Anything Left-Handed > About Us > About ALH > London Shop History

Anything Left Handed Shop History

Original shop, 65 Beak Street, London

The original left-handed shop opened in 1968 at 65 Beak Street, at the bottom of Carnaby Street, Soho, in London’s West End. In addition to the shop, the premises were used for sending out catalogues and mail order parcels as well as being a general meeting place for local left-handers. 

Left Handed Shop Beak Street, LondonThe owners would pack parcels when there were quiet moments during the day then close the shop for a few minutes each afternoon to walk round to the local post office to have them delivered.

 

In 1990 the landlord advised us that the whole building was going to be redeveloped and that our lease would not be renewed.  We had to find new premises and after we moved out the building was left empty for years and never was redeveloped.  Our old premises were eventually re-let as a shop with exactly the same layout as ours!

Second shop, 57 Brewer Street, LondonWe moved to a brand new shop about 200 yards away at 57 Brewer
Street in 1991. This was just a refurbished shell so we had to completely fit it out ourselves.  We liked the old black and white colour scheme from
Beak Street so we painted the new shop in the same colours. 

Left Handed Shop Brewer Street LondonWhen our original 15 year lease came to an end the landlords wanted to increase our rent by around 60%.  The shop had actually been running at a loss for years, supported by our mail order and, increasingly, online business.  We could not find alternative London premises at a viable cost so we reluctantly had to make a decision to close the shop and move to warehouse premises outside London to focus on our online business.  The Brewer Street shop closed in May 2006 and we no longer have any shop premises, with all sales now being through this web site.

On a positive note, that has allowed us to reach a much wider audience and provide products, advice and entertainment to left-handers all around the world!

 

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29 comments on “London Shop History
  1. Rob Toovey says:

    Good morning,
    If possible (still available) could I please receive a catalogue, per post ?
    To:
    Mr.R.D.Toovey
    Bosweg 3
    3235 CA
    Rockanje
    Holland

    • Admin says:

      Unfortunately we cannot keep an hard copy catalogue up to date at this time – the best option is to visit our website for the current range / availability & pricing
      Sorry

  2. Gordon Hawtin says:

    Dear Sirs

    From Jan-June 1967 , I was working as a 16 year Jnr salesman in a guitar shop called Sound City, 124 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1. Link to an article about me, Sound City: The London Music Shop Where the Fuzz Face was born

    https://reverb.com/uk/news/sound-city-the-london-music-shop-where-the-fuzz-face-was-born

    In March 1967, one of the managers, thought it was a good idea for a wind up to send me out to buy some left handed scissors. I went into a normal nearby hardware shop and they didn’t have any but they recommend I went to the left handed shop in Beak St, which wasn’t far away to buy the said scissors. When I got back and gave the manager the scissors and the receipt, he wasn’t too happy as his joke had backed fired on him and it had cost him money.

    Your posting, has got it facts wrong, as it claims the shop was opened in 1968.

  3. Tami Maggioni says:

    Hi I am the only left handed person in my family , my dad was too but that’s it ,
    I’ve just been looking for a lefty shop and would like some information about left handed people and how it works rhw brain I know it sounds silly but someone said that lefty’s are different is this true ?

  4. Lucinda insley says:

    I visited your London shop around 1995, I’m still using some of the products, now some need replacing

  5. MIKE WRIGHT says:

    I discovered your site when reading about left-handedness on Wikipedia. There was a link in the article to your site. What a great resource for products and information for us “handicapped” people!

  6. Gioia says:

    i went there visiting London. My friends and i were visiting London for the first time. were in love! with the country. And this left handed store was part of the experience. We wanted to move there. But one of the places we visited was The Left Handed Store. Sorry I am repeating myself. Im so excited about our visit. The only other place I wanted to visit was Liverpool. The Beatles were my favorite. Which we did.

  7. Priscilla Smith says:

    As a real old-schooler, I remember my teacher walking by and pulling the pencils out of my hand, placing it in my right hand. To keep from being the odd person, I learned how to write without turning my paper or my hand upside down, I write straight on like the right handers.

    I played tennis in college and some people would refuse to play a lefty, they would forfeit their match.

  8. PAULINE WOORE says:

    I wish Anything Left Handed was around when it I was at school, thank goodness that it will be easier for the lefties now, I always promote you goods to any one that is a lefties
    Thank you
    pauline

  9. Glenn says:

    I remember the old shop in beak st , As I used to Visit your shop and get my boxing equipment from the Lonsdale shop. Sadly many of the Good old shops have gone .

  10. Sue Hodschayan says:

    I love your site and tell all my left handed friends. I am proud to be left handed but I do some things with my right hand. I am the only one that I know of in my family who is left handed (3 generations).

