Do you want to know a secret? The new Marsh & Parsons branch is open on the site of the Fab Four’s Apple boutique. Tim Harrison caught himself singing When I Get Home
David Ruddock is settling in to his new role as sales manager of the latest Marsh & Parsons branch… with a little help from his friends.
But based on his first weeks at the office in Baker Street, he disputes claims made in a recent Move To by a former colleague – Lucian Cook at Savills – that prime central London property is in the doldrums.
“Our experience is different from Lucian’s view,” he said. “We haven’t slackened off for summer, and prices are still driving forward.”
David, who has two decades of experience in the capital’s housing market, admitted that prime Marylebone property might have reached ‘a slight plateau’, but insisted that there was still plenty of activity at the level of around £1,200 per square foot.
“Most of London is easing off for the summer, but we’re at our busiest,” he said.
The estate agency in Baker Street is housed in a building which is still on the trail of Beatles fans, particularly from overseas, as it was at the centre of the band’s ill-fated venture into trendy clothes selling in the swinging sixties.
The Apple boutique opened in December 1967 in what had originally been a late 18th century private house at the corner of Baker and Paddington streets, and was meant to be the first in a chain of shops trading on the group’s name.
But although the building was swamped with eager shoppers in the early days, it lost money hand over fist and closed six months later.
A psychedelic mural decorated the building’s façade – until Westminster Council forced its removal. “Once we were told we had to get rid of the painting, the whole thing started to lose its appeal,” said George Harrison afterwards. “If they’d protected it, and the painted wall was there now, they’d be saying ‘Wow, look at this!’”
In fact, the house was pulled down in 1974 and replaced with the present mock-Georgian office block, now featuring Marsh & Parsons on the ground floor.
George Harrison and the other dead Beatle, John Lennon, feature on the blue plaque which adorns an upper wall of the building.
It reads: John Lennon MBE 1940-1980 and George Harrison MBE 1943-2001 worked here.
David Ruddock, who admitted it was fun to operate from a site with such an interesting musical connection, said of the new branch: “Hopefully we’ll make a better job of it than the Beatles did!”
Marsh & Parsons is at 94 Baker Street, W1. Call 020 7935 1775 or Click here for further details.
By Tim Harrison 20.08.13