VANISHING LONDON: The W1 Logo Outside The West One Shoping Centre

Why would anyone bemoan the loss of a brass insert logo on a piece of paving on Oxford Street. There are other things more worth of missing on Oxford Street, before you get to this rather manky shopping centre. Bournes & Hollingsworth f’rexample, a vague memory of my youth of being a shop entirely made of of concessions and ropey wooden escalators. Or the surgical removal of all the C & A’s (recently spotted in Bruges though: alive and fueling cunt and arse jokes in a whole new country). Or how about the lane of road which meant that buses might occasionally be able to overtake each other rather than travel at the pace of the slowest one*

Let me describe this logo to you, since I have no picture, and it has vanished. The West One Shopping Centre is a mini-mall plomped on top of the Bond Street Tube Station which has a Burton’s, Dorothy Perkins and other less fashionable stores (!). It is opposite the HMV at that end and is, truth be told, a little bit low rent. Not so when it was built in the late eighties, when malls and glitzy curved typographical logo’s were all the rage. This is what I remember the logo looking like:
Why do I remember what it looks like? Well I made it. No, I did not design it, someone overpaid even by eighties standards did that. And I did not physically bend the brass into shape so that someone could poor blue concrete into the black bits and grey into the outside. My Dad did that. My job was trying to work out how to scale a five centimetre squared logo up to four metres squared. This is a father/son bonding session where I get dragged in to do work, and we bond by default. You know what, it worked. There was much freehand tomfoolery as my scientific eye met the almost intractable problem (though a photocopier helped at a key point). Everytime I got a bus past the West one Shopping Centre I looked fondly back on that day, and also smugly felt “I made that”.

Until abotu a year ago it vanished. For no obvious reason, the centre still has the same logo. But my piece of architectural heritage, my make in stone (cement) has been removed. It was not much, but it does remind me that everything in London is made by someone – good or bad. Its their memories we thoughtlessly knock down and remove. But someone elses we replace them with.

*The one that has just broken down