and are not official nor are they yet confirmed by the London Regional Transport Board.
Whatever the competing claims of other department stores, Whiteley's was once London's smartest and grandest emporium until it went into decline and Selfridge's had the field to itself.
Founded in Westbourne Grove by William Whitely at the turn of the century, the present building in Queensway was built in classic art deco style in 1927. Three years ago the store finally closed after a dismal post-war decline. Whiteley himself was found murdered in his office in 1907 and 30 years later 'north of the park' went downhill. Now it's going up again!
United Draperies, which owns the building, is seeking permission to develop the site (listed Grade II) to provide a vast shopping centre, car parking for 250 vehicles and 30,000 sq.ft of office space, incorporating a public library. Total cost £40 million. Whether the 'Universal Provider' will be allowed to go ahead with this scheme which retains some of the best of the art deco features depends on public consultation and planning permission.
You may just have time to get tickets for an all-star show business tribute to the late Eric Morecombe at the London Palladium on November 9. The Duke of Edinburgh presides and every name you can think of will perform in return for tickets at £5 to £50. Proceeds to the British Heart Foundation.
Hammersmith Bridge will be closed at weekends for a few more weeks, it is thought, now that the structural damage is found to be more serious than at first expected. Fears are growing that other London bridges may face similar problems as traffic and axle-weights increase. Is it time for a new tunnel in West London?
In East London, Tory MP Cyril Townsend is calling for an urgent decision to build a third tunnel to cope with extra traffic at Dartford when the M25 is completed next year. Transport Minister Lynda Chalker says there is no plan for a feasibility study at this stage.
The ban on smoking in tube trains has been very effective, according to London Transport. Only one woman has been prosecuted for breaking the rule and a tube driver told reporters that he had seen passengers letting trains go by while they finish a fag on the platform!
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has recently published a guide listing almost 70 London restaurants which offer no-smoking zones. One advantage of these restaurants is that you won't find me or my editor there!
Not satisfied with the bad publicity it earned itself over the Chelsea Rectory property deal two years ago, the Church of England is tempting providence again. This time it wants to re-acquire a small piece of park opposite Scotland Yard in Caxton Street, Westminster, which could be worth an estimated £6-10,000,000 if developed for offices. A 21-year lease on the site to Westminster City Council has just expired and the London Diocesan Council wants to fence the area off from the public (who have used it for 350 years) and sell it without any limitation on its use.
The council, Scotland Yard and several large companies nearby are resisting the Church's efforts to sell the garden for as much as they can get for it. Will Environment Secretary Patrick Jenkin decide to back God or Mammon?
If you are accustomed to abusing your body with seasonal Christmas excess, may I recommend a fascinating book out this winter called Bodysense (Thames & Hudson, £6.95). Based on a series of personal questionnaires the book will tell you how long you're likely to live, what diseases you are most at risk from and, most refreshingly of all, gives some extremely down-to-earth and non-trendy advice on what you should be doing instead.
Dr Vernon Coleman's unique home-screening programme allows you to assess your current position in detail, then offers a truth file on straightforward facts (not loony theory) known to medicine now, and then gives you an action plan to improve your chances of surviving contentedly and without pain.
A friend, whose opinion I trust, tells me that Mahler fans are in for a treat at the Royal Festival Hall on December 9, when a rank amateur conductor is let loose on the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of The Resurrection. American critics had to swallow their sceptical words, apparently, after hearing Gilbert Kaplan's interpretation. Doubts about his amateur abilities were replaced by enthusiastic admiration so go and see (hear) for yourself!
It's good to know that when the department store Bourne & Hollingsworth closed down last year, someone thought to save its famous art deco style clock (which miraculously survived a 'V' bomb in WW2). Today you can see its four-sided face in the 20th Century Galleries at the Victoria & Albert Museum to whom it has been lent by its present owner.
The London Zoo, which still suffers so badly from financial problems that it's almost as endangered as most of its inhabitants, offers a fascinating series of lectures from now until May. This month's offering, on December 13, is entitled Coals to Newcastle Camels to the Desert by David Jones, director of Zoos.
For further information about this and other informal lunchtime talks about the work of the zoo behind the scenes, ring 01-722 3333 (and don't ask for Mr Lyon!).
