Ruston Mews, W11

Road in/near Notting Dale, existing between 1865 and now

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Road · Notting Dale · W11 ·
APRIL
29
2015
Ruston Mews, W11 was originally Crayford Mews.

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Crayford Mews (as Ruston Mews was first called) was built around 1865. The early properties were two storey mews houses and were used to provide shelter for horses, carriages and drivers of that era with a first floor flat for human accommodation and stabling for the carriages and animals underneath. The houses behind Crayford Mews in Lancaster Road were built earlier during the period 1855 to 1858 as part of the St Quentin estate development when speculative house building was rampant in this part of London.

At some time during the early 1900s, Crayford Mews changed its name to Ruston Mews.

The Mews gave its name to Rillington Place, opposite when that particular street desperately needed a new name.

The post-war regeneration of London started to affect the Notting Hill area in the 1960s when it became fashionable to live in a mews house. At the time Ruston Mews was a rough cobbled street with a collapsing wall bordering the rough ground leading up to the railway.

With the growth of the London housing market in the 1960s, more projects were proposed. Ruston Close was demolished in the 1970s to make way for the Bartle Road & St Andrew's Square developments and the rough ground lying between Ruston Mews and the railway tracks became the site for 20 new houses in the mews.

During the new house construction, the old granite setts (cobbles) that had been there for more than a century were removed in order to dig the new drains.

During the late 70s & early 80s, after construction of the new houses was completed, Ruston Mews as a roadway was left to itself and the street gradually fell into disrepair. By the late 80s a consensus began to form that there should be residents association to take over control of the roadway.

During 1988 a number of residents began to meet to discuss options for acquiring the mews and these first meetings were fully attended by most that lived in the mews. After a positive vote to form the association and to acquire the road, 26 residents stumped up £50 each to form the limited company, Ruston Mews association Ltd, which came into being on 19th April 1990.


Main source: Ruston Mews Association
Further citations and sources


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


Roy Batham   
Added: 7 Jan 2022 05:50 GMT   

Batham Family (1851 - 1921)
I start with William Batham 1786-1852 born in St.Martins Middlesex. From various sources I have found snippets of information concerning his early life. A soldier in 1814 he married Mary Champelovier of Huguenot descent By 1819 they were in Kensington where they raised 10 children. Apart from soldier his other occupations include whitesmith, bell hanger and pig breeder. I find my first record in the 1851 English sensus. No street address is given, just ’The Potteries’. He died 1853. Only one child at home then George Batham 1839-1923, my great grandfather. By 1861 he is living in Thomas St. Kensington with his mother. A bricklayer by trade 1871, married and still in Thomas St. 1881 finds him in 5,Martin St. Kensington. 1891 10,Manchester St. 1911, 44 Hunt St Hammersmith. Lastly 1921 Census 7, Mersey St. which has since been demolished.

Source: Batham/Wiseman - Family Tree

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Lived here
Tom Vague   
Added: 9 Sep 2020 14:02 GMT   

The Bedford family at 3 Acklam Road (1860 - 1965)
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.’



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Brenda Jackson   
Added: 13 Aug 2017 21:39 GMT   

83 Pembroke Road
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 wife 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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Born here
Susan Wright   
Added: 16 Sep 2017 22:42 GMT   

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

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Fumblina   
Added: 27 Mar 2021 11:13 GMT   

St Jude’s Church, Lancefield Street
Saint Jude’s was constructed in 1878, while the parish was assigned in 1879 from the parish of Saint John, Kensal Green (P87/JNE2). The parish was united with the parishes of Saint Luke (P87/LUK1) and Saint Simon (P87/SIM) in 1952. The church was used as a chapel of ease for a few years, but in 1959 it was closed and later demolished.

The church is visible on the 1900 map for the street on the right hand side above the junction with Mozart Street.

