Posts Tagged ‘Westminster’

Five Bridges: XR – 17 Nov 2018

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

COP26 was in some respects a great disappointment, or rather would have been had we expected very much to arise out of it. But there were some advances, and just a slight glimmer of hope that it may prompt a little more progress in our efforts to save our future on the planet. But that it happened at all and in the way it did is very much down to the efforts of people on the street to raise awareness of the realities of climate change.

Without groups that have been campaigning for years we would have no hope at all, and whatever people think about some of the policies of Extinction Rebellion, it has been one of the more effective movements in bringing the message to the attention of the media, politicians and the public.

Even in the unfortunately toned down words of the COP26 final resolution, the message from the banner in the assembly at the top of this post is now clear: ‘FOSSIL FUEL ERA OVER’ though it still remains to be seen if it can be brought to an end fast enough for us to survive.

On Saturday 17th November 2018, Extinction Rebellion rebels managed to block five of the bridges in central London: Lambeth, Westminster, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Southwark. It was an ambitious project that brought much of London’s traffic to a standstill and gauranteed extensive media coverage. You can march 50,000 through London and it won’t merit a mention on the BBC unless windows are broken or police injured – but this was something that could not be ignored, and despite the interests of the billionaire media owners, at least some journalists began asking the right questions and writing the right answers.

I tried to photograph events on as many of the bridges as possible, though with no buses able to run in central London this involved rather a lot of walking. In the end I failed to make it to Lambeth Bridge, where some of the more robust actions by police against the protesters took place.

Here’s my description of XR from one of the three posts I made about them that day:

Extinction Rebellion is a non-violent rebellion against the British government for its criminal inaction in the face of the climate change catastrophe and ecological collapse which is currently on course to make human life extinct. They demand the government tell the truth about the climate emergency, reverse their inconsistent policies and work to communicate and educate everyone, that they bring in legally binding policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and reduce our consumption of all resources, with a national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes and create a real democracy.

http://mylondondiary.co.uk/2018/11/nov.htm#westminster

More protests will be needed around the world to make politicians do what needs to be done – and I was photographing Extinction Rebellion in London last Saturday when they protested in the annual Lord Mayor’s Show.


My day was made busier as there was another unrelated event taking place that I also wanted to photograph, a Unity against Fascism and Racism march from the BBC to a rally in Whitehall calling for unity against the rising threat of Islamophobia and Antisemitism by far-right groups in the UK, with a level of support for fascism not seen since the 1930s. I missed the start but spent around half an hour taking pictures as it came down Regent St.


More on all these and more pictures on My London Diary:

Extinction Rebellion Bridge blockade starts
Extinction Rebellion: Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo
Extinction Rebellion form Citizens’ Assembly

Unity Against Fascism and Racism


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Kilburn to Maida Vale

Monday, October 25th, 2021

My walk around Kilburn ended by going down Kiburn High Road with a small slight deviations to catch the tube at Maida Vale.

Bingo Hall, Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn State, Odeon, Kilburn,  Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-63-positive_2400
Bingo Hall, Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn State, Odeon, Kilburn, 1988 88-5m-63

The Kilburn State Theatre was built on grounds formerly occupied by houses and since the 1890s by a furniture factory, The Palmerston Works. From 1916 to 1926 it was the home of the Central Aircraft Company which built cheap wooden aircraft and also gave flying courses and joy rides from Northolt Airport. The flights were a great success but although the planes only cost £250 sales were poor and the factory returned to making furniture.

The site was bought by Gaumont and opened in 1937 as the Gaumont State Cinema, designed by George Coles and this now Grade II* listed Art Deco masterpiece has a tower inspired by the Empire State Building in New York and when built had seating for over 4000, making it the largest purpose-built cinema in Europe. You can read much more about it in The Kilburn State Cinema.

Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd,  Kilburn,  Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-64-positive_2400
Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-64

This wall on the corner of Gascony Avenue and Kilburn High Road was almost totally covered with advertising and branding, including three giant posters for the Invalid Children’s Aid Nationwide, (I CAN), founded in 1888 as the Invalid Children’s Aid Association by Allen Dowdeswell Graham to help poor children in London’s East End who were either seriously ill or handicapped. It is now a national charity for children with speech and language difficulties.

People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 198888-5m-51-positive_2400
People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-51

Walking along the Kilburn High Road with a camera (or possibly two) around my neck attracted the attention of several groups of people on the street, who demanded I take their pictures.

People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-66-positive_2400
People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-66

And I was happy to do so. They were all in a good mood, possibly in some cases helped by a little exposure to Guiness. I think all had good Irish accents.

Posters, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent,  Camden,1988 88-5m-53-positive_2400
Posters, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden,1988 88-5m-53

And flyposters on several buildings advertised Irish events in London.

