Posts Tagged ‘Pimlico’

Limehouse, Pimlico & the City

Thursday, February 25th, 2021
DLR, Limehouse Dock, Limehouse, 1992 92-3d-36-7a_2400
Panorama, DLR & Limehouse Dock, Limehouse, 1992

My walk down the Lea Valley from the source to the Thames took a long time on my posts here, and there are still many pictures in the Flickr album that have not featured here, including those around the other outlet from the Lea Navigation to the River Thames via the Limehouse Cut and Limehouse Basin by which barges could avoid the winding and rather treacherous Bow Creek. There are over 500 pictures in the album, including a number of colour images and they come from various visits over around ten years when I probably made several thousands of exposures. And I continued to make occasional visits there after 1992, the latest I think in 2018 or 2019. So here are just a couple of final images before I return to my wider explorations of London, back in 1987.

Heavy Rain, LimehouseBasin, entrance, River Thames, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1983 33f-45_2400
Heavy Rain, Limehouse Basin entrance, River Thames, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1983

1987 continued

St George's Drive, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-10a-15-positive_2400
St George’s Drive, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-10a-15-positive_2400

My last post about my pictures around London several months ago ended with two pictures from Pimlico taken in early October, and that’s where I will take up the story. The long streets of the area lined with Cubitt’s impressive stucco were developed from 1825, St George’s Drive, along with Belgrave Road were the two principla streets, with these opulent five storey town houses, were built (as Wikipedia quotes) for “professional men… not rich enough to luxuriate in Belgravia proper, but rich enough to live in private houses”.

By the 1980s many houses in the area were beginning to show their age; some had been converted to hotels and others offices, while others were in multiple occupation, often rather crudely converted. Developers were busy buying up properties to convert them into flats, as this picture with its estate agent’s boards and scaffolding illustrates.

Churton Place, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-10a-02-positive_2400
Churton Place, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987

The side streets were also a part of Cubitt’s development, but here the houses were less grand and typically of three storeys.

River Thames, foreshore, Blackfriars, downstream, City, 1987 87-10o-63-positive_2400
River Thames, view downstream from Blackfriars, City of London, 1987

My next visit to London, later in the month took me further east, walking from Waterloo Station to the City meant I had to cross the River Thames and this picture shows a rather misty view downstream, with Southwark Bridge, Cannon St Rail Bridge, London Bridge and Tower Bridge. At the left is a tall warehouse on the upstream side of Queenhithe, London’s earliest dock. Now there would be another bridge, the Millennium footbridge, in the foreground.

White Lion Hill, City, 1987 87-10o-52-positive_2400
White Lion Hill, City of London, 1987

White Lion Hill leads up from the river to Queen Victoria St, where a rather dull office building, the Faraday Building, seems to have the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral on its roof. This part of the building was built in 1890 as a post office sorting office, which in 1905 became the GPO’s first London telephone exchange. A taller extension to the west (to the left of this view) was added in 1933, with the whole complex becoming known as Faraday House. This held the international telephone exchange and in its first years virtually all the world’s international telephone conversations were routed through here.

As this picture shows, Faraday House partly blocked the view of St Paul’s Cathedral from the Thames riverside and this led to the introduction of regulations restricting the height of new buildings in various locations giving a number of protected views from around London – including a well known one from Richmond Park. But the regulations only came in after Faraday House was built and were not retrospective. The photograph also shows another of Wren’s churches, St. Benet Paul’s Wharf, rebuilt after the Great Fire and reopened in 1683. Queen Victoria granted the church to Welsh Anglicans in 1879 and services are still conducted there in Welsh.

Knightrider St, City, 1987 87-10o-43-positive_2400
Knightrider St, City of London, 1987

Redevelopment was in full swing in the Knightrider St area as you can see from these pictures. I think the building at right is is the back of the building on Queen Victoria St now home to the Church of Scientology, and to the left is probably Faraday House. So many of what see like older buildings in the city are now just facades to more recent developments.

