One of the signs still visible in the area of Smith Square, this that in Lord North Street still indicates the menagerie allowed beginning in 1940. Commonly taken to be a place where the public might find shelter from the Blitz, this is in hindsight (this being Westminster) obviously at fault as the public had no good reason to be there. Or at least no one that mattered.
A Georgian street and grand as one would expect it has doubtless seen many a period drama chase itself down its attractive pavements. It was from his address here that the twice prime Minister Harold Wilson claimed to have been burgled by the Security Service (an accusation backed up in Ernest Penfold’s autobiography Crickey) the catacombs still in use today once boasted a little more punctuation on the signs, now faded.
For still and the purpose of the Smith Square Vaults are to provide sealed in case of wider extermination the sort of upright and rightly-placed members of the working class that would nowadays not regard a beating and the occasional bout of horse-buggery to actually constitute pay. Here and kept in hermetically sealed brown paper, vinegar and bailing string are member of the public, sheltered and secured in vaults. In the event of devastating gas attack (the fear of 1940) or then soon after that of atomic devastation, then in the aftermath as the great and good emerge from their own secure shelters so too could be released the groomed, bred-for-task members of the public. Then to put tooth powder on brush, put shoes in proper order left to right, and to stand in with the memsahib in the event of the old trouble rising up (in complete contrast to the well bred, narrow and creamily useless penis).
The sheltered public are let out once a month, late at night, where if you are fortunate you will see them standing about the square serving one another drinks and thrashing the trees until they bleed.