Friday, 27 January 2023

Gieves & Hawkes back in British ownership / Gieves & Hawkes №1 Savile Row, London



Gieves & Hawkes back in British ownership


Gieves & Hawkes, one of the most famous names in tailoring, is back in British hands after being bought by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group. The iconic business, with its main store at No 1 Savile Row, was sold to Ashley last November by the Hong Kong-based owner Trinity Group after it fell into administration at the beginning of last year. All five of Gieves & Hawkes’s UK stores will be part of the deal. Frasers Group, which already owns Sports Direct and House of Fraser, emerged as a potential buyer last September and sealed the deal for an undisclosed sum in November. Hong Kong conglomerate Trinity Ltd took over Gieves & Hawkes in 2012 but Trinity was subject to a winding-up petition for debt in September 2021. Michael Murray, chief executive of Frasers, said: “We are delighted to have acquired Gieves & Hawkes, securing a long-term future for an iconic 250-year-old brand. This acquisition further adds to our portfolio of strategic investments in luxury and premium brands.”


Gieves & Hawkes, which has held Royal Warrants since 1809, has made clothes for King Charles III, George VI and George V, as well as the princes William and Harry. It also dressed Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill. The firm moved to the Georgian townhouse at 1 Savile Row after Gieves acquired the Hawkes brand in 1974. Gieves was founded in 1785 and Hawkes in 1771.

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Turnbull & Asser :130 Years - By Royal Appointment

Turnbull & Asser is a British shirt-maker that was established in 1885. The company has its flagship store on Jermyn Street in the St James's area of London, and its bespoke store around the corner on Bury Street. Turnbull & Asser also has a location at 4 Davies Street in Mayfair. In addition to the three London stores, the company has a shop in New York City.



The business was founded in 1885 by John Arthur Turnbull, a hosier and shirt-maker, at 3 Church Place, St James's. Turnbull met Ernest Asser, a salesman, later on in 1893. Together, they opened a hosiery under the name "John Arthur Turnbull" in St James's located in England. As the neighborhood was the site of numerous gentlemen's clubs and high-end haberdashers, the business flourished. The name was changed to "Turnbull & Asser" in 1895.


In 1903, after continued success, Turnbull & Asser moved to its present location at the corner of Jermyn Street and Bury Street. In 1915, during World War I, Turnbull & Asser developed a raincoat which doubled as a sleeping bag for the British military. It is known as the Oilsilk Combination Coverall & Ground Sheet.


Between the 1920s and the 1970s, Turnbull & Asser grew its London business from a haberdashery to a clothier, expanding into sportswear, clothing (both bespoke and ready-to-wear), and ready-to-wear shirts. As its symbol, it used a hunting horn with a "Q" above, which it called the Quorn, a name it shares with one of the oldest hunts in England. Many of Turnbull & Asser's articles were called by this name, such as the popular "Quorn scarf".


During the 1960s, Turnbull & Asser was known for catering to the Swinging London set, with vibrant colors and modern designs. In 1962, Turnbull & Asser began to outfit the cinematic James Bond as first portrayed by Sean Connery, whose dress shirts had turnback cuffs fastened with buttons as opposed to cufflinks, referred to as "cocktail cuffs" or "James Bond cuffs".


In the 1970s and 1980s, Turnbull & Asser began reviving some of the more traditional aspects of its business. The company found that Americans increasingly were buying its wares, so it began offering trunk shows at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. Beginning in 1974, Turnbull & Asser sold ready-to-wear shirts in the United States through department stores Bonwit Teller and Neiman Marcus. For a brief period beginning in 1979, Turnbull & Asser even operated a small store in Toronto. Turnbull & Asser also opened a location in Beverly Hills in 2003 before closing several years later.


In February 2018, Turnbull & Asser posted a £1.2 Million pound loss, leading to a £1m equity injection from its owner, Ali Fayed.


