Notting Hill in Bygone Days: St. Charles’s Ward

Chapter 10 of the book "Notting Hill in Bygone Days" by Florence Gladstone (1924)

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Article · North Kensington · W10 · Contributed by Scott Hatton
Ladbroke Grove (1866)

Chapter 10 of the book "Notting Hill in Bygone Days" by Florence Gladstone (1924)

The Borough of Kensington is divided into nine Wards, five of which are on the south of Uxbridge Road, and four on the north of that road. Of the four northern wards Norland Ward and Pembridge Ward lie between Uxbridge Road and the curved line of Lancaster Road ; they are divided by Ladbroke Grove. Golborne Ward, a comparatively small area to the east of Portobello Road, includes Kensal Town, and was dealt with in another chapter of this book.

St. Charles’s Ward, the remaining tract of land, is much larger than any of the others. It is bounded on the east by Portobello Road, on the north by Harrow Road from Ladbroke Grove to the western limit of Kensal Green Cemetery, and on the west by the parish boundary as far south as Lancaster Road. When Mr. Loftie wrote of Kensington in 1888 ” a new quarter ” was ” rapidly springing up on the slope towards Kensal Green,” and ” New Found Out ” was a local name given to the district. But, although this ” quarter ” is of recent growth, some of the earliest associations of Notting Hill fall within St. Charles’s Ward. The Manor House and farmstead of Notting Barns, surrounded by wide-spreading pastures, was in the valley to the north of Notting Wood, and on ” the way from London to Harrow ” a few small houses, some in Kensington, some in Willesden parish, formed the picturesque hamlet of Kensal or Kellsall Greene. Up to quite recent times this part of Harrow Road was little more than a country lane. It is reported to have been the scene of some of Dick Turpin’s exploits.

In Cary’s Plan of London, 1810, it is only marked by a dotted line, but from the sixteenth century onwards the "Plough" with its oak timbers and joists had stood beside this track.

According to Faulkner "Morland the celebrated painter was much pleased with this sequestered place, and spent much of his time in this house towards the close of his life ; surrounded by those rustic scenes which his pencil has so faithfully and ably delineated." George Morland was born in 1763 and died in 1804.

In the year 1786 he married Nancy Ward ; her brother William Ward, the engraver, marrying Morland’s sister.

The Morlands lived in Kensal Green until after the death of their little son. The well-known picture of “Children Nutting” was engraved in 1788, two years after this marriage. It seems quite possible that the subject was suggested by the nut-bushes which, according to tradition, were plentiful all over the neighbourhood.

The ”Plough” was still very countrified even in 1868, as is seen from the second drawing here. No signs of rustic beauty remain in the present large brick building at the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Harrow Road, but it must be remembered that this is the only house in North Kensington that has a name dating back four hundred years.

A description of the district written by Mrs. Henley Jervis in 1884 is of special value. She states that before the nineteenth century this part of Kensington was ” an extent of woodlands, cornfields and heath, the heavy clay ground often becoming well-nigh impassable in rainy weather, as even the present generation can understand if they recollect Lancaster Road and Elgin Road in 1862. Tradition tells us that Prince George of Denmark (Queen Anne’s Consort) well-nigh came to grief by his horse becoming completely bemired somewhere near the present Saint Charles Square.

The old Plough ‘ was the most distant dwelling in the north-west of Kensington parish ; upon the borders of the debatable land to which we (Kensington) Chelsea and Paddington have rights of so ill-defined a nature, that within the last three years the highway near the Canal Bridge was a grievance to man and beast, and it was no person’s business to mend it.”

Dr. Stukeley, the Antiquarian, in Notes written about 1760, speaks of Kelsing or Cansholt Green as belonging to the parishes of Paddington, Kensington, Chelsea and Willesden, and says that at Canshold Green on the road to Harrow ” the parish of Chelsea have erected two posts in this road showing how far they are to mend thereof “.

After the Perambulation of Kensington Parish in 1799 boundary posts were placed on the south side of Harrow Road. The ” Beating of the Bounds ” seems to have been carried out for the last time on Ascension Day 1884, but disputes about the division of the parishes continued until Kensal Town was definitely handed over to the care of the Borough of Kensington.

The first encroachment on this stretch of open land was the cutting of the Paddington Branch of the Grand Junction Canal, which was opened for water transport in 1801. Some thirty years later land lying between the canal and Harrow Road was converted into a burial ground.

Kensal Green Cemetery occupies the highest ground in North Kensington and reaches 150 feet above sea-level. The view from the terrace in front of the Cemetery church is still beautiful, and must have been far more beautiful in bygone days. The 56 acres of 1832 have been increased to 77 acres, and many of the most conspicuous personages of the Victorian Era rest in Kensal Green.

