Hewer Street, W10

Road in/near North Kensington, existing between the 1870s and now

MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Road · North Kensington · W10 · Contributed by The Underground Map
The undertakers’ shop (John Nodes) at the end of Hewer Street at the turn of the twentieth century

Built as part of the St Charles’ estate in the 1870s, it originally between Exmoor Street to a former street called Raymede Street.

Ernest Walsh, contributing as part of the BBC People’s War in 2004 wrote about Hewer Street:

I was 17 years old when the following incident happened and was living in Notting Hill.

The street shelters were erected just after the outbreak of war. The low square buildings were fitted with bunks to sleep 10 persons and were sited along the road-side.
For nearly two years since 1940,vhen the raids on London really started, the brick built shelters had been our sleeping quartets; built mainly to protect civilians from shrapnel and falling masonry.

As soon as the warning sounded, the family would gather bedding, tea-pot and kettle, and settle down for the night; knowing that there would be no reprieve until the dawn. No luxuries, such as running water, toilet facilities or lighting, were to be had in our temporary abode. A candle, primus stove, and a bowl for washing were the essential requisites.
Someone was banging on the recently re-placed shelter door; I recognised Ronnie Trotman shouting.

“We’ve got to get round to the dairy, it’s been hit with about 20 incendiary bombs; the place is ablaze, and the horses are trapped next door, in John Nodes the undertakers” he blurted. Ronnie and I were great buddies; we had been friends since our days at the glass factory. We had even volunteered together at Horn Lane Acton recruiting centre. I was accepted, passed A1, but Ronnie failed on his bad eyesight.

Hewer Street ran parallel with Rackham Street, and it took Ronnie and about two minutes to get to the scene.

When we arrived at the dairy, the ambulances from St Charles Hospital were dealing with the casualties. We could hear the horses screaming next door, and making our way through the courtyard where a number of incendiaries had fallen, we noticed also, the now familiar red glow coming from the undertakers’ stables. ‘Together with Ronnie and Uncle Bob, we climbed over the boundary wall and into the undertakers courtyard, only to find the door of the stable would not open!

We could hear the horses panicking in their stalls, but the door would not budge; something was preventing it from opening, and it was difficult to see what the problem was.
I called to Uncle Bob “l’m going to try to get in through the window and calm the horses” Following his nod of assent, I threw a milk crate up, smashed the window and climbed in. The jump into the comparative darkness, landed me onto a bale of hay, luckily braking my fall. An incendiary bomb was burning fiercely in the far corner of the stable, slightly away from the horses. The deadly glow, and terrifying sizzle of magnesium, with its acrid smell; the choking smoke was suffocating the air.

Horses in their stalls were screaming, and kicking in panic. With the little light there was I groped my way to the horse nearest to the burning canister.
“Betsy” as the name plate on the door indicated, was jumping about wildly. As I approached her she rushed to her stall door. I then shielded her eyes with my hands. “Steady there girl”, I whispered gently, “we’ll soon get you to safety”.

I must have accidentally slipped the bolt to her door, because Betsy dashed past me, knocking me off balance, onto the wet slippery floor. The milk float, which was being used could still be heard crashing against the stable door, but still no sign of it being opened.

The sinister glow of the fire-bomb produced grotesque shadows as the panic stricken horses shied in their stalls. Holding on like grim death the Betsy, I shouted in the direction of the entrance. “Hurry up and get that bxxxxy door open, I’m being kicked to death in here”

The fire seemed to be gaining hold, and there was no way that I could get back up and out through the window. Suddenly the stable door crashed open! Betsy broke away from me and literally flew out of the door, knockinq Ronnie and Uncle Bob flying. The other horses must have smelt the air of freedom,
causing them to become more frenzied.

Rose-Maria appeared on the scene, and rushing to “Billy’s” stall, placed a damp blanket over his head; leading him out to safety.
The fires were then quickly dealt with, and the remaining four horses were evacuated from the building.
The air raid had quietened down somewhat as we arrived back at the shelter. It was now nearly 2 o’clock in the morning as I quietly lifted the door from its resting position and entered. Ronnie decided to risk the journey home; saying his Dad would be worried. Uncle Bob indicated that he had had enough “Sod it! I’m going upstairs to bed” he said as he marched out of the shelter.

Within the next few hours we would all be preparing for work, so the desperately needed sleep was our life preserver. As I checked the bunks with their sleeping occupants, the snoring and grunting of their fitful reposes was music to my ears.

My mouth was so dry, I could really murder a cup of tea. The primus was sitting on the table, invitingly. The smoke fumes and dust I must have inhaled this night would soon be washed away with a nice hot “cuppa”. It was the chinking of the cups that woke Mum. “What have you lot been sxxxxxxg about at now?” she grumbled. “I’m making a cup of tea, would you like one Mum” I asked, evading her curt question. Her grunt and th nod of her head told me she would, “But I don’t think there is any milk left” she countered.
My thoughts raced to the dairy and all the spilt milk I’d just been wading through, but it had to be tea without (aarghh!)

As I lay in my bunk, I could hear the air raid in the distance. Sleep would not come.

Bleary-eyed and washed out, with a stale cheese sandwich in my pocket which was to be my day’s sustenance, the 662 trolley-bus took me the next morning to Lamsons, a munitions factory in Hythe Road, Scrubs Lane.

