Posts Tagged ‘1987’

Earls Court & South Ken: 1987

Saturday, March 27th, 2021
Melbury Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12d-63-positive_2400
Melbury Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Another of those artists houses in Melbury Rd, just a short walk north from Earls Court. The house, now Grade II* listed, was commissioned by painter and illustrator Marcus Stone from achitect Richard Norman Shaw and completed in 1875. Stone’s best work was probably his illustrations for books by Charles Dickens, Antony Trollope and others, and his paintings, particularly his later works, though technically superb have been described as “a particular type of dainty sentiment, treated with much charm, refinement and executive skill” or more bluntly, “chocolate box.” The many windows of the studio were probably more to light his work for clients than for painting, as the larger group shown here are east-facing.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-31-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Collingham Gardens is one of a number of streets on the edge of Earls Court and South Kensington which together have a wide range of late Victorian architecture, sometimes rather overdone.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-26-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Many of the houses in this area were built by Peto Brothers to the plans of Ernest George (1839-1922) and the younger Harold Ainsworth Peto (1854–1933). These architectural partners also designed houses for the Cadogan Estate before Peto decided to leave London in 1891. Many of the leading architects of the early 20th century trained in George’s London office, includint (according to Wikipedia) “Herbert Baker, Guy Dawber, John Bradshaw Gass, Edwin Lutyens and Ethel Charles”, who was the first woman to be admitted to the RIBA.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987   87-12e-46-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

George and Peto added a remarkable range of vernacular elements derived from across Northern Europe to the basically Queen Anne design of the hourses in the area, particularly in Harrington Gardnes and Collingham Gardens, based on the sketches they had made of houses in Holland, Germany and elsewhere. It was an eclecticism that was not always admired, either at the time or now.

Harrington Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-35-positive_2400
Harrington Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

These houses are large and many have been converted into flats. Some are listed but many are not. The overall effect of wandering these streets is overpowering and best taken in small doses. A 2-bed flat in the area may cost you a million, and houses perhaps £15m.

Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-41-positive_2400
Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Coming out of Earls Court Station I often crossed Earls Court Road and made my way down Hogarth Road and then along the narrow Hogarth Place past shops onto Kenway Road as a short cut to a friend’s studio not far away. Or rather than wait for the crossing I might walk a few yards north and then cross directly to Kenway Road, where this shop was at No 9 on the north side of the street, with Arabic script on the window and its illuminated sign, together with an animal I was never sure was a sheep, cow or goat.

Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-42-positive_2400
Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I think Kashmir Stores was more or less opposite, where a short alley leads off to a rear yard. The owner saw me taking photographs and was very keen not to be left out.

There are a few more pictures of the area in my 1987 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


Holland Park, Earls Court & West Kensington: 1987

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-13-positive_2400
Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Grade II listed 18 Melbury Road is now distinguished by two blue plaques, neither of which appear in my picture. Like many houses in this street in Holland Park it was home to a noted artist, in this case William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. The house was built in 1877, but Hunt only moved here in 1903 and it was here that he died. His widow was still living here when the plaque to him was added to the front of the house in 1923.

Cetshwayo (c.1832-1884) King of the Zulus enjoyed a rather shorter stay, arriving in August 1882 after his defeat and capture in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, an entirely uncalled for attack on Zululand by British forces, who at first suffered an ignominious defeat at Isandhlwana before finally winning the war and taking Cetshwayo prisoner. He was brought to London together with his chiefs, where he was welcomed by inquisitive crowds and met with both the Prime Minister and Queen Victoria, and they agreed to re-instate him as King of Zululand, to where he was secretly returned the following January.

His reinstatement did not go well and he returned to a bloody civil war and had to seek refuge in a British reserve. He died, officially of a heart attack, but possibly poisoned in February 1884 and two months later his heir became king. The English Heritage blue plaque commemorating his stay, just above that of Hunt’s was only unveiled in 2006, long after I took this picture.

Tower House, Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-15-positive_2400
Tower House, Melbury Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

In 1875 noted architect William Burges began the building and furnishing of the Tower House in a French Gothic Revival style as his home, but died as it was more or less completed in 1881 and was inherited by his brother-in-law, who later sold it. After several owners and tenants, and Grade I listing in 1949 John Betjeman inherited the remaining lease in 1962, but found the property needed expensive repairs and moved out without extending the lease. He claimed that after this it was deliberately left empty and left it to rot and be vandalised, hoping to be allowed to demolish it and develop the site.

Lady Jane Turnbull bought the house in the mid-60s to save it and began its restoration, selling it to actor Richard Harris for £75,000 in 1969 who continued the work. Three years later he sold it to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (who outbid David Bowie for the property) for £350,000 and Page still owns it and has in recent years carried out a long legal battle with his neighbour Robbie Williams over his plans for underground excavations to develop his property that might threaten the structure of Tower House.

