Posts Tagged ‘Maida Hill’

More from around the Harrow Road

Friday, May 28th, 2021
Chippenham Rd, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988 88-3a-45-positive_2400
Chippenham Rd, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988

These rather plain and solid houses on Chippenham Road, on the edge of the Elgin Estate are fairly typical of the area. Though built on a fairly large scale for families with reasonably substantial incomes, most are now divided into perhaps half a dozen flats, with the smallest one-bed flats costing around £400,000. Unlike the nearby tower blocks which lasted only around 25 years they are still going strong well over a hundred years since they were built.

Aldsworth Close, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988 88-3a-51-positive_2400
Aldsworth Close, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988

Aldsworth Close is a fairly short street close to the canal in Maida Hill, close enough for estate agents to call it ‘Little Venice’ which it clearly isn’t. Taken from Aldsworth Close I think the picture shows the front of a long block between Downfield Close and Aldsworth Close, with addresses and garages on Downfield Close but these front entrances on Aldsworth Close. Modern estates like to have such confusion in their addresses, and I think the right hand of the picture may have yet another name, Clearwell Drive.

Aldsworth Close, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988 88-3a-52-positive_2400
Aldsworth Close, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988

The Victorian terrace at left (and below) is still present on the north side Amberley Road and its eastern part was demolished to build these new streets. Previously the land between Amberley Rd and the canal was occupied by a number of timber wharves, a saw mill and an engineering works. Until 1867 it was the site of Westbourne Manor House.

88-3a-53-positive_2400
Amberley Rd, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988

This west part of Amberley Road remains as a long Victorian terrace. I don’t know why the eastern part was demolished, but possibly like many areas of London, particularly industrial areas such as this by the canal were badly damaged by wartime bombing. But little of London’s Victorian housing enjoys any real protection against redevelopment – and even less of more recent building. In particular around 200 council estates are currently under some threat, including a number of particular architectural merit, with some, such as the Heygate Estate in Southwark already lost and others including Lambeth’s Central Hill already marked down for demolition. Many have now realised that it makes much more sense to rehabilitiate rather than demolish Victorian houses and it now seems possible that climate change will cause a rethinking about demolition of more recent buildings, and ensure new buildings are again built to last.

Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988  88-3a-64-positive_2400
Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm, Maida Hill, Westminster, 1988

The view looking east from the Harrow Road bridge across the canal. You can still see this bridge across the canal, carrying pipes or cables, and the building on the left, 324 Harrow Road now stands out in white. There is now an Academy in a new building rather than a school in Amberley Rd, with a new block of flats on the canal side.

Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-32-positive_2400
Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

This stretch of canal is from around mile further west along the towpath and at right the unmistakble form of Trellick Tower can be seen. My viewpoint was a small canalside garden on the Harrow Road and in the distance you can see the ‘ha’penny’ bridge from the Harrow Road across to Kensal Town which I had photographed in earlier years. The buildings on the left, 432-487 Harrow Rd, built by the Artizans’, Labourers’, and General Dwellings Co, who developed the area as working class housing fromm 1875, are still there but I think those at the right on Kensal Rd have all been replaced. I think I made it holding out my camera at arm’s length over the canalside fence which resulted in this tilted view.

Library, Harrow Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-33-positive_2400
Library, Harrow Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

On the other side of the Harrow Road to where I made the previous picture is the Queen’s Park public library, one of the amenities provided when the area was developed by the Artizans’, Labourers’, and General Dwellings Co. There were no pubs on the estate, built to strict temperance principles, but they provided this space for the Chelsea vestry to build the Kensal New Town Library which opened in January 1890. This oddly detached part of Chelsea became a part of the Metropolitan Borough of Paddington when this was formed in 1901 and it remained Paddington’s only public library for 30 years. Until around 1920 you had to be a resident of Queen’s Park to use the library – and residents paid an extra amount in their rates for the privilege, whether they took advantage of it or not. In the 1965 local government reorganisation the library and this area became a part of the borough of Westminster, though much of Queen’s Park is in Brent.


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.


More Marylebone 1987

Thursday, August 20th, 2020
Marylebone Station, Marylebone, London, 1987 87-5d-36-positive_2400
Marylebone Station

I suppose for many people Marylebone is the name of a station (though some will connect it more with its cricket club.) The station was the last London terminus to be built, opened in 1899 and never completed, with only four platforms of eight ever built. It lost most of its express services in 1960 and was only saved from closure and demolition by a thriving commuter service from Aylesbury. I think the train here must be one of those used on that route. Marylebone provided one of the few successes of the privatisation of British Rail, generally a triumph of dogma over sense, with the setting up in 1996 of Chiltern Railways. Among other services they provide a pleasant route to stations to Birmingham with comfortable trains and some very cheap tickets, part of the old ‘Great Central’ Network which could probably have been revived much more sensibly and at far lower cost than the ridiculous HS2 project.

Regents Canal, Maida Hill Tunnel entrance, Lisson Grove, Westminister, 1987 87-4d-21-positive_2400

I had wrongly captioned this image earlier, thinking it showed the mouth of the Maida Hill tunnel, but although it was taken very close to there it is actually looking away from it, and the black hole at the end of the water is the bridge under Lisson Grove. The tunnel is hidden from my view here, some way down and a few yards to the right of where I was standing.

Entrance, Maida Hill Tunnel, Regent's Canal, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1977 87-5c-41-positive_2400

I went down the steps leading to the canal towpath and took a picture of a boat entering the tunnel. The previous image shows the top of the structure crossing the canal over the mouth of the tunnel which carries electrical cables from the nearby Grove Road power station in St. John’s Wood which closed in 1969 – with the site now housing two major National Grid sub-stations.

There is no towpath in the 249m long tunnel, which is only wide enough for a single narrow boat; boats have to wait at the entrance until the tunnel is clear.

Regent's Canal, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1977 87-5c-54-positive_2400

Here you see the canal under the cable bridge.

CEGB,  Lodge Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1987 87-5c-45-positive_2400

And this is the long wall of the power station site in Lodge Road. Although it looks very forbidding I’m told it was – at least in the old days – a very pleasant place to work. Coal used to come to the power station from a siding off the lines into Marylebone Station, though possibly at some time it also came by canal.

Volkswagen, Lodge Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1987 87-5c-46-positive_2400

The Volkswagen workshops were opposite, and a little further west on the south side of the canal were the works of the confusingly named Thames Bank Iron Company, Iron Founders and Heating Engineers who made radiators and other heating equipment, and, according to their lorry parked in front of the building next to some pipes, Drainage Systems.

Thames Bank Iron Company, Lisson Grove, Westminster, 1977 87-5c-43-positive_2400

The pictures show a rather different side of Marylebone – and indeed London – than we now normally think of. They are a stone’s throw from the leafy streets of St John’s Wood with its billionaire oligarchs and from Lords Cricket Ground. But until a few years before I made these pictures, London was very much a manufacturing city. Things had been changing for some years, but it was Thatcher that really put the boot in, moving the country away from manufacturing and into services. And this de-industrialisation was one of the themes behind my pictures of a post-industrial London.

More pictures on page 4 of my 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.