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Time: 11am   Duration: 2 Hours 

Start: Tottenham Court Rd Tube (South side by Centrepoint building).

Finish: Piccadilly Circus

1. Secret Soho

Entertainment, Radicalism, Satire, Plague & Pandemic 

Next tour:   Fri 1st March 

The old hunting ground of “So-ho” was developed as a fashionable place for the middle and upper classes to live in the 17th & 18th Centuries. But as Mayfair, Bloomsbury, Kensington and Belgravia attracted London’s more affluent society, Soho declined and eventually became relatively poor. This made it affordable to many incoming communities who settled here including Irish, French Protestants (Huguenots) and Italians. With so many people living in close proximity, the conditions formed an epicentre for the spread of pandemics like the Great Plague and Cholera.    


Soho has always been associated with entertainment and pleasure, much of it “underground” or on the fringes of legality. It was a place where people went to “let off steam” and as such, has been the centre of radical politics, satire and anti-establishment.


Since the second world war, it has also become London’s China Town with the highest concentration of Chinese restaurants in Europe. Rock music and jazz formed the backdrop, and the “Swinging Sixties” were very much evident here. Soho also flourished as a centre for the London’s lesbian and gay community. It is now undoubtedly the entertainment centre of the capital with an interesting, rich and secret past! 

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