Posts Tagged ‘sculpture’

Bow Common to West India Dock Road

Friday, February 4th, 2022

Bow Common to West India Dock Road, July 1988. This continues the walk in my previous post Westferry Station, Brunel and Bow Common

Bow Common Lane, Bow Common, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-35-positive_2400
Bow Common Lane, Bow Common, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-35

Although this image is labelled as being on Cantrell Road in my very skeletal notes written small in black ink on the contact sheet, it is actually still there next to the railway on the west side of the gasworks site in Bow Common Lane.

This fairly substantial house is on the edge of the gas works site mentioned in the previous post and I wondered if it might have been a part of this development, perhaps a manager’s house. The gasholder was removed in 2016-7

Bow Common, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-21-positive_2400
Bow Common, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-21

I’m fairly sure that Turnbull & Son Builders were not on Cantrell Road as my notes suggest, but certainly somewhere in Bow Common, possibly on Bow Common Lane, Devons Road or St Paul’s Way which were on my route. Little of the older industry in the area now remains.

Bow Common, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-23-positive_2400
Bow Common, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-23

Again there is a frustrating lack of information on the contact sheet, possibly because I was lost. So I’m unsure of the location of this detached Victorian house, but I think it may have been on Turners Road which I went down on my way to Clemence St.

Sculpture, Trevor Tennant, Dora St, Gatwick House, Clemence St, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-24-positive_2400
Sculpture, Trevor Tennant, Dora St, Gatwick House, Clemence St, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-24

Finally a location I can be sure of, as the block in the background has two signs on it. ‘No Ball Games’ is on not helpful, but over the entrance way just above the thighs of what looks to me a naked rudimentary female figure I can read ‘Gatwick House’.

Although Trevor Tennant (1900-80) entitled this ‘play sculpture’ Gulliver it still looks female to me. It is described in The Buildings of England London: East as “in Festival of Britain Spirit”, though it looks vaguely Henry Moore to me. Tennant in taught at various art colleges including Camberwell School of Art (1930-4). The sculpture commissioned by the LCC for the Locksley Estatew was probably installed when the block was built in 1954-6 and by the time I photographed it was deteriorating – perhaps due to some rather more robust physical play than anticipated. It was originally at the centre of a large sandpit with the base buried in the sand. I suspect the sand was removed after being too often used as a toilet for dogs, a common fate with sandpits in public places.

Limehouse Cut, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-25-positive_2400
Limehouse Cut, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-25

A gloomy building by a gloomy canal, close to St Anne’s Church which towers above the tree at right. This building at the rear of a ‘dangerous structure’ on Commercial Road opposite the church is still standing, though the lower structures to the right have been demolished. I think this is 777 Commercial Road, a former sail loft, part of the Grade II listed run of buildings here. According to the listing, 777 dates from 1893-4 and was designed by Marshall & Bradley and built by J.H. Johnson for Caird and Rayner. The site is now ‘Sailmakers’ a mixed-use development which will retain the building frontage.

Limehouse Town Hall, Flood Barrier, Limehouse Cut, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-11-positive_2400
Limehouse Town Hall, Flood Barrier, Limehouse Cut, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-11

The Flood barrier on the Limehouse Cut presumably became redundant after the building of the Thames Barrier. On the other side of Commercial Road you can see both St Anne’s Church over a billboard and Limehouse Town Hall.

Empire Memorial Sailors' Hostel, Commercial Rd, Salmon Lane, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-12-positive_2400
Empire Memorial Sailors’ Hostel, Commercial Rd, Salmon Lane, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-12

The Empire Memorial Sailors’ Hostel, now called The Mission Building, was built in 1924 to house some of the many sailors in the city needing lodgings. Money to fund it came from an appeal organised largely by women from across the British Empire to save these men who might otherwise have spent the night and their earnings in the company of the oldest profession. They appealed for the funds to build it as a memorial to the 12,000 merchant seamen who were killed in the Great War.

The Grade II listed building originally had 205 single rooms (cabins) and appears to have been designed to the demands of a committee whose members advocated differing styles. It was enlarged in 1932 along Salmon Lane to meet the huge demand, but as the docks closed became a hostel for the homeless. It closed in 1985, presumably not because of any lack of homeless people but because of the cost of housing them, and in 1994 was sold off to a developer who converted it to a gated and portered residential development.

4-12 West India Dock Road, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-14-positive_2400
4-12 West India Dock Road, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-14

A little of the old West India Dock Road, this row of shops is now long gone. The large Grade II listed building at right is still there, built as the Passmore Edwards Sailors Palace, the Headquarters of the British And Foreigh Sailors Society in 1901, with a grand frontage including a crowned Britannia holding on each shoulder a strangely morphed galleon and child. The side view here is rather more utilitarian.

