Of Smoke and Mirrors
Burton Crescent and its Neighbourhood
Burton Crescent and its Neighbourhood
Our intrepid adventurers have all acquired homes or lodgings on Burton Crescent, a respectable address in the northern part of Bloomsburry within easy walking distance of the University grounds. Burton Crescent is a relatively new neighbourhood build as part of the past century’s relentless urban expansion in and around London. Originally mostly dotted by small fields and turf-land, covering the area north of the Foundling Hospital all the way to Summer’s Town, the area was developed by James Burton around the turn of the century into a quaint and friendly neighbourhood for those of a middle class income. This work was not without problems however as the area also contained several burial grounds of unknown date, claimed by several locals to be cursed places and leading to some complaints by frightened workers though no actual incident was recorded.
Since then the neighbourhood has, despite its youth, had its fair share of notables. Perhaps most famous was Mayor John Cartwright a noted and controversial advocate for radical political reform (amongst other things universal suffrage) as well as the brother of Edmund Cartwright inventor of the steam powered loom. Now famed engineer, inventor and Guild Elder Sirius Sigma also started his first shop in the neighbourhood, and though it has since passed into the hands of one of his students Sigma’s is still known as the go to place for repairs amongst Bloomsbury residents. Finally there is the rising piano prodigy Delyth ap Cledwyn who took the London musical scene by storm three years ago and whose star has hardly waned since. She lives still in a comfortable apartment in number 26. Finally, number 10 has recently been acquired by the Earl of Oxford as a second London residence, mainly for the use of his daughter.
Burton Crescent is a well-situated neighbourhood for those with professional interests in London, near the heart of the rapidly growing city yet far enough out to avoid the worst chaos and crowds. Bloomsbury is mainly a middle class to lower upper class area, well lit and respectable, meaning it is mostly a quiet area with few incidents beyond the occasional pub row. Considered quite fashionable, especially amongst the younger strata of society Bloomsburry is a popular area for visiting small coffee shops or simply promenading in the afternoon. Its location also affords easy access to the financial district of the City, with its banks and exchange, as well as the various government functions in Westminster.
For these reasons it has a growing number of upper middle class inhabitants, often self-made businessmen and their ilk, as well as a thriving merchants class discernible from the number of quality shops in the area.
Buildings and Establishments:
No. 11, Raynes’ Books and Printing: Located centrally near Burton Street this small book and printing establishment has seen a flourishing business. The past few decades, owing greatly to the neighbourhoods proximity to the University and the many printing orders this entails. Mr. Raynes, the proprietor, provides both printing and binding services, as well as offering examples of his previously printed works in the store itself.
No. 24, Sigma’s: Once the shop of famed inventor Sirius Sigma this small shop in the middle of the eastern row is easily recognizable by the large sigma symbol painted on its sign. Now owned and run by mr. Sigma’s student, mr. Auri, the shop is popular with the locals despite its infrequent opening hours and difficult proprietor. Local kids are known to shun the place.
No. 29, Belvedere House: Located at the northern end of the gardens on the east side of the street Belvedere House is a boarding school for young ladies, ages thirteen through to eighteen. Run by Miss Belvedere the school admits about twenty girls at once, teaching a wide range of subjects proper for girls from an upper middle-class background, such as literature, art, dance and music. The famed pianist Miss Cledwyn teaches there every Thursday.
No. 36, St Pancras Royal General Dispensary: Located near the northern end of the neighbourhood near Euston Road the general dispensary opened a little over a decade ago. It provides both medical advice as well as proscribed medication on behest of the various doctors operating in the area. In emergencies the staff is also able to provide basic medical services, such as midwife work.
Dukes Road No. 4, The Dromedary, Tobacco and Cigars: A popular tobacco shop two streets down from Burton Crescent with a starling reputation amongst young gentlemen of the city it is easy to find due to its distinctive signboard displaying the distinct outline of a dromedary. Owned and run by Zacharias Spielmann it can provide for almost any need in the world of tobacco and quality cigars.