Posts Tagged ‘flats’

Kilburn Park 1988

Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Carlton Vale, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-26-positive_2400
Carlton Vale, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-26

My next walk at the end of May 1988 took me to Kilburn Park and Kilburn, and again in this post I have put the pictures in the order of my walk rather than the somewhat random order they have in the Flickr album 1988 London Photos. The church in the picture of Carlton Vale is St Augustine, Kilburn, and the large block of flats on the corner of Carlton Vale and Kilburn Park Rd was demolished in 2018-9, though I think the overhead walkway went many years earlier.

Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-15-positive_2400
Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-15

These lower blocks of flats were a part of the same South Kilburn estate and I think close to the corner of Carlton Vale and Cambridge Rd. The estate of high-density housing in low-rise flats and 11 tower blocks was begun in 1959 and further developed in the 1960s and 70s. Brent embarked on a comprehensive redevelopment in 2014, which is resulting in a considerable loss of social housing.

Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-61-positive_2400
Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-61

Unsurprisingly Oxford Road runs parallel with Cambridge Ave up to the Kilburn High Rd. These streets were two of those developed by local builder James Bailey in the 1860s, developing the area he called Kilburn Park. The name was given to the first underground station in Kilburn which opened in 1915 in Cambridge Ave.

Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-64-positive_2400
Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-64

These are typical houses of the era and were probably built from published designs in architectural pattern books. My grandather, who built a few houses on a much less grand scale had owned at least one of these and as children we were sometimes allowed to look at this beautifully illustrated volume.

Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-66-positive_2400
Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-66

At its southern end Cambridge Avenue leads to both Cambridge Road and the rather posher Cambridge Gardens.

Central Motors, Canterbury House, Canterbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5l-52-positive_2400

Central Motors, Canterbury House, Canterbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5l-52-positive_2400

Central Motors in Canterbury Rd still looks much the same, but Canterbury House, although retaining the facade had two extra storeys added in 2015-6 with luxury flats and penthouses. It as built in 1862 when this was still a part of Kilburn Lane as a railway signal factory for Saxby & Farmer who became one of the largest employers in the area but moved out around 1906.

South Kilburn Estate, Crone Court, Rupert Road, Brent, 1988 88-5l-53-positive_2400
Crone Court, South Kilburn Estate, Rupert Road, Brent, 1988 88-5l-53

Crone Court is on the corner of Rupert Rd and Denmark Rd on the South Kilburn Estate and is due for redevelopment in the next few years. The 12 storey block, 32m tall, was completed in 1964.

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 198888-5l-55-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-55

Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium & Cycleworks was definitely in Malvern Rd, West Kilburn as it had a street sign higher up on the building. It had a remarkable window display and I took far too many pictures – a few of them here.

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-56-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-56

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-41-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-41

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-45-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-45

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 198888-5l-31-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-31

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


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More Around the King’s Road 1988

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

London House, Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-45-positive_2400
London House, Fulham Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-45

My walk around the streets to the north of the King’s Road took me as far as the Fulham Road where I found London House at No 266 and joined to it a Servite Catholic Church. Our Lady of Dolours was started by two Servite priests, missionaries from Florence who arrived in London in 1864. Building the church here, designed by Joseph Hansom began in 1874 and it was opened the following year by Cardinal Manning. The church is Grade II listed. London House is currently being refurbished and extended, returning the exterior to something more similar to its Victorian original.

Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-44-positive_2400
Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-44

V K Patel is still listed as having a dental surgery on the King’s Road, and, allowing for the various London number changes has retained the same phone number, but is now in a very different building to this rather run-down looking and overgrown house, which I think has probably been demolished.

Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-42-positive_2400
Langton St,, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-42

Flavio looks like an Italian restaurant and although my contact sheet suggests it was on the King’s Road, was actually a few yards from it in Langton St. I think it is now an Irish restaurant with a different shopfront.

Kings Rd area, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-54-positive_2400
Kings Rd area, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-54

I’m unable to remember where I took these two decorative bowls on window ledges, but think it might have been on Lamont Road or one of the adjoining roads.

