York Road station (disused)

From Wikipedia:

“York Road is a disused station on the London Underground in Kings Cross, London, England, located between King’s Cross and Caledonian Road, with its entrance at the corner of York Road (now York Way) and Bingfield Street.

It opened in 1906 and was one of the original stations on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR), the precursor to today’s Piccadilly line. The surface buildings were constructed in the distinctive style of architect Leslie Green, and were connected to the platforms by a single lift shaft containing two lifts. Traffic levels were never high, and the station closed in 1932, on the same day that the northern extension of the Piccadilly Line from Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove opened.

York Road station was located at the junction between York Road, which has since been renamed York Way, and Bingfield Street. The architect Leslie Green designed the building, which was similar to many of his designs, being finished in ruby-red glazed tiling supplied by the Leeds Fireclay Company. The contract for construction was awarded to Ford and Walton, and the booking hall was at the surface level. It was linked to the platforms by a circular lift shaft, 23 feet (7.0 m) in diameter, which contained two electric lifts. There was also an emergency staircase for use if the lifts were not working.

The lifts were manufactured by the Otis Elevator Company, and Colonel H A Yorke, who inspected the station at the time of its opening on behalf of the Board of Trade, recorded that they rose 89.49 feet (27.28 m) from the platform level to the booking hall level.

Unlike most other Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway stations, where the lifts stopped at a mezzanine level a little above the platforms, and required passengers to descend a final flight of stairs to reach the trains, the lifts at York Road descended directly to platform level. This meant that the platforms were further apart, and the interconnecting passages were longer as a result. The eastbound platform was 350 feet (110 m) long, while the westbound platform was slightly longer. The platform layout was almost identical to that at Caledonian Road, but the two tracks curved outwards in the middle of the station to accommodate the extra width of the lift shaft bases.

The platform tiling was carried out by George Woolliscroft & Son of Hanley, Staffordshire, and was made up of white with maroon and brick red patterning. Most of the tiling has since been painted over in grey, but a small section remains untouched and can be seen at the Finsbury Park end of the former eastbound platform. The station was ventilated by a fan, which drew air out of the station at a rate of 18,500 cubic feet (520 m3) per minute.

A small signalling cabin stands near the unpainted tiling, and was used to operate a crossover immediately to the northeast of the station. This signal box remained operational until 25 April 1964, although by that time the crossover was little used, having been largely superseded by a new one commissioned at King’s Cross on 25 November 1956. However, the disused cabin still stands and can be seen from passing trains.

Being sited in a poor industrial area, the station saw little use, and from October 1909, some trains did not stop at the platforms, in order to improve service times to the other stations. The Sunday services were withdrawn entirely from 5 May 1918. The station remained open for weekday and Saturday traffic only, and closed on 4 May 1926, when the general strike began. Although the strike only lasted for nine days, the station remained closed. However the subject of its closure was eventually raised in the House of Commons, and it reopened in October 1926, but the reprieve was short-lived, lasting until 19 September 1932 when it was permanently closed. The closure occurred on the same day as the northern extension of the Piccadilly Line from Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove opened.

The surface station buildings are still clearly visible, on the left heading south down York Way towards King’s Cross. They were used by the Victor Printing Company following closure, but eventually became derelict. They were refurbished in 1989, when the removal of boards covering the facade enabled the original lettering to be seen once again. The former platform area below is also visible from passing trains in both directions, although part of the eastbound platform is bricked off. As with most other disused Underground stations, the platform itself has been removed. As the site is currently used as an emergency exit from the tunnels, one of the passageways between the platforms is permanently lit by a series of lamps.

One of London’s largest redevelopment projects, King’s Cross Central, began construction in 2008 across the road from the station. Islington council and Transport for London (TfL) commissioned a study in 2005 to consider the possible reopening of the station. At the same time, however, it was recognised that other transport priorities reduced the likelihood of such a project moving forward in the near future. The site would need extensive overhauls to bring the station up to modern day standards, at a cost estimated at £21 million in 2005. Local political groups have been keen to see the station reopened in order to reduce passenger congestion at King’s Cross St. Pancras and to encourage development in the surrounding community. The Liberal Democrats advocated the reopening of the station in their 2006 local election manifesto, and at least one candidate for the Conservative Party similarly campaigned for the station to be reopened.

