I was listening to a radio programme the other day about the possible demise of Sloane Square as we know it. Some evil ‘planners’ are ‘planning’ to turn it into a pedestrianised, re-ordered traffic system of satan. Lots of local (read resident arty-farty media types) people have got together to protest against the intended changes and are trying to block the proposal for good. They have got a bit of a fight on their hands what with Kensington and Chelsea being one of the most corrupt boroughs in London.
The thing is, Sloane Square should really stay as it is. The central ‘square’ hasn’t particularly changed for donkeys and the flowerseller with his little green gloss-painted cabin has been there as long as I can remember. I went to a hateful secondary school around the corner and he was the first thing I’d see as I shambled out of the tube each morning. And then there is Peter Jones of course. You can’t go wrong with Peter Jones. It’s a lovely shop with very nice people serving in it. You feel automatically a little invalided and cared for as soon as you enter the shop. It’s a proper practical department store. I laughed when I heard a comment from Betjeman about Peter Jones as it sums it up perfectly: he said that if anything ever awful were to happen, like the dreaded three-minute warning or a hostile invasion of some sort – he would run to seek shelter in the warmth and comfort of Peter Jones haberdashery department as it’s the sort of place where nothing horrible ever happens there. Brilliant.