Kings Rd area, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-56-positive_2400
Hobury St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-56

31 Gertrude St is on the corner with Hobury St and the door is actually in the latter street. It retains the simple elegance that attracted me to photograph it back in 1988. Poet and novelist George Meredith (1828-1909) has a blue plaque on the next house down Hobury St. It was his poem ‘The Lark Ascending’ that inspired the well-known composition by Ralph Vaughan Williams and elsewhere Meredith was the first to publish the word ‘tweets’ as a verb, though his twittering was avian.

Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-52-positive_2400
Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-52

Chamberlin, Powell & Bon designed 355 Kings R for Kensington and Chelsea council and this 15 storey 152 ft high tower was built in 1968-71. The council sold it off in the 1980s when the brickwork was begining to need repair and it was reclad and converted to private flats. At the right is an office of Roy Brooks, the estate agent who became a legend in the 1960s (he died in 1971) and made a fortune through his adverts in the Sunday Times and Observer desribed the houses he was selling in vivid terms as hardly fit for human habitation, exagerating any defects and making them up where none existed.

Lamont Road Passage, Park Walk, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988  88-5c-53-positive_2400
Lamont Road Passage, Park Walk, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-53

A handy passage for those living in Lamont Road to get to the shops in Park Walk and the King’s Road. The picture is of its corner with Park Walk and at left you can see Roy Brooks Estate Agents, a tree in the Milman’s Street Moravian Burial Ground and the house on the corner of Milmans St and the King’s Road. There is of course another tree in the shop window.

Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the other images in the album.


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.


Chelsea – Social Cleansing

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

The Gateways, Sprimont Place, College Place,  Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-43-positive_2400
The Gateways, Sprimont Place, College Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-43

The Gateways is a block of houses with a difference and though it may look ancient, was built in 1934 in a Tudor Revival style to designs by Herbert Winkler Wills (1864-1937) and William Kaula. Certainly unusual but not greatly to my liking the whole block was Grade II listed in 1993, some under the address Whitehead’s Grove.

Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-45-positive_2400
Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-45

All that remains of the old Chelsea Common is a small triangle at this road junction with two small fenced plots of grass, each with a small tree, separated by a footpath through its centre, room on both sides for a couple of park benches and a rubbish bin or two.

Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-46-positive_2400
Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-46

Stepping a few feet gave a clearer view of the pub, still now open but called The Wild Tavern, and the buildings down Elystan Place which are a part of The Gateways, with some good brickwork.

Bray Place, Draycott Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-51-positive_2400
Bray Place, Draycott Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988

The ornate ironwork around and in the door of 5 Bray Place finds an echo in the window opposite. This doorway has now been converted into a rather plain window and there are other changes to the exterior of the building. It remains a restaurant but with a different name under different management.

Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-52-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-52

This building is on Blacklands Terrace, but confusingly has the address 18 Culford Gardens, which it and the building to its right stand on the corner of. I don’t know when it was built – or perhaps when this frontage was added, but it was very different from the properties around. The ground floor has since been altered and is now less starkly geometrical.

Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-61-positive_2400
Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-61

Draycott Avenue is lined with large and rather boring appartment blocks, mainly in red brick, which are slightly enlivened by some impressive doorways – and I think this is the most impressive. Most of these large blocks of flats were built in the 1930s, replacing streets of smaller houses. In Pevsner’s The Buildings of England London NW it describes them as “enormous and forbidding blocks of flats, either cautiously Art Deco or approximately neoGeorgian in style.”

Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-01-positive_2400
Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-01
Sloane Avenue Mansions, Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-62-positive_2400
Sloane Avenue Mansions, Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-62

Sloane Avenue Mansions also dates from the 1930s, redeveloping an area of smaller houses but was designed by G. Kay Green in a more modern style with touches of Art Deco. Built in 1931-3, it towers 11 stories above the street, though appears slightly less massive as the top two are set back slightly. Around 20,000 working class people had lived in homes around here that were cleared after the company decided to redevelop the area in 1908, though much of the area remained empty or full of part-demolished slums until the 1930s. The large blocks of flats were usually provided with underground garages for the wealthy flat-dweller.