In June 2017, the council and Transport for London were reportedly discussing the possible reopening of Maiden Lane overground and York Road underground stations. The reopening of Maiden Lane was considered to be more likely, as York Road is quite close to Kings Cross St Pancras, and the new station would increase journey times on the Piccadilly Line.”

The King’s Cross fire, 1987

From Wikipedia:

“The King’s Cross fire began at approximately 19:30 on 18 November 1987 at King’s Cross St Pancras tube station, a major interchange on the London Underground. As well as the mainline railway stations above ground and subsurface platforms for the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, there were platforms deeper underground for the Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines. The fire started under a wooden escalator serving the Piccadilly line and, at 19:45, erupted in a flashover into the underground ticket hall, killing 31 people and injuring 100.began at approximately 19:30 on 18 November 1987 at King’s Cross St Pancras tube station, a major interchange on the London Underground. As well as the mainline railway stations above ground and subsurface platforms for the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, there were platforms deeper underground for the Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines. The fire started under a wooden escalator serving the Piccadilly line and, at 19:45, erupted in a flashover into the underground ticket hall, killing 31 people and injuring 100.

The inquiry found that the fire was most probably caused by a traveller discarding a burning match that fell down the side of the moving staircase on to the running track of the escalator. The police decided that the fire had not been started deliberately, as there was no evidence that an accelerant had been used and access to the site of the fire was difficult. Investigators found charred wood in eight places on a section of skirting on an escalator and matches in the running track, showing that similar fires had started before but had burnt themselves out without spreading.

The 30° angle of the escalators was discovered to be crucial to the incident, and the large number of casualties in the fire was an indirect consequence of a fluid flowphenomenon that was later named the trench effect, a phenomenon completely unknown before the fire.”

Goodge Street, London W1

From the Hidden London website:

“John Goodge obtained Crab Tree Field by marriage in 1718 and his sons Francis and William developed the land from around 1746 onwards.

When the Northern Line station opened in 1907 it was at first named Tottenham Court Road, while the stop to its south was called Oxford Street. Within a year the company changed its mind and gave the two stations their present names.

During the Second World War the government built a deep shelter linked to Goodge Street station (see image), part of which was made available to General Eisenhower as his operational headquarters for D‑Day. After the war the army used the shelter as a transit centre until it was damaged by fire in 1956…

(Wikipedia): “The fire coincided with Parliamentary consideration of a Government Bill seeking power to take over the shelters (The Underground Works [London] Bill) and the Minister of Works assured the Commons they would not again be used for human occupation in peacetime (although no one was killed, the fire had caused some alarm and proved difficult to put out). Another fire, on 21 June 1981, caused by burning rubbish, killed a man and injured 16 people, and resulted in a recommendation of a smoking ban on the Underground. There was a tardy response with London Transport finally introducing a one-year trial smoking ban on 9 July 1984. Almost halfway through the trial a major fire occurred at Oxford Circus, resulting in a full smoking ban on all subterranean stations and Underground trains.”

…In the mid-1960s some of Goodge Street’s cafes gained a reputation as hang-outs where illicit substances might be obtained. Donovan’s ‘Sunny Goodge Street’ was one of the first pop songs to explicitly mention drug-taking. Judy Collins, Marianne Faithfull and Paul McCartney later recorded cover versions. For a while, Goodge Street’s name became emblematic of the ‘stoned’ hippie lifestyle, even rating a mention on the American cop show Hawaii Five‑O.

On the southern corner of Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road property developer Dukelease has renovated five existing buildings and an untouched void to create 13 apartments and penthouses. The Artisan development won the top prize at the Evening Standard’s New Homes Awards in 2016.

