Posts Tagged ‘shops’

Around the King’s Road 1988

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

I took a stroll along the King’s Road, looking at some of the shop windows, then explored some of the streets to the north.

Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-52-positive_2400
Shop window, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-52

There was something very strange about this view, and looking at when I made a print made me think that somehow it had turned into a negative. The contrast between the two mannequins, one white and one black had attracted me and I think the lighting and my treatment almost makes the right hand figure dissolve.

Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988  88-5b-64-positive_2400
Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-64

Light fittings for sale in a shop window give some interesting shapes.

Chelsea Town Hall, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988  88-5b-65-positive_2400
Boy, Kings Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-65

Stephane Raynor opened BOY on the King’s Road in 1976, and it became “the epicentre of a new dawn in both fashion and music, defining the spirit of punk and birthing the New Romantic scene that appeared in its wake.”

Elm Park Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-01-positive_2400
Elm Park Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-01

72 Elm Park Road is one of a row of individually designed late Victorian houses that make this an interesting street. Since I took this picture it has been extended with an extra storey at both top and bottom, but still looks much the same from the street. The house is now valued at around £12m and was named in 2015 as the address of one of the many people exposed in the The Panama Papers exposure of the rogue offshore finance industry

The Vale, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-03-positive_2400
The Vale, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-03

I’m unsure why this property at 26 The Vale required such an elaborate security camera, something rather unusual back in 1988. I’m sure my framing, although I was mainly interested in the doorway was deliberately to include this. The building is a part of a corner site including joined properties in Elm Park Road, and plans were made in 2012 which would have involved the removal of this doorway. It was still there in 2020.

Fernshaw Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 198888-5c-34-positive_2400
Fernshaw Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-34

Taken from the corner of Edith Terrace and looking north up Fernshaw Rd (late Maude Grove). The taller block on the right in the distance is Fernshaw Mansions. an Edwardian block in this largely late Victorian street. The houses and garden walls are generally in rather better decorative state now than in 1988.

Gunter Grove, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-46-positive_2400
Fernshaw Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-46

This unmodernised freehold house in Fernshaw Road was for sale in 1988 and if I had been able to afford it I should have bought it. It’s one of a terrace from 1-11 and would probably now sell for around £4m. I suspect the price in 1988 was around a hundreth of that.

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


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.


Kings Road & Chelsea Common 1988

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Anderson St, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-21-positive_2400
Anderson St, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-21

It was the eye on the billboard that particulalry caught my attention on the corner of this long block of rather distressed looking shops and accomodation on the Kings Road, though I now have no idea what it was advertising and rather doubt if I did then. The long terrace has been considerably smartened now, with both advertising hoardings gone and the building has a smooth unblemised finish.

Royal Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-22-positive_2400
Royal Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-22

Royal Avenue was first laid out as a part of a scheme connecting the Royal Hospital Chelsea with Kensington Palace which was apparently approved by Sir Christopher Wren in 1681, but only ever got as far as the King’s Road. At first it was planted with two rows of horse chestnut trees and grass and was known as Chestnut Walk, then it got white ladder stiles over the walls at each ends and became known as White Stiles. The terraces on each side date from around 1840 and are Grade II listed. The chestnuts were replaced by lime and plane trees and the grass by gravel around the same time, and it was renamed Royal Avenue in 1875. In 1970 the road access to King’s Road was replaced by a broad area of pavement. It still looks much the same as when I made this picture in 1988.

Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-23-positive_2400
Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-23

Another view of the King’s Road that is relatively unchanged, although there is now a florists stall which would have obscured this view. Strangely the council have replaces the plain but elegant bollards here with rather more ornate versions which seem rather less in keeping with the elegant white stucco architecture of Wellington Square, behind me as I made this image. The square was developed around the time of the death of the Duke of Wellington in 1852 and was named for him.

The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-13-positive_2400
The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-13

The Pheasantry got its name from Samuel Baker who bred new breeds of pheasants and other species there in the nineteenth century, though the present building is thought largely to have been built and embellished after the building was bought in 1880 by Amédée Joubert & Son, upholsterers and sellers of furniture, tapestry and carpets. In the early 20th century it also housed artists and a ballet school, and from 1932 when Felix Joubert retired the basement became a bohemian restaurant and drinking club with a host of famous actors and artists among its patrons. The club closed in 1966, the basement becoming a nightclub and the rest of the building flats. Now it houses a branch of Pizza Express and a cabaret club. Wikipedia has more.

