Posts Tagged ‘Battersea’

Another Chelsea Walk – 1988

Monday, October 4th, 2021

Church Of The Ñazarene, Grant Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-54-positive_2400
Church Of The Ñazarene, Grant Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-54

I returned for another walk in Chelsea, taking the train to Clapham Junction and taking a few pictures on my short walk to the bus stop of the Church Of The Ñazarene close to the north entrance to the station on Grant Road. The church, a twelve-sided building by Green Lloyd Adams was built in 1970 on the edge of the Winstanley Estate, developed by Battersea Council in the 1960s. The lettering on the ramp ‘JESUS SAID I AM THE WAY’ is designed for maximum size rather than typographical nicety.

Currently extensive building work is being carried out to considerably extend the church, though its future may be threatened if Crossrail 2 goes ahead. Of the two pictures I made I preferred a view across the small area with seats to a cleaner architectural view also included in the album.

Falcon Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-55-positive_2400
Falcon Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5j-55

On the bus I took advantage of an unusually clean front window on the upper deck to take a photograph of Falcon Road with the Queen Victoria pub. Also apparently known as ‘Spikey Hedghog’ the pub which had been there since the 1860s closed permanently in 1999 and was demolished to build the 8 flats of St Luke’s Court.

The picture also includes a falcon – both image and text on the side of a lorry. Elsewhere you can read a short post Falcon Road – a Memory of Battersea by someone who grew up living in the pub which gives an idea what the area was like, probably in the 1950s.

Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-45-positive_2400
Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-45

I got off the bus in Beaufort St in Chelsea and photographed this doorway there before walking along Cheyne Walk. Although the door is on Beaufort St, this is Belle Vue Lodge with the address 91 Cheyne Walk. It gets a lengthy mention in the Survey of London, first published in 1913 which suggests it dates from before 1771. It states that in 1829 it was occupied by “Luke Thomas Flood, who was a great benefactor to the parish. He was evidently a friend of the historian, for he addressed some lines to him, which conclude with the halting line ‘Sweet Chelsea shall ever live in thee.’ Flood Street was named after him, and his benefactions are celebrated at the parish church by a service on January 13th,—’Flood’s Day.'”

Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-32-positive_2400
Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-32

I walked across Cheyne Walk to make a photograph over the roofs of houseboats at the moorings, looking towards Chelsea Harbour and at left the Rank Hovis flour mills at Battersea and the Battersea Rail bridge. Then I think only used by goods trains this now carries frequent services of the London Overground as well as Thameslink trains.

Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-33-positive_2400
Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-33

I took a picture of houses in Cheyne Row. That at left is No 104 with two blue plaques, for the artist Walter Greaves (1846-1930) and Anglo-French ‘Poet, essayist and historian’ Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) whose poem Jim (who ran away from his Nurse and was eaten by a Lion) ends with the famous lines:
‘And always keep ahold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse.’

No 104 doesn’t get a mention in the Survey of London, but No 100 at right of the picture is part of Lindsey House which it suggests was “rebuilt much in its present external form by the third Earl of Lindsey in 1674” but then divided into separate houses as 95-100 around 1775. It gets a very long entry.

Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-22-positive_2400
Beaufort St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-22

I walked back up Beaufort St, passing a long row of frontages with identical garden ornaments which I think is Beaufort Mansions, though the gardens now have hedges. I think these mansion flats probably date from around 1890.

Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-23-positive_2400
Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-23

I was on my way to take a few more photographs on the King’s Road, including a several shop interiors. I think the name of the shop is on the wall at left, part hidden, Pineapple.

More pictures from this walk in a later post.


Click on any of the images above to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse other images in the album.


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All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall. Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.


30 Sept 2007 – Two Religious Events

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Martydom of Ali

On Sunday 30th September 2007 I photographed two events in London connected with religion, the first Muslim and the second organised by Christian Aid.

Shia Muslims hold a large parade every year mourn the martydom of Ali, a cousin who grew up the the house of the prophet Muhammad and was one of the first to profess his belief when the prophet disclosed his divine revelation when Ali was around ten years old. Later he married Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah and was a great warrior and leader and one of the foremost Islamic scholars.

Ali was elected as the fourth Caliph at a time when civil wars were taking place between Muslims following the death of his predecessor, and he fought in a number of battles, eventually being assassinated in 661 CE by a member of a group who regarded him as a heretic while praying in the mosque at Kufa, now in Iraq. Many of the details of events around this time are disputed.

