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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15 comments on “London Shop History
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. David Schaedler says:

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

  6. Pinkie says:

    Could you have a shop in with your warehouse?????????? So that we can try and get the feel of your goods.

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. Nick McCormack says:

    Did you ever consider moving you shop outside of London or renting space in a larger outlet? Birmingham is central and much cheaper than London.

  12. Pinkie says:

    Shame about not having a shop, I prefer to feel what things like pens and scissors are like to hold.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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