Posts Tagged ‘Camden’

Belsize Park Hampstead 1988

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-02-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-02

Belsize Park Hampstead 1988
Belsize is a confusing area for the casual wanderer and many of the streets have ‘Belsize’ in their name, including Belsize Avenue, Belsize Court, Belsize Crescent, Belsize Gardens, Belsize Grove, Belsize Lane, Belsize Mews, Belsize Park, Belsize Park Gardens, Belsize Place, Belsize Square, and Belsize Terrace.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-04-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-04

I’m not entirely sure whether my captions place all of the houses that are featured in exactly the correct Belsize street, though I’ve tried hard to get them correct. But many of these streets are lined with very similar houses by the same developer – or rather they fall into two groups, the stucco and the later red-brick.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-61-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-61

As my previous post Hampstead & Belsize 1988 stated, the older houses in the area from the 1860s which feature in this post were stucco, built by Daniel Tidey who went bust in 1870, when development in the 1870s was largely in red brick by William Willett.

Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-63-positive_2400
Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-63

I liked the Ladies bicycle parked at the bottom of the stairs, its wheels contrasting with the rectangular columns at the gate and base of the steps. It seemed a suitably old-fashioned steed, with caliper brakes and a wicked basket, held by a rather flimsy looking lock to the rail at the bottom of the steps. It was also a tonal contrast, although actually a rather rusty red colour. I also took a colour picture from an almost identical viewpoint which works well, with the green of the vegetation and some attractive muted colours on some of the doors.

Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-65-positive_2400
Belsize Square, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-65

The backs of these houses have an unusual rounded bay extending from basement to roof.

Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-53-positive_2400
Belsize Park, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-53

A grand set of steps up to the front door, now with three bells – most of these large properties have now been converted to flats. The tiles here are breaking up and a small area at right is now filled with flowers. There are bootscrapers at both side, probably rather more necessary in the days of horse-drawn traffic than now.

Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-56
Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-56

Two different framings of the same profusely growing plant – I think a false castor oil plant – and I can’t decide which I prefer. The leaves were beautifully lustrous dark green.

Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-32-positive_2400
Belsize Park Gdns, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-32

It is a beautiful plant, and has flowers and produces black seeds, but unlike the true castor oil plant it vaguely resembles, the seeds of Fatsia japonica are I think not particularly toxic.

Belsize Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-33-positive_2400
Belsize Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7m-33

The iron-work on this house is perhaps a little too much for my taste, both over-intricate and somehow too fat looking. I think it may now be rather more hidden by vegetation than when I made this picture around 33 years ago.

This was the last picture I made on this walk, probably as I made my way to Belsize Park Underground station on my way home.


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Hampstead & Belsize 1988

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Heath St, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-26-positive_2400
Heath St, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-26

Hampstead & Belsize 1988 These pictures are from the second part of a lengthy walk from Swiss Cottage. They start with a long section through Hampstead and on to Hampstead Heath, in which I took relatively few pictures.

Looking at my contact sheets I can trace my route down Hampstead High St and Rosslyn Hill along Pond St to South End Green and then north to Hampstead Ponds, where I probably sat to eat my sandwiches before taking a look at South Hill Park Gardens, going down Keats Grove past Keats House, then down past St John’s on Downshire Hill and across Rosslyn Hill and along Thurlow Rd to Lyndhurst Terrace and to Lyndhurst Rd.

But although there is nothing wrong with the pictures I took on that eaction of the walk, none of them excited my attention enough for me to mark them up for digitisation and putting them on-line – and the sequence of over 20 frames is one of the longest gaps in making my on-line albums. Perhaps I should add a few more to the album.

Lyndhurst Rd, Eldon Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-44-positive_2400
Lyndhurst Rd, Eldon Grove, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-44

This unusual building on the corner of Lyndhurst Road and Eldon Grove has its own street name, Tower Close. There appear to be five properties here, each valued at between £2.4m and £3.69m. I think it was probably fairly recently built when I photographed it in 1988 and I found it both unusual and unusually ugly; my picture is far too kind.

Girl Guides, Girl Scouts, World Centre,  Lyndhurst Rd, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-46
Girl Guides, Girl Scouts, World Centre, Lyndhurst Rd, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-46

Olave House moved here in 1984. Previously the building had been Rosslyn Lodge, once home to the Earl of Rosslyn, and was converted into offices for the Girl Guides. The west wing of the house had been demolished and a new building at the west of the site was opened as a Guide hostel and conference centre, Pax Lodge, in 1991.

