Posts Tagged ‘Hammersmith’

Nine years ago: 6 Oct 2012

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Proposals to close Accident and Emergency services at four of the nine hospitals in North West London provoked fury among local residents and opposition from local councils as they would mean slow journeys over heavily congested roads for those living in much of northwest London. The proposals seemed to be motivated simply by cost savings with no regard to the consequences.

This protest was one of a number that I photographed, particularly about the closure of A&E and some other services at both Charing Cross Hospital (which is in Hammersmith) and Ealing Hospital. The previous month I had photographed a http://mylondondiary.co.uk/2012/09/sep.htm#hospitals large march from Southall Park to Ealing Hospital against the closure plan and there was another march to Central Middlesex Hospital taking place that same day.

These large and widespread protests and legal actions taken by the protesters were almost certainly a major factor behind the decision in March 2019 by then Health Secretary Matt Hancock to finally scrap the plans for what was the biggest hospital closure programme in the history of the NHS. The campaigners welcomed the decision but said it should have come much earlier rather than after seven years of the Dept of Health supporting the plans, which would have involved demolishing Charing Cross Hospital and selling off most the site.

I photographed as people gathered for the march in Shepherds Bush but had to leave as the march was setting off for Hammersmith and a rally in Fulham to go to Westminster.

Britain First, a far-right anti-Muslim movement (it describes itself as “a modern, responsible patriotic political movement”) was protesting at Downing St against what they described as ‘Britain’s secret shame – Muslim Grooming’ and were joined on their protest by members of other extremist groups including the English Defence League. After protesting for around an hour at Downing St they marched the short distance to Parliament Square where they tried to burn an Islamic flag. It proved to be rather fire-resistant.

A few yards away, thousand of Muslims packed Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament in a peaceful protest against an Anti-Muslim film made in the USA. They called for laws to protect religious figures.

The film, Innocence of Muslims, a crude video made by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakoula_Basseley_Nakoula Egyptian-born American writer Mark Basseley Youssef had already prompted violent anti-American protests in various Muslim countries. Youssef was then in jail in Los Angeles for violations of a probation order which, among other things included making false statements regarding his role in the film, and his use of the alias “Sam Bacile”. He had a previous conviction for in 1997 for intent to manufacture methamphetamine and was under probation following release in June 2011 from being jailed in 2010 for his part in a bank fraud.

Youssef, under his alias Bacile, falsely claimed that the anti-Islamic film had been funded by $5 million from 100 Jewish donors and that he was an Israeli Jew. An Egyptian court tried him and others in absentia and sentenced them to death for defaming Islam in November 2012. He was released from prison in 2013 to serve the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house in Californinia followed by 4 years of probabation.

Finally I travelled to Kilburn for a march and rally demanding Brent council rehouse the Counihan family from South Kilburn. Two years earlier, Anthony Counihan, a London bus driver inherited a few acres of poor land in Galway on the death of his father. Rented out, it brings an income of £18 a week.

He reported this to Brent Council, who responded with an eviction order and a demand for repayment of £70,000 of housing benefit, later telling him he should move back with his family to Ireland where he was born – while continuing to drive a bus from Cricklewood Depot. His wife Isabel and five children were all born in Brent.

The case was complicated by the fact that the family had moved out of a council property to go back to Ireland for a year to look after his sick father, and had signed away their lease as the council had not told them they could sublet for the year, and by their treatment by the council after their return, when they were unable to find accomodation they could afford on a bus-drivers salary. Brent decided they had made themselves “intentionally homeless” and were refusing their statutory duty to rehouse the family.

More on all at:
Rehouse the Counihans
Muslims against Anti-Muslim Film
Britain First – Muslim Grooming
Save Our Hospitals – Shepherds Bush


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Hammersmith to Holland Park

Saturday, May 22nd, 2021

Brook Green, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1a-56-positive_2400
Brook Green, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Helpfully a street sign and a number inform me that this is 180 Shepherds Bush Rd, at the western edge of Brook Green. The road at one time used to wander around here but long ago traffic was routed straight through the grassy space, with both new and old road remaining as Shepherds Bush Road. There are no properties on the new section of the road, just a bus stop, traffic signs and traffic lights.

Without the information on the photo it would be hard to place this picture, as nothing visible remains of this part of the factory which housed Express Lifts and was I think part of the large Osram works which had began making carbon lamps here in 1881. It went on to produce many other types of lamps until around 1955, continuing only to produce argon and electronic valves until 1988 and was demolished the same year, with only its tower with the famous Osram Dome elsewhere on the site being saved, incorporated into the Tesco Superstore that took its place

Sinclair Rd, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1a-43-positive_2400
Sinclair Rd, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

You can still find this pair of houses on Sinclair Rd, part of one of many conservation areas in Hammersmith & Fulham. There are a number of houses with impressive paired porches on the street, substantial four storey houses dating from around 1880. This pair is one of relatively few to have retained the stucco urns under the porticos, and this is a particularly impressive example with slender columns and capitals, but I think the real attraction for me was the incredibly morose bearded and moustached crowned head at the base of a finial.

Springvale Terrace, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-1a-32-positive_2400
Springvale Terrace, Hammersmith, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

In the same conservation area as Sinclair Rd is a small section of very different housing. This small block which contained around 24 late Victorian terraced houses with a small Radiator Factory at its north end had been replaced by these modern buildings by 1988. The picture is taken from the road at the south side of this small estate.

St John the Baptist, Church, Holland Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1a-26-positive_2400
St John the Baptist, Church, Holland Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Crossing the railway at the bridge on Addison Gardens took me from Hammersmith & Fulham into the Holland Park area of Kensington & Chelsea and St John the Baptist Church in Holland Rd, a remarkably exuberant Grade I listed building by the distinguished Victorian church architect James Brook, “cathedral-like in scale and ambition, combining Brooks’s devotion to severe early Gothic models with a degree of material opulence not seen in his better-known East End churches”. Begun in 1872 it was completed in stages when the parish had the money and only finished after Brook’s death with finishing touches (perhaps unfortunate) by his successor John Standen Adkins in 1910.

The well-illustrated feature on the history of the church on the church web site states “St John’s is a distinguished and integrated time-capsule of the Anglo-Catholic movement. It is regularly in use for that traditional form of worship today.”

Holland Park Gardens Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1a-15-positive_2400
15 Holland Park Gardens, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

The London School of English is still in this imposing building in Holland Park Gardens. Perhaps surprising I avoided the wide sweep of steps leading up to its door, probably in order to emphasise the nest of balloons tied to its railings.

Addisland Court, Holland Villas Road, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1a-11
Addisland Court, Holland Villas Road, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-1a-11

Addisland Court is a prestigious block of flats that screams 1930s Art Deco and its site design also very much reflects the golden age of motoring (when it was only for the rich.) A three bedroom flat here has an estimated value of around £2million. It was apparently used as a location in a couple of episodes of a TV series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. It was built in 1936, designed by William Bryce Binnie whose other works include the East Stand at Arsenal’s old Highbury ground and who after distinguished war service had been assistant architect at the Imperial War Graves Commission for which he designed a number of memorials in France and Belgium.


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.