Royal Warrant

Charles III has bought shirts from Turnbull & Asser since his youth. When, in 1980, the then Prince of Wales was granted the power of bestowing royal warrants, his first issue was granted to Turnbull & Asser. He also wears Turnbull & Asser suits, made by the former Chester Barrie factory in Crewe, Cheshire. Following the retirement of Paul Cuss, the Royal Warrant was passed down to Steven Quin, who currently heads the bespoke department in Bury Street.



Shirts and ties are still made in its Gloucester factory.


In addition to its retail stores, the company hosts seasonal bespoke shirt trunkshows in key cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Mumbai, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and more.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turnbull & Asser dedicated its Gloucester workroom to making medical-grade uniforms for National Health Service personnel.



Profits slip slightly at Royal shirt-maker Turnbull & Asser

Turnbull & Asser has made shirts for members of royalty, world leaders, entertainers and captains of industry

By Joanna Bourke

28 November 2018


Shirt-maker Turnbull & Asser might count Prince Charles as a client but even royal patronage can’t protect it from High Street woes.


The St James’s firm, founded in 1885, on Wednesday admitted that “the general trading environment was tough last year and continues to be so”.


The business — owned by Ali Fayed (younger brother of former Harrods boss Mohamed Al-Fayed) and his sons — posted a £1.2 million loss for the year to February 3, compared with a £1.1 million loss a year before.

Prince turns tailor during factory visit

Monday, 23 January 2023

BBC Two Trailer: Agatha Christie Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen / Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley review – in search of the elusive author


Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley review – in search of the elusive author


The historian shines a light on the modernity of Christie’s crime fiction and debunks the myths surrounding her disappearance


Alex Clark

Wed 31 Aug 2022 09.00 BST


If Agatha Christie remains elusive, it’s not for the want of those trying to find her. Janet Morgan’s official biography of 1984 and Laura Thompson’s equally detailed but ultimately more impressionistic portrait of 2007 have both been updated and reissued; and there are numerous other analyses that try to understand how the woman who routinely described herself as a housewife became Britain’s bestselling novelist of all time. Enter historian Lucy Worsley, whose declared intention is to rescue Christie, who died in 1976 at the age of 85, from the misperceptions that cling to her life and her works of fiction.


In service of the former, she revisits the most notorious episode of Christie’s life: her disappearance for 11 days in December 1926, prompting blanket media coverage, an extensive police search and, after she had resurfaced at a hydropathic hotel in Harrogate, widespread suspicion that her tale of memory loss was an elaborate publicity stunt. In terms of the novels, Worsley’s focus is on debunking the assumption that Christie invented and epitomised what has become known as “cosy” crime fiction, pointing to the darker elements of her work, its modernity, and its increasing interest in psychological themes.


Is she convincing? Up to a point. These ways of thinking about Christie are not entirely new or unfamiliar, and although Worsley has evidently done due diligence among her subject’s correspondence and personal records, there are no major revelations. It’s more, perhaps, that she brings a clear-eyed empathy that allows her to acknowledge Christie’s limitations and prejudices without consigning her to the silos of mass-market populist and absentee mother.


Sometimes, this is a stretch. Worsley is correct to argue that dismissing the books as formulaic – algebraic, indeed – is a way of diminishing Christie’s power to graft an apparently impenetrable mystery on to an evocatively imagined and interestingly peopled setting, and to repeat the trick over and over again; such reductive ways of characterising the work of popular writers are still very much in evidence. Her gift for dialogue and for manipulating social stereotypes, as Worsley demonstrates, was formidable, keenly attuned to the proliferating class anxieties of the 20th century; numerous characters are, interestingly, transitional or dispossessed in some way, at odds with one view of her as a writer of the country-house elite. (This approach gets only so far when it comes to discussing her reliance on racist tropes, and particularly antisemitic slurs, on which Worsley maintains that we must accept her as a product of her class and time, but also that we must squarely face the reality of what she writes and not try to excuse it. The issue here is that, fundamentally, the circle cannot be squared and rests largely on whether one believes bigotry is, at some level, historically inescapable.)