Knightrider St, City, 198787-10o-42-positive_2400

The web has many references to Knightrider St, but none that give useful information about its post-war past. Most are about its name, suggesting that Stow’s suggestion it came from being a handy route for knights riding to St Paul’s and Smithfield is unlikely (though there are no positive suggestions), or list buildings along the street which were demolished in the nineteenth century or earlier, and exactly the same information is in those reference books I’ve consulted which mention the street.

Knightrider St, City, 1987 87-10o-41-positive_2400

Addle Hill which runs down to the western end of Knightrider St, which continues west as Wardrobe Terrace. In between taking these pictures I photographed The Bell pub, on the corner of Addle Hill and Wardrobe Terrace which closed in 1989 and was demolished in 1998, one of many pictures not on-line. Further east on Knightrider St is The Horn Tavern, which was renamed The Centre Page in 2002 and is newspaper-themed.

These pictures are from Page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos.


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.


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


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.


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.


Pimlico to Parliament 1987

Sunday, November 1st, 2020
Churchill, statue, Big Ben, Westminster, 1987 87-8m-01-positive_2400

I had my doubts about including this picture in my London album, not because of my opinions about Churchill, but because it is very much a cliché. But at least I think it is a fairly well done version, and the two men with the motorbike add just a little interest.

Churchill was a great leader in wartime, not least because his first action as Prime Minister was to invite Attlee, Sinclair and Chamberlain – the leaders of the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties – to serve in a Coalition Government. I was too young to vote in the 1945 election (just over two months old) but clearly the nation wanted a change and saw that his strengths were no longer relevant to its future. His return to power in 1951 was something of a disaster for the country, made more clear by his protégé and successor Eden.

Nine Elms Cold Store, RIver Thames, Nine Elms, Vauxhall, Pimlico, Westminster, 198787-9a-12-positive_2400

All of these buildings at Nine Elms, seen from across the River Thames, have now been demolished. None was I suppose a great loss, but together I think they made an interesting ensemble. The cold store, brutally functional but with the elegant spiral staircase at its centre, presumably a fire exit, the curving horizontal of 95 Wandsworth Rd, for long occupied by Cap Gemini, demolished in 2018 and I think the site now owned by a Chinese property developer, and the two tower blocks at the right have also gone.

Riverside flats, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-9a-15-positive_2400

Taken on the riverside path opened up in front of Crown Reach in Pimlico and now a part of the Thames Path. This view of the building looks to me like an Escher drawing, but for real, and I liked the contrast in shape and style with the rounded and decorated riverside lamp post.

Locking Piece, Henry Moore, sculpture, Riverside Walk Gardens, Millbank, Westminster 87-9a-22-positive_2400

Another picture of Henry Moore’s Locking Piece in the Riverside Walk Gardens on Millbank, again with the River Thames, Vauxhall Bridge, Nine Elms Cold Store and Market Towers in the distance. A figure walking past gives some sense of the scale of the piece, and the view is tightly cropped (I think the negative probably just contains the right edge of the plinth at its extreme edge.) I deliberately stood where a small area of sky was visible through the centre of the sculpture.

Millbank Tower, Millbank, Westminster, 1987 87-9a-42-positive_2400

Another example of very deliberate framing at the left and top edges of this view of the buildings around the base of the Millbank Tower.

Millbank Tower, Millbank, Westminster, 1987 87-9a-46-positive_2400

I wasn’t able to quite do the same when I made another exposure including the whole of the tower, but I think it makes effective use of the curvature of the building.

Thorney St, Westminster, 1987 87-9a-56-positive_2400

I think this picture in Thorney St shows the rear of the rather oddly shaped Millbank Tower building, but I think the concrete spiral ramp has been replaced by a garden.

