The Partisan Coffee House

By Antony Clayton

The Partisan Coffee House in Carlisle Street became a meeting-place for a predominantly left-wing clientele, whilst also putting on live music.  Noticeably more design conscious than many of its neighbours, the Partisan had called in an architect to effect its transformation.  Customers sat on tubular steel chairs at glass tables and played chess or debated the latest political developments. Later, in 1964, after the skiffle boom was ancient history, the Partisan hosted Pete Brown and Michael Horowitz’s ‘New Departures’ poetry and jazz experiments.

This page was added by Tim Devitt on 29/03/2010.
Comments about this page

Somewhat hazy memories of nights spent at the Partisan 1959/61....maybe due the presence of smoke from a few `joints`???!!!???......Very clear memory though of Long John Baldry doing his `stuff` and enjoying the whole atmosphere of the place.   Happy days of youth, thinking we could all put the world to right etc.

On 23/01/2016

I spent a ridiculous amount of time in the Partisan in the early 60s, as a penniless drama student. I particularly remember playing chess with Quentin Crisp -- the "Naked Civil Servant" -- downstairs. Oddly enough another habitué at the time was John Hurt (John Vincent-Hurt as he was known then.) Of course, Hurt famously portrayed Crisp a few years later. Another strong memory is of the Cuban Missile Crisis. We all hung out for hours and hours discussing the coming apocalypse. There was a certain amount of bad behaviour...

By stu harris
On 20/03/2014

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.