Modern writers on the subject are apt to decry this ” forlorn necropolis,” ” the bleakest, dampest and most melancholy of all the burial grounds of London,” and to deplore the waste involved in its huge mausoleums and oceans of tombstones.

But the walks are lined with beautiful trees, and, as with other cemeteries near London, children haunt the place and get a grim satisfaction out of watching the interments. Besides this, on a summer Sunday afternoon, Kensal Green is largely visited by mourners and their friends ; thus to some extent taking the place of a Public Garden or Park.

The track of the Great Western Railway, running south of the canal, and opened for traffic in 1838, further curtailed the fields, and this curtailment increased with the widening of the line. Before 1850 (see map on page 120), the ground between the canal and the railway was taken over by the Western Gas Company, and certain buildings were put up.

A countrified house still stands within the boundary walls.

In the early eighties the premises were acquired by the Gas Light and Coke Company. The whole intervening space is now covered by their works, and the Sunday storage gasometer is one of the largest in London. Until the eighteen-seventies the canal and railway line were reached only by footpaths and were crossed by ferry or footbridge. All funerals approached the Cemetery along Harrow Road, the northern half of Ladbroke Grove being then unmade.

Hay-fields are seen beyond Ladbroke Grove railway arch, and, for several years after its construction, the embankment of the Hammersmith and City Railway was the limit of building in this direction. The first bridge at Notting Hill Station, now Ladbroke Grove Station, collapsed and had to be rebuilt. Gradually the road was pushed further and further north until it joined Portobello Lane and Wornington Road close to the bridge over the Great Western Railway, and thence proceeded along the old track to Harrow Road. This extension beyond the Hammersmith and City line was called Ladbroke Grove Road, and it is only in recent years that ” one of the finest streets in London ” has become known as Ladbroke Grove throughout its whole length.

Formerly a country inn occupied the position of the large corner house, the ” Admiral Blake,” close to the bridge over the Great Western Railway. Locally the “Admiral Blake ” is known as ” The Cowshed,” a reminiscence of the time when Admiral Mews was occupied by a series of sheds for cows. Drovers bringing their cattle to the London markets would house them in these sheds for the night, whilst they themselves found shelter and refreshment in the neighbouring tavern.

As stated in previous chapters, the building of the Hammersmith and City Railway forms a very important landmark in the development of North Kensington. Between Notting Hill Station and Latimer Road the line crossed the fan-shaped group of streets, bounded by Walmer Road, which Mr. James Whitchurch had planned in the middle forties. The land immediately to the north from Walmer Road to St. Quintin Avenue had been the extension of the Hippodrome grounds.

For some years after 1842, when the race-course came to an end, these fields were, apparently, still used for the training of horses, and were known as Notting Hill Hunting Grounds. It is said that, had the Chartist Rising of April 1848 been successful, the party leaders intended to encamp on these fields. No doubt the enclosure of this ground was the reason why building for many years did not extend beyond Walmer Road.

But in the sixties this land was laid out in market gardens, and terraces of small houses were built along the north end of Latymer Road. The three brothers Keen, John the dairyman, Joseph the market gardener, and Thomas the coal-merchant, had three houses on the site occupied since 1885 by Jubilee Hall. Opposite these houses, on the Hammersmith side of the road, stood the row of little dwellings forming Windsor Terrace, known locally as ” The Sixteens.” Each house had its pigsty and vegetable plot.

Latymer Road ended with the ” North Pole,” at this period a one-storied country inn. But the “North Pole,” was preceded by the ” Globe,” which probably dated from about 1839, when the Hippodrome grounds reached to this point. Globe Terrace recalls the name of this earlier inn, and the North Pole Road contains the modern tavern of that name. In later days this part of the Latimer Road district gained the name of Soapsuds Island.

The history of Notting Barns has been told up to the earlier years of the nineteenth century, when the larger portion of the old Manor was known as the Portobello Estate. But until 1860 the Notting Barn fields extended from Lancaster Road to the Great Western Railway, and probably covered 150 acres, the size of the estate in 1828. Before 1865 Colonel St. Quintin had bought the farm-house and the remaining portion of the Notting Barns land.

For many years it had been known as Salter’s Farm, and the farm land had been Salter’s Fields. Mr. Baldwin, who built houses on part of this land, employed an old carter who worked as a boy on Mr. Salter’s farm ” about Waterloo year.” If this statement is correct Salter must have rented the place while the name of William Smith, Esq., was still on the Rate Books. A Mr. Salter occupied the farm in 1873 ; he died shortly afterwards as a very old man at a house in Lancaster Road.

The drawing made in 1873 more closely represents Faulkner’s description of an ” ancient brick building surrounded by spacious barns and out-houses ” than does Henry Alken’s view of the house in 1841.

