Weston’s Music Hall

Theatre, existed between 1857 and the 1960s

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Theatre · * · WC2A ·
APRIL
7
2020

Weston’s Music Hall was a music hall and theatre that opened in 1857. In 1906, the theatre became known as the Holborn Empire.

The theatre was constructed on the site of the Six Cans and Punch Bowl Tavern. The licensed victualler - Henry Weston - had already transformed the former Holborn National Schoolrooms into a music hall some years before. The facility was his response to the success of Charles Morton’s Canterbury Music Hall in Lambeth.

The theatre was renamed the Royal Music Hall in 1868, and then changed names again in 1892, becoming the Royal Holborn Theatre of Varieties.

The hall’s early years were presided over by an exacting chairman and master of ceremonies, W. B. Fair, famous for the song ’Tommy, Make Room for Your Uncle’. He chose the acts, warmed the audience up for each succeeding performance, and encouraged them at all times to interact with the performers throughout the evening.

In 1905 the theatre was bought by the variety impresario Walter Gibbons and in the following year, he had the theatre auditorium remodelled by Frank Matcham. It was renamed the Holborn Empire. The Holborn Empire was the last surviving variety theatre in the West End, also performing special theatrical matinees.

The theatre premièred the first full-length feature film in 1914, ’The World, the Flesh and the Devil’, a 50-minute melodrama filmed in Kinemacolour.

The theatre was closed as a result of an unexploded bomb falling close to the stage door during the night of 11–12 May 1941. The building was hit the following night by another bomb and too badly damaged to reopen. It was finally pulled down in 1960.


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY



The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Dec 2020 00:24 GMT   

Othello takes a bow
On 1 November 1604, William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello was presented for the first time, at The Palace of Whitehall. The palace was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698. Seven years to the day, Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Tempest was also presented for the first time, and also at the Palace of Whitehall.

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Linda Webb   
Added: 27 Sep 2021 05:51 GMT   

Hungerford Stairs
In 1794 my ancestor, George Webb, Clay Pipe Maker, lived in Hungerford Stairs, Strand. Source: Wakefields Merchant & Tradesmens General Directory London Westminster 1794

Source: Hungerford Stairs

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Reg Carr   
Added: 10 Feb 2021 12:11 GMT   

Campbellite Meeting
In 1848 the Campbellites (Disciples of Christ) met in Elstree Street, where their congregation was presided over by a pastor named John Black. Their appointed evangelist at the time was called David King, who later became the Editor of the British Millennial Harbinger. The meeting room was visited in July 1848 by Dr John Thomas, who spoke there twice on his two-year ’mission’ to Britain.

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Jeff Owen   
Added: 20 Mar 2021 16:18 GMT   

Owen’s School
Owen Street is the site of Owen’s Boys’ School. The last school was built in 1881 and was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the development which stand there today. It was a ’Direct Grant’ grammar school and was founded in 1613 by Dame Alice Owen. What is now ’Owen’s Fields’ was the playground between the old school and the new girls’ school (known then as ’Dames Alice Owen’s School’ or simply ’DAOS’). The boys’ school had the top two floors of that building for their science labs. The school moved to Potters Bar in Hertfordshire in 1971 and is now one of the top State comprehensive schools in the country. The old building remained in use as an accountancy college and taxi-drivers’ ’knowledge’ school until it was demolished. The new building is now part of City and Islington College. Owen’s was a fine school. I should know because I attended there from 1961 to 1968.

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Scott Hatton   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 19:47 GMT   

Millions Of Rats In Busy London
The Daily Mail on 14 April 1903 reported "MILLIONS OF RATS IN BUSY LONDON"

A rat plague, unprecedented in the annals of London, has broken out on the north side of the Strand. The streets principally infested are Catherine street, Drury lane, Blackmore street, Clare Market and Russell street. Something akin to a reign of terror prevails among the inhabitants after nightfall. Women refuse to pass along Blackmore street and the lower parts of Stanhope street after dusk, for droves of rats perambulate the roadways and pavements, and may be seen running along the window ledges of the empty houses awaiting demolition by the County Council in the Strand to Holborn improvement scheme.