This doesn’t quite amount to the claims made in one eyebrow-raising passage in the biography, in which Worsley appears to argue that Christie has common ground with the modernists whose defining moment came as her first novels were published: “What if the middlebrow and the modernist could actually be the same thing?” she writes. “A more inclusive definition of modernism might mean that you can also find it in works that don’t necessarily bludgeon you in the face with the shock of the new in the manner of Ulysses.” If you are going to rescue one writer from misunderstanding, it’s as well not to visit the same ignominy on another. And as much as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’s ingenuity relies on the disruption of accepted narrative convention, I don’t think it has a lot in common with Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room.


A Very Elusive Woman does, however, paint an intriguing picture of Christie as an upper-middle-class Victorian and Edwardian child whose life, then and later, encompassed significant losses and reversals of fortune, emotionally and materially. Perhaps counterintuitively, Worsley’s plummy-chummy tone bolsters rather than detracts from the seriousness with which she has evidently taken her task, as if she’s attempting to translate the sensibilities of a bygone era and mindset to contemporary life. Of Christie’s first husband, Archibald, whose adultery sparked that 1926 flight, she confides that a photograph of him impressed on her “an essential fact” that she hadn’t hitherto appreciated: “He was incredibly hot.” When Agatha is patronised by a chemist from whom she’s trying to learn about poisons, Worsley simply says: “Urgh”.


Where Worsley excels is in her descriptions of Christie’s day-to-day life; we hear virtually nothing of her political opinions as she lives through two world wars, for example, but we do glean a sense of her exceptionalism in the news that she consistently ignored air-raid sirens and simply turned over in bed. And she reports Christie’s almost compulsive buying of properties, her quiet, near-clandestine funding of her second husband’s archeological career and her love of rich food in a way that allows us to understand the version of home, love and stability she was trying to recreate. This may be the first biography I’ve read where my attention was genuinely piqued by the discussion of the subject’s tax affairs. Has Lucy Worsley tracked down Agatha Christie? Not quite, but her nose for diverting byways may suffice.


Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman is published by Hodder & Stoughton(£25). To support the Guardian and Observer, order your copy at Delivery charges may apply.

BBC’s Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen - viewers ‘adored’ first episode on famous author


Historian Lucy Worsely delves into the life-tellings of Agatha Christie in new BBC documentary


Will Millar

By Will Millar

26th Nov 2022, 11:02am


Historian Lucy Worlsey delves into her mysterious life-tellings of the world’s most-famous detective writer in Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen. The BBC three-part documentary series aired last night and viewers are loving it.


Many Christie fans have paid good money to follow in the footsteps of the much-loved author, with countless tours taking place across the country at all times. Last night, viewers got to enjoy the experience at home as Lucy Worsley told a fantastic historic tale of the elusive Queen of crime.


In the BBC factual series, Worsely explores the life of Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie - a renowned novelist who has only been outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible. Christie wrote 75 novels, plays and countless short stories before she died in 1970, dedicating her life to the detective fiction genre.


Isokon Flats / How Agatha Christie spent the war in Hampstead

How Agatha Christie spent the war in Hampstead

18th May 2021




By Bridget Galton

Features Editor and Associate Editor


Agatha Christie's wartime stay at the Isokon flats - with fur coat, hot water bottle, and pillow over her head to drown out the blitz - is explored in a new exhibition.


Despite having homes in west London, Oxford and Devon, the famous crime writer and her Sealyham terrier James spent 1941 to 1947 living in a 25 metre square flat in what was advertised as the "safest building in London."


An exhibition opening on May 22 reveals how she enjoyed a prolific stage of her career, writing novels, stage plays, a memoir and radio play for Queen Mary's 80th birthday - which later became The Mousetrap - while living in Britain's first apartment block made from steel reinforced concrete.


