Monday, March 8, 2021

No. 99 - Norman Balon

Norman Balon

“London’s rudest landlord” enjoyed causing offence more than anything else. Following on from his father’s purchase of the lease of Soho’s The Coach & Horses pub in 1943 Norman “You’re Barred” Balon worked there and then later, as landlord, presided over “prostitutes, gays, lesbians and a bit of the theatre community”. When a visiting rugby player asked for a Snakebite, his response was: “We don’t do cocktails here. Get out!” A Sikh customer was asked: “You’re not a fackin’ Muslim are you?” When he answered no, the bombastic landlord answered: “All right, you can stay then”. Balon states he chose to retire in 2006 “because all my customers are my age and one by one they’re dropping off their bar stools” before concluding that he hoped more of them would die abroad as then he’d be able to avoid “the cheap shit they serve at wakes”. The hospitality industry (sadly) doesn’t allow for the existence of characters like this anymore.


The Roll Call - WILDCARDS

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‘Mr Black Lives Matter’ – Little is known about this Belgravia entertainer – A regular outside Peggy Porschen’s Parlour, 116 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9QQ ‘Mr Black Lives Matter’ attempts to entertain those queuing for cakes.

1

‘Mr Black Lives Matter’

Gabriel and Sarah A. Chrisman – Port Townsend, Washington State residents Gabriel and Sarah A. Chrisman live as if they are Victorians. They get a lot of abuse.

2

Gabriel and Sarah A. Chrisman

Designer and tastemaker Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976, née Eileen Smith) – A pioneer of both the Art Deco style and the functionalist Modernist movement, bisexual Irish aristocrat Eileen Gray was best known for designing the Bibendum chair and the E-1027 table.

3

Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976, née Eileen Smith)

Robert Adam – Hampshire based architect and designer Robert Adam (born 1948) followed in the steps of his namesake and has become one of the most important figures in neo-classical style.

4

Robert Adam

Bob Marshall-Andrews QC – Barrister, former Labour MP and novelist

5

Bob Marshall-Andrews QC

True wildcard Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett) – Dame Paddy Ridsdale was an intelligence operative, secretary to Ian Fleming and the inspiration for the Bond character Miss Moneypenny.

6

Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett)

Interior designer and philanthropist Charlot Malin (1969 – 2017) –Oslo born, San Francisco based interior designer and philanthropist Charlot D. Malin worked with George Lucas and Robert Redford. She loathed microwaves.

7

Charlot Malin (1969 – 2017)

Baba Vanga (баба Ванга, AKA ‘Nostradamus from the Balkans’, 1911 – 1996) – Blind, illiterate, psychic Macedonian villager and clairvoyant

8

Baba Vanga (баба Ванга, AKA ‘Nostradamus from the Balkans’, 1911 – 1996)

Mr Make a Big Issue

9

Mr Make a Big Issue

Mary Millington (marital name Mary Maxted, born Mary Quilter, 1945 – 1979)

10

Mary Millington (marital name Mary Maxted, born Mary Quilter, 1945 – 1979)

Sir Ken Adam OBE (born Klaus Adam, 1921 – 2016)

11

Sir Ken Adam OBE (born Klaus Adam, 1921 – 2016)

Will and Calum Thompson

12

Will and Calum Thompson (AKA “The Eat Wild Boys”)

Arthur Woodham

13

Arthur Woodham

Hannah Wick

14

Hannah Wick

Daniel Lismore

15

Daniel Lismore

Irish fugitive and world record holder John Patrick Hannan

16

John Patrick Hannan

Max Whitlock (nicknamed “Maxi”)

17

Max Whitlock (nicknamed “Maxi”)

Kelly Killoren Bensimon

18

Kelly Killoren Bensimon

Lee Miller (Lady Penrose, born Elizabeth Miller, 1907 – 1977)

19

Lee Miller (Lady Penrose, born Elizabeth Miller, 1907 – 1977)

Parrot man - Ted Richards

20

Ted Richards

Victoria Pendleton

21

Victoria Pendleton CBE (married name Victoria Gardner)

Christopher Mason

22

Christopher Mason

Bonnie Lee Bakley (1956 – 2001)

23

Bonnie Lee Bakley (1956 – 2001)

Norah Docker FI 1

24

Lady Docker (Norah Docker, née Norah Turner and also Norah Callingham and Lady Collins, 1905 – 1983)

Gino D’Acampo (born Gennaro D’Acampo)

25

Gino D’Acampo

Gillian Clarke FI 1

26

Gillian Clarke (1941 – 2015)

Francesco Macera

27

Francesco Macera

Nick Loeb

28

Nicholas Loeb

Reverend Robert Parker (AKA “Squire Parker” and “Britain’s richest vicar”)

29

Reverend Robert Parker

Gillian Duffy

30

Gillian Duffy

David Hallberg

31

David Hallberg

Ruthann Aron

32

Ruthann Aron (AKA “Ruth Aron”, née Ruthann Greenzweig)

Lady Alice, Lady Eliza and Lady Violet Manners

33

Lady Alice, Lady Eliza and Lady Violet Manners (AKA “The No Manners Girls”)

Topsy Taylor (born Lesley Taylor)

34

Topsy Taylor (born Lesley Taylor)

Peter Dinklage

35

Peter Dinklage

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olson

36

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olson

Nina Campbell

37

Nina Campbell

Crispin Baynes

38

Crispin Baynes

Bill Martin

39

Bill Martin MBE (born William Wylie MacPherson)

Henry Blofeld

40

Henry Blofeld OBE (AKA “Blowers”, “Tycoon” and “Typhoon”)

Emma Sayle

41

Emma Sayle

Nancy Cunard

42

Nancy Cunard (1896 – 1965)