The rats, indeed, have appeared in almost-incredible numbers. "There are millions of them," said one shopkeeper, and his statement was supported by other residents. The unwelcome visitors have been evicted from their old haunts by the County Council housebreakers, and are now busily in search of new homes. The Gaiety Restaurant has been the greatest sufferer. Rats have invaded the premises in such force that the managers have had to close the large dining room on the first floor and the grill rooms on the ground floor and in the basement. Those three spacious halls which have witnessed many as semblages of theatre-goers are now qui:e deserted. Behind the wainscot of the bandstand in the grillroom is a large mound of linen shreds. This represents 1728 serviettes carried theee by the rats.

In the bar the removal of a panel disclosed the astonishing fact that the rats have dragged for a distance of seven or eight yards some thirty or forty beer and wine bottles and stacked them in such a fashion as to make comfortable sleeping places. Mr Williams. the manager of the restaurant, estimates that the rats have destroyed L200 worth of linen. Formerly the Gaiety Restaurant dined 2000 persons daily; no business whatever is now done in this direction.

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Bruce McTavish   
Added: 11 Mar 2021 11:37 GMT   

Kennington Road
Lambeth North station was opened as Kennington Road and then Westminster Bridge Road before settling on its final name. It has a wonderful Leslie Green design.

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MCNALLY    
Added: 17 May 2021 09:42 GMT   

Blackfriars (1959 - 1965)
I lived in Upper Ground from 1959 to 1964 I was 6 years old my parents Vince and Kitty run the Pub The Angel on the corner of Upper Ground and Bodies Bridge. I remember the ceiling of the cellar was very low and almost stretched the length of Bodies Bridge. The underground trains run directly underneath the pub. If you were down in the cellar when a train was coming it was quite frightening

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Jessie Doring   
Added: 22 Feb 2021 04:33 GMT   

Tisbury Court Jazz Bar
Jazz Bar opened in Tisbury Court by 2 Australians. Situated in underground basement. Can not remember how long it opened for.

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Tom   
Added: 21 May 2021 23:07 GMT   

Blackfriars
What is, or was, Bodies Bridge?

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Lived here
Richard Roques   
Added: 21 Jan 2021 16:53 GMT   

Buckingham Street residents
Here in Buckingham Street lived Samuel Pepys the diarist, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling

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Jude Allen   
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT   

Bra top
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.

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Lena    
Added: 18 Mar 2021 13:08 GMT   

White Conduit Street, N1
My mum, Rosina Wade of the Wade and Hannam family in the area of Chapel Street and Parkfield Street, bought her first ’costume’ at S Cohen’s in White Conduit Street. Would have probably been about 1936 or thereabouts. She said that he was a small man but an expert tailor. I hope that Islington Council preserve the shop front as it’s a piece of history of the area. Mum used to get her high heel shoes from an Italian shoe shop in Chapel Street. She had size 2 feet and they would let her know when a new consignment of size 2 shoes were in. I think she was a very good customer. She worked at Killingbacks artificial flower maker in Northampton Square and later at the Halifax bombers factory north of Edgware where she was a riveter.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
John Neill   
Added: 25 Nov 2021 11:30 GMT   

Sandringham Road, E10 (1937 - 1966)
I lived at No. 61 with my parents during these years. I went to Canterbury Road school (now Barclay Primary) and sang as a boy soprano (treble) in the church choir at St Andrew’s church, on the corner of Forest Glade.
Opposite us lived the Burgess family. Their son Russell also sang in my choir as a tenor. He later became a well-known musician and the choirmaster at Wandsworth Boys’ School.
Just at the end of WW2 a German rocket (V2) landed in the grounds of Whipps Cross Hospital, damaging many of the houses in Sandringham Road, including ours.

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Tim Stevenson   
Added: 16 Nov 2021 18:03 GMT   

Pub still open
The Bohemia survived the 2020/21 lockdowns and is still a thriving local social resource.

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STEPHEN JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:25 GMT   

Fellows Court, E2
my family moved into the tower block 13th floor (maisonette), in 1967 after our street Lenthall rd e8 was demolished, we were one of the first families in the new block. A number of families from our street were rehoused in this and the adjoining flats. Inside toilet and central heating, all very modern at the time, plus eventually a tarmac football pitch in the grounds,(the cage), with a goal painted by the kids on the brick wall of the railway.