By 1873 the large barn was let to Mr. Leddiard, cowkeeper and dairyman of Ledbury Road. The man who attended to Mr. Leddiard’s cows lived in the cottage beside the barn. But Salter’s cows fed on fields further to the north, and were milked under a group of elms on land now covered by the Clement Talbot Motor Works in Barlby Road. The Salters must have been kindly folk, for Mr. Herbert Friend remembers having his head bound up at the farm after an accident with a toy cannon, and children were often allowed to clamber through the fence, and swing on a branch of the tree overhanging the pond. In winter this pond became quite a lake, and more than one child was near, drowned in it.

Between 1870 and 1873, on a Sunday afternoon, the late Lord Cozens Hardy and Mr. W. H. Gurney Salter used to enter the farm-yard by a five-barred gate, and emerge by another gate for a country walk. So rural were the surroundings that boughs of haw-thorn in blossom might be carried home from the site of Oxford Gardens, and violets are said to have grown where the ” Earl Percy ” tavern now stands. To go to Notting Barn Farm for a glass of milk became a recognized excursion; but about 1880 the dilapidated remains of the Manor House were pulled down. A French laundry, named Adelaide House, occupied the spot until about 1886, when it also had to make way for the encroaching building operations of St. Quintin’s Park. The farm-house stood where Bramley Road, if continued north, would have crossed Bassett and Chesterton Roads. For awhile the name was retained in Notting Barns Road. But, since that road became St. Helen’s Gardens, the old Manor which covered the whole district is only commemorated in the ” Notting Barn Tavern,” at the corner of Bramley and Silchester Roads.

For some years after the construction of the Hammersmith and City Railway, cricket fields lay to the north of the embankment. Here on one occasion the Notting Hill Flower Show and Home Improvement Society held its Exhibition, and the Duke and Duchess of Teck, accompanied by their young daughter, distributed the prizes. But in the middle seventies a series of good residential roads were planned running parallel with the railway, and as these roads were continued east across Ladbroke Grove Road, they linked up this district with the smaller houses of the Portobello Road area.

Naturally there is little of notoriety or public interest to record in connection with these somewhat ” featureless streets,” but pleasant vistas may be obtained along Cambridge and Oxford Gardens. and Bassett Road, with its avenue of plane trees, is often beautiful in the glow of sunset. The building of these streets commenced at Ladbroke Grove Road ; many years elapsed before their western ends were completed. (Most of these good detached houses are now divided into maisonettes or adapted into small flats.)

The plan of 1865 shows that building plots along the south end of Ladbroke Grove Road had been leased by Colonel St. Quintin to Charles H. Blake, Esq., who already owned much property on the top of St. John’s Hill. Mr. Blake must have acquired further plots along the road within the Portobello Estate, for, about the year 1870, Messrs. Blake and Parsons gave the site for St. Michael and All Angels. This church was built by Mr. Cowland (see pages 117 and 125), in terra cotta and ornamental brick in a style called ” Romanesque of the Rhine.” It was consecrated for worship in May 1871, and is, therefore, ten years older than Christ Church, Faraday Road. The first vicar was the Rev. Edward Ker Gray, formerly curate at St. Peter’s, Bayswater.

Mr. Gray lived with his parents in Linden Gardens. In 1871 his ministry was described as ” Evangelical in its character, and his services lively and devotional without ritualistic features.” But for many years the services at St. Michael’s have been adapted rather ” to those souls for whom an ornate worship is a necessity. ”

Rackham Street Hall, built by Mr. Allen, later known as St. Martin’s Mission, was long used as the Mission Church of St. Michael’s. Here the Rev. Henry Stapleton carried on good work from 1882 to 1889. (Since 1916, St. Martin’s has become a separate parish with a district stretching from Ladbroke Grove to St. Quintin’s Park Station.)

Shortly after St. Michael and All Angels was opened the freehold of eleven acres of Portobello Estate was obtained for St. Charles’s College, and by 1874 a handsome range of buildings in red brick and stone, with a central tower, 140 feet high, stood surrounded by a garden and recreation grounds. This college, dedicated to St. Charles of Borromeo, was founded by Cardinal Manning in order to provide education at a moderate cost for Catholic youths.

It began in 1863 in a room near St. Mary and the Angels, Bayswater. By 1890 twelve hundred students had been prepared for various professions. (Within the last few years the building has been sold to the Community of the Sacred Heart as a Training College for Women Teachers, and a small Practising School has been added.) The enclosure is faced on three sides by the houses of Saint Charles Square. These houses at first were “inhabited by quite aristocratic people.” A convent belonging to the close order of the Carmelites lies between the grounds of St. Charles’s College and the imposing red-brick pile of the Marylebone Infirmary. Miss Vincent, matron of the Infirmary from 1881 to 1900, tells how the parents of one of the nuns on a certain day for three successive years begged permission to gaze from one of her upper windows into the convent garden.

