Friday, 11 April 2008


I woke up this morning to see that The G.A. had replied to my last email. Here is what he had to say:

thanks for the email,kid. Really made my day, Yeah! Not only heard about the snow in London but they lavished extensive photos showing around the parks and suburbs of the same city. Bloody beautiful, not the shagging snow, but the memories of my childhood. the squre in which I slept is in Guildford Street just along from the end OF Doughty Street wgiis parrallel to Kings cross road. We used ro live in the top flat of 55 Doughty street. The front door used to look quite imposing if nothing else. The next street along Guildford street from DoughtyLamb's Conduit Street you turn left up to just along is/was a very aged pub called the Lamb. our old piss-up pub. Even your Granma Lidge had a few in their over the years. A bloke called Rndall Keane used to own the place. He was married to a woman called Jean, but that didn't stop the horny drunk taking a shine to our ancester. Mu used to piss him off pretty quick. I must have worked in the pub for two or three years before I joined the Guards. So I HAD MY SHARE---By the fukkin gallon. Good 'sore head days ' need I remind you? If you ever come across some dickhead who wants to take you to lunch, and he's posh enough get him to take you to 'Schmidt's resaurant in Piccadilly , or it may be Leicester squsre be in the book anyway. Eisbein und Sauercraut, with a bottle of cold white, and crusty rolls.Beadifull. I f I could have a wish Iwould take you and stuff the expense. Yer ma's going up to Sara for Tom's birthday. I think I prefer that tho having them travel down five in one car
See you, or read you in the near future I hope. Love from the old G.A.XX WHO has the pleasure of being yer Dad.

So straight after I Googled this place Schmidt's he refers too. Unfortunately it closed in the 70's and I guess what he called Piccadilly, is Noho now.

The restaurant was at 35-37 Charlotte Street. The building there formerly housed Schmidt’s Restaurant, which had been on site since 1901, when Frederick Schmidt, an immigrant butcher from Wurtenberg opened a delicatessen. He became a British Citizen and served during the First World War as an army cook and opened a restaurant on his return. It was famous for its rude waiters and good food at cheap prices. Apparently, the Soviet spy Donald Maclean spent his last day in Britain at the restaurant before fleeing to the Soviet Union in May 1951. The restaurant closed in the 1970s.

The dates etc dont quite make sense for me in that - I just copied and paste it from this document which makes interesting reading. I also read on this website that London's German population had settled north of Oxford Street where Charlotte Street was sometimes known as 'Charlottenstrasse'.

I better think of an alternative restaurant to suggest to Pops as that one isn't open any more. He is also going to shit when I tell him that 56 Doughty Street sold for £3,000,000 last April.

Check this:
Completed in 1790, Doughty Street is an exclusive period tree lined avenue within a popular and prestigious Bloomsbury location. The Grade II listed district has witnessed a wealth of historical events and noble residents who lived or worked in the street.

Charles Dickens lived at No 48 between 1837 and 1839. Whilst living at Doughty Street he published some of his most famous works, including Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby . During this time, Doughty Street was gated at either end, and manned by porters.

Apparently now, Artemis Hunting Ltd run an office from there - shooting holidays in Croatia! OMG! From their website:

Touch Extra
Specialist Services:

Great costumer service,the best value for money,personal eskort from UK and guiding during the shooting holidays in Croatia,enthusiasm and passion about our business.
Services Offered:

Shooting holidays in Croatia,driven boars,bears,deers ect. Accomodation,food,drink,driving from to airport in Croatia,1 year licence for shooting in Croatia,apartments on the island of
Conveniences Offered:

Money back Guarantee Price Match 24 hr opening Customer service / helpline Emergency call out

Okay, well I won't tell you what Doughty Street was like during the 1930's, I'll see if I can get The G.A. to tell us himself which will be more fun.

xx Lektrogirl

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OpenID yigga said...

Who is the GA?
Donald Maclean was a Soviet spy working in SIS. He was part of a gay spy ring of toffs called the Cambridge 5. It's a really interesting story.

11 April 2008 12:17  
Blogger Lektrogirl said...

my father

11 April 2008 17:18  
Anonymous Paul G said...


I know I'm a year late but Schmidt's popped up today because I am meeting someone for a drink at the Charlotte Street Hotel.

Schmidt's was the first restaurant Iw as taken to as a kid. I remember it well because itw as so huge and two waiters - one Greek and the other Dutch - had a loud fight in the kitchen over a football match the previous night and my mother's freshly prepared food was flung during the altercation.
Cut to a few years later and my first job at a phot library around the corner.
Freddie Schmidt funded it; he was the son of the owner and incredibly Austrian/English. Schmidts had just closed down and Freddie was looking fore anotegr business opportunity.
I remember it lay empty for a couple of years at least - this was 70s London which still had bomb damage from WW2 - and seemed like a relic from the Vienna Secession, not the punk rock West End.

There you go.

From an old timer.


4 April 2009 18:51  

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