Rosslyn Lodge, a small villa, according to the Victoria County History, “was rebuilt, probably between 1799 and 1802, and was described in 1808 as new, with four bedrooms, a double coach house, and gardener’s house.” In the First World War was loaned by its owner to became the Rosslyn Lodge Auxiliary Military Hospital, which closed in 1919. Later it became a nurses home.

Hunters Lodge, Belsize Lane, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-33-positive_2400
Hunters Lodge, Belsize Lane, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-33

The Grade II listing text describes this tersely as “Detached cottage ornee. c1810. By Joseph Parkinson. For William Tate. Stucco.” though it goes on to give rather more detail.

It concludes with a historical note from the Camden History Society “William Tate, merchant, was a lessee of the Baltic merchant George Todd who acquired a large piece of Belsize Park in 1808. Parkinson exhibited the designs for Langwathby, as it was then known, at the Royal Academy in 1810.” Langwathby is a small village in Cumbria on the River Eden around 5 miles north east of Penrith, and was probably the birthplace of William Tate.

Belsize Crescent, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-22-positive_2400
Belsize Crescent, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-22

Belsize Crescent according again to the Victoria County History, was constructed as Prince Consort Road in 1865 and was sublet by Daniel Tidey to another builder, William Willett in 1869. Before Tidey went bust in 1870 he had built over 250 houses in Belsize Park. After 1870 Willett was the main builder in the area, building houses in Belsize Avenue, Lyndhurst Gardens and Wedderburn Road.

Belsize Crescent, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-23-positive_2400
Belsize Crescent, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-23

Tidey had built houses in Italianate stucco, but Willett’s were in red brick, and again according to the VCH “were solidly constructed and set a new artistic standard for speculative architecture… they were red-brick and varied in design, many of them by the Willetts’ own architects Harry B. Measures and, after 1891, Amos Faulkner.”

Belsize Lane, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-26-positive_2400
Belsize Lane, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7l-26

William Willett’s son, also William Willett and like his father a builder, is the man you have to thank or curse for ‘Summer Time’ introduced by the Summer Time Act 1916. It had been suggested by others many years before but it was thanks to his campaigning it became law the year following his death.

Probably he wanted to get more hours of work out his builders at a time when building work was reliant on daylight with little or no artificial lighting. Fortunately we got a simpler version than his earlier proposal which would have seen us moving the clocks on four Sundays in both April and October by 20 minute steps – giving a total of 80 minutes change and doubtless massive confusion.

My walk will continue in a later post.


Click on any of the images above and you will be taken to a larger version in my album 1988 London Pictures from where you can browse the album.


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Around Swiss Cottage 1988

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Sigmund Freud, sculpture, Oscar Nemon, Fitzjohn's Avenue, Belsize Lane, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7h-61-positive_2400
Sigmund Freud, sculpture, Oscar Nemon, Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Belsize Lane, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7h-61

Around Swiss Cottage 1988: Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) escaped from Austria after it was annexed by Nazi Germany and came to London, spending his final year until his death in the house in Maresfield Gardens which now houses the Freud Museum. Croatian sculptor Oscar Nemon made three busts of Freud for his 75th birthday in 1931 and visited him in London in 1938 to make a final bust on which the head of this sculpture was based. Funds were later raised for him to create this bronze sculpture which was unveiled in 1970 next to Swiss Cottage Library where I photographed it.

In 1998 it was moved to a more prominent position at the junction of Fitzjohn’s Avenue and Belsize Lane and it was Grade II listed in 2016.

Taplow, Winchester Rd, Swiss Cottage, Camden, 1988 88-7h-63-positive_2400
Taplow, Winchester Rd, Swiss Cottage, Camden, 1988 88-7h-63

The five tower blocks of the Chalcots Estate where built for the London Borough of Camden in 1967-8. Taplow, Burnham, Bray, and Dorney are 23 storeys while Blashford has 19. The land was owned by Eton College and the names come for the area around Eton.

Cladding was added to the towers in 2006 by the same companies that clad Grenfell Tower but using fire-resistant rock-wool. When a fire broke out in a flat in Taplow in 2012 the fire was contained and did not spread and there were no deaths.

Embassy Theatre, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, Camden, London, 1988 88-7k-61-positive_2400
Embassy Theatre, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, Camden, London, 1988 88-7k-61

Originally a stucco double-fronted Italianate Victorian villa, it was converted in 1890 into the Eton Avenue Hall for the Hampstead Conservatoire, a prestigious private music college; Cecil Sharp the great collector of English folk song was its principal from 1896-1905 and composer Arnold Bax one of his pupils.