Marylebone Infirmary was one of the earliest experiments both in taking the sick poor outside the boundaries of their parish and in arranging an Infirmary on purely hospital lines. Only a few wards were occupied when the hospital was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in I 8 8 . The excite-ment of this Royal visit is still remembered. In 1884 Marylebone Infirmary became also a Training School for Nightingale Nurses, financed from the Nightingale Fund. Part of the magnificent building which now covers several acres is on the site of an old pond, a pond shown on the Ordnance Survey Map for 1862-1869. Some years after construction the whole block sank and had to be underpinned.

Besides the large area of the Portobello Estate occupied by these extensive institutions, many builders in a small way of business bought land and put up houses for working-class tenants. One of the present dwellers in Rackham Street came there with her parents for the sake of their health about the year 1877. Building plots were then being taken up, but the north side of Rackham Street was open ground. The inhabitants were largely laundry-workers and casual labourers, an overflow from Kensal New Town. Edinburgh Road Board-school, now known as Barlby Road School, was placed in 1880 among the half-made streets near the Great Western Railway line ; and children from temporary schools in Kensal Town and at Rackham Street Hall were transferred to the new building.

When the school was first opened pigs were slaughtered in a shed close by, and for many years carpets were beaten on the adjoining open space. On a summer day the noise made by the beaters, and the dust from the dirty carpets, floated in at the open windows of the school. Carpet beating as a recognized industry has practically disappeared, though the cleaning of carpets by steam power is still carried on in Kensal Town. (Since those days factories of various kinds have been built, and the character of local occupations has considerably changed, but this corner has always remained rough and rowdy. Certain common lodging-house keepers, driven out by improvements in Notting Dale, have migrated to this district, and the Treverton Street area here and the Lockton Street area near Latimer Road Station, are reckoned among the black spots of the Borough of Kensington.)

Gradually during the eighteen-eighties the old track from Wormwood Scrubbs to Notting Barns was transformed into St. Quintin Avenue. At first there were heaps of refuse along the road, suggesting that it had served as a common dumping ground for rubbish. The earliest houses were built at the Triangle and in Highlever Road. It was by this road that troops on horseback would often make their way to their exercising ground on Wormwood Scrubbs. Sometimes these troops were accompanied by the Duke of Cambridge, and the loud voice in which he gave words of command is still remembered by one who lived as a child in Chesterton Road.

It was in 1881 that the parish of St. Clements was divided, and that the Rev. Dalgarno Robinson built the church of St. Helen’s on St. Quintin Avenue close to the site of Notting Barns Farm-house. This church, which resembles St. Clements in architectural features, now stands in a commanding position at the junction of several roads, and is a stately edifice, even though the tower is unbuilt. Mr. Robinson remained as vicar till his death in 1899. Until the beginning of the present century there was ” a great stretch of Common “ii between St. Helen’s Gardens and Latimer Road. Here cattle and horses grazed. This space had been curtailed in 1884 by the opening of Oxford Gardens School. This school originated in some of the leading tradesmen in the neighbourhood petitioning the School-board to provide State-aided education for their children, but at the highest possible fee. And Oxford Gardens was a 6d. school until fees were abolished in 1891.

North of St. Quintin Avenue was ” another great stretch of Common ” divided into three parts by Barlby Road and Dalgarno Gardens. (A little open ground still remains devoted to playing fields, but it is being encroached on from all sides.) By 1840 the eastern edge of Wormwood Scrubbs had been cut across by the Birmingham, Bristol and Thames Junction Railway, now the West London Junction Railway.

In 1852 it was proposed to use this detached piece of the Scrubbs, belonging to the parish of Hammersmith, as a Cemetery for Kensington people. The project was successfully petitioned against, and it has been made into a public Recreation Ground called Little Wormwood Scrubbs with an ornamental water-course along the upper reaches of the Rivulet. Strange tales are told of what has happened even within living memory in this distant portion of Kensington hemmed in by two railway lines. Here a man hanged himself. The question at once arose on which side of the ditch the man’s death had occurred, as that point determined which parochial authority should follow up the case.

An important tributary of the boundary stream rose near the Gas Works. This brook ran as a drain across the fields of St. Quintin’s Park, and was enclosed in ” a neatly bricked half-barrelled culvert with a perpetual flow of clean water with a curious acrid but not unpleasant smell. . . . At the elbow where the culvert turned, the brickwork rose to the height of six or seven feet.” This tower with two adjacent tunnels proved a tempting point for school-boy fights. The drain has disappeared, but the ground near by is still ” very mashy ” in wet weather. In this distant corner a gunmaker of Bond Street owned a shooting range provided with an iron stag which ran backwards and forwards on rails. Purchasers would test their guns on this stag, and at other times children rode on its back. By the eighteen-seventies it was derelict, ” a rusty fixed stag,” but ” being in a secluded spot, partly railed off by a high fence . . . it was used on Sunday mornings as a rendez-vous for prize-fights—prizes of from £10 to £15 being won by contest with the bare fists.” A hefty gipsy, who lived in the Potteries, unfortunately killed a man in an encounter behind the Stuck Stag. He was arrested, and got off with some difficulty. Drinking booths and roundabouts were erected on Little Wormwood Scrubbs when Bank Holiday Fairs were being held on the larger space beyond the railway embankment, and in summer-time the proceedings every Sunday evening were so disorderly that respectable people could not walk in that direction. It was only after the Wormwood Scrubbs Regulation Bill was passed, in 1879, that this corner settled down to an orderly existence.