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STEPHEN ARTHUR JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:12 GMT   

Lynedoch Street, E2
my father Arthur Jackson was born in lynedoch street in 1929 and lived with mm grandparents and siblings, until they were relocated to Pamela house Haggerston rd when the street was to be demolished

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Sir Walter Besant   
Added: 11 Nov 2021 18:47 GMT   

Sir Walter adds....
All the ground facing Wirtemberg Street at Chip and Cross Streets is being levelled for building and the old houses are disappearing fast. The small streets leading through into little Manor Street are very clean and tenanted by poor though respectable people, but little Manor Street is dirty, small, and narrow. Manor Street to Larkhall Rise is a wide fairly clean thoroughfare of mixed shops and houses which improves towards the north. The same may be said of Wirtemberg Street, which commences poorly, but from the Board School north is far better than at the Clapham end.

Source: London: South of the Thames - Chapter XX by Sir Walter Besant (1912)

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Added: 6 Nov 2021 15:03 GMT   

Old Nichol Street, E2
Information about my grandfather’s tobacconist shop

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tom   
Added: 3 Nov 2021 05:16 GMT   

I met
someone here 6 years ago

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Fion Anderson   
Added: 2 Nov 2021 12:55 GMT   

Elstree not Borehamwood
Home of the UK film industry

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Weston’s Music Hall Weston’s Music Hall was a music hall and theatre that opened in 1857. In 1906, the theatre became known as the Holborn Empire.

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The Bountiful Cow This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Cambridge Theatre This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Crown This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Dolphin This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Enterprise This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Hon. Soc. Of Gray’s Inn This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The London Cocktail Club This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Montague on the Gardens This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Old Crown This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Old Nick This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Old Red Lion This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Plough This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Polish Bar (Na Zdrowie) This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Seven Stars This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Ship Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Square Pig This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Sun This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Swan This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Truckles Wine Bar This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
White Hart This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


Queen’s Park

Queen’s Park lies between Kilburn and Kensal Green, developed from 1875 onwards and named to honour Queen Victoria.

The north of Queen’s Park formed part of the parish of Willesden and the southern section formed an exclave of the parish of Chelsea, both in the Ossulstone hundred of Middlesex. In 1889 the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works that included the southern section of Queen’s Park was transferred from Middlesex to the County of London, and in 1900 the anomaly of being administered from Chelsea was removed when the exclave was united with the parish of Paddington. In 1965 both parts of Queen’s Park became part of Greater London: the northern section - Queen’s Park ’proper’ formed part of Brent and the southern section - the Queen’s Park Estate - joined the City of Westminster.

Queen’s Park, like much of Kilburn, was developed by Solomon Barnett. The two-storey terraced houses east of the park, built between 1895 and 1900, typically have clean, classical lines. Those west of the park, built 190005, tend to be more Gothic in style. Barnett’s wife was from the West Country, and many of the roads he developed are named either for places she knew (e.g. Torbay, Tiverton, Honiton) or for popular poets of the time (e.g. Tennyson). The first occupants of the area in late Victorian times were typically lower middle class, such as clerks and teachers. Queen’s Park is both demographically and architecturally diverse. The streets around the park at the heart of Queen’s Park are a conservation area.

There is hardly any social housing in the streets around Queens Park itself, and the area was zoned as not suitable for social housing in the 1970s and 1980s as even then house prices were above average for the borough of Brent, which made them unaffordable for local Housing Associations. The main shopping streets of Salusbury Road and Chamberlayne Road have fewer convenience stores and more high-value shops and restaurants. Local schools some of which struggled to attract the children of wealthier local families in the past are now over-subscribed. House prices have risen accordingly.

Queen’s Park station was first opened by the London and North Western Railway on 2 June 1879 on the main line from London to Birmingham.

Services on the Bakerloo line were extended from Kilburn Park to Queen’s Park on 11 February 1915. On 10 May 1915 Bakerloo services began to operate north of Queen’s Park as far as Willesden Junction over the recently built Watford DC Line tracks shared with the LNWR.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Waterloo Bridge on an 1810 map.
TUM image id: 1556885410
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In the neighbourhood...

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The old wooden Temple Bar
Credit: Walter Thornbury
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The Royal Opera House, Bow Street frontage, with the statue of Dame Ninette de Valois in the foreground
Credit: Russ London
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British Museum station
Credit: London Transport Museum
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William Davenant had Lisle
Credit: Henry Herringman, London, 1673
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Doughty Street is a broad tree lined street in the Holborn district.
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Endell Street towards Long Acre, 2015
Credit: Philafrenzy
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Red Lion Street c. 1900, looking north to Javens Chambers and Clerkenwell Road
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101 Strand, WC2R
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Yorkshire Grey Yard street sign
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Gamages in the late 19th century
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