Basing Street, W11

Road in Notting Hill, existing between 1865 and now

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Road · Notting Hill · W11 · Contributed by The Underground Map
July
22
2015
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Gems were a wax model makers for Madame Tussaudís situated on Basing Road (now Street) on corner of Lancaster Road. Here we see the staff setting out on their annual works outing on 8 July 1922.

Basing Street is a street in Notting Hill.

Basing Street, originally Basing Road (from 1867 to 1939), probably acquired its name from the railway developer landowner James Whitchurch from Southampton, near Basingstoke, or it could be named in honour of the 16th century landlord, Sir William Paulet or Pawlet, Lord St John of Basing and Marquis of Winchester, Lord High Treasurer in the reign of Elizabeth I.

’Gems. Drapers & Tailors Stands. Shop Fittings for all Trades. Papier Mache, Wax & Mechanical Figures. Shop Fronts & Show Cases. Turnery for Export.’ The waxworks building was originally a congregational chapel. The foundation stone was laid by the Nottingham Liberal MP Samuel Morley in July 1865, ’at a time when all this part was little more than open fields.’ Florence Gladstone wrote in 1924 that ’the building remains, at the corner of Basing Road, though it is now used for trade purposes. It is interesting to note that the Notting Dale Chapel in Walmer Road was at one time in the hands of the same firm of drapers’ stand manufacturers.’ Waxwork models produced on Basing Street for Madame Tussaud’s included the local serial killer John Christie from 10 Rillington Place.

Wynne Mills in ’Going Down the Lane’: "I started work at Gems in 1920 and worked there to 1980 (?), 60 years in all. It was a happy place though the hours were long (56 a week) and the pay poor. I can remember getting 7/6d and only two days holiday a year and one of those was a bank holiday. Mr Gems worked in the factory office. His grandmother had started the business but then went blind and his grandfather took over. His full name was Frederick Leopold. His brother was called Julius Gulch. Julius made the models (which were sold to Madame Tussaud’s). He had a Royal Academy award for modelling. I remember Lord Mountbatten coming to the factory. Michael Wilding was another visitor with his dresser. The dresser was nice but Michael Wilding thought he was the cheese."

In the late 1960s the building had another famous reincarnation as the offices and studios of Island Records. Chris Blackwell’s first memory of the premises is being freaked out when he found himself in a room full of dummies. At this stage the Island label specialised in folk and prog rock, including Emerson Lake and Palmer, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, Free, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, John Martyn, Quintessence, Spooky Tooth, Cat Stevens and Traffic. Led Zeppelin began recording their fourth album, including ’Stairway To Heaven’, in the newly opened Island Basing Street studio 2 in 1970, as Jethro Tull’s ’Aqualung’ album was being recorded in the larger Basing Street studio 1.

Cat Stevens was photographed across Lancaster Road by the William Blake graffiti ’The tigers (tygers) of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction’ on the sleeve of his first greatest hits album. In the first Island rock-reggae crossover Jimmy Cliff covered Cat Stevens’ ’Wild World’. As Jimmy Cliff left Island in 1972, in the wake of ’The Harder They Come’, Bob Marley turned up on Basing Street, when he was staying in Neasden after touring with Johnny Nash. Chris Blackwell proceeded to sign the Wailers to Island for their major label debut, the Zippo-sleeved ’Catch A Fire’, which was remixed and promoted on Basing Street as the first rock-reggae crossover album.

In the glam and prog rock years Basing Street was frequented by the likes of Bad Company, ELP, Alex Harvey, Mott the Hoople, Robert Palmer, Roxy Music, Sparks, Traffic and the Average White Band. The studios were also used by such non-Island acts as the Eagles, Genesis, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. At one point in 1973 the Wailers and the Stones were in the studios at the same time, recording ’Burnin’ and ’Goat’s Head Soup’ respectively.

