October 2022 Newsletter

Soho Sleep Survey - 60% of respondents say that sleep deprivation from noise nuisance is adversely impacting their health

In the last newsletter we encouraged Soho residents to fill out the Soho Society’s sleep deprivation survey.  Here is a summary of the results - the full picture is on our website.

87 people have responded of which 78 are Soho residents with ages spread fairly evenly from 22 to 80.  59% have lived in Soho for more than a decade.  42% own their homes, 20% are in Soho Housing Association flats.  58% have double glazing, 37% single glazing and 5% have triple glazing.

80% of respondents have their sleep disturbed at least once a week and 24% of respondents have their sleep disturbed 7 nights a week

The most common causes mentioned were street drinking, pedicabs, waste collections, construction noise, car horns and deliveries.  Other noise sources identified were air conditioning, motorbikes revving, building alarms and music from licensed venues.
69% of respondents agreed that during the time they have lived in Soho noise pollution has got significantly worse

46% of respondents agreed that noise nuisance is so bad that they have considered moving away from Soho

68% of respondents agreed that the council should renew its noise strategy as a matter of urgency

72% of respondents agreed that the council should install electronic noise monitoring in Soho

Some respondents made additional comments:-

As a disabled person working from home, I find it extremely exhausting not able to have rest at night, Screams and noise of drunk people every night, The Landlord WCC does not want to change the windows to a double glazing nor allow tenants to pay privately for windows to be upgraded. Noise at home, lack of sleep, and concentration in the day time.  I have a hand held noise monitor, I recorded  noise levels of 97db outside the pub at the corner of Broadwick and Berwick streets

I live in Marshall St and overlook it. Regularly now (most nights) there are traffic jams in the street at 3am in the morning with cars picking up people leaving clubs. The cars frequently are using their horns. Last night they had their door open with music blaring. we have 2 motorbike stands close together. 1 in Broadwick St and 1 in Marshall St. There is always at least one bike revving up at either 3am or really early like 530amThis noise has changed and increased over the past 3-4 years. I am woken up most nights at about 3am. And i have double glazing and am on [a high] floor.

Businesses take no responsibility for their customers drinking/eating and mainly shouting outside, including when they are queuing, and particularly when they are leaving. Post al fresco, there is a new attitude that anything goes on the streets and that includes contempt for the community who live here. The Council need to rethink this and put some major resource into enforcement.

Early hours waste collections (including bottle smashing) also includes the food & beverage businesses putting their waste in the street and bottle bins at anti-social hours ahead of collection times. Our local restaurants are not supposed to put bottles out between the hours of 23:00 and 07:00 but they frequently do. Frequently delivery trucks, some with noisy refrigeration units are also delivering early hours.  

Also deliveries & pedicabs. Unfortunately my lack of sleep due to noise has caused serious health issues and I now cannot work and suffer anxiety and depression. I'm woken up on average 5 times per night and have considered suicide. Why I'm being denied sleep between the hours of 11pm and 7am astonishes me. The freeholders Shaftesbury Carnaby show a total disrespect to the effects that noise has on the residents of Soho.

I've lived in Soho for 60 years... Born and bred.. It's never been this noisy!

If you have any doubt about the harm that disturbed sleep can do to you please watch this short
video with Charlotte Clark, Professor of Epidemiology at St George's, University of London.

There have been 3 meetings since April 2022 with residents, the Society, the council's traffic team, environmental health team, noise team, licensing team, neighbourhood co-ordinator, the police and Shaftesbury about noise issues at this location related to construction, deliveries and dispersals.  Here is a video from 29 October 2022 showing lights being installed at midnight on Broadwick Street.  

There is to be a meeting on 24 November with ward councillors and any Soho residents impacted by noise issues are welcome to come.  E-mail us for more details

"Report It" - the Council's noise reporting service isn't working - here is our advice

Westminster City Council has a system called Report It for reporting noise issues. Unfortunately it appears to be mainly designed for long duration events (like house parties greater than 2 hours) which can be visited by a noise officer who will attempt to resolve the issue at the time. It is less effective for the repetitive short duration disruptions suffered by Soho residents.  

We are very aware the system isn't working well for Soho residents and that noise issues are going unreported because residents have given up in frustration.

However there is a real problem if people give up on reporting.  The data collected through the noise reporting process is extremely important because it provides the basic statistics that inform the council's decisions on planning, licensing and environmental health.