Source: SAINT JUDE, KENSAL GREEN: LANCEFIELD STREET, WESTMINSTER | Londo

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Fumblina   
Added: 27 Mar 2021 11:08 GMT   

Wedding at St Jude’s Church
On 9th November 1884 Charles Selby and Johanna Hanlon got married in St Jude’s Church on Lancefield Street. They lived together close by at 103 Lancefield Street.
Charles was a Lather, so worked in construction. He was only 21 but was already a widower.
Johanna is not shown as having a profession but this is common in the records and elsewhere she is shown as being an Ironer or a Laundress. It is possible that she worked at the large laundry shown at the top of Lancefield Road on the 1900 map. She was also 21. She was not literate as her signature on the record is a cross.
The ceremony was carried out by William Hugh Wood and was witnessed by Charles H Hudson and Caroline Hudson.

Source: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageviewer/collections/1623/images/31280_197456-00100?pId=6694792

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Joan Clarke   
Added: 2 Feb 2021 10:54 GMT   

Avondale Park Gardens
My late aunt Ivy Clarke (nee Burridge) lived with her whole family at 19 Avondale Park Gardens, according to the 1911 census and she was still there in 1937.What was it like in those days, I wonder, if the housing was only built in 1920?


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The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Mar 2021 14:30 GMT   

Kilburn Park - opened 1915
Kilburn Park station was opened at the height of the First World War

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PETER FAIRCLOUGH   
Added: 10 May 2021 14:46 GMT   

We once lived here
My family resided at number 53 Brindley Street Paddington.
My grandparents George and Elizabeth Jenkinson (ne Fowler) had four children with my Mother Olive Fairclough (ne Jenkinson) being born in the house on 30/09/1935.
She died on 29/04/2021 aged 85 being the last surviving of the four siblings

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 12:17 GMT   

TV comes to Olympia
Over 7000 people queued to see the first high definition television pictures on sets at the Olympia Radio Show. The pictures were transmitted by the BBC from Alexandra Palace, introduced by Leslie Mitchell, their first announcer.

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Lived here
David Jones-Parry   
Added: 7 Sep 2017 12:13 GMT   

Mcgregor Road, W11 (1938 - 1957)
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.

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Dave Fahey   
Added: 6 Jan 2021 02:40 GMT   

Bombing of the Jack O Newberry
My maternal grandfather, Archie Greatorex, was the licensee of the Earl of Warwick during the Second World War. My late mother Vera often told the story of the bombing of the Jack. The morning after the pub was bombed, the landlord’s son appeared at the Warwick with the pub’s till on an old pram; he asked my grandfather to pay the money into the bank for him. The poor soul was obviously in shock. The previous night, his parents had taken their baby down to the pub cellar to shelter from the air raids. The son, my mother never knew his name, opted to stay in his bedroom at the top of the building. He was the only survivor. I often wondered what became of him.

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Brenda Newton   
Added: 5 Jun 2021 07:17 GMT   

Hewer Street W10
John Nodes Undertakers Hewer Street W10

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ken gaston   
Added: 16 Jan 2021 11:04 GMT   

Avondale Park Gardens
My grandmother Hilda Baker and a large family lived in number 18 . It was a close community and that reflected in the coronation celebration held on the central green . I grew up in that square and went to school at Sirdar Road then St. Clements it was a great place to grow up with a local park and we would also trek to Holland Park or Kensington Gardens .Even then the area was considered deprived and a kindergarden for criminals . My generation were the first to escape to the new towns and became the overspill from London to get decent housing and living standards .

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Lived here
Scott Hatton   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 15:38 GMT   

6 East Row (1960 - 1960)
We lived at 6 East Row just before it was demolished.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

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Richard Lake   
Added: 28 Sep 2022 09:37 GMT   

Trade Union Official
John William Lake snr moved with his family to 22 De Laune Street in 1936. He was the London Branch Secretary for the Street Masons, Paviours and Road Makers Union. He had previously lived in Orange St now Copperfield St Southwark but had been forced to move because the landlord didn’t like him working from home and said it broke his lease.
John William snr died in 1940. His son John William Lake jnr also became a stone mason and at the end of World War two he was responsible for the engraving of the dates of WW2 onto the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

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Lived here
Julie   
Added: 22 Sep 2022 18:30 GMT   

Well Walk, NW3 (1817 - 1818)
The home of Benthy, the Postman, with whom poet John Keats and his brother Tom lodged from early 1817 to Dec., 1818. They occupied the first floor up. Here Tom died Dec. 1, 1818. It was next door to the Welles Tavern then called ’The Green Man’."

