"Underneath The Arches" might be described as a song for down and outs. A gentle duet, it was written by Bud Flanagan with a bit of help lyrically by Reg Connelly, and performed initially by Flanagan and Allen. It became the title of a 1937 film comedy in which the two of them starred.
In a TV programme broadcast April 19, 1957, Flanagan said he wrote the song at Derby in 1927 and performed it the following week at the Pier Pavillion, Southport. The arches concerned were those of Derby Friargate Station, but homeless people continued to sleep under arches for decades to come. In London - where Flanagan was born - the most infamous such arches were those under the railway at Charing Cross in the West End. In 1941, the two served the 50,000th meal at The Arches restaurant, a communal feeding centre in London's Kentish Town.
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
Peter from Englaish CanalsI believe the arches concerned were, in fact, the Friargate Bridge over Ashbourne Road in Derby. Built by Andrew Handyside & Co, a local firm the bridge was transferred to Derby Council when the railway line was closed on the understanding that it would be maintained in perpetuity. It is now in a state of disrepair and a petition demanding the council honour their commitment has been started http://www.derbyphotos.co.uk/features/friargatebridge/