By day she did her bit for the war with a part time job in University College Hospital's dispensary, then returned to her flat to write, often on two books simultaneously. At night she put a pillow over her head to block out the falling bombs and clutched her "two most treasured possessions" her water bottle and fur coat.



Christie's Devon home Greenway had been requisitioned by the American Navy, her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan posted to Egypt, and in the first week of the blitz, her Holland Park home was bombed.


Jack Pritchard, who commissioned Wells Coates to build the Lawn Road flats in 1934, promised residents a new, modern way of life. With a celebrated restaurant and bar, run by Philip Harben, it attracted an extraordinary community of intellectuals, artists and writers, and newly arrived exiles fleeing Nazi Germany.


"Pritchard took out an ad in The Times claiming he had the safest building in Britain - it wasn't true, if a bomb had landed on it it wouldn't have stood it," says Magnus Englund, Chair of the Isokon Gallery Trust.


He visited Christie's only grandson Mathew Prichard to sift through the family archive for references to the Isokon.


"I have a bomb map of Belsize Park and there were quite a few, a big one fell on the tennis courts at the back of the flats. During raids, residents gathered in the Isobar which had sandbags, but Christie stayed in her flat and continued to write in her fur coat with a pillow over her head. Extraordinary!"


In letters Christie wrote: “Coming up the street the flats looked just like a giant liner which ought to have had a couple of funnels, and then you went up the stairs and through the door of one’s flat and there were the trees tapping on the window.”


She also wrote: “I never found any difficulty writing during the War, as some people did; I suppose because I cut myself off into a different compartment of my mind. I could live in the book amongst the people I was writing about, and mutter their conversations and see them striding about the room I had invented for them."


Over six years Christie moved three times to bigger flats eventually knocking 16 and 17 together. She was also the only resident allowed a dog.


"I think Jack Pritchard gave her special dispensation because she was famous."


Sadly a claim that Christie's only spy novel N or M was inspired by Soviet spy recruiters who were residents is untrue. "It's the most common misunderstanding, but she wrote more than one book about spies, they were published in America just before she moved in, and the spies had all moved out by then."


Englund adds: "It was a revelation that she had written what became The Mousetrap at Lawn Road. On his seventh birthday Mathew asked for a bicycle and his grandmother gave him what he thought a very dull bit of paper - it was the rights to The Mousetrap.


"She is the most sold author in the world and lived there for six years, but no-one had ever looked at this period much before. Now we are telling the whole story."


The Agatha Christie exhibition runs May 22 until October 2022 at The Isokon Gallery in Lawn Road. Entry is free no booking required. The museum is dedicated to the story of the Grade I listed building and its famous former residents. Opening times 11-4pm every weekend.

Isokon Flats


The Isokon building

Isokon Flats, also known as Lawn Road Flats and the Isokon building, on Lawn Road in the Belsize Park district of the London Borough of Camden, is a reinforced concrete block of 36 flats (originally 32), designed by Canadian engineer Wells Coates for Molly and Jack Pritchard.


Pre-war years

The designs for the flats were developed between 1929–1932 and opened on 9 July 1934 as an experiment in minimalist urban living. All of the "Existenzminimum" flats had very small kitchens as there was a communal kitchen for the preparation of meals, connected to the residential floors via a dumb waiter. Services, including laundry and shoe-polishing, were provided on site.


The building originally included 24 studio flats, eight one-bedroom flats, staff quarters, a kitchen and a large garage. The Pritchards lived in a one-bedroom penthouse flat at the top with their two sons Jeremy and Jonathan next door in a studio flat. Plywood was used extensively in the fittings of the apartments; Jack Pritchard was the Marketing Manager for the Estonian plywood company Venesta between 1926 and 1936, while he also operated the Isokon Furniture Company, originally in partnership with Wells Coates.