Ali is one of the central figures of Shia Islam and they regard him as having been the rightful successor to Muhammad while Sunni Muslims supported the father-in-law of Muhammad, Abu Bakr who became the first Caliph. The split led to various battles but only became a schism almost 20 years after Ali’s death, when Ali’s son Husayn and family were killed at the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE.

The ceremonies which involve a procession with an elaborate flower-decorated coffin, and tall banners about Ali, began at Marble Arch with a long period of mourning. There was much beating of breasts and then a procession moving very slowly down Park Lane with much continued mourning and beating of breasts. The men march in one group and then the women behind them, the two groups separated by the bier. Many of the men are stripped to the waist and their bodies become reddened by their powerful beating.

It’s an impressive event which I photographed on several occasions. The stewards at the event have sometimes told me “We do not photograph the ladies” but I’ve also had emails from some of the women thanking me for recording their participation in the ceremony.

Cut the Carbon

An event of a very different nature was taking place at St Mary’s Battersea, a church with fine views across the River Thames that Turner sat at window above the entrance to record – and a window inside remembers him, with another for William Blake, along with some splendid monuments, one with a relief illustrating Edward Wynter’s feats of crushing a tiger to death and overcoming 60 mounted moors.

I was there with others to photograph the arrival of Christian Aid’s ‘cut the carbon’ march, arriving in London at the end of a thousand mile journey from Bangor in Northern Ireland via Belfast, Edinburgh, Newcastle On Tyne, Leeds, Birmingham and Cardiff to London – including a detour to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth. The following day they were going on to City Hall and then to finish at St Paul’s Cathedral.

This was a march 14 years ago with an international perspective on climate change, with walkers from Brazil, El Salvador, Kenya, India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Congo and elsewhere. When I photographed it the following day in front of Tower Bridge it was led by marchers from Brazil representing an organisation of landless farm workers – and I was very pleased a few months later to include picture of them in my show on environment protests as a part of Foto Arte 2007 in Brasilia.

More at:
Mourning the Martydom of Ali
Cut the Carbon march

and on October 1st 2007
Christian aid Cut the Carbon march – final mile


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.


Sculpture and more – Battersea &Chelsea 1988

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-12-positive_2400
Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-12

My next walk in London on the following Friday started where I had finished the previous Sunday. I think I’d finished my teaching for the week at midday and jumped on a train to Clapham Junction then a bus to Battersea Bridge. I got off on the south side of the bridge to photograph a couple of pieces of sculpture and to enjoy the walk across the river.

Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-15-positive_2400
Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-15

The first piece, just the the west of the bridge was the sculpture In Town by John Ravera (1941-2006), commissioned by Wates Built Homes Ltd who developed the area around it and dates from 1983. Ravera was born in Surrey and went to Camberwell School of Art and created many public sculptures still on display. This one was cast at the Meridian Foundry in Peckham, where two of Britain’s leading art foundries were located in the railway arches between Consort Road and Brayards Road.

Sadly this sculpture is no longer intact, and the dove for which the young child is reaching – the real climax of the piece – has gone.

Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-62-positive_2400
Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-62

On the Thames Path on the other side of Battersea Bridge Road in front of an office block is Two swans, by Catherine Marr-Johnson, born in Crickhowell in Wales in 1945. The two piece sculpture dates from 1984 and the swans taking flight reflected the formation of the new company in front of which it stood.

Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-65-positive_2400
Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-65

I think on this visit I didn’t have a lens with a wide enough angle of view to take the picture I wanted with the pair of swans taking off across the river, though I returned at a later date to do so. It was rather easier to show both from the front, but not so satisfying as you can see if you browse the album.

Old Church St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-56-positive_2400
Former Dairy, Old Church St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-56

I walked across the bridge and began taking pictures in Chelsea, including one of a house decorated with tiles at 46 Old Church St and, between the second floor windows a cows head, with another cows head on the building down the alley by its side, which is dated 1908, though it could be the date a much older building was restored.