North Kensington has now been traversed. Mere fragments of its story have been told, but these Chronicles will have fulfilled their purpose if they remind some readers of their own early days, or provide an explanation of certain characteristic features. Notting Hill, its former name, does not mean ” Nutting Hill ” in allusion to the rich woods which ” no longer cover it,” and assuredly is not ” a corruption of Nothing-ill.” But those who inhabit the neighbour-hood may well echo the brave words of Adam Wayne, in G. K. Chesterton’s inspiring story. When asked if he did not consider the Cause of Notting Hill somewhat absurd, ” Why should I? ” he said, ” Notting Hill is a rise or high ground of the common earth, on which men have built houses to live in, in which they are born, fall in love, pray, marry and die. . . . These little gardens where we told our loves. These streets where we brought out our dead. Why should they be commonplace? Why should they be absurd? There has never been anything in the world absolutely like Notting Hill. There will never be anything quite like it to the crack of doom. . . . And God loved it as He must surely love any-thing which is itself and unreplaceable.’

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Frank Dawson
Frank Dawson   
Added: 17 Jun 2018 10:18 GMT   
Post by Frank Dawson: Saint Marks Place, W11

My mum was the housekeeper for the vicar of St Marks Church which was in St Marks Place Notting Hill from 1961 until 1963. The vicarage was around the corner in Blenheim Ces. I can?t find any old photographs of the church

The Green family
The Green family   
Added: 17 Jun 2018 08:43 GMT   
Post by The Green family: Rackham Street, W10

We lived at no 6 Rackham street until we were bombed out during the war.My father was Thomas Green and mother Hilda(Hall). It had a sweet shop and a Catholic church at the end of the road.

Susan Dunmore
Susan Dunmore   
Added: 29 May 2018 12:39 GMT   
Post by Susan Dunmore: Gas Light and Coke Company

my brother remembers going to the Gas Light and Coke Company in Ladbrooke Grove on a Saturday morning with empty coal sacks to buy bags of coke taking an pram.

pamela foster
pamela foster   
Added: 27 May 2018 13:45 GMT   
Post by pamela foster: Kensal Rise Library

The library was closed several years ago as part of brent councils cutbacks, it is supposed to open soon run by volunteers.

Ian Gammons
Ian Gammons   
Added: 3 Apr 2018 08:08 GMT   
Post by Ian Gammons: Pamber Street, W10

Born in Pamber Street but moved to Harlow, Essex in 1958 when I was three years old. The air wasn?t clean in London and we had to move to cleaner air in Harlow - a new town with very clean air!

Vallie Webster
Vallie Webster   
Added: 16 Mar 2018 03:39 GMT   
Post by Vallie Webster: Tunis Road, W12

I visited my grandmother who lived on Tunis Road from Canada in approximately 1967-68. I remember the Rag and Bone man who came down the road with a horse and milk delivered to the door with cream on the top. I also remember having to use an outhouse in the back of the row house. No indoor plumbing. We had to have a bath in a big metal tub (like a horse trough) in the middle of the kitchen filled with boiled water on the stove. Very different from Canada. My moms madin name was Hardcastle. Interesting to see the maps. Google maps also brings the world closer.

Norman Norrington
Norman Norrington   
Added: 19 Jan 2018 14:49 GMT   
Post by Norman Norrington: Blechynden Street, W10

In the photo of Blechynden St on the right hand side the young man in the doorway could be me. That is the doorway of 40 Blechynden St.

I lived there with My Mum Eileen and Dad Bert and Brothers Ron & Peter. I was Born in Du Cane Rd Hosp. Now Hammersmith Hosp.

Left there with my Wife Margaret and Daughter Helen and moved to Stevenage. Mum and Dad are sadly gone.

I now live on my own in Bedfordshire, Ron in Willesden and Pete in Hayling Island.

Have many happy memories of the area and go back 3/4 times a year now 75 but it pulls back me still.

Paul Shepherd
Paul Shepherd   
Added: 16 Jan 2018 15:21 GMT   
Post by Paul Shepherd: Chamberlayne Road, NW10

i lived in Rainham Rd in the 1960?s. my best friends were John McCollough and Rosalind Beevor. it was a good time to be there but local schools were not good and i got out before it went to a real slum. i gather it?s ok now.

