The time a florist from the Royal Arcade helped catch a jewel thief

February 11, 2015 by  

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A new, occasional delve in to the newspaper archives to find interesting stories from Mayfair's history.

For this first look in to old newspapers for tit bits from the history of Mayfair, we find ourselves in 1924.


A crook has smashed a window of Holmes & Co jewellers in the Royal Arcade, which runs between Old Bond St and Albermarle Street.

With a £1250 emerald bar brooch in his hand, the robber makes his escape "along Albemarle Street into Dover Street and then turned in to Hay Hill".

But if he had hoped to make a clean getaway following his crime, he was to be badly mistaken. The thief had a crowd numbering a staggering three hundred in hot pursuit.

The perp was then apprehended by a plain clothes policeman and the florist Edward Goodyear who, the paper reports, had given chase from the beginning.

Goodyear, whose shop was next to the jewellers, had taken over the business from his father of the same name. It was the original Edward Goodyear's service to Queen Victoria as Court Florist, along with that of shirtmaker HW Brettell, that saw what was just named The Arcade take on the new name of The Royal Arcade.

40 year old Daniel Davies was charged with the crime. He told police officers, "I am dead unlucky. Others use motor cars and get away with it."

Read the full report from 1924 from the British Newspaper Archives

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It was reported the following day that Goodyear had been "rewarded by Lloyds Underwriters with a sum of £50."

More heroics in 1927

Fast forward three years and another would-be thief made an attempt on the Holmes and co Jewellers in the arcade. The window was smashed with a hammer and two diamond rings worth, together, over £1200 were snatched.

The Times newspaper reported:

"Mr Goodyear, a florist in the arcade, hearing the breaking of the window, rushed outside, and overtook a man whom he suspected to be the culprit before he reached the next shop. A man was subsequently detained by the police."

The following day, 45 year old Albert Clarke was remanded in custody for the robbery attempt.


Royal Institution director redundancy causes controversy

January 12, 2010 by  

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Royal Institution of Great Britain
The Royal Institution in Albemarle Street has unleashed a storm of controversy and comment after its decision to make its Director, Lady Greenfield, redundant.

The RI confirmed last month they were reviewing the position of the Director, and they have now concluded that they should abolish the position and make Lady Greenfield redundant.

Greenfield had led the RI since 1998 and overseen a huge refurbishment project culminating in a visit from the Queen. The £22 million refurbishment has apparently failed to boost the RIs fortunes and it's continuing to lose money.

A statement released by Lady Greenfield says she has consulted with a QC and believes the decision to have been unlawful.

There's plenty of coverage of this across the media, so rather than rewrite it here, here's some links for further reading:

Recognition for Albemarle Restaurant

January 21, 2009 by  

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The Albemarle Restaurant at Brown's Hotel has been recognised with the awarding of three AA rosettes. The accolade is awarded to "outstanding restaurants that demand recognition well beyond the local area".

The Albemarle was previous known as The Grill and was re-launched in March 2008 with Mark Hix as Director of Food and Lee Streeton as Executive Chef.

Mandela’s Legal Action Against Belgravia Gallery

July 5, 2008 by  

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The Guardian has reported that Nelson Mandela is to begin legal proceedings against the Belgravia Gallery in Albemarle Street in relation to lithographs and drawings they are displaying in a current exhibition to mark Mandela's 90th birthday.

A statement from his lawyers said: "Mr Mandela has given us instruction to take urgent, appropriate steps against Belgravia gallery to stop any marketing, distribution and selling of artwork associated with his name".

Anna Hunter, managing director of Belgravia gallery, told the Guardian that she had personally witnessed Mandela signing the works in 2002, and gave a speech alongside him when he launched them in South Africa.

Visit Belgravia Gallery website
Read the original story at

HM Queen Visits Revamped RI

May 28, 2008 by  

The Royal Institution of Great Britain, based in Albemarle St, today received a visit from the Queen to mark its £22million refurbishment. She was shown around the impressive remodelled facilities, and witnessed a demonstration of Heston Blumenthal fusing food and science

Famed for its popular, televised Christmas Lectures, the RI has been in in its historic Albemarle St premises since 1799, where it has been devoted to scientific education and research.

The refurbishment of the space, designed by renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell, has created a new feel to the RI with three levels of museum space, a stunning atrium, new cafe and restaurant, as well as keeping the existing Grade 1 listed rooms such as the Faraday theatre where the Christmas lectures are given.

The RI is a great place to visit, and thanks to its redevelopment, also makes an excellent venue for private hire.

See also:
Royal Instituion Reopens: Now With Added Royals

Chor Bizarre Celebrates 10th Anniversary

October 31, 2007 by  

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Popular Indian restaurant, Chor Bizarre, is celebrating its 10th year of trading. To mark this achievement, the Albemarle St based establishment is unveiling a new interior design, new chef, new a la carte menu and a new wine list.

Find out more about how Chor Bizarre is marking its 10th birthday...

Tiffany & Co Embarks on Sale-Leaseback Agreement

October 23, 2007 by  

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Diamond Intelligence Briefs has reported that luxury retailer has sold its Mayfair flagship store at 25 Old Bond Street for £73 million, and then immediately leased it back for 15 years with the option to further renew.

Following a store redesign, the world famous shop is now accessible from entrances at 25 Bond Street and 15 Albemarle Street.

CEO Michael J. Kowalski is quoted as saying "Combining the Old Bond Street and Albermarle Street properties into a spacious new store has generated sales growth beyond our expectations, and we had always planned to pursue a sale-leaseback transaction following the completion of construction."

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