Kilburn Banks Ltd, Springfield Joinery, off Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 198888-5m-54-positive_2400
Kilburn Banks Ltd, Springfield Joinery, off Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-5m-54

I think the Springfield Joinery was probably at 1Springfield Lane, but no trace of this building remains. Possibly it was where the beer garden of the Old Bell Inn now is. If so it was in the LB Camden.

The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-46-positive_2400
The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-46

Animals, particularly horses, dogs, carrier pigeons and donkeys, but also many other species played an important role in the FIrst World War, and many were killed carrying out their duties. After the war the RSPCA proposed a memorial to them, and plans were drawn up for one at Hyde Park Corner but this was never built – though many years later in 2004 one was unveiled on Park Lane. The RSPCA changed its plans and decided on a more practical project, buying this site in Kilburn for The Animal War Memorial Dispensary in 1931.

There are two memorial inscriptions, one on each side of the door, but too small to read in my photograph. They are given in full on the Imperial War Museum web site.

LEFT: THIS BUILDING IS DEDICATED AS A MEMORIAL TO THE COUNTLESS/ THOUSANDS OF GOD’S HUMBLE CREATURES WHO SUFFERED AND/ PERISHED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918 KNOWING NOTHING OF THE/ CAUSE. LOOKING FORWARD TO NO FINAL VICTORY. FILLED ONLY WITH/ LOVE FAITH AND LOYALTY THEY ENDURED MUCH AND DIED FOR US./ MAY WE ALL REMEMBER THEM WITH GRATITUDE AND IN THE FUTURE/ COMMEMORATE THEIR SUFFERING AND DEATH BY SHOWING MORE/ KINDNESS AND CONSIDERATION TO LIVING ANIMALS.

RIGHT: 1914 – 1918 THIS TABLET RECORDS THE DEATH BY ENEMY ACTION/ DISEASE OR ACCIDENT OF 484,143 HORSES MULES CAMELS AND/ BULLOCKS AND OF MANY HUNDREDS OF DOGS CARRIER PIGEONS AND/ OTHER CREATURES ON THE VARIOUS FRONTS DURING THE GREAT WAR/ IT ALSO RECORDS THE FACT THAT IN FRANCE ALONE 725,216 SICK AND/ WOUNDED ANIMALS WERE TREATED IN VETERINARY HOSPITALS/ PROVIDED BY THE RSPCA.

Bas-relief, The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-55-positive_2400
Bas-relief, The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-55

The Grade II listed dispensary is a converted mid-nineteenth century house memorial plaque above the door on the facade of the building is by Frederick Brook Hitch of Hertford who won the competition for the design. The dispensary continued in use until a RSPCA reorganisation in 2016.

TS Bicester, Sea Cadets, Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-44-positive_2400
TS Bicester, Sea Cadets, Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-44

Next door to the dispensary is Kilburn’s ‘Tin Tabernacle’, Grade II listed as Cambridge Hall and erected as St James’s Episcopalian Church in 1863. Active as a church until the 1920s it became an “Air Raid Precautions store during the Second World War, and was later known as the Lord Lloyd of Dolobran Memorial Hall. The building was taken over by the Sea Cadets in about 1949, and from then on was known as Training Ship Bicester“. In the 1950s they remodelled the interior as a mock-up of a Ton-Class Minesweeper. It had been built with a spire which was apparently stolen in the 1980s before this picture was taken.

Maida Vale, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-5m-34-positive_2400
74 Maida Vale, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-5m-34

The pineapple was a symbol of wealth and found a place on many gateposts, but 74 Maida Vale is unusual in also having three on the parapet wall. I think the house probably dates from some time between 1829-1840 and that the rooms behind those upper pineapples are a later addition, but have found no specific information about this particular house; although several others on the block are listed this is not.


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London 22nd October 2014

Friday, October 22nd, 2021

ILF

The Independent Living Fund enabled many disabled people to continue to live with dignity and to work making a positive contribution to society and the government decision to close it led to many protests and to legal actions to try and stop it under the Equality Act.

Although a court ruled that the minister concerned had acted illegally, all it required was that the new minister reconsidered the plans. He did so, and decided to go ahead, though with a three month delay. And a judge ruled in December 2014 that although in axing the ILF he knew that the closure would mean many disabled people would lose their ability to live independently in the community his decision was legal.

The decision to end ILF was clearly wrong, clearly immoral, but so long as the legal niceties were observed the government was able to go ahead with it, and our law gave no protection.

The vigil outside the court while the case was being heard attracted wide support, including from Inclusion London, Norfolk and Suffolk DPAC local DPACs, the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, Transport for All, Winvisable, PCS Union, the TUC, and other organisations,and there was even a simultaneous vigil in Toronto, Canada. Three MPs, John McDonnell, Andy Slaughter and Jeremy Corbyn, came to give their support, and there were speeches by campaigners including Paula Peters and Andy Greene, with John Kelly singing.

As expected the vigil ended with a short direct action by DPAC and others, briefly blocking the Strand outside the law courts.