John Islip St, Westminster, 1987 87-9a-54-positive_2400

And my final picture, taken in John Islip St, is something of a mystery to me, because of the reflections in the large polished stone triangular section fins on its surface. I found two of these fairly close together and the reflections make it almost impossible (at least for me) to see this building as it actually was rather than some optical illusion. If I start at the bottom of the frame where there is less reflection I can force myself to see it as it was.

Abell House and its neighbour Cleland House were I think built as government offices by TP Bennet around 1930, and were over-clad in 1985 using matching dark brown marbleised granite cladding, with a highly polished surface. I’m not sure which of the two is in this picture. Both were demolished around 2011-2 and replaced by taller residential towers with the same names, completed in 2016. The replacements look over-fussy to me, but would be rather easier to photograph.


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.


Nine Elms from across the Thames

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

I sometimes wonder how many times I have photographed Battersea Power Station over the years. I still look out of the window of my train to see it in the distance, and when I’m sitting on the top deck of a bus going over Vauxhall Bridge, on my way to or from the station.

Battersea Power Station, from Pimlico, Westminster,1987 87-8a-11-positive_2400

Occasionally I’ll walk across Vauxhall Bridge too, perhaps on my way to the Tate Gallery or the Home Office, and see it in the distance, often taking a picture. The riverside walk from Vauxhall Bridge upstream on the Surrey bank is one I’ve walked along many times, open years before we had a Thames Path, which it now forms a short part of. Back in 1977 when I first began walking much beside the Thames, the proposed long-distance path – then called the Thames Walk – only began a few miles upstream at Putney.

Locking Piece, Henry Moore, sculpture, Vauxhall Bridge, Vauxhall, from Millbank, Westminster, 1987 87-8b-56-positive_2400
Henry Moore’s ‘Locking Piece’, Vauxhall Bridge, Nine Elms Cold Store and Market Towers

Recently, with the US Embassy having moved to Nine Elms, I have another reason to walk beside the river here, on my way to photograph protests there, or, more often when the light is so good that I can’t stop myself from making a little detour on my way home from one. But at the moment, this is just wishful thinking, as I’m still staying home and away from London and Covid-19.

Nine Elms, River Thames, from Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-8a-16-positive_2400

But even in earlier days, my trips along the Middlesex bank here were rare. There was back in the 1980s relatively little riverside path, a little chance to get away from the busy Grosvenor Rd, though a short stretch of riverside path became available some time after the completion of Nick Lacey’s Crown Wharf in 1983.

Bolton & Fairhead Ltd, Rochester Wharf, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-8b-02-positive_2400
River Thames, Nine Elms, Battersea, from Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-8b-01-positive_2400
William Huskisson, memorial, Pimlico Gardens, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-8a-15-positive_2400

Further on the small Pimlico Garden opens on to the riverside and also has a memorial to William Huskisson, the first widely reported victim of a railway accident, who was killed when he got down from the special train carrying the the Duke of Wellington and his guests on the official opening of the Liverpool and Manchester railway which had stopped at Parkside station in the middle of the line. He got down from the train to speak with the duke, ignoring the warnings of the railway company, and was hit and fatally injured by George Stephenson’s famous engine ‘Rocket’ pulling a train in the opposite direction.

River Thames, Gravel Wharf, Nine Elms, from Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-8a-24-positive_2400

Closer to the power station on the opposite bank, Grosvenor Rd runs beside the riverside and gives good view of the power station. A little downstream from it was a small gravel wharf, where until some time in this century a small ship came daily on the tide with shingle from the estuary. On one walk a few years ago as I photographed the ship I had a talk with the captain who, with his mate brought the ship up the river; I regret I failed to make a portrait of him. He told me then that this would be one of his last trips as the wharf was to close.

River Thames, Gravel Wharf, Nine Elms, from Pimlico, Westminster, 1987 87-8a-21-positive_2400
Battersea Power Station, from Pimlico, Westminster,1987 87-8a-22-positive_2400
87-8a-35-positive_2400

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.