From collected papers and photos re: No. 1 Well Walk at the library of Harvard University.

Source: No. 1, Well Walk, Hampstead. | HOLLIS for

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Comment
   
Added: 4 Sep 2022 15:42 GMT   

Superman 2
I worked here in 1977. The scene in the prison laundry in Superman 2 was filmed here.

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TUM   
Added: 27 Aug 2022 10:22 GMT   

The Underground Map
Michael Faraday successfully demonstrated the first electrical transformer at the Royal Institute, London.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 15:19 GMT   

Bus makes a leap
A number 78 double-decker bus driven by Albert Gunter was forced to jump an accidentally opening Tower Bridge.

He was awarded a £10 bonus.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 12:44 GMT   

The world’s first underground train
The very first underground train left Paddington on the new Metropolitan Railway bound for Farringdon Street.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 12:41 GMT   

Baker Street
Baker Street station opened on the Metropolitan Railway - the world’s first underground line.

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Admin   
Added: 26 Aug 2022 12:17 GMT   

TV comes to Olympia
Over 7000 people queued to see the first high definition television pictures on sets at the Olympia Radio Show. The pictures were transmitted by the BBC from Alexandra Palace, introduced by Leslie Mitchell, their first announcer.

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
22 Maxilla Gardens 22 Maxilla Gardens is a now-demolished property.
24 Maxilla Gardens 24 Maxilla Gardens was an address along Maxilla Gardens.
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.
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 named after James Weller Ladbroke, who developed the Ladbroke Estate in the mid nineteenth century, until then a largely rural area on the western edges of London.
North Kensington Library North Kensington Library opened in 1891 and was described as one of London’s finest public libraries.
Notting Dale From Pigs and bricks to Posh and Becks...
Notting Hill Barn Farm Notting Barns Farm was one of two farms in the North Kensington area.
Political meeting (1920s) Meeting in front of the Junction Arms situated where Tavistock Road, Crescent and Basing Road met.
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.
Ridler’s Tyre Yard Ridler’s Tyres was situated in a part of Blechynden Street which no longer exists
St. Joseph’s Home St Joseph's dominated a part of Portobello Road up until the 1980s.
Western Iron Works The Western Iron Works was the foundry business of James Bartle and Co.

