Welcome to 84 Charing Cross Road revisited

This site was launched in March 2003 and has received over 220000 visits since its inception. Research and updating is ongoing, albeit rather slowly and whilst the site is far from complete hopefully there is enough material here to make your visit worthwhile.

I set out in 2001 to put together a brief history of one of London's, if not the world's, most famous bookshops, Marks & Co, 84 Charing Cross Road, London WC2
My research has been carried out intermittently when time has permitted. I have discovered in the course of my searches that it is much harder to find information about 'ordinary' people than more famous individuals.
Needless to say I have gone off at a tangent on more than one occasion as interesting avenues required further investigation. I have decided, for the time being, to restrict this site to a brief history of the shop, its owners and the staff in particular those who worked at Marks & Co from the late 1940's to December 1970 when the business ceased trading.
For the moment stories of war time espionage, Russian spies, 'The Woman in Blue' and the American actress in London will have to wait until I have the time to pull all the strands of information together.

For 'fans' of Helene Hanff's book and indeed other interested parties some of the names of members of staff may seem unfamiliar this is due to the fact that Ms. Hanff used pseudonyms for those people whom she had not been able to contact prior to publication.

Judging by the number of emails I've received the site seems to be proving useful to those involved with productions of the play around the world.

For sometime (years in fact!) I have been considering starting a 'Links' page just to provide a bit of 'added value' for the visitor. I finally got around to it (August 2007). See the link button on the left side menu bar.

I am aware that the site gets many 'repeat' visitors and so, to make life a little easier for the returning viewer I have added an 'Updates' page (July 2009). Here you can monitor the torturously slow process of additions, amendments and deletions. See the link button on the left side menu bar.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the following people:

Sheila Wheeler (Frank's eldest daughter), Mrs Chris Cottrell ('Cecily's' daughter), Andrea Mercer, Sylvia Mogg, Tony Gilbert, Raymond Kilgarriff, Jean Desebrock (The Bookdealer), Roy Speirs (ICN Computers), Duncan Cooper, Paul Robinson, Simon Harvey (Arts Etc), Susan S., Kris Karas, Marilyn Ritchings, Kate Russell & The BBC ClickOnline team, Max Newmann, Elaine Lee, Michael Richards, Naomi Caryl, Maxine Stuart, Jim Lennie & Rob Fuller at the Edinburgh People's Theatre, Carlos Moura, Peter Lobbenberg, Paul Hammick.

If anyone can help fill in the gaps or add to what is already here please:

Email me
with any information or questions.

If you have any comments, criticisms or observations please add them to our latest Guestbook

To view entries in our previous Guestbook (November 2005 to June 2007) Click here
To view entries in our original Guestbook (March 2003 to October 2005) Click here


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