Kensal Town & Notting Hill 1988

Emslie Horniman's Pleasance, Park, East Row, Kensal Town, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-2c-34-positive_2400
Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance, Park, East Row, Kensal Town, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Who you might ask was Emslie Horniman? You may recall the name ‘Horniman’s Tea’, though the company, founded in 1826 in Newport, Isle of Wight by Emslie’s grandfather, the more prosaically named John. It was tea that made the family’s fortune, particularly after the company moved to London in 1852. The family were Quakers and determined not to cheat their customers were the first to sell tea in sealed packets, ensuring it was not contaminated with contrary materials used by many others to increase profits, and by the end of the Victorian era under Emslie’s father Frederick John Horniman they had become the largest tea company in the world.

Emslie Horniman's Pleasance, Park, Kensal Town, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-2c-22-positive_2400
Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance, Park, Kensal Town, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

It was the money from tea that enabled Frederick Horniman, an inveterate collector of curiousities, to set up the Horniman Museum in south London which opened in 1901 and was extended after his death by his son Emslie, also a collector. Born in 1863 Emslie had been educated by private tutors before attending the Slade School of Art and travelling around the world and became a Liberal party politician in London. From 1906-10 he was Liberal MP for Chelsea and in 1911 he planned and donated the park in Kensal Town, Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance, to the London County Council. He probably had little interest in the tea business, which was sold in 1918 to J Lyons & Co and is now owned by Jacobs Douwe Egberts; the brand is apparently still popular in Spain.

The walled garden shown in these two pictures was designed for Horniman by C.F.A. Voysey and Madeline Agar and is Grade II listed.

Ladbroke Grove area, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-2c-31-positive_2400
Ladbroke Grove area, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Perhaps someone will remember where Rose’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetables were sold somewhere in Notting Hill. The house number, 222, should be a good clue, as relatively few streets aspire to such high numbers, but it doesn’t appear to match those I have looked at. The previous frame was taken on Ladbroke Grove, close to Barlby Rd, and the next on Southern Row.

Sculpture, Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

A mannequin holds a light fitting to illuminate a shop sign at the north end of Portobello Rd, close to Bonchurch Rd. I can’t read the sign because of the angle of the picture, but it later years at least it read ‘3 4 5’, the number (and name) of the shop below. Back in 2019 this figure was still on the wall, in a different pose and with its left arm and the sign missing.

Cobden Working Mens Club and Institute, Kensal Rd, Kensal Town, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-2c-12-positive_2400
Cobden Working Mens Club and Institute, Kensal Rd, Kensal Town, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

The Grade II listed Cobden Working Men’s Club and Institute at 170-172 Kensal Road was built in 1880, as a part of a Fabian initiative to educate the working classes and is the earliest known surviving purpose-built working men’s club and apparently retains many original features. These include an upper floor song room, probably where Bill Clinton played his saxophone as a student, and where Christmas parties were held for local children until the club closed at the end of the last century.

Architects for the building were Nathan Glossop Pennington and Thomas Edward Bridgen, and recently a ceremonial mallet awarded to Pennington on the opening of the building was presented back to Golborne Life by a woman from Texas who had bought it some years ago, possibly in the market on Portobello Rd.

Opinions seem to differ over whether the building was named after 19th-century radical politician Richard Cobden or a Fabian philanthropist, Lord William Cobden, who is said to have put up the money for the club. After it closed money was raised in 1995 to open it as a restaurant and night club; this closed in 2010 and the building was bought as a private residence by American businesswoman, model, actress, and television personality Caprice Bourret.

Bramley Rd, North Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-2b-16-positive_2400
Bramley Rd, North Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Roseblades were brass or non-ferrous metal founders, incorporated in 1962 and struck off in 2004 several years after the company ceased operation. The firm was run by Ron Roseblade and his two sons John and Martin. Wilkinsons were also metal founders, but with a longer history, having been founded in 1793 as Philip Wilkinson and Sons and trading in Westminster, becoming just P Wilkinson & Sons in 1936.

The two companies became associated in 1972 when Wilkinsons moved out of Tottenham Mews and Tottenham Street to Stanmore – though the also appear to have had a part of this building. Roseblades also moved to works at 18 Minerva Road, Park Royal, Brent. The two companies made a number of memorials etc together “Four bronze servicemen on the War memorial outside Euston Station, the Wreath on the Cenotaph in Whitehall as well as the external lantern work at Victoria and Albert Museum”, some possibly with G W. Lunts of Birmingham.

Malton Rd,  North Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-2b-12-positive_2400
Malton Rd, North Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Malton Road runs parallel to Westway, seen at the right of the picture, and is a service road for the businesses underneath the elevated roadway here between St Mark’s Road and Ladbroke Grove. The buildings at right are of the London Ambulance Service. At left of picture are the backs of the houses in Cambridge Gardens.

See larger versions by clicking on any of the above images, all of which are in my album 1988 London Photos.

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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