top of page

Two stories, but which to tell?

Story 1: Too much information

It often happens, while researching for my tours sometimes a glut of information turns up for for a location and you find yourself having to make the call about what to use and what to discard. Recently I had this quandary while writing a tour called The Planners Dream Goes Wrong, a stroll around the area known as Seven Dials.

My first problem was that I had to let the listener know about what the area was like before it was developed in the 17th century and set the scene for the tour to begin. There's an unwritten rule to audio tours, try not to keep the listener standing in one location for too long. This caused me further headaches as the the preamble was rather lengthy, so I devised a rather circuitous route from the starting point so that I could get all the information across while the listener was walking.

Cecil Court

The route took in some 50-60 yards of Charing Cross Road before turning into Cecil Court, a rather up market pedestrianised area lined with smart shops. I remember walking down it's length and thinking, "this is nice, I wonder if anything happened here?" After several walkthroughs and edits I managed to get my script adjusted to impart all the desired info during this slightly roundabout route and went home a happy man.

The following day having a bit of time free, that little voice that sometimes pops up with ideas said, "Have a quick look at Cecil Court", what I found caused me to wrestle with a tour that was ready for publication. I finally decided the preamble was the most important, but should I ever write a tour that is in the vicinity of Cecil Court I'll definitely be adding the story below.

Story 2: Edwin Bush and the Identikit

Cecil Court has always been a busy thoroughfare. Be it in the time of painter William Hogarth who in the mid 1700s would have used it as a cut through from his house in Leicester Fields to his painting academy in nearby St Martin's Lane, to the early 1900s when a group of poets including Rupert Brooke and Walter de la Mere would stop to peruse the second hand booksellers in the court of which there were many. Post Second World War, the court was in places a rather shabby and down at heel location and was home to several rather bargain basement style antique and curiosity emporia. One of these, number 23 was owned by Louis Meier. On March 3, 1961 Elsie Batten, a 59-year-old assistant was found by the owner prone and lifeless with an eighteen-inch antique dagger buried in her chest.

Identikit Image

Mr Meier, when questioned by police remembered a young man who had asked to see several daggers and a dress sword the previous day. Searching the shop police found the sword was now missing, but during interviews with all of the courts traders It was found in a gun shop on the opposite side of the court. The owner's son told police that a man had brought it into his shop that morning and had been accompanied by a woman. Using witness’s descriptions the police complied England’s first Identikit picture and hurriedly released it to local newspapers and central London beat officers.

Edwin Bush

On the eighth of March, Edwin Bush and his 17-year-old blond girlfriend Janet, were in Central London. As they walked up Old Compton Street PC Hilton Cole, spotted the couple looking in a shop window and recognised Bush from the Identikit images that he had in his pocket. Bush was arrested and interviewed by police, he claimed innocence but his palm print was found on the dagger his fingerprints on the sword and a shoeprint at the scene of the murder matched the shoes he was wearing.sold the sword to. Bush wrote a full statement admitting the murder and insisting his girlfriend had nothing to do with it. He said in his statement "I am sorry I done it I don't know what came over me. Speaking personally the world is better off without me."

Bush was later convicted and was executed on 6th July 1961 in Pentonville prison.

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page