Celebrated residents included: Bauhaus émigrés Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and László Moholy-Nagy; architects Egon Riss and Arthur Korn; Agatha Christie (between 1941 and 1947) and her husband Max Mallowan, art historian Adrian Stokes, the author Nicholas Monsarrat, the archaeologist V. Gordon Childe, modernist architect Jacques Groag and his wife textile designer Jacqueline Groag. The communal kitchen was converted into the Isobar restaurant in 1937, to a design by Marcel Breuer and F.R.S. Yorke. The flats and particularly the Isobar became renowned as a centre for socialist intellectual and artistic life in Hampstead and regular visitors to the Isobar included nearby residents Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.



A number of Isokon residents were later identified as Soviet agents and in the 1930s and Cold War period the building was subject to surveillance by the British security services In the mid-1930s Flat 7 was occupied by Dr Arnold Deutsch, the NKVD agent who recruited the Cambridge Five and Soviet spy Jürgen Kuczynski lived at Isokon while teaching economics at London University.


Post-war years

The Isokon furniture company ceased trading with the outbreak of World War II, but was restarted in 1963. The British architect Sir James Frazer Stirling was a resident during the early 1960s. In 1969 the building was sold to the New Statesman magazine and the Isobar was converted into flats. In 1972 the building was sold to Camden London Borough Council and gradually deteriorated until the 1990s when it was abandoned and lay derelict for several years.


Rescue and refurbishment

In 2003 the building was sympathetically refurbished by Avanti Architects, a practice which specialises in the refurbishment of Modernist buildings, for the Notting Hill Housing Association who purchased it from Camden London Borough Council. Notting Hill Housing Association remains the freeholder. During the comprehensive restoration, the services were completely renewed, heating and insulation discreetly upgraded and the later overcoat of render removed from the exterior. The building now has a smooth external finish and is the palest tint of pink in colour, like it first was when it opened, and not pure white as is often assumed from back and white historical photos. The building is now partly occupied by key workers under a shared-ownership scheme whilst the larger flats have been sold outright.


Isokon Gallery

As part of the refurbishment, an exhibition gallery was created in the former garage, run since 2014 wholly by volunteers as a non-profit micro-museum to tell the story of the building, the social and artistic life of its residents and Isokon furniture company. The gallery is open weekends only, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. from the beginning of March until the end of October. Flats in the Isokon building are private and cannot be visited, except during Open House in September each year.



The building was designated a Grade I listed structure in 1999, placing it amongst the most significant historic buildings in England. An English Heritage blue plaque was fixed in 2018 to commemorate the residence of the Bauhaus masters Gropius, Breuer and Moholy-Nagy.


Agatha Christie's Greenway A Home In Devon. VIDEO below

Greenway, also known as Greenway House, is an estate on the River Dart near Galmpton in Devon, England. Once the home of famed mystery author Agatha Christie, it is now owned by the National Trust.
t was first mentioned in 1493 as "Greynway", the crossing point of the Dart to Dittisham. In the late 16th century a Tudor mansion called Greenway Court was built by the Gilbert family. Greenway was the birthplace of Humphrey Gilbert. The present Georgian house was probably built in the late 18th century by Roope Harris Roope and extended by subsequent owners. The gardens may have been remodelled by landscape gardener Humphry Repton.
Greenway was bought by Agatha Christie and her husband Max Mallowan in 1938. The house was occupied by Christie and Mallowan until their deaths in 1976 and 1978 respectively, and featured, under various guises, in several of Christie's novels. Christie's daughter Rosalind Hicks and her husband Anthony lived in the house from 1968, until Rosalind's death in 2004.
The Greenway Estate was acquired by the National Trust in 2000. Greenway House is a Grade II* listed building. The gardens and parkland are Grade II listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The house and gardens are open to the public, as is the Barn Gallery. The large riverside gardens contain plants from the southern hemisphere, whilst the Barn Gallery shows work by contemporary local artists.