“ Ernie Walsh! The foreman wants to see you on the office”
“Now what’s up” I thought punching my clock-card, acknowledging the charge-hand’s directive.
“I see by this letter I’ve just received, that you’ve volunteered to join the Army” the foremen said as I entered the office.
“That is correct”
“Well, if you change your mind, I will get you reserved on your war-work here, as a lathe-capstan operator”
“Thanks all the same” I said, “But I would like to join up”
I think I’d had enough of war-torn, half-starved London by now — I just wanted to get away.

Hewer Street was cut off half way along its length by post-war redevelopment.

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The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
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The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
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The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.


North Kensington

North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.

North Kensington was rural until the 19th century when it was developed as an suburb with quite large homes. By the 1880s, too many houses had been built for the upper-middle class towards whom the area was aimed. Large houses were divided into low cost flats which often degenerated into slums, as documented in the photographs of Roger Mayne.

During the 1980s, the area started to be gentrified although areas in the north west of the district at Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park remain deprived and run down to this day.

Waves of immigrants have arrived for at least a century including, but certainly not limited to, the Spanish, the Irish, the Jews, the West Indians, the Portuguese, the Moroccans and many from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Europe. This constant renewal of the population makes the area one of the most cosmopolitan in London.

The Notting Hill carnival was first staged in 1964 as a way for the local Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. After some rough times in the 1970s and 1980s when it became associated with social protest, violence and huge controversy over policing tactics, this is now Europe’s largest carnival/festival event and a major event in the London calendar. It is staged every August over the Bank holiday weekend.

A seminal gig · Acklam Hall · Acklam Road protests · Acklam Road · Adela Street · Admiral Mews · Archway Close · Ark Brunel Primary Academy · Athlone Gate · Barlby Road · Bassett House School · Bevington Primary School · Bevington Road · Blagrove Road · Branstone Street · Bruce Close · Budge’s Walk · Cabaret Voltaire in Acklam Road · Calderon Place · Canal Way · Carmelite Monastery of The Most Holy Trinity · Chilled Eskimo · Color Printing Works · Conlan Street · Corner of Rackham Street · Dissenters’ Chapel · Droop Street · East Row · Epic Learning Independent School · Exmoor Street (1950) · Exmoor Street · Eynham Road · Finstock Road · Flower Walk · Flower Walk · Gas Light and Coke Company · Glenroy Street · Golborne Children’s Centre · Golborne Mews · Golborne Road bridge (1960s) · Golborne Road · Graffiti along Acklam Road (1970s) · Harrow Road · Instituto Espanol Canada Blanch · Kensal House · Kensal House · Kensington Memorial Park · Kids in Acklam Road · La Petite Ecole Bilingue · La Petite Ecole Francaise · Ladbroke Grove looking north (1900) · Ladbroke Grove looking north (1950) · Ladbroke Grove railway bridge · Ladbroke Grove · Lavie Mews · Lionel Mews · Little Wormwood Scrubs Recreation Ground · Maxilla Nursery School · Middle Row Bus Garage · Middle Row School · Middle Row · Mitre Way · Morgan Road · Munro Mews · Nascot Street · Nokes Estate · North Kensington · North Pole Road · Notting Hill Barn Farm · Notting Hill in Bygone Days: St. Charles’s Ward · Oxford Gardens Primary School · Porlock Street · Portobello Farm · Portobello Green · Portobello House · Portobello Road · Princess Louise Hospital · Queen’s Park Library · Rackham Street · Rackham Street · Rackham Street · Raymede Street · Ronan Walk · Saint Charles Place · Saint Charles Square · Saint Ervans Road · Saint Helens Gardens · Saint Josephs Close · Saint Mark’s Road · Saint Marks Road · Saint Michaels Gardens · Saint Quintin Avenue · Saint Quintin Gardens · Salters Road · Scrubs Lane · Shinfield Street · Shrewsbury Court · Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School · Sion-Manning Catholic Girls’ School · St Charles Catholic Primary School · St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College · St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College · St Charles Hospital · St Charles Square after bombing (1950) · St Charles Square ready for redevelopment (1951) · St Charles’ Square Training College (1908) · St Marks Road · St Mark’s Road · St Martins Mission · St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs · St Quintin Park Cricket Ground (1890s) · St Quintin’s Children’s Centre · St. Columbs House · St. Joseph's Home · St. Mark’s Road · St. Mark’s Road · The Eagle · The Lloyd Williamson School · The Victoria (1920s) · Treverton Street · Under westway (1977) · West Row · Western Dwellings · Western Dwellings from below (1960s) · William Miller's Yard · Wornington Road ·
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North Kensington Histories
Recollections of people from North Kensington, London
Old Notting Hill/North Ken History
Facebook group, covering the history of W10 and W11.
RBKC Library Time Machine
Blog from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library
Latimer Road
Facebook Page
Queen’s Park
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White City
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Ladbroke Grove
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Kensal Green
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The Notting Hill & North Kensington Photo Archive
Facebook group
Born in W10
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Hidden London
Histor­ically inclined look at the capital’s obscure attractions
British History Online
Digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources.


Inner West London (1932) FREE DOWNLOAD
1930s map covering East Acton, Holland Park, Kensington, Notting Hill, Olympia, Shepherds Bush and Westbourne Park,
George Philip & Son, Ltd./London Geographical Society, 1932

Central London, north west (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Central London, north west.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

John Rocque Map of Ealing and Acton (1762)
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map covers an area from Greenford in the northwest to Hammersmith in the southeast.
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London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
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The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
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Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
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Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
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Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

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