Armada Street used to be synonymous with papers. The Telegraph and Express structures can even now be seen, however the papers some time in the past moved – first to close by roads, for example, Fetter Lane and most as of late to distant territories: the Guardian to Farringdon and afterward King’s Cross, the Times to Wapping, the Telegraph to Canary Wharf and afterward Victoria.
The road’s history as a distributing focus however returns path before the development of papers – Caxton’s student Wynkyn de Worde set a press up here in 1500 and there were consistently book shops and printers in the city from that point on. Book shops likewise once utilized the old St Paul’s basilica churchyard as a business opportunity for their products.
The workmanship deco Daily Telegraph fabricating still commands one side of the road, however it’s currently the central station of venture bank Goldman Sachs. Goliath segments tower the façade, giving it an inclination that is part high rise, part Greek sanctuary – complete innovation in the language of traditional design. Increasingly inflexible is the Daily Express structure, referred to in its day as the “dark Lubyanka” in view of its dark and chrome and streamlined bends.
Balance that with the Reuters expanding on the opposite roadside, an old style work by Lutyens that inhales the robustness of the British Empire, particularly “my commitments are dependable as the rising sun” against the recklessness of the Express’ new age.
Where there are columnists, obviously, there are bars and Fleet Street has various fine bar structures. Generally old fashioned of the part is the Cheshire Cheese, in two modest seventeenth-century houses; desolate rooms loaded with wood framing, with an open fire warming the bar in winter. Dickens would have felt comfortable here, with a 16 ounces of Sam Smith’s and a creaky seat to sink into.
The Old Bell is said to have been worked for Wren’s laborers on St Bride’s in 1670; it’s been the Twelve Bells, the Old Swan, the Golden Bell, and it’s everybody’s concept of a customary English bar from the recolored glass window broadcasting its name to the wood framing and uncovered sections of flooring.
Behind the Bell is the congregation of St Bride’s, with its wedding-cake tower, set in its own little patio – one of the City’s most close open air spaces. Armada Street’s other church, further west, is St Dunstan-in-the-West, a Victorian gothic church with a shortened tower. In spite of the fact that modified, it holds a few interests from the previous church on the site – a clock with the figure of the mammoths Gog and Magog which strike the ringers, and a statue of Queen Elizabeth I which used to remain on the Old Ludgate. By her is a failure of Lord Northcliffe, organizer of the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror – you’re never a long way from a newspaperman on this road!
Albeit Fleet Street has lost its papers and is presently home to speculation banks and specialists’ organizations, it’s as yet a fine road with its restricted conduit throbbing with traffic, fixed with fascinating structures and charming bits of history. In any case, you’ll never smell printing ink here again and I hear the broadly reactionary El Vino even serves ladies at the bar nowadays.