The building was converted again after the college had closed and opened as the Embassy Theatre in 1928, with a school of acting from 1932. Damaged in the war it reopened in 1945, continuing as a theatre until 1956 when it was sold to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, now a college of London University.

College Crescent, South Hamnpstead,  Camden, 1988 88-7k-63-positive_2400
College Crescent, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-63

College Crescent was built by the Eyre family who were (and are) major landowners in Swiss Cottage and parts of Hampstead, with the first houses built in the late 1840s. Initially it was named as three streets, College Villas Road, College Terrace and College Crescent.

40 College Crescent was not one of the original houses, but was built around 1880 on the site of Abbey Farm Lodge as the family home for Samuel Palmer or Huntley and Palmer’s biscuit firm in Reading. Following his death this area of open space with a drinking fountain and shelter – as its inscription states – “presented to the Borough of Hampstead for the public benefit in memory of the late Samuel Palmer of Northcourt, Hampstead by his widow and family. 1904”. It was Grade II listed in 1993.

St. Thomas More, Roman Catholic, Church, Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-64-positive_2400
St. Thomas More, Roman Catholic, Church, Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-64

In 1938 the Archbishop of Westminster bought Hyme House at 3 Fitzjohn’s Avenue, for some years the studio of successful society portrait painter Philip de László (1869-1937) as the first English home for the Swiss-based Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross. The Sisters converted the studio into a church and bought the next two houses on the street to set up a girls school which they ran until 1985, after which it became a hotel.

In 1950 the studio had become too small and a second church was built on the site, but further expansion made this inadequate. The current church, built a restricted site on tennis courts at the back of the house and fronting onto Maresfield Gardens was designed by Gerard Goalen following the Second Vatican Council to maximise participation of the laity in the Mass. It was Grade II listed in 2016.

Netherhall Gardnes, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-42-positive_2400
Netherhall Gardens, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-42

A very rectangular house with a gate made largely of circles, but with the ironwork on the top of the gate reflecting the only non-rectangular feature of the frontage, and carefully positioned on top of it.

The Tower, Fitzjohn's Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-46-positive_2400
The Tower, Fitzjohn’s Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-46

An irresistable Gothic fantasy. Development in this area had been prevented for years after the death of the estate owner Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson in 1821, whose will prevented his sons building on the land, and efforts by his son (confusingly of exactly the same name) to get the will amended came to nothing. When he died, his brother Sir John inherited and was able to make a deal making part of the estate a part of Hampstead Heath and making development possible in other areas.

The Tower, Fitzjohn's Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-32-positive_2400
The Tower, Fitzjohn’s Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-32

Sir John divided the estate in 1873 with his son Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson who developed Priory Road and Fitzjohn’s Avenue from 1875 on, as a wide road with wide pavements linking Swiss Cottage and Hampstead which was described by Harpers Magazine a few years later as “one of the noblest streets in the world”.

The Tower, Fitzjohn's Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-33-positive_2400
The Tower, Fitzjohn’s Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-33

A much quoted Camden History Society article describes the Tower at No 25 as an ornate mansion which is now “a fine example of ‘Disneyland Gothic'”. The building with 25 rooms dates from 1880-1, its architect JT Wimperis, a very prolific Victorian architect for Herbert Fleming Baxter (1839-1905), an extremely wealthy American merchant who was a part of a family with extensive estates in Shropshire. The house has been restored and is now divided into flats. Rather surprisingly it was not Grade II listed until 1999.

My walk will continue in a later post.


Click on any of the pictures to go to a larger version in the album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse through the album.


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Nelson Mandela’s Birthday

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Back in 1988 on the 17th July, the day before Nelson Mandela’s Birthday on the 18th July, I joined thousands of marchers through London demanding he be freed from jail.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-66

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela Mandela was born on 18th July 1918, so this was his 70th birthday and he was still in jail, then held in Pollsmoor Prison, near Cape Town, having been removed with other senior ANC members from Robben Island to remove their influence on younger ANC members held there.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-55

He was well treated in Pollsmoor and international attempts to end apartheid was increasing, along with secret meetings with the South African Minister of Justice. President Botha had actually offered to release him, if he “unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon”, but Mandela had refused to leave while the African National Congress was still banned.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-31

Mandela’s 70th birthday was celebrated around the world, with a televised tribute concert at Wembley Stadium attracting an estimated 200 million viewers.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7j-65

The march in London was a large one, and I wasn’t then a seasoned photographer of protests, though I had taken pictures at a number of smaller events.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7h-34

Because of the size of the event there were a number of feeder marches leading to a rally in Hyde Park. I joined the march coming from Camden and went with it to the rally, where I took some pictures in the crowd but didn’t attempt to cover the speakers, who included the Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu.