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


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.


Blacklands, Blowup, Flats, Baby Doll & more: 1988

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

Blacklands Terrace, Earl Jellicoe, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988   88-4r-23-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Earl Jellicoe, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-23

A GLC plaque records that Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe (1859-1935) lived in this house.

Blacklands Lane ran from the Kings Road to Fulham Road; most was renamed Marlborough Road in the 1820s and later became Draycott Avenue. The name Blacklands possibly came from the dark earth of Chelsea Common and was a small hamlet and a large house dating at least from the 1680s which at the start of the 18th century was a French boarding school for young ladies and became an asylum for the insane in the 19th century and Samuel Wesley spent some time as a patient there in 1808. Blacklands Terrace was developed at the end of the 19th century taking its name from the house a short distance to the west and was on a part of its extensive estate There was also a house nearby called Whitelands, which became a paper factory. The short street is now best known for a restaurant (an earlier version was a location in Blowup) and a independent bookshop opened by John Sandoe in 1957.

Blacklands Terrace, Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4r-25-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Bray Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-25-positive_2400

Both the outside of Andrea’s Restaurant and the interior feature in the film ‘Blowup’ made in 1966 and its exterior had changed little 22 years later. After than it became El Blason Restaurant & Tapas Bar and then in 2013 went considerably upmarket as The Five Fields with a Michelin star and prices to match.

Lucan Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-4r-31-positive_2400
Lucan Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-31

This huge block of flats in Brompton is the rear of Chelsea Cloisters, ten storeys with over 800 small flats as well as shops etc along its Sloane Avenue frontage, built in the 1930s, demolishing the earlier houses on the site. The block was controversially bought in 1968 by the Freshwater Corporation. The conversion of part of the property into a hotel was extremely controversial, and many tenants lost their homes. Plans by the GLC and Kensington & Chelsea council to buy the block for public housing fell through and in 1984 the 747 flats, garage, petrol-filling station, restaurant, and coffee shop were sold. It was then extensively refurbished. (British History Online.)

Bury Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-34-positive_2400
Bury Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-34

The entrance into a small private courtyard in front of 53 Bury Walk still has this pair of lions proudly guarding a rather plain and basic gate. The street perhaps gets its name (previously Bury Street) as it led to St Lukes Burial Ground. It was developed on Chelsea Common in the nineteenth century.

Flats, Kinbolton Row, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-43-positive_2400
Flats, Kinbolton Row, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-43

These flats are I think Thurloe Court which consists of two linked blocks, that at right with a frontage on the Fulham Road, or possibly a neighbouring 1930s block of flats, and I walked down the narrow Kinbolton Way to take this picture bwtween the blocks. An estate agent describes it as a “charming, period, redbrick portered mansion block ideally situated between South Kensington, Knightsbridge and Sloane Square” and flats there are valued at £1.5-£2m.

Shop, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-44-positive_2400
Shop, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-44

The Baby Doll poster is for the 1956 American dramatic black comedy film directed by Elia Kazan. I think the shop is probably in Crescent Mansions at 113 Fulham Road. Steps led down to a basement where men’s clothes were for sale.

Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-45-positive_2400
Pelham Crescent, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-45

Pelham Crescent was named after Henry Thomas Pelham, third Earl of Chichester, one of the trustees of the Smith’s Charity which acquired the land from nurserymen Samuel Harrison and William Bristow who went bankrupt in 1832. George Basevi junior provided the drawings for the house frontages which were contracted to builder James Bonnin who was required to build houses worth at least £800 and complete the job in seven years. (British History Online.) They now sell for over £10m.

Click on any of the images to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos and to browse the images there.


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.


South Kensington & Little Chelsea, 1988

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

St Yeghiche, Armenian, Church, Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-16-positive_2400
St Yeghiche Armenian Church, Cranley Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-16

I’m unsure why St Yeghiche Armenian Church should be Grade II* listed, as it appears to me to be a fairly typical Victorian Decorated Church, built as S Peter’s in 1866-7 by C J Freake for the Smith’s Charity Estate, with later alterations and additions by W.D Caröe and others in 1907-9, but it is perhaps the internal features including stained glass mentioned at some length in the listing which I’ve not seen that qualify it for that extra *.