The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-24-positive_2400
The Pheasantry, Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-24

The listing text describes this as “Central entrance with split segmental pediment supported by 2 male caryatids.”

Shop window, Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-33-positive_2400
Shop window, Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-33

Elystan Street runs from the miniscule remains of Chelsea Common and was originally called College St. Here in 1913 the William Sutton Trust built 14 red-brick blocks of model dwellings, designed by E C P Monson, with 674 dwellings for around 2,000 working-class residents of Chelsea. Another large estate was also begun close to this in 1913 by the Samuel Lewis Housing Trust, with eight blocks of model dwellings completed after the First World War to house 1,390 people. (British History Online.)

Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-35-positive_2400
Elystan St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-35

Elystan St is better known now as the name adopted by a restaurant at No 43 with a Michelin star.

Monkeys, Restaurant, Cale St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-36-positive_2400
Monkeys, Restaurant, Cale St, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-36

Monkeys in Cale St, also leading from the residual Chelsea Common, a small triangle of grass in a road junction looks more my kind of restaurant. It faces that triangle and still looks very similar, but now claims to be “London’s best Neapolitan pizzeria”.

Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version and to browse other images in my album 1988 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.


Around Chelsea

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021
Michelin Building,  Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-46-positive_2400
Michelin Building, Lucan Place, Fulham Rd, Brompton, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-46

It was too hard to resist the Michelin Building any time I walked past, though I felt it had already been photographed to death – and most of my pictures were in colour, including closer views of its decorative panels.

Opened in 1911 as the first UK headquarters and tyre depot for the Michelin Tyre Company Ltd, and designed by Michelin employee and engineer François Espinasse it was more an architectural advertising hoarding featuring the Michelin Man ‘Bibendum’, his name derived from “Nunc Est Bibendum“, “Now is the time to drink”. A precursor of art-deco, it is grade II listed. It was also a fairly early use of ferro-concrete, using the Hennebique system, which gave its interior wide spaces for a tyre bay and made it relatively fire-proof. This picture was made three years after Michelin moved out, when the building was redeveloped by publisher Paul Hamlyn and restaurateur/retailer Sir Terence Conran as offices, shop and restaurant. (mainly from Wikipedia.)

Fulham Road, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-54-positive_2400
Trees, Fulham Road, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-54

This house is on the west corner of Pelham Crescent, and the three trees that attracted my attention are still there, remarkably little changed 33 years later, though of course each spring they get covered with leaves.

Selwood Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-61-positive_2400
Selwood Terrace, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-61

The east side of this street is Neville Terrace and the west side is Selwood Terrace. This front garden with a wall covered with ivy is close to the Fulham Road and I think both wall and ivy have disappeared, possibly as a part of a basement extension to the property.

South Parade, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-62-positive_2400
South Parade, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-62

I think this tall building probably dates from around 1892 and is part of long terrace including a former fire station with that date on the north side of Chelsea Square. It was the Nurses Home for the Royal Brompton Hospital and is still a part of the hospital. Chelsea square was named Trafalgar Square when it was laid out in 1810 but that was later used for a rather larger square in Westminster. The square later became a tennis club before much of the area was rebuilt in neo-Georgian style in the 1930s.

The Crown, pub, Dovehouse St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-63-positive_2400
The Crown, Dovehouse St, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4r-63

The Crown pub is on the corner of Dovehouse St and Dudmaston Mews, just a few yards south of the Fulham Rd and more or less surrounded by hospitals. No longer a Whitbread pub it has lost the crown sign, replaced by a dreary sign with a neon crown, and other largely flowery embellishments have ruined the simplicity of the frontage. The Princess Of Wales at the left of the row of buildings closed as a pub around 2000 and is now a French restaurant, with considerably more expensive food than The Crown.

Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-11-positive_2400
Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-11

I took fewer pictures of the Kings Road than I should have done. This shop window display seemed more erotic than most.

Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-16-positive_2400
Kings Road, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-16

These rather disparate buildings are still there on the Kings Road, on the south side just east of Radnor Walk, though now occupied by different shops and rather less trendy.

Jubilee Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-15-positive_2400
Jubilee Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-15

And immediately opposite the previous picture is Jubilee place, leading north with this house and wrought ironwork at No 9 over double gates leading down to a basement garage.

Click on any of the images to go to larger versions in my album 1988 London Photos were you can browse through these and other pictures.


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 Battersea 1988

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Welsh Chapel, Beauchamp Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-56-positive_2400
Welsh Chapel, Beauchamp Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

The only one of my four grandparents I ever knew was a small lady dressed always in black, who seldom moved far from the fire and range in the back room of their house. I don’t remember her ever saying much, though I think she was still very much in charge in the house where she lived with my three maiden aunts, where our Sunday afternoons were strictly observed with only quiet activities and good books allowed, though I think we children sometimes escaped to the wilder parts of the large garden where we were out of sight. She was a Baptist, though the church she and the aunts were members of was a few miles further out of London, though having been born in Llansaintfred, Radnor she would have been home at the Welsh Chapel. Eliza Ann Davies came up to London to work in a Welsh Diary on the Kings Cross Road owned by an uncle, and it was there that she met my grandfather, Frederick Marshall, a young wheelwright and blacksmith, came into the shop some time in the late 1880s and they were married in 1890. I never met him as he was killed in a road accident 12 years before I was born.

St John's Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-54-positive_2400
Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

This impressive range of shops can still be seen on Lavender Hill, just to the east of Clapham Junction station – the pub glimpsed in the distance is The Falcon on the corner of Falcon Rd. But while the Falcon is still in business, every single shop has I think changed hands since I took this in 1988. I took a few other pictures on the main shopping streets, including St John’s Hill and St John’s Road some of which I’ve posted in the Flickr album these pictures come from.

St John's Rd, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-35-positive_2400
St John’s Rd, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

The corner of St John’s Rd and Battersea Rise still looks much the same, and the Northcote Arms is still there, though with some new signage. Rhino sports has gone and in its place you can now get acupuncture and other health and beauty treatments. The place of Angel shoes has been taken by a hairdressers, its hanging sign gone, though the iron bracket from which it hung is still in place. And pedestrians are no longer fenced in at the junction.

Aliwal Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-33-positive_2400
Aliwal Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Many quite ordinary houses such as these were finished with interesting detail as on these houses in Aliwal Road. It was I suppose then a relatively inexpensive way to add a touch of class, or perhaps a builder’s edpression of pride in his work.

Broomwood Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-15-positive_2400
Broomwood Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

65 Broomwood Road is no longer a dentists, and has lost all those signs, as well as the details of its glazing, but the door and the side panels remain as well as the decoration above. It is at the end of a short row of similar houses on the street,

Webbs Rd, Shelgate Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-13-positive_2400
Webbs Rd, Shelgate Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988


Like many corner shops in London, Sacha Wines on the corner of Webbs Rd and Shelgate Rd has now been converted for residential use and customers have to go elsehwere for ‘Food, Wines, Beers, Spirits’ etc. Most of these photos were probably taken as I wandered towards Webbs Rd, not for Sacha Wines, but for the Wandsworth Photo-Co-op.

Bellson & Co,  Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-26-positive_2400
Bellson & Co, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

You can still fine the ball on top of a pillar on Battersea Rise, a few yards up on the south side from Northcote Road, but it takes a little imagination to recognise the scene in my 1988 photograph. The shopfront has gone and 73a is now a house, while Bellson & Co has added an extra floor, though still retaining the bay windows and porch. The changes have been made in a way that integrates pretty seamlessly and without that ball (the pillar is now exposed brick) I would have found it hard to convince myself that this was indeed the same place.

Clicking on any of the pictures in this post will take you to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos.

More from Battersea & Clapham, 1988

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

I often went to Battersea in the 1980s though more often to look at and discuss photographs at the Photo Co-op which was based in Webbs Road than to take pictures. I wasn’t deeply involved but became a regular attender when they set up a ‘Men’s Group’ to look at issues around gender from a male perspective, though I don’t think I contributed much to it.