Free Nelson Mandela - Birthday March and Rally - London 1988 88-7i-43

I took altogether only just over a hundred black and white pictures, of which I’ve now uploaded around a quarter to an album, Free Nelson Mandela – March and Rally – London 1988. You can also click on any of the images in this post to go to a larger version from where you can browse all the pictures that are online.


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More St John’s Wood

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

Alexandra Rd, South Hampstead,  88-7g-63-positive_2400
Alexandra Rd, South Hampstead, 88-7g-63

Although the title of this post is ‘More St John’s Wood’, my walks were not constrained by local authority boundaries but often by more important physical restraints, here the main west coast railway line from Euston, and I walked beyond the St John’s Wood boundary a little into South Hampstead or Swiss Cottage.

I can find out little about Hillgrove Estate designed by Peacock, Hodges and Robertson for the LCC around 1960 and inherited by Camden following the local government reorganisation in that decade. This piece of sculpture is not on the list of public art in Camden and unfortunately I failed to record any details of it when I made this picture in 1988 if any were available then. Perhaps someone seeing this will be able to give details in a comment.

7, Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-65-positive_2400
7, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-65

This stucco detached villa dating from the 1840s is only Grade II listed for its ‘group value’, one of quite a number of similar properties in the area, though distinguished for me by its two substantial eagles on top of very substantial gate posts. The house next door, shown in the next few pictures, was much more remarkable.

Boundary Road, as its name suggests, marks a boundary, now between the City of Westminster – which includes St John’s Wood – and the London Borough of Camden, with this and other properties on its south side being in St John’s Wood. It was once a farm track on the boundary between two estates.

Alhambra Cottage,  Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-66-positive_2400
Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-66

Alhambra Cottage is at 9 Boundary Rd certainly one of the most remarkable houses in London, a Grade II listed detached villa in a very detailed Islamic style and I made a number of photographs from the road outside. Later in 2011it was one of the buildings whose garden I photographed for the ‘Secret Gardens of St John’s Wood‘ project initiated by Mireille Galinou of the Queens Terrace Café and shown there in November 2011.

Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-53-positive_2400
Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-53

Another view of Alhambra Cottage.

Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-54-positive_2400
Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-54

I’m surprised not to find more information about this cottage online. Possibly the interest in the Alhambra may have been stimulated by the writing of American author Washington Irving who visited the Alhambra in 1828 and published his Tales of the Alhambra in 1832 and the lithographs of John Frederick Lewis, who became known as ‘Spanish’ Lewis published three years later.

At this time of year perhaps I should also mention that it was Irving who first put Santa (or rather St. Nicholas) flying over the rooftops at Christmas.

Loudon Rd area, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-42-positive_2400
Loudon Rd area, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-42

This Grade II listed semi-detached house dates from the 1840s, but was altered in the mid-19th century. ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle‘ and this seemed to epitomise the proverb, with its castellated tower and sturdy gate. All that was lacking was a drawbridge.

Carlton Hill area, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-44-positive_2400
Carlton Hill area, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-44

And finally before I left the area, another house with a tower, somewhere on my wandering between the junction of Abbey Road and Blenheim Rd and FInchley Rd. I took a few more pictures on my way south through St John’s Wood, but none are online.


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


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Abbey Rd, South & West Hampstead – 1988

Sunday, November 28th, 2021
Langtry Walk, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-54-positive_2400
Rowley Way, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-54

Camden council bought the Alexandra Road estate, part of the Eyre estate in North London and their architect Neave Browne designed this ziggurat style terrace in 1968, but construction only began in 1972. Browne saw the design, with vehicles restricted to the basement level as a better solution than tower blocks, which had been discredited by the Ronan point collapse and other problems. Family flats with small gardens opened onto the walkway at ground level, with smaller flats stepped back above them, so all got good light and air. The height of the 8 storey block at left gave some protection to the rest of the estate from the noise of the main West Coast railway line from Euston.