Agatha Christie frequently used places familiar to her as settings for her plots. Greenway Estate and its surroundings in their entirety or in parts are described in the following novels:

Five Little Pigs (1942)
The main house, the foot path leading from the main house to the battery overlooking the river Dart and the battery itself (where the murder occurs) are described in detail since the movements of the novel's protagonist at these locations are integral to the plot and the denouement of the murderer.

Towards Zero (1944)
The location of the estate opposite the village of Dittisham, divided from each other by the river Dart, plays an important part for the alibi and a nightly swim of one of the suspects.

Dead Man's Folly (1956)
The boat house of Greenway Estate is described as the spot where the first victim is discovered, and the nearby ferry landing serves as the place where the second real murder victim is dragged into the water for death by drowning. Other places described are the greenhouse and the tennis court, where Mrs. Oliver placed real clues and red herrings for the "murder hunt". The lodge of Greenway Estate serves as the home of Amy Folliat, the former owner of Nasse House.

ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot episode "Dead Man's Folly" was filmed there.

Agatha Christie's home Greenway opens to the Devon public
Sophie Campbell gets a first peek at Agatha Christie’s holiday home, Greenway, which is now open to the public .
By Sophie Campbell11:14AM GMT 24 Feb 2009

Set into one side of the front portico at Greenway, Agatha Christie's former holiday home in South Devon, is an unobtrusive sandstone plaque. It is incised with arcane characters, like little rows of camping stools, and it was brought back from Iraq by her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan.
"Cuneiform script, from Nineveh," says Robyn Brown automatically, eyes busy elsewhere. "It should probably be in the British Museum." Brown is the National Trust's property manager at Greenway and has been overseeing the complex, labour-intensive two-year project to open the house and gardens to the public. We re-examine the golden slab for a second. "He wrote two books on Nineveh here at the house," she adds. "She never wrote here at all."
And there you have it, the key to Greenway, which opens to the public for the first time today. You won't see a writing desk, or a study used by the great crime writer when completing one of her 79 mysteries, although she came here every summer from 1938 until her death in 1976. There is no physic garden stocked with deadly nightshade or spotted hemlock. And while three novels and a couple of murders are recognisably set here (the artist Amyas Crale dies in the garden after drinking hemlock-laced beer, and the girl guide Marlene Tucker is found strangled in the boathouse), none were written in the house. Christie saw Greenway as a place of relaxation, not of work, as a chance to enjoy family, friends and the benevolent surroundings of the River Dart. It was also somewhere to indulge the family passion – or obsession – for collecting.
Greenway is a very Devonian house. It is no-fuss Georgian, the colour of clotted cream, beautifully sited on land swooping down to the river, and on sunny days – this is, after all, the English Riviera – it soaks up the rays until dusk. It occupies its own promontory on a bit of the river that bulges like a newly fed python, surrounded on three sides by water and backed by woods of ash, beech, Monterey pine and vast swathes of camellia and rhododendron.
It must have been an utterly private retreat, used first by the Mallowans, then by Christie's daughter Rosalind Hicks and her second husband Anthony – a talented gardener – who gifted it to the National Trust in 2000. After their deaths Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, donated all the contents as well, making Greenway a unique treasure. It is also a logistical nightmare; parking is desperately limited, access roads are narrow and they expect more than 600 visitors a day during the peak summer season. Frantic signals are going out to persuade people to come by boat (starting from Dartmouth and Dittisham this weekend), bus, bike, foot – anything but by car. What they are going to do with people like me, who decide to visit on a whim and just turn up, I hate to think.
The family would have entered the house through the portico facing the river, stepping into a simple three-storey façade, which had side extensions added in the early 19th century. We have to enter through a side route, but the interior has been planned to feel much as though the Hicks family is still in residence. The hall has a studded leather Baghdad chest, another Mallowan find, in which a body was discovered in one of his wife's novels. It also still has the dinner gong – which was beaten each evening, apparently, by the young Mathew to summon the adults to dine. In the inner hall, old gardening hats and a scarf lie on the table beside a white leather lifebelt with "Greenway House" painted on it.