So although it's deeply frustrating it is important to engage with the process. Here are our suggestions in how to do so, whilst minimising the impact on your already disturbed sleep. 

There are two ways to log complaints. Online (day or night), and on the out of hours phone number at night only. You aren't able to talk to anyone during the day.

Calling ‭020 7641 2000‬ at night (due to drunken shouting, pedicabs, deliveries etc):

  • Provide name, address and incident.
  • State that you would like it placed on record;  and
  • if you want to get back to sleep you can say you would NOT like a call back 

Completing online form during day:

  • Register (first timers only, will be easier next time) and provide the information on the form.  
  • you can tick the option to not be called back 

The event will still be recorded whether they call you back or not.  We appreciate these processes can be laborious and frustrating. Especially given the people answering calls at night are unfamiliar with the area, and the council's online system is sometimes down. 

Any videos you take at night of noise and its causes can be emailed to

Remember, it is important to record the issues and gather evidence as this WILL be presented at licensing hearings. If there is no evidence then the environmental health team will (as they have done previously) claim that no one is impacted.

In addition the council is running a consultation about "Report It" more generally  (see below on Fairer Westminster) - we strongly encourage you to respond.

The consultation is at

We hope that the council's consultation will take into account these issues and the system will be improved.

Shaftesbury promises to get tough on its tenants that have deliveries after 11pm

Since April this year there have been a series of meeting with the Council, residents and Shaftesbury about the very serious noise nuisance issues caused by Shaftesbury's commercial tenants around the Carnaby Street Estate through deliveries, construction and problems with customer dispersal.  Despite initially refusing to act on late night deliveries (often 3am night after night), Shaftesbury has now relented and promised to enforce its own rules against tenants that deliver between 11pm and 8am.

If you think deliveries isn't a problem check out this example of what has been happening night after night underneath Marshall House which has 24 flats in it.

This is Brian Bickell's e-mail of 22 September:-



I was not at the meeting three weeks’ ago to which you refer, but you seem to have misunderstood Shaftesbury’s position;  the Carnaby Estate Regulations with which all occupiers are obliged to comply clearly state deliveries are prohibited Monday-Saturday between 11pm and 8am, and no deliveries are permitted on Sundays. Those regulations are enforced as regards our occupiers although we clearly do not have a contractual relationship with the delivery companies our occupiers and their suppliers use. 

I am pleased to confirm that Joe & The Juice have now amended their supplier delivery arrangements to comply with Carnaby Estate regulations.

I can assure you that we will continue to monitor and enforce occupiers’ obligations to comply with our Estate Regulations and act on any complaints we receive.



Brian Bickell

Chief Executive

We are keen that this promise is kept.  Residents impacted by a delivery to a Shaftesbury tenant between 11pm at 8am should video it and send it to  Anything we receive will be sent to Shaftesbury and the Council, on an anonymous basis if requested.  

Rudy's Pizza - Planning Application for use of Meard Street refused

We thank the council’s planning committee for rejecting proposals for turning the western end of Meard Street into an area for outdoor dining at night.  Meard Street is a residential street with a number of grade 2 listed buildings  - where residents are not permitted to install double glazing or other noise protection because of the listing.  The restaurant premises (currently occupied by pizza joint Rudy’s) was previously an office back in the 90’s and was only given approval to be a restaurant on the strict understanding that the door on Meard street would be used in emergencies only.   The main entrance to the restaurant is in Wardour Street.  So it caused considerable surprise and concern when Rudy's applied to have the door opened in anticipation of using Meard Street for outside dining a matter of two yards away from people's homes.  It is an enormous relief that the application has been refused.

What remains unclear is why the council’s planning officers had forgotten the history, wrote a report with two serious and material errors (misquoting the original restriction for example) and recommended approval.  Fortunately the committee saw sense in time.  A significant amount of work had to be done by local residents and the Meard and Dean Street Residents Association to avoid a very poor decision which would have made several homes unlivable.  Our new ward councillors provided useful support over the concerns raised.  We have asked the council to investigate why the report contained material inaccuracies in the first place and why the officers refused to withdraw the report and correct it before the meeting.

If you want to get involved with the work that the Society does on reviewing planning applications get in touch here.

