central London location, and obvious wealth, there is a paucity of clocks. The first of only two examples to be found is on the County Fire Office building which faces on to Piccadilly Circus.

The County Fire Office was founded in 1807 to provide fire insurance. It moved its premises to this site in 1819, although the offices themselves were re-built in the 1930s.

It is easy to miss the clock amongst all the hub bub of the Circus, with its busy traffic and attraction grabbers of the Eros statue and the giant electronic advertising hoardings.

The only other clock on Regent Street is just to the south at number 22.

This clock has always seemed to me to be a bit out of place, and most of the time does not appear to be working. It too was a bit lost on the day that the picture was taken, amongst the sale banners, Christmas decorations, and the scaffolding next door.

This clock is included in an excellent new book (December 2013) by Capital History Publishing entitled "London Clocks", and features photographs of over 100 clocks around the city (all of which and more will appear at some time in this blog!).
Playing Londonopoly, Regent Street has turned out to be a poor investment with only two clocks for the board price of £300, thus working out at £150 per clock.
Previous postings in the Londonopoly series:
Bond Street - 4 August 2013
Oxford Street - 30 November 2013

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