Early Career Memories at Piccadilly Circus.
I started my career in January 1959 as a young bobby at West End Central Police Station Savile Row. The trestles positioned to the east of 'Eros' which cordon off the road suggest the photograph was taken when the Piccadilly one-way system was being introduced. I remember the elegant stonework of the County Fire Office benefited from the recently enacted 'Clean Air Act'. Much of the grimey architecture in the area was scrubbed by a water process from scaffolding usually by a firm called 'Szezelmy' (or a very similar spelling). Just right of the 'Skol' advert the low hoarding hides a wartime bomb site. Just around that corner was the Windmill Theatre in Great Windmill Street where many stars of radio and stage began their careers. In the early 60's (before the introduction of police pocket radios) there was a 'police post' near the traffic light bottom left of your picture. A PC was detailed to stand near the post. He usually stood close to the display window of 'Swann & Edgars' shop which was just to the left of the picture. The post's light would flash and the PC would be sent to various incidents in the vicinity of Piccadilly Circus. Visitors and tourists would ply him with all kinds of questions upto 250+ per shift in the season and they would often form a queue. The post surmounted by its light is just visible to the left of the Tube entrance stairs. The short box beside the traffic light I believe is a traffic light control box. Each set of lights had a small lockable container strapped to the traffic light post and a PC could use his police postbox key to open the container. Inside was a special control key which when used on the box enabled a push button manual override for the light's sequence.
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