Earls Court Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-35-positive_2400
Earls Court Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Christmas was coming as I took these pictures in December as the multi-lingual messages on The Canning School suggest.

Moscow Mansions, Cromwell Rd,  Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-44-positive_2400
Moscow Mansions, Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Pineapples, brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus soon became a symbol of wealth and status – and were apparently available for hire to be displayed (but now consumed) at posh dinner parties in the 18th century. Only the incredibly rich could afford to eat them at around the equivalent of £5,000 a fruit. And although they are now commonplace in supermarkets and market stalls, back in my working-class youth they only came in tins as rings or chunks. They can be seen on many buildings across London from St Paul’s Cathedral down – and here on the gateposts of Moscow Mansions.

Hoarding, car, West Cromwell Rd,  Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-54-positive_2400
Hoarding, car, West Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The queues of traffic dawdling into London on the A4 were greeted by a car in an unusual parking place on this hoardiing.

87-12c-55-positive_2400
Railway, West Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Looking over a wall or fence you can still see these railway lines, at left is now the London Overground going down to West Brompton Station, but in 1987 this line was only in use for goods trains, with passenger services only being resumed in 1994 and the Network Rail platforms at West Brompton only coming into use in 1999. At lower level is the District Line of the London Underground, coming from Olympia behind me and West Kensington at right. Behind that is the Lillie Bridge Railway and Engineering Depot; missing now from the right of centre is the large bulk of Earls Court Exbition Centre, but the Metropolitan Police tower at right is still present.

87-12c-56-positive_2400
Ashfield House, London Underground, West Cromwell Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Out of the previous picture to the right is Ashfield House in West Kensington, a block of offices for London Underground, which now includes a mock Underground Station, West Ashfield, used for training purposes. The building was purpose-built for London Underground and opened in 1983. It is likely to be demolished as a part of the redevelopment plan for the area.

Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to a larger version on my Flickr album 1987 London Photos from where you can browse through over 750 black and white pictures I made that year – these are all on Page 8.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


Back to Kensington – 1987

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Iverna Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-32-positive_2400
Iverna Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I returned to Kensington and took a few more pictures in November 1987. In my project on London I liked to go back to walk around areas a second time, often walking along the same streets in the opposite direction or on the opposite side of the streets to perhaps see things I had not noticed on my walk. There were some areas too that I found of more interest that I’d return to every few years, and others that I visited regularly for reasons other than photography, perhaps to visit friends or go to particular shops etc.

Scarsdale Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-34-positive_2400
Scarsdale Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I can’t at this remove remember what took me back to Kensington only a short time after I’d previously walked there. It may have been that there were some pictures I’d taken that I wasn’t entirely happy with, though there were probably plenty I thought that about. Perhaps I had some business not far away, or an exhibition I went to see, and it’s an area not far from where a friend had a studio. But what impresses me now is the variety of the architecture I found there.

Cheniston Lodge, Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-35-positive_2400
Cheniston Lodge, Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Cheniston Gardens was given its name by its developers and derives from the spelling of Kensington in the Domesday Book when ‘Chenesitone’ had18 villagers, 7 slaves and one priest. Chenistone Lodge, the single red brick and terracotta Queen Anne building in a sea of stucco was the last building to be completed on the street in 1885. It was on the site of Abingdon House, where in 1874 Archbishop Manning set up a Catholic University College run by Thomas Capel, which was a failure as wealthy Catholics preferred to continue to get special dispensation to send their sons to Oxbridge, and because of Capel’s poor finanacial management, which led to his bankruptcy in 1878. More problems were to follow for him, and the following year Monsignor Capel was found guilty of having sex with three women (one a servant of one of the others); on his appeal to Rome there was no verdict on his guilt or innocence but he was sentenced to continue his career in the Catholic Church in the United States. Abingdon House was sold to the developers in 1879.

Cheniston Lodge was let to a number of tenants in the years up to the First World War and later had two longer term residents, probably as private owners. In October 1940 Kensington Council purchased the freehold for £2000 to use it as an air raid materials store, and after the war it became Kensington Registry Office. It was Grade II listed shortly before they sold it to a developer in 1981 for £250,000 to be converted into offices. In around 2012 it was converted back into a single residence.

St. Sarkis, Armenian Church, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-46-positive_2400
St. Sarkis, Armenian Church, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Not far from Cheniston Lodge is the Grade II* listed St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Iverna Gardens which is the only church in the country in the traditional Armenian style, inspired by a 13th century monastery which looks remarkably similar but rather squatter, but it was designed by English architect Arthur Joseph Davis. The building was a gift of the oil baron Calouste Gulbenkian in 1922–23, and conveniently his father had been named after the Armenian St Sarkis the Warrior and it was built as a memorial for his parents, and apparently contains sculptures of his family members inside. Like Cheniston Lodge it was also listed in 1981, possibly as a part of the comprehensive review after developers Trafalgar House demolished the art deco Firestone Tyres building on the Great West Road during the August Bank Holiday in 1980 to prempt its listing the following day.