I had wrongly titled this Langtry Walk, which runs at the south of this estate a few yards away with a single lower row of flats by Browne built on similar principles. The name Langtry walk refers to royal mistress Lily Langtree, nicknamed “The Jersey Lily”, who, as local historians Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms have shown had no connection with the area but was co-opted by a resident whose house in Alexandra Road was to be demolished for the new estate.

The estate was Grade II* listed in 1993, remarkably early in its life and the first post-Second World War council estate and one of very few public housing schemes to acheive this status.

Snowman House, Casterbridge, Abbey Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-55-positive_2400
Snowman House, Casterbridge, Abbey Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-55

This photograph was made from Abbey Road, with the back of Rowley Way at the right of the picture. Snowman House at left is on Abbey Road and Casterbridge at the corner of this and Belsize Rd and both are in Camden Council’s Abbey Estate. Both were approved in 1965 and building completed in 1967. They have 20 storeys above ground and are 59.4m tall – about 195 feet.

Snowman House, Casterbridge, Abbey Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-42-positive_2400

A bridge across Abbey Road connects the Casterbridge tower with another Abbey estate building, Emminster, which has a parade of shops at ground level. Both the 8 storey Emminster and another block, Hinstock, are scheduled for demolition to make way for new affordable homes to be built, and improvements to the road layout. This bridge was still there in April 2021, but will presumably soon be gone.

Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-35-positive_2400
Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-35

I walked back towards Kilburn Grange Park and then to West End Lane, and then across to FInchley Road. On my contact sheet this row of heraldic figures on the front garden wall of a house is labelled ‘Finchley Rod’, but it may have been a few yards down a side turning.

The Alcove Cafe, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-36-positive_2400
The Alcove Cafe, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-36

The Alcove Cafe was in a part of the former station entrance for the Finchley Road (Midland) station which first opened as Finchley Rd & St John’s Wood in 1868. Around 1905 a row of seven shops and offices named Midland Crescent was added to the entrance on the west side of FInchley Road. The station closed in 1927 but the shops remained, being demolished in the early 1990s for the building of the O2 Centre here. Various planning, finanacial and other problems held up the new building which finally opened in 1998.

Neasden Electronics, Tandoori Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-21-positive_2400
Neasden Electronics, Tandoori Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-21

Neasden Electronics was roughly opposite the former station, and these buildings have now been replaced by a hotel.

Broadhurst Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-22-positive_2400
Broadhurst Gardens, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-22

I walked down towards Swiss Cottage turning briefly into Broadhurst Gardens to make a picture of the rear of the St John’s Court flats on FInchley Rd, built in 1937-8, architect T P Bennett, with the lower three floors for the department store John Barnes, with five floors above housing 96 flats. In 1940 the store became part of the John Lewis Partnership. It closed as a department store in 1981 and the ground floor are now occupied by Waitrose.

Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-24-positive_2400
Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-24

I made a couple of photographs of new office buildings at Swiss Cottage.

Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-25-positive_2400

Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-25-positive_2400
Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-6d-25

And then went on the photograph Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, a Grade II listed Samuel Smiths pub originally built as an alpine-style chalet and called The Swiss Tavern.

Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-26-positive_2400
Ye Olde Swiss Cottage, Finchley Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6d-26

Various dates for the building of the chalet can be found on the web, including both 1804 and 1840. Possibly CAMRA may be more reliable given the nature of the building, which they state “was built in 1830 by T Redmond and it stood next to a toll gate; travellers would stop at the tavern while waiting to pay their fees. There had been a gabled building on the site called Lausanne Cottage said to have been used by Charles II as a hunting lodge and their may have been an earlier pub called the Swiss Tavern.”

I didn’t pop in for a pint of ‘Old Brewery Bitter’ (and probably it wasn’t then on tap) but continued my walk – and will do so in a later post.


Click on any of the pictures to go to a larger version on the album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the whole album. Pictures there are usually in file name order which differs from the order in which they were taken.


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


Kilburn Again – 1988

Saturday, November 27th, 2021

St Lawrence Mansions, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-03-positive_2400
St Lawrence Mansions, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-03

I continued my walk along Kilburn High Road, photographing again some of the buildings I had photographed on my previous walk in Kilburn, and going down Priory Park Road to take a couple of pictures of St Lawrence Mansions, Victorian flats. These were used for some years by Brent Council to house homeless families, and applications by the owners to demolish them were turned down in 2012. In 2017 they were in used to house over 200 asylum seekers in desperately poor and overcrowded conditions in a hostel run by run by Clearsprings Ready Homes, a company that has been criticised in media reports about this and other asylum hostels.

