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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
26th July 1973 Peter Shaffers Equus, premieres in London
26th July 1973 Underworld actress Kate Beckinsale born in London.
26th July 1966 England beat Portugal 2-1 at Wembley Stadium to reach the World Cup Final.
26th July 1950 Born today: Susan George, London England, actress (Straw Dogs, Mandingo)
26th July 1895 Born today: Jerry Verno, London England, actor (River of Unrest, Sweeney Todd)
26th July 1895 Born today: Robert Graves, London England, writer/poet (I Claudius) [or 6/26]
26th July 1891 Henry James' American, premieres in London
26th July 1842 Born today: Alfred Marshall, London, economist
26th July 1802 Born today: Winthrop Mackworth Praed, London, poet/politician
Once the Largest Furniture Shop in the World was based here.
Location: 149 Tottenham Court Road
Description: Now a retail and apartment complex on the east side of Tottenham Court Road, close to the junction with Euston Road, is where Maples Furniture Store used to be. Today it's a supermarket and computer store.
Sir John Blundell Maple (1845-1903) was a self-made, and perhaps the most successful of all Victorian retail entrepreneurs. He achieved great wealth, became a politician, a horserace breeder and a member of the Prince of Wales's set. His emporium here in London's Tottenham Court Road furnished everyone who was anyone in Victorian society and was better known as The Largest Furniture Shop in the World.
Maples manufactured their own luxury furniture in a complex eventually so vast that by the 1880s it occupied an area where once stood 200 houses. They were timber importers, and exporters of furniture and fittings to all parts of the world. They used steam power and electricity, had a fleet of horse-drawn vans, depository and showrooms, and employed a vast workforce.
Maples furnished palaces all over the world, including Tsar Nicholas's Winter Palace, the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, all the great hotels, and town and country homes.
Prestigious British embassies were all furnished by Maples.
In 1997 the store was declared bankrupt and was taken over by the retailer Allders.
Madness lead singer Suggs grew up in a nice flat above Maple's on the corner with Grafton Way.