Baptist Church, Kensington Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-61-positive_2400
Baptist Church, Kensington Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Rather plainer than St Sarkis is Bethesda Baptist Chapel in Kensington Place, suitably austere for ‘strict bapists’.

It was The Chapels Society ‘Chapel of the Month in May 2017, where Dr Jennifer Freeman writes:

The Church in Kensington Place was built in 1866 for baptised believers who subscribe to ‘Restricted Communion’ ( i.e. with communion being exclusively available to professing, baptised Christians), to ‘Particular Redemption’ and to the teachings of the Authorised Version of the Bible, under the oversight of a Pastor.

Apparently the facade is now illuminated: “in the evening delicate floodlighting pinpoints the building“, though when I photographed it there was only a broken light fitting over the door – and I think it had once been for a gas lamp. Inside Dr Freeman describes it as “dignified modest and reverent, in spirit with Baptist thinking.”

Kensington Church St area, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-63-positive_2400
Kensington Church St area, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Although at first sight these long Victorian stucco terraces look the same, closer inspection shows significant differences, enough for me to decide that this is not any of the Kensington streets I’ve looked at. But it is number 15 on a street in Kensington – and if you can be sure which street please click on the image to go into it in my Flikr album and write a comment to let me know.

HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-66-positive_2400
HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I don’t think I had any real reason to revisit Hyper Hyper and photography these leftover caryatids from its previous incarnation as an antiques supermarket as my previous image was I think satisfactory. But when you are in the area and walk past something like this it isn’t easy or even necessary not to indulge in another photograph.

These images are all from page 8 of my Flickr album 1987 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


More Around the City

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Bassishaw High Walk, City, 1987 87-11c-16-positive_2400
Bassishaw High Walk, City, 1987

There is still a section of the pedestrian route above traffic level here, leading from the yard behind the Guildhall and to a bridge across London Wall, though the bridge is now a more recent construction a little further west and crossing at an angle and leading on to the high walks that were built into the Barbican Estate. This area next to City Tower looks rather different now. Britannic House, one of the original six towers built along the new London Wall was refurbished in 1990 and renamed City Tower.

Highwalk, Moor Lane, City, 1987 87-11c-21-positive_2400
Highwalk, Moor Lane, City, 1987

Looking down Moor Lane with the Barbican at the right on a section of the high walk that has now gone, but which used to lead from close to Moorgate station. I think this gateway was roughly above the junction with Silk St. Empty when I took this picture (possibly on a Sunday) it was sometimes quite crowded during the rush hours with office workers making their way to the tube. The high walks were useful routes, avoiding the often dangerous traffic on the streets and also providing good vantage points for photographers, and I’m saddened at their loss. But I think they took up space that could be sold expensively as offices.

Ropemaker St, Islington, 1987 87-11c-31-positive_2400
Ropemaker St, Islington, 1987, City

This building on Ropemaker St was one of my favourite examples of modern office architecture when it was built, and I photographed it on several occasions. I suppose it doesn’t quite belong in this post as it was on the north side of the road and thus in Islington rather than the City, where I was standing on a section of high walk to take the picture.

Ropemaker Place, a 60m high block was completed in 1987 shortly before I made this picture. It didn’t last long and was demolished only 18 years later in 2005.

Holland House, Bury St, City, 1987 87-11c-51-positive_2400
Holland House, Bury St, City, 1987

Holland House in Bury St has lasted rather longer and is protected by its Grade II* listing. The only London building by leading Dutch architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage it was built in 1916 for the Dutch company Wm H Müller & Co, complete with a granite prow by Dutch sculptor J. Mendes da Costa.

More recently when I’ve photographed here I’ve stepped a little to the left to bring the ‘Gherkin’ into view – but construction of 30 St Mary Axe only began in 2001.

Cutler St area, City, 1987 87-11c-53-positive_2400
Cutler St area, City, 1987

I think this is a part of Devonshire Square, a private area of the City which was developed by the East India Company, then sold to St Katharine’s Dock and bought in 1909 by the Port of London Authority. The warehouses here were used to store the more valuable commodities imported from across the empire. The site was acquired by Standard Life Assurance together with Greycoat Estates Ltd in 1978 and became offices, but still remained something of a private enclave, if no longer used for the secure storage of “Ostrich feathers, chinaware, oriental carpets, cigars, tortoiseshell, silks, mother of pearl, clocks, watches, cameras, drugs, spices, musical instruments, perfumes, tea and other prized artefacts.”

