Orchard Court

Neighbourhood in/near Marylebone, existing until now

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Orchard Court is an apartment block off of Portman Square in London. Known in French as Le Verger, it was used during the Second World War as the London base of F section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE).

Orchard Court in Portman Square
The spying industry had its professional origins during World War II - it had previously been quite an amateur affair.

As the war went on and SOE’s operational capacity grew, 64 Baker Street became its headquarters from October 1940 onwards. By 1943, various apartment blocks around the Baker Street area became an SOE hub.

In Orchard Court, SOE’s F section vetted new recruits for secret missions to France.

The F Section was commanded by Maurice Buckmaster, assisted by Vera Atkins, who are said to have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s ‘M’ and Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond stories. Vera Atkins was responsible for interviewing recruits, as well as organising their training and creating the cover stories for spies. Atkins has been much praised for her extraordinary work in the SOE. During her time at Orchard Court she sent 470 agents into France, including 39 women, 12 of whom were never to return.

In the words of one former spy, Noor Inayat Khan: The time the agents spent at Orchard Court was a brief period of luxury before their gruelling, dangerous stints in the field.

After the war, SOE moved out and Orchard Court retired back into its previous life as just another block of flats.


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Orchard Court in Portman Square
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West End Lady
West End Lady   
Added: 7 Mar 2018 21:30 GMT   
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Post by West End Lady: Rossmore Road, NW1

Rossmore Road is not in Camden Town, it is in St Marylebone - I should know. I was born and raised there! If anyone wants a further information please post on here.

LDNnews
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Added: 5 Dec 2019 16:27 GMT   
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Post by LDNnews: Aldwych
The Odeon Marble Arch (known as the Regal 1928-1945) was a cinema located opposite Marble Arch monument at the top of Park Lane, with its main entrance on Edgware Road.
The Odeon Marble Arch (known as the Regal 1928-1945) was a cinema located opposite Marble Arch monument at the top of Park Lane, with its main entrance on Edgware Road.

https://www.theundergroundmap.com/article.html?id=2637

VIEW THE MARYLEBONE AREA IN THE 1750s
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VIEW THE MARYLEBONE AREA IN THE 1800s
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VIEW THE MARYLEBONE AREA IN THE 1830s
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VIEW THE MARYLEBONE AREA IN THE 1860s
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VIEW THE MARYLEBONE AREA IN THE 1900s
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Marylebone

Marylebone - so good they named it once but pronounced it seven different ways.

Marylebone is an area in the City of Westminster North of Oxford Street and South of Regents Park. Edgware Road forms the Western boundary. Portland Place forms the eastern boundary with the area known as Fitzrovia.

Marylebone gets its name from a church, called St Mary's, that was built on the bank of a small stream or bourne called the Tyburn. The church and the surrounding area later became known as St Mary at the bourne, which over time became shortened to its present form Marylebone.

Today the area is mostly residential with a stylish High Street. It is also notable for its Arab population on its far western border around Edgware Road.

Marylebone station, opened in 1899, is the youngest of London's mainline terminal stations, and also one of the smallest, having opened with half the number of platforms originally planned.

Originally the London terminus of the ill-fated Great Central Main Line, it now serves as the terminus of the Chiltern Main Line route.

The underground station is served by the Bakerloo Line, opening on 27 March 1907 by the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway under the name Great Central (following a change from the originally-intended name Lisson Grove). It was renamed Marylebone in 1917.
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