Tuesday, 11 December 2012

China Town

Gerrard Street in Soho is home to London’s China Town. 

In 1677, Lord Gerrard gave permission for the area, then a military training ground, to be developed. Houses were built and the development spread into what we now know as Soho. It soon became a haven for immigrants including French Huguenots, Italians and Maltese. The Chinese community arrived in the 1950’s after their Limehouse homes had been destroyed during the blitz. The area already had a vibrant nightlife and was home to the notorious ‘43’ Club, whose owner Kate Meyrick was jailed five times before the club was finally closed. Ronnie Scott opened his first jazz club in the basement at number 39.

By the 1960’s the area was firmly established as the China Town we now know with Chinese supermarkets and authentic Chinese restaurants.

"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, 
walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. 
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook's, 
going to get a big dish of beef chow mein" 

Werewolves of London - Waren Zevon

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