Posts Tagged ‘Kensington’

Thunderbird, Olympic Park & Transphobia at the Mail

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

On Friday 19th October 2018 ‘Commander Neil Godwin Tracy’ of International Rescue came from Tracy Island carrying his ship Thunderbird 2 to the Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in London to offer his organisation’s assistance to produce policies which which recognise the desperate need to cut carbon emissions to avoid disastrous global warming and climate change by banning all fracking.

Campaigners say BEIS has spent more time on changing its name than developing sensible policies, and the ministry refused his generous offer of health, and security removed the International Rescue poster he tried to past to the front wall. Police requested he remove a second poster with the message ‘Fracking Awful Business’.

I had another event to cover later in the day and took the opportunity of the several hours between the two to pay a visit to the Olympic Park in Stratford, walking from the station through Stratford Westfield, a vast shopping centre I described as a 21st century version of Hell to do so.

I came out at the back of John Lewis and walked along the road towards the park, over the railway which takes Eurostar speeding through Stratford International station. There are more local trains that stop but I’ve yet to feel a need to go to either Ebbsfleet or Ashford (Kent) a place that has always seemed to me only to exist to confuse those who really want to go to Ashford, Middlesex, now called by the railway Ashford (Surrey).

The part of the park called the Waterglades was actually looking rather good, with the trees beginning to change colour, and I took rather a lot of pictures.

The lake was looking a very bright green. Soon I found I was at a dead end and needed to retrace my steps to cross the River Lea and make my way towards my destination through some of the more arid and desolate areas of the park.

There is a useful bridge now across the Lea Navigation to Hackney Wick where I had time to wander round and photograph some of the graffiti as I made my way to Fish Island and then on over the East Cross Route to catch a bus on Old Ford Road to Bethnal Green tube station.

Sister Not Cister UK had organised a protest outside the Daily Mail building in Kensington after articles demonising trans people, particularly trans women, in The Metro which they publish, and their printing an advertisement campaign for the hate group, “Fair Play for Women”.

The protesters, including many trans people, say that these attacks on the trans community will hurt the most marginalised – trans women, working class trans people and trans people of colour – who are also the most likely to be in need of the services that such hateful campaigners seek to deny them. More were arriving to join the protest when I decided I needed to leave for home.

Mail group end your transphobic hate
Olympic Park walk
BEIS refuse International Rescue help


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


End Gaza Invasion: 2014

Monday, July 26th, 2021

Israel ‘disengaged’ from Gaza in 2005, but retained many controls in what international bodies still consider a form of occupation. It has maintained a blockade, controlling access by sea and air to the area which has a closed border with Egypt and strict border controls to Israel. With 1.85m Palestinians on under 140 square miles it is the third most densely populated area in the world. (See Wikipedia for most of the figures in this post.)

The Israeli and US-led economic blockade of Gaza, imposed after Hamas gained a majority in the area in the 2006 elections and too over from Fatah in 2007 has stopped the import and export of many goods, and together with damage caused by Israel air raids and invasions has led to severe shortages of water, medicine and power.

The protest in London on July 26th 2014 came during the Israeli ‘Operation Protective Edge’, which had begun on July 8th with bombing and artillery fire and escalated to a ground invasion on July 17th, with the aim of killing as many Palestinian militants as possible. It was sparked by the murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas members but the Israeli response was quite disproportionate.

Estimates of deaths and damage vary slightly, but agree that over two thousand Palestinians were killed, with the UN suggesting that 1,462 of these were civilians. 67 Israeli soldiers were killed and 6 civilians were killed by Palestinian rockets.

The damage to properties was similarly disproportioate. While around 18,000 homes were destroyed or seriously damaged in Gaza, Palestinian rockets only destroyed one in Israel. Gaza also lost over 200 places of worship, and almost three hundred primary schools and 73 medical facilities were badly damaged or destroyed. The attacks are said to have produced around 2.5 million tons of rubble in Gaza.