Free Shaker Aamer

This was one of a long series of regular vigils opposite Parliament for Shaker Aamer, an innocent charity worker arrested by bandits and handed over to US forces who have imprisoned and tortured him for over 12 years. He was cleared for release in 2007 but remained in Guantanamo with our government failing to press for his release because his testimony could embarrass MI6 as well as the US.

London Panoramas

I had time before another protest to visit an exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands and on the journey to pause and make some panoramic images.

Probably the most interesting were inside Westminster station, where “the beams and buttresses, designed by Hopkins Architects and completed in 1999 for the opening of the Jubilee Line are also the foundations of the block of parliamentary offices above the station, Portcullis House, and were deliberately Piranesian, though sometimes I get more of the feeling of Escher as you seem to walk endlessly up escalators and around the interior.”

Democracy Camp – Poet Arrested

I returned to Parliament Square where the Democracy Camp was still holding workshops, though police and the GLA ‘heritage wardens’ had fenced off the main grass area.

Danny, one of the protesters had been sitting on the plinth next to the statue of Churchill since the previous afternoon and poet Martin Powell arrived with a pot of food for him, which he tossed up to him, going straight into his hands, despite police warning him he could be arrested.

How can feeding the hungry be a crime?” he asked and he was arrested and led away in handcuffs around two sides of Parliament Squareperforming his poem ‘The Missing Peace’. I left while Danny was still on the plinth, though later that evening police finally found a ladder and brought him down after over 26 hours.

Musical Poor Doors

It was Class War’s 14th weekly protest at the ‘rich door’ of Redrow’s One Commercial St flats and it was a lively affair, with the banners dancing to the music of Rhythms of Resistance, a poetic performance and some rousing speeches against social apartheid.

There were a lot of police present and some stood in front of the door and ushered a few people in and out but made no attempt to stop the hour long protest, which though noisy remained entirely peaceful. Some of the police clearly enjoyed the music and watching the dancing.


More at:
Musical Poor Doors
Democracy Camp – Poet Arrested
Canary Wharf & Westminster Tube
End UK shame over Shaker Aamer
DPAC High Court Vigil for ILF


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Kilburn Park 1988

Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Carlton Vale, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-26-positive_2400
Carlton Vale, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-26

My next walk at the end of May 1988 took me to Kilburn Park and Kilburn, and again in this post I have put the pictures in the order of my walk rather than the somewhat random order they have in the Flickr album 1988 London Photos. The church in the picture of Carlton Vale is St Augustine, Kilburn, and the large block of flats on the corner of Carlton Vale and Kilburn Park Rd was demolished in 2018-9, though I think the overhead walkway went many years earlier.

Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-15-positive_2400
Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-15

These lower blocks of flats were a part of the same South Kilburn estate and I think close to the corner of Carlton Vale and Cambridge Rd. The estate of high-density housing in low-rise flats and 11 tower blocks was begun in 1959 and further developed in the 1960s and 70s. Brent embarked on a comprehensive redevelopment in 2014, which is resulting in a considerable loss of social housing.

Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-61-positive_2400
Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-61

Unsurprisingly Oxford Road runs parallel with Cambridge Ave up to the Kilburn High Rd. These streets were two of those developed by local builder James Bailey in the 1860s, developing the area he called Kilburn Park. The name was given to the first underground station in Kilburn which opened in 1915 in Cambridge Ave.

Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-64-positive_2400
Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-64

These are typical houses of the era and were probably built from published designs in architectural pattern books. My grandather, who built a few houses on a much less grand scale had owned at least one of these and as children we were sometimes allowed to look at this beautifully illustrated volume.

Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-66-positive_2400
Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-66

At its southern end Cambridge Avenue leads to both Cambridge Road and the rather posher Cambridge Gardens.

Central Motors, Canterbury House, Canterbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5l-52-positive_2400

Central Motors, Canterbury House, Canterbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5l-52-positive_2400

Central Motors in Canterbury Rd still looks much the same, but Canterbury House, although retaining the facade had two extra storeys added in 2015-6 with luxury flats and penthouses. It as built in 1862 when this was still a part of Kilburn Lane as a railway signal factory for Saxby & Farmer who became one of the largest employers in the area but moved out around 1906.

South Kilburn Estate, Crone Court, Rupert Road, Brent, 1988 88-5l-53-positive_2400
Crone Court, South Kilburn Estate, Rupert Road, Brent, 1988 88-5l-53

Crone Court is on the corner of Rupert Rd and Denmark Rd on the South Kilburn Estate and is due for redevelopment in the next few years. The 12 storey block, 32m tall, was completed in 1964.

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 198888-5l-55-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-55

Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium & Cycleworks was definitely in Malvern Rd, West Kilburn as it had a street sign higher up on the building. It had a remarkable window display and I took far too many pictures – a few of them here.