In Brinsley Forde’s 1976 Carnival memoir, Aswad were playing ’Three Babylon’ Ė ’Three Babylon tried to make I and I run, they come to have fun with their long truncheons’ Ė outside the Island studios on Basing Street when the rioting broke out. Aswad recorded their first album in the studios and were on and off the Island label. Delroy Washington’s ’The Streets Of Ladbroke Grove’ on his ’I-Sus’ album on Virgin was recorded on Basing Street with Aswad and the Ladbroke Grove Street Choir.

In the run up to the 76 ’Smile Jamaica’ concert Bob Marley was filmed; probably by a supporter of the Jamaican Labour Party as the gig was promoted by the People’s National Party. After that the Wailers came to the UK for the punky reggae party and recorded their most successful album ’Exodus’ in the Island studios on Basing Street. By all accounts, Bob Marley was initially sceptical of punk and more inclined towards prog rock. However, during the ’Exodus’ sessions, he was won over to the cause and together with Aswad and Lee Perry recorded ’Punky Reggae Party’ to accompany ’Jamming’, the Wailers’ first top 10 single.

Bob lived on Basing Street above the Island studios for some time, and his wife Rita of the I-Threes became a longstanding Basing Street resident. Bob Marley’s ghost also haunts numbers 8 and 18 All Saints Road, the Mangrove and the Apollo, the Globe and the house of Trevor Bow of Sons of Jah on Talbot Road, and the Rasta House of Dread on Lancaster Road.

The same year as ’Jamming’, Queen recorded ’We Are The Champions’ on Basing Street. The following year the Clash were in the studios to record their second album ’Give ’Em Enough Rope’. In 1979 the Slits recorded their punky reggae version of Marvin Gaye’s ’Heard It Through The Grapevine’ and rehearsed their debut album ’Cut’, Island also released Marianne Faithfull’s ’Broken English’ album and had their first number 1 with Buggles’ ’Video Killed The Radio Star’.

The Pogues posed on Basing Street by the castle playground on the corner of Westbourne Park Road (now occupied by a post-modern block of flats), on their way to the Warwick Castle pub, following in the footsteps of the Clash. Island Records distributed and eventually amalgamated with the pub rock Stiff label of Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera, which encompassed Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, the Damned, Deviants, Devo, MotŲrhead, Madness and the Pogues.

Nick Lowe’s ’Basing Street’ track, on the b-side of his ’Cracking Up’ single, recounts a murder on the street: ’Somebody says I think I remember him, used to see him hanging round, but it’s hard to be sure, looking at him now, whose hand made the boy suffer and bleed? Who did the deed on Basing Street?... out there in radioland they’re all asleep, as the firemen hose down Basing Street.’ Dire Straits’ ’Portobello Belle’ 80s stadium-rock standard was also recorded at Basing Street studios in 79. The early 80s in-house Island band Basement 5 was the post-punky reggae brainchild of Dennis Morris, the photographer/designer, who lived on Basing Street. Chris Blackwell’s Island label hosted most reggae acts at one time or another including Black Uhuru, Burning Spear, Third World, Junior Murvin, Toots and the Maytals, Sly and Robbie, Grace Jones’s ’Island Life’, U2, the B52s, Robert Palmer, Was Not Was, Tom Waits and the Waterboys.

8-10 Basing Street had another reincarnation in the mid 80s when the Island recording studios became Sarm West, the HQ of Trevor Horn and Paul Morley’s ZTT label, who brought us Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Art of Noise. As such the most famous Basing Street recording session of them all took place on November 25 1984, when most 80s pop stars Ė including Aswad, Bananarama, Phil Collins, Culture Club, Duran Duran, the Police, Spandau Ballet, Status Quo, U2, Paul Weller and Wham Ė crammed into the studios as Band Aid, to record Bob Geldof’s Ethiopian famine benefit single, ’Do They Know It’s Christmas?’

The Westbourne Park Road corner was the scene of another pop star gathering in 1986 for the recording of a sickle cell anaemia benefit single, featuring Aswad, Paul Weller, Janet Kay, Imagination, Junior, the Thompson Twins, Tom Robinson, Sinitta and Paul Hardcastle. From hippy to hip-hop Basing Street was a graffiti hall of fame. In 2000 the sci-fi mural on the corner of Basing Street was ’bombed’ by critics of the official street art.