Jeremy Corbyn on the march in Whitehall

This is of course not the only year in which there were attacks by Israel on Gaza. “008-9 saw ‘Operation Cast Lead’ which also produced incredible devastation and over a thousand Palestinian Deaths and 13 of Israelis. In 2018 there were border protests in which over 13,000 Palestinians were seriously wounded by Israeli snipers and many killed. A UN Human Rights Council’s independent commission examined 489 cases of Palestinian deaths or injuries and found that only two were possibly justified as responses to danger and the rest were illegal. And most recently in May 2021 there were ten days of attacks by Israeli forces resulting in more destruction and deaths.

The protest on July 26th began on the main road close to the Israeli Embassy, tucked away in a private street in Kensington. Soon themain road was packed with people many too far away to hear the speeches despite the amplification. Finally it moved off on its way to Parliament Square.

There was a long list of speakers at the rally, including a number of well-known musicians and other public figures, but I began to feel rather tired, having been on my feet too long covering this and another protest, and I left before the end. But you can see pictures of many of the speakers as well as the crowd in My London Diary.

As usual there were many Jewish supporters of Palestine on the march, and a small group of the ultra-orthodox Neturei Karta anti-Zionist Jews who had walked from north London to join the rally.

Stop the Massacre in Gaza Rally
End Gaza Invasion March to Parliament
Israeli Embassy rally – End Gaza Invasion

Around Gloucester Rd – 1988

Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Cornwall Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-02-positive_2400
Cornwall Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-02

I never felt quite at ease when photographing the plusher areas of Kensington, but it was something I felt I had to do if my work was to reflect the whole of London. And certainly these streets showed an enormous diversity and and incredible amount of craftsmanship made possible by the wealth of London, particularly in the Victorian era, largely dependent on our exploitation of the British Empire as well as the working class of this country.

Cornwall Gardens was built between 1862, when Queen Victoria’s eldest son who was the Duke of Cornwall had the title Prince of Wales added to his portfolio and 1879 and is a series of three linked rectangular garden squares to the west of Gloucester Rd. This building is later and I think not actually in Cornwall Gardens (as my contact sheet says) but close to it, though I can’t actually find it.

Queen's Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-12-positive_2400
Queen’s Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-12

Helpfully 56 Queens Gate Terrace has its address on it. It is part of a Grade II listed pair at 56-58 on the corner of Gloucester Rd built by architect Charles Gray in 1863–65.

Queen's Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-16-positive_2400
Queen’s Gate Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-16

This is the side of 58 Queen’s Gate Terrace which adjoins the Gloucester Rd, which has been occupied since 1972 by Da Mario Kensington, described on Google as “Family friendly trattoria in Venetian-Gothic building, serving thin-crust pizza and other classics.”

Elvaston Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-33-positive_2400
Elvaston Place, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-33

The out-of-focus posts at left and extreme right lend this fenced yard in front of a Queen’s Gate Lodge on Elvaston Place a rather sinister feel, quite different from the next picture in the album (not in this post) which you can see if you click on the above and then to the right.

The house is on the corner of Elvaston Mews, entered through a rather grand arch like many in the area.

Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-42a-positive_2400
Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-42

Kynance Mews also has its entrance arch, in this case from Launceston Place, though rather more rugged and business-like, and it faces a similar arch across Launceston Place into the east section of the mews.

Back in 1988 the house to its right was occupied by Hairdressers Simon and Peter St John but now appears to be residential.

Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-62-positive_2400
Launceston Place, Kynance Mews, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

And this is the facing archway on the east side of Launceston Place.

88-4f-63-positive_2400
Launceston Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-63

Next to the hairdressers on Launceston Place is this rather fine villa. Along with its neighbours it is Grade II listed and described as a semi-detached stucco house, circa 1830, distinguished from the others in the row by its circular tower and dome

Kynance Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-65-positive_2400
Kynance Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4f-65

There are several shops in Kynance Place which is off Gloucester Road immediately north of Kynance Mews, but I can’t remember which of them had this window display. It appears to feature a number of brushes, some things I think might be small genuine sponges, a tortoise (or turtle?) and an advert for eyelash dye, something I never knew existed, but apparently in demand in Kensington.

