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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
17th March 1969 Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was born in Lewisham, London.
17th March 1954 Born today: Lesley-Anne Down, London, actress (A Little Night Music, Moonraker)
17th March 1954 Born today: Wally Stocker, London, rock vocalist/guitarist (Babys-Missing You)
17th March 1931 Born today: Eunice Gayson, London England, actress (Dr No, From Russia With Love)
17th March 1928 The first James Bond girl, from Dr No, actress Eunice Gayson was born in Croydon.
17th March 1921 Dr Marie Stopes opens Britain's 1st birth control clinic (London)
17th March 1904 The Daily Mirror's Handcuff challenge to Harry Houdini at the Alhambra Theatre.
17th March 1845 Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry of London
17th March 1789 Born today: Edmund Kean, London England, tragic actor (Shylock)
The Criterion Restaurant
Fabulous Victorian Restaurant and suffragette meeting house.
Location: 224 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9HP
Description: The Criterion Restaurant, was erected in 1873 by Spiers and Pond at a cost of 80,000 and designed by Thomas Verity.
Originally a large restaurant, dining rooms, ballroom, and galleried concert hall. Having commenced building work it was decided to alter the proposed concert hall (though retaining the composers names, which still line the tiled staircases to this day), to a theatre. The Criterion retains an almost perfectly preserved Victorian French Renaissance auditorium.
In the early 1900's it was used as a meeting place for suffragettes at a time when women were not allowed in pubs. Today, it attracts mainly punters in search of a lavish setting in which to enjoy their meal.
The building itself stands on the grounds of the old White Bear Inn, one of the busiest coaching Inns in England.