Like me you may be ignorant of St Yeghiche, born in Alexandria around 435CE, but who is “is known for his many achievements that have enriched the cultural treasury of the Armenian Nation“. Working at a time when the Armenian alphabet was invented and the first translations of the Bible into Armenian were being made he wrote many commentaries on the Bible and other religious works. He was a personal scribe to the Armenian General in the involved in the “famous battle of Avarair” in 451CE and wrote the famous phrase “Death, unanticipated, is death; death, anticipated, is immortality”, which apparently became a motto for many Armenian soldiers.

Priory Walk, Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-22-positive_2400
Priory Walk, Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-22

This area is or was apparently known as ‘Little Chelsea in Kensington‘. If the architect of 86 Drayton Gardens had intended a heavy and ponderous effect then he was remarkably successful. This plot on the Gunter Estate was apparently developed by the builder Edward Deacon, who also built a couple of other houses along the street, but I think the architect is unknown. But the Victoria County History names its first occupier in 1888 as Sir Evan MacGregor, who was Permanent Secretary to the Admiralty for 23 years from 1884, a time when the navy underwent dramatic changes.

Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-23-positive_2400
Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-23

This very solid looking canopy and railings are in front of a large block of flats at 53 Drayton Gardens, built in the 1890s, architect J Norton. Not quite a porte-cochère and I think the only such structure on this street. The block is set a little further back from the road than most of the houses, many of which have rather solid front porches.

Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-24a-positive_2400
Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-24

A two storey house on Drayton Gardens which looks rather domestic and out of place and stands directly on the pavement, this is said to date from the earlier period of building in the area, around 1826. My black and white picture doesn’t do justice to the painting above the doorway, which shows the same house standing on its own (including those shutters) surrounded by fields – but without the painting.

Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-25-positive_2400
Drayton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-25

More flats at 49 Drayton Gardens. Architect again J Norton and again dating from 1894-8, these were too close to the road to need a canopy but have an impressive portico supported by five columns. It looks lopsided, as if it was designed to have two doorways, only the left one of which was actually built.

Priory Walk, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-32-positive_2400
Priory Walk, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-32

Although I made this picture on Priory Walk, the front door of the house is to the right at 24 Gilston Rd, one of a pair of large detached Italianate properties with pyramid roofed towers built between 1850 and 1852 to designs by George Goodwin. I’m told, but can’t confirm it, that Peter and Alison Smithson, two of Britain’s best-known modern architects of Brutalist masterpieces such as Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar moved in here in 1971.

The house was redesigned around 2012 by Shalini Misra with a 4,500 square foot new basement including a swimming pool, gym, media room and three bedrooms which almost doubled the floor area while leaving its exterior unchanged and can now be rented for £260,000 a month. Yes, a month.

Gilston Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-34-positive_2400
Gilston Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-34

Security cameras like this were rare back in 1988, and I don’t know why this building required one, but I smiled for the camera when I took this picture. There is a short section of road around here oddly absent from Google Streetview which I think is where this was located. I wondered if it was the home of one of a very nervous Russian oligarch.

The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-4o-42-positive_2400
The Boltons, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-42

The Boltons is undoubtedly the best known of the streets in the area, but one I found less interesting than some others. The area had been bought by James Gunter in 1807 who used much of it for market gardening. The whole ellipse was planned by the architect and editor of ‘The Builder’ George Godwin and built, mainly as large three-storey semi-detached pairs in 1849-59.

All of them are I think Grade II listed. They have Doric porches and their brick is faced with stucco. No 21 in my picture is a typical example, photographed where part of the wall had been removed which enabled a clearer view, and taken at an angle which hides some of what I felt was fussier detail.

Click on any image above to display a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos.