Simmons Application for Another Bar,
40 Shaftesbury Avenue

Simmons proposes to open a bar with a 3am terminal hour, seven days a week on the south side of Shaftesbury Avenue. Simmons already has five bars in Soho (Greek Street, Wardour Street, Bateman Street, Golden Square and Manette Street). 

If you are a resident of Soho concerned by the the hours proposed, the Soho Society would welcome your views so that these can be fed back to the applicant. Please email us at

Update on Campaign to Save London's Gas Lamps

In January it was announced that Westminster City Council’s plans to ‘upgrade’ the borough’s historic gas lamps that have illuminated London’s streets for around 150 years were being paused while WCC undertakes consultation with residents and local groups to ensure proposed electric replacements reflect the City’s heritage (as previously stated would happen). WCC’s plans relate to the 305 gas lamps across Westminster; to replace each lamp’s lantern and convert them from gas to electric. 30 historic gas lamps had already been replaced by LEDs before their plans were paused. Many were unhappy with the plans of WCC, which should have been fully consulted on. This includes the London Gasketeers, their co-founder and antiques dealer, Luke Honey, explained, ‘The trouble with LED is that they do not replicate gas lamps. The reproductions are not authentic. It is part of London’s fabric and we are in danger of losing it. They need to be treasured and appreciated, people love them and tourists come to see them’. The Gasketeers are campaigning to save hundreds of historic gas lamps across London. 

WCC has commenced a month-long engagement review period, from Thursday 20 October to Sunday 20 November. Please see here for the Gas Lamp Review on their website. Disappointingly it appears it will be focused on what the replacement LED reproductions will look like, rather than saving the original gas lamps:

This review will look at how effective the gas lights are in terms of their light levels, and whether the gas effect LED lights are a close copy in terms of design and fitting.  

If you would like to give feedback on these plans, WCC have given the following details: 

The site visits will take place on Queen Anne’s Gate near St James Park station on the following dates:

If you’d like to attend a site visit, please click on the links above to register for free.

If you have any questions, please email us:

If you haven’t been able to visit the LED streetlights on Queen Anne’s Gate but have seen them in your own time, you can also provide feedback about them via the same email address. 

Following the site visits, we will review the feedback ahead of a review report to the cabinet member.

The Gasketeers hope to widen the debate to cover first and foremost whether the historic gas lamps should be maintained. Although these particular plans relate to the borough of Westminster, this issue is of national importance and the historic and world-renowned locations across wider London. Tourists and residents of London alike value, love and flock to our historic city and these should be appreciated and cherished, not replaced without a care to the history of our city.  

GMB, the trade union of British Gas members, explains on their website that the gas lamps are operated and maintained by their members. They were originally installed in the late 19th century and were the first streetlights to appear anywhere in the world. Their National Secretary, Andy Prendergast said:

‘These central London gas lamps are part of our heritage… it would be a tragedy if they were replaced in the name of modernisation… No-one is arguing the progress but deciding to replace them will wipe out years of history… Westminster Council need to think long and hard about replacing them if it means that London loses some of its unique character… With the potential to convert them to hydrogen just around the corner, such a decision would be a short-sighted attack on our capital’s heritage… GMB strongly urges the council to ensure that they remain in place for generations to come’. 

Actor Griff Rhys Jones is one supporter of maintaining the gas lamps (another is Bill Bryson) and said, “It’s a rather magical thing, an old lantern in a street still fuelled by gas. It takes us back to a world of Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady or Sherlock Holmes, or London as a place of warmth and dignity and history. There are not that many left, but they still give a fabulous glow to the dark corners of some of our most beloved London experiences in Covent Garden, St James’s or Westminster itself’.

Dockless Rental Bikes Left on the Streets of Soho

Dockless rental bikes from companies like Lime and Human Forest have been carelessly dumped in the middle of pavements and in car parking spaces across Soho. These dockless bikes allow the user to end their journey anywhere, rather than in a designated docking area like Santander Cycles. 

These bikes being left in the way of pedestrians isn’t just inconvenient, it is dangerous because pedestrians often have to walk into the road to get around them. Pedestrians with disabilities, such as sight loss or mobility difficulties, are being put off visiting central London and its attractions according to a recent BBC article

The National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFB) has reported that these stranded bikes have meant visually impaired people have been unable to travel confidently. Westminster City Council have called the discarded bikes, ‘a significant safety risk’. The NFB’s national campaigns officer Sarah Leadbetter, who is visually impaired, told the BBC that she could not cross the road safely as e-bikes left on tactile pavements prevented her from reaching the tactile indicator at crossings, ‘They are completely covering the pavement. It’s hard for me and my guide dog to get around… It is stopped my independence. I cannot cross the road safely’. Ms Leadbetter also pointed out that, ‘The e-bikes are just left all over the place. (Blind people) are being put off going to Central London’. 