Sail Makers, Ships Chandlers, 11, West India Dock Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-16-positive_2400
Sail Makers, Ships Chandlers, 11, West India Dock Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7r-16

A sign over the door for Pastel Print shows its use in 1988, when local demand for sails, candles and other marine equipment has shrunk to zero. A plaque near the apex of the facade states ‘ERECTED AD.1860’. I think it has now been made into flats and offices retaining the facade.


The next part of my walk, going back into Bow and on towards Bromley-by-Bow will continue in a later post.

Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the album.


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Around Swiss Cottage 1988

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Sigmund Freud, sculpture, Oscar Nemon, Fitzjohn's Avenue, Belsize Lane, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7h-61-positive_2400
Sigmund Freud, sculpture, Oscar Nemon, Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Belsize Lane, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7h-61

Around Swiss Cottage 1988: Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) escaped from Austria after it was annexed by Nazi Germany and came to London, spending his final year until his death in the house in Maresfield Gardens which now houses the Freud Museum. Croatian sculptor Oscar Nemon made three busts of Freud for his 75th birthday in 1931 and visited him in London in 1938 to make a final bust on which the head of this sculpture was based. Funds were later raised for him to create this bronze sculpture which was unveiled in 1970 next to Swiss Cottage Library where I photographed it.

In 1998 it was moved to a more prominent position at the junction of Fitzjohn’s Avenue and Belsize Lane and it was Grade II listed in 2016.

Taplow, Winchester Rd, Swiss Cottage, Camden, 1988 88-7h-63-positive_2400
Taplow, Winchester Rd, Swiss Cottage, Camden, 1988 88-7h-63

The five tower blocks of the Chalcots Estate where built for the London Borough of Camden in 1967-8. Taplow, Burnham, Bray, and Dorney are 23 storeys while Blashford has 19. The land was owned by Eton College and the names come for the area around Eton.

Cladding was added to the towers in 2006 by the same companies that clad Grenfell Tower but using fire-resistant rock-wool. When a fire broke out in a flat in Taplow in 2012 the fire was contained and did not spread and there were no deaths.

Embassy Theatre, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, Camden, London, 1988 88-7k-61-positive_2400
Embassy Theatre, Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage, Camden, London, 1988 88-7k-61

Originally a stucco double-fronted Italianate Victorian villa, it was converted in 1890 into the Eton Avenue Hall for the Hampstead Conservatoire, a prestigious private music college; Cecil Sharp the great collector of English folk song was its principal from 1896-1905 and composer Arnold Bax one of his pupils.

The building was converted again after the college had closed and opened as the Embassy Theatre in 1928, with a school of acting from 1932. Damaged in the war it reopened in 1945, continuing as a theatre until 1956 when it was sold to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, now a college of London University.

College Crescent, South Hamnpstead,  Camden, 1988 88-7k-63-positive_2400
College Crescent, South Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-63

College Crescent was built by the Eyre family who were (and are) major landowners in Swiss Cottage and parts of Hampstead, with the first houses built in the late 1840s. Initially it was named as three streets, College Villas Road, College Terrace and College Crescent.

40 College Crescent was not one of the original houses, but was built around 1880 on the site of Abbey Farm Lodge as the family home for Samuel Palmer or Huntley and Palmer’s biscuit firm in Reading. Following his death this area of open space with a drinking fountain and shelter – as its inscription states – “presented to the Borough of Hampstead for the public benefit in memory of the late Samuel Palmer of Northcourt, Hampstead by his widow and family. 1904”. It was Grade II listed in 1993.

St. Thomas More, Roman Catholic, Church, Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-64-positive_2400
St. Thomas More, Roman Catholic, Church, Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-64

In 1938 the Archbishop of Westminster bought Hyme House at 3 Fitzjohn’s Avenue, for some years the studio of successful society portrait painter Philip de László (1869-1937) as the first English home for the Swiss-based Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross. The Sisters converted the studio into a church and bought the next two houses on the street to set up a girls school which they ran until 1985, after which it became a hotel.

In 1950 the studio had become too small and a second church was built on the site, but further expansion made this inadequate. The current church, built a restricted site on tennis courts at the back of the house and fronting onto Maresfield Gardens was designed by Gerard Goalen following the Second Vatican Council to maximise participation of the laity in the Mass. It was Grade II listed in 2016.

Netherhall Gardnes, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-42-positive_2400
Netherhall Gardens, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-42

A very rectangular house with a gate made largely of circles, but with the ironwork on the top of the gate reflecting the only non-rectangular feature of the frontage, and carefully positioned on top of it.

