Mystery Of Disappeared Historic Quirk On Famous London Street

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 38 months ago
Mystery Of Disappeared Historic Quirk On Famous London Street

The Porter's Rest on Piccadilly, photo and hat tip Peter Berthoud

Mystery surrounds the disappearance of an antique Grade II-listed feature of one of London's most renowned streets.

A petition has been started to restore the Porter's Rest on Piccadilly — the last remaining example of the piece of street furniture that used to be a common sight in the capital. They were installed to give porters a chance to have a break, without having to put their load on the ground and lift it again. This film clip from British Pathé shows it in use.

According to Westminster council planning documents, in 2013 an application was made to remove the rest following an "internally generated" complaint about the historic structure, describing it as a "general nuisance".

But a council spokesman told Londonist the authority doesn't know who's taken it away, or what's happened to it: "We've noticed it's gone, and are looking to track it down or to put in a replacement. The council didn't remove it. We think it may have been stolen, but we don't know. "

If anyone knows where it is or what's happened to it, get in touch in the comments below, or email

Last Updated 26 March 2015


There's a complete misreading of the 2013 'application'. That's not an application but an enforcement enquiry. 'Internally generated' means someone from the council's planning department noticed that the Porter's Rest had gone and started an inquiry into why it had been removed without consent. ('General nuisance' is a sort of catch-all category for any planning enforcement which doesn't fit into any of the more specific ones.)


Melted for scrap for meth probably.

cynthia booker

On Google streetview, you can see where the pavement was patched. That photo is dated July of 2014, so it was gone before then. A shame. It is very close to a bus shelter, so I wonder if it was moved to keep it from interfering with the passengers getting on or off the bus.