Mary Harris
Mary Harris   
Added: 19 Dec 2017 17:12 GMT   
Post by Mary Harris: 31 Princedale Road, W11

John and I were married in 1960 and we bought, or rather acquired a mortgage on 31 Princedale Road in 1961 for £5,760 plus another two thousand for updating plumbing and wiring, and installing central heating, a condition of our mortgage. It was the top of what we could afford.

We chose the neighbourhood by putting a compass point on John’s office in the City and drawing a reasonable travelling circle round it because we didn’t want him to commute. I had recently returned from university in Nigeria, where I was the only white undergraduate and where I had read a lot of African history in addition to the subject I was studying, and John was still recovering from being a prisoner-of-war of the Japanese in the Far East in WW2. This is why we rejected advice from all sorts of people not to move into an area where there had so recently bee

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Maria Russ
Maria Russ   
Added: 7 Dec 2017 09:46 GMT   
Post by Maria Russ: Middle Row Bus Garage

My mum worked as a Clippie out from Middle Row Bus Garage and was conductress to George Marsh Driver. They travel the City and out to Ruislip and Acton duiring the 1950’s and 1960’s. We moved to Langley and she joined Windsor Bus Garage and was on the Greenline buses after that. It was a real family of workers from Middle Row and it formed a part of my early years in London. I now live in New Zealand, but have happy memories of the early years of London Transport and Middle Row Garage.
Still have mum’s bus badge.

Happy times they were.

Julia elsdon
Julia elsdon   
Added: 22 Nov 2017 18:19 GMT   
Post by Julia elsdon: Shirland Mews, W9

I didn’t come from Shirland Mews, but stayed there when my father was visiting friends, sometime in the mid to late forties. As I was only a very young child I don’t remember too much. I seem to think there were the old stables or garages with the living accommodation above. My Mother came from Malvern Road which I think was near Shirland Mews. I remember a little old shop which had a "milk cow outside". So I was told, it was attached to the front of the shop and you put some money in and the milk would be dispensed into your container. Not too sure if it was still in use then. Just wonder if anyone else remembers it.yz5

David Jones-Parry
David Jones-Parry   
Added: 3 Oct 2017 13:29 GMT   
Post by David Jones-Parry: Tavistock Crescent, W11

I was born n bred at 25 Mc Gregor Rd in 1938 and lived there until I joined the Royal Navy in 1957. It was a very interesting time what with air raid shelters,bombed houses,water tanks all sorts of areas for little boys to collect scrap and sell them questions asked.A very happy boyhood ,from there we could visit most areas of London by bus and tube and we did.

Debbie hobbs
Debbie hobbs    
Added: 19 Sep 2017 09:08 GMT   
Post by Debbie hobbs : Raymede Street, W10


Susan Wright
Susan Wright   
Added: 16 Sep 2017 22:42 GMT   
Post by Susan Wright: Bramley Mews, W10

My Great Grandmother Ada Crowe was born in 9 Bramley Mews in 1876.

David Jones-Parry
David Jones-Parry   
Added: 7 Sep 2017 12:13 GMT   
Post by David Jones-Parry: Mcgregor Road, W11

I lived at 25 Mc Gregor Rd from 1938 my birth until I joined the Royal Navy in 1957.Our house sided onto Ridgeways Laundry All Saints Rd. I had a happy boyhood living there

Added: 20 Jun 2018 15:27 GMT   
Post by LDNnews: Aldwych
Royal Crescent, W11
The Royal Crescent is a Grade II* listed street in Holland Park.

The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

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Notting Hill in Bygone Days

Notting Hill in Bygone Days by Florence Gladstone, was originally published in 1924 by T. Fisher Unwin.

"Notting Hill in Bygone Days", though published in the 1920s, is still one of the best histories of the Notting Hill area, even if subsequent research has thrown doubt on some of the details.

Florence Gladstone defines Notting Hill "as the whole of that part of Kensington which is north of the road known as Notting Hill Gate".

The Underground Map has republished this out-of-copyright book.

