Saturday, 29 August 2015

The Phoenix Garden

With our Daily Constitutional archive now bulging with more than 3,500 posts, we've decided to spend the long summer days of August sharing some of our favourite moments from the past seven years. We hope you enjoy them!

This one was first posted earlier this year…

DC Editor Adam writes…

The Phoenix Garden is one of the loveliest little green spaces in all of London. It costs £30,000 a year to keep the garden open to the public, and it receives no funding from the local council.

If you'd like to help keep this London oasis running, you can donate at their website

The Phoenix Garden has been here since 1984. Prior to this it was a car park, the site having been bombed on the 9th of October 1940.

This date always sticks in my mind as the leader of the Rock'n'Roll London walk: it is John Lennon's birthday.

Mark Lewishon's recent Herculean Beatles biog has helped to set the record straight regarding the night of Lennon's birth. It has long been put forth, in many a hastily-written Beatle biog, that the future founder of The Beatles was born as the bombs rained on Liverpool.

It is a dramatic tale with almost Wagnerian overtones.

And it's not true.

Liverpool enjoyed a rare night off from the carnage on the 9th October 1940 because the Luftwaffe were busy over the Parish of St Giles, as this photo from the Phoenix Garden's website shows…

Lennon's connection to the neighbouring Savile Theatre (now the Odeon Shaftesbury Avenue) – Beatle manager Brian Epstein held the lease – is just one of the topics covered on my Rock'n'Roll London Walk on Fridays.

NB. The Rock'n'Roll London Walk meets OUTSIDE THE DOMINION THEATRE – just across the road from the exit to Tottenham Court Road Station.

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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