The Tower, Fitzjohn's Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-46-positive_2400
The Tower, Fitzjohn’s Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-46

An irresistable Gothic fantasy. Development in this area had been prevented for years after the death of the estate owner Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson in 1821, whose will prevented his sons building on the land, and efforts by his son (confusingly of exactly the same name) to get the will amended came to nothing. When he died, his brother Sir John inherited and was able to make a deal making part of the estate a part of Hampstead Heath and making development possible in other areas.

The Tower, Fitzjohn's Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-32-positive_2400
The Tower, Fitzjohn’s Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-32

Sir John divided the estate in 1873 with his son Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson who developed Priory Road and Fitzjohn’s Avenue from 1875 on, as a wide road with wide pavements linking Swiss Cottage and Hampstead which was described by Harpers Magazine a few years later as “one of the noblest streets in the world”.

The Tower, Fitzjohn's Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-33-positive_2400
The Tower, Fitzjohn’s Ave, Hampstead, Camden, 1988 88-7k-33

A much quoted Camden History Society article describes the Tower at No 25 as an ornate mansion which is now “a fine example of ‘Disneyland Gothic'”. The building with 25 rooms dates from 1880-1, its architect JT Wimperis, a very prolific Victorian architect for Herbert Fleming Baxter (1839-1905), an extremely wealthy American merchant who was a part of a family with extensive estates in Shropshire. The house has been restored and is now divided into flats. Rather surprisingly it was not Grade II listed until 1999.

My walk will continue in a later post.


Click on any of the pictures to go to a larger version in the album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse through the album.


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More St John’s Wood

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

Alexandra Rd, South Hampstead,  88-7g-63-positive_2400
Alexandra Rd, South Hampstead, 88-7g-63

Although the title of this post is ‘More St John’s Wood’, my walks were not constrained by local authority boundaries but often by more important physical restraints, here the main west coast railway line from Euston, and I walked beyond the St John’s Wood boundary a little into South Hampstead or Swiss Cottage.

I can find out little about Hillgrove Estate designed by Peacock, Hodges and Robertson for the LCC around 1960 and inherited by Camden following the local government reorganisation in that decade. This piece of sculpture is not on the list of public art in Camden and unfortunately I failed to record any details of it when I made this picture in 1988 if any were available then. Perhaps someone seeing this will be able to give details in a comment.

7, Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-65-positive_2400
7, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-65

This stucco detached villa dating from the 1840s is only Grade II listed for its ‘group value’, one of quite a number of similar properties in the area, though distinguished for me by its two substantial eagles on top of very substantial gate posts. The house next door, shown in the next few pictures, was much more remarkable.

Boundary Road, as its name suggests, marks a boundary, now between the City of Westminster – which includes St John’s Wood – and the London Borough of Camden, with this and other properties on its south side being in St John’s Wood. It was once a farm track on the boundary between two estates.

Alhambra Cottage,  Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-66-positive_2400
Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-66

Alhambra Cottage is at 9 Boundary Rd certainly one of the most remarkable houses in London, a Grade II listed detached villa in a very detailed Islamic style and I made a number of photographs from the road outside. Later in 2011it was one of the buildings whose garden I photographed for the ‘Secret Gardens of St John’s Wood‘ project initiated by Mireille Galinou of the Queens Terrace Café and shown there in November 2011.

Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-53-positive_2400
Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-53

Another view of Alhambra Cottage.

Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-54-positive_2400
Alhambra Cottage, Boundary Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-54

I’m surprised not to find more information about this cottage online. Possibly the interest in the Alhambra may have been stimulated by the writing of American author Washington Irving who visited the Alhambra in 1828 and published his Tales of the Alhambra in 1832 and the lithographs of John Frederick Lewis, who became known as ‘Spanish’ Lewis published three years later.

At this time of year perhaps I should also mention that it was Irving who first put Santa (or rather St. Nicholas) flying over the rooftops at Christmas.

Loudon Rd area, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-42-positive_2400
Loudon Rd area, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-42

This Grade II listed semi-detached house dates from the 1840s, but was altered in the mid-19th century. ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle‘ and this seemed to epitomise the proverb, with its castellated tower and sturdy gate. All that was lacking was a drawbridge.

Carlton Hill area, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-44-positive_2400
Carlton Hill area, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7g-44

And finally before I left the area, another house with a tower, somewhere on my wandering between the junction of Abbey Road and Blenheim Rd and FInchley Rd. I took a few more pictures on my way south through St John’s Wood, but none are online.


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


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


St John’s Wood

Thursday, December 16th, 2021

Abercorn Place, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-41-positive_2400
Abercorn Place, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-41

Long ago St John’s Wood was a real wood, part of the Forest of Middlesex, and was the property of the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem who were based in Clerkenwell. Pregiously it had belonged to the Catholic Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (better know as the Templars) who were suppressed in 1312. Henry VIII grabbed the land in 1539 when he dissolved the monasteries during the Reformation, but Charles II gave it to one of his mates in settlement of a debt of £1300, and eventually most of it was sold to a city wine merchant, Henry Samuel Eyre in 1733, and much of the area remains the Eyre Estate. Other parts belong to Harrow School.

