Piccadilly Market — Love & Attention for Christmas


Christmas trees went up at Piccadilly Market this week. Add to that new lights, deep steam cleaning of the ancient paving, a revamped garden and new flower tubs, the market has seen an investment of love and attention in recent months. Thanks, in large part, to the energy, professionalism and ‘can-do’ attitude of the new market manager and his hard-working team. Thank you Costas!

Three Network Failure — Piccadilly, St James’s, Mayfair, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus

The saga of Three’s central London network failure continues. The latest word is there’s a “mast migration” (whatever that is) occurring on Monday (15th October 2012) and the problem may not be resolved until then.

We apologise to Piccadilly Market customers unable to contact traders contracted to the Three network. A rough map of the outage — an 11 day (c. 260 hour) total network failure involving no ‘phone, email, internet access or text messaging — is:



Three network restored at Piccadilly Market — W1J 9LL — at c. 14:00 hrs today 11/10/12. Unknown how long it will last and how widely coverage extends.

Three — Outage on Piccadilly

There’s been no Three coverage at Piccadilly Market for FOUR days. I’ve made two formal written complaints to Three and heard nothing back. I’ve now made a formal written complaint about them not responding to my formal written complaints…


You can complain to Three here and on their Twitter account here. I tested the outage and it extends all the way along Piccadilly, from Piccadilly Circus, past St James’s Church, Fortnum’s, and The Ritz. Coverage resumes at Green Park tube station. So it’s a big problem.

I’ll send this blog to Three… They need to get their act together.

Monday Food Market ~ Food for Health Awards

Adi-Best-Burgers-750Good news from Shepherds Markets, who manage the Monday Food Market at St James’s Church. In a Food for Health award scheme run by Tower Hamlets Council and NHS Tower Hamlets, all stallholders who participated achieved the award.

The scheme rewards food businesses who offer healthy options in their menus and meet the highest food hygiene standards.

Participating stallholders:

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It is difficult for a mobile unit, such as a stallholder, to achieve the award due to the limited menu that can be offered at a market, particularly those serving meat. To achieve the award stallholders demonstrated:

  • They have a sound food safety management system in operation. All stallholders received 4 or 5 stars (5 being the highest)
  • Ingredients are fresh and sourced locally, except for Duck Comfit, Argentinian Steak and Chorizo, who must maintain their authenticity so their cuisine is not compromised
  • No product considered bad for health is used, e.g. saturated or hydrogenated oil (contributory factors to heart disease). Herbs are used for seasoning instead of salt (too much salt causes high blood pressure).
  • Stallholders serving meat, e.g. chorizo, burgers and steak had to demonstrate that they are grilling their product so as to reduce fat content. They also had to show that they were offering healthier choice of breads, e.g. wholemeal, and a variety of salads
  • They had to show that each meal served had the right balance of vegetables, starch and protein, with the stallholders serving vegetable proteins, e.g. pulses, scoring the highest points
  • They had to show that their product would help reduce obesity
  • The stallholders who achieved gold level had to demonstrate that they had on offer a choice of foods which included at least one type of oily fish or one type of pulse

All stallholders attended a workshop on nutrition conducted by an NHS nutritionist. Stallholders, as a whole, achieved 4 gold, 6 silver and the rest bronze.


Fortnum’s Bees


Beehives on the roof at Fortnum & Mason

As reported elsewhere during the Summer, the bees, housed on the roof at Fortnum’s, put in regular appearances at Piccadilly Market.

Contrary to popular prejudice the Fortum’s Bees do NOT wear monocles, Harris Tweed waistcoats, and employ a butler to pick up after them.

This fella was sleepy and somewhat grumpy. Due possibly to an American tourist referring to him as a wasp.

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Oysters & High Explosives

When a thousand pound bomb hit St James’s Church Piccadilly on the night of 14th October 1940, almost 72 years ago, followed by incendiaries which burnt out the interior of the church, a banker was dining a few hundred yards away at Wiltons Oyster Bar in King Street. Wiltons’ website reports:

The license was taken over in 1930 by Mrs Bessie Leal until 1942 (sic), mid-war, when Olaf Hambro, who happened to be eating oysters alone at the bar as a bomb landed on St James’s Church, Piccadilly, asked for the restaurant to be added to his bill as Mrs Leal folded her tea towel and apron and declared Wiltons closed.

Wiltons — still owned by the Hambro banking family — and St James’s Church survived: the Church with no permanent roof until the 1950s and without a spire until the 1960s. The current spire is made of steel, plastic and fibreglass, the restoration money having run out.

Pathé newsreel reports captured the aftermath of the bombing, the church smouldering and being played with water (click the two following images for video launch pages)…

…and the dedication of the Garden of Remembrance in 1946:

St James’s and its market today:

Piccadilly Market

The Weirdness of Apple Maps

The area round Piccadilly Market and St James’s Church, courtesy of Apple Maps (and a kind friend with an iPad who knows how to screengrab). But where are the people and traffic? It’s like London after a Triffid attack….

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Time-Travel Kaleidoscopes

News from Hand-Made Kaleidoscopes….. How cool is this?

Dear Ruth,

I bought a kaleidoscope from your stand at Piccadilly Market a couple of years ago. I’m a children’s author and my retro-style adventure story, “The Bother in Burmeon” was published earlier this year. It’s a time-slip story in which the young hero goes back to 1962 via a mysterious kaleidoscope (it’s silver in the book). I bought the kaleidoscope to use as a prop for school visits (where it has been much admired!) and to use in the book trailer which we’ve now finished…

If you do manage to construct a time-travel kaleidoscope, I’d love to know!

Kind regards,


S.P. Moss aka Susan Imgrund


The Bother in Burmeon by S.P. Moss

Piccadilly Circus Circus

piccadilly-market-circus-1Piccadilly Circus Circus comes to Piccadilly! The men in yellow jackets were out in force on Piccadilly this morning, preparing for tomorrow’s central London extravaganza.

Regent’s Street and Piccadilly will be transformed into a ‘pedestrianised paradise’ with tightrope artists, circus trapeze, aerial dance and bungees, BMX bike tricks and street dance, a Latin circus, a Moroccan circus and much more.

Over the course of tomorrow afternoon and evening there will be 143 performances of 48 different acts by 33 companies across 15 spaces, with 247 performers! Details here.