Baltic Exchange, St Mary Axe, City, 1987 87-11c-63-positive_2400
Baltic Exchange, St Mary Axe, City, 1987

The Provisional IRA left a van packed with explosives outside the Baltic Exchange in St Mary Axe shortly before 9pm on 10 April 1992, and then made a call to the police warning them that a bomb was about to explode at the Stock Exchange – 370 metres away in direct line, but about half a mile by road. The bomb wrecked this facade and caused a total of £800 million worth of damage to this and surrounding buildings.

Perhaps the bombers were confused and looking for the old Stock Exchange building in Capel Court, off Bartholomew Lane, just to the east of the Bank of England, while the Stock Exchange had moved in 1972 to a new tower on Old Broad St.

21 New St,, Cock Hill, City, 1987 87-11c-55-positive_2400
21 New St, Cock Hill, City, 1987

This listed archway with a Merino Ram was built in 1863 for Cooper’s Wool Warehouse. By the 1900s the wool storage business had largely moved further east closer to London Docks and in 1907 the warehouse was sold and used for other storage. It was converted into offices in 1981.

Newsprint, Bouverie St, City, 1987 87-11d-01-positive_2400
Newsprint, Bouverie St, City, 1987

Some newspapers were still being printed in ‘Fleet Street’ and the picture shows a lorry delivering newsprint to one of the printing works on Bouverie St.

The Seven Ages of Man, Richard Kindersley, sculpture, Baynard House, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987 87-11d-41-positive_2400
The Seven Ages of Man, Richard Kindersley, sculpture, Baynard House, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987

This sculpture stands in front of one of London’s bleaker Brutalist buildings, and for once its hard to disagree with Pevsner over a modern building, when he describes this a “acutely depressing.” But it does include a section of high-level pedestrian walkway with seating and this rather fine sculpture based on ‘As You Like It’. And it’s a pleasant enough place to sit and read a newspaper with a view of St Andrew by the Wardrobe, the last city church rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London.

All from Page 7 of my 1987 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


City Heights, 1987

Saturday, March 13th, 2021
Throgmorton St, City, 1987 87-11a-66-positive_2400
Throgmorton St, City, 1987

The view from the west end of Throgmorton St has changed a little since 1987 but is still recognisable. Largely Victorian or Edwardian at ground level, but dominated vertically by the two towers, both technically on Old Broad Street, though the right hand one, then the Stock Exchange, had an entrance and a long frontage on Throgmorton St.

Stock Exchange, Throgmorton St, City, 1987 87-11a-62-positive_2400
Stock Exchange, Throgmorton St, City, 1987

The London Stock Exchange has a long history from its origins at Jonathan’s Coffee House in Change Alley (though presumably it only got that name later) in 1698. Even older was Stock’s Market, which the City of London plaque at Mansion House dates from 1282-1737, but despite that plaque being featured on the Stock Exchange web site, that was a food market which got its name from the wooden stocks where miscreants would have their legs locked and be subjected to insults and pelted with rotten food, stones and anything else that came to hand. Unfortunately despite being a hotbed of criminal activity there are no stocks at the modern stock exchange.

In 1972 the Stock Exchange moved from Capel Court where it had been since 1802 to a new building, the Stock Exchange Tower, at 125 Old Broad Street. This building with a squashed hexagonal floor plan had a long frontage on Throgmorton St and was 100m high with 26 floors. The Stock Exchange moved out to Paternoster Square in 2004, but the building is still standing, though in disguise, its concrete now hidden behind a glass wall, and with some added office space in new building at the side.

Nat West Tower, Old Broad St, City, 1987 87-11b-55-positive_2400
Nat West Tower, Old Broad St, City, 1987

Also still in place, though a little altered is the Nat West Tower, between Old Broad St and Bishopsgate, and in 1987 there was a highwalk underneath it that led to a pedestrian bridge crossing Bishopsgate.

The Natwest Tower, completed in 1980, was 183 metres tall, and was the talllest building in the UK until the Canary Wharf Tower was completed in 1990. It remained the tallest building in the City until 2009. It required extensive refurbishment over several years after being damaged by the IRA Bishopsgate bomb in 1993. Natwest moved elsewhere and in 1995 it was renamed Tower 42, referencing the 42 floors cantilevered out above its base. The highwalk was not replaced after the bombing.

Nat West Tower, Old Broad St, City, 1987 87-11b-64-positive_2400
Nat West Tower, Old Broad St, City, 1987

Although these walkways were open to the public, they were private property and although I photographed from them on several occasions, apparently photography was not allowed. On one occasion after taking some pictures I was approached by a very apologetic security manager in a suit and tie, who told me that photography was not allowed, before walking with me to the line on the pavement marking the the boundary to the property and inviting me to continue taking pictures from there.

Bishopsgate, City, 1987 87-11b-16-positive_2400
Bishopsgate, City, 1987

I think this was the door to a bank, and I’m sure it was on Bishopsgate or possibly its southern continuation, Gracechurch St. I’ve walked along there a few times in recent years and I think both the door and the building it was on have been replaced.