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


Grosvenor Canal, Chelsea & Belgravia 1988

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Chelsea, Westminster, 1988 88-4n-53-positive_2400
Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Chelsea, Westminster, 1988 88-4n-53

The Grosvenor Canal, now only vestigial, is one of London’s least-known canals, opened in 1824 when the Earl of Grosvenor decided to add a lock and turn what had been a tidal creek with a tide mill and feeding reservoirs for drinking water at Chelsea Waterworks (at right in picture) into a short canal, around three quarters of a mile long ending at a large basin, Grosvenor Basin. The lock needed two gates at the end where it connected to the river as the canal level could be higher or lower than the tidal river. The main traffic then on the canal was coal for the many houses in Westminster.

Victoria Station was built on much of this basin site in 1858, and when the station was expanded in 1902, the upper half of the canal was closed and the lower half sold to Westminster City Council who used it for barges carrying refuse. They closed more in 1925 to build the Ebury Bridge estate, but a short section was still in use, with barges taking Westminster’s rubbish onto the Thames, when I made this picture. It was then the last commercial canal in London. It closed in 1995 and has since been redeveloped as Grosvenor Waterside. More on Wikipedia

Savills, Sloane St, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-61-positive_2400
Savills, Sloane St, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-61

An estate agent selling the grand houses in the area with offices in a rather grand Grade II listed house on Sloane St, dating from the late 18th century. The listing text notes that the ground floor – reached up eight steps from the pavement – is in commercial use and describes the ground floor windows as wide, “with stucco fan motif lunettes above”.

Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-62-positive_2400
Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-62

A long white passageway with a charming lamp at the end hanging from wrought iron supports, behind a slightly more prosaic wrought iron gate. I wouldn’t have photographed it, not having a great love of the twee, but for the rather more practical lamp fitting at left with its cable housing leading rather nicely vertically down the wall to the curving shadow on the floor.

Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-63-positive_2400
Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-63

White fences have had a particular attraction for photographers since an iconic image by Paul Strand at Port Kent in 1916, though I make no suggestion that this is anywhere in the same league. But it did seem an awful lot of white fence in a rather confined space.

Skinner Place,  Belgravia, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-64-positive_2400
Skinner Place, Belgravia, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-64

Skinner Place looked like something from a rather meaner part of London, perhaps somewhere in Bethnal Green mysteriously translocated into Belgravia (which would have increased its price by a large factor.) But it was the huge union flag blocking the end of the street that I really liked, along with the rounded block of flats behind.

Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-15-positive_2400
Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-15

The Henry Smith Charity was established on the death of Henry Smith (1549-1628) who lived and profited through interesting times, lending money to many landed families and amassing large landholdings from their misfortunes. He left detailed instructions for the administration of his estates, and the charity trustees in 1640 bought “a marshy estate of mainly market gardens just outside London, in the parish of Kensington.” According the the charity web site, “Nearly four centuries after we were first established, The Henry Smith Charity is one of the largest grant making charities in Britain; making grants of £39.8 million in 2020.”

Smiths Charity, corruption, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-14-positive_2400
Smiths Charity, corruption, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-14

I spent some time reading the notices in this picture, but ended up little the wiser about the eviction of Major Parson in the 1970s, and the corruption alleged to have been involved. Reading a post from David Swarbrick about a 1974 legal case did little to help me but may held my legal friends.

Click on any of the above to see a large version and explore more pictures in my album 1988 London Photos.


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


House The Homeless In Empty Properties

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

We don’t actually have a housing shortage in the UK. There are more than enough homes to go round. What we have is mainly a failure to get homeless people into empty homes. A failure to provide homes that people can afford.

Of course there will always be a few empty homes, as people move or die and it takes a little time to sell the empty properties. But the latest official figures for homes that have been empty for more than six months in England is 268,385 – and the figures are growing. According to Crisis, “more than 200,000 families and individuals in England alone will be … finding themselves sleeping on the streets, hunkered down in sheds and garages, stuck in unsuitable accommodation or sofa surfing.”

Covid will make homelessness worse, with huge numbers of people now threatened by eviction as they have been unable to keep up with rent payments. There were various extensions to a ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, but this ban came to an end in England on 31 May – but continues until 30 June 2021 in Wales and 30 September 2021 in Scotland.