Just in case you thought that someone had pulled the plug and this sceptred isle is sinking fast, the organisers of the 31st London International Boat Show have chosen Britain Afloat as the theme for January's exhibition at Earls Court next month (Jan 3-13).
It looks as though sailboards will yet again dominate the proceedings, reflecting the popularity of this relatively cheap, simple and thrilling way to enjoy wind and waves. But of course there'll also be a forest of masts around the central pool to feed fantasies of sailing away from it all. Admission varies from £1.50-£6.50, according to the date children half price.
It has been strange to see two such controversial bodies as the Arts Council and the GLC locked in conflict over the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank. The Arts Council has often been accused of being &eactute;litist, aloof and remote (not to mention downright loony on some occasions). The GLC has suffered, perhaps, from being more populist than many people can stomach (not to mention downright loony on many occasions).
The fact is that the GLC has executed its right to re-claim control of the Hayward now that the Arts Council lease is up. In fact, if the public would only exercise an opinion, this rather silly row could offer a golden opportunity for Londoners to say what they would like it used for. And if anyone suggested it would make a superb hypermarket-cum-DIY centre, who could blame them? A plague on both their houses and would someone please ask us, not tell us!
Meanwhile, an exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Henri Matisse is showing there until January 6.
At least £1 million is going to be needed to conserve over half a million precious documents and drawings at the Natural History Museum in South Kensington unique records that are already disintegrating. One vital collection will be rescued in the race against time thanks to a grant of £45,000 from IBM. This is the collection which resulted from Captain James Cook's three voyages of circumnavigation (1768-80) which include beautiful and meticulous drawings of now-extinct species. The value of these items is beyond price, the museum says. Because it relies on scientific rather than arts funding, the rate of disintegration and the size of the problem are now beyond its control. Not surprisingly, the NHM is hoping someone else will step forward to help with finance before it's too late.
Back on the subject of health, a new audiology clinic has opened at the Portland Hospital for Women & Children designed for anyone up to the age of 16. Hearing difficulties can be distressing and often go undiagnosed. Clinicians can offer a menu of 16 different tests at charges from £13-£180 at the Marylebone hospital, which accepts private patients direct or by referral from a GP (necessary for BUPA and PPP claimants).
If you enjoy exploring London's back-waters, do get hold of a copy of Historical Strolls No 1 recently published by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. For just 45p it offers a selection of 30-40 minute walks with a guide to what you should look out for on the way. More issues are planned and other boroughs should follow the RBK&C example. Available from Town Halls and libraries.
An extraordinary planning loophole which allows some property owners to build penthouses on top of blocks of flats or collect a compensation fee from local councils in lieu is causing great concern among London's boroughs.
The issue came to light again recently when the Royal Borough found itself 'obliged' to allow planning permission for an additional storey at Whitelands House, King's Road. Under existing legislation, provided that the addition does not constitute more than 10% of the original content, local authorities can find themselves bound to pay compensation if they refuse permission despite virulent opposition on nearly all grounds imaginable from local people.
The ramifications of this are that many other property owners are ready to climb on the band-wagon and it is even believed that properties are changing hands so that new owners can cash in on the bonanza. Needless to say many local councils are now pressing even more strongly for an urgent change in the legislation.
Christmas just isn't Christmas without a carol concert, so do make a note of the annual Dickens carol concert at St Peter's, Eaton Square, SW1, which is guaranteed to be the real McCoy. It takes place at 6pm on December 12.
This year has seen the 1984 Festival of Architecture so the Queen will be paying a visit to an exhibition at the Royal Institute of British Architects at 66 Portland Place, W1, which contains The Art of the Architect treasures from the RIBA's collections. Open to the public until January 27 (admission £2 and children £1). No doubt there's a hefty surcharge for anyone asking to see examples of fallen masonry from London's crumbling tower blocks!
These items were written in 1984 and therefore none of the names, organistations, addresses, telephone numbers, etc., can now be relied upon.
© (1984) Christopher Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
The text and graphical content of this and linked documents are the copyright of their author and or creator and site designer, Christopher Long, unless otherwise stated. No publication, reproduction or exploitation of this material may be made in any form prior to clear written agreement of terms with the author or his agents.