Development on the Eyre estate began in 1809 The area was developed as an area for the growing upper middle class, with many detached and semi-detached villas with large gardens, the first garden suburb anywhere in the world. Some later were replaced by blocks of flats and terraces of housing, but the area remains one of the most expensive around London. It’s not an area where I often felt at home.

In 2011 I was able to go behind some of the high walls and photograph the ‘Secret Gardens of St John’s Wood‘ in a project initiated by Mireille Galinou of the Queens Terrace Café and shown there in November 2011, but there were still many impenetrable behind high walls, some protected by security guards with suspicious bulges in their clothing. But in 1988 I kept to the streets.

These flats are at the west end of Abercorn Place at its corner with Maida Vale at the rear of Wellesley Court, architect Frank Scarlett, built in 1938. Perhaps surprisingly the St John’s Wood Conservation Area is carefully drawn to exclude this set of expensive private flats.

Nugent Terrace, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-43-positive_2400
Nugent Terrace, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-43

There are still shops in Nugent Terrace, but I think this rather high-class cobblers is long gone. I was amused at how the figurines chosen matched the area.

Hill Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-46-positive_2400
Hill Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-46

This remarkable mansion block, Mortimer Court, on the corner of Hill Road and Abbey Road is certainly not typical of the area, and I have to apologise that my picture fails to record the full horror of its architecture, best appreciated from the opposite side of Abbey Road. It can be seen on the web sites of many of London’s estate agents.

Onslow Ford, memorial, sculpture, Andrea Carlo Lucchesi, Abbey Rd, Grove End Rd, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-35-positive_2400
Onslow Ford, memorial, sculpture, Andrea Carlo Lucchesi, Abbey Rd, Grove End Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-35

English sculptor Edward Onslow Ford RA (1852—1901) was one of the leaders of the British New Sculpture movement of the 1880s, becoming famous for portrait busts and roundels of many leading figures including Ruskin, Millais, Thomas Huxley and Herbert Spencer. A number of his statues including that of Rowland Hill remain on public display.

He produced a long series of “bronze statuettes of adolescent girls in poses loosely derived from mythology or allegorical themes” some of which were also sold widely in smaller scale copies for Victorian homes, though they might not be appreciated now. The monument in St John’s Wood, close to his home was sculpted by his former studio assistant Andrea Carlo Lucchesi and based on one of Ford’s sculptures.

Abbey Rd Studios, Abbey Rd,  St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-21-positive_2400
Abbey Rd Studios, Abbey Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-21

It is probably a punishable offence to go to Abbey Road and not take a photo of the now famous studios, though I resisted any urge to photograph the famous pedestrian crossing nearby.

Abbey Road Baptist Church,Abbey Rd,  St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988  88-7e-24-positive_2400
Abbey Road Baptist Church,Abbey Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-24

The Baptist Church on Abbey Road was founded in 1863 by a Mr Stott, a preacher from Hyde Park, who engaged leading church architects Habershon & Pite to build this Grade II listed structure in a ‘Free Byzantine’ style.

In 1874 the Abbey Road and St John’s Wood Mutual Benefit Building Society was formed in what was then the Free Church. This later became Abbey Road and St John’s Wood Permanent Building Society and in 1944 joined with The National Building Society to beceome the Abbey National Building Society, which sadly demutualised in 1989 and in 2004 become wholly owned by the Spanish Santander Group.

Abbey Rd,  St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988  88-7e-25-positive_2400
Abbey Rd, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-25

This adjoining pair of gate-posts is no longer on Abbey Road, and the block of flats at No 20 have had something of a face lift since 1988. But to me they looked so much like an adult and child – and were perhaps a deliberate attempt to outdo the Joneses.

Abercorn Place, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988  88-7e-11-positive_2400
Abercorn Place, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-7e-11

This small group of three houses on Abercorn Place at the corner of Violet Hill stood out among the fairly varied architecture of the street for the flower motifs above their first floor windows – a reminder, like the name Violet Hill, that this was the first garden suburb.

The gateposts, one of which is at right of the picture I think used to have a more obvious pattern on them, unfortunately out of focus in my image, which made them appear less crude.

My wanderings around St John’s Wood on a Saturday in July 1988 will continue in a later post. You can click on any of the pictures here to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the album.


