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From Leicester Square to Cecil Court, a little stroll

Leicester Square is a well-known name, but Cecil Court, though nearby, isn’t so famous.

The Geologist had to leave London earlier than I did. Going out to the airport to see him off took up a lot of the day and left me feeling at loose ends around 2 o’clock. Whatever would I do?

I got on the Piccadilly Line of the Tube and almost randomly decided where to get off.

Leicester Square is in London’s West End, where many of the theatres are.

Leicester Square tube station sign

Leicester Square tube station sign

I wasn’t thinking of going to a show, and I didn’t go to one, but I did notice this: Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart appearing together. Now that would be something.

I emailed my friend and Travelling Companion to let her know of the opportunity, but she found out the price of tickets. Not in the budget!

Theatre poster for Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart

Theatre poster for Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart

There are pubs galore down there, with some lovely signs. Here’s The Round Table.

Pub sign for The Round Table in the West End

Pub sign for The Round Table in the West End

And look at this one, The Bear and Staff. On the one hand I admire it – it features an animal, and it’s a 3-D carving. On the other hand, this poor bear is muzzled and chained to a staff, a relic of bear baiting days. It’s not a happy picture when you think of it that way.

Pub sign for The Bear and Staff in London's West End

Pub sign for The Bear and Staff in London’s West End

I wandered around, not in any particular direction, and not going very far. There’s so much to see, and I had no reason to rush.

I was on Cecil Court, a street I’ve visited every now and then but it’s probably been five or even ten years since I last paid attention to it. I remember going into a great store that sold used travel guidebooks. I bought one for Newfoundland, before it joined Canada. I wonder if that store is still there. The street didn’t feel quite as bookish as I remembered.

It’s still a great street, though. I’d go back and have a closer look some time, but I wasn’t in the mood for shops just then.

I never knew that Cecil Court was connected to the British film industry. Now there’s a plaque saying so.

Plaque about Cecil Court and the British film industry

Plaque about Cecil Court and the British film industry

Cecil Court isn’t a very long street. This is most of it. By this time, the rain was past the point of no return.

Rain started on Cecil Court and carried on for some time

Rain started on Cecil Court and carried on for some time

It was a good idea to get indoors. The National Portrait Gallery became my plan but before I left Cecil Court, I noticed one more thing: a blue plaque on this shop front.

Blue plaque between two shops on Cecil Court

Blue plaque between two shops on Cecil Court

As historic plaques go, this is a pretty good one: Mozart and family’s first address in London.

Blue plaque for Mozart on Cecil Court

Blue plaque for Mozart on Cecil Court

I’m up a point on the day, I guess.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    susanonthesoapbox
    November 24, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    I can’t decide which plaque I like better, Flicker Alley or Mozart lodging with a barber. Looks like a lovely street, even in the rain.

  • Reply
    jill
    December 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Susan, It is a lovely street. In the rain I didn’t want to go into the book stores though – it would be a crime to drip on some of those antiquated pages!

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