There are quite a few more pictures around the area in my album 1988 London Photos which you can access by clicking on any of the above images to get a larger version from where you can browse 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.


Knightsbridge – Around Hyde Park

Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Rutland Gate, Westminster, 198888-4c-55-positive_2400
Rutland Gate, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-55

The Rutland Gate to Hyde Park from Knightsbridge is just to the west of Hyde Park Barracks, and Rutland Gate is a rather strange double square with bits that extends south from there. These houses are at its south-west extremity, and that in the right is called Clock House, though I think you have to imagine the clock in the circular window above the door. It does have a statue on its roof, or possibly on that of an adjoining building, which appears to be some kind of classical figure. The frontage dates from its conversion to a ‘bijou residence’ between the wars, and the statuary arrived in the 1960s when Austin Blomfield remodelled the house for a former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Henry Aylwen.

Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02-positive_2400
Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02

Down the road at the Albert Memorial there is no shortage of sculptures, although I’m unsure why this rather large and half-dressed woman seated on an elephant should have been chosen to represent Asia. I suspect she more represents the fantasies of the sculptor than anything else.

Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12-positive_2400
Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12

Albert is also remembered in Albert Mews, through the archway on this picture of Victoria Grove. Victoria Grove runs from Gloucester Road to Victoria Road.

Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16-positive_2400
Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16

Kensington Court Gardens is a large mansion block built on the site of the Kensington Lawn Tennis Club in 1887-9 which was bought by Albert Barker. The block was designed by Henry Peck and built by Frederick Moir of Moir, Wallis and Company who moved into a flat there. The street, then Charles St, was renamed to Kensington Court Place in 1908. Flats then were advertised at between £195-£250 per year – equivalent allowing for inflation to £25,000 to £33,000. Some are quite large – one recent advertised had 4 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, a large study, large kitchen/breakfast room and 3 bathrooms.

The flats have a blue plaque for T S Elliot who moved to flat 3 after his secret marriage to his secretary and editor Valerie in 1957 when he was 68 and she was 30. He died in 1965 but she continued to live her until her death in 2012

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21

The blue plaque to sculptor Jacob Epstein is on a tall house at 18 Hyde Park Gate where he lived from 1929 until his death in 1959. Almost opposite is another blue plaque for novelist and playwright Enid Bagnold, and a little further down the road one for Winston Churchill who bought the house as his London base after his election defeat in 1945. Widely regarded as a hero for leading the country through the war, he is also vilified for his attacks on miners in Tonypandy, the deaths of millions of Indians in the Bengal famine, his approval of area bombing of German cities – surely a war crime – and many other actions.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22

The flag outside 45 Hyde Park Gate is the Australian flag as this is the Australian High Commissioners official residence. The house has been greatly altered and enlarged since it was built in 1838 as Stoke Lodge by Robert Thew, a major in the East India Company’s artillery.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31

Hyde Park Gate also includes sections running along the south side of Kensington Road as well as a road leading south. These modern flats are on the north east corner I think date from around 1972 when I think the houses on both sides of the entrance to the street were demolished.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-4d-32-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-32

Reading the list of well-known people who have lived in Hyde Park Gate in the Survey of London and on Wikipedia it seems almost every house could have a blue plaque. This one is for Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ, DL though there isn’t room for all that on the plaque at 9 Hyde Park Gate, which simply records “Robert Baden-Powell 1857-1941 Chief Scout of the World lived here”.

All pictures are from my album 1988 London Photos. Clicking on any of the images will take you to a larger versinon in the album from where you can navigate forward or backward through all the images.


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


Wealthy Kensington – 1987

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

The London I grew up in, on the outskirts of the capital was an area of small late Victorian terraces and Edwardian and inter-war two or three-bed semis, interspersed with the occasional factory, church and municipal buildings, with few or any sizeable private houses of any age. It was largely working class, poor and largely honest but not particularly deprived. And back then we had the NHS, free education and the welfare state.

