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Christmas 2021


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The name "Soho" arose out of a hunting cry in the 16th century, after Henry VIII designated the area as a royal park, and used it as a hunting ground, ideal for its proximity to Whitehall Palace.


Gentrification and building progressed rapidly in the late 17th century. The aristocracy intended Soho to be an upper-class estate, comparable with Bloomsbury, Marylebone and Mayfair, but this never came about. From 1680 onwards, French immigrants began settling in, and the area became known as London's French quarter.


In the 19th century, there was an influx of Greek and Italian immigration to Soho.


In 1854, there was a pandemic of Cholera in Soho, which marked the end of wealthier families living in Soho. They moved to the nearby Mayfair area to the west, or the newer Belgravia area, to the south. This is when Soho began to develop a niche as an entertainment district. Theatres sprang up, and of course, brothels, and the sex industry. Soho eventually became known as the red light district of London.


Soho was encompassed by Regents Street to the west, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square to the south, Charring Cross Road the east, and Oxford Street to the north.


In the 20th century, Soho became home to the fashion and film industries, alongside the restaurant trade.


In the 1980's Soho was full of gangsters, punks, mods and skinheads.


In the 1990's, entrepreneurs moved in and Soho became a gay mecca, evolving into one of the best gay scenes in the world, with countless gay cafés, pubs and nightclubs, all served by several gay minicab companies.


Soho nighttime Christmas street walk, 26/12/21 



Edited by RobSS
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