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
Admiral Blake (The Cowshed):   The Admiral Blake was situated at the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Barlby Road.
Ark Brunel Primary Academy:   Academy sponsor led (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
Bassett House School:   Bassett House School is a mixed independent school which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
Bevington Primary School:   Community school (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
Cabaret Voltaire in Acklam Road:   Cabaret Voltaire played one of their classic early gigs under the flyover in Acklam Road.
Carmelite Monastery of The Most Holy Trinity:   Convent in North Kensington
Clayton Arms:   A pub which was situated halfway down West Row in Kensal Town.
Color Printing Works:   Color (sic) Printing Works featured on the 1900 map of North Kensington.
Dissenters’ Chapel:   The Dissenters’ Chapel is a redundant chapel in Kensal Green Cemetery, recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.
Epic Learning Independent School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 13 and 18.
Gas Light and Coke Company:   The gasometers of the Gas Light and Coke company dominated North Kensington until demolition in the late 20th century.
Golborne Children’s Centre:   This is a children’s centre.
I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet:   I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet was a clothing boutique which achieved fame in 1960s "Swinging London" by promoting antique military uniforms as fashion items.
Instituto Espanol Canada Blanch:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 5 and 19. Admissions policy: Non-selective.
Kensington Memorial Park:   
La Petite Ecole Bilingue:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11. Admissions policy: Non-selective.
La Petite Ecole Francaise:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11. Admissions policy: Non-selective.
Little Wormwood Scrubs Recreation Ground:   
Maxilla Children’s Centre:   This is a children’s centre.
Maxilla Nursery School:   Local authority nursery school (Nursery) which accepts students between the ages of 2 and 5.
Middle Row Bus Garage:   Middle Row Bus Garage was situated on the corner of Conlan Street and Middle Row, W10.
Middle Row School:   Middle Row School was established in the late 19th century to provide education to the children of Kensal New Town.
Nokes Estate:   Nokes Estate was an agricultural estate in the Earl’s Court area, formerly known as Wattsfield.
North Kensington:   North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.
Notting Hill Barn Farm:   Notting Barns Farm was one of two farms in the North Kensington area.
Oxford Gardens Primary School:   Community school (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
Portobello Farm:   Portobello Farm House was approached along Turnpike Lane, sometimes referred to as Green’s Lane, a track leading from Kensington Gravel Pits towards a wooden bridge over the canal.
Portobello Green:   Portobello Green features a shopping arcade under the Westway along Thorpe Close, an open-air market under the canopy, and community gardens.
Princess Louise Hospital:   The Princess Louise Hospital for Children was opened by King George V and Queen Mary in 1928. It had 42 beds, an Out-Patients Department and Dispensary for Sick Women.
Queen Victoria/Narrow Boat:   The 'Vic' was the first building on the right when crossing the canal going north along Ladbroke Grove.
Saint Mary’s Catholic Primary School:   Voluntary aided school (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School:   Sion Manning Roman Catholic Girls’ School is in St Charles Square.
Sion-Manning Catholic Girls’ School:   Voluntary aided school (Secondary) which accepts students between the ages of 11 and 16. Admissions policy: Comprehensive (secondary).
St Charles Catholic Primary School:   Voluntary aided school (Primary) which accepts students between the ages of 3 and 11.
St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College:   St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College is a Roman Catholic sixth form college.
St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College:   Further education (16 plus) which accepts students between the ages of 16 and 99.
St Charles Hospital:   The St Marylebone workhouse infirmary was opened in 1881 on Rackham Street, North Kensington and received a congratulatory letter from Florence Nightingale.
St Martins Mission:   Saint Martin's Mission was originally known as Rackham Hall as it was situated on Rackham Street.
St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs:   St Quintin Park & Wormwood Scrubbs - two spellings missing from the modern map.
St Quintin’s Children’s Centre:   This is a children’s centre.
St. Joseph's Home:   St Joseph's dominated a part of Portobello Road up until the 1980s.
The Eagle:   The Eagle, on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Telford Road.
The Foresters:   A lost pub of London W10
The Lloyd Williamson School:   Other independent school which accepts students between the ages of 1 and 16. Admissions policy: Non-selective.
The Mitre:   The Mitre was situated at 62 Golborne Road.
The Prince of Wales (Chilled Eskimo):   A pub in Kensal Town

Acklam Road protests:   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Corner of Rackham Street, Ladbroke Grove (1950):   The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.
Exmoor Street (1950):   Photographed just after the Second World War, looking north along Exmoor Street.
Golborne Road bridge (1960s):   We think that this photo dates from the late 1960s, according to fashions and car registrations.
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
Ladbroke Grove looking north (1900):   This early 1900s image was taken just south of the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Treverton Street.
Ladbroke Grove looking north (1950):   Ladbroke Grove on the corner of St Charles Sqaure taken outside the Eagle public house, looking north, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Ladbroke Grove railway bridge:   Looking north over Bartle Bridge in the 1950s
Rackham Street, eastern end (1950):   The bombing of the Second World War meant that some whole streets were wiped off the future map. Rackham Street, in London W10, was one of them.
Rackham Street, western end (1950):   A bombed-out Rackham Street, looking down from the junction with Exmoor Street.
St Charles Square after bombing (1950):   A corner of St Charles Square looking north, just after the Second World War
St Charles Square ready for redevelopment (1951):   Photographed in 1951, the corner of St Charles Square and Ladbroke Grove looking northwest just after the Second World War.
St Charles’ Square Training College (1908):   St Charles’ Square Training College/Carmelite Convent.
St Quintin Park Cricket Ground (1890s):   Before the turn of the 20th century, west of present day North Kensington lay fields - the future Barlby Road was the site of the St Quintin Park Cricket Ground.
The Victoria (1920s):   The Victoria later became the Narrow Boat before it ’conveniently burned down’.
Under westway (1977):   Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway
Western Dwellings from below (1960s):   This photo was taken from the bottom of Southern Row steps.
William Miller's Yard:   William Miller's Yard stood in Chapel Place, West Row.

