Posts Tagged ‘Westbourne Grove’

Windows and Doors 1987

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, Westminster, 1987 87-7g-21-positive_2400

A man studies the menu of a Chinese restuarant on Westbourne Grove while his partner stands uncomfortably a discrete distance to the side. This corner with Hereford Road is still recognisable, but the New Good World is long gone. It was for a while a Rodizio Rico, a Brazilian grill, then another Brazilian bar and grill and, most recently and possibly still Franco Marco Sourdough Pizza, while Vinyl Solution is now a Moroccan restaurant; opened around 1978 by Yves Guillemot after he sold his record shop in Le Havre it was during the 1980s stuffed with obscure records from around the world attracting collectors, as well as DJs including John Peel. It began its own record label and thrived, so much so that this shop became too small and the business moved to Portobello Rd.

Chepstow Rd, Westbourne Green, Westminster, 1987 87-7g-34-positive_2400

This house is part of a long terrace of mid-19th century houses at 22-68 Chepstow Road in Westbourne Green that was Grade II listed in 1981, and was clearly in rather poor condition and recently sold and about to be renovated. These are large houses and now sell for over £2.5m; they are part of the Westbourne Conservation Area and were probably developed in 1850-55. I took an almost identical image on colour film which was a part of a show around 1990 and which now hangs on my stairs.

Pembridge Villas, Notting Hill,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7g-43-positive_2400

A number of the grander houses in Kensington have elaborate extended porches like this over the steps leading from their front doors to the street to protect people walking to and from their carriages . They are sometimes called porte cochères, though more strictly this refers to porches into which a coach may be driven. This one in Pembridge Villas, Notting Hill, is more elaborate than most and comes with a front door and a lion on top which this picture rather distorts. You can just see two more lions by the house, here peeping over the wall.

Pembridge Square, Notting Hill,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7g-51-positive_2400

Another extended porch at 27 Pembridge Square has some delightful wrought iron work.

Dawson Place, Notting Hill,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7g-66-positive_2400

Some fine calligraphy in graffiti on a wall in Dawson Place, though not easy to read. I think I can make out the word ‘Saint’ but the rest escapes me – let me know if you can decipher more. Above the wall is some kind of creeping plant, which not long before had been trimmed back and you can still see the marks it left below.

Royal Pavillion, Brighton, Sussex, 1987 87-7h-31-positive_2400

Brighton has often been called “London by the sea”, and since the railway was built in 1841 has been a popular destination for days out as well as ‘dirty weekends’. So I felt I could include just a few pictures from one of my days out with family and friends to see the sights. I don’t think the girls were greatly impressed by the Royal Pavillion and we didn’t manage to drag them inside, but they did enjoy the Lanes and the Volk’s railway.

Kensington Square Gardens, Kensington, Kensignton & Chelsea, 1987 87-7h-66-positive_2400

36 Letterboxes in one door must be something of a record, and it was hard to imagine how 36 flats could be fitted in to this pair of houses, though the one at bottom left is labelled ‘Other Mail’. Presumably the entrance leading to all the flats is the door at left, and as well as the 18 bells which can be seen there is presumably another block of similar size on the wall at the right of the door.

I think most or all of the flats are one bedroom flats, and in this area would probably be rented at around £500 per week, so all 36 would bring in a weekly income of £18,000 – not far off a million a year.


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.


A Goddess, Doors, a Dodo and a Lion

Saturday, September 26th, 2020
Minerva House, North Crescent, Chenies St, Camden, 1987 87-7f-21-positive_2400

Grade II listed Minerva House on the North Crescent of Chenies St , architect George Vernon, was built in 1912-3 for the Minerva Motor company which had begun in Belgium making bicylces before moving on to motorbikes and cars. One of its English dealers in 1903 was Charles Rolls, who the following year joined up with Henry Royce to sell his cars. In 1910 he became the first Briton to be killed in a crash by a powered aircraft when his Wright Flyer lost its tail during an air display in Bournemouth.

When I took this picture Minerva House was the Combined Training School for University College Hospital, training around 300 nurses a year. Since Minerva was the Roman Goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, strategic warfare, commerce, weaving, and the crafts this seems appropriate. She was also supposed to have created the olive tree and invented the flute and numbers. Minerva House is now the London home of global media agency OMD.

At right is the bleak Chenies Street concrete blockhouse entrance to the deep-level air raid shelter built in 1942, currently called ‘The Eisenhower Centre’ though it had no real wartime connection to the General. Before the war Minerva House looked out onto gardens.

Pembridge Gardens, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7f-24-positive_2400

19 Pembridge Gardens was obviously in rather poor condition in 1987 when I took this picture, with peeling paint and trees growing up in odd places. The house was empty, its front door secured by two padlocks. It had been Grade II listed three years before I photographed it.

It looks in rather better condition now, and it should be as it appears to be home to a firm of “well-established Expert decorators.” Though I think it a shame not to have retained what is I think an illuminated house number above the door.

Pembridge Gardens, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7f-25-positive_2400

It’s hard to count the number of bells at the left of the door to this house just a couple of doors up from the house in previous picture, but then obviously in rather better condition. There are 15 of them on the five floors of this house. Built in the mid 19th century (with a later top floor) it was also Grade II listed in 1974.

A Davey, Builder, ghost sign, Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7f-52-positive_2400

A neatly aligned sign indented in the rendering on the wall of an end terrace house in Portobello road still informs us


A. DAVEY.
BUILDER.
M A N U F A C T U R E R O F
EVERY DESCRIPTION OF INSIDE
AND OUTSIDE WINDOW BLINDS.
UPHOLSTERER AND DECORATER
ESTABLISHED 1851.

though I’m sure he was well gone from the premises when I photographed them 136 years later.

Davey the builder was probably one of the original occupiers of this long purpose-built terrace of shops which were developed in 1848-9 by the Rev Brooke Edward Bridges and Thomas Pocock who had bought the land for ‘Portobello Terrace’ from Felix Ladbroke; they were built by various local builders to a similar plan, with a ground floor shop and two floors above for the shopkeeper and his family. More recently extra doors have been added and the upper floors are largely let as expensive flats.

Looking at the text of the sign I think the lettering was probably stamped out while the rendering was still damp rather than cut out. It has certainly lasted well and can hardly be called a ‘ghost sign’. Fitting in some of the longer text was obviously rather tricky and there are just a few places where the letter spacing seems not to be optimal. Though generally rather better than my crude attempt above.

Dodo, Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7f-64-positive_2400

Dodo and this sign were at 185 Westbourne Grove, no longer something Antiques but now occupied by American Vintage, but Dodo is certainly no longer at 3 Denbigh Rd, a short distance to the west just off Westbourne Grove. You can see a picture of this row of shops with Dodo in place on the RBK Local Studies web site which takes a photographic stroll down Westbourn Grove and comments rather inaccurately “In the centre of the picture a shop called Dodo Designs, wholesalers of fancy goods.”

Dodo, set up by “London’s acknowledged queen of advertising ephemera” Liz Farrow has been “selling genuine vintage advertising posters since 1960” and is still doing so through the Dodo Posters web site.

Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill, Kensington & Chelsea, 1987 87-7f-65-positive_2400

Just around the corner in Ledbury Rd is this row of shops with an entry to Ledbury Mews North. This whole area had a large number of antique shops but now seems largely devoted to fashion.

No 38 to the right of the mews entrance is certainly an attractive building, but I think what particularly attracted me is the lion on the pavement in front of Lacy Gallery – which has of course gone with the Gallery, that shop now split back into two different businesses.

More from Page 5 of 1987 London Photos in another post.