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Roy Brooks

Mud Straw
and Insults

Brothel in

Picture left Roy Brooks (c. 1968), above published books

Mud Straw and Insults our legacy

Roy Brooks established this agency 75 years ago, and bestowed on it a rich and glorious history. His outrageous property descriptions became a legend during his lifetime. They were hilariously witty and honest descriptions of homes and very often their owners too. He minced no words and spared no feelings. 

He placed ads in the Sunday Times and the Observer in the 1960's and 1970's, and the nation thought the entertainment they provided was the perfect partner to Sunday toast and marmalade. He had a readership from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Renowned for his plain-speaking and inability to suffer fools gladly, the principal that guided him was simple – his honesty. Before the word ‘gazzump’ fell into common use, he published his thoughts on this heinous activity.

"BUSINESS WE DON'T WANT. Houses outside London & clients who rat by using a good offer they have accepted to tempt another buyer to overbid: breaking their word and soiling our national reputation. PLEASE DON'T MAKE OUR LIFE MORE DIFFICULT by instructing us if you are not A MAN OR WOMAN OF YOUR WORD. I am getting more than a little tired of people of apparently good standing, who accept a good offer then 'rat' for a pathetically few pieces of silver." Source, Sunday Times.

Predominantly though, it is his property descriptions that are so well remembered. We reprinted a collection of some of his most inspired work entitled, Brothel in Pimlico in 2001. It sold over 10,000 copies in the first two months. It was reprinted again in 2003 under his other title, 'Mud Straw and Insults'.

To find out how you can obtain a copy of either of these books, or to share  with us your memories of Roy Brooks in the 1960's, please call today or email

"WILL NO ONE BUY THIS POOR OLD HOUSE? Empty, miserable & racked by the district trains that pass at the end of its tiny, overgrown garden..."

"WE HAVE A RATHER REPULSIVE OLD MAN who with his child-wife, are looking for an elegant town res. pref Belgravia...Price not important but must be realistic as he has, at least, his head screwed on the right way..."

"...SO CALLED GARDEN WITH POSSIBILITIES best solved by saturation bombing', and a 'back bedroom suitable only for a dwarf..."

As purchasers, we found Roy Brooks extremely helpful in enabling us to complete a purchase with our son little more than a month after seeing the property advertised. Having bought our first home through the firm thirty years earlier we were not entirely surprised.

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