Posts Tagged ‘Kilburn State’

Kilburn Again – 1988

Saturday, November 27th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Kilburn to Maida Vale

Monday, October 25th, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And flyposters on several buildings advertised Irish events in London.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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