27 March 2022 – From Philip Marriage

Hi Reg, The link to the ‘Atlantic House Days’ certainly had lots of fascinating details and revived for me memories to the ‘Golden Age’ of HMSO in London. It wasn’t much of a building, smelt too much of lino-cleaner (never a carpet in sight) but was close to many places of interest for lunchtime exploration.

I recently came across these photos (below) from 1985 of the building, and nearby Farringdon Station which brought back many memories.

Happy Days!  Philip


Thanks Philip. Lovely, and just right with a glimpse of the famous Hart’s the Butcher – and I’m sure I recognise the hang of some of those crumpled Burton’s suits on the platform of Farringdon Station.

Keith Batchelor adds: Hi Reg, How can I forget Atlantic House – I am reminded every day having met Carol there! Hart’s had lunch ready for me every day. I just stopped outside; got off the motorcycle and nipped in to buy my two beef rolls. Had to let them know when I was on leave so they do not have them already bagged up and waiting! What is this about no carpets in sight? If I remember HEO’s were entitled to a carpet as long as it did not touch the walls! I think ADs could have wall to wall. How many people descended the front stairs to the basement where you could view the Fleet through a grill in the floor. I was told it was designed as a flood relief. Not sure how true that was. I suspect many of us could almost write a book of what went on in Atlantic House both officially and unofficially. Best wishes to all, Keith.

Hello Keith, Good to hear from you, and with happy memories of Hart’s, from days when food was food! As regards carpets – I think that Principals had wall-to-wall and Assistant Directors had carpet squares, as I remember when in Accommodation we had to house an AD in a room previously occupied by a Principal, and had to have the carpet cut down. And the hat stand and mirror removed. Didn’t want undeserving people moving above their position in Society! And speaking of young Carol – can you name the four charming ladies in the photo below, taken a mere 55 years ago in Atlantic House? Best wishes, Reg.

Keith Batchelor adds: With a little help from my friend – I recognised the legs. Left to right: Pauline (cannot remember surname), Anne Legg, cousin of Tommy Steel, Carol Batchelor (nee Horney), Christine Garrood (nee Horney). Taken in Atlantic House but cannot remember which office. Kind regards, Keith.

Well done Keith – and Carol. Now you mention the name, I remember Pauline – I think she worked in S1a when I was in S7b in the mid-1960s. Happy days! Best wishes, Reg.