Gather round for a tale of Strange London; of randomness and hidden mysteries. A tale of noses.
One of London’s (many) mysteries-that-isn’t-actually-that-mysterious, is that of The Seven Noses of Soho. Dotted about the city, attached to various walls, are life-sized noses. The fable says that if you can find them all you will gain great wealth. This, of course, is rubbish. The real story is less mysterious but still pretty good. In 1997, artist Rick Buckley decided to stage an artistic protest against the pervasiveness of CCTV cameras, but art-bombing the streets. Basically he wanted to see if he could get away with gluing noses all over the place.
He is supposed to have set up about thirty-five noses but these have been whittled down to seven. Mostly around Soho and Covent Garden.
So me and my friend Craig set off to see if we could find any of them. Starting at Trafalgar Square we scouted the first site; Admiralty Arch and, after a little while, we found the nose (1).
Craig is actually pretty tall so we did wonder if the artist had gone about the place with a pair of steps because that nose is quite high. I kept saying “no, no, no” but looking at this photo, now I think he would have needed steps. Certainly for this one.
Next we trotted up to Piccadilly and wandered about in confusion looking for…(2)
We found it in a random ‘ah ha!’ moment on Coventry Street.
We searched and searched on Great Windmill Street and just couldn’t find the one that was supposed to be there. We couldn’t find the one of D’Arblay Street either 😦 I don’t know if this was because of renovations to the buildings meaning that the noses aren’t there any more or just us not being eagle-eyed enough but, either way, we couldn’t find them.
Then we went towards Dean Street and immediately spotted the oversized hooter on Meard Street (3).
The extra-large size of this nose has lead to speculation about whether this was one of the original noses or not. As well as being larger, it’s up much higher than any of the others. It could be an extra one, which would mean that we’re really looking for eight noses.
Anyway, then we stopped for coffee and to warm up a bit.
Setting off again in the direction of Covent Garden, we quickly spotted the one at the end of Bateman Street (4).
Then at St. Giles, we easily bagged the one at the top end of Endell Street (5).
By this time it was raining a bit but we weren’t deterred.
Alas, we just couldn’t find the one on Floral Street but we did find an ear!
So we went out looking for seven (or eight) noses, but found five noses and an ear. Not bad, I reckon.
London is so random 😀