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A Mixed Day: 23 Nov 2019

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Brixton

Bon Marché, the first purpose-built department store in the UK closed in 1975

I can’t remember why I went to Brixton on Saturday morning two years ago, though there must have been some reason. My events diary has nothing relevant in it and neither the text or pictures in My London diary contain any clues as to why I should have decided to take a walk up Brixton Road. I suspect I may have had a tip-off about something which was supposed to be taking place outside Brixton Police Station which turned out to be inaccurate.

It isn’t unusual to arrive at the time and place I had been told something would happen to find I am the only person there. It’s rather better for those things with an events page on Facebook which tells you how many people have said they will be going, though these are often wildly inaccurate. After walking up and down the road I left for central London.

Carnaby Street Show

Three of my Notting Hill pictures in a Carnaby St shop window

I’m not quite clear either about my next movements, as I seem to have taken the tube to Charing Cross and looked for another event in Trafalgar Square, where again I clearly didn’t find what I was looking for and only made two pictures. I was on my way to Carnaby Street where I wanted to see how three of my pictures were being used in ‘A retrospective on the musical footprint of an iconic sneaker‘ in a window display and screens inside the shop.

Stand With Hong Kong

After a brief look at the shopfront in Carnaby Street I hurried down to Parliament Square where protesters were gathering for a march to Downing St calling on the Prime Minister to act over China’s breaches of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. They called attention to Hong Kong’s humanitarian crisis, widespread injustices and erosion of autonomy and called for the Hong Kong protesters 5 demands to be met.

Some carried yellow posters stating these demands: complete withdrawal of the Extradition Bill; a retraction of characterising the protests as riots; withdrawal of prosecutions against protesters; an independent investigation into police brutality; the implementation of Dual Universal Suffrage.

Unfortunately even if Boris Johnson could be persuaded to lift a finger it would not attract the slightest notice from the Chinese authorities.

March Against Fur 2019

A short walk took me to Leicester Square, where several hundred were gathering for the annual march against fur, a tour of the West End and stores selling fur products, calling for an end not just to using fur in clothing but against all exploitation of animals of all species, whether for meat, dairy, wool, leather or other products.

Using fur in clothing has a very long history, but it is a practice that should now be in the past. We now have so many alternatives and there is abundant evidence of barbaric cruelty in the trapping and farming of animals for their fur. Most in the fashion industry and most shops have been persuaded by various campaigns over the years to abandon fur, but too many still sell clothes with fur trims or use animal skins or down fillings. There are long-running campaigns against stores such as Canada Goose.


More pictures and details in My London Diary

March Against Fur 2019
Carnaby Street Show
Stand With Hong Kong
Brixton


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North Pole & Heron Quay

Saturday, November 20th, 2021

The North Pole, Manilla Street, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-22-positive_2400
The North Pole, Manilla Street, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-22

Continuing my walk around the West India Docks I walked down from Marsh Wall to Manilla St, where I think you can still find The North Pole, a beer house built in the 1860s, on the corner at No 74. It closed as a pub in 2014, and I suspect the building’s days are numbered.

Cuba St, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-23-positive_2400
Cuba St, Millwall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-23

Nothing, or almost nothing in this picture of Cuba St has survived the redevelopment of this street on the fringe of the West India Docks. In the far distance you can just make out the distinctive frontage of the building on the corner of Cuba St and Westferry Road, the first few feet of which have been incorporated into a modern red-brick block and is now an Indian Restaurant. It seems to be much more than the usual facade, with the older building integrated into the development, Regatta Point, which is on a rather smaller scale than much of the new building, only 5 storeys of shops with flats above.

Docklands Enterprise, Wendy Ann Taylor, Sculpture, Heron Quays, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-24-positive_2400
Docklands Enterprise, Wendy Ann Taylor, Sculpture, South Dock, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-24

Wendy Ann Taylor, born 1945 claims to have been as one of the first artists of her generation to “take art out of the galleries and onto the streets”’ and has made a number of sculptures around London and in several of the new towns. This sculpture was commissioned by the LDDC and the Docklands Business Club and dates from 1987. It is still in place, although everything in the background of this picture has been replaced by newer and much taller developments. I took the shape emaphasised in my picture and repeated at right angles in her work as representing the river around the Isle of Dogs and the vertical as enterprise reaching for the sky.

Heron Quay, DLR, Middle Dock, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-14-positive_2400
Heron Quay, DLR, South Dock, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-14

You can still just about see the DLR as it goes across South Dock here but Heron Quay station is now completely engulfed in tall office blocks, the water now looking enclosed rather than open as it was. The distant gasholder at right at Greenwich has also now gone, though long invisible from here.

Heron Quay, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-63-positive_2400
Heron Quay, South Dock, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-63

I think it is a long time since any boats were moored here.

Heron Quay, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-65-positive_2400
Heron Quay, West India Docks, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6c-65

This picture is looking along Middle Dock, with the north side of the buildings, long demolished, of Heron Quay at right.

