Posts Tagged ‘Lisson Grove’

April 1987 – Around Paddington

Monday, August 17th, 2020
Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-62-positive_2400
Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-62-positive_2400

Recycling is nothing new and we did a lot of it in the past, with many larger household items being re-sold in particular after house clearances in shops such as this. Of course it still goes on today, particularly in the poorer areas of large cities, but much more modern stuff is built to self-destruct after a relatively short lifetime. We now also have car-boot sales and charity shops that hardly existed back then, though we have more or less lost the jumble sales which used to be a big fund-raiser.

Broadley St Gardens, Ranston St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4b-65-positive_2400
Broadley St Gardens, Ranston St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

The formal qualities of this view amused me – the apparently pointless circular raised area in the foreground set against the resolutely rectangular and square repetitions of the housing in the top half of the image. And between the two a kind of transitional phase with the arched doors a rectangle with a curve emerging at the top. The fence along the side of the road seems to link the brick wall below with the row of buildings behind and gives a kind of spatial dissonance which interested me. In photography we are almost always dealing with the two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional space.

Henry & Farthing,Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-4c-32-positive_2400
Henry & Farthing,Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

You can still find this cubic building should you walk along Bell Street in Lisson Grove, though Henry & Farthing Ltd are long gone, and their entrance at the right is now fenced off. It and the shop to its left are now one of several spaces in the area which make up the Lisson Gallery, a leading gallery specialising in British and Contemporary art.

According to Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History, Henry & Farthing were ”¬†Manufacturers of: “Ternex” Brand Quality Precision Woodwork and Joinery; Reproduction Mantels and Panelling; Painted Small Piece Furniture; Table Woodware. Old Rooms Reconstructed. Precision Woodware Machine Turned and Fabricated. Joinery, Staircases, Built-in Fitments, Custom Built and Fixed.” The company is now dissolved., but there is a company Ternex Ltd still making similar products in Hertfordshire.

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Orchardson St, Edgware Rd, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

This view from Ochardson St across the Edgware Rd is dominated by the 20 storey Parsons House on the Hall Park Estate in Paddington Green. The 56m high tower which contains 120 flats was built in 1969 using a concrete panel system which provided poor insulation. In 1984 the windows were in danger of falling out and were replaced, and the outside clad with a non flammable Rockwool insulation¬†behind powder coated aluminium panels. The bright red ‘fascinator’ on the top of the building is a ¬†maintenance cradle rail which was also added, along with other improvements. Fortunately Westminster used reputable architects for the refurbishment.

Rotunda, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-4a-15-positive_2400
Rotunda, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

The Rotunda is still there next to the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union. Designed by Paul Hamilton it was built as a maintenance depot for British Rail’s road vehicles in 1968-9 and is Grade II listed. It was renovated around 20 years ago and opened as Nissan Design Europe in 2003.

Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-4a-14-2-positive_2400
Exhibition, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

And finally, a small mystery. Though the location of these images just off the Harrow Road close to the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal and the Westway is clear, with the ‘Battleship Building’, like the Rotunda designed by Paul Hamilton for British Rail and built in 1968-9, inning the Concrete Award in 1969. Again like the Rotunda it became very dilapidated in the 1990s (raves didn’t help) and was refurbished in 2000.

But I can no longer remember what the ‘Exhibition’ was about, though I think as the text on the image suggests it was for one weekend only. It may have been connected with the Notting Hill Carnival, as the ‘Carnival Party’ was here, I think in 1986. I have a vague (but very vague) recollection of having been to something here, perhaps the exhibition advertised, but more likely in later years, mainly to look inside the building, but if so I don’t appear to have taken any pictures.

Exhibition, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987
Exhibition, Harrow Road, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.


Another side of Marylebone

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
Paddington Green, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-15-positive_2400
Paddington Green, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

There is another side to Marylebone, particularly to the north of the Marylebone Road, around Lisson Grove and Edgware Road. The trees are still there on the Green, and I think my tilted camera was an attempt to maximise their effect. The tower blocks at right, Hall and Braithwaite Towers, both 22 stories were commissioned by Paddington Metropolitan Borough Council, more or less identical blocks by R A Jensen, completed in 1966 and still standing, each with 80 flats, but Paddington College, opened here in 1967 was replaced by a new building for what is now City of Westminster College in 2011.

Ralfe Electronics, Transept St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987 87-3c-42-positive_2400
Ralfe Electronics, Transept St, Marylebone, Westminster, 1987

Ralfe Electronics was indeed ‘The “Famous House” for Electronic Components‘ and a company of that name still exists, but is now in Watford. They were at 10 Chapel St, on the corner of Transept St, just a few yards from Edgware Rd (District) line station. Electronics geeks used to come from all over the country, if not the world, to shop here.

Bookmakers, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-3c-15-positive_2400
Bookmakers, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987 87-3c-15-positive_2400
The Christian Union Almshouses, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987  87-3c-26-positive_2400
The Christian Union Almshouses, Crawford Place, Paddington, Westminster, 1987

The bookmakers was in Crawford Place, a short street off the Edgware Road in the rather plusher area south of the Marylebone Rd, close to the Christian Union Almshouses. This building is still there, and in very much better condition. Built as a small hospital for the elderly and inform in 1899 it was converted into a dozen self-contained flats a few years after I took this picture. It still provides housing “for older or retired people in housing need, who are of the Christian faith“, particularly those “who live in, or have a strong local connection to the Boroughs of Westminster, Camden, or Kensington & Chelsea.

Ken's Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-21-positive_2400
Ken’s Junk Shop, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987
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Lisson Grove Cottages, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

The date on the houses in this small street off Lisson Grove is 1855, and they were Grade II listed a few months after I took this photograph. I think I was aware of these artisanal dwellings and Bell St from the drawing and writing of Geoffrey Fletcher – these cottages are drawn on p51 of his London Souvenirs (1973).

It was easy to walk past the entry to them without noticing, and I think it is now behind a locked gate.

Bookseller, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-23-positive_2400
Bookseller, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

Bell St here now has a very different character, with most of the shops including this second-hand book dealer now converted to residential properties. Back in 1987 it was difficult to walk along this street without being diverted into browsing the extensive stock in search of a bargain, though these were hard to find.

The first Turkish Bath in London was opened in this street by Roger Evans in 1860, but the area was described at the time as being densely crowded with a population lower than the ‘decent poor’ on the east side of Lisson Grove, with Bell St “the main stream of a low colony, with many tributary channels.”

Stirling & Sons, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987 87-3b-12-positive_2400
Stirling & Sons, Bell St, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1987

One of my favourite pictures from this area shows the street and pavement outside Stirlings at 54 Bell St, a junk and scrap metal dealer with an extensive range and whose premises appear to need scaffolding. But it is the group of people in the doorway that provide much of the interest, as well as their backdrop.

Numbers on the street now go direct from 52 to 56, with no 54. The space of this shop and that on its right are now the Lisson Gallery, built to the designs of Tony Fretton shortly after I made this picture. The concrete pillar at left, part of a run-down single-storey building, continued to deteriorate until around 2010 when it was refurbished and in 2015 had two storeys added in a late Victorian manner that could be original.

More pictures of various areas of London in 1987.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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.