NEARBY STREETS
Acklam Road, W10 Acklam Road was the centre of much action during the building of the Westway.
Alba Place, W11 Alba Place is part of the Colville Conservation Area.
Aldermaston Street, W10 Aldermaston Street is a lost street of North Kensington
All Saints Road, W11 Built between 1852-61, All Saints Road is named after All Saints Church on Talbot Road.
Archway Close, W10 Archway Close is a cul-de-sac off of St Mark’s Road, W10.
Arundel Gardens, W11 Arundel Gardens was built towards the end of the development of the Ladbroke Estate, in the early 1860s.
Barandon Street, W11 Barandon Street connected Lancaster Road with Latimer Road station.
Bartle Road, W11 Bartle Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Basing Street, W11 Basing Street was originally Basing Road between 1867 and 1939.
Bassett Road, W10 Bassett Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Blagrove Road, W10 This is a street in the W10 postcode.
Blechynden Mews, W10 Blechynden Mews is a former side street in London W11.
Blechynden Street, W10 Blechynden Street is now a tiny street in the vicinity of Latimer Road station, W10
Blenheim Crescent, W11 Blenheim Crescent one of the major thoroughfares in Notting Hill - indeed it features in the eponymous film.
Bomore Road, W11 Bomore Road survived post-war redevelopment with a slight change in alignment.
Bramley Mews, W10 Bramley Mews become part of a redelevopment of the area north of Latimer Road station in the 1960s.
Bramley Road, W10 Bramley Road is the street in which Latimer Road station is situated.
Bramley Road, W11 Bramley Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Bramley Street, W10 Bramley Street is one of the lost streets of North Kensington.
Bridge Close, W10 Bridge Close is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Calverley Street, W10 Calverley Street, one of the lost streets of W10 is now underneath a motorway slip road.
Cambridge Gardens, W10 Cambridge Gardens is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Camelford Walk, W11 Camelford Walk is a street in Notting Hill.
Charlotte Mews, W10 Charlotte Mews is one of London W10's newer thoroughfares.
Chesterton Road, W10 Chesterton Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Clarendon Walk, W11 Clarendon Walk is a walkway in a recent Notting Dale development.
Codrington Mews, W11 This attractive L-shaped mews lies off Blenheim Crescent between Kensington Park Road and Ladbroke Grove.
Convent Gardens, W11 Convent Gardens is a street in Notting Hill.
Cornwall Crescent, W11 Cornwall Crescent belongs to the third and final period of building on the Ladbroke estate.
Cornwall Road, W11 Cornwall Road was once the name for the westernmost part of Westbourne Park Road.
Crowthorne Road, W10 Crowthorne Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Dale Row, W11 Dale Row is a street in Notting Hill.
Darfield Way, W10 Darfield Way, in the Latimer Road area, was built over a number of older streets as the Westway was built.
Dulford Street, W11 Dulford Street survived the mass demolitions of the late 1960s.
Dunworth Mews, W11 This is a street in the W11 postcode area
East Mews, W10 East Mews was lost when the Westway was built. It lies partially under the modern Darfield Way.
Elgin Crescent, W11 Elgin Crescent runs from Portobello Road west across Ladbroke Grove and then curls round to the south to join Clarendon Road.
Elgin Mews, W11 Elgin Mews lies in Notting Hill.
Finstock Road, W10 Finstock Road is a turning out of Oxford Gardens.
Folly Mews, W11 Folly Mews is a street in Notting Hill.
Fowell Street, W11 Fowell Street, W10 was redeveloped in the 1970s.
Freston Road, W10 Freston Road is a street with quite a history.
Golden Mews, W11 Golden Mews was a tiny mews off of Basing Street, W11.
Grenfell Road, W11 Grenfell Road follows the line of an old road: St Clement’s Road.
Grenfell Tower, W11 Grenfell Tower is a residential block in North Kensington.
Hayden’s Place, W11 This is a street in the W11 postcode area
Hayden’s Place, W11 Haydens Place is a small cul-de-sac off of the Portobello Road.
Hurstway Street, W10 Hurstway Street ran from Barandon Street to Blechynden Street.
Hurstway Walk, W11 This is a street in the W11 postcode area
Kelfield Gardens, W10 Kelfield Gardens is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Kelfield Mews, W10 Kelfield Mews is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Kensington Park Mews, W11 Kensington Park Mews lies off of Kensington Park Road, W11
Kensington Park Road, W11 Kensington Park Road is one of the main streets in Notting Hill.
Kingsdown Close, W10 Kingsdown Close is one of a select number of roads in London W10 lying south of Westway.
Ladbroke Crescent, W11 Ladbroke Crescent belongs to the third and final great period of building on the Ladbroke estate and the houses were constructed in the 1860s.
Ladbroke Gardens, W11 Ladbroke Gardens runs between Ladbroke Grove and Kensington Park Road.
Ladbroke Grove, W11 Ladbroke Grove is the main street in London W11.
Lancaster Road, W11 Lancaster Road is a street in Notting Hill.
Lockton Street, W11 Lockton Street, just south of Latimer Road station is so insignificant that nary a soul know’s it’s there...
Malton Mews, W10 Malton Mews, formerly Oxford Mews, runs south off of Cambridge Gardens.
Malton Road, W11 Malton Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Martin Street, W10 Martin Street disappeared as the Latimer Road area was redeveloped.
Maxilla Gardens, W10 Maxilla Gardens was a former street in London W10.
Mersey Street, W10 Mersey Street - now demolished - was once Manchester Street.
Millwood Street, W10 Millwood Street is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Norburn Street, W10 Norburn Street is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Oxford Gardens, W10 Oxford Gardens is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Pamber Street, W10 Pamber Street is a lost street of North Kensington.
Portobello Road, W11 Portobello Road is internationally famous for its market.
Pring Street, W10 The unusually-named Pring Street was situated between Bard Road and Latimer Road.
Raddington Road, W10 Raddington Road is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Rillington Place, W11 Rillington Place is a small street with an infamous history.
Scampston Mews, W10 Scampston Mews is a street in North Kensington, London W10
Shalfleet Drive, W11 Shalfleet Drive is a newer road in the Latimer Road area of W10
Silchester Mews, W10 Silchester Mews, shaped like an H, disappeared in 1969 under the Westway.
Silchester Road, W10 Silchester Road crosses the border between London W10 and London W11.
Silchester Terrace, W10 Silchester Terrace was lost to W10 in the 1960s.
Silvester Mews, W11 Silvester Mews was a mews off of Basing Street, W11.
St Andrews Square, W11 St Andrews Square is a street in Notting Dale, formed when the Rillington Place area was demolished.
St Charles Place, W10 St Charles Place is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Charles Square, W10 St Charles Square is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Columbs House, W10 St Columbs House is situated at 9-39 Blagrove Road.
St Helens Gardens, W10 St Helens Gardens seems to date from the 1860s.
St Lawrence Terrace, W10 St Lawrence Terrace is a street in North Kensington, London W10
St Mark’s Close, W11 St Mark’s Close runs off St Mark’s Road.
St Mark’s Place, W11 St Mark’s Place is situated on the site of the former Kensington Hippodrome.
St Mark’s Road, W10 St Mark’s Road extends beyond the Westway into the W10 area.
St Mark’s Road, W11 St. Mark’s Road is a street in the Ladbroke conservation area.
Station Walk, W10 Station Walk is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area.
Talbot Mews, W11 Talbot Mews seems to have disappeared just after the Second Worid War.
Tavistock Crescent, W11 Tavistock Crescent was where the first Notting Hill Carnival procession began on 18 September 1966.
Tavistock Mews, W11 Tavistock Mews, W11 lies off of the Portobello Road.
Testerton Street, W11 Testerton Street did not survive the bulldozer in the late 1960s.
Thorpe Close, W10 Thorpe Close is a redevelopment of the former Thorpe Mews, laid waste by the building of the Westway.
Trinity Mews, W10 Trinity Mews lies off of Cambridge Gardens.
Verity Close, W11 Verity Close is a street in W11
Waynflete Square, W10 Waynflete Square is one of the newer roads in the vicinity of Latimer Road station.
Wesley Square, W11 Wesley Square is a street in Notting Hill.
Westway, W10 Westway is the A40(M) motorway which runs on an elevated section along the W10/W11 border.
Whitchurch Road, W11 Whitchurch Road connects Bramley Road with Treadgold Street.