Walking around Holland Park and other wealthy areas of Kensington is a completely different world; another country of large detached house and large blocks of mansion flats, an opulence based both on the exploitation of the British Empire and of the exploitation of the workers in the mass of England. I wrote first “our country”, but I think it was never really our country, but their country, “England” or “Great Britain” a deception that sent many working people to toil in factories or die in the trenches – as well as profiting from slavery and working in mines and plantations across the world.

Looking at these pictures now, it’s hard not to think of the times I have walked past some of these and similar places more recently, often on my way to Grenfell Tower or to join the monthly silent marches in memory of those who died there, some of which have passed through this area, walking from Kensington Town Hall.

Vintage car, Philbeach Gardens,  Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12c-65-positive_2400
Vintage car, Philbeach Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The Addison Road area was the first to be developed, on 200 acres of farmland belonging to Lord Holland, beginning in the 1820s. The estate was sold off in parts for development from 1823 to 1930.

Royal Crescent, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12d-12-positive_2400
Royal Crescent, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Royal Crescent to the north of Holland Park Avenue was built in 1846, and the whole crescent of houses is Grade II* listed. The picture shows the eastern corner of the crescent with Holland Park Avenue.

St Anns Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12d-15-positive_2400
St Anns Villas, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The road leading north from the centre of Royal Crescent is St Ann’s Villas and is lined with substantial houses. After a few in stucco and a road junction it is lined with a development of 12 similar but not identical semidetached houses in a red brick Tudor style, with attractive stonework and blue brick diapering, built in 1852 and Grade II listed. The blue plaque here is for music hall artist Albert Chevalier, born here and best remembered for one of his many songs “My Old Dutch”. Although he wrote and performed in cockney as a costermonger and was called ‘the coster’s laureate’, he was from a rather more middle-class background, his father being the French master at Kensington School, Jean Onésime Chevalier, and Albert was christened Albert Onésime Britannicus Gwathveoyd Louis Chevalier. His mother was Welsh, which accounts for the Gwathveoyd, more usually spelt Gwaithfoed.

87-12d-23-positive_2400
Debenham House, Peacock House, Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Debenham House, also known as Peacock House, is the only Grade I listed building in the Addison Rd, designed by architect Halsey Ricardo for department store owner Ernest Ridley Debenham and completed in 1907. it became known as Debenham House after it was sold following Debenham’s death in 1952. The exterior, designed to retain its appearance despite the ravages of London’s soot with coloured tiles and glazed bricks is in an Italianate style, but the interiors are Arts and Crafts, with work by some of the leading designers of the time. Unfortunately we can only see them in photographs and in several films made using it as a location.

87-12d-31-positive_2400
Holland Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Holland Road is a long straight street largely lined with 4 storey terraces of substantial houses like the one in this picture. Expect to pay something around £4m for one of them – or perhaps £700,000 for a 1-bed flat.

Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12d-35-positive_2400
Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This house at 77 Addison Road is opposite Debenham House and I rather prefer its more restrained manner.

Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12d-41-positive_2400
Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

One of a row of similar houses on Addison Rd, in a neo-Gothic style dating from around the 1850s. The next door house is listed but for some reason this one is not.

Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12d-42-positive_2400
Addison Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And this is the house next door, rather hidden behind its more impressive gate

All pictures are from page 8 of my album 1987 London Photos.

Back to Kensington – 1987

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Iverna Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-32-positive_2400
Iverna Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I returned to Kensington and took a few more pictures in November 1987. In my project on London I liked to go back to walk around areas a second time, often walking along the same streets in the opposite direction or on the opposite side of the streets to perhaps see things I had not noticed on my walk. There were some areas too that I found of more interest that I’d return to every few years, and others that I visited regularly for reasons other than photography, perhaps to visit friends or go to particular shops etc.