It's in the library, though, that you first begin to realise that this was no ordinary family. The room looks straight out over the glorious river view, so its shades are pulled down to block the light, but even the dimness can't hide the shelves protected with neatly folded white tissue paper, furniture under creamy dust sheets and dozens of objects, each with its own ghostly nimbus of plastic (some of these coverings will remain until the formal opening, in June, as building work continues). Beneath the covers I can see tantalising details: the shiny yellow beaks and feet of a pair of Meissen eagles; part of the Hicks' ceramics collection, which also includes superb pieces by potters such as the Leaches and others. There is the bargeware – populist pottery, often with an inscription stamped on it – collected by Mallowan, the Hicks' studio glass and Rosalind Hicks' collection of books, including a complete set of Christie novels.
Around the walls is a blue-and-white mural painted by an American officer during the Second World War. The house was requisitioned and when the soldiers left, Christie kept the mural – which she considered a war memorial – but not the 14 latrines that they had built in the house. It was said that the dozens of magnolias in the garden – another collecting tic, which included a sumptuous creamy pink magnolia grandiflora planted by Mallowan, still erupting behind the Trust shop – reminded the officers of the scented blooms of steamy Louisiana.
The Morning Room is hung with Christie's collection of shell paintings, made by sailors for their sweethearts using shells painstakingly collected on their voyages. The Drawing Room holds the shelves of highly sentimental pottery belonging to her parents and grandmother. Elsewhere there are tapestries collected by Mathew Prichard's godparents, wooden Mauchline ware souvenirs collected by Anthony Hicks and Christie, and a cabinet of Verge watches belonging to Rosalind Hicks. There are papier maché objects inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and a charming collection of Stevengraphs – little silk bookmarks or pictures made by Thomas Stevens, a Coventry silk ribbon manufacturer – featuring early fire engines, English sports and mail coaches.
There is something delightful about it all. Not necessarily aesthetically (I still shudder at the thought of one piece of china, probably worth a fortune, featuring a parakeet screeching across the summit of what looks like a mountain of blue and white marshmallows), but because of its unpretentiousness and its ardour. You can almost feel the quiet, happy hours spent researching, hunting and later gloating over new acquisitions. Although Christie's taste in collectables was essentially Victorian, Greenway's simple colour scheme gives it the feel of a Modernist interior and a distinct sense that it has slid to an easy halt somewhere in the sunny Fifties or Sixties.
I take a walk down to the boathouse, zigzagging down through what feel like distinct climatic zones; glossy laurels and camellias giving way to delicate bamboos and shrubs as the land slides into the water. The boathouse looks out across slippery seaweed steps (a swift push, perhaps by a butler with a tray of cocktails… it's difficult not to start planning murders) to the Scold's Stone, marked by a red flag in mid-channel. This is where disobedient wives were apparently trussed up to drown in medieval times; those who failed to do so were stoned to death. I have a feeling that the camellia garden along the path was where Crale met his death at the bottom of a beer glass. In the end, I scuttle back up to the house, happier to be strolling through the walled gardens to see the peach and nectarine houses slumped against a south-facing wall, and soon to be restored to their full, fragrant glory.
As my visit ends, calls are coming in from France, Russia, China, Australia and elsewhere, requesting filming permission, visits and interviews. The house has filled with National Trust personnel assessing the best ways for visitors to be moved efficiently through the rooms.
The builders are finishing the visitor centre and running last-minute checks on the green heating and waste disposal systems. The smart new shop is being stocked with Trust products and Agatha Christie novels. There is a sense that nothing will ever be the same again at Greenway; all those billions of words are coming home to roost.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

BUDD SHIRTMAKERS 3 PICCADILLY ARCADE, LONDON / VIDEO: What makes a Budd shirt? | Budd Shirts

Budd is a high-end tailor for shirts based in London's Piccadilly Arcade. Budd was founded in 1910, and is known to cater to many notable figures of British high society.



