Posts Tagged ‘Queen's Road’

Shops, Spurgeon, Byron, Shakespeare & a Café

Saturday, January 13th, 2024

Shops, Spurgeon, Byron, Shakespeare & a Café: More pictures from my walk which began at Vauxhall on Friday 28th July 1989 with Nine Elms Riverside. The previous post was Rail, Housing, Matrimony & A Warning.

Shops, 56-64, Lavender Hill, Battersea, Lambeth, 1989 89-7m-22
Shops, 56-64, Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-22

The six houses between Woodmere Grove and Shirley Grove at 56-66 on the north side of Lavender Hill were built at a slight angle to the road. Each of them also has a rounded corner at the south-east, making them look from the east side as a series of round towers, some strange castle beside the road. Unlike the other terraces on the road this makes them stand out as individual buildings, though shop extensions on the ground floor present a straight line on the pavement.

These houses were built as a part of Seymour Terrace in around 1870 as private houses with basements on a part of an estate bought by Clapham surgeon and GP Henry Meredith Townsend who lived nearby on Clapham Rise. The ground floor was converted into shops in 1882. The Survey of London which gives more detail describes them as “a minor masterpiece of street architecture.

Queen's Road Stores, Hartington Terrace, Stanley Grove, Queenstown Rd, Clapham, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-24
Queen’s Road Stores, Hartington Terrace, Stanley Grove, Queenstown Rd, Clapham, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-24

Hartington Terrace on Queenstown Road is still there though the shopfronts have changed a little over the years they are still basically the same. No 43 on the corner has lost those ‘decorative’ blinds and looks very much more sober, not welling bathroom fittings rather than wine. This whole area of Battersea, Park Town, was the heart of a single farm, Longhedge Farm, which began to be developed after the opening of Battersea Park in 1858. Its long and complex story is told in great detail in the link cited.

Developments at the southern end included some large villas close to Clapham Common, and the developers of the northern part under Philip William Flower (1810–72) originally hoped to make this a middle-class area with its location between Clapham and Chelsea but later had to lower their expectations largely because of railway expansion in the area and develop it as homes for working-class artisans.

An Act of Parliament in 1863 allowed the laying out of Queens Road (known since 1939 as Queenstown Road) and building on the estate continued over the next 30 or so years. One of the two major builders was Walter Peacock who began Hartington Terrace (named by Cyril Flower, (1843–1907), Philip’s eldest son and first Lord Battersea) in 1885. No 43 was built as a pub and there was a parade of 7 shops with stabling and workshops behind. A few more shops were added to the north in 1888 by another builder.

Stanley Grove at left was an earlier development with houses built by a number of builders in 1867-8.

Life Tabernacle, United Pentecostal Church, 32, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-26
Life Tabernacle, United Pentecostal Church, 32, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-26

The church is still there, set back from Battersea Park Road, but the temporary looking building occupying most of the picture has been replaced by a rather nondescript block with a large ground floor betting shop.

The land for the church building was, according to the Survey of London, acquired in 1868 “from the Crown’s Battersea Park purchase, to be used ‘as a branch from Mr Spurgeon’s tabernacle’. ” One of the leading Baptist figures of the age, Spurgeon was for 38 years pastor of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) at the Elephant & Castle. He was a powerful preacher and prolific writer and supporter of many practical schemes to improve the lot of the urban poor as well as missions such as this to convert them to his Calvinistic Christianity.

The first building erected was this, built as a lecture hall seating almost 500 by Lambeth builder and architect William Higgs, and it was 25 years later that a chapel was added to Battersea Tabernacle. This occupied the space between the hall and Battersea Park Road and was demolished probably in the 1970s having been damaged by wartime bombing. The hall was purchased for £25,000 by members of Calvary Temple in Camberwell and became Life Tabernacle.

Decoration, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-13
Decoration, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-13

Somewhere on the stretch of Battersea Park Road between Propert’s blacking factory at 142 (photograph not on-line) and the villas at 445-7 I made this picture of terracotta decoration in panels on a building, but I can no longer find it. Unfortunately although my note says Battersea Park Road it does not give a street number. From the picture I think it must had been only a few courses above street level.

The central panel seems more generic, with a vessel with appears to have a fruit tree growing out of it, perhaps with apples, but the two roundels at the sides are perhaps more interesting. I think they probably represent some trade or other, but can’t decide which. Perhaps someone reading this can solve the mystery and make a comment.

Shakespeare Villa, Byron Villa, 445, 447, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-14
Shakespeare Villa, Byron Villa, 445, 447, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-14

This remarkable pair of villas, now apparently a hotel, were built in the 1850s and the architect is thought to have been Charles Lee. The two are Grade II listed. The gable has a distinctive scalloped bargeboard or decoration and this continues for a short length along each side of the house to a low wall bearing an urn.

Cafe Window,  Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-15
Café Window, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-15

This café on Battersea Park Road, I think in the parade between Stanmer St and Balfern Street, seems a suitable place to pause my walk which will continue in later posts. Although it looks as if it was taken from inside I think it was probably closed and I was standing in a recessed doorway.

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Nurses, Coal, Art, Biafrans & Sunflowers

Monday, May 30th, 2022

Nurses, Coal, Art, Biafrans & Sunflowers – Saturday May 30th 2015 was another varied day of events and protests across London.

Filipino Nurses tell Daily Mail to apologise – Kensington.