Altenburg Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-32-positive_2400
Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

I was a little put out when the Photo Co-op changed its name to Photofusion and moved to more extensive premises in Brixton, though I did usually attend openings there and contributed quite a few pictures to its photo library.

With its new name and much improved premises it became a larger and less intimate organisation – and it’s location was also less convenient for me, with a half hour bus journey rather than a ten minute walk from Clapham Junction. And although London buses are generally very frequent (and in most respects now much improved) I spent too much time waiting at a draughty bus stop in Brixton on my way home after openings.

Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-33-positive_2400
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-34-positive_2400
Battersea Library, Altenburg Gardens, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

This charming Arts & Crafts style reference library by Henry Hyams was built in 1924 for the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea, adjoining the older library building and was Grade II listed in 1983.

Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-23-positive_2400
Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Although several properties in this picture were for sale, there is no estate agents on this stretch of street and I think it is hard to find one in my pictures of the area. Walking up Lavender Hill more recently it seemed hard to find a shop that wasn’t an estate agents, which seem to be about the only profitable businesses left in London. Huge rises in property prices and increased mobility due to gentrification have created an enormous expansion in this area.

Wandsworth Rd, Newby St, Lambeth, 1988 88-2e-13-positive_2400
Wandsworth Rd, Newby St, Lambeth, 1988

Unless you ride a bike it’s easy to forget that parts of London are quite hilly as this slope down towards the River Thames from Wandsworth Rd in Clapham demonstrates.

Bingo, Wandsworth Rd Snooker Centre, Clapham, Lambeth, 1988 88-2e-12-positive_2400
Bingo, Wandsworth Rd Snooker Centre, Clapham, Lambeth, 1988

Built in 1909 it was one of at least 24 Temperance Billiard Halls in South London built for the Temperance Billiard Hall Co. Ltd, founded in Pendelton Lancashire. Like most or all of those in the early years it was designed by Norman Evans, and there are other examples nearby in Clapham High St and Battersea. Despite this alcohol-free start, the building later became a bar and even a night club.

Until a few years ago it was Rileys, offering a Bar with Pool and Snooker tables. In 2015 the building was gutted, retaining its facade with a rather ugly plain block replacing the rear of the building, now a hotel. It’s something of a mystery how planning permission was obtained, although unlike several others, this hall was not listed. Probably the panels across its frontage shown in my picture were part of the reason for this, and at least the conversion to a hotel has revealed or provided an unencumbered aspect, even if it is only a brick or two thick.

Thomas Memorial, Church of the Nazarene, Temperance Billiard Hall, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2d-25-positive_2400
Thomas Memorial, Church of the Nazarene, Temperance Billiard Hall, Battersea Rise, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Another Temperance Billiard Hall in Battersea, also unlisted. Again it is no longer a Billiard Hall and is now a pub, with a rather large new building behind. It remained in use as a busy snooker hall until the mid 1990s, open – and usually busy – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Converted as the Faraday and Firkin, a brew-pub, which opened in 1997, it later became O’Neills and is now The Goat.

The front of the church at left partly dates from 1823 when the building was owned and lived in by local merchant William Mellersh who enlarged it from a cottage dating from the 1750s. In 1858 it became the home of the Wandsworth District Board of Works who extended and embellished it, naming it Mellish House, there were further additions behind but it still became too small after Battersea gained its independence from Wandsworth in 1888 and they built a new town hall on Lavender Hill.

Still owned by Battersea, it served various purposes including being home to the Boy’s Brigade and the YMCA from 1890 until 1915. It was then bought by the International Holiness Mission founded in 1906 by Battersea drapers and pentecostalists John and David Thomas and was renamed the Thomas Memorial Church after David Thomas died in 1938. The IHM joined the Church of the Nazarenes in 1953. A major internal refurbishment was begun in 2011 with the church closing and reopening, still as a Nazarene church but known as Fresh Ground London.

More in 1988 London Photos.