Scarsdale Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-34-positive_2400
Scarsdale Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I can’t at this remove remember what took me back to Kensington only a short time after I’d previously walked there. It may have been that there were some pictures I’d taken that I wasn’t entirely happy with, though there were probably plenty I thought that about. Perhaps I had some business not far away, or an exhibition I went to see, and it’s an area not far from where a friend had a studio. But what impresses me now is the variety of the architecture I found there.

Cheniston Lodge, Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-35-positive_2400
Cheniston Lodge, Cheniston Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Cheniston Gardens was given its name by its developers and derives from the spelling of Kensington in the Domesday Book when ‘Chenesitone’ had18 villagers, 7 slaves and one priest. Chenistone Lodge, the single red brick and terracotta Queen Anne building in a sea of stucco was the last building to be completed on the street in 1885. It was on the site of Abingdon House, where in 1874 Archbishop Manning set up a Catholic University College run by Thomas Capel, which was a failure as wealthy Catholics preferred to continue to get special dispensation to send their sons to Oxbridge, and because of Capel’s poor finanacial management, which led to his bankruptcy in 1878. More problems were to follow for him, and the following year Monsignor Capel was found guilty of having sex with three women (one a servant of one of the others); on his appeal to Rome there was no verdict on his guilt or innocence but he was sentenced to continue his career in the Catholic Church in the United States. Abingdon House was sold to the developers in 1879.

Cheniston Lodge was let to a number of tenants in the years up to the First World War and later had two longer term residents, probably as private owners. In October 1940 Kensington Council purchased the freehold for £2000 to use it as an air raid materials store, and after the war it became Kensington Registry Office. It was Grade II listed shortly before they sold it to a developer in 1981 for £250,000 to be converted into offices. In around 2012 it was converted back into a single residence.

St. Sarkis, Armenian Church, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-46-positive_2400
St. Sarkis, Armenian Church, Iverna Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Not far from Cheniston Lodge is the Grade II* listed St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Iverna Gardens which is the only church in the country in the traditional Armenian style, inspired by a 13th century monastery which looks remarkably similar but rather squatter, but it was designed by English architect Arthur Joseph Davis. The building was a gift of the oil baron Calouste Gulbenkian in 1922–23, and conveniently his father had been named after the Armenian St Sarkis the Warrior and it was built as a memorial for his parents, and apparently contains sculptures of his family members inside. Like Cheniston Lodge it was also listed in 1981, possibly as a part of the comprehensive review after developers Trafalgar House demolished the art deco Firestone Tyres building on the Great West Road during the August Bank Holiday in 1980 to prempt its listing the following day.

Baptist Church, Kensington Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-61-positive_2400
Baptist Church, Kensington Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Rather plainer than St Sarkis is Bethesda Baptist Chapel in Kensington Place, suitably austere for ‘strict bapists’.

It was The Chapels Society ‘Chapel of the Month in May 2017, where Dr Jennifer Freeman writes:

The Church in Kensington Place was built in 1866 for baptised believers who subscribe to ‘Restricted Communion’ ( i.e. with communion being exclusively available to professing, baptised Christians), to ‘Particular Redemption’ and to the teachings of the Authorised Version of the Bible, under the oversight of a Pastor.

Apparently the facade is now illuminated: “in the evening delicate floodlighting pinpoints the building“, though when I photographed it there was only a broken light fitting over the door – and I think it had once been for a gas lamp. Inside Dr Freeman describes it as “dignified modest and reverent, in spirit with Baptist thinking.”

Kensington Church St area, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-11e-63-positive_2400
Kensington Church St area, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Although at first sight these long Victorian stucco terraces look the same, closer inspection shows significant differences, enough for me to decide that this is not any of the Kensington streets I’ve looked at. But it is number 15 on a street in Kensington – and if you can be sure which street please click on the image to go into it in my Flikr album and write a comment to let me know.

HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-11e-66-positive_2400
HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I don’t think I had any real reason to revisit Hyper Hyper and photography these leftover caryatids from its previous incarnation as an antiques supermarket as my previous image was I think satisfactory. But when you are in the area and walk past something like this it isn’t easy or even necessary not to indulge in another photograph.