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-56-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-56

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-41-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-41

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-45-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-45

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 198888-5l-31-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-31

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


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Global Climate Strike – 2019

Monday, September 20th, 2021

Two years ago, Friday 20 September 2019 saw Earth Day Global Climate Strike protests around the world inspired by Greta Thunberg. Many thousands came to the events in Central London, packing out quite a length of Millbank in the morning, but there were others around Westminster who didn’t quite get down to the rally, as well as local events in other parts of London.

The school kids get it, but even two years later it is quite clear that our government really doesn’t, though is happy to pay lip-service. The world is going to change and unless we act urgently it will change very much for the worse so far as human life is concerned.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report released in August 2021 makes the severity of our position clear, and floods and fires this year in countries across the world have underlined the need for urgent action to change our way of life.

Yet a few days ago, the government yet again confirmed its support for airport expansion and another runway at Heathrow, and is still backing oil exploration in our coastal waters, as well as a new coal mine, still subsidising gas-fired power stations and encouraging wood-burning which is causing large-scale environmental devastation in forests as well as churning out carbon dioxide and still failing to put the investment needed into green policies and green jobs.

It’s hard to believe the stupidity of our government, something only increased by reshuffles, particular when they promote people who have obviously failed. But most governments around the world are driven by short-term political considerations and by the interests of the rich and powerful, and this latter is perhaps nowhere more paramount than in the UK, where as well as the interests of huge companies and their bosses we also have the interests of the establishment and Crown and the City of London.

Brixton

The late Duke of Westminster who died in 2016 once told a reporter from the Financial Times who asked what advice he would give to a young entrepreneur who wanted to succeed. His reply “Make sure they have an ancestor who was a very close friend of William the Conqueror” is usually reported as being a joke, but certainly contains a great deal of truth. Britain is still very much owned and run for and by those who profited from that occupation, enacting laws which stole the land from the people. 955 years later we are still occupied.

After managing to extract myself from the crowded rally I went to pay brief visits to Climate Strike events elsewhere. The Elephant & Castle was a quick trip on the underground, and I photographed a march starting from there before jumping back on the tube to Brixton.

Children from Brixton primary schools were at a lunchtime rally in Windrush Square, and when that finished some were intending to travel into central London to join the main protest. I rushed away as the rally ended to get back too, and found a largish group of secondary school students joining activists who were already sitting down to block Whitehall. When they got up and began to march away, police stopped them – and after a while they came back and blocked Whitehall again. Eventually they got up and marched back towards Parliament Square.

Protests were still continuing with much of Westminster at a standstill when I left for an unrelated protest in Carnaby Street (yes it’s still there, though it really belongs to the Sixties) by pro-Palestine activists in front of the Puma store there. The say Puma whitewashes Israel’s war crimes by sponsoring the apartheid Israel Football Association which includes clubs from illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land, a war crime under international law.

Carnaby St Puma Boycott
Global Climate Strike Protest continues
Elephant & Brixton Global Climate Strike
Global Climate Strike Rally


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.


Camera Place and the Grosvenor Canal 1988

Saturday, September 4th, 2021

Camera Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-64-positive_2400
Camera Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-64

Having found there was a street in Chelsea named Camera Place I had to photograph it. It’s a short street and my picture shows around half of it, looking roughly west towards Limerston St. Chelsea used to have a Camera Square, Camera Street and Little Camera Street which have since disappeared, but as they were built in the 1820s they almost certainly have little to do with photography. By 1918 Camera Square had become something of a slum and the area was demolished, rebuilt as Chelsea Park Gardens with up-market housing in suburban garden village fashion, though retaining a rigidly square layout without the typical sinously curving streets.

The view in Camera Place has changed little; some new railings and the small tree is now rather large.

Elm Park Mansions, Park Walk, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-62-positive_2400
Elm Park Mansions, Park Walk, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5c-62

Elm Park Mansions has five large blocks around a courtyard, with one of the blocks (flats 25-54) occuping half the length of the north side of Camera Place, behind and to my right as I took the previous picture. The mansions with 189 mostly one and two bedroom flats were built by the Metropolitan Industrial Dwellings Company on land leased to them by Major Sloane Stanley in 1900. The Freehold for the property was taken over by the leaseholders in 1986 and since then the state of the properties has been improved. Two bed flats have sold in recent years for around £800,000.

Elm Park Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-15-positive_2400
Elm Park Rd, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5b-15

Elm Park Road dates from 1875 when Chelsea Park House was demolished and the houses, many designed by George Godwin, were built between then and 1882. The central house in this picture, at 76 Elm Park Road for built for Paul Naftel, (1817-91) a Guernsey born watercolour painter and his wife and family who came to London in 1870. He moved here in around 1884 and the adjoining houses were also homes to landscape artists. Naftel later moved out to Strawberry Hill, Twickenham where he died.

Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-12-positive_2400
Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-12

The Grosvenor Canal was began by the Chelsea Waterworks Company who had leased the land from Sir Richard Grosvenor in 1722, and enlarged a creek there to supply drinking water and also to create a tide mill used to pump the water. When their lease expired in 1823, the then Earl of Grosvenor decide to put in a lock and turn the creek into a canal, extending it to a basin where Victoria Station now stands, around half a mile from the Thames. It opened in 1824 carrying coal, wood and stone into the centre of a rapidly growing area of London.

Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-13-positive_2400
Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-14

Victoria Station was built over the canal basin, and more of the canal closed in 1899 for a station extension. Westminster City Council bought what was left of it in 1905, then filled in more of it in 1927 for the Ebury Bridge estate.

Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-14-positive_2400
Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-14

The canal continued in use by the council taking refuse in barges from Westminster and other local authorities downriver to be dumped until 1995, making this vestigial canal the last in London in commercial use. In 2000 it began to be developed as an expensive waterside development, with the lock being retained but a boom across the entrance from the Thames prevents access for boats despite mooring pontoons inside the development.

Western Pumping Station, Bazalgette, Thames Water, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 198888-5e-15-positive_2400
Western Pumping Station, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-15

The Chelsea Water Works continued to extract water from the Grosvenor Canal until an Act of Parliament prevented extraction of water from the Thames in London in 1852 and they moved up-river to Surbiton. Sewage was increasingly becoming a problem as London grew and the ‘Great Stink’ of 1858 prompted Parliament into action, passing a bill in 18 days to construct a new sewerage system for London.

The solution by Joseph William Bazalgette was a system of sewers that delivered the sewage around 8 miles downriver to Beckton on the north bank and Crossness on the south, through main high level middle and low level sewers through North London and main and high level sewers in South London. The plans included stone embankments beside the river – the Victoria, Chelsea and Albert embankments which he designed.

Lamp post, Western Pumping Station, Thames Water, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-16-positive_2400
Lamp post, Western Pumping Station, Thames Water, Grosvenor Rd, Pimlico, Westminster, 1988 88-5e-16

Bazalgette didn’t do everything himself, but he kept a very close eye on every aspect of his great project, and some of the specifications he laid down – such as the use of Portland Cement – have kept the system running despite increasing demands since it was completed in 1875. Now it is being augmented by the new ‘Super Sewer’ running underneath the river, the Thames Tideway.

As well as engineering considerations, Bazalgette was also a stickler for the aesthetics and there are some fine examples of Victorian design in his works. The Pumping Station which housed the powerful steam engines needed to send the sewage on its way, as well as its chimney (in a picture above) and the Superintendents House here are all Grade II listed.


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.


Grosvenor Canal, Chelsea & Belgravia 1988

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Chelsea, Westminster, 1988 88-4n-53-positive_2400
Grosvenor Canal, Grosvenor Rd, Chelsea, Westminster, 1988 88-4n-53

The Grosvenor Canal, now only vestigial, is one of London’s least-known canals, opened in 1824 when the Earl of Grosvenor decided to add a lock and turn what had been a tidal creek with a tide mill and feeding reservoirs for drinking water at Chelsea Waterworks (at right in picture) into a short canal, around three quarters of a mile long ending at a large basin, Grosvenor Basin. The lock needed two gates at the end where it connected to the river as the canal level could be higher or lower than the tidal river. The main traffic then on the canal was coal for the many houses in Westminster.

Victoria Station was built on much of this basin site in 1858, and when the station was expanded in 1902, the upper half of the canal was closed and the lower half sold to Westminster City Council who used it for barges carrying refuse. They closed more in 1925 to build the Ebury Bridge estate, but a short section was still in use, with barges taking Westminster’s rubbish onto the Thames, when I made this picture. It was then the last commercial canal in London. It closed in 1995 and has since been redeveloped as Grosvenor Waterside. More on Wikipedia

Savills, Sloane St, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-61-positive_2400
Savills, Sloane St, Sloane Square, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-61

An estate agent selling the grand houses in the area with offices in a rather grand Grade II listed house on Sloane St, dating from the late 18th century. The listing text notes that the ground floor – reached up eight steps from the pavement – is in commercial use and describes the ground floor windows as wide, “with stucco fan motif lunettes above”.

Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-62-positive_2400
Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-62

A long white passageway with a charming lamp at the end hanging from wrought iron supports, behind a slightly more prosaic wrought iron gate. I wouldn’t have photographed it, not having a great love of the twee, but for the rather more practical lamp fitting at left with its cable housing leading rather nicely vertically down the wall to the curving shadow on the floor.

Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-63-positive_2400
Bourne St, Belgravia, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-63

White fences have had a particular attraction for photographers since an iconic image by Paul Strand at Port Kent in 1916, though I make no suggestion that this is anywhere in the same league. But it did seem an awful lot of white fence in a rather confined space.

Skinner Place,  Belgravia, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-64-positive_2400
Skinner Place, Belgravia, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4n-64

Skinner Place looked like something from a rather meaner part of London, perhaps somewhere in Bethnal Green mysteriously translocated into Belgravia (which would have increased its price by a large factor.) But it was the huge union flag blocking the end of the street that I really liked, along with the rounded block of flats behind.

Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-15-positive_2400
Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-15

The Henry Smith Charity was established on the death of Henry Smith (1549-1628) who lived and profited through interesting times, lending money to many landed families and amassing large landholdings from their misfortunes. He left detailed instructions for the administration of his estates, and the charity trustees in 1640 bought “a marshy estate of mainly market gardens just outside London, in the parish of Kensington.” According the the charity web site, “Nearly four centuries after we were first established, The Henry Smith Charity is one of the largest grant making charities in Britain; making grants of £39.8 million in 2020.”

Smiths Charity, corruption, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-14-positive_2400
Smiths Charity, corruption, Cranley Mews, South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4o-14

I spent some time reading the notices in this picture, but ended up little the wiser about the eviction of Major Parson in the 1970s, and the corruption alleged to have been involved. Reading a post from David Swarbrick about a 1974 legal case did little to help me but may held my legal friends.

Click on any of the above to see a large version and explore more pictures 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.


Knightsbridge – Around Hyde Park

Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Rutland Gate, Westminster, 198888-4c-55-positive_2400
Rutland Gate, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-55

The Rutland Gate to Hyde Park from Knightsbridge is just to the west of Hyde Park Barracks, and Rutland Gate is a rather strange double square with bits that extends south from there. These houses are at its south-west extremity, and that in the right is called Clock House, though I think you have to imagine the clock in the circular window above the door. It does have a statue on its roof, or possibly on that of an adjoining building, which appears to be some kind of classical figure. The frontage dates from its conversion to a ‘bijou residence’ between the wars, and the statuary arrived in the 1960s when Austin Blomfield remodelled the house for a former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Henry Aylwen.

Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02-positive_2400
Asia, John Henry Foley, Albert Memorial, Hyde Park,Westminster, 1988 88-4d-02

Down the road at the Albert Memorial there is no shortage of sculptures, although I’m unsure why this rather large and half-dressed woman seated on an elephant should have been chosen to represent Asia. I suspect she more represents the fantasies of the sculptor than anything else.

Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12-positive_2400
Victoria Grove, Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-12

Albert is also remembered in Albert Mews, through the archway on this picture of Victoria Grove. Victoria Grove runs from Gloucester Road to Victoria Road.

Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16-positive_2400
Kensington Court Place, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-16

Kensington Court Gardens is a large mansion block built on the site of the Kensington Lawn Tennis Club in 1887-9 which was bought by Albert Barker. The block was designed by Henry Peck and built by Frederick Moir of Moir, Wallis and Company who moved into a flat there. The street, then Charles St, was renamed to Kensington Court Place in 1908. Flats then were advertised at between £195-£250 per year – equivalent allowing for inflation to £25,000 to £33,000. Some are quite large – one recent advertised had 4 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, a large study, large kitchen/breakfast room and 3 bathrooms.

The flats have a blue plaque for T S Elliot who moved to flat 3 after his secret marriage to his secretary and editor Valerie in 1957 when he was 68 and she was 30. He died in 1965 but she continued to live her until her death in 2012

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-21

The blue plaque to sculptor Jacob Epstein is on a tall house at 18 Hyde Park Gate where he lived from 1929 until his death in 1959. Almost opposite is another blue plaque for novelist and playwright Enid Bagnold, and a little further down the road one for Winston Churchill who bought the house as his London base after his election defeat in 1945. Widely regarded as a hero for leading the country through the war, he is also vilified for his attacks on miners in Tonypandy, the deaths of millions of Indians in the Bengal famine, his approval of area bombing of German cities – surely a war crime – and many other actions.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-22

The flag outside 45 Hyde Park Gate is the Australian flag as this is the Australian High Commissioners official residence. The house has been greatly altered and enlarged since it was built in 1838 as Stoke Lodge by Robert Thew, a major in the East India Company’s artillery.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-31

Hyde Park Gate also includes sections running along the south side of Kensington Road as well as a road leading south. These modern flats are on the north east corner I think date from around 1972 when I think the houses on both sides of the entrance to the street were demolished.

Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 198888-4d-32-positive_2400
Hyde Park Gate,Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4d-32

Reading the list of well-known people who have lived in Hyde Park Gate in the Survey of London and on Wikipedia it seems almost every house could have a blue plaque. This one is for Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB, KStJ, DL though there isn’t room for all that on the plaque at 9 Hyde Park Gate, which simply records “Robert Baden-Powell 1857-1941 Chief Scout of the World lived here”.

All pictures are from my album 1988 London Photos. Clicking on any of the images will take you to a larger versinon in the album from where you can navigate forward or backward through all the 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.


Knightsbridge and Brompton, 1988

Sunday, July 4th, 2021

Brompton Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-13-positive_2400
Brompton Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-13

I can’t look at the picture without thinking there should be people on folding bicycles cycling around this small oval island.