  11. Mavis says:

    I visited your shop several times when visiting London and bught as many items as I could afford at the time. i.e. Left handed scissors carving knife, pens, pencils rulers, tape measures, potato peers, other assorted knives, pastry forks, cake slicer, mugs, books Tshirts etc. As I enjoy sewing, I bought dressmaking scissors which I still regularly use. I also bought L.H. pinking shears which are now very blunt through regular use. I have been unable to find any more. Can you help ? I enjoyed your article, such a shame your shop closed, I loved shopping in there. over the years I have bought items for my son and grandaughter. We still live in a right-handed world bur your products have made it so much easier. I am in my 70’s now and still use many of the items bought from you. Good Value !!!!

  12. Garry says:

    What a shame. I bought a whole range of left-handed items to impres my left-handed girlfriend in Amsterdam. It worked. We’ve been married for nearly thirty years, and have left-handed twins. Do you still do left handed corkscrews?

  13. Audrey Edwards says:

    Nice to see you online. I use to work for a publishing company in Golden Square in the mid-1980s, I have purchased many gifts for my left handed friends from the shop. My grandson is left handed, he is nine-year-old. I am trying to teach him how to cook. I am looking for a vegetable peeler.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Well I loved your shop but the greedy landlord – I bought from the shop scissors and fish knife and fork – lost my scissors. Have to get them from your Web.

  15. Cathy Price says:

    I remember your original shop from visits to England. I was disappointed, in 2008, to discover there was no longer a shop, but I have often ordered online.

  16. Mrs Pat Hartley says:

    I have happy memories of your shop in Beak Street from when it opened to the early 1970’s. Good, friendly service. I enjoyed going there. I am mainly right-handed but bought odd things like a potato peeler but also bought presents for a girlfriend who was left-handed.

    Good to see you are still going (albeit without a shop), especially as it looks like one of my grandchildren who is just 5 appears to be left-handed.

  17. Chas KENNY says:

    I remember both shops. Sadly, both are much missed. Like Janice Desler, I bought a left handed pastry fork. Mine is in constant use. Also in constant use are the left handed rulers and kitchen knives.

  18. Jacqueline-Cheryl McPherson says:

    Aw! How sad. I was hoping to visit your shop in a couple of months on a visit to London. I frequented your shop for many years (when I stayed near London).
    I still have the pair of Left-handed scissors that I bought (at Beak Street) on happening upon the shop one day – what a godsend to finally be able to cut something accurately! Anyway,have signed up for your Newsletter, so at least I can order anything I want from you online.
    Ridiculous how Landlords squeeze the very essence out of the joys of life though!

  19. Janice Desler says:

    I remember the Brewer Street shop and bought a left handed pastry fork from there which I still have even though I very rarely eat the kind of squishy cakes that need one of these forks. What I do remember is getting back to the office that day and commenting I was very grateful the office provided me with a left handed coffee mug and teaspoon which made them all stop, think and laugh (eventually) when they realised my weird left-handed sense of humour was on the go!

    • Sharon Fountain says:

      Left handed mugs exist…teaspoons no.
      If u have a right handed mug with a joke written on it, it faces you, not the rest of the room. Some people therefore think there is no such thing, as if it’s a pretty picture that you wish to see yourself, then u might as well have a right handed mug!!

  20. David Schaedler says:

    Anything Left Handed – We need more! Don’t stop! We need you! – David, A U.S. left handed person.

  21. Rich says:

    Great ideas and products. Unfortunately, i’ve been subjected to the right handed world I have learnt to use both hands. I still use my left for things like writing, throwing a ball, using a key, using kitchen knives etc.

    Thanks 🙂

  22. Vicky Pearce says:

    When I was a little left handed girl living in Kent, not knowing anyone left handed, I heard about a shop in London for left handed people. Just knowing about your shop made be feel less alone.

  23. Clara says:

    I would love it if you could find somewhere to open another shop! I haven’t been around long enough to have been to the shop when it was open, but the thought that there could be one is really exciting. That would definitely be my favourite shop!

  24. Margaret Dennison-Knight says:

    I can remember coming to the original shop when I moved to London in 1975 and being so excited that at last I could buy a fountain pen that I could use properly without smudging and over the years have bought many items. I pass on the e-mail address whenever I can and wondered if you sell cards with your details on which would be easier

  25. Ricky heath says:

    When can Louisville my get a all left handed store and also do you know were I could find a chainsaw
    For a left handed person thanks. Ricky Heath

  26. Jill Cain says:

    Hi, in your video you spoke about 15 years. surely you have been open as a shop for a lot longer than this. Either I am getting very confused or I misunderstood. I am sure I visited you at least 30 years ago when the shop was in another road. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of that road, but I visited it on several occasions as I have this one. Was it Brewer Street or is that where you are now. Both my late husband and I are left handed and I always tell people I meet who are left handed about your wonderful shop. I am not so good on my legs as I once was so am very glad I have found you on line.
    Thanks again. Jill Cain

    • Patsy says:

      I discovered your web site a while ago when putting in “left handed scissors” in the amazon web site.
      I ordered two pairs one for dressmaking, and one for general use. i am really pleased with them, especially the increased ability to cut out fabric successfully!!!!!
      thank you