Wrights Diary was first set up in 1796 with around 50 cows and a goat, though it moved slightly west to this site in the 1800s. Cows were kept here into the 20th century but eventually milk production moved completely out of London. The company was eventually bought by United Dairies probably in the 1950s. Their properties on Old Church St became shops but the courtyard building was converted into a recording studio, Sound Techniques which was in business from 1964-74, where, according to Metro Girl, “Among the acts to record at Sound Techniques Ltd included Sir Elton John, The Who, Jethro Tull, Judy Collins, Tyrannosaurus Rex and John Cale.” as well as Pink Floyd and Nick Drake.

Justice Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-41-positive_2400
Justice Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-41

The picture looks up from Justice Walk into Lawrence St, and was probably named as the home of John Gregory, a Justice of the Peace, who possibly lived in the house which now has the name Judges House. An imposing building on the street, named The Court House has had many stories told about it by estate agents and others about trying highway robbers and other criminals is a former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel built in 1841 and used as a church until 1903.

This corner is the former site from 1750-84 of the Chelsea china works, demolished at the end of the 18th century. It was the first factory outside of Japan and China to produce high quality porcelain. Should you wish to walk around this area I recommend Adam Yamey’s Where A Judge Once Walked In Chelsea from which much of the information above comes. Nothing like this was available to me when I was walking around in 1988 before the days of the World Wide Web.

Lawrence St, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-42-positive_2400
Lawrence St, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-42

Lawrence St took me back to Cheyne Walk, and on the corner was this side of Carlyle Mansions, No 54 Cheyne Walk, dated 1886 and named after Thomas Carlyle who lived nearby. The white-painted stone relief panels with cranes and flowers date from 1888.

The block is nicknamed the “Writers’ Block” and has been home to authors including Henry James, Somerset Maugham (briefly), Erskine Childers and Ian Fleming who wrote Casino Royal here. Henry James who lived and died in Flat 19 described his flat as his “Chelsea Perch…the haunt of the sage and the seagull“.

Untitled, bas-relief, Jacob Epstein, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, 88-5g-45-positive_2400
Untitled, bas-relief, Jacob Epstein, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, 88-5g-45

More sculpture close to the riverside in Ropers Gardens – this by Jacob Epstein.

Awakening, Gilbert Ledward, nude, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-33-positive_2400
Awakening, Gilbert Ledward, nude, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-33

And a rather more realistic nude by Gilbert Ledward in this very artistic area of London. Ledward (1888-1960), born in Chelsea, trained at the Royal College of Art (where he was later a professor) and the Royal Academy Schools and became one of the best-known of British sculptors. His works included many war memorials.


Click on any of the images to go to a larger version in the my album 1988 London photos from where you can browse other images.


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.


Pimlico & Battersea 1988

Saturday, September 18th, 2021

Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-62-positive_2400
Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-62

These seven pictures all come from the same film I took at the end of a fairly long day’s walk around Chelsea on Sunday 8th May 1988 which had taken me down to the Thames on Grosvenor Road. I spent some time wandering around on the road and also where it was possible to get onto the riverbank, though most was fenced off.

Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 198888-5f-64-positive_2400
Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 19888 8-5f-64

The views today are rather different, although the railway bridge carrying the main line to and from Victoria is still much the same. In the pictures you can see some work being carried on in Battersea Power Station, but now new flats hide most of the building apart from the chimneys from here, and the gas works have completely gone.

Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-51-positive_2400
Railway Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-51

You may still see lighters moored in the river here, but I think this rather odd structure close to the mouth of the vestigial Grosvenor Canal here has gone. I wasn’t absolutely sure why there was this wooden platform with what looked to me like small dog-kennels on it, but perhaps as the rope shows they were simply for mooring barges waiting to use the canal. Technically I think this is a dolphin, as the picture below shows.

Chelsea Bridge, River Thames,Grosvenor Rd, Westminster, 198888-5f-52-positive_2400
Chelsea Bridge, River Thames,Grosvenor Rd, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-52

The first bridge here was built in 1858 when Chelsea Embankment was being built and was a suspension bridge intended to give the large population of Pimlico access to the new Battersea Park – if they could afford the toll – though it was made free on Sundays. It was then called Victoria Bridge, named like the station after the Queen. It became even less popular after Albert Bridge was built at the other end of the park in 1873. It was bought by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1877 and they abolished the tolls in 1979. It was a narrow bridge and found to be structurally unsound, so fearing it might embarass the Queen if it collapsed they renamed it Chelsea Bridge. It didn’t collapse and apparently took several years to demolish when they decided to replace it with the current bridge which opened in 1937.