Acklam Road, W10 · Admiral Mews, W10 · Aldermaston Street, W10 · Archway Close, W10 · Athlone Gate, W10 · Balliol Road, W10 · Barlby Gardens, W10 · Barlby Road, W10 · Bassett Road, W10 · Bevington Road, W10 · Blagrove Road, W10 · Blake Close, W10 · Bonchurch Road, W10 · Bracewell Road, W10 · Bramley Street, W10 · Branstone Street, W10 · Brewster Gardens, W10 · Bruce Close, W10 · Budge’s Walk, SW7 · Calderon Place, W10 · Calverley Street, W10 · Canal Close, W10 · Canal Way, W10 · Chesterton Road, W10 · Conlan Street, W10 · Crowthorne Road, W10 · Dalgarno Gardens, W10 · Dalgarno Way, W10 · East Row, W10 · Exmoor Street, W10 · Eynham Road, W12 · Faraday Road, W10 · Finstock Road, W10 · Flower Walk, SW7 · Flower Walk, W2 · Glenroy Street, W12 · Golborne Mews, W10 · Golborne Road, W10 · Hewer Street, W10 · Highlever Road, W10 · Hill Farm Road, W10 · Humber Drive, W10 · Ivebury Court, W10 · Kelfield Gardens, W10 · Kelfield Mews, W10 · Kensal House, W10 · Kensington West, W14 · Kingsbridge Road, W10 · Ladbroke Grove, W10 · Latimer Place, W10 · Lavie Mews, W10 · Lionel Mews, W10 · Malton Mews, W10 · Malton Road, W10 · Manchester Drive, W10 · Manchester Road, W10 · Matthew Close, W10 · Maxilla Gardens, W10 · Maxilla Gardens, W10 · Maxilla Walk, W10 · Methwold Road, W10 · Middle Row, W10 · Millwood Street, W10 · Mitre Way, W10 · Morgan Road, W10 · Munro Mews, W10 · Nascot Street, W12 · Norburn Street, W10 · North Pole Road, W10 · North Pole Road, W12 · Nursery Lane, W10 · Oakworth Road, W10 · Orchard Close, W10 · Oxford Gardens, W10 · Pamber Street, W10 · Pangbourne Avenue, W10 · Porlock Street, W10 · Portobello Road, W10 · Rackham Street, W10 · Raddington Road, W10 · Raymede Street, W10 · Rillington Place, W11 · Rootes Drive, W10 · Ruston Mews, W11 · Saint Charles Place, W10 · Saint Charles Square, W10 · Saint Ervans Road, W10 · Saint Helens Gardens, W10 · Saint Josephs Close, W10 · Saint Lawrence Terrace, W10 · Saint Mark’s Road, W10 · Saint Marks Road, W10 · Saint Michaels Gardens, W10 · Saint Quintin Avenue, W10 · Saint Quintin Gardens, W10 · Salters Road, W10 · Scampston Mews, W10 · Scrubs Lane, W12 · Shinfield Street, W12 · Shrewsbury Court, EC1Y · Shrewsbury Street, W10 · Silchester Street, W10 · Snarsgate Street, W10 · Southam Street, W10 · Southern Row, W10 · St Andrews Square, W11 · St Charles Place, W10 · St Charles Square, W10 · St Ervans Road, W10 · St Helens Gardens, W10 · St Johns Terrace, W10 · St Lawrence Terrace, W10 · St Marks Road, W10 · St Marks Road, W11 · St Mark’s Road, W10 · St Quintin Avenue, W10 · St Quintin Gardens, W10 · St. Mark’s Road, W10 · St. Mark’s Road, W10 · Sunbeam Crescent, W10 · Sutton Way, W10 · Telford Road, W10 · Thorpe Close, W10 · Treverton Street, W10 · Trinity Mews, W10 · Wallingford Avenue, W10 · Walmer Road, W10 · Webb Close, W10 · West Row, W10 · Western Dwellings · Westview Close, W10 · Wheatstone Road, W10 · Wornington Road, W10 ·

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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
White City
Facebook Page
Wood Lane
Facebook Page
Ladbroke Grove
Facebook Page
Kensal Green
Facebook Page
The Notting Hill & North Kensington Photo Archive
Facebook group
Born in W10
Facebook group
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.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

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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