These images are all from page 8 of my Flickr album 1987 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.


Kensington 1987

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Kensington Square,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-65-positive_2400
Kensington Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Kensington often seemed to me to be more a film set than a real place.

HyperHyper, Kensington High St,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-55-positive_2400
HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And it was certainly in places ‘HyperHyper’; this designer collective was launched in 1982 at 26-40 Kensington High St with stalls selling the latest and often looniest fashions from young designers. The caryatids were a hangover from the store’s previous incarnation as the Antiques Hypermarket. They are now long gone, and the site is now a rather down-market clothing store.

Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-02-positive_2400
Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building is still there, though under a different name and has lost its urns. Victoria Road is one of a number of streets that have at least once been named as the most expensive streets in the United Kingdom, though the hotel seems rather reasonably priced for the area.

Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-56-positive_2400
Kensington Gardens, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Mainly I went to Kensington Gardens to sit and eat my sandwich lunch when I was in the area, but I did take the odd picture.

Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-01-positive_2400
Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And another, of the sunken garden, set out in 1908. In 2017 it was named the Princess Diana Memorial Garden, but this picture was taken around ten years before she was killed.

Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-42-positive_2400
Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens, Westminster, 1987

Parts of the gardens, including the Round Pond, are in the London Borough of Westminster. The Round Pond is not remotely round, closer to an oval, but more a rectangle with very rounded corners.

Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-23-positive_2400
Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building with its magnificent winged lions is still there, and still a hotel, but with a different name, and a different entrance and railings.

De Vere Mews, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-14-positive_2400
De Vere Cottages, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

As the out of focus area at right indicates, I took this picture of a private courtyard through a gate from the street. It was originally built as Laconia Mews in 1877-8, with rooms for coaches at ground level, a steeply curved ramp leading to stables on the first floor with living accomodation for the carriage drivers and grooms on the second floor. It was converted into cottages shortly after the First World War and most has been considerably rebuilt since then, and a ‘cottage’ here now sells for £2-3 million.

Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10d-62-positive_2400
Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This row of shops remains, although all the names are different. Then they were mainly antique dealers and galleries, now slightly more varied.


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.


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


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.


Architectural Icing

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Brunswick Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-35-positive_2400

I suppose my photography is always a catalogue of obsessions, but at times and in particular places this shows more strongly.

Palace Garden Terrace,  Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-43-positive_2400

Most of these pictures were taken in Kensington, with just a couple in Primrose Hill.

Brunswick Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-32-positive_2400

Photographically there is a certain interest in rendering these essentially white surfaces – as some photographers have found with subjects like white eggs on a white plate.

Inverness Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-26-positive_2400

But I suppose that there might be more Freudian interpretations of at least some of these pictures.

Inverness Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-24-positive_2400

London developed hugely in the nineteenth century with stock brick for the workers and stucco for the middle classes, and I still feel something of an outsider in these wealthy areas, although some had become pretty down-at-heel by the 70s and 80s when I was making these pictures.

Inverness Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-22-positive_2400

Since then, most of them have been tidied up and refurbished, and more divided into flats now often worth rather my than my own outer suburban house.

St Mark's Square, Primrose Hill, Camden, 1987 87-10c-53-positive_2400

There are times I find myself rather despising what appears to be overdone icing on the architectural cake, and looking for something with a little more depth and variation.

Park Village East, Regent's Park Camden, 1987 87-10c-31-positive_2400


Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10c-15-positive_2400

There is something of the fairly tale about these houses and the pictures, and although I had committed myself to photographing all of London I felt a longing to get away from Kensington and back to the real world.



Clicking on any of the pictures above will take you to my Flickr Album 1987 London Photos where you can view larger versions.


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.