As the picture shows, the main cables are attached to the end of the bridge rather than on solid ground on the banks, and it was the first such ‘self-anchored’ suspension bridge in Britain. The LCC couldn’t afford to fund the entire cost and the Ministry of Transport only agreed to stand 60% oof the cost on the condition that all the materials used came from the British Empire.

When Billy Strayhorn named his most famous composition ‘Chelsea Bridge’ it was not this structure that he had in mind, but something more ethereal, probably Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge.

Grosvenor Canal, entrance, River Thames, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-53-positive_2400
Grosvenor Canal, entrance, River Thames, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5f-53

I wrote at some length in a previous post about the Grosvenor Canal, London’s last working canal, still in use when I took this picture. You can see part of one of the barges still in use to carry Westminster’s rubbish downriver through the bridge.

Chelsea Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-43-positive_2400
Chelsea Bridge, River Thames, Battersea Power Station, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-43

The pictures here (and on Flickr) are from around 20 exposures I made on this small area of riverside, though many of the others are very similar. There were very few boats around moving on the river at the time.

Pagoda, Battersea Park, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-34-positive_2400
Pagoda, Battersea Park, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5f-34

I walked upriver along Chelsea Embankment on my way to catch a bus across Battersea Bridge to take me to Clapham Junction for the train home. On my way I took a few pictures of the impressive late-Victorian houses – which haven’t made it to my Flickr album – and four pictures across the river of the Battersea Park Peace Pagoda, this one of which has. I’m not sure about the framing and I think it would perhaps be better in a square format but I felt it had a suitably Japanese feel to it.

Reverend Gyoro Nagase at Hiroshima Day, Tavistock Square, 2019

After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US atom bombs in August 1945, Nichidatsu Fuji who had in 1917 founded the Japanese Buddhist movement, Nipponzan Myohoji, in 1947 decided they would set up Peace Pagodas around the world to promote peace and non-violence. The first opened in Japan in 1954 and the London Peace Pagoda was built by Nipponzan Myohoji monks and opened in 1985, shortly after Nichidatsu Fuji died aged 100. Since 1978 it has been looked after by Reverend Gyoro Nagase who I have met and photographed at many events calling for peace. There are also Peace Pagodas in Milton Keynes and Birmingham among over 80 around the world.


Click on any of the black and white images to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse to other images.


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.


Sloane Territory 1988

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Doddington, Rollo, Estate, Battersea, Railway, Wandsworth, 1988 88-3f-61-positive_2400
Doddington, Rollo, Estate, Battersea, Railway, Wandsworth, 1988 88-3f-61

This rather different view of the London skyline was taken on my way to Chelsea to take pictures in a very different part of London around Sloane Square, from my train window as it came out of Clapham Junction on its way to London Victoria. The sheds are between the lines into Victoria and those I travel on more regularly towards Vauxhall and Waterloo and the council estates beyond them form a wall to the north of that line, part of the great post-war programme to provide decent housing at sensible cost under both Labour and Conservative governments. Then came Thatcher.

Hans Place, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3f-54-positive_2400
Hans Place, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3f-54

Though I often admire the design and detail of the great houses built from around the 1770s after architect Henry Holland leased land from Earl Cadogan and sublet building plots for family houses on a fairly grand scale, this is never an area where I feel at home. Even thought houses such as these are now largely split into numerous flats – there are ten bells at the side of the right hand door here – I still feel it is the kind of area I would be expected to doff my cap at the Tradesmen’s entrance. Harrod’s whose board appears here is a major estate agent for the properties in this area were a decent sized flat might cost a couple of grand a week.

Hans Place, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3f-56-positive_2400
Hans Place, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3f-56

Much of the area was rebuilt around the end of the 19th century, and I often find the red brick and terracotta rather overpowering.

Harrods, Hans Rd, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3f-66-positive_2400
Harrods, Hans Rd, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3f-66

Harrods grew from a small shop to take over the whole 5 acre block here. Charles Henry Harrod had begun as a shopkeeper in Borough High St in 1824, moving on to shops in Clerkenwell and then Cable St in Stepney before buying a single room shop on the Brompton Rd in 1849, sensing a business opportunity with the Great Exhibition which was to open in 1851 nearby in Hyde Park. Opening with just two shop assistants and a messenger boy the shop grew rapidly, taking over adjoining buildings. His son Charles Digby Harrod took over the running of the business around 1860 and was employing 100 staff by 1881. The success was partly due to the business refusing credit to any of its customers, insisting on cash, and also by delivering all goods free of charge. Remarkably the business survived being burnt to the ground on December 7 1883, managing to deliver all of its Christmas orders from temporary premises across the road, and a new building was erected within a year. Charles Harrod sold the store via a stock market flotation in 1889, but the new company kept the family name.

