The Save Soho campaign began in 2014 when one of the area’s ninght-clubs, Madame Jojo’s, closed. Last year the club reopened, but the Save Soho campaign goes on, and certainly getting plenty of media attention.
This campaign start because the colourful character of Soho could be under threat from property development and gentrification.
Soho is the area of Central London that lies to the south of Oxford Street, to the east of Regent Street, to the north of Leicester Square and to the west of Charing Cross Road. It only covers one square mile, but it’s a very colourful square mile. Here you will find jazz clubs like Ronnie Scott’s, cafés like Bar Italia, as well as artists, musicians, GL-BTQ people , film companies and strip joints .
For anybody who feels a bit different, that doesn’t belong to anywhere, a sense of not being able to belong somewhere, or not being welcome somewhere, Soho has always been a destination. And I think, obviously, the Huguenots, the refugees, the French revolutionaries, later on, you know, the Italian community and then, much more recently, the gay community. It’s an endless sort of turning over of people that I don’t know if it’s…maybe it’s in our DNA now because it’s happened for so long, but there’s a “It’s OK, we can go to Soho, they’ll accept us, it will be OK there.”
Soho has always been a place that’s a sort of overlooked the rules and regulations, not to the detriment or danger of anybody, but with a sort of friendly, knowing tolerance for people. I don’t mean criminals, I mean, there are certain places, if you run down the street with no clothes on that you probably would end up in the back of a police van; Soho, probably not, probably everybody would applaud because it is like a film set and it’s the only film set and the only stage that, as a member of the audience, you get to be part of the cast.
The singer-songwriter Tim Arnold is a founder member of the Save Soho campaign. There’s a interview of him about what’s Soho Campaign:
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