An A - Z
of London

Capital Numbers

An alphabetical guide
to London


A is for 'orses
B is for Bow Bells
C is for 21st Century
D is for Dome
E is for Escalator
F is for Fog
G is for GLC
H is for History
I is for Information
J is for Jellied Eels
K is for Keeping Safe
L is for London Transport
M is for Money
N is for Nightbus
01 for London
P is for Plague
Q is for Queen
R is for Red Route
S is for Streets of London
T is for Thames
U is for Underground
V is for Villages
W is for WestEnders
X is for Charing X
Y is a Year in London
Z is for Zoo

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W

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W is for WestEnders


WestEnders shop until they drop, and the more exclusive, expensive and extreme the better.

Oxford Street is the Londoner’s High Street, and often it feels as if all 7 million of them have come out shopping at once. Regent Street is the home of Hamley’s, the store for big kids. Carnaby Street no longer swings like it did in the 60s, but if you want a Big Ben snowglobe or one of those ‘My Mum went to London and all she bought was this t-shirt made in Taiwan for 12p’ t-shirts then look no further.

Shops in fashionable Bond Street sell everything from designer clothes to designer clothes. Meanwhile just round the corner in Mayfair are shops devoted to un-fashion, selling sensible shoes, tweed jackets, walking sticks and beige trilbies. Country gentlemen regularly travel long distances from the Shires to buy these essential items, all such provincial outfitters having died out many years ago.

Harvey Nichols exists for shoppers with money, Fortnum and Mason caters for those with taste, while that big shop in Knightsbridge of course is there purely to serve those with more of the former than the latter.


WestEnders love nothing better than a night at the theatre, except perhaps a knight of the theatre.

The Mousetrap: Unbelievably this whodunnit celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002. Surely there can’t be anyone left who doesn’t know the butler did it? Or was it the policeman, or the vicar, or…?

Cats: Creatures well known for whining and screeching in the dark. Which sort of sums the show up.

Les Miserables: Who is Les and why is he so pissed off? 16 years of playing the same part I bet.

Mamma Mia: It can’t be a coincidence that this musical tribute to camp favourites Abba opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s most notorious gay street.

Starlight Express: The show that made Richard Stilgoe very rich, and hence keeps him off our TV screens. Not to be confused with Connex South Central, the other farce that played daily in Victoria.

The Phantom of the Opera: A grotesque musician stalks the theatre, falling in love with the leading lady and frightening the general public. But enough of the composer…

The Lion King/Chicago/Fame/Kiss Me Kate: A lot of songs linked by a tenuous plot. In fact, that description could describe most of the shows in the West End at the moment. Four hundred years after the Globe and Shakespeare, has London theatre really come to this?