Raffles – Pekinese

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CHILDREN have a reason for loving The Fitzroy Tavem”the only
one of its name in Britain.

Something of the character of this famous house can be gauged
from its visitors’ book. In its pages can be viewed the names of the
famous the world over.

During World War II American magazines naturally wanted to
show how London was taking it, and cameramen descended on
The Fitzroy to photograph typical Londoners in one of their char-
acteristic pursuits of swallowing a pint or two.


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The magazine Lifi also sent down a team of writers to show
that Londoners had not lost their zest for life and for the few good
things that were to be had even in wartime. The Fitzroy was rightly
held to contain an accurate cross-section of all that is best in London

The house acquired its modern fame under the guidance of
the late “Pop”, who became Mine Host thirty years ago and who
died only a year ago when he was over 80. Family tradition is
carried on by his daughter and son-in-law.

Writers, Artists, and Politicians

“Pop” was the trusted confidant of writers, artists, and poli-
ticians. Many a time a struggling artist would go home to find
that the rent had been paid by a “friend”. I need not tell you the
name of the friend.

But it was children’s interests that lay closest to the large heart
of “Pop”. Hence his invention of the now famous Fitzroy ceiling.
It is a moneyed affair.

His customers were invited to screw coins of any denomination
they chose into pieces of paper, in the end of which was placed a
cork holding a sharp tack. The coins were then thrown up to the
ceiling, where they stuck. Up to last year the ceiling had not been
cleared for nine years. It was then decided to hold a bumper party
of “uncles and aunts”, headed by Mine Host, aided and abetted
by film stars, who included Ingrid Bergman.

The stormy petrel of American politics, Henry Wallace, was also present.
Down from the ceiling for that party came pounds, shillings
and pence, dollars, francs, guilder, yen and pesos”in short, the
complete how-d’you-do, totalling £607 3s. 3d.

And that’s how it was that five hundred children had a whale
of a party with their favourite film star and stage and radio favourites
providing fun and frolic. Can you wonder that The Fitzroy is a
favourite and much loved pub with the younger set?

And among those who enjoyed the party was .
This cute number is a perky Pekinese, who is eight years of
age. He’s by way of being the leading star of the show down Fitz-
rovia way when the cameramen decide to show London “taking
it”, and by that we mean, of course, taking its beer and thriving
on it. faces the blinding glare of the arc lights with all the
aplomb of a veteran”wholly unscripted of course. Such fame,
Ra,ies is popularly supposed to have told his master, is not
unwelcome to a Peke. As he says, he too can take it in his dainty

There is much reason to believe that Raffles is looking forward
eagerly to the next party, for there are tit-bits that a Peke can take
without loss of face in the presence of mere human beings.


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