The surrounding area is now known for its electronics retailers, nearby academic institutions and the art galleries of Windmill Street. Scala Street boasts the delightful Pollock’s toy museum.”

“Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;”*

*William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (1599).

From: Noel Coward – a Biography (1995), by Philip Hoare:

“…the scenario for In Which We Serve (1942): adventure, a patriotic tribute and a panegyric to his favourite service rolled into one…

…Coward realised that he did not know how films were made. He asked Ronald Neame, whose work he had seen and liked, to be the lighting-cameraman, and expressed a further need for someone to ‘hold my hand…to be my right hand man’. Thus began Coward’s fruitful relationship with David Lean…

…An attractive character, thirty-three, handsome and always elegantly dressed, Lean’s contribution was vital to Coward’s work in the 1940s.

…Official encouragement for the project also came from Sidney Bernstein, now Films Adviser to the Ministry of Information…With heavyweights such as Bernstein and Mountbatten behind him, Coward felt reassured that the film would receive its proper treatment.

…In January 1942 Coward and Gladys Calthrop (Art Supervisor on the film) leased neighbouring cottages close to Denham Studios.

…The shooting of In Which We Serve began on 5 February…(Anthony) Havelock-Allan (on) Coward’s decision to play Captain Kinross: it was ‘a measure of his skill as an actor, he was able to play lots of parts for which he was totally unsuited…’

…The fact that Coward was not classically handsome did not matter: the effect was of someone undeniably attractive, and important…

…(Coward) gave full credit to David Lean…

Coward felt sufficiently proud of his work on In Which We Serve to invite the royal family to visit the set…

Below: Noel Coward introduces to the Royal Family (2:44) David Lean and Ronald Neame, (4:29) John Mills and Bernard Miles, (10:17) ?Michael Wilding.

…it was his first film effort…it was his tribute to the Royal Navy…it was his contribution to the war effort…Its success was confirmed in 1943, when Coward was awarded a special Academy Award for ‘outstanding production achievement’, his first and only Oscar…

After the success of In Which We Serve, the Lean/Havelock-Allan/Neame team, now working as Cineguild, proposed that they continue the successful and profitable working relationship with Coward. ‘Noel Coward was very generous’, Lean said. ‘He didn’t really enjoy film direction. He liked writing and acting best, and by the time In Which We Serve was finished he said, “Well dear boy, you can take anything I write and make a film of it.”’ It was decided to film Blithe Spirit and This Happy Breed, which was in production by spring 1943.

…Brief Encounter dealt with a near-scandalous theme for its time; indeed, Cineguild were apprehensive about the film being passed by the British Board of Film Censors…As with earlier Coward works, the film escaped censorship because of its moral resolution; it was passed uncut in September 1945.”

The Royal Watercolour Society

From: Old and New London: Volume 4. Originally published by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, London, 1878:

“Extending eastward from the southern end of Her Majesty’s Theatre to Trafalgar Square, and skirting the northern end of Cockspur Street, is Pall Mall East…

At No. 5 are the rooms of the old Society of Painters in Water-Colours. Externally the building possesses nothing to call for special mention, excepting, perhaps, a new and elegant doorway, which was erected in 1875; this, alike in design and workmanship, is worthy of the gallery to which it gives access.”

https://www.royalwatercoloursociety.co.uk/whitcombstreet

James Faure Walker, Honorary Curator, Royal Watercolour Society posted on 22 Jul 2018 at Artuk.org:

“The Royal Watercolour Society was founded in 1804 by artists who felt slighted by the Royal Academy. John Varley, a founder member, is known for his elegiac landscapes that followed sketching tours in Wales.

They were not records of actual places. Nature was there to be ‘cooked’ in the picturesque manner. Wales must glow like Italy. The Claude glass, a small darkened convex mirror, was the Photoshop filter of its day. It ‘antiqued’ the scenery. Varley was a capable astrologer, pressing you for your star sign. Visiting his ailing friend John Sell Cotman in Norwich, when the doctor had given him days to live, Varley exclaimed, ‘Pooh! Nonsense!’ He predicted he had another 20 years. In fact, there were 17. Cotman is buried close to Lord’s cricket ground.