Battersea 1988

Monday, April 5th, 2021

Tool shop, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-63-positive_2400
Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Clapham Junction is claimed to be Europe’s busiest station with over 2000 trains a day passing through and around 60% of them stopping, including all of those I take into London. And like many others, I’ve often changed there to trains for destinations across the south of London and further afield, and less often exited to take buses.

Service Centre, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-65-positive_2400
Service Centre, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

But in February 1988 I left the train with the intention of taking photographs of the area around the station – which is not in Clapham which is a 10 minute bus ride away, but in Battersea. Over the years the area has also become referred to as Clapham Junction, and parts are also called by the names of some of the major streets, such as Lavender Hill and Northcote Road, but I’ve simply called it Battersea in the captions to my images, which also include the name of its London Borough, Wandsworth, the area a mile or so to its west.

Tool shop, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-63-positive_2400
Tool shop, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

In the short days of February I tended to photograph more in the areas that were within easy reach of my home so as to make the most of the light; I could leave home and be standing on the street at Clapham Junction in around 35 minutes.

Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-55-positive_2400
Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

The area to the south of the station, particularly down St John’s Road is a major shopping centre for this area of London, so it is perhaps not surprising that many of my pictures were of shops.

Belleville Rd, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-51-positive_2400
Belleville Rd, Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

It was also a time when I was finding an increasing interest in how shop interiors, particularly those of small businesses with low set-up costs, reflection the areas and customers they served. Hair-dressers, shoe repairs and other independent small businesses very much came from the communities they served.

Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-53-positive_2400
Northcote Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

Many of these businesses are now gone. Few people now get their shoes repaired – and like some other areas they are now largely served by franchises. Tastes in various areas have changed, often dramatically, and of course in recent years shops have been hit by a move to on-line in many areas.

St John's Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-43-positive_2400
St John’s Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

My apologies for some technical deficiencies in some of these images, most noticeable in some of the skies. Unfortunately this is a result of considerable under-development, probably resulting from an exhausted or incorrectly replenished developer. Digital retouching could improve them, though probably not entirely eliminate the effect and it very time-consuming. But the blemishes, though annoying, don’t prevent you seeing the subject, so I’ve published these here and on the web despite the blemishes, though I have never shown prints from them.

St John's Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988 88-2e-42-positive_2400
St John’s Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1988

If you walk down these streets today – or when the ‘non-essential’ shops re-open, expected to be on 12 April you will see the differences from 1988. The streets around Clapham Junction now look rather more like those in any main street around the country and the area has been considerably more gentrified.

All from my album https://www.flickr.com/photos/petermarshall/albums/72157715589148871/with/50254685063/ 1988 London Photos – and clicking on any of the images here should take you to larger versions there from which you can browse the album.

South Ken, Earls Court and further west

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

The final selection of images from my black and white photographs of London in 1987, taken in December.

Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-62-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

A couple of doorways from the area largely built in the 1880s to the varied designs of George and Peto, with motifs borrowed from a range of cities across Europe.

Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12f-63-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens,South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

You can read more about the architects in my previous post on the area.

Bolton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-44-positive_2400
Bolton Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

A LCC blue plaque records that Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904) lived and died at 31 Bolton Gardens. He spent five years in India as a college principal and return in 1861 to work as a journalist on the Daily Telegraph, later becoming its editor, and he, together with the New York Herald sent explorer H M Stanley, who had three years earlier discovered David Livingstone, to explore the course of the Congo River.

But he was best known in the Victorian era for his book of eight poems, The Light of Asia, an Indian epic about Prince Gautama of India, the founder of Buddhism, along with other poetic works on India and the far east. Mahatma Gandhi admired his poetic English translation of the Bhagavad Gita, The Song Celestial and invited him to be vice-president of the UK Vegetarian Society. Widely decorated at the time, Arnold and his work are now largely and probably deservedly forgotten.

Barkston Gardens, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-32-positive_2400
Barkston Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Barkston Gardens a short walk from Earls Court station was built from 1886 as a part of the Gunter estate, with houses by several developers. These flats have shops on the Earls Court Rd on their west side and on the east the long still private communal garden around which Barkston Gardens was developed. Previously this had been the site of Earl’s Court House.