St Helen's Bishopsgate, Great St Helens, City, 1987 87-11b-32-positive_2400
St Helen’s Bishopsgate, Great St Helens, City, 1987

The bridge across Bishopsgate had steps down in front of an office building on the corner of Bishopsgate and Great St Helen’s, a short street leading to the church of St Helen’s Bishopsgate. This is really two churches and is one of the few churches in the City to have escaped destruction both in the 1666 Great Fire and the Blitz. The church (at left) was there before 1210 when permission was given to build a Benedictine nunnery at its right, the two parts almost but not quite indentical.

Interesting stories are told about some of the things the nuns and priests at times got up to, but it was more the marital activities of Henry VIII that led to him declaring himself head of the Church of England in 1536, following which this and other nunneries were dissolved with the wall dividing the two parts being removed in 1538. There have of course been various alterations since then, particularly in the Victorian era, and it required restoration after being damaged by IRA bombing nearby in 1992-3 providing an opportunity to reverse some of those Victorian changes.

Lloyd's, Leadenhall St, City, London, 1987 87-11b-21-positive_2400
Lloyd’s, Leadenhall St, City, London, 1987

Walking past the St Helen’s Bishopsgate leads to Undershaft, St Mary Axe and Leadenhall St, though much of the area that was back then open is now occupied by giant towers which hide the Lloyds Building until you are rather closer. Even back in 1987 it was a building I felt I’d photographed too much – though even now it’s difficult to resist yet another picture. But perhaps this one was just a little different.

More on page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


1987 – In the City

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

St Botolph's Church Hall, Bishopsgate Churchyard, City, 1987 87-11a-15-positive_2400
St Botolph’s Church Hall, Bishopsgate Churchyard, City, 1987

St Botolph’s Church Hall in Bishopsgate Churchyard has changed little since I took this picture over 30 years ago and the churchyard is still a place you can stroll though away from the noise and fumes of Bishopsgate a few yards away.

Old Broad St, City, 1987 87-11a-21-positive_2400
Old Broad St, City, 1987

Back in 1987 you could walk through a considerable part of the City on the High Walks, pedestrian walkways above the streets, one of which could be accessed at the western end of Bishopsgate Churchyard and gave elevated views of the buildings on Old Broad St opposite. Boston House appears to be the name of the the block on Old Broad Street between London Wall and New Broad St, and to be made up of two similar buildings; this one, on the corner of London Wall appeared to me the more satisfactory.

Highwalk, view, St Botolph's Churchyard, City, 1987 87-11a-22-positive_2400
Highwalk, view, St Botolph’s Churchyard, City, 1987

This was the view from the highwalk looking back down Bishopsgate Churchyard. Much of the the highwalk has since been closed to the public.

Highwalk, View, Old Broad St, City, 1987 87-11a-24-positive_2400
Highwalk, View, Old Broad St, City, 1987

Perhaps surprisingly this view from the north end of the highwalk looked little different until recently, though I don’t think there is any public access to enable you to see it from my 1987 viewpoint. At far left is the corner of Broad Street Avenue and the building, 76-80 Old Broad Street, dates from around 1860 and is Grade II listed. The UBS building at 100 Liverpool St was completed in 1988, but UBS moved out a few years ago (to an even more hideous building in Broadgate, nominated for the Carbuncle Cup) and others moved in, but the building has been treated to a facelift, with a new skin over the old structure.

Highwalk, View, London Wall, Old Broad St, City, 1987 87-11a-34-positive_2400
Highwalk, View, London Wall, Old Broad St, City, 1987

Although the bridge across Wormwood Street from which I took this picture is still in place (or was last time I walked by before lockdown) the stairs leading to it were firmly blocked. It shows the junction between Old Broad St and the east end of London Wall, with Boston House, shwon in a picture above, on the corner at right.

Angel Court, City, 1987 87-11a-41-positive_2400
Angel Court, City, 1987

Angel Court is an alley in the centre of London’s finanacial district between Throgmorton St and Copthall Avenue, now leading between tall buldings.

Throgmorton Gardens, City, 1987 87-11a-43-positive_2400
Throgmorton Gardens, City, 1987

A little to the east of Angel Court, this garden is at the corner of Austin Friars and Copthall Avenue and was I think closed to the public, and my photograph was taken through the fence looking south from Austin Friars.

More from the CIty of London in a later post. All these pictures are in my Flickr album 1987 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


Kensington 1987

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Kensington Square,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-65-positive_2400
Kensington Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Kensington often seemed to me to be more a film set than a real place.

HyperHyper, Kensington High St,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-55-positive_2400
HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And it was certainly in places ‘HyperHyper’; this designer collective was launched in 1982 at 26-40 Kensington High St with stalls selling the latest and often looniest fashions from young designers. The caryatids were a hangover from the store’s previous incarnation as the Antiques Hypermarket. They are now long gone, and the site is now a rather down-market clothing store.

Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-02-positive_2400
Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building is still there, though under a different name and has lost its urns. Victoria Road is one of a number of streets that have at least once been named as the most expensive streets in the United Kingdom, though the hotel seems rather reasonably priced for the area.

Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-56-positive_2400
Kensington Gardens, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Mainly I went to Kensington Gardens to sit and eat my sandwich lunch when I was in the area, but I did take the odd picture.

Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-01-positive_2400
Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And another, of the sunken garden, set out in 1908. In 2017 it was named the Princess Diana Memorial Garden, but this picture was taken around ten years before she was killed.

Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-42-positive_2400
Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens, Westminster, 1987

Parts of the gardens, including the Round Pond, are in the London Borough of Westminster. The Round Pond is not remotely round, closer to an oval, but more a rectangle with very rounded corners.

Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-23-positive_2400
Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building with its magnificent winged lions is still there, and still a hotel, but with a different name, and a different entrance and railings.

De Vere Mews, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-14-positive_2400
De Vere Cottages, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

As the out of focus area at right indicates, I took this picture of a private courtyard through a gate from the street. It was originally built as Laconia Mews in 1877-8, with rooms for coaches at ground level, a steeply curved ramp leading to stables on the first floor with living accomodation for the carriage drivers and grooms on the second floor. It was converted into cottages shortly after the First World War and most has been considerably rebuilt since then, and a ‘cottage’ here now sells for £2-3 million.

Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10d-62-positive_2400
Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This row of shops remains, although all the names are different. Then they were mainly antique dealers and galleries, now slightly more varied.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


Staines 1987

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

My photographic projects in London relied on being able to get a train from Staines, and although the service was generally rather better back in the 1980s than now, there were still times when I turned up at the station only to find there were no trains running. It was probably on one of these days when I’d arrived at the station with my camera bag on my shoulder that I decided instead of going back home to take a walk around the town instead. There is nothing spectacular about these images, but I think they are an interesting record of a time and place and one that in many respects has changed since I took them in October 1987.

Clarence St, Church St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-51-positive_2400
Clarence St, Church St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne

This corner has changed relatively little, but Johnson and Clark, the Staines department store said to have been the inspiration for a sitcom closed long ago, and its main building on the other side of the road not in this picture long demolished. It was a business which always seemed stuck in a 1950s time warp. The shop with a closing down sale at right had been Staines first supermarket, a small Tesco , but possibly it was a successor selling up; it is now a Wetherspoons, and the last pub I visited before the lockdown in December.

Market Square, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-41-positive_2400
Market Square, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne

The Blue Anchor was in business here, possibly from the 15th century, and the brick facade dates from 1721. Some of its windows are real but others only painted, presumably because of the window tax which first came into force in 1696 and was only repealed in 1851, and its hard to see the difference in this picture. One of the major inns in the old town, it closed as a pub around 2006, and has since been a series of restaurants, currently Turkish and of course only able to serve takeaway meals.

Staines Town Hall was built in 1880, financed by public subscription and the building became redundant when Spelthorne Council built new offices around a mile away – and at roughly the same time was Grade II listed. For some years it was used only for occasional concerts (and is the courtroom in the 1982 film Gandhi) but the council spent £1 million to convert it into a much-needed arts centre in Staines which opened in 1994. But this lost money and was closed in 1999 being at the wrong end of the borough to get support from the Tory council. It reopened as a wine bar from 2004-12, then was left empty (apart from a brief squat) before being sold off to a developer for £1.6 million with planning permission granted in 2018 for conversion to flats despite there being no parking space and inadequate disabled access. Many Staines residents regard it as a scandalous loss of what should have been seen as a major public asset for the town desperately short of cultural facilities.

Cock Tavern, Church St, Bridge St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-31-positive_2400
Cock Inn, Church St, Bridge St, Staines, Middx, 1987

The Cock Inn, built in 1832 on a site that had been a pub for several hundred years, closed in 2009 and is now offices. Behind it was Ashby’s Brewery, where a modern building for Courage can be seen peeping over and to the left, but it served Brandon’s Fine Ales, brewed in Putney. Some of the older Ashby buildings still stand, converted to residential and office uses and the Quaker Ashby family was one of the most important in the growth of Staines.

A second Staines brewery, on Kingston Rd, set up by the Harris family was taken over by Ashby’s in 1903 and closed in 1914. Later it briefly became Staines Library and then an adult education centre for Surrey County Council but was closed 15 years ago and has been empty and unused since. Squatters occupied it in 2015 attempting to open up the buildings for community use but were evicted after a couple of months.

