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.

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Article · Notting Hill · W10 ·
FEBRUARY
13
2016

From the 19th century up until 1965, number 3 Acklam Road, near the Portobello Road junction, was occupied by the Bedford family.


When the Westway construction work began the Bedfords sold up and moved to south London. In the early 1970s the house was taken over by the North Kensington Amenity Trust and became the Notting Hill Carnival office before its eventual demolition.

Anne Bedford (now McSweeney) has fond memories of living there, although she recalls: ‘I now know that the conditions were far from ideal but then I knew no different. There was no running hot water, inside toilet or bath, apart from the tin bath we used once a week in the large kitchen/dining room. Any hot water needed was heated in a kettle. I wasn’t aware that there were people not far away who were a lot worse off than us, living in poverty in houses just like mine but families renting one room. We did have a toilet/bathroom installed in 1959, which was ‘luxury’.

‘When the plans for the Westway were coming to light, we were still living in the house whilst all the houses opposite became empty and boarded up one by one. We watched all this going on and decided that it was not going to be a good place to be once the builders moved in to demolish all the houses and start work on the elevated road. Dad sold the house for a fraction of what it should have been worth but it needed too much doing to it to bring it to a good living standard. We were not rich by any means but we were not poor. My grandmother used to do her washing in the basement once a week by lighting a fire in a big concrete copper to heat the water, which would have been there until demolition.

‘When we moved from number 3, I remember the upright piano that my grandparents used to play – and me of sorts – being lowered out of the top floor and taken away, presumably to be sold. I used to play with balls up on the wall of the chemist shop on the corner of Acklam and Portobello. We would mark numbers on the pavement slabs in a grid and play hopscotch. At the Portobello corner, on one side there was the Duke of Sussex pub, on the other corner, a chemist, later owned by a Mr Fish, which I thought was amusing. When I was very young I remember every evening a man peddling along Acklam Road with a long thin stick with which he lit the streetlights.’ Michelle Active who lived at number 33 remembers: ‘6 of us lived in a one-bed basement flat on Acklam Road. When they demolished it we moved to a 4-bed maisonette on Silchester Estate and I thought it was a palace, two toilets inside, a separate bathroom that was not in the kitchen, absolute heaven.’

Citations and sources

Blog from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library
Recollections of people from North Kensington, London
Gillian Bebbington's 1972 work on street name derivations

Links and further reading

Facebook group, covering the history of W10 and W11.
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Ian Gammons
Ian Gammons   
Added: 3 Apr 2018 08:08 GMT   
IP: 81.131.100.203
2:1:34664
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!


Norman Norrington
Norman Norrington   
Added: 19 Jan 2018 14:49 GMT   
IP: 90.194.159.199
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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   
IP: 90.255.234.91
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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   
IP: 217.63.194.106
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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   
IP: 47.72.255.177
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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   
IP: 87.112.95.228
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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   
IP: 81.156.41.30
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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 on.no 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   
IP: 92.40.89.28
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Post by Debbie hobbs : Raymede Street, W10

I SUPPLIED THE PICTURE ABOVE GIVEN TO TOM VAGUE TO PASS ON... ITS DATE IS C1906 ..IN THE DISTANCE IS RACKHAM STREET WITH ITS MISSION HALL, HEWER STREET TO THE RIGHT

Susan Wright
Susan Wright   
Added: 16 Sep 2017 22:42 GMT   
IP: 120.154.67.244
2:9:34664
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   
IP: 86.152.78.135
2:10:34664
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

Brenda Jackson
Brenda Jackson   
Added: 13 Aug 2017 21:39 GMT   
IP: 94.13.78.193
2:11:34664
Post by Brenda Jackson: Granville Road, NW6

My Gt Gt grandparents lived at 83 Pembroke Road before it became Granville Road, They were married in 1874, John Tarrant and Maryann Tarrant nee Williamson.
Her brother George Samuel Williamson lived at 95 Pembroke Road with his fwife Emily and children in the 1881 Census

Apparently the extended family also lived for many years in Alpha Place, Canterbury Road, Peel Road,

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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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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.
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London Underground map from 1921.
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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.

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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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