The ZTT/Sarm West studios were also used by Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, George Michael and the Pet Shop Boys. In the 90s the ZTT roster featured the first incarnation of All Saints and Seal. Nick Cave recorded ’Murder Ballads’ in Sarm studios in 1995, as he lived in one of the studios flats on Basing Street. Blur, Madonna, M-People, Radiohead, Boyzone, Robbie Williams and Rihanna were also booked in. In 2011 Trevor Horn’s Producers group recorded their ’Made in Basing Street’ album at his Sarm studios. Following which it was announced that the building was to be converted into flats and offices, including lower ground floor recording studios. The area’s most important music history site is commemorated in the Basing Street Rooms mural on the corner wall opposite.

Source: It’s Your Colville

VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1750s
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1800s
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1830s
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1860s
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VIEW THE NOTTING HILL AREA IN THE 1900s
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Go to Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Notting Hill: A place whose fortunes have come, gone and come again...

Notting Hill is a cosmopolitan district known as the location for the annual Notting Hill Carnival, and for being home to the Portobello Road Market.

The word Notting might originate from a Saxon called Cnotta with the =ing part indicating "the place inhibited by the people of" - i.e. where Cnotta’s tribe lived. There was a farm called variously "Knotting-Bernes,", "Knutting-Barnes" or "Nutting-barns" and this name was transferred to the hill above it.

The area remained rural until the westward expansion of London reached Bayswater in the early 19th century. The main landowner in Notting Hill was the Ladbroke family, and from the 1820s James Weller Ladbroke began to undertake the development of the Ladbroke Estate. Working with the architect and surveyor Thomas Allason, Ladbroke began to lay out streets and houses, with a view to turning the area into a fashionable suburb of the capital (although the development did not get seriously under way until the 1840s). Many of these streets bear the Ladbroke name, including Ladbroke Grove, the main north-south axis of the area, and Ladbroke Square, the largest private garden square in London.

The original idea was to call the district Kensington Park, and other roads (notably Kensington Park Road and Kensington Park Gardens) are reminders of this. The local telephone prefix 7727 (originally 727) is based on the old telephone exchange name of PARk.

The reputation of the district altered over the course of the 20th century. As middle class households ceased to employ servants, the large Notting Hill houses lost their market and were increasingly split into multiple occupation.

For much of the 20th century the large houses were subdivided into multi-occupancy rentals. Caribbean immigrants were drawn to the area in the 1950s, partly because of the cheap rents, but were exploited by slum landlords like Peter Rachman, and also became the target of white racist Teddy Boys in the 1958 Notting Hill race riots.

Notting Hill was slowly gentrified from the 1980s onwards now has a contemporary reputation as an affluent and fashionable area; known for attractive terraces of large Victorian townhouses, and high-end shopping and restaurants (particularly around Westbourne Grove and Clarendon Cross).

A Daily Telegraph article in 2004 used the phrase the ’Notting Hill Set’ to refer to a group of emerging Conservative politicians, such as David Cameron and George Osborne, who were once based in Notting Hill.