Elliot Bssila

43

Elliot Bssila

Joudie Kalla

44

Joudie Kalla

Ross O’Connell Jennings

45

Ross O’Connell Jennings

Alexa Jago

46

Alexa Jago

Claire Zambuni

47

Claire Zambuni

Amanda Eliasch

48

Amanda Eliasch (née Amanda Brown)

Charlie Anson

49

Charlie Anson

Louis-Marie de Castelbajac

50

Count Louis-Marie de Castelbajac

Jeremy Lloyd

51

Jeremy Lloyd OBE (1930 – 2014)

Sandra Howard

52

Sandra Howard, Lady Howard (née Sandra Paul)

Anne Naysmith

53

Anne Naysmith (1937 - 2015, AKA “The Rag Lady of Chiswick”)

Claudine Longet

54

Claudine Longet

fantasy cyclist

55

The Fantasy Cyclist

The Duchess of York FI 1

56

Sarah, Duchess of York (AKA “Fergie”, née Sarah Ferguson)

Fredrik Eklund FI 1

57

Fredrik Eklund

Sir Gerald Nabarro FI 1

58

Sir Gerald Nabarro (AKA “Old Whiskers” and “The Abominable Showman”, 1913 – 1973)

Tim Bell FI 1

59

Lord Bell (Tim Bell, Baron Bell of Belgravia)

Teresa Gorman FI 1

60

Teresa Gorman

Julia Child FI 1

61

Julia Child (1912 – 2004)

Keith Floyd FI 1

62

Keith Floyd (1943 – 2009)

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart FI 1

63

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (1880 – 1963)

Dan Bilzerian FI 1

64

Dan Bilzerian (AKA "Blitz")

Cognac Wellerlane FI 1

65

Cognac Wellerlane

Thai Dang Cao FI 1

66

Thai Dang Cao (1953 – 2014)

Craig Brazier FI 1

67

Craig Brazier

Alejandro Flores FI 1

68

Alejandro Flores

Doris Thompson FI 1

69

Doris Thompson

Gloria Minghella FI 1

70

Gloria Minghella MBE (AKA “the Queen Mum of the Isle of Wight”, 1930 – 2014)

Clarissa Dickson Wright FI 1

71

Clarissa Dickson Wright (1947 – 2014)

Wayne Bryson FI 1

72

Wayne Bryson

Mary The Elephant FI 1

73

Mary The Elephant (AKA ‘Murderous Mary’)

Fred Dibnah Fi 1

74

Fred Dibnah MBE (1938 – 2004)

Professor Jane Somerville FI 1

75

Emeritus Professor Jane Somerville

Russell Brand FI 1

76

Russell Brand

Cindy Crawford FI 1

77

Cindy Crawford

Lady Camilla Bloch FI 1

78

Lady Camilla Bloch (born Lady Camilla Bingham)

Terry Deary FI 1

79

Terry Deary

Norma Major FI 1

80

Dame Norma Major DBE

Jeannette Etheredge FI 1

81

Jeannette Etheredge

Michael Chalky White FI 1

82

Michael “Chalky” White

Nubar Gulbenkian FI 1

83

Nubar Gulbenkian (Armenian: Նուբար Սարգիս Գյուլբենկյան, 1896 – 1972)

Huguette Clark FI 1

84

Huguette Clark (1906 – 2011)

Viola Herms Drath FI 2

85

Viola Herms Drath (1920 – 2011)

Ian Towning

86

Ian Towning

Taking The Talisman FI 1

87

Ryan Lochte (nicknames 'Reezy' and 'The Lochtenator')

Jerry Hall FI 1

88

Jerry Hall

Austin 7 man FI 1

89

Austin 7 man

Martin the Poet FI 1

90

Martin the Poet

The Waitrose Clepto FI 1

91

The Waitrose Clepto

Duchess of Alba FI 1

92

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, 18th Duchess of Alba (1926 – 2014)

Tim Tebow FI 1

93

Tim Tebow

The Marquess of Bath FI 1

94

The Most Hon the Marquess of Bath

Judy Joo FI 1

95

Judy Joo

Toby Flood rugby FI 1

96

Toby Flood

Justin Timberlake

97

Justin Timberlake

Blake and Duncan FI 1

98

Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan (1971 – 2007 and 1966 – 2007)

Norman Balon FI 1

99

Norman Balon

Bubble FI 1

100

Bubble (2012 – 2013)

Vanessa Neumann FI 1

101

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

Martin Miller FI 1

102

Martin Miller (1946 - 2013)

Beverly Cohen FI 1

103

Beverly Cohen

Patricia Kluge FI 1

104

Patricia Kluge (née Rose)

Screen Shot 2012 11 01 at 14.56.02 1

105

Charmian Brent (better known as Charmian Biggs)

David Nalbandian FI 1

106

David Nalbandian

April Ashley 1

107

April Ashley MBE (born Toni Jamieson)

Scott Disick FI 1

108

Scott Disick

Andrew Embiricos FI 1

109

Andrew Embiricos (1985 – 2011)

Shireen Ritchie FI 1

110

Shireen Ritchie, The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Ritchie (1945 - 2012)

Eugene Carokis 1

111

Eugene Carokis

an 1713639c 1

112

Anouska Hempel (Lady Weinberg)

Lord Reith FI 1

113

Joseph "Joey" Barton

Sam Higginson

114

Neil & Christine Hamilton

Iris Apfel FI 1

115

Iris Apfel

Marisa Masters

116

Marisa Masters (1925 – 2016)


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  1. It was Jeffery Bernard who made him really famous via his Spectator Low Life column. He may have been rude, but he ran an efficient pub where the staff were polite and quick to serve you. Characters and boozers like these are part of disappearing Soho as it becomes increasingly bland.

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