MANsion House 9000
Location: St Stephen Walbrook, Walbrook ( Street ), Bank, The City Of London, Middlesex, England, UK
Grid Reference: TQ326810
Date of Photograph: pm 14 September 2004
This is the telephone that Chad Varah used to console intending suicides when they rang him in despair at St Stephen's crypt.
It is the first of those used at the inception of The Samaritans charity in 1953.
Amongst his many greater and lesser accomplishments, the reverend gentleman was Scientific and Technical Advisor to the "Eagle" and "Girl" children's comics, which he was instrumental in founding, and a contributing advisor to the former's long-running "Dan Dare" presentation, which eponymously starred a muscular and heroic British cosmonaut of the future.
St Stephens Walbrook is a major Baroque church across the street from the Mansion House, and just South of The Bank of England and the Royal Exchange. It was built to replace a church burnt in The Great Fire of 1666 and was itself damaged by the Luftwaffe in The Second World War. It is notable for the extreme geometrical austerity of its stunning interior: A cube for a nave surmounted by a perfect hemisphere of a dome, with a clerestory of circular and other elliptical windows. The exterior is very bland and easily missed by those who search for the church, despite an imposing and ornate tower that was intended to mark the church above tightly-clustered eaves. The designer was the seventeenth-century scientist and administrator Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St Paul's Cathedral, about eighty City churches, and one in the provinces, at Ingestre.
On Monday 12 November 2007, Lumpen Heap of Gloucestershire very kindly told me that The Reverand Chad Varah had died on Wednesday 7th November 2007.