The Book

Tales from the Colony Room
Soho’s Lost Bohemia

Like many strange stories, the book, Tales from the Colony Room, came about through an unexpected twist of fate. Before his early demise, Michael Wojas gave me some tapes, which contained interviews with old club members. I didn’t really know what to do with them at the time, so I put them away in a drawer and forgot about them.

A few years later, whilst working on Joshua Compston’s biography, Factual Nonsense, it occurred to me that a similar oral biography and interview format would work with a book on the Colony Room Club.

Photograph of Michael Wojas as a cowboy. The Colony Room Club
Photograph of Michael Wojas as a Cowboy © Amelia Troubridge
Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Ian Board. The Colony Room Club
Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Ian Board. The Colony Room Club

Personal Reminiscences and Memories
Oral Biography of the Club

The Tales from the Colony Room is an oral biography of the Colony Room club and its members. This literary form gives the reader a real flavour of what it was like to frequent the Colony and its environs.

With a glass in hand, the reader moves through the decades listening to personal reminiscences, opinions and vitriol from the authentic voices of those who were actually there.

Soho Legends
Where is Bohemia?

After twenty-seven years of working at the Colony, Michael Wojas decided to call last orders for the final time and closed the club after its sixtieth anniversary in December 2008.

Now that the club is no more and Soho is being sanitised, people ask ‘Where is Bohemia?’ Sadly, Soho’s Bohemia is no more – but fortunately for Wojas, as with so many before, whether it be Bacon, Bernard, Farson or Freud, the story never ends.They become Soho legends, the object of bar room talk, whispers and spurious truth. Such is the legacy of the Colony Room Club.

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Colony Room Characters
Soho Legends: Covent Garden Mick, Lord Chaos, Lisa Stansfield, Maid Marrion, Marsh Dunbar, Aunty Fred, George Melly, Henrietta Moraes, Tom Deas, Mumsie, Foreskin, Graham Mason, I.D.A Board, Francis Bacon, Muriel Belcher, Daniel Farson, Bruce Bernard, Catherine Shakespeare Lane, Frank Norman, Merilyn Thorold, Big Eddi, Bookshop Billy, Jeff Bernard, Fuzzy, Lucian Freud, Carmel, John Hurt, Brian The Burglar, Hampstead Heath, Michael Wojas, Minty, Twiggy
Tales from the Colony Room: Soho's Lost Bohemia. A book by Darren Coffield with a foreword By Barry Humphries
Tales from the Colony Room: Soho's Lost Bohemia.
Hardback edition signed by the Author

The Colony Room Club
Would you like to join?

Sorry, the membership list is now closed. But if you really want to know what it was like to be there, pour yourself a large drink, imagine you are perched on a stool at the end of the bar eavesdropping in, and read on.

Order your signed copy here

£25 with FREE delivery in United Kingdom