Hogarth Rd, Earl's Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-64-positive_2400
6 Hogarth Place, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Hogarth Place is directly opposite the Earls Court Road exit from Earls Court Station, and seems to integrate seamlessly with Hogarth Road for its first section. Although there are still shops along here, the cacophony of signage is now considerably muted, though the New Asia is still there.

Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12f-13-positive_2400
Hotels, Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Cromwell Road is the busy A4, and perhaps not the quietest place for a hotel, but there are still many along it. I think this is now the Crown Plaza near Gloucester Rd station.

Sales Office, Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-22-positive_2400
Sales Office, Point West, Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Until the end of 1973 passengers for British European Airways (BEA) flights from Heathrow could check in at the West London Air Terminal on Cromwell Road, from where coaches would take them along the A4 to the airport. The terminal was built where a short disused section of railway line called the Cromwell Curve had connected the District Line close to Gloucester Road station to allow trains to go to High Street Kensington avoiding a section of Metropolitan Line track. The building, by Sir John Burnet, Tait and Partners was opened in 1963 replacing a temporary facility and had six floors of BEA offices above the concourse. After the closure part of the building became a Sainsbury’s Superstore and the rest was converted into flats, including many now used for short-term rentals by tourists.

Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12f-12-positive_2400
Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Christmas was coming and the Lorenzaccio Club was offering Christmas Parties ‘Lorenzo’s Way’ with a fine winged lion and a curious crescent moon sign supporting a rather sad-looking hanging basket. I didn’t go in to enquire.

Latimer Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-12e-61-positive_2400
Latimer Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

The view from the west end of the platform at Latimer Rd Station as I waited for a train to Hammersmith.

Wellesley Rd, Gunnersbury, Hounslow, 198787-12e-62-positive_2400
Wellesley Rd, Gunnersbury, Hounslow, 1987

You can still see this row of houses with unusual facades topped by a faux balustrade reminding me of icing on a cake on Wellesley Rd though I think one of those shown here has since lost its topping.

There are a few more photographs I haven’t featured here on page 8 of my 1987 London Photos.

Earls Court & South Ken: 1987

Saturday, March 27th, 2021
Melbury Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12d-63-positive_2400
Melbury Rd, Holland Park, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Another of those artists houses in Melbury Rd, just a short walk north from Earls Court. The house, now Grade II* listed, was commissioned by painter and illustrator Marcus Stone from achitect Richard Norman Shaw and completed in 1875. Stone’s best work was probably his illustrations for books by Charles Dickens, Antony Trollope and others, and his paintings, particularly his later works, though technically superb have been described as “a particular type of dainty sentiment, treated with much charm, refinement and executive skill” or more bluntly, “chocolate box.” The many windows of the studio were probably more to light his work for clients than for painting, as the larger group shown here are east-facing.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-31-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Collingham Gardens is one of a number of streets on the edge of Earls Court and South Kensington which together have a wide range of late Victorian architecture, sometimes rather overdone.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-26-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Many of the houses in this area were built by Peto Brothers to the plans of Ernest George (1839-1922) and the younger Harold Ainsworth Peto (1854–1933). These architectural partners also designed houses for the Cadogan Estate before Peto decided to leave London in 1891. Many of the leading architects of the early 20th century trained in George’s London office, includint (according to Wikipedia) “Herbert Baker, Guy Dawber, John Bradshaw Gass, Edwin Lutyens and Ethel Charles”, who was the first woman to be admitted to the RIBA.

Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987   87-12e-46-positive_2400
Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

George and Peto added a remarkable range of vernacular elements derived from across Northern Europe to the basically Queen Anne design of the hourses in the area, particularly in Harrington Gardnes and Collingham Gardens, based on the sketches they had made of houses in Holland, Germany and elsewhere. It was an eclecticism that was not always admired, either at the time or now.

Harrington Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-35-positive_2400
Harrington Gardens, Earls Court, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

These houses are large and many have been converted into flats. Some are listed but many are not. The overall effect of wandering these streets is overpowering and best taken in small doses. A 2-bed flat in the area may cost you a million, and houses perhaps £15m.

Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-41-positive_2400
Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Coming out of Earls Court Station I often crossed Earls Court Road and made my way down Hogarth Road and then along the narrow Hogarth Place past shops onto Kenway Road as a short cut to a friend’s studio not far away. Or rather than wait for the crossing I might walk a few yards north and then cross directly to Kenway Road, where this shop was at No 9 on the north side of the street, with Arabic script on the window and its illuminated sign, together with an animal I was never sure was a sheep, cow or goat.

Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987  87-12e-42-positive_2400
Kenway Rd, Earls Court, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

I think Kashmir Stores was more or less opposite, where a short alley leads off to a rear yard. The owner saw me taking photographs and was very keen not to be left out.

There are a few more pictures of the area in 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.


Kensington 1987

Tuesday, March 9th, 2021

Kensington Square,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-65-positive_2400
Kensington Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Kensington often seemed to me to be more a film set than a real place.

HyperHyper, Kensington High St,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-55-positive_2400
HyperHyper, Kensington High St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And it was certainly in places ‘HyperHyper’; this designer collective was launched in 1982 at 26-40 Kensington High St with stalls selling the latest and often looniest fashions from young designers. The caryatids were a hangover from the store’s previous incarnation as the Antiques Hypermarket. They are now long gone, and the site is now a rather down-market clothing store.

Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10f-02-positive_2400
Viscount Hotel, Victoria Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building is still there, though under a different name and has lost its urns. Victoria Road is one of a number of streets that have at least once been named as the most expensive streets in the United Kingdom, though the hotel seems rather reasonably priced for the area.

Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-56-positive_2400
Kensington Gardens, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

Mainly I went to Kensington Gardens to sit and eat my sandwich lunch when I was in the area, but I did take the odd picture.

Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-01-positive_2400
Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

And another, of the sunken garden, set out in 1908. In 2017 it was named the Princess Diana Memorial Garden, but this picture was taken around ten years before she was killed.

Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-42-positive_2400
Man with model yacht, Round Pond, Kensington Gardens, Westminster, 1987

Parts of the gardens, including the Round Pond, are in the London Borough of Westminster. The Round Pond is not remotely round, closer to an oval, but more a rectangle with very rounded corners.

Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-23-positive_2400
Kensington Rd, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This building with its magnificent winged lions is still there, and still a hotel, but with a different name, and a different entrance and railings.

De Vere Mews, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10e-14-positive_2400
De Vere Cottages, Canning Place, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

As the out of focus area at right indicates, I took this picture of a private courtyard through a gate from the street. It was originally built as Laconia Mews in 1877-8, with rooms for coaches at ground level, a steeply curved ramp leading to stables on the first floor with living accomodation for the carriage drivers and grooms on the second floor. It was converted into cottages shortly after the First World War and most has been considerably rebuilt since then, and a ‘cottage’ here now sells for £2-3 million.

Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-10d-62-positive_2400
Kensington Church St, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987

This row of shops remains, although all the names are different. Then they were mainly antique dealers and galleries, now slightly more varied.


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.


Staines 1987

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

My photographic projects in London relied on being able to get a train from Staines, and although the service was generally rather better back in the 1980s than now, there were still times when I turned up at the station only to find there were no trains running. It was probably on one of these days when I’d arrived at the station with my camera bag on my shoulder that I decided instead of going back home to take a walk around the town instead. There is nothing spectacular about these images, but I think they are an interesting record of a time and place and one that in many respects has changed since I took them in October 1987.

Clarence St, Church St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-51-positive_2400
Clarence St, Church St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne

This corner has changed relatively little, but Johnson and Clark, the Staines department store said to have been the inspiration for a sitcom closed long ago, and its main building on the other side of the road not in this picture long demolished. It was a business which always seemed stuck in a 1950s time warp. The shop with a closing down sale at right had been Staines first supermarket, a small Tesco , but possibly it was a successor selling up; it is now a Wetherspoons, and the last pub I visited before the lockdown in December.

Market Square, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-41-positive_2400
Market Square, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne

The Blue Anchor was in business here, possibly from the 15th century, and the brick facade dates from 1721. Some of its windows are real but others only painted, presumably because of the window tax which first came into force in 1696 and was only repealed in 1851, and its hard to see the difference in this picture. One of the major inns in the old town, it closed as a pub around 2006, and has since been a series of restaurants, currently Turkish and of course only able to serve takeaway meals.