Nickie Aiken MP confirmed in a recent newsletter that she has written to the Minister for Transport, Trudy Harrison MP, calling for a review into the code of practice operators abide by, especially ahead of the Transport Bill coming to Parliament later this year. You can read Nickie’s letter: here. Nickie confirms she has written to the dockless bike companies Dott, Lime and Tier with examples of irresponsible parking and called on them to redouble their efforts to encourage responsible parking behaviour. 

Although Lime have asked that if people see their bikes left on the pavement to send them an email so they can remove the bike(s), this relies on pedestrians reporting issues, rather than the company doing something about it. 

Lime explained the problem is because: 

Shared e-bike services are experiencing record usage across London, which is leading to increased volumes of bikes being parked in Westminster by users, including some in obstructive or antisocial positions. 

Lime have stated their plans for Westminster are as follows:

And have said:

In the medium to long term, the most effective solution to managing bikes left in Westminster is the provision of dedicated parking spaces, similar to the ongoing e-scooter trial in the borough. We are actively engaging Westminster on this, and are willing to fund their implementation to ensure our riders are still able to make sustainable transport choices, and have safe and appropriate places to park without inconveniencing others. 

If you have experienced issues with any of the dockless bikes, Nickie Aiken MP has asked for views to be submitted with photographs on her website here.

If you see a Lime dockless bike in a dangerous position, please email them at this address: Lime have a local team monitoring this and say they will remove the bike(s).

More Fines for Pedicab Operators with Music

Westminster City Council reports that on the 21 September:

‘…our officers attended the City of London Magistrates Court for four prosecutions in relation to pedicabs. The four pedicab riders received considerable fines, costs and victim surcharges totalling £4,230. Two riders were handed larger fines after being found guilty of the same offence earlier in the year. These are significant fines which the council hopes will act as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour.

Councillor Aicha Less, Deputy Leader, Cabinet Leader for Communities and Public Protection said: “This latest round of prosecutions will serve as a warning to pedicab drivers that we will not tolerate anti-social behaviour in Westminster. Residents and visitors have had enough of pedicab drivers playing loud music and blocking pavements, and the council will prosecute when necessary’.


Independent Review of the Plans for Oxford Street Future

After £35m has been spent on regenerating Oxford Street, including £6m on the much-mocked Marble Arch Mound, plans for the future of Oxford Street will be independently reviewed. The review will be run by Mike Cooke, the former CEO of the London Borough of Camden. The review will make recommendations to Westminster City Council as to how it can make improvements in the future while learning lessons from what has happened since it the project was commenced in 2018. Plans to create a piazza at Oxford Circus and to pedestrianise part of Oxford Street have been rejected by the local authority. 

Westminster City council’s plans of 10 October can be read here.

Update on Fight to Prevent Demolition of M&S

The battle to save the M&S flagship shop on Oxford Street starts on 25 October and is the heritage conservation group, SAVE Britain’s Heritage’s biggest case since it helped to save Smithfield Market in 2014. The high profile public inquiry brings together for the first time heritage and sustainability campaigners alike, focused on one of Britain’s best known streets, and a world famous retail brand.

SAVE has announced the expert team that will help it fight a public inquiry into plans to demolish M&S’s flagship store on Oxford Street. The team includes carbon specialists, Simon Sturgis and Julie Godefroy, and planning expert Alex Forshaw. SAVE will be represented by barrister Matthew Fraser of Landmark Chambers.

In their opening submission last week, SAVE’s counsel argued that the plan of M&S to demolish the 1920s building and replace it with a 10-storey office building is not consistent with the UK’s commitment to become a carbon-neutral economy and not compliant with Westminster City Council’s sustainability policies. They referenced M&S’s dismissal of the creative refurbishment alternative option, despite their claims that sustainability is at the core of their brand and their commitment to being a net-zero business by 2040. Julia Barfield, architect and designer of the London Eye and the Cambridge Mosque, said that M&S risked, “throwing a huge carbon bomb unnecessarily into the atmosphere”. She added that her experience of working on similar West End buildings in the past, demonstrated that it is, “entirely possible to successfully retrofit existing buildings… into high-quality contemporary workspaces”.  