As well as making people homeless, evictions also increase the number of empty properties, and those who are evicted are unlikely to be able to afford new tenancies.

There are various reasons why properties remain empty. They may simply be in places where people don’t want to live, and while there is huge pressure on housing in some areas – and we have seen house prices leap up 10% in a month – there are others where houses are difficult to sell – and even some new build houses remain empty for long periods.

Covid has meant that many holiday lets – conventional and Airbnbs – have stayed empty, and demand may be slow to pick up. People with two homes, one close to their place of work, may now have decided they can work from their more distant home and abandon the other. But even when taking these factors into account there seems to be an underlying rise in empty homes.

But housing in England has become a dysfunctional system, and we need changes so that people who need homes can afford them. To put it simply we need some way to provide more social housing. And the best way to provide these is for councils to be given the resources to build this – and to take some of those empty properties into public ownership – including some of those sold off on the cheap under ‘right to buy’, many of which are now ‘buy to let’ properties from which people are facing eviction.

Newham Council, under the then Mayor Robin Wales, began emptying people from the Carpenters Estate in the early 2000s. Many perfectly good properties on the estate have remained empty for years as the council has looked for ways to sell off the area close to the Olympic site, despite the huge waiting list for housing in Newham.

Focus E15 Mums, young mothers facing eviction from a hostel in Stratford, were offered private rented properties hundreds of miles away with little or no security of tenure and relatively high rents. It’s difficult for one person to stand up to the council, but they decided – with support from others – to join together and fight, with remarkable success – which gained them national recognition. And they continue to campaign for others facing housing problems.

Seven years ago on Monday 9th June 2014 they came to the Carpenters Estate to expose the failure of Newham Council pasting up posters on deliberately emptied quality social housing vacant for around ten years on what had been one of Newham’s most popular council estate and called for it to be used to house homeless families.


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


Holland Park & Notting Hill

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021
Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-64-positive_2400
Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Holland Park is a street in London as well as an actual park and the name of a tube station which has transferred to an area of Kensington to the west of Notting Hill. Virtually every house in the street is listed – I think 88 of them. The exception is the Greek Embassy at No.1. This had been the most interesting house in the street. Built in 1860 it was bought in 1864 by banker Alexander C. Ionides (1810-1890), who had been Greek Consul General in London from 1854 to 1856. He and his son who inherited the house were wealthy Greek business men and patrons of the arts – and from 1864 and they transformed the property, commisioning external work leading Victorian architect Philip Webb, who also gave it a grand staircase and other fine public rooms, with internal decorative work by the leading figures of the day, including Willliam Morris who supervised much of the work and whose company provided much of it. It became a meeting-place for all London’s leading artists coming to its Sunday open house in the 1880s and 90s. The family moved out in 1898 and the house was sold a few years late.

Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-61-positive_2400
Holland Park, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

The interior of 1 Holland Park was meticulously recorded by the leading architectural photographer of the day, Henry Bedford Lemere as well as in the work of others. But the new owners – who were also the owners of nearby Holland House – did not treat it well, whitewashing over the William Morris ceilings. The house was badly damaged by bombing in WW2 and was sold with Holland House and the park to the London County Council in 1952, when it was reported that little worth preserving remained and the house was demolished. The building which now houses the Greek Embassy was built in 1962 by architects Playne & Lacey and bought by Greece in 1973. An article available online gives muuch more detail on the Ionides family and the house

Holland Park Mews, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-63-positive_2400
Holland Park Mews, Holland Park, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Holland Park is actually two parallel streets, each stuffed with listed houses, built under the watchful eye of Lady Holland who saw to it that they met her standards, though at the time they were not felt to be anything special – typical houses for the wealthy. And the wealthy needed carriages which required to be kept at hand, along with the horses to draw them. They and the men who looked after them lived in the mews between the two streets, and would be drive the carriages around when required to the front doors – and the rich would emerge from those iron and glass porte cochères to ride in them.

Stoneleigh Place, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-35-positive_2400
Stoneleigh Place, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

A short distance north of Holland Park, some housing is on a less grand scale.

Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-24-positive_2400
Freston Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Another picture from Freston Road. The London City Mission built The People’s Hall on Latimer Road in the Kensington Piggeries in 1902, when parts of the area were one of the worst slums in London. This part of Latimer Road was renamed Freston Road when the construction of the Westway and the West Cross Route cut it in half. The hall on the corner of Olaf St became the centre of the Free and Independent Republic of Frestonia in 1977. Probably it’s best known now as the place where much of The Clash’s album Combat Rock was recorded.

Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1c-61-positive_2400
Royal Crescent, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Royal Crescent is at the western edge of Holland Park/Notting Hill, just to the north of Holland Park Avenue, just east of the Holland Park roundabout. It was one of the earliest parts of the Norland Estate to be developed in the 1840s, to the estate plan of Robert Cantwell and is Grade II* listed. It took a long time to rent these properties, which were thought to be too far out from London in the days of horse-drawn traffic for the wealthy.

St Ann's Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1d-32-positive_2400
St Ann’s Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

St Anne’s Villas leads north from the centre of the Royal Crescent, and is on one of the routes I’ve sometimes walked more recently from Shepherd’s Bush station to join the silent walks remembering Grenfell.

St Ann's Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1c-52-positive_2400
St Ann’s Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

St Anne’s Villas were built as a part of the Norland Estate, mainly around 1845. The area was developed by by Charles Richardson with barrister Charles Stewart taking building licences from him for these Tudor Gothic revival semi-deatched houses, now Grade II listed.


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.


Brixton Feb 1987

Monday, August 3rd, 2020
Celestial Church of Christ, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Junction, Lambeth, 1987 87-2p-11-positive_2400
Celestial Church of Christ, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1987

Friends and others I showed pictures to at the time or talked about my work with often expressed surprise at some of the areas of London I went to when taking photographs. They saw places like Brixton as crime-ridden and dangerous and wondered that I felt safe, particularly as I was walking around the streets carrying a bag with expensive equipment worth thousands of pounds on my shoulder.

Beds, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Junction, Lambeth, 1987 87-2p-23-positive_2400
Beds, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Junction, Brixton, Lambeth, 1987

I did think a little about it myself and even once attended a training session – the only man in a group of women – about keeping safe on city streets. But the only times I ever really felt threatened were not in the kind of areas that some reacted with horror to, but in lonelier parts of the plusher suburbs.

Furniture, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Junction, Lambeth, 1987 87-2p-25-positive_2400
Furniture, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Junction, Brixton Lambeth, 1987

I felt more at home in the many working-class areas of London than in the West End or City, and certainly dressed in a way that fitted in more there. I tried hard to be aware of my surroundings and not to behave in ways that drew attention to myself. And I think I was reasonably street-wise, keeping calm and confident, looking as if I knew what I was doing and where I was going and being aware of others. There were a few times when I decided against going down a particular street or alley, or crossed the street to avoid possible trouble. Because I needed the light I always worked during the day time, when all areas are safer.

White goods, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Junction, Lambeth, 1987 87-2p-36-positive_2400
White goods, Coldharbour Lane, Loughborough Junction, Brixton, Lambeth, 1987

Of course taking photographs does make you stand out, but mostly people just ignored me. A few would stop and talk, and I tried to explain why I was taking a picture, though I think they mostly thought I was mad but harmless. Some people thought I must be from the council – or the newspapers, and occasionally people – particularly children – would insist I took there picture. Of course I did.

Flats, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1987 87-2p-41-positive_2400
Flats, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1987
Burroughs, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1987 87-2p-64-positive_2400
Burroughs, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1987

‘Burroughs’ closed as an Eel and Pie shop in the 1990s, but remains as a restaurant. Its shop-front had been replaced by something flat and bland but was recreated a few years ago, and it now serves Japanese soul food rather than cockney.

There are a few more pictures from this area in February 1987 in the album 1987 London Photos.