I continued my walk to the North Dock – and a few pictures in a later post.

Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the album. The pictures there are largely ordered by my negative reference numbers, which do not in detail reflect the order in which the pictures were taken used in the posts here.


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West India Docks 1988 (2)

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

SS Robin, South Dock, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-44-positive_2400
SS Robin, South Dock, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-44

SS Robin is a 350 gross ton steam coaster built by Mackenzie, MacAlpine & Co at their Orchard House Yard in Bow Creek in 1890 and the only complete Victorian steam ship in existence. She still has the original steam engine fitted in Dundee by Gourlay Brothers & Co.

In 1900 she was renamed Maria and spent the next 74 years working around Spain for several Spanish owners, and in 1966 some extensive alterations were made. When about to be scrapped in 1974 she was bought by the Maritime Trust, her original name restored and treated to an extensive restoration in Rochester before coming to St Katharine’s Docks in London and opened to the public as a part of their Historic Ships Collection. After this closed in 1986, along with several other vessels from the collection Robin was laid up here in the West India Docks. You can see the stern of the Yarmouth Steam Drifter Lydia Eva at the right.

In 2000 Robin was sold for £1 and later the SS Robin Trust was set up to restore the vessel, an expensive and lengthy process and eventually it was decided necessary to put the vessel on a pontoon. The SS Robin museum, theatre and educational centre is now in the Royal Victoria Dock.

DLR, BT, Quay House, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 198888-6b-45-positive_2400
DLR, BT, Quay House, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-45

Quay House, a three storey office block built in 1986-7 was occupied by BT. Empty for some years, planning permission was obtained in 2020 for the 40-storey Quay House waterfront development including a 400-bedroom hotel and 279 serviced apartments alongside dockside leisure facilities.

South Dock, Heron Quays, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-46-positive_2400
South Dock, Heron Quays, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-46

The Survey of London describes these low rise buildings as “high-tech ‘cabins’ or ‘Swiss chalets’, with light steel structures, covered with red, purple and blue-grey vitreous enamel panels, while the monopitch roofs are clad in aluminium” and says they were part of a large scheme for the area begun in 1981 and built in 1984-9.

I think this is now the site of 1 Bank Street, a 28 floor office block completed in 2019.

BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-31-positive_2400
BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-31

The front of the BT Business Centre on South Dock.

DLR, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-32-positive_2400
DLR, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-32

Taken from more or less the same place as the previous picture and that below, this is where the DLR crosses the South Dock of the West India Docks, looking towards Heron Quays station. It shows how little development there was here in 1988.

DLR, BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-33-positive_2400
DLR, BT, South Dock, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-33

Looking back at the curve of the DLR around Quay house towards Marsh Wall.

London River Man, John W Mills, sculpture, Ensign House, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-35-positive_2400
London River Man, John W Mills, sculpture, Ensign House, Marsh Wall, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-35

London River ManJohn W Mills ARCA FRBS 1987. This sculpture salutes all London river workers – toshers – bargees – dockers – ale tasters – coalheavers – ferrymen” and is rather hidden now on Marsh Wall. It is rather less than lifesize. John Mills (b1933) is better known for his Whitehall memorial to the women of World War II.

Admirals Way,  South Dock,  South Quay, Tower Hamlets 88-6b-36-positive_2400
Admirals Way, South Dock, South Quay, Tower Hamlets 88-6b-36

This is Waterside, where these buildings, described as small-business apartments were built in 1985-6. They are still there, looking much the same, though probably for not much longer.

BT,  Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-6b-21-positive_2400
BT, Admirals Way, South Quay, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-6b-21

A final picture of the British Telecom Business Centre – and what was presumably its main entrance.

More from around the West India Docks in a later post. Click on any of the pictures to see larger versions of any of them in the album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse other images.


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Finsbury 1988 (Part 1)

Monday, November 1st, 2021

Ropemaker St, Islington, 1988 88-5m-14-positive_2400
Ropemaker St, Islington, 1988 88-5m-14

At the end of May 1988 I went to Finsbury on the northern edge of the City of London – not to be confused with Finsbury Park a couple of miles further north. I think I might have been visiting an exhibition at the Barbican Gallery which has its main street entrance in Silk Street, just a few yards from the border with Finsbury, part of the London Borough of Islington.

Ropemaker St, Islington, 198888-5n-61-positive_2400
Ropemaker St, Islington, 1988 88-5n-61
Ropemaker St, Islington, 1988 88-5n-62-positive_2400
Ropemaker St, Islington, 1988 88-5n-62
Finsbury St, Islington,1988 88-5n-64-positive_2400
Finsbury St, Islington,1988 88-5n-64

Or it could be that I was simply visiting some of my favourite new buildings in London, in Ropemaker St, some now demolished and replaced. Those balconies – perhaps from the 1950s – are still there but the more recent building on the other side of Chiswell Street has been replaced by something bigger and blander.