Since it was first developed in the 1830s, Notting Hill has had an association with artists and ’alternative’ culture.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
A seminal gig:   Once upon a time in 1979, Joy Division, OMD and A Certain Ratio were on the same bill - and all for £1.50.
Acklam Hall:   Acklam Hall became a community centre for the post-Westway Acklam Road
Acklam Road Adventure Playground:   Acklam Road Adventure Playground was created in the 1960s.
All Saints Church:   All Saints church was designed by the Victorian Gothic revival pioneer William White, who was also a mountaineer, Swedish gymnastics enthusiast and anti-shaving campaigner.
Basing Street (SARM) Studios:   SARM Studios is a recording studio, established by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records.
Cabaret Voltaire in Acklam Road:   Cabaret Voltaire played one of their classic early gigs under the flyover in Acklam Road.
Horbury Chapel (Kensington Temple):   In September 1849, the Horbury Chapel, Notting Hill was officially opened.
I Was Lord Kitchenerís Valet:   I Was Lord Kitchenerís Valet was a clothing boutique which achieved fame in 1960s "Swinging London" by promoting antique military uniforms as fashion items.
Kensington Hippodrome:   The Kensington Hippodrome was a racecourse built in Notting Hill, London, in 1837, by entrepreneur John Whyte.
Kensington Park Hotel:   The KPH is a landmark pub on Ladbroke Grove.
Ladbroke Grove:   Ladbroke Grove is a road in the North Kensington/Notting Hill. Running from Notting Hill itself in the south to Kensal Green in the north, it straddles the W10 and W11 postal districts.
Ladbroke Square Garden:   Ladbroke Square communal garden lies in Notting Hill.
Luxurious sewers:   The effluent society
Mercury Theatre:   The Mercury Theatre was situated at 2a Ladbroke Road, next to the Kensington Temple.
North Kensington Library:   North Kensington Library opened in 1891 and was described as one of Londonís finest public libraries.
Notting Hill:   Notting Hill: A place whose fortunes have come, gone and come again...
Portobello Farm:   Portobello Farm House was approached along Turnpike Lane, sometimes referred to as Greenís Lane, a track leading from Kensington Gravel Pits towards a wooden bridge over the canal.
St Johnís Hill:   St Johnís Hill is the highest point in the area.
St Johnís, Notting Hill:   St Johnís Notting Hill is a Victorian Anglican church built in 1845 in Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill.
St. Joseph's Home:   St Joseph's dominated a part of Portobello Road up until the 1980s.
The Apollo:   The Apollo pub was located at 18 All Saints Road, on the southeast corner of the Lancaster Road junction.
The Bedford family at 3 Acklam Road:   From the 19th century up until 1965, number 3 Acklam Road, near the Portobello Road junction, was occupied by the Bedford family.
The Brittania:   The Brittania was situated on the corner of Clarendon Road and Portland Road, W11.
The Crown:   The Crown was situated at 57 Princedale Road.
The Mitre:   The Mitre was situated at 62 Golborne Road.
The Tabernacle:   The Tabernacle is a Grade II*-listed building in Powis Square built in 1887 as a church.
Westbourne Park:   Westbourne Park was originally, with Westbourne Green, an area simply known as Westbourne.