Staines Town Hall was built in 1880, financed by public subscription and the building became redundant when Spelthorne Council built new offices around a mile away – and at roughly the same time was Grade II listed. For some years it was used only for occasional concerts (and is the courtroom in the 1982 film Gandhi) but the council spent £1 million to convert it into a much-needed arts centre in Staines which opened in 1994. But this lost money and was closed in 1999 being at the wrong end of the borough to get support from the Tory council. It reopened as a wine bar from 2004-12, then was left empty (apart from a brief squat) before being sold off to a developer for £1.6 million with planning permission granted in 2018 for conversion to flats despite there being no parking space and inadequate disabled access. Many Staines residents regard it as a scandalous loss of what should have been seen as a major public asset for the town desperately short of cultural facilities.

Cock Tavern, Church St, Bridge St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-31-positive_2400
Cock Inn, Church St, Bridge St, Staines, Middx, 1987

The Cock Inn, built in 1832 on a site that had been a pub for several hundred years, closed in 2009 and is now offices. Behind it was Ashby’s Brewery, where a modern building for Courage can be seen peeping over and to the left, but it served Brandon’s Fine Ales, brewed in Putney. Some of the older Ashby buildings still stand, converted to residential and office uses and the Quaker Ashby family was one of the most important in the growth of Staines.

A second Staines brewery, on Kingston Rd, set up by the Harris family was taken over by Ashby’s in 1903 and closed in 1914. Later it briefly became Staines Library and then an adult education centre for Surrey County Council but was closed 15 years ago and has been empty and unused since. Squatters occupied it in 2015 attempting to open up the buildings for community use but were evicted after a couple of months.

Clarence St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-26-positive_2400
Clarence St, Staines, Middx, 1987

Clarence Street was built as the approach road to the new Staines Bridge designed by John and George Rennie and opened by King William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1832, a short distance upstream of previous bridges thought to have crossed the river since Roman times close to the Market Square. It was the fourth bridge to be built since the Civil War and is still in use, widened considerably in 1958, but still a bottleneck. The building on the corner of Bridge St was in the 1970s Staines Library.

High St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10i-03-positive_2400
High St, Staines, Middx, 1987

Staines High St is still lined by a few buildings of some architectural interest from the Victorian era, along with some rather less exciting 20th century additions, but the big difference is that it is now pedestrianised.

High St, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10h-11-positive_2400
High St, Staines, Middx, 1987

Another view of the north side of the High St, this time looking east towards the ‘Iron Bridge’ which carries the Windsor Line across the road. Almost all of the buildings here have now been demolished, with a large hotel replacing most of them.

London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10h-36-positive_2400
London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987

The main road through Staines, on the line of the Roman Road to the Southwest which became the A30, becomes London Road to the east of the Iron Bridge seen at the left of this picture. Fortunately the opening of the second section of the Staines bypass in the 1960s takes much of the traffic away from the town which had been a notorious bottleneck. Only the shop and pub barely visible here at the side of the bridge remain (though probably not for long), with both the 1950s shops, the 1930s Post Office and the rest all long demolished and now part of a new partly high-rise largely residential development currently nearing completion – and including a new Co-op store.

London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10h-35-positive_2400
London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987

A little further along on London Road and some pleasant 1920s style parades of shops on the north side (with some of a similar age on the south side, which would have been in shadow – so I will have decided to photograph them another day in different lighting.)

London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987, Spelthorne 87-10f-33-positive_2400
London Rd, Staines, Middx, 1987

Surprisingly the Three Tuns and the two shops to the left are still there today, though sadly closed at the moment. As with all pubs we wonder if it will one day reopen, though we hope so, though it isn’t one I frequent. It was listed on this site in 1798 and possibly dates from rather earlier. The large office block is long gone, and development is promised on the site, though when I last looked it was still just earth and rubble.

There are a few more pictures of Staines on page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos, including just a few of the common land and other open spaces around the area on the edge of London – but just inside the M25 which is perhaps its real boundary.


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.