Honourable Artillery Company, Gates, Finsbury St, Islington,1988 88-5n-63-positive_2400

Honourable Artillery Company, Gates, Finsbury St, Islington,1988 88-5n-63

I simply had to turn around to find my next subject, the gates of the Honourable Artillery Company, established by Royal Charter on 25th August 1537 and said to be the second-oldest military corps in the world. It actually traces its history back rather further to 21 years after the Norman invasion. The ‘Artillery’ for much of its history was the long bow and it originally had a field in Spitalfields where it could practice shooting arrows, and it only moved permanently here to the Artillery Garden in in 1658. As well as military practice the ground has also often been used for sporting and other events; cricket is said to have been played here as early as 1725 and the first balloon flight in England began was here by Vincenzo Lunardi in September 1784. THe HAC is still a part of the Army Reserve, the oldest regiment in the British Army.

Diana, sculpture, Chiswell St,  Finsbury St, Islington,1988 88-5n-52-positive_2400
Diana, sculpture, Chiswell St, Finsbury St, Islington,1988 88-5n-52

In front of one of the buildings on Chiswell St was a narrow garden with a few bushes and a sculpture of Diana the Huntress with two dogs. I don’t know what has happened to this.

Whitecross St,  Finsbury, Islington,198888-5n-55-positive_2400
Whitecross St, Finsbury, Islington,198888-5n-55

A tall warehouse on the corner of Errol St and Whitecross St has a sign for A J Brown Brough & Co Ltd, Paper and Packaging. The building is still there, now I think converted largely to residential use, with its main entrances in Dufferin St. But of more interest to many – and perhaps to me when I made the image – is the vintage Citroen in the foreground.

I’ll continue my walk around Finsbury in later posts. You can click on any of the pictures here to go to larger versions in my album 1988 London Photos.


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Glebe Place and Carlyle Square 1988

Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-52-positive_2400
Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-52

Glebe Place on the southern side of the King’s Road is a curious street with two right-angle bends and includes a series of artists studios, some grander than others, and its residents over the years have included a huge list of artists and writers – Wikipedia lists around 30 – as well as Paul Robeson, Shirley Williams and Constant Lambert.

I don’t remember outside which house I found this rather fierce sculpture which I think is no longer present.

Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-51-positive_2400
Glebe Place, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-51

25 and 25a Glebe Place. The heraldic lions have since left and the roof has been replaced. No 25 was the home of artist George Washington Lambert (1873-1930) who was born in Russia, educated in Somerset and emigrated with his mother and sisters to Australia in 1887. There he began exhibiting paintings and working as a cartoonist and illustrator. In the 1900s he spent a year in Paris, then moved to London; in the First World War he was an official Australian war artist, and he returned to Australia in 1921. His second son, Constant Lambert (1905-51), a notable British composer, was born in London in 1905 and also lived here; he was the Founder Music Director of the Royal Ballet.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-34-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-34

The houses at left of the picture are the pair at the north end of the east side, No 27 and 28 and to the right of them are the doors of No 25 and 24 on the north side.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-35-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-35

This rather agonised looking sculpture on the balcony was at No 28 but is no longer present.

Carlyle Square was laid out by the Cadogan Estate in the 1830s after Lord Cadogan bought the land on the north side of King’s Road in 1835, quickly clearing it of the existing small houses and cottages and laying out Oakley Square around an ornamental garden. But development of the square was slow. As originally set out, there were entrances for vehicles from both the east and west sides to King’s Road; more recently an area of garden separates the square from King’s Road, allowing only pedestrian entrance, with vehicle entrance being only from Old Church St.

Development began with short terraces of 3 houses on both the east and west sides next to King’s Rd, all now Grade II listed. They were followed in 1855 by a couple of semi-detached villas on the west side and around 1860 the north side of the square was largely completed with some varied houses. The remaining gaps – including most of its east side – were completed not long after, mainly with large identical semi-detached houses with a few feet gap between them.

Among notable residents over the years were Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, William Walton, Sybil Thorndike, Edna O’Brien and David Frost (who held an annual summer party for some years in the garden.) No 21 was built for the Duke of Portland around 1860, and a later Duke of Portland who was Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee during WW2 was still in residence.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-22-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-22

Bushes carefully trimmed in pots under the windows of No 22.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-24-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-24

This rather splendid tree is I think a fig tree and is still present – along with the pots at No 22 on the south-facing north of the square.

Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5i-33-positive_2400
Carlyle Square, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

No 37-40 have walls and gate posts like this, and this is the entrance of 38. Most of the rest of the houses on the east and west side have plain iron railings.