Locksmiths, Willesden Lane, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-61-positive_2400
Locksmiths, Willesden Lane, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-61

I’ve always been interested in trade signs and liked the large keyhole of this locksmith’s,on Willesden Lane, close to its junction with Kilburn High Rd.

Willesden Lane, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-62-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-62-positive_2400

Taken just a few yards closer to Kilburn High Rd, with Kilburn State Cinema tower visible. The large sign for Brondesbury Garage above Brondesbury Mews entrance has now gone, the Gentlemen’s convenience has disappeared, the billboards have gone and Biddy Mulligans is now a betting shop, but the view is still much the same.

Kilburn State, cinema, Kilburn High Rd, Brent, 1998 88-6d-63-positive_2400
Kilburn State, cinema, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-63

Grade II* listing has protected the Gaumont State Theatre, a splendid art deco building withh opened in 1937, seating over 4,000. Since 2007 it has been a church and still contains one of the largest fully functioning Wurlitzer organs in Britain.

The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Camden, 1998 88-6d-65-positive_2400
The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Camden, 1998 88-6d-65

The National Club is another building I’ve previously photographed and written about in my post To Kilburn High Rd 1988 – and like the Kilburn State is now also a church. The boundary between Brent and Camden runs down the Kilburn High Road, with properties on the east side being in the LB Camden.

Wallace, chemists, Infected, graffiti, Netherwood St, Kilburn, Camden, 1998 88-6d-66-positive_2400
Wallace, chemists, Infected, graffiti, Netherwood St, Kilburn, Camden, 1998 88-6d-66

Wallace Manufacturing Chemists Ltd is still active according to Companies House, but no longer in Netherwood St. Its business is described as ‘Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products’ with a registered office in Brentwood and I think is now a part of the Alinter Group based in Abingdon. Perhaps the graffitied ‘INFECTION’ was a mildly humourous comment on the closure of the premises making medicines – Histergan cream and tablets, Ironorm drops and Malarivon and Vigranon-B syrups.

Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45

These pictures show the doorway at 15 Quex Rd, on the corner with Mazenod Avenue, part of a set of mansions at 9-15 Quex Rd, just a few yards from Kilburn High Rd. I’ve called it Kilburn, but certainly for estate agents this is West Hampstead.

The road was built on a large estate on both sides of West End Lane which had been inherited in 1813 by John Powell Roberts following the death of his brother who fell from a horse. His brother had previously inherited this and a large house a Quex Park in Birchington, Kent under a trust following the death of his uncle, and the terms of that trust meant changing his surname to Powell, and John Powell Roberts became John Powell Powell. When he died in 1849 the various estates held by the trust passed to his nephew, Col Henry Perry Cotton.

Quex Road, named after the Powell-Cotton family seat, was at the heart of plans for the development of the estate made in 1866, which included a Roman Catholic church and Wesleyan Methodist and Unitarian chapels on Quex Rd built in 1868-9 and the street was more or less fully developed by 1885.

Eugene de Mazenod was a leading French Catholic bishop in the nineteenth century and founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who became missionaries across the world and founded the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Kilburn in 1866, though their temporary building was replaced by one designed by E W Pugin and built after his death from 1875-1899.

Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-46-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45

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


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Kilburn to Maida Vale

Monday, October 25th, 2021

My walk around Kilburn ended by going down Kiburn High Road with a small slight deviations to catch the tube at Maida Vale.

Bingo Hall, Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn State, Odeon, Kilburn,  Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-63-positive_2400
Bingo Hall, Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn State, Odeon, Kilburn, 1988 88-5m-63

The Kilburn State Theatre was built on grounds formerly occupied by houses and since the 1890s by a furniture factory, The Palmerston Works. From 1916 to 1926 it was the home of the Central Aircraft Company which built cheap wooden aircraft and also gave flying courses and joy rides from Northolt Airport. The flights were a great success but although the planes only cost £250 sales were poor and the factory returned to making furniture.

The site was bought by Gaumont and opened in 1937 as the Gaumont State Cinema, designed by George Coles and this now Grade II* listed Art Deco masterpiece has a tower inspired by the Empire State Building in New York and when built had seating for over 4000, making it the largest purpose-built cinema in Europe. You can read much more about it in The Kilburn State Cinema.

Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd,  Kilburn,  Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-64-positive_2400
Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-64

This wall on the corner of Gascony Avenue and Kilburn High Road was almost totally covered with advertising and branding, including three giant posters for the Invalid Children’s Aid Nationwide, (I CAN), founded in 1888 as the Invalid Children’s Aid Association by Allen Dowdeswell Graham to help poor children in London’s East End who were either seriously ill or handicapped. It is now a national charity for children with speech and language difficulties.

People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 198888-5m-51-positive_2400
People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-51

Walking along the Kilburn High Road with a camera (or possibly two) around my neck attracted the attention of several groups of people on the street, who demanded I take their pictures.

People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-66-positive_2400
People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-66

And I was happy to do so. They were all in a good mood, possibly in some cases helped by a little exposure to Guiness. I think all had good Irish accents.

Posters, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent,  Camden,1988 88-5m-53-positive_2400
Posters, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden,1988 88-5m-53

And flyposters on several buildings advertised Irish events in London.

Kilburn Banks Ltd, Springfield Joinery, off Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 198888-5m-54-positive_2400
Kilburn Banks Ltd, Springfield Joinery, off Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-5m-54

I think the Springfield Joinery was probably at 1Springfield Lane, but no trace of this building remains. Possibly it was where the beer garden of the Old Bell Inn now is. If so it was in the LB Camden.

The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-46-positive_2400
The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-46

Animals, particularly horses, dogs, carrier pigeons and donkeys, but also many other species played an important role in the FIrst World War, and many were killed carrying out their duties. After the war the RSPCA proposed a memorial to them, and plans were drawn up for one at Hyde Park Corner but this was never built – though many years later in 2004 one was unveiled on Park Lane. The RSPCA changed its plans and decided on a more practical project, buying this site in Kilburn for The Animal War Memorial Dispensary in 1931.

There are two memorial inscriptions, one on each side of the door, but too small to read in my photograph. They are given in full on the Imperial War Museum web site.

LEFT: THIS BUILDING IS DEDICATED AS A MEMORIAL TO THE COUNTLESS/ THOUSANDS OF GOD’S HUMBLE CREATURES WHO SUFFERED AND/ PERISHED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918 KNOWING NOTHING OF THE/ CAUSE. LOOKING FORWARD TO NO FINAL VICTORY. FILLED ONLY WITH/ LOVE FAITH AND LOYALTY THEY ENDURED MUCH AND DIED FOR US./ MAY WE ALL REMEMBER THEM WITH GRATITUDE AND IN THE FUTURE/ COMMEMORATE THEIR SUFFERING AND DEATH BY SHOWING MORE/ KINDNESS AND CONSIDERATION TO LIVING ANIMALS.

RIGHT: 1914 – 1918 THIS TABLET RECORDS THE DEATH BY ENEMY ACTION/ DISEASE OR ACCIDENT OF 484,143 HORSES MULES CAMELS AND/ BULLOCKS AND OF MANY HUNDREDS OF DOGS CARRIER PIGEONS AND/ OTHER CREATURES ON THE VARIOUS FRONTS DURING THE GREAT WAR/ IT ALSO RECORDS THE FACT THAT IN FRANCE ALONE 725,216 SICK AND/ WOUNDED ANIMALS WERE TREATED IN VETERINARY HOSPITALS/ PROVIDED BY THE RSPCA.

Bas-relief, The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-55-positive_2400
Bas-relief, The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-55

The Grade II listed dispensary is a converted mid-nineteenth century house memorial plaque above the door on the facade of the building is by Frederick Brook Hitch of Hertford who won the competition for the design. The dispensary continued in use until a RSPCA reorganisation in 2016.

TS Bicester, Sea Cadets, Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-44-positive_2400
TS Bicester, Sea Cadets, Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-44

Next door to the dispensary is Kilburn’s ‘Tin Tabernacle’, Grade II listed as Cambridge Hall and erected as St James’s Episcopalian Church in 1863. Active as a church until the 1920s it became an “Air Raid Precautions store during the Second World War, and was later known as the Lord Lloyd of Dolobran Memorial Hall. The building was taken over by the Sea Cadets in about 1949, and from then on was known as Training Ship Bicester“. In the 1950s they remodelled the interior as a mock-up of a Ton-Class Minesweeper. It had been built with a spire which was apparently stolen in the 1980s before this picture was taken.

Maida Vale, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-5m-34-positive_2400
74 Maida Vale, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-5m-34

The pineapple was a symbol of wealth and found a place on many gateposts, but 74 Maida Vale is unusual in also having three on the parapet wall. I think the house probably dates from some time between 1829-1840 and that the rooms behind those upper pineapples are a later addition, but have found no specific information about this particular house; although several others on the block are listed this is not.