It was in Varley’s house that William Blake drew his portrait of a flea – a portrait from his mind’s eye. A small group, the Ancients, gathered around the elderly sage. Among them was John Linnell. In 1824 he brought along the young Samuel Palmer. (Linnell was to be his father-in-law). Palmer was later to remark: ‘It pleased God to send Mr Linnell as a good angel from heaven to pluck me from the pit of modern art’.

I have recently become the honorary curator of the Society. Here I am offering a few footnotes to what can be seen on the web. Thumbnails have a purpose, but they don’t give you the smell of the originals, the stories, the characters, the intrigues. Some of today’s practitioners have roots that go back into this history, but it is a hidden history. Watercolours have to be protected from light, shut in boxes for much of the time. Tate Britain rotates a selection of its Turners and William Blakes, but many watercolours remain out of sight. In 2020 the RWS collection, along with its archives, will be housed in new premises in Whitcomb Street, next to The National Gallery, close to where the Society began…”

Lucy Watson wrote for the Financial Times of January 31 2020:

“I was invited to tour a new residential development recently, in what I have always suspected to be the worst place to live in London: Trafalgar Square. Situated in the middle of one of the city’s busiest tourist destinations (and thus anathema to actual Londoners), Hobhouse Court on Whitcomb Street is made up of 23 luxury rental apartments…

The original buildings on Whitcomb Street, demolished by Alaska Property Group, may well have been designed by Nash, and one architecture critic did threaten to chain himself to them to prevent their demolition, according to Alaska’s CEO Alan Hay. But they were former warehouses, described in 1974 by the then-listing body as “extremely sparsely windowed”, which darkened an already tight street.

It is not 1974 any more, and Pall Mall is no longer in need of industrial storage…

Part of the development deal — the reason why Historic England withdrew its strong objections to the demolition of Nash’s buildings — involved gifting the original home of the Royal Watercolour Society back to the society, and funding its refurbishment…”

The Feeder

Image: (Wikipedia): “The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, also called Villa Île-de-France, is a French seaside villa located at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera. Designed by the French architect Aaron Messiah, it was built between 1907 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864–1934).”

Concluding paragraph of The Luncheon” (c.1898), short story by William Somerset Maugham:

“…Then a terrible thing happened. While we were waiting for the coffee, the head waiter, with an ingratiating smile on his false face, came up to us bearing a large basket full of huge peaches. They had the blush of an innocent girl; they had the rich tone of an Italian landscape. But surely peaches were not in season then? Lord knew what they cost. I knew too what they cost-a little later, for my guest, going on with her conversation, absentmindedly took one.”You see, you’ve filled your stomach with a lot of meat”-my one miserable little chop-“and you can’t eat any more. But I’ve just had a snack and I shall enjoy a peach.”The bill came and when I paid itI found that I had only enough for a quite inadequate tip. Her eyes rested for an instant on the three francs I left for the waiter, and I knew that she thought me mean. But when I walked out of the restaurant I had the whole month before me and not a penny in my pocket.”Follow my example,” she said as we shook hands, “and never eat more than one thing for luncheon.””I’ll do better than that,” I retorted. “I’ll eat nothing for dinner tonight.””Humorist!” she cried gaily, jumping into a cab, “you’re quite a humorist!”But I have had my revenge at last. I do not believe that I am a vindictive man, but when the immortal gods take a hand in the matter it is pardonable to observe the result with complacency. Today she weighs twenty-one stone.”