Budd was founded in 1910 by Harold Budd as an exclusively bespoke shirtmaker. Its original premises were located in Piccadilly Arcade, adjacent to Jermyn Street.[3] After bombing during the Blitz, Budd bought premises opposite the original store, which were the only premises in the Arcade still standing. It is now the only original member of the Arcade still operating.


In 1983, Budd was acquired by the Webster Brothers, another British shirtmaker founded in 1847.


In 2013, Budd was acquired by a group led by Stephen Murphy,[6] former owner of Saville Row tailor H. Huntsman & Sons and board member of the Brown Thomas Group.


In 2020 Budd collaborated with model and photographer, Laura Bailey and stylist Cathy Kasterine, to create a collection of shirts and nightwear for women under the Bailey x Budd label.


Methods and products

Budd is known for its highly traditional British style of shirtmaking, and is described by Spear's as demonstrating "heroic resistance to change". It is said to be the only remaining shirtmaker with a cutting room still above the shop. The primary Budd workshop is located in Andover.


Budd's best known pattern is the Budd Stripe, also called the Edwardian Stripe, which dates to the 1930s.It is also known for the Mess Shirt, originally made for army officers.


Today, Budd sells ready-to-wear shirts as well as providing a bespoke service. It also sells accessories including scarves, gloves, ties and collars.


Budd's shirts have also been worn by characters in film and TV, including Matt Smith in Doctor Who and Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey.


Budd was referenced in the lyrics of the song the "Best of Everything" in the 1919 musical La La Lucille by George Gershwin "I go to Budd for my cravats, Stetson makes my hats. A Rolls-Royce, the best thing on wheels was my choice of automobiles".


Budd after the bomb

In Off the Cuff & Heritage & Craft by Natalie 6th September 2013


In April 1941, during WW2, St.James's was badly bombed. Dunhill, on the corner of Jermyn St, a few yards from Budd, took a direct hit. Then at 3 am on 17 April, the Luftwaffe dropped a 2200lb parachute bomb which detonated at rooftop height .The Piccadilly Arcade was devastated and Budd's shop at No 4 burnt down.


However, the spirit of the London Blitz was alive and well. Mr Dunhill  continued to sell his exclusive merchandise from a wheelbarrow on Jermyn St and Harold Budd immediately bought the leases on the only two habitable shops left standing in the arcade. Budd moved to Numbers 1A and 3 Piccadilly Arcade where it has been ever since.


The re-building of  the  Arcade after the bombing was not completed until 1957. However, because of this wartime disaster, Harold Budd was forced to reinvent his business.  Commercial realities forced the move away from exclusively  bespoke to include ready to wear. This was the beginning of Budd the haberdashers we know today selling not only shirts and ties but a whole range of accessories for a gentleman's wardrobe.




Be it bespoke, made to measure or ready to wear, when it comes to the perfect shirt, there are no short cuts. Budd Shirtmakers, which has been cutting and making shirts by hand since 1910, wouldn’t have it any other way.


Budd is one of only a handful of truly authentic shirtmakers in the UK today and, sooner or later, anyone who cares about fit, cut, craftsmanship and quality makes a pilgrimage to its shop in the Piccadilly Arcade. Though the premises are tiny, they’re a veritable Pandora’s Box of shirts, ties, dresswear, nightwear and gentlemen’s haberdashery. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, it’s probably down in the stock room or hidden away in one of the many cupboards.


And there’s more: in the workroom above the shop are three of the best cutters in London, who not only cut and make the patterns for Budd’s bespoke shirts, but fit them as well, ensuring that customers’ measurements and special requests are recorded directly onto their pattern.