Thursday, November 17

Burlington Arcade

I occasionally walk the Burlington Arcade behind Bond Street connecting Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens. There are Rolex watches and cashmere sweaters and similar such stuff mostly for the Chinese and other tourists who can afford it.

The arcade built in 1819 by Lord George Cavendish, younger brother of then 5th Duke of Devonshire, who inherited the adjacent Burlington House, on what had been the side garden; the arcade built, reputedly, to prevent passers-by throwing oyster shells and other rubbish over the wall of his home.

In '64 a Jaguar Mark X charged down the arcade, scattering pedestrians, and six masked men leapt out, smashed the windows of the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Association shop, and stole jewellery valued at £35,000. They were never caught.