Clarence St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-26-positive_2400
Clarence St, Staines, Middx, 1987

Clarence Street was built as the approach road to the new Staines Bridge designed by John and George Rennie and opened by King William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1832, a short distance upstream of previous bridges thought to have crossed the river since Roman times close to the Market Square. It was the fourth bridge to be built since the Civil War and is still in use, widened considerably in 1958, but still a bottleneck. The building on the corner of Bridge St was in the 1970s Staines Library.

High St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-03-positive_2400
High St, Staines, Middx, 1987

Staines High St is still lined by a few buildings of some architectural interest from the Victorian era, along with some rather less exciting 20th century additions, but the big difference is that it is now pedestrianised.

High St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10h-11-positive_2400
High St, Staines, Middx, 1987

Another view of the north side of the High St, this time looking east towards the ‘Iron Bridge’ which carries the Windsor Line across the road. Almost all of the buildings here have now been demolished, with a large hotel replacing most of them.

London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10h-36-positive_2400
London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987

The main road through Staines, on the line of the Roman Road to the Southwest which became the A30, becomes London Road to the east of the Iron Bridge seen at the left of this picture. Fortunately the opening of the second section of the Staines bypass in the 1960s takes much of the traffic away from the town which had been a notorious bottleneck. Only the shop and pub barely visible here at the side of the bridge remain (though probably not for long), with both the 1950s shops, the 1930s Post Office and the rest all long demolished and now part of a new partly high-rise largely residential development currently nearing completion – and including a new Co-op store.

London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10h-35-positive_2400
London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987

A little further along on London Road and some pleasant 1920s style parades of shops on the north side (with some of a similar age on the south side, which would have been in shadow – so I will have decided to photograph them another day in different lighting.)

London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10f-33-positive_2400
London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987

Surprisingly the Three Tuns and the two shops to the left are still there today, though sadly closed at the moment. As with all pubs we wonder if it will one day reopen, though we hope so, though it isn’t one I frequent. It was listed on this site in 1798 and possibly dates from rather earlier. The large office block is long gone, and development is promised on the site, though when I last looked it was still just earth and rubble.

There are a few more pictures of Staines on page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos, including just a few of the common land and other open spaces around the area on the edge of London – but just inside the M25 which is perhaps its real boundary.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


1987 – Around Fleet St

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-66-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

Dorset Rise runs up from Tudor St towards Fleet Street, changing its name further up to Salisbury Court and lies at what was the heart of the newspaper industry in ‘Fleet St’. This building at 1-2 Dorset Rise dates from the 1930s and was reclad around 1985. In 2012-3 it was converted into a Premier Inn hotel.

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-56-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

3 Dorset Rise is a high quality 10 storey office building, sometimes said to have been built in 1985 but probably dating from the 1930s and like the hotel at 1-2 given a new shiny pink brown granite facing in that year. I am unsure if the deco touches at the top of these blocks date from the 1930s or were added in 1985.

Kingscote St, City, 1987 87-10m-44-positive_2400
Kingscote St, City, 1987

I had forgotten where Kingscote St is and had to look for it on Google Maps. Its a short street, around 50 metres long, between Watergate and Tudor St, a short distance west of New Bridge St. One side is occupied by a hotel and the other by a large shared office building. I think this doorway, now slightly altered was at the rear of 100 Victoria Embankment, better known as Unilever House, where Watergate meets Kingscote but if so the sculpture I photographed has gone.

Blackfriars House, New Bridge St,  City, 1987 87-10m-33-positive_2400
Blackfriars House, New Bridge St, City, 1987

Blackfriars House on New Bridge St is a rather dull building with some fine detail and perhaps surprisingly is Grade II listed, the text beginning “1913-16 by F. W. Troup. Steel-framed commercial building with white majolica facing. 7 storeys, the rectilinear structural grid expressed in the facade which is, however, divided in a classically-derived manner.” My picture I think makes it look a far more interesting building than it really is. It is now a hotel.

The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987 87-10m-31-positive_2400
The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987

The Blackfriar is a fine pub built around 1875 on the corner of Queen Victoria St, part of the site of a former friary. But it only got the decoration which gave rise to its Grade II* listing in the early years of the twentieth century, beginning in 1905, with work by architect Herbert Fuller-Clark and sculptors Frederick T. Callcott & Henry Poole. Sir John Betjeman led a campaign to save it from demolition in the 1960s and CAMRA has published a couple of books about historic pub interiors which feature it.

I think the huge and extremely boring block of the Bank of New York Mellon at 160 Queen Victoria St now blocks this view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It might be possible, but difficult to design a building of less architectural merit.

City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987 87-10m-25-positive_2400
City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987

I don’t think any golf was ever played at the City Golf Club and there were never any balls on the fairway in its left-hand window. The two people standing talking in its doorway are I think clearly employees rather than golfers. The Golf Club in Bride Lane a few yards from Fleet St was a members only drinking club much frequented by journalists at a time when pubs closed in the afternoons.

Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-13-positive_2400
Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987

Perhaps surprisingly the Daily Telegraph building dates from only 4 years before its near neighbour at the Daily Express. The Telegraph building has some Art Deco touches with Egyptian decorations which accord with its date of 1928, designed by Elcock C Sutcliffe with Thomas Tait, but seems rather old-fashioned and staid, with a monumental colonnade perhaps in keeping with its assumed gravitas, but seems to me despite its decorations a decidedly Edwardian building. Pevsner gave it a one of his more scathing reviews, “neo-Greco-Egyptian imitation has turned modernist, with much fluting, fancy iron-work and little to recommend it”. It was Grade II listed in 1983.

Probably my reason for photographing this building was that the Daily Telegraph had just moved out to offices in Victoria – and you can see the boards up in front of its ground floor as it was being made ready for occupation by investment bankers Goldman Sachs on lease until 2021. They moved to Plumtree Court in nearby Shoe Lane and the property, now owned by Qatar, is being again revamped.

Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-11-positive_2400
Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987

The Daily Express had moved to their new building designed by Ellis and Clarke with Sir Owen Williams, very much in the modern movement of the age in 1931. It was the first London building where the outer wall was a non-structural ‘curtain wall’ and was Grade II* listed in 1972. Like its similar offices in Manchester it was known as the Black Lubyanka. When I made this picture in 1987 the newspaper was still produced here, moving out two years later in 1989 across the Thames to Blackfriars Rd. It came back to the City in Lower Thames St in 2004.

These pictures are from Page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos.

Signs and Animals

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
Gosheron Tapes, Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10c-14-positive_2400
Gosheron Tapes, Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea

I’m often surprised by people who look at some of my photographs and say to me “ I never notice that”, but I think it’s true of all of us that we walk around without really noticing things. Even buildings like Vicarage House, home of Gosheron Tapes, whose frontage screams out onto the street. But Gosheron’s days – at least at this address – had clearly passed, as an estate agent’s sign and flyposts on the windows clearly show, though they seem to have continued making packaging materials elsewhere until at least 2005.

The building now has antiques on the ground floor and serviced offices elsewhere, including the Nicaraguan Embassy. I’ve failed to find any information about its exact date – somewhere around 1900 – or the monogram which appears to be CS on its frontage. Information is welcome.

Godfrey's Model Bakery, Arlington Rd, Parkway, Camden, 1987 87-10b-66-positive_2400
Godfrey’s Model Bakery, Arlington Rd, Parkway, Camden, 1987

The ‘Tasty Corner’ on Arlington St and Parkway in Camden is now an estate agentss and its large sign with its baker for Godfrey’s Model Bakery has disappeared.

Palmers, Pet Stores, Parkway, Camden, 1987 87-10b-55a-positive_2400
Palmers Pet Stores, Parkway, Camden, 1987

Many passed Palmer’s Regent Pet Store on their way to and from London Zoo from Camden Town Station. It was established by Mrs Florence Palmer around 1918 but was run from 1924 by George Palmer, who built up the business and expanded into a second neighbouring shop in the late 1930s. Perhaps surprisingly this shop was listed Grade II in 2007, largely for its shop front which the listing text suggests dates from around 1940, though the houses containing the shop were built in the 1820s.

The shop, which had sold Winston Churchill his cat Orlando as a kitten which later moved into Downing St, and a couple of Abyssinian kittens to Charlie Chaplain, stopped selling animals around 2005 and moved across the road. After being empty for several years it became a tea room.

Clarence Cottage, Albany St, Regent's Park, Camden, 1987 87-10b-15-positive_2400
Clarence Cottage, Albany St, Regent’s Park, Camden, 1987

On their way to the Zoo walkers might have walked down Albany St, or at least past its corner close to this hous, Clarence Cottage, which stii has its row of ornaments with a rather weather-beaten lion at its centre. Previously called Glenhaven, it isn’t clear to me why the mid-19th century house was Grade II listed in 1974, though it’s a pleasant enough building of its age, only really distinguished by this extension with a Ionic pedimented doorway onto the pavement outside and the ornaments above it – including that lion.

It’s in a area of London that has many fine buildings from that era and earlier – much of which is probably also listed.

St George's Drive, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-10a-42-positive_2400
Sussex St, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987

I came across two dogs in Westminster, looking to me rather snooty. But I’d failed to note down their exact location and it took me a long time to hunt them down again – but they are still there in Sussex St.

Romany Hotel, Longmore St, Guildhouse St, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-10a-62-positive_2400
Romany Hotel, Longmore St, Guildhouse St, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Romany Hotel is that it is still there as the Romany Hotel, though the signage has changed and now includes an e-mail address and a fairly discrete extra floor has been added on top.

But in keeping with today’s theme is the bird in flight at the top left corner. Although I’m no ornithologist at first glance it looked like some bird of prey, but I think it is really just a pigeon doing a good impression.

1987 London Photos


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.