Books, playbills and bygones of the performing arts, also illustrated and children's books pre 1940, Victoriana and postcards
11 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London WC2N 4EZ
Tel: 020 7836 1142
Monday Closed (unless by previous notification)
Tuesday - Wednesday 12.0 – 6.0pm
Thursday – Saturday 11.0 – 6.0pm
Other times by prior arrangement
Since mid January illness has deprived me of my weekly visit to my business. I thank the many friends and individuals for their kind messages. They have encouraged me enormously as I contemplate my return. During my absence you may have met my sons Paul and Tim who have worked hard to make the shop more manageable and, along with the dust, eroded those “blind” areas beloved of the pilferer.
Having arrived in Cecil Court in 1967 I realise that 11 July suggests a celebration of 45 years. Do drop by as I might open a bottle or two. For the uninitiated the name of Pleasures of Past Times was initially coined as being descriptive of a stock that relished that which brought nostalgic memory. Such as the books, trivia and playthings of one's past.Thus when I opened the doors of number 11 in 1967 I might be receiving a visitor of a Victorian birth seeking a once enjoyed novel of Mr Henty and for his twin sister one of Miss Greenaway's delightful illustrated books. Later decades introduce contemporary enthusiasms that might embrace 1930s movies, Ragtime music, the adventures of William Brown, the allure of Marilyn Monroe along with the Beatles and the Royal Family. Tastes may change but it is both fun and pleasure for us to cater for anything of the past however whimsical such as old menus, Victorian valentines and Christmas cards, postcards, playbills, posters and the literature of conjuring, circus, cinema and theatre. A recent television programme featured the shop in a programme about the Music Hall. However, I am not the great authority on the subject the programme implied but Music Hall is stocked through programmes, postcards, bills etc and, if provided with full details. I will endeavour to find items relating to a performing relative of the past. I suggest, as with all enquiries, an initial approach by e-mail. For information both The Westminster Reference Library and The Victoria and Albert Museum theatrical archives can be more rewarding than I can ever hope to be. I look forward to seeing customers/friends on one of those days of my return.
The shop is festooned with the ephemera of show business including famous performers of the past. An old theatrical postcard, print, playbill or programme might become an appropriate 'first night' gift.
Publishers, stage, film and television companies are given assistance. But for such enquiries it is preferable to deal with the individual directly involved.
BEATING A DEAD HORSE by ALEXANDER MARSHALL
A son's affectionate and entertaining tale of an extraordinary parent whose talent and endearing naughtiness made him an international favourite both as a performer and individual. In over five hundred colour illustrated pages the book, described as “diabolically funny”, evokes an era of show- business in which Jay Marshall shone as both “one of the better cheaper acts” aided by a glove puppet and as a respected magician.We are proud to be the sole European source for this title. Price £60.00