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Date: Tuesday, June 24, 1958
Place: London
Weather: Cool

Today was our free day, so after mailing letters at the post office, Sue and I got started on our shopping spree!

We took the tube to the silver vaults, and then went to Regent and New Bond St.

Here’s what I bought today:

  • two gold charms for my bracelet: a guard and a toby jug
  • a brown shetland crew neck for Clare (her brother)
  • a hand-painted table cloth and napkins
  • a sterling silver spoon for my collection
  • seven silk scarves at Liberty’s

We ended up our stay in London with a fabulous evening! The tickets to My Fair Lady are sold out ’til October, but Jean, Betsy, and Tim went down early to see about standing room, and we got it for four shillings (54 cents). Standing room in New York is $3.75! I didn’t mind standing at all, the costumes and settings were beautiful and the play was wonderful!

Just as I’m getting used to seeing cars driving on the left-hand side of the road, and am beginning to know my way around, we have to leave for Norway at 8:00 am!

The London Silver Vaults began as the Chancery Lane Safe Deposit in 1876, a place for London residents to safely store valuables. Soon businesses began using the vaults to store valuable inventory.

After the original building was damaged during World War II, the space was rebuilt as rental units and reopened in 1953. The London Silver Vaults are now home to a group of 30 independent silver merchants and houses the largest retail collection of fine antique silver in the world.

London Silver Vaults

London Silver Vaults. Image courtesy of Matt Brown via a Creative Commons license.

“My Fair Lady” opened at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on April 29, 1958 and continued its run for five and a half years. Opening night was a star-studded event, with black-market tickets selling for as much as £5, almost five times the original price. The show featured Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins and Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle.

A BBC news report from April 29, 1958 supports Judy’s note about the the sold-out show:
“The excitement surrounding the transfer of the musical to London (from Broadway) has been intense. Advance ticket sales are estimated at over £350,000, and the first month is already sold out – with more expensive seats sold out until the end of the year.”

Cecil Beaton designed the costumes for the production and one of Ms. Andrews’ gowns can be seen at the Victoria & Albert Museum website.

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