This case is of importance to Soho because, as SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said:

The scheme has become a test case for the debate over a shift to retrofitting and refurbishing buildings rather than demolition and rebuilding, as part of efforts to cut the carbon footprint of development amid the climate crisis.

Henrietta Billings, director of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: 

“This battle has captured the attention of a wide range of people and businesses, eager to see a seismic change in the way we develop our towns and cities in light of the climate crisis. We must stop demolishing and re-building perfectly re-useable buildings, and stop unnecessarily releasing carbon into the atmosphere. Instead of trashing this building and starting from scratch, we strongly believe M&S, as a global retail leader, can use this building as an exemplar low carbon re-use scheme, and set a flexible template for other department stores. This is a landmark case that could change the course of construction in the UK so we are grateful to have such renowned specialists joining us in the ring”

Jessica Toale, one of Westminster councillors for the West End Ward, spoke in support of SAVE Britain’s Heritage’s case to save the building:

“M&S could set an example for other owners, occupiers and investors across the country by demonstrating leadership in the re-use and retrofit of heritage assets – rather than holding the community to ransom with threats to abandon the site – and in the process make a significant contribution to the country’s climate goals.” 

The inquiry is due to run until 4 November. 

SAVE’s experts will set out to the inquiry that the M&S building is an eminently suitable candidate for a deep retrofit that would bring it up to the highest contemporary standards of sustainability. This robustly challenges M&S’s case for demolition and a complete new build. The experts will argue this elegant 1920s building deserves to be saved because of the valuable heritage contribution it makes to the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street and the West End.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage still in urgent need of financial support for their crowdfunding that will go towards their legal costs. If you are interested in helping this important cause, please click here to donate.

Twentieth Century House in Soho Square - another inter-war unlisted building of merit remains under threat as Royal London has not withdrawn its application for demolition.  The M&S case is likely to be relevant to the future of this building also. 

Soho Parish School Christmas Lights

To quote Victoria Thornton OBE, Director of Thornton Education Trust (TET),

'the Soho Kids Xmas Lights project is about children feeling they belong to their neighbourhood and creating something that can be enjoyed by all. These small actions can be more powerful than anything else.’

As a fitting opening, this project will involve in a switch on event on 9 November (time and place to be confirmed) to give pupils the opportunity to showcase their design and creation skills that have been developed and explored during the programme.  

The school are starting a crowdfunding campaign to find the remainder of the funds we need to cover the costs for this year's project, if you would like to donate please contact Antonio Capelao:

Rupert Street Night Market Plans Shelved

In further signs of common sense emerging at the council under the new administration the proposal for a night market in Rupert Street has been shelved following the intervention of residents in the area pointing out the serious crime and noise issues that already exist on Rupert Street and the fact that Soho does not need additional “activation” in the evening.  We thank Councillor Patrick Lilley for his intervention and good sense on this.   


Fairer Westminster

You may be aware of Report It, Westminster City Council’s online webpage that lets residents and businesses inform WCC about problems in the streets of Westminster. Reports range from illegally parked vehicles to licensing issues to missed waste collections.

As part of our Fairer Westminster strategy, WCC are hoping to streamline this service – to make it more efficient and user-friendly. To do that we need to hear from you.

Many residents of Westminster have indicated they would prefer to see a more systematic approach to improving the service.

To help with this, WCC have launched a survey that will enable residents, businesses and colleagues to tell them where the current system can be improved and to make suggestions for further development.

Click here to complete the survey.

Thank you to St Anne’s Church for showing the funeral service of Her Majesty The Queen to support the community in coming together and paying their respects.


Andrew Edmunds

The Society was sorry to learn of the death of Andrew Edmunds, who died aged 79 in September.  Andrew was, of course, known for his eponymous restaurant, opened in 1985, the Academy Club upstairs, and the print shop next door.  He was a wonderful host, with a quiet and understated humour, who had been in and around Soho since the late 1970s.  The restaurant was always popular, serving good food and excellent wine - Andrew certainly knew his wines, and his wines were famously good value.  There will be a fuller obituary in the next edition of the Soho Clarion.

