Posts Tagged ‘Battleship Building’

April 1987 – Around Paddington

Monday, August 17th, 2020
Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-62-positive_2400
Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-62-positive_2400

Recycling is nothing new and we did a lot of it in the past, with many larger household items being re-sold in particular after house clearances in shops such as this. Of course it still goes on today, particularly in the poorer areas of large cities, but much more modern stuff is built to self-destruct after a relatively short lifetime. We now also have car-boot sales and charity shops that hardly existed back then, though we have more or less lost the jumble sales which used to be a big fund-raiser.

Broadley St Gardens, Ranston St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-65-positive_2400
Broadley St Gardens, Ranston St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

The formal qualities of this view amused me – the apparently pointless circular raised area in the foreground set against the resolutely rectangular and square repetitions of the housing in the top half of the image. And between the two a kind of transitional phase with the arched doors a rectangle with a curve emerging at the top. The fence along the side of the road seems to link the brick wall below with the row of buildings behind and gives a kind of spatial dissonance which interested me. In photography we are almost always dealing with the two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional space.

Henry & Farthing,Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4c-32-positive_2400
Henry & Farthing,Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

You can still find this cubic building should you walk along Bell Street in Lisson Grove, though Henry & Farthing Ltd are long gone, and their entrance at the right is now fenced off. It and the shop to its left are now one of several spaces in the area which make up the Lisson Gallery, a leading gallery specialising in British and Contemporary art.

According to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History, Henry & Farthing were ”¬†Manufacturers of: “Ternex” Brand Quality Precision Woodwork and Joinery; Reproduction Mantels and Panelling; Painted Small Piece Furniture; Table Woodware. Old Rooms Reconstructed. Precision Woodware Machine Turned and Fabricated. Joinery, Staircases, Built-in Fitments, Custom Built and Fixed.” The company is now dissolved., but there is a company Ternex Ltd still making similar products in Hertfordshire.

87-4d-23-positive_2400
Orchardson St, Edgware Rd, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

This view from Ochardson St across the Edgware Rd is dominated by the 20 storey Parsons House on the Hall Park Estate in Paddington Green. The 56m high tower which contains 120 flats was built in 1969 using a concrete panel system which provided poor insulation. In 1984 the windows were in danger of falling out and were replaced, and the outside clad with a non flammable Rockwool insulation¬†behind powder coated aluminium panels. The bright red ‘fascinator’ on the top of the building is a ¬†maintenance cradle rail which was also added, along with other improvements. Fortunately Westminster used reputable architects for the refurbishment.

Rotunda, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-4a-15-positive_2400
Rotunda, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

The Rotunda is still there next to the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union. Designed by Paul Hamilton it was built as a maintenance depot for British Rail’s road vehicles in 1968-9 and is Grade II listed. It was renovated around 20 years ago and opened as Nissan Design Europe in 2003.

Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-4a-14-2-positive_2400
Exhibition, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

And finally, a small mystery. Though the location of these images just off the Harrow Road close to the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal and the Westway is clear, with the ‘Battleship Building’, like the Rotunda designed by Paul Hamilton for British Rail and built in 1968-9, inning the Concrete Award in 1969. Again like the Rotunda it became very dilapidated in the 1990s (raves didn’t help) and was refurbished in 2000.

But I can no longer remember what the ‘Exhibition’ was about, though I think as the text on the image suggests it was for one weekend only. It may have been connected with the Notting Hill Carnival, as the ‘Carnival Party’ was here, I think in 1986. I have a vague (but very vague) recollection of having been to something here, perhaps the exhibition advertised, but more likely in later years, mainly to look inside the building, but if so I don’t appear to have taken any pictures.

Exhibition, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987
Exhibition, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

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.