Brompton Square isn’t a square, but a long thin rectangle with a garden at its centre off the Brompton Rd, and at its far end is this rounded terrace with its own small oval of private garden in front of it. The square was developed by James Bonnin in 1821 and appears to have changed little with most of the houses now Grade II listed. Three houses sport blue plaques, including one for Stéphane Mallarmé who lived at No 6 in 1863, but the street had and has other famous residents, including “Britain’s most successful serial confidence trickster”, Achilleas Kallakis who bought No 31 at centre-right in this picture in the 2000s for £28 million, proceeding to have the garden dug out for a three-storey basement.

Andrew Ritchie, the inventor of the Brompton Bicycle company was working as a gardener in the area while working on the prototypes for his folding bike and took the name from the Brompton Oratory, whose dome was visible from his bedroom workshop. I’ve ridden a Brompton since 2002, though still prefer my 1980s road bike.

Fairholt St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-21-positive_2400
Fairholt St, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-21

You will search in vain for the Prince of Wales pub in Fairholt St, replaced in 2015-7 by a “Luxury infill development” featuring something like the retained pub front, a “hi-end single family dwelling, a stone throw from Harrods” which ” boasts a two-level basement, 5 bedrooms, a lift, a spa and a home cinema”, designed by AR Architecture with a construction budget of £3m. The development gained the architects the “Best Architecture Single Residence” award by the United Kingdom Property Awards 2019-20.

The pub was established in 1831 in what was then Middle Street, Montpelier Row. In 1989 it was renamed ‘The Swag & Tails’, and changed from a friendly local to a gastro-pub. According to the Closed Pubs UK web site it was bought and closed in 2009, reportedly “by Tamara Ecclestone (daughter of F1 supremo Bernie) with a view to either rebuilding or expanding the premises considerably and turn it into a late night venue.”

Montpelier Terrace, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-33-positive_2400
Montpelier Terrace, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-33

This gatepost in Montpelier Terrace has lost the small and rather delicate urn which surmounted it in 1988, and the gardens here are now rather better kept and the houses in a much smarter condition. There is now very little of the small pockets of attractive dereliction that relieved the area then.

Sculpture, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-52-positive_2400
The Seer, Sculpture, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-52

Gilbert Ledward (1888-1960) produced many war memorials and other monumental architecture with a number of examples still visible around London – including the Venus Fountain in Sloane Square and the bronze sculptures on the Guards Memorial in Horseguards Parade. The Seer was produced around 1957 for the forecourt of Mercury House, 195-199 Knightsbridge, built in 1956–9.

Mercury House was demolished in 2002, replaced by The Knightsbridge Apartments, completed in 2005. I don’t know what has become of ‘The Seer’. Feel free to comment if you do.

Sculpture, Edinburgh Gate,  Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-62-positive_2400
Sculpture, Edinburgh Gate, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-4b-62

This was the last sculpture completed by Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) shortly before his death and depicts a father, mother, son and dog rushing forwards off from the plinth, encouraged by Pan, the Greek God of the Wild, playing his pipes. Variously known as The Rush of Green, Pan or The Bowater House Group, it was commissioned by the chairman of the Land Securities Investment Trust to stand in front of their newly built offices at Bowater House. When this was demolished in 2006 to be replaced by a yet more hideous new development the sculpture was removed and in 2010 re-installed some distance west in the re-located Edinburgh Gate, its figures again rushing into the green of Hyde Park.

Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition, Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-46-positive_2400
Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition, Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-46

Originally built as All Saints, an Anglican Church, in 1849, desinged by Lewis Vulliamy in a Lombard style rather than the prevailing Gothic, the church ran out of cash and was only completed in 1860. Then it was given a facelift in 1891-2, with a new west front based on the Basilica of St Zeno of Verona in Verona, Italy. A parish merger made the church redundant in 1955 and it was leased to a Russian Orthodox congregation, who consecrated it in the name of one of their great feasts, the Dormition of the Mother of God. It was later bought by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Ennismore Mews, Knightsbridge, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea,1988 88-4c-34-positive_2400
Ennismore Mews, Knightsbridge, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea,1988 88-4c-34

These mews were built for the coaches for the large houses in Ennismore Gardens and Rutland Gate with stabling for the horses and rough accomodation for the servants who looked after the horses and drove the carriages. Ennismore Mews were rather grander than most, reflecting the quality of the houses in Ennismore Gardens which were developed in the 1868-74 by Peter and Alexander Thorn. Their company also built a new Blackfriars Bridge, and used some of the stone salvaged from the old bridge to face the Ennismore Gardens houses. The mews buildings were rather more basic structures, and have been converted to residential use, now selling for around £3.75m.

Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-52-positive_2400
Ennismore Gardens, Knightsbridge, Westminster, 1988 88-4c-52

I was amused by the range of rather unusual structures, including the tower of Holy Trinity Brompton and the dome of the London Oratory along with some lesser features. The gateway at left is the entrance to Ennismore Garden Mews.

