chapter
2 Pages

Soho

WithJoseph Rykwert

In this chapter the author recollects the memories of his early life. The author had moved from Chelsea to Soho, which quite reoriented his London: the King's Road was no longer the axis of my personal precinct. In that extension the most important art galleries through which he had begun to circulate to satisfy his constant hunger for new pictures and sculpture. His home there was the capacious, timber-trussed and cheap attic of the rectory of St Thomas, Regent Street. A very High Church establishment, united with the parish of St Anne's Soho in Dean Street, whose elegant spire had been spared by the same bombs that destroyed the church. The rectory, at the Shaftesbury Avenue end of Dean Street, had also escaped ruin and was used as a kind of Anglo-French – the vicar was notoriously Francophile – cultural centre, if with a churchy bias. 'Where lions were thrown to the Christians', a wit once called it.