Last Wednesday I had planned to visit The Building Centre just off of Store Street, Bloomsbury to look at the Pipers Central London Model before it is replaced. On my way through Tottenham Court Road on this incredibly windy and wet day I decided to visit one of my favourite stores Heal's.
After being blown away by the new furniture ranges in store I wanted to take some pictures of the building itself inside and out. The shop has been in existence since 1810 and has been on this site since 1854. The front that we all know and love was added in 1916 along with the Brewer Staircase designed by Cecil Brewer, a cousin of the Heal family.
As usual when I got home I put some of the pictures out on social Media and sent the last picture to Heal's Twitter account asking the question...'was there once a canopy?'
The next day I received a response from Heal's saying yes there were canopies and to watch this space as they were likely to be reinstated soon! A new message arrived from them with this picture.....
..from the 1940's and asking me to send them my address as they would like to send me a book on Heal's heritage! After a few Direct Messages on Twitter I found out that I was 'chatting' to their Digital Manager and that her name is Victoria.
I received the book yesterday afternoon and it is beautiful, full of glorious pictures of the building, advertisements and photographs of their wonderful products from days gone by. Heal's celebrated their bicentenary in 2010 and this book was part of the product range in celebration of that. I only managed to pick up a few commemorative tea towels at the time!
The book is beautifully produced and will take pride of place on my London bookshelf. A very big thank you goes to Victoria for making my day with such a fantastic gift.