Click on any of the pictures to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse 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 Around Belgravia 1988

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

Flats, Ebury St, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3g-43-positive_2400
Flats, Ebury St, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3g-43

The Cundy Street flats, architect T P Bennett, were built as low cost housing by the Grosvenor Estate in 1950-52. As Pevsner points out, the blocks have curved balconies typical of the 1930s but with upright columns typical of the 1950s. I think this block is probably Stack House.

Flats, Cundy St, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988  88-3g-55-positive_2400
Flats, Cundy St, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3g-55

Cundy St gets its name from a family who were for several generations surveryor, builders and architects to the Grosvenor estate, probably from Thomas Cundy (see below). Planning permission has recently been granted for the demolition of Kylestrome House, Lochmore House, Laxford House, Stack House, Walden House and their replacement by a new estate which will include shops and a new playground. It will include affordable homes and care homes and assisted living for the over-65s but looks rather duller. The plans have upset some of the wealthier residents in surrounding areas because of a loss of light.

Coleshill Flats, Peabody Trust, Pimlico Rd,Belgravia, Westminster, 1988  88-3g-45-positive_2400
Coleshill Flats, Peabody Trust, Pimlico Rd,Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3g-45

This Peabody estate close to Sloane Square is made up of two separate blocks, Lumley and Coleshill flats, which were constructed in the 1870s.

National Audit Office, Buckingham Palace Road, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988  88-3g-53-positive_2400
National Audit Office, Buckingham Palace Road, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3g-53

Built in 1938 as the Empire Air Terminal in a streamlined “moderne” style by architect Albert Lakeman with a sculpture of winged figures above a globe, Wings Over the World by Eric Broadbent. Passengers for Imperial Airways flights could check in here and be taken by special Pullman Trains from a platform on the adjacent Victoria Station to Southampton Water for flying boat services, while those for European destinations were ferried by coach to Croydon Airport. Unfortunately the terminal opened only three months before the war stopped private flights. Imperial Airways became a part of British Overseas Aiways Corportation (BOAC).

National Audit Office, Buckingham Palace Rd, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3h-55-positive_2400
National Audit Office, Buckingham Palace Rd, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3h-55

After the war, the building was reasonably placed for coaches along the A4 to Heathrow and was renamed the BOAC Terminal and later the British Airways Terminal. It closed in 1980, but had earlier been made largely redundant by the opening of the West London Air Terminal in a temporary building on the Cromwell Road in 1957, replace by a purpose built building in 1963. Check-ins there ended in 1974 and in 1980 both this and the British Airways Terminal were sold. This was listed in 1981 and became the home of the National Audit Office in 1983, though after extensive restoration in 2009, large parts are now rented out. The West London Air Terminal was demolished and the site became a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Eaton Square, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988  88-3g-65-positive_2400
Eaton Square, Belgravia, Westminster, 1988 88-3g-65

66 Eaton Square is described in its Grade II listing test as a part of a grand terrace of houses from the mid 19th century, though I’ve chosen to turn away from most of its grander features and look away down the street and across Eaton Gate.

In 1821, Thomas Cundy became surveyor of the Grosvenor Estate and adapted earlier plans for the area before selling building leases from 1825, mainly to Thomas Cubitt (1788-1855). The ground was rather marshy, and Cubitt brought earth he was then digging out at St Katherine’s Dock to raise it. Work began on Eaton Square, named after the Duke of Westminster’s Cheshire Eaton Hall, in 1827, with the planting of the gardens, but it took longer to complete the houses around the square, though these, probably by Cubitt, were apparently completed by 1843. But the whole square was only finished by another builder in the 1850s.

Eaton Square is not a square, but a rather elongated rectangle around 500 metres long. Even including the mews behind the grand houses it is less than 200 m wide.

Cadogan Gate, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3h-22-positive_2400
Cadogan Gate, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3h-22

This house at 6 Cadogan Gate on the corner of Pavilion Rd stands out among the taller red-brick mansions and is more a continuation of the mews buildings in Pavilion Rd, but with a rather less usual architecture, with those circular ground floor windows, rather ecclesiastical tall oval-arched sash window on the first floor and its mansard roof. It probably dates from around 1879.

This is an address mentioned in the Panama Papers, the giant 2016 leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records exposing a system that enables crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies, though of course the activities with which this address is connected could be entirely legal.

Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3h-23-positive_2400
Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3h-23

I think this is 59 Cadogan Square, where a large second floor flat was recently on offer for £7m. Cadogan Square is one of the most expensive residential streets in the United Kingdom, with all but around three houses converted into flats, and these houses are estimated to be worth £25m.

The large tall houses were built between 1877 and 1888 for the Cadogan Estate in Flemish inspired red brick which I find overpowering, but in the centre of the square there is a residents’ only garden where they can sit and, at least in summer the red-brick hell is largely hidden by trees.

More from my Flickr Album 1988 London Photos in later posts.


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.