In 1894 Harrods employed C. W. Stephens, an architect who had worked for the Belgravia Estate to design a new building for the store. It had to be built bit by bit as Harrods slowly acquired more of the land between Hans Crescent and Hans Road and the business had to be kept open as it was rebuilt. The work was largely completed around 2012, though external and internal changes continued.

I think my picture on Hans Road shows the Coronation Tower over the entrance to the delivery yard and I think dates from 1910-2. The Survey of London describes the commercial buildings of Stephens as in the “ornate, eclectic school of late Queen Anne architecture“, noting that Harrods stands out because of its rich casing of terracotta from Doultons.

Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, Sedding St, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3g-14-positive_2400
Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, Sedding St, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3g-14

Rather more to my taste is Cadogan Hall, still when I photographed it the First Church Of Christ Scientist, built in a Byzantine Revival Style, architect Robert Fellowes Chisholm, better known for his work in Madras, India where he worked from 1865-1902 when he returned to London where he had been born in 1840. Grade II listed in 1969 the church went out of use in the 1990s and was bough by the then owner of Harrods, Mohamed Fayed, who wanted to convert it to a luxury house, but was prevented in making the alterations he wanted because of its listed status. In 2000 it was bought by Cadogan Estates who converted it to a concert hall, offering it to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as their London home.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3g-21-positive_2400
Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3g-21

The Royal Court Theatre can justifiably claim to be “the writers’ theatre… a leading force in world theatre for cultivating writers – undiscovered, emerging and established” but I think it is also a rather tricky place to photograph.

The show on at the time appears to have been Howard Brenton’s ‘Blood Poetry’, first performed at the Haymarket Theatre Leicester in 1984, in which Percy Bysshe Shelley and his mistress live with Lord George Byron in Italy in a commune of free love, writing the bloody poetry of revolution, and come to a sticky end.

The director of the Royal Court at the time was Max Stafford-Clark, who I had the pleasure of appearing on-stage with at Battersea Arts Centre along with Jeremy Hardy and journalist Dawn Foster in an after-performance panel discussion ‘Art & Accidental Activism’ of Lung Theatre’s ‘E15’ – who I’d earlier photographed on the streets of Battersea at the start of their run.

Venus Fountain, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3g-23-positive_2400
Venus Fountain, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3g-23

Little seems to be known about the early life of Nell Gwynn, who grew up in a brothel in Covent Garden and was hired to sell oranges and other fruits in a scantily clad costume to the audience at the newly opened theatre in Bridges St (later the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) at the exorbitant price of 6d (2.5p). Despite being illiterate she learnt to be an actress and took various roles as a part of the King’s Company, becoming a star for her performance in the 1665 restoration comedy ‘All Mistaken, or the Mad Couple’ and going on to star in many other plays.

King Charles II, who was married to Catherine of Braganza had various mistresses, and fathered seven sons by them, including two by Nell Gwyn, who was the longest serving and most loved of them all. Her elder son was made the Earl of Burford, but the younger died at the age of six.

The royal couple are depicted on the base of this fountain, designed by Gilbert Ledward R.A. (1888-1960) in 1953. My picture shows Charles II picking an apple from a tree. This relief – which also includes cupid, a deed, a hound and and a swan on the Thames – is perhaps more interesting than the Venus above. It’s presence here is said to have been because the king will often have travelled through here and down the then newly opened King’s Road to a house where Nell occasionally stayed. It seems a little contrived; at her insistence, the king had given her a house on Pall Mall and granted her son a house, renamed Burford House, in the Home Park at Windsor for when he was in residence there. She also had a summer home in King’s Cross.