Mainly Camden – 1986

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

The pictures on the final page, Page 14 of my 1986 London Photographs, were taken in November and December of the year, mainly in Camden, though they have a wider aspect than that might suggest, including Cosmos Radio Cars and the Night bell for the Universe. Few people really realise how far the London Borough of Camden actually stretches, almost down to Fleet St and up to Hampstead Heath, though the pictures here are from the sourthern part of the borough, along with a few over the boundary into the City of London

Pratt St, Camden 86-11l-13
PsaroTaverna Ta “Varelia”, Pratt St, Camden

There are still many shops in the area which show the presence of the Greek and Greek Cypriot community in Camden. I particularly liked the barrels outside the PsaroTaverna (Fish tavern) Ta “Varelia” in Pratt St, their shapes echoed by the balconies to the right of the picture.

In the window you can see the reflection of what appears to be one of the blocks of the Curnock St Estate, but both this taverna and those balconies seem to have disappeared without trace. There is still a taverna on Pratt Street, but now it competes with food from Italy, Japan and possibly elsewhere.

Herbrand St, Bloomsbury, Camden 86-12a-41_2400
Car Park, Herbrand St, Bloomsbury, Camden

Relatively few car parks enjoy listed status, but the Frames Coach Station and London Borough of Camden Car Park in Herbrand Street, close to Russell Square certainly deserves its Grade II listing, made in 1982. It was built in 1931 to the designs of architects Wallis, Gilbert and Partners for Daimler Car Hire Ltd. After they were taken over this building became used by the London Taxi Centre and Frames Coaches. The sign in my picture above the entrance to the spiral ramp which took cars to the upper stories calls it a ‘London Borough of Camden Official Car Park.’

Some may be familiar with the building from their childhood as it was the basis for the Fisher Price toy garage. The building deteriorated badly over the years and has been sensitively and extensively renovated to provide 60,000 sq foot of office accommodation, currently occupied by what claims to be the most powerful advertising agency in the world, McCann Erickson. 

Urinal, Star Yard, Holborn, Camden 86-12d-12_2400
Urinal, Star Yard, Holborn

As a then un-diagnosed diabetic, facilities such as this were of great interest to me and I made use of this on numerous occasions when I was in the area.

It is still in place but was closed when I last walked past, necessitating a visit to the basement of a nearby Wetherspoons pub.

Lyme Terrace, Camden 86-12a-52_2400
Lyme Terrace, Camden

The Regents Canal runs through the centre of Camden and I’ve often enjoyed a walk beside it. Lyme Terrace is a narrow pedestrian street that runs above the towpath. This view towards Royal College St is rather different now, although the white-painted small terrace is still there (now pale blue) but Lawford and Sons builders materials is long gone with an oval modern block tacked on to the wall at the end of the terrace on Royal College St.

Traveller camp, Kentish Town Rd, Camden 86-12g-42_2400
Traveller Camp, Kentish Town

The large building in the background is the HQ of the Transport Police beside the canal on the corner of Camden Rd and Camden St.

I think this encampment was on land that had been cleared for the building of Camden Gardens. At left you can see a heap of scrap, but overall the site which went up to the railway arches seems relatively tidy. Another picture (not on line) shows rubbish by the railway arches, but this could be fly-tipping not connected with the travellers.

Kent House, Ferdinand St, Camden 86-12j-22_2400
Kent House, Ferdinand St, Chalk Farm

Another of Camden’s many Grade II listed buildings, Kent House on Ferdinand St in Chalk Farm. These two blocks of model low-cost flats and shop were built in 1935 for the St Pancras House Improvement Society. Designed by Colin Lucas with Amyas Connell and Basil Ward they provided features better than many private developments of the era for cheap social housing – as the listing text comments: “staircase access, room layouts, generous useable balconies and total use of electricity for servicing put Kent House at the forefront of contemporary flat design with the quality of detailing expected from a private commission. ”

This was however the only development of its type by  Connell, Ward and Lucas.

This ends my series on work in the album 1986 London Photographs, although I may at some point add more pictures and more descriptive text. But you can also add comments to the pictures on Flickr. I hope shortly to begin to put some of my work from 1987 on line.


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.