Print-friendly version of this page North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.
The 'Vic' was the first building on the right when crossing the canal going north along Ladbroke Grove
Its start date as a hostelry is unknown - the name (both "Victoria Arms" and "Queen Victoria") suggests that it was of 19th century origin though it is not marked as a pub on the 1900 map.
A very small establishment, it stood just next to a "dingy" staircase and alleyway which formed a short cut between Ladbroke Grove
and what was Church Place - handy for the bus stop for the number 18 bus along the Harrow Road
. Down the stairs were the toilets of the pub and a small beer garden.
Church Place is now called St John's Terrace and the right of way is still there.
In later years it became called "The Narrow Boat" and was a Fullers pub. It was a regular in the Good Beer Guide.
It fell into disrepair when the landlord, known as Wally, retired, then it fell down.
A 1984 episode of the TV series "Minder" (Season 4, Episode 6, If Money Be the Food of Love, Play On) was shot there.
It closed around 1989 and has since been demolished.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence
User unknown/public domain
North Kensington was rural until the 19th century, when it was developed as a 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.