From: Noel Coward – a Biography (1995), by Philip Hoare:

(1938) There followed a bizarre occasion at the Villa Mauresque on Cap Ferrat, when Somerset Maugham warned his guests that Noel was ‘on his uppers’, all his money gone on recent flops and bad investments; Maugham determined to give Coward a ‘square meal’. Noel arrived looking affluent and not particularly hungry, and greeted Maugham, ‘Willie, cher maitre!’ with an embrace. Generous cocktails were poured, and quantities of stodgy food produced. ‘Servez bien Monsieur Coward,’ said Maugham, ‘il a l’air d’avoir faim.’ Noel struggled through, too polite to refuse, until he was shown by (nephew) Robin Maugham to his car. ‘Wonderful old boy,’ said Coward, ‘but a trifle over-hospitable, don’t you think?’ Meanwhile Maugham drew his guests’ attention to the supposed speed with which Noel drank his cocktails and ate his steak-and-kidney pudding, ‘and the chocolate soufflé? He probably hadn’t had a square meal for weeks.’”

From goodreads.com:

“William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874. He spoke French even before he spoke a word of English, a fact to which some critics attribute the purity of his style.

His parents died early and, after an unhappy boyhood, which he recorded poignantly in Of Human Bondage, Maugham became a qualified physician. But writing was his true vocation. For ten years before his first success, he almost literally starved while pouring out novels and plays…”

Acton Town tube station

From Wikipedia:

“Acton Town station was opened as Mill Hill Park on 1 July 1879 by the District Railway (DR, now the District line) on its extension from Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway. On 1 May 1883 the DR opened a branch from Acton Town to the now defunct Hounslow Town station, which developed into the Heathrow branch. On 23 June 1903 the DR tracks extended north of Acton Town to a new station at Park Royal & Twyford Abbey which became the first of the Underground’s surface lines to use electric traction instead of steam with the Acton Town – Ealing Common section also electrified.

The original brick-built station was built in 1879. In February 1910 the station building was reconstructed and on 1 March 1910 the station was given its present name. In 1931 and 1932 the station was rebuilt again in preparation for transferring the Uxbridge branch service from the District line to the Piccadilly line. The new station was designed by Charles Holden in a modern European geometric style using brick, reinforced concrete and glass.

As other stations Holden designed, Acton Town station features a tall block-like ticket hall rising above a low horizontal structure housing the station offices and shops. The ticket hall has a projecting London Underground roundel sign over a canopy, the brick walls of the ticket hall are punctuated with panels of clerestory windows and the structure is capped with a flat concrete slab roof. From the ticket hall enclosed stairs descend to the platforms under integral concrete canopies on paired piers in alternating broad and narrow bay formation. A part of the narrow bays is infilled by kiosks, integral poster boards, roundel signs and fixed seating. The platforms are linked by a secondary bridge at the southern end. Reinforced concrete platform canopies replaced the original timber canopies. Since 17 May 1994, the station has been a Grade II Listed building.”

“Our memory is a more perfect world than the universe: it gives back life to those who no longer exist.”

Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893)

Rebecca J. Rosen wrote for The Atlantic of 25.1.13:

“In 1925, Sigmund Freud published an essay, “A Note upon the ‘Mystic Writing Pad.’ ” In it, he considered a recent market arrival, the Mystic Writing Pad (of course), as a sort of metaphor for the human mind.

At base, the Mystic Pad was “a slab of dark brown resin or wax” on which sat a translucent sheet of wax paper covered by a transparent sheet of celluloid. When a person set a stylus to it, the dark resin would become visible through the wax paper at the points of contact, and thus one could write. When the record was no longer desired, erase it by simply lifting the wax paper off the slab. The celluloid served merely to protect the wax paper from ripping as the stylus ran across it.

This may not sound like much of a metaphor for the human mind, but one unintended consequence of this procedure struck Freud as quite significant: “The permanent trace of what was written is retained upon the wax slab itself and is legible in suitable lights.” The Mystic Pad had a particular kind of memory.

“I do not think it is too far-fetched,” Freud wrote, “to compare the celluloid and waxed paper cover with the system of Pcpt.-Cs. [Perception -Consciousness] and its protective shield, the wax slab with the unconscious behind them, and the appearance and disappearance of the writing with the flickering-up and passing-away of consciousness in the process of perception.”