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To Kilburn High Rd 1988

Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

West Kilburn Baptist Church, Carlton Vale, West Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-33-positive_2400
West Kilburn Baptist Church, Carlton Vale, West Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-33

My wanderings around Kilburn Park had taken me back through the South Kilburn Estate to Carlton Vale and this fine example of a Baptist Church, built for the Rev Thomas Hall in 1865. Money was tight, but his brother who was an architect worked on the plans without payment. According to the Commemoration Booklet issued for its centenary the foundation stone was laid on ‘Several coins of the Realm bearing the portrait of her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria – one shilling, one sixpence, one halfpenny‘ and ‘the text, “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).’ Six years later, the church still owed £380 of the £1250 it cost to build.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-21-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-21

From Carlton Vale I continued northwest up Salusbury Road then turned right along The Avenue in Brondesbury to reach Willesden Lane opposite this house which is numbered as 66 Cavendish Rd, although this frontage is on Willesden Lane. This house struck me as having a intriguing individuality, although certainly not great architecture, incorporating several distinct variations of style and a rather oddly situated small window. Currently divided into around 13 small flats a planning application has been submitted to demolish it and use the site with its long garden along Willesden Lane to build a new 5 to 6 storey building with 21 flats.

Lawrence & Aitken, Albion Works, Kimberely Rd, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-23-positive_2400
Lawrence & Aitken, Albion Works, Kimberely Rd, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-23

Lawrence & Aitken , incorporated in 1927 but founded earlier and now dissolved, filed its last accounts in 1990. It gave the nature of its business as “Manufacture of other articles of paper and paperboard n.e.c. -” and was said to employ five people. The works date from 1904 and were built for cardboard makers Lawrence & Aitken under an agreement with the Simms Manufacturing Company Limited which is reproduced (but very hard to read) on the RAC website. The works is still there, though the building on the right has been replaced by housing called Kimberley Court.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-24-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-24

In one of those mysteries that I’ve sometimes come across, the extension at left to J Green’s shop at 136 Willesden Lane has grown to the same height as the rest and the building is now wider, having four windows at first and second floor levels and a new floor on top while retaining the Graeco-Egyptian style of the original.

Both 134 and 136 were built for John Cramb, monumental mason supplying many monuments in the cemetery opposite, 134 in 1896 designed by George Neal and 136 by F C Dare in 1883-1884 . Both are locally listed.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-26-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-26

These shops are still there but I think all now different businesses. So many flats and shops were for sale in 1988.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-12-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-12

Missing ‘O’, ‘M’, ‘B’ and ‘G’ perhaps made this frontage more interesting.

The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-13-positive_2400
The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-5l-13

In 1910 after the death of its owner, The Grange, a large house with extensive grounds on Kilburn High Road was sold to Oswald Stoll, the owner of the London Coliseum, who began building a theatre here. By the time it opened in 1914 his plans had changed and it became the Grange Cinema, with over 2,000 seats.

The cinema closed in 1975 and was opened as Butty’s Club and Dance Hall by Kilburn Irish publican Michael ‘Butty’ Sugrue, and later in 1976 also became the Kilburn National Club, owned by three local brothers who were builders, originally from Tipperary. The club was a major music venue, where stars including Johnny Cash and David Bowie played (there is a longer list here, along with more detailed information about the site.)

Applications to demolish the building were turned down in 1991 as English Heritage had listed it earlier in the year, as was another application in 1993. After the National Club closed in 1999 the building remained empty until it became the Victory Christian Centre in 2001 – but the church was closed in 2002 by the Charity Commission who didn’t approve of Pastor Goodman’s extravagances on expensive holidays and cars and a house in Northants. In 2003 it became a site of the worldwide Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

The Secondhand Furniture Shop, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-15-positive_2400
The Secondhand Furniture Shop, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-15

An interesting example of a window display.

Loveridge Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 198888-5l-16-positive_2400
Loveridge Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-5l-16

A few yards east of Kilburn High Rd the Underground – here decidely overground – goes across Loveridge Rd. I liked the washing hanging over Loveridge Mews, not something often found across a London street.

Confusingly, the boundary between the London Boroughs of Camden and Brent runs down the Kilburn High Road, splitting Kilburn in two. I’m sure there are still some pictures in the album where I’ve indicated the wrong borough.


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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


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