Nurses, Coal, Art, Biafrans & Sunflowers

I began the day travelling to High Street Kensington, just a short walk from the offices of the Daily Mail. It has the largest circulation of any UK newspaper but is also the UK’s least reliable source of information. Recently The Factual analysed 1,000 articles from each of 245 major news sources from around the world although mainly from the USA and including international news organisations such as Reuters and AP. The Mail came out with the third lowest score of any with a Factual Grade of 39.7% compared to the average of 61.9%. In a table listing all the results, even The Sun does a little better, as do the Daily Express and RT News, though all of these are way below average while The Guardian was above average along with the BBC, though neither among the top scorers.

Nurses, Coal, Art, Biafrans & Sunflowers

We don’t have a free press in this country, we have a press largely controlled by a small number of billionaires who, as these figures show, use it largely as a source of disinformation and the promotion of their prejudices – including homophobia, racism and misogyny. Articles are more generally written as click-bait rather than with any desire to inform or educate, and it was hardly surprising when in 2016 it was sanctioned by the International Press Standards Organisation for violating professional norms for accuracy and in 2017 Wikipedia editors decided it was a “generally unreliable” source.

Nurses, Coal, Art, Biafrans & Sunflowers

I was there for the start of a long protest by Filipino health workers outside the Daily Mail over its reporting of the Victoriano Chua case which insulted Filipino NHS workers as a whole despite the vital contribution they make to the NHS. The demanded the Daily Mail apologise for its racist comments and to recognise the contribution that they make, keeping our NHS afloat. As someone who a dozen years earlier had been looked after in intensive care by a Filipino nurse I feel very grateful to them, though angry at the UK government for not training enough nurses and doctors – and in particular for removing the training bursary for nurses which has now made the situation much worse. But I did feel they were asking the leopard to change its spots.

Filipino Nurses tell Daily Mail apologise

Walking the Coal Line – Peckham

Rye Lane

I left the Filipinos as their protest was still building up and journeyed across London to Peckham Rye where we were invited to take a tour of the proposed Peckham Coal Line elevated linear urban park between Peckham Rye and Queens Road Peckham stations as a distant part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival events – something vaguely related to the annual flower show.

The Coal Line was frankly hugely over-hyped, particularly in comparing it to New York’s ‘High Line’, and the walk was largely close to but not on the actual proposed line. The former coal sidings on the viaduct which inspired the project are next to a working rail line and could only be seen looking down from neighbouring buildings.

As I commented: “The walk is essentially an urban linear park that would make a useful short cut for some local walkers and cyclists, and could also be a part of a longer leisure walk from Brixton to the Thames. I hope it comes into existence, as the cost would be relatively low and it would be a useful addition to the area.

But I still enjoyed an interesting walk, visiting both the Bussey Building in the former industrial estate Copeland Park south of the line and the multi-storey car park to the north which now houses a cafe, a local radio performance space and another rooftop bar next to the Derek Jarman memorial garden and has good views of Peckham and central London. And having followed the official route to Queens Road Peckham I walked back a different way vaguely along the Coal Line at ground level, finally travelling more closely along it in an Overground train that took me to Canada Water and the Jubilee Line to Waterloo.

Walking the Coal Line

UK Uncut Art Protest – Westminster Bridge

UK Uncut met outside Waterloo station for their mystery protest taking direct action at an undisclosed location. Police liaison officers tried to find out where they were going and what they intended to do, but nobody was talking to them. Finally they set off and marched the short distance to Westminster Bridge where they spread a large piece of cloth on the roadway and painted a banner telling Parliament that collecting dodged taxes would bring in more than cutting public services.

They lifted up the banner and then ‘dropped’ it over the side of the bridge. It was a long run to take a picture of it hanging from the bridge, and I’m not sure worth the effort. It would have been better to have lowered it on the downstream side so as to get the Houses of Parliament in the background.

Another group of protesters in Parliament Square were protesting against the plans to get rid of the Human Rights Act, and some of the UK Uncut people had joined them before the end of the ‘Art’ protest. In May 2022 the government announced it was getting rid of the act and replacing it with a ‘British Bill of Rights’ which will allow the police to “perform freer functions“, Leading charities concerned with human rights have condemned the changes as affecting “the ability of individuals to hold the government and public bodies to account by bringing cases when their human rights have been breached.” They state “The Human Rights Act has greatly benefited a vast number of people from across society, improving their health and wellbeing; ensuring their dignity, autonomy, privacy, and family life; and overall improving their quality of life.” Many see the changes as yet another move towards fascism and a police state.

UK Uncut Art Protest

Biafrans demand independence – Trafalgar Square.

Biafra came from the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people, which lasted from the 10th century to 1911 and was one of Africa’s great civilisations before the European colonisation.

Biafra was incorporated into Southern Nigeria by the colonialists in the 1884 Berlin Conference and then became part of the united Nigeria in 1914. Biafrans declared independence from Nigeria in 1967, but lost the long and bloody civil war that followed, with many Biafran civilians dying of starvation.

Biafrans demand independence

Mass rally Supports National Gallery strikers – Trafalgar Square

After a large rally in Trafalgar Square, National Gallery staff striking against privatisation marched towards the Sainsbury Wing, holding a sit down and short rally outside after police blocked the doors to the gallery. The gallery doors were then locked.

Candy Udwin, a PCS rep at the National Gallery had been sacked for her trade union activities in connection with the plans to privatise gallery staff and the opposition to it by staff. Exhibitions in the Sainsbury wing have already been guarded by privatised staff, and the security there is also run by the private company. After 100 days of strike action the dispute was finally resolived in early October 2015 after the appointment of a new gallery director with terms and conditions of service protected and Udwin returning to work.

Mass rally Supports National Gallery strikers