For Freud, this was new, as far as technology metaphors go. The other two major technologies he examines in his essay — paper and slate — he scrutinizes not so much as a metaphor for the mind, but in their capacity as memory aids or, “mnemic apparatus,” as Freud calls them.

The first, paper and pen, preserves a thought — a “permanent memory-trace” — but it is finite and “the receptive capacity of the writing surface is soon exhausted.” You then need more paper and more paper, a system for tracking it all, and you may soon lost track of these recorded memories, and forget they exist altogether, thereby negating the value of having recorded it in the first place. A slate, on the other hand, can be used over and over but nothing lasts very long. “Thus,” Freud concluded, “an unlimited receptive capacity and a retention of permanent traces seem to be mutually exclusive properties in the apparatus which we use as substitutes for our memory: either the receptive surface must be renewed or the note must be destroyed.”

Compare these technologies — the slate and the pad of paper — with the other “auxiliary apparatus” humans have designed to improve their sensory abilities: spectacles to improve vision or ear-trumpets for hearing. “Measured by this standard,” Freud noted, “devices to aid our memory seem particularly imperfect, since our mental apparatus accomplishes precisely what they cannot: it has an unlimited receptive capacity for new perceptions and nevertheless lays down permanent — even though not unalterable — memory-traces of them.”

This was why the Mystic Pad so intrigued Freud: It was a more precise analog of the mind’s abilities. Like the Mystic Pad, “the perceptive apparatus of our mind consists of two layers,” he observed, “of an external protective shield against stimuli whose task it is to diminish the strength of excitations coming in, and of a surface behind it which receives the stimuli.” Spectacles, ear-trumpets, and the Mystic Pad all measured up to the human standard: By being like a human’s abilities, they were well-suited to extending those abilities.

In that sense, computers are the perfect device for assisting our memories. They manage to solve Freud’s conundrum: They have both an “unlimited receptive capacity for new perceptions” (more or less), and the ability to preserve “memory-traces” of them.

But like telescopes or microscopes that enable us to see beyond human perception, modern computing offers a mnemic capacity far more powerful than your average human’s: The memories it stores are preserved intact, not as impressions. It may similarly have layers of input and storage, but little is lost in the transfer, and information can be recalled (whether from a hard drive or the cloud) in the same state as it went in (assuming nothing has gone wrong).

By extending Freud’s metaphor to today’s devices, another insight from the Mystic Pad essay becomes apparent, though Freud didn’t make much of it at the time. What makes the human mind distinct isn’t just its “layers” for perception and storage, but the imperfections in that system. Though we build ever more perfect memory devices, we can’t replicate what makes us us: our flaws.”

Former Police Station, 7 Gerald Road, London SW1

Alan Patient writes at plaquesoflondon.co.uk:

“The police station opened in what was then called Cottage Row. The name was changed to Gerald Road in 1885. After years of debate about its future, in 1993 the police moved to the newly completed Belgravia police station. From Living in London: “The Old Police Station was converted into a magnificent private house in 1993. Ronnie Biggs, the Great Train robber, spent one night here.” There is some wonderful film of Gerald Road Police Station at British Pathe.

It’s difficult to believe what is there now is the same building as that shown in the film (which does not even have a front area), but it is clearly on the same site. In the film you can see some dates inscribed on the entrance to the station: AD 1894 and AD 1925. We guess that the building has been through a number of reincarnations and perhaps its current look is an attempt at recreating its original appearance. A Flickr photo from 1906 provides some information. If the film is anything to go by, the police had a lot of spare time on their hands back in 1957.”

Police Gerald Road station Feb 1984

From: Noel Coward – a Biography (1995), by Philip Hoare:

(1947) The play was put into production, with Coward seeking a new, young cast…(Kenneth) More recalled being terrified when invited, alone, to Gerald Road…More burst out, ‘Oh Mr Coward, sir! I could never have an affair with you, because – because – you remind me of my father!’ Coward laughed and said, ‘Hello son’. Another young actor he had wanted for the play was Dirk Bogarde. He too was invited to Gerald Road where Coward pre-empted his nerves by announcing, ‘I shan’t jump on you. I’m not the type, and Gerald Road Police Station is immediately opposite. (The building is actually a few doors away on the same side of the street.) Would you care for a whistle or will you merely shout?’”