Victoria & Kensington

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
Victoria Palace, theatre, Victoria St, Victoria, Westminster, 1987 87-9g-25-positive_2400

The car in the foreground seemed appropriate for ‘High Society’ at the Victoria Palace, but I would have preferred it without the foreground post. But this wasn’t a planned photoshoot, just a car that happened to stop at the traffic lights while I was looking at the threatre, and it moved off before I could change my position.

Morpeth Terrace, Victoria, Westminster, 1987 87-9g-31-positive_2400

Morpeth Terrace runs along the west side of Westminster Cathedral, and its mansion flats have over the years housed some notable residents. A few doors down the street a black plaque records that Winston and Clementine Churchill lived here from 1930-39.

They had apparently bought the flat on the fifth and sixth floor from Lloyd George, who reportedly had housed his mistress there. It was in the study of the flat that Churchill held a meeting with other MPs and wrote a letter to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain urging him to send Hitler an ultimatum the day before war was declared in 1919.

Later the same flat is said to have been home to Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva. But if so, her stay there was probably brief as she defected while on a trip to India, going to the US embassy in New Delhi and became a US citizen, though later moved for a short while to Cambridge before returning to Russia and then back to the USA.

I photographed this end of building rather than the part of the block with the Churchill plaque as it seemed more interesting. You can also see it was in rather poor external condition at the time – it has since been refurbished.

Baxendale & Sadler, Hatherley St, Victoria, Westminster, 1987 87-9g-52-positive_2400

It looked as if Baxendale & Sadler, Electrical Engineers and Contractors might still have been in business, though their shop front was rather the worse for wear. I think it had once said they were established in 1956.

The shop, a few yards from Vauxhall Bridge Road, is now residential.

Empire Hospital, for Paying Patients, Vane St, Westminster, 1987 87-9g-54-positive_2400

The Empire Hospital for Paying Patients in Vane St, Westminster obviously rather predated the National Health Service, and according to the Lost Hospitals of London web site was “opened in December 1913, intended to receive paying patients, primarily visitors from overseas” and was a nursing home with no doctors or surgical staff. Taken over as a military hospital it became the “Empire Hospital for Officers (for Injuries to the Nervous System)” and closed in 1919.

Later it became the Grange Rochester Hotel and is now the the Rochester Hotel by Blue Orchid, and looks rather more welcoming, with the text above the door covered by a hotel sign.

Palace Garden Terrace, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-56-positive_2400

Wyndham Lewis (1882-57) disliked the name ‘Percy’ and dropped it, but others continued to use it and it appears on the GLC plaque in Palace Garden Terrace, Kensington which does not record when he lived here.

Born on a yacht, Lewis went to Rugby School and the Slade before studying in Paris before settling in London. A founder member of the ‘Camden Town Group’ he became one of Britains leading painters, best known for what Ezra Pound named as ‘vorticism’. After serving as an officer in the Great War he was made a war artist. In the late 1920s he turned mainly to writing and had produced over 40 books before his death.

Between the houses you can see Courtlands, described as a former coach house, though it looks rather more grand than that. The terrace seemed overpowering with long and largely unbroken stretches of largely white stucco, and these brick houses with a vista of a white villa attracted me.

Mall Chambers, Kensington Mall,  Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-55-positive_2400

The Grade II listing for Mall Chambers on Kensington Mall is unusually concise, at least at its start: “Improved industrial dwellings. 1865-8. J Murray. Yellow brick, stone dressings. Five storeys. Corner site, with corner entrance.” Towards the end it quotes Building News from 1868 “”intended for a class somewhat above ordinary mechanics and labourers”.

That is of course even more true now. A three bed flat here sold for £741,000 in 2014.

Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea 87-10d-52-positive_2400

Joseph Yates Timber Merchants were suprisingly still in business here until fairly recently and its timber yard now houses a luxurious four bedroom town house. Yates’ shop on the left of its carriage entrance is now The Kensington Cigar Shop.

The planning permission granted in 2004 required the retention of the lettering on the front of the building.

You can click on any of the images to see the larger version on Flickr and to browse more of the album 1987 London Photos.