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 Battersea 1988

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Welsh Chapel, Beauchamp Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-56-positive_2400
Welsh Chapel, Beauchamp Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

The only one of my four grandparents I ever knew was a small lady dressed always in black, who seldom moved far from the fire and range in the back room of their house. I don’t remember her ever saying much, though I think she was still very much in charge in the house where she lived with my three maiden aunts, where our Sunday afternoons were strictly observed with only quiet activities and good books allowed, though I think we children sometimes escaped to the wilder parts of the large garden where we were out of sight. She was a Baptist, though the church she and the aunts were members of was a few miles further out of London, though having been born in Llansaintfred, Radnor she would have been home at the Welsh Chapel. Eliza Ann Davies came up to London to work in a Welsh Diary on the Kings Cross Road owned by an uncle, and it was there that she met my grandfather, Frederick Marshall, a young wheelwright and blacksmith, came into the shop some time in the late 1880s and they were married in 1890. I never met him as he was killed in a road accident 12 years before I was born.

St John's Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-54-positive_2400
Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

This impressive range of shops can still be seen on Lavender Hill, just to the east of Clapham Junction station – the pub glimpsed in the distance is The Falcon on the corner of Falcon Rd. But while the Falcon is still in business, every single shop has I think changed hands since I took this in 1988. I took a few other pictures on the main shopping streets, including St John’s Hill and St John’s Road some of which I’ve posted in the Flickr album these pictures come from.

St John's Rd, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-35-positive_2400
St John’s Rd, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

The corner of St John’s Rd and Battersea Rise still looks much the same, and the Northcote Arms is still there, though with some new signage. Rhino sports has gone and in its place you can now get acupuncture and other health and beauty treatments. The place of Angel shoes has been taken by a hairdressers, its hanging sign gone, though the iron bracket from which it hung is still in place. And pedestrians are no longer fenced in at the junction.

Aliwal Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-33-positive_2400
Aliwal Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Many quite ordinary houses such as these were finished with interesting detail as on these houses in Aliwal Road. It was I suppose then a relatively inexpensive way to add a touch of class, or perhaps a builder’s edpression of pride in his work.

Broomwood Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-15-positive_2400
Broomwood Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

65 Broomwood Road is no longer a dentists, and has lost all those signs, as well as the details of its glazing, but the door and the side panels remain as well as the decoration above. It is at the end of a short row of similar houses on the street,

Webbs Rd, Shelgate Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-13-positive_2400
Webbs Rd, Shelgate Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988


Like many corner shops in London, Sacha Wines on the corner of Webbs Rd and Shelgate Rd has now been converted for residential use and customers have to go elsehwere for ‘Food, Wines, Beers, Spirits’ etc. Most of these photos were probably taken as I wandered towards Webbs Rd, not for Sacha Wines, but for the Wandsworth Photo-Co-op.

Bellson & Co,  Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-26-positive_2400
Bellson & Co, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

You can still fine the ball on top of a pillar on Battersea Rise, a few yards up on the south side from Northcote Road, but it takes a little imagination to recognise the scene in my 1988 photograph. The shopfront has gone and 73a is now a house, while Bellson & Co has added an extra floor, though still retaining the bay windows and porch. The changes have been made in a way that integrates pretty seamlessly and without that ball (the pillar is now exposed brick) I would have found it hard to convince myself that this was indeed the same place.

Clicking on any of the pictures in this post will take you to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos.

More from Battersea & Clapham, 1988

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

I often went to Battersea in the 1980s though more often to look at and discuss photographs at the Photo Co-op which was based in Webbs Road than to take pictures. I wasn’t deeply involved but became a regular attender when they set up a ‘Men’s Group’ to look at issues around gender from a male perspective, though I don’t think I contributed much to it.

Altenburg Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-32-positive_2400
Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

I was a little put out when the Photo Co-op changed its name to Photofusion and moved to more extensive premises in Brixton, though I did usually attend openings there and contributed quite a few pictures to its photo library.

With its new name and much improved premises it became a larger and less intimate organisation – and it’s location was also less convenient for me, with a half hour bus journey rather than a ten minute walk from Clapham Junction. And although London buses are generally very frequent (and in most respects now much improved) I spent too much time waiting at a draughty bus stop in Brixton on my way home after openings.

Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-33-positive_2400
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-34-positive_2400
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

This charming Arts & Crafts style reference library by Henry Hyams was built in 1924 for the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea, adjoining the older library building and was Grade II listed in 1983.

Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-23-positive_2400
Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Although several properties in this picture were for sale, there is no estate agents on this stretch of street and I think it is hard to find one in my pictures of the area. Walking up Lavender Hill more recently it seemed hard to find a shop that wasn’t an estate agents, which seem to be about the only profitable businesses left in London. Huge rises in property prices and increased mobility due to gentrification have created an enormous expansion in this area.

Wandsworth Rd, Newby St, Lambeth, 1988 88-2e-13-positive_2400
Wandsworth Rd, Newby St, Lambeth, 1988

Unless you ride a bike it’s easy to forget that parts of London are quite hilly as this slope down towards the River Thames from Wandsworth Rd in Clapham demonstrates.

Bingo, Wandsworth Rd Snooker Centre, Clapham, Lambeth, 1988 88-2e-12-positive_2400
Bingo, Wandsworth Rd Snooker Centre, Clapham, Lambeth, 1988

Built in 1909 it was one of at least 24 Temperance Billiard Halls in South London built for the Temperance Billiard Hall Co. Ltd, founded in Pendelton Lancashire. Like most or all of those in the early years it was designed by Norman Evans, and there are other examples nearby in Clapham High St and Battersea. Despite this alcohol-free start, the building later became a bar and even a night club.

Until a few years ago it was Rileys, offering a Bar with Pool and Snooker tables. In 2015 the building was gutted, retaining its facade with a rather ugly plain block replacing the rear of the building, now a hotel. It’s something of a mystery how planning permission was obtained, although unlike several others, this hall was not listed. Probably the panels across its frontage shown in my picture were part of the reason for this, and at least the conversion to a hotel has revealed or provided an unencumbered aspect, even if it is only a brick or two thick.

Thomas Memorial, Church of the Nazarene, Temperance Billiard Hall, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-25-positive_2400
Thomas Memorial, Church of the Nazarene, Temperance Billiard Hall, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Another Temperance Billiard Hall in Battersea, also unlisted. Again it is no longer a Billiard Hall and is now a pub, with a rather large new building behind. It remained in use as a busy snooker hall until the mid 1990s, open – and usually busy – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Converted as the Faraday and Firkin, a brew-pub, which opened in 1997, it later became O’Neills and is now The Goat.

The front of the church at left partly dates from 1823 when the building was owned and lived in by local merchant William Mellersh who enlarged it from a cottage dating from the 1750s. In 1858 it became the home of the Wandsworth District Board of Works who extended and embellished it, naming it Mellish House, there were further additions behind but it still became too small after Battersea gained its independence from Wandsworth in 1888 and they built a new town hall on Lavender Hill.

Still owned by Battersea, it served various purposes including being home to the Boy’s Brigade and the YMCA from 1890 until 1915. It was then bought by the International Holiness Mission founded in 1906 by Battersea drapers and pentecostalists John and David Thomas and was renamed the Thomas Memorial Church after David Thomas died in 1938. The IHM joined the Church of the Nazarenes in 1953. A major internal refurbishment was begun in 2011 with the church closing and reopening, still as a Nazarene church but known as Fresh Ground London.

More in 1988 London Photos.

Battersea 1988

Monday, April 5th, 2021

Tool shop, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-63-positive_2400
Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Clapham Junction is claimed to be Europe’s busiest station with over 2000 trains a day passing through and around 60% of them stopping, including all of those I take into London. And like many others, I’ve often changed there to trains for destinations across the south of London and further afield, and less often exited to take buses.

Service Centre, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-65-positive_2400
Service Centre, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

But in February 1988 I left the train with the intention of taking photographs of the area around the station – which is not in Clapham which is a 10 minute bus ride away, but in Battersea. Over the years the area has also become referred to as Clapham Junction, and parts are also called by the names of some of the major streets, such as Lavender Hill and Northcote Road, but I’ve simply called it Battersea in the captions to my images, which also include the name of its London Borough, Wandsworth, the area a mile or so to its west.

Tool shop, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-63-positive_2400
Tool shop, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

In the short days of February I tended to photograph more in the areas that were within easy reach of my home so as to make the most of the light; I could leave home and be standing on the street at Clapham Junction in around 35 minutes.

Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-55-positive_2400
Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

The area to the south of the station, particularly down St John’s Road is a major shopping centre for this area of London, so it is perhaps not surprising that many of my pictures were of shops.