PHOTOS OF THE AREA
Acklam Road protests:   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Albert Hotel (1900s):   The Albert Hotel, on the corner of All Saints Road and Cornwall Road (now Westbourne Park Road).
Graffiti along Acklam Road (1970s):   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Kids in Acklam Road:   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Political meeting (1920s):   Meeting in front of the Junction Arms situated where Tavistock Road, Crescent and Basing Road met.
Under westway (1977):   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Acklam Road, W10 · Addison Avenue, W11 · Alba Place, W11 · Aldridge Road Villas, W11 · All Saints Road, W11 · Arundel Gardens, W11 · Bangor Street, W11 · Basing Street, W11 · Bevington Road, W10 · Blenheim Crescent, W11 · Bulmer Mews, W11 · Cambridge Gardens, W10 · Chepstow Crescent, W11 · Chepstow Villas, W11 · Clarendon Road, W11 · Clydesdale Road, W11 · Codrington Mews, W11 · Colville Gardens, W11 · Colville Mews, W11 · Colville Road, W11 · Colville Square, W11 · Colville Terrace, W11 · Colville Terrace, W11 · Convent Gardens, W11 · Cornwall Crescent, W11 · Dale Row, W11 · Darnley Terrace, W11 · Dartmouth Close, W11 · Denbigh Close, W11 · Denbigh Road, W11 · Denbigh Terrace, W11 · Elgin Crescent, W11 · Elgin Mews, W11 · Elkstone Road, W10 · Evesham Street, W11 · Folly Mews, W11 · Freston Road, W11 · Golborne Road, W10 · Golden Mews, W11 · Great Western Road, W11 · Haydenís Place, W11 · Haydenís Place, W11 · Hedgegate Court, W11 · Holland Park Avenue, W11 · Holland Road, W11 · Horbury Crescent, W11 · Horbury Mews, W11 · Horbury Mews, W11 · Hunt Close, W11 · Kenley Street, W11 · Kensington Park Gardens, W11 · Kensington Park Mews, W11 · Kensington Park Road, W11 · Kingsdale Gardens, W11 · Ladbroke Crescent, W11 · Ladbroke Gardens, W11 · Ladbroke Grove, W11 · Ladbroke Road, W11 · Ladbroke Square, W11 · Ladbroke Terrace, W11 · Ladbroke Terrace, W11 · Ladbroke Walk, W11 · Lambton Place, W11 · Lancaster Road, W11 · Lansdowne Crescent, W11 · Lansdowne Cresent, W11 · Lansdowne Rise, W11 · Lansdowne Road, W11 · Lansdowne Walk, W11 · Leamington House, W11 · Leamington Road Villas, W11 · Ledbury Mews North, W11 · Ledbury Road, W11 · Lonsdale Road, W11 · Lorne Gardens, W11 · Mcgregor Road, W11 · Morgan Road, W10 · Munro Mews, W10 · Needham Road, W11 · Norland Place, W11 · Norland Road, W11 · Norland Square, W11 · Olaf Street, W11 · Orchard Close, W10 · Pembridge Crescent, W11 · Pembridge Gardens, W2 · Pembridge Mews, W11 · Pembridge Road, W11 · Pembridge Villas, W11 · Pencombe Mews, W11 · Penzance Place, W11 · Portland Road, W11 · Portobello Green, W10 · Portobello Road, W11 · Pottery Lane, W11 · Powis Gardens, W11 · Powis Mews, W11 · Powis Square, W11 · Powis Terrace, W11 · Princedale Road, W11 · Princes Place, W11 · Queensdale Crecent, W11 · Queensdale Crescent, W11 · Queensdale Place, W11 · Queensdale Road, W11 · Queensdale Walk, W11 · Raddington Road, W10 · Rosehart Mews, W11 · Rosmead Road, W11 · Royal Crescent Mews, W11 · Royal Crescent, W11 · Royal Cresent Mews, W11 · Silvester Mews, W11 · Simon Close, W11 · St Anns Villas, W11 · St Ervans Road, W10 · St James Gardens, W11 · St Jamesís Gardens, W11 · St Johnís Mews, W11 · St Lukes Mews, W11 · St Lukeís Mews, W11 · St Lukeís Road, W11 · St Markís Place, W11 · St. Johns Gardens, W11 · St. Johnís Gardens, W11 · Stanley Crescent, W11 · Stanley Gardens Mews, W11 · Stanley Gardens, W11 · Stanley Gardens, W11 · Swanscombe House, W11 · Swanscombe Road, W11 · Talbot Road, W11 · Tavistock Crescent, W11 · Tavistock Mews, W11 · Tavistock Road, W11 · Testerton Walk, W11 · Thorpe Close, W10 · Verdi Crescent, W10 · Vernon Yard, W11 · Walmer Road, W11 · Wellington Close, W11 · West Cross Route, W11 · Westbourne Grove Mews, W11 · Westbourne Grove, W11 · Westbourne Park Road, W11 · Westway, W11 · Wilby Mews, W11 · Wilsham Street, W11 · Wilsham Street, W11 ·


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Links

North Kensington Histories
Recollections of people from North Kensington, London
RBKC Library Time Machine
Blog from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library
Old Notting Hill/North Ken History
Facebook group, covering the history of W10 and W11.
Holland Park
Facebook Page
Ladbroke Grove
Facebook Page
Notting Hill Gate
Facebook Page
Westbourne Park
Facebook Page
Born in W10
Facebook group
The Notting Hill & North Kensington Photo Archive
Facebook group
Hidden London
Histor≠ically inclined look at the capitalís obscure attractions
Londonist
All-encompassing website
British History Online
Digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources.

Maps


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)

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

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
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)
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