Frank Leveson

Above: Harrods Limited, 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1 (Evening Standard Diary headline of 25.2.13: “Too many handbags and not enough maps or music: Harrods has truly become Horrids”)

Gary Chapman wrote at jazzageclub.com on 23.8.17:

“Frank Leveson (Frankie) was described as a ‘Dapper Dane’ by the entertainer Billy Milton and was part of the smart society set in Jazz Age London with the likes of Noel Coward, designer Gladys Calthrop, Gladys Cooper and Ivor Novello. He made a name for himself as an exhibition dancer in the 1920s but had another career as an interior designer eventually becoming manager for Syrie Maugham’s business in the late 1920s.

…Frank Leveson was tall, dark, handsome and impeccably dressed – as such he made the perfect dancing partner. He became a fixture in mainly London cabarets during the 1920s but his first known appearance was an engagement in March 1922 at the Cannes Casino on the Riviera with two female partners called the Misses Cliff. On his return to London he danced with Bernice Harper as one of the attractions at the Midnight Follies cabaret at the Hotel Metropole in the summer of 1922.

Even before this date he had become friends with a lot of leading society people but how is not known. So, in late 1922 for example, he accompanied the actor Ivor Novello on a trip to explore the delights of Berlin. At the Chelsea Arts Club ball on New Years Eve 1924, he was seen with a range of other celebrity friends including Gladys Calthrop, Ivor Novello, Noel Coward, Lorenzo Chabloz, Sholto Bailey and Eric Allden.

When Edward Dolly’s cabaret show Dolly’s Revels opened in the spring of 1924 at the Piccadilly hotel, Leveson danced with the actress June but a little later was partnered with Doreen Read. Subsequently, he danced with Read for a short engagement at Chateau de Madrid in Paris in May.

When Edward Dolly launched another show called Summer Time Frolics at the Café de Paris in August 1924, Leveson and Read were the star dancing attractions, but they switched back to the Dolly’s Revels in September.

In the autumn of 1924 Leveson had a new partner called Joan Bryant and they took the place of Fred and Adele Astaire in the show Stop Flirting. But by November he was back with Doreen Read, perhaps doubling at the Café de Paris during their afternoon dances.

Seemingly throughout this period, Leveson had also made a name for himself as an interior designer, because in the mid 1920s he was engaged by Syrie Maugham to manage her own decorating business. As a potential competitor, his appointment was a feature of Syrie’s business technique. He was good at charming the customers, negotiating the intricacies of dealing with various tradesmen and arranging social functions.

He clearly had made some money as by the mid-late 1920s he had a flat at 28 Tite Street, Chelsea and another property at the Villette Building in Sloane Square. He had lived at various other salubrious addresses including 56a South Eaton Place, 17 Gerald Road Westminster and 170 Brompton Road.

Leveson continued to dabble in the stage and in 1929 designed the settings for Canaries Sometimes Sing, staged by Ernest Peirce at the Globe theatre and made a few appearances as an actor. He also regularly appeared at charity events as the dancing partner to Lady Dorothy Plunkett.

Billy Milton met him in early 1929, and was seduced by him, indicating that he was indeed gay. Leveson also introduced him to the outrageous Norwegian Rocky Twins who were visiting London at the time.

In late 1930, Leveson gave Ivor Novello a farewell party (before he left for America) in his delightful Chelsea studio, but then during a visit to Paris, Leveson died on 21 June 1931 at 50 Ave du Roulle. His death must have been unexpected and there is no mention of the cause. His estate, valued at £1,834, was bequeathed to Eric Dalgetty Gronous (an artist and decorator) who may have been his partner at the time.”