Kenny Clayton

We were also sorry to learn of the death of Kenny Clayton on 10 October.  Kenny played in Gerry’s Club on a Wednesday night for years up to its closure in 2020 due to Covid.  He also played for the last time there on its reopening earlier this year. In the past Kenny also accompanied singers such as Matt Munro and Petula Clark.  In more recent years he accompanied Paul Ryan (who readers will know died earlier this year), when they played at venues such as Crazy Coqs, the Pheasantry, and many others.   Kenny and Paul were also a fixture every Bastille Day at the French House, though sadly not this last year.

One of Kenny’s final wishes was for there to be a ‘celebration’ with dancing in the street outside the French House accompanied by various musicians.  We must make this happen. There will be a fuller obituary in the next edition of the Clarion.

Planning and Licensing News

The Establishment applied for an alcohol licence for a new standalone restaurant / event space covering the second and third floors above the Zebrano Bar at 18, Greek Street. At the Licensing Sub-Committee hearing on 13th October they were granted an alcohol licence until 11pm Monday to Thursday, 11.30pm Friday to Saturday and 10pm on Sunday, on the third floor they were permitted 52 events a year, however, the use of the terrace on the second floor was not permitted.  

September applications 

The Court, a club on Kingly Street applied to reduce the terminal hour from 3am to midnight on Mondays and to extend the terminal hour from midnight to 3am on Saturdays, following a number of representations from residents and the Soho Society the application was withdrawn. 

Events and Activities

Soho based artist duo, DollyOlli

Marie Brenneis and Olivier Adam are ‘DollyOlli’ a Soho based artist duo whose sculptures welcome us into a world of their own, an exciting space where individuality is celebrated, and the challenges of the world are acknowledged. The duo produce playful, comic, colourful and complex large-scale sculptures that are often finished in bright colours. They reject and refuse the current tastes of colour and seriousness in Western art, culture and the public environment; challenging the ridiculous of how serious our public spaces have become. Their vibrant pop aesthetic, characterised by an impulse towards humour and the carnivalesque is embodied in their public sculptures. Brenneis and Adam are united in their belief that through changing the landscape they can inspire creativity on the part of the public; and certainly, the forementioned works have been successful in lightening audiences’ behavior within public spaces. It’s a serious world that we live in, so why not brighten it up?

The duo’s most notable sculpture was created in Lockdown and exhibited in golden square. An amusing concrete and gloss painted character sculpture of a aqua green worm wearing an evel knievel helmet, titled Lockdown , that one imagines provided much needed light relief to Londoners taking a walk amidst a global pandemic. 

DollyOlli current Solo Show ‘Uninhibited' is currently being exhibited in the garden at the House of Barnabas until 7 Jan 2023, open Monday to Friday 9am -6pm.

For more information about DollyOlli see their website

My Son’s a Queer (But What Can You Do?) at the Garrick Theatre

When Rob was twelve, they attempted a full-blown Disney parade in their house for their Grandma. As Rob donned wigs and played Mary Poppins, Ariel, Mickey Mouse and Belle, their Dad doubled as Stage Manager, Sound Technician and Goofy. Unfortunately, Dad missed all his cues and pushed all the floats in the wrong direction. Mum mistook Aladdin for Ursula. The costumes went awry. Grandma had a nice time, though.

My Son’s a Queer (But What Can You Do?) is the joyous autobiographical story of social-media sensation Rob Madge as they set out to recreate that parade – and this time, nobody, no, nobody is gonna rain on it.

Awarded Best Off-West End Production 2022 by WhatsOnStage!

Running from Fri 21 October to Sun 6 November at the Garrick Theatre, tickets from £20. Book online here or telephone the booking number in the same link. 

The Fairy Visions of Richard Dadd – The Artist at Bedlam

(Tuesday 29 November, 19.00 (doors open at 18.30)

In 1842, Richard Dadd, age 25, was a promising young artist and recent graduate of the Royal Academy where professors remarked on his gentility and cheerful good nature. One year later, after a grand tour through Europe and the Middle East, Dadd returned to London suffering from symptoms we would now associate with schizophrenia. Sadly, the illness led Dadd to murder his father, attempt to kill a stranger and plot the death of the pope and the Emperor of Austria. These heinous acts, Dadd explained, were carried out on the commands of the Egyptian god Osiris.

