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London On Sunday

Extracts from London On Sunday (Batsford, 1964), one of a series of distinctive guide books written by Betty James.

We like to imagine Ms James in tweed twinset, pounding London's streets, making notes with a fountain pen and admonishing poorly-behaved children; a Margaret Rutherford character peering into Carnaby Street boutiques and looking askance at mini skirts.

Illustrations are by John Cooper.

Below: The Contented Sole, 19 Exhibition Road. "The atmosphere is thoroughly piscatorial and there's vinegar for the chips. And I imagine that if one absolutely had to, nobody would stop one wrapping one's dinner in the Sunday Times and eating it in the street."


The King's Head and Eight Bells, 50 Cheyne Walk, SW3.

East Street, SE17. "There's a stall selling dartboards, and you can buy a bed. Yards of brilliant foam rubber are being cut. The fly-pitchers here are more imaginative. One of them opens a parcel full of underpants, still wrapped in cellophane. 'Come along now!' he entreats the men in cardigans 'the Beatles put them on and found them very comfortable – they don't ladder.'"

"One can walk purposefully down to 42 Great Windmill Street any Sunday before midnight and buy a delicious 2s. 9d. hot salt beef sandwich at the Nosh Bar. Or... after all... there are hot chestnuts at the end of almost everybody's West End at 6d. a bag."



Posted in England, Illustration, London


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Our guides are printed in England on 100% recycled paper