Belleville Rd, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-51-positive_2400
Belleville Rd, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

It was also a time when I was finding an increasing interest in how shop interiors, particularly those of small businesses with low set-up costs, reflection the areas and customers they served. Hair-dressers, shoe repairs and other independent small businesses very much came from the communities they served.

Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-53-positive_2400
Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Many of these businesses are now gone. Few people now get their shoes repaired – and like some other areas they are now largely served by franchises. Tastes in various areas have changed, often dramatically, and of course in recent years shops have been hit by a move to on-line in many areas.

St John's Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-43-positive_2400
St John’s Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

My apologies for some technical deficiencies in some of these images, most noticeable in some of the skies. Unfortunately this is a result of considerable under-development, probably resulting from an exhausted or incorrectly replenished developer. Digital retouching could improve them, though probably not entirely eliminate the effect and it very time-consuming. But the blemishes, though annoying, don’t prevent you seeing the subject, so I’ve published these here and on the web despite the blemishes, though I have never shown prints from them.

St John's Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-42-positive_2400
St John’s Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

If you walk down these streets today – or when the ‘non-essential’ shops re-open, expected to be on 12 April you will see the differences from 1988. The streets around Clapham Junction now look rather more like those in any main street around the country and the area has been considerably more gentrified.

All from my album https://www.flickr.com/photos/petermarshall/albums/72157715589148871/with/50254685063/ 1988 London Photos – and clicking on any of the images here should take you to larger versions there from which you can browse the album.

Class War v. Qatari Royals

Monday, February 8th, 2021

Three years ago today, on 8 Feb 2018, Class War had planned a protest outside London’s tallest building, the Shard, to point out the housing crisis, which is currently affecting many in London. They chose to protest at the Shard, because there are ten £50m apartments there which have remained empty since the building was completed.

We don’t actually have a housing shortage as there are more than enough properties for everyone to have a decent home. The problem is that current policies allow property to be left empty and encourage developers to build high priced flats which either remain unsold or are bought as investments and largely left empty for all or most of the time. There were then plans to build a further 26,000 flats in London costing more than a million pounds each, many on former council estates where social housing has been demolished at a time when London has a huge housing crisis with thousands sleeping on the street, and over 100 families from Grenfell were still in temporary accommodation.

The owners of The Shard, the Qatari royal family, went to court to seek an injunction against the Class War protest, seeking an injunction against Ian Bone and “persons unknown” and, despite their fortune estimated at over £250 million pounds, seeking legal costs of over £500 from the 70 year-old south London pensioner.

Fortunately barrister Ian Brownhill offered to conduct Bone’s defence pro bono and in the High Court hearing the Qatari royals were forced to drop the attempt to ban protests and the demand for fees but Bone accepted a legal restriction on him going inside the Shard and its immediate vicinity. But that meant the planned protest that evening could still go ahead, and Bone and his team emerged from the court victorious. His health issues meant that he was himself in any case unable to attend the protest.

At the protest there were large numbers of police and security, along with many in plain clothes and two officers with search dogs. The protest was always intended to be a peaceful one and the protesters were careful to remain outside the boundary of The Shard, marked with a metal line in the pavement. The police nonetheless harassed them, making a patently spurious claim that they were causing an obstruction to commuters attempting to enter London Bridge station and trying to move them further away from The Shard. Although the protest clearly wasn’t causing any serious problems to those entering or leaving the station, the larger numbers of police and security were.

Three years on, London still has a huge problem, with huge numbers of unaffordable flats still being built, particularly in the huge development area in Vauxhall and Nine Elms, including the developments around the US Embassy and the former Battersea Power Station. Some developments here include small areas of social housing, with ‘poor door’ entrances hidden away around the backs of some of the towers, the residents or which are excluded from the many facilities which are provided for the wealthy.

While blocks have large and well-furnished foyers with a concierge service for the rich, as well as some recreational facilities, social housing tenants typically enter a narrow bleak corridor with no space even for parcel deliveries. Just like the block in Aldgate where Class War’s long series of protests put the issue of ‘poor doors’, where poorer tenants are segregated from their wealthy neighbours on the national agenda back in 2014.

In July 2019, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire was “appalled” by the examples of segregation he had seen and promised to put an end to the use of “poor doors” in housing developments in England. It appears to have been a Broken promise, and Class War are thinking it is time for more action.

Class War protest at Shard
Class War victory against Qatari Royals


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.