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


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Sculpture and more – Battersea &Chelsea 1988

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-12-positive_2400
Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-12

My next walk in London on the following Friday started where I had finished the previous Sunday. I think I’d finished my teaching for the week at midday and jumped on a train to Clapham Junction then a bus to Battersea Bridge. I got off on the south side of the bridge to photograph a couple of pieces of sculpture and to enjoy the walk across the river.

Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-15-positive_2400
Sculpture, In Town, John Ravera, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5f-15

The first piece, just the the west of the bridge was the sculpture In Town by John Ravera (1941-2006), commissioned by Wates Built Homes Ltd who developed the area around it and dates from 1983. Ravera was born in Surrey and went to Camberwell School of Art and created many public sculptures still on display. This one was cast at the Meridian Foundry in Peckham, where two of Britain’s leading art foundries were located in the railway arches between Consort Road and Brayards Road.

Sadly this sculpture is no longer intact, and the dove for which the young child is reaching – the real climax of the piece – has gone.

Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-62-positive_2400
Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-62

On the Thames Path on the other side of Battersea Bridge Road in front of an office block is Two swans, by Catherine Marr-Johnson, born in Crickhowell in Wales in 1945. The two piece sculpture dates from 1984 and the swans taking flight reflected the formation of the new company in front of which it stood.

Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-65-positive_2400
Two swans, Catherine Marr-Johnson, sculpture, Battersea Bridge, Wandsworth, 1988 88-5g-65

I think on this visit I didn’t have a lens with a wide enough angle of view to take the picture I wanted with the pair of swans taking off across the river, though I returned at a later date to do so. It was rather easier to show both from the front, but not so satisfying as you can see if you browse the album.

Old Church St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-56-positive_2400
Former Dairy, Old Church St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-56

I walked across the bridge and began taking pictures in Chelsea, including one of a house decorated with tiles at 46 Old Church St and, between the second floor windows a cows head, with another cows head on the building down the alley by its side, which is dated 1908, though it could be the date a much older building was restored.

Wrights Diary was first set up in 1796 with around 50 cows and a goat, though it moved slightly west to this site in the 1800s. Cows were kept here into the 20th century but eventually milk production moved completely out of London. The company was eventually bought by United Dairies probably in the 1950s. Their properties on Old Church St became shops but the courtyard building was converted into a recording studio, Sound Techniques which was in business from 1964-74, where, according to Metro Girl, “Among the acts to record at Sound Techniques Ltd included Sir Elton John, The Who, Jethro Tull, Judy Collins, Tyrannosaurus Rex and John Cale.” as well as Pink Floyd and Nick Drake.

Justice Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-41-positive_2400
Justice Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-41

The picture looks up from Justice Walk into Lawrence St, and was probably named as the home of John Gregory, a Justice of the Peace, who possibly lived in the house which now has the name Judges House. An imposing building on the street, named The Court House has had many stories told about it by estate agents and others about trying highway robbers and other criminals is a former Wesleyan Methodist Chapel built in 1841 and used as a church until 1903.

This corner is the former site from 1750-84 of the Chelsea china works, demolished at the end of the 18th century. It was the first factory outside of Japan and China to produce high quality porcelain. Should you wish to walk around this area I recommend Adam Yamey’s Where A Judge Once Walked In Chelsea from which much of the information above comes. Nothing like this was available to me when I was walking around in 1988 before the days of the World Wide Web.

Lawrence St, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-42-positive_2400
Lawrence St, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-42

Lawrence St took me back to Cheyne Walk, and on the corner was this side of Carlyle Mansions, No 54 Cheyne Walk, dated 1886 and named after Thomas Carlyle who lived nearby. The white-painted stone relief panels with cranes and flowers date from 1888.

The block is nicknamed the “Writers’ Block” and has been home to authors including Henry James, Somerset Maugham (briefly), Erskine Childers and Ian Fleming who wrote Casino Royal here. Henry James who lived and died in Flat 19 described his flat as his “Chelsea Perch…the haunt of the sage and the seagull“.

Untitled, bas-relief, Jacob Epstein, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, 88-5g-45-positive_2400
Untitled, bas-relief, Jacob Epstein, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, 88-5g-45

More sculpture close to the riverside in Ropers Gardens – this by Jacob Epstein.

Awakening, Gilbert Ledward, nude, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-33-positive_2400
Awakening, Gilbert Ledward, nude, sculpture, Ropers Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-33

And a rather more realistic nude by Gilbert Ledward in this very artistic area of London. Ledward (1888-1960), born in Chelsea, trained at the Royal College of Art (where he was later a professor) and the Royal Academy Schools and became one of the best-known of British sculptors. His works included many war memorials.


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


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.