Dadd spent the rest of his life in Victorian Aslyums, first the Royal Bethlem Hospital, or Bedlam, and then in Broadmoor. Despite medical reports describing his behaviour here as incoherent and deluded, he was able to paint and encouraged to do so. The dreamlike, fantastical compositions he completed in confinement came to earn him the accolade as “one of the most captivating British artists of the 19th century”.

In this talk, author Miranda Miller will explore Dadd's life and work, including his masterpiece The Fairy Feller’s Masterstroke, now in Tate Britain. She will reveal the story of Dr Hood, the resident physician-superintendent of Bethlem during Dadd’s time there, and how his progressive policies towards the patients allowed Dadd’s talents to blossom. Miller will also uncover her reasons for writing her novel about Dadd.

Please remember that noise and other issues should be reported to WCC - either at the time for long duration events or the next day for repeated short duration events.

You can do this online by filling in the form here: 

Crime should be reported to the police, either via 999 in an emergency or in a non-emergency via 101 on their website here:

You can also report a crime on or private message the police on Twitter through @metcc.   Our experience is that @metcc respond quickly.

If you are able to record the problem on your phone and upload it to Youtube then please send us the link.  We are pulling together a video of the worst examples.

Membership Offers

Marvellous at @sohoplace (opposite TCR tube station)

Don’t miss Soho’s newest theatre, @sohoplace with their opening show #Marvellous. Soho Society members get 10% off in the restaurant and discounted tickets from £20!️

@sohoplace is the first new West End theatre to be built in 50 years. It boasts a flexible and purpose built 602-seat auditorium. @sohoplace opens with Marvellous, the incredible story of Neil ‘Nello’ Baldwin. This is an uplifting play about a man born with learning difficulties who rose to fame; from a job as a circus clown, via Keele University to kit man for Stoke City. 

For tickets to Marvellous: and enter the promocode: SOHORADIO

For the Stars restaurant and bar:

Quote “Resident of Soho” when calling Open Table for your 10% discount or leave a note in special requests when booking online at


Martinez London

Soho Society members who sign up for a year's membership to this exclusive Cocktail Lounge on Greek Street will get their first 3 months of membership free, followed by 50% off for the rest of the year year.

Contact for an intro.

Co-op Local Community Fund

The Soho Society is part of the @coopuk Local Community Fund. Become a Co-op member and choose us as your local cause and help raise funds for the Society's work on planning, licensing and community events.  This year the Co-Op have raised over £1,000 for the Society for which we are very grateful.

Here’s the link to the cause profile page.

The Soho Society Hour

Thursday from 9 - 10am, The Soho Society Hour is the weekly radio show broadcast live from the Soho Radio Studio on Broadwick Street. Joel Levack and Tim Lord are joined by guests from the community to talk about the past, present and future of the area, and some music is slotted in between the chat.  

There is also an archive of previous shows here.

If you’d like to join us a guest, or suggest someone please write to You can also call the office and ask for Wendy or Joel and one of us will call you back.

The number is 0300 302 1301.

Ward Councillor Surgeries

West End Ward Councillor surgeries are second Saturday of the month.

10am to 11am at 68 Dean Street on the corner of Meard and Dean Streets 
(the next one is 12 November) - no need to make an appointment.

It makes sense for residents to engage direct with our new councillors and let them know what you want the council to spend its time and your money on.

Membership Matters

Get involved in the Soho Community, planning, licensing, culture or heritage. The Soho Society is focused on keeping Soho a great place to live, work or visit. Your Membership donation supports the Soho Society campaigns, and daily work, gives you the right to vote at our AGM and your quarterly Soho Clarion magazine will be delivered to your door.

Individual annual membership starts from just £25, join via our website.

For membership enquiries please email

Soho Society Trustees

Patron: Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho

Honorary President: Leslie Hardcastle OBE

Chair: Tim Lord

Vice-Chair: David Gleeson

Secretary: Quentin Thompson / Rachel Waddell

Treasurer: Takashi O'Rourke


tel: 0300 302 1301


The Soho Society Hour on Soho Radio
Every Thursday 9 am - 10 am


The Soho Society

St Anne’s Tower
55 Dean Street
London W1D 6AF

Twitter: @sohosocietyw1

Facebook: The Soho Society
Instagram: @sohosocietyw1


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The Soho Society · 55 Dean Street · London, W1D 6AF · United Kingdom