Just read a fascinating piece in The Guardian by John Harris, ” A lament for the death of bohemian London.”
He describes how an area called St Giles, next to Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, is set to be redeveloped. The setting for Hogarth’s Gin Lane in the 1700s, it has more recently been home to the music industry and various people we might describe as “bohemian.”
All looks set to be swept away as new development replaces it with the usual shops and multi million pound flats, way out of reach of the people who made the area so diverse and exciting.
Now Soho is very different from our much loved town of Chipping Bonhunt, but for how long? We’ve never been particularly bohemian, although we have a lively cultural scene and a great reforming tradition. The point is, everywhere is starting to look a bit too similar. The same shops, the same restaurants, the same coffee chains.
Long may Bonhunt still have its gentlemen’s outfitters and its shops that sell fine furniture and things, not forgetting our excellent second hand furniture and book shops. We may not be very bohemian, but let’s treasure what makes us different.