Gunner Moir – Newspaper Articles, 1907-1922 (2/2)

Nelson Settles Out Of Court With Gunner

Henson and Findley Times, London: 16th November 1921

In a shocking turn of events, the case of Nelson vs Moir has been settled out of court. In divisive action, Nelson has paid over the £500 asked by the plaintiff to Moir. During court proceedings, the jury favour was allying with the plaintiff and the defendant’s representation was, according to witnesses ‘all but broken’. There is no doubt that if the case had reached its conclusion, the judge would have found in favour of the plaintiff.

Rumours abound as to what was the cause of this, with some doubting Nelson’s truth. This revelation reaching the public so quickly will likely his fluctuating stock values fall. This coupled with the large sum will be a substantial hit to Nelson’s motor-lamp business.

The defendant was seen bright eyed this morning visiting a recent property purchase on Frith Street in Soho. It is believed that after spending time in America, particularly the southern states and New York with his family, Moir picked up a passion for jazz and is reportedly working with artists, designers and musicians at the boundaries of modern creativity to create a new music venue in the heart of London.

Retired World Heavyweight Champion Gunner Opens Duke’s In Soho

The Era Newspaper, London: 12th December 1922

Duke’s – a reference to Washington artist, Duke Ellington, currently a world-renowned jazz musician in new York – was officially opened by retired boxer James ‘Gunner’ Moir. With the addition of the settlement of money outside of the court by Nelson’s Motor-Lamps, the investment in this property has seemingly been put to good use in this new establishment on Frith Street, Soho.

The name Duke’s has been officially christened by the leader of The Cotton Club himself, who played here on the opening night. The pedigree of Duke’s does not stop at its musical endorsements. Figures from the art deco movement the world over have joined forces to create a convergence of style and elegance from both sides of the Atlantic.

American architect by William Van Allen, French furniture by Jacques Ruhlmann, sculptures by American Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, textiles by renowned French designer Coco Chanel, metalwork by Frenchman Edgar Brant. It will be forever known as the definition of the Art Deco movement with its entry being considered as a new world wonder, an artistic heritage site, and what seems to excite Gunner more, added to the Oxford Dictionary. The only name on the list of contributors that we do not recognise is that of a young M.C Escher, an unknown artist yet to make his mark on the world.

A Look Inside England’s Newest Artistic World Landmark

The Era Newspaper, London: 19th December 1922

Upon entering you pass what would appear to be an unassuming workman’s entrance to a storage unit. The door is newly replaced and foot thick of iron, similar to those seen on commercial bank vaults. This one seems to be a new mechanism by Bramah Locksmiths of London. The passageway is narrow and at first glance impossibly long. It soon becomes apparent by looking back that there is a slight slope to the hallway as its width opens out into what can only be described as the opulence of the modern age.

As you approach the end, the hallway widens into a large lounge area, flanked by wrought metalwork and frescos in the art-deco style. A mirrored bar sits to the left of the room, accompanied by lounge seating and intimate tables. There is the exotic smell of refined tobacco and eastern perfumes, aged malt and of English roast beef. Indeed it would seem Moir has thought of it all.

Although this place is filled with bright young things, there is a backlash from local residents about the ‘unnatural’ existence of this club in their midst. Residents have reported disturbances into the early hours of the morning, strange lights and music emanating from the building and supposed ‘dangerous and unsightly’ individuals. Soho is currently undergoing a series of redevelopments to make the area more profitable for local and new businesses and a petition by the residents has been turned over by the Borough Council.

Duke’s opened on the spring equinox, March 21st, of this year. There is currently a strict entry list into the establishment with famous clientele such those who contributed to its creation as well as explorer and diplomat, T.E. Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia, actresses Aileen Pringle and Anna May Wong and boxer Jack Dempsy. The Cotton Club is said to be playing at Duke’s first New Years Eve Party.