NEARBY PUBS
Duke of Wellington This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Grasshopper The Grasshopper was located at 216-218 Kensington Park Road.
Kensington Park Hotel The KPH is a landmark pub on Ladbroke Grove.
Mau Mau This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Pig and Whistle Kitchen This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Portobello House This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Castle The (Warwick) Castle is located on the corner of Portobello Road and Westbourne Park Road.
The Elgin The Elgin is a Grade II listed public house at 96 Ladbroke Grove.


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Notting Dale

From Pigs and bricks to Posh and Becks...

As houses were springing up all over the rest of northern Kensington, one corner of the borough was developing into a slum whose notoriety was probably unsurpassed throughout London

It lay at the foot of the hill on which the Ladbroke estate was laid out, directly north of Pottery Lane, on badly draining clay soil between the Norland Estate and Notting Barns Farm.

Its first occupants were to give it two infamous names: the brick makers, who seemed to have arrived in the late lath century, and the pig-keepers, who moved there in the early l9th century.

To make bricks and tiles involved large excavations, which soon filled with stagnant water. The keeping of pigs entailed collecting refuse and offal from the kitchens of hotels and private houses, feeding most of it to pigs and boiling down the fat.

The combination of both bricks and pigs spelt disaster for the area.

Samuel Lake of Tottenham Court Road, a scavenger and chimney sweep by occupation was the first to keep pigs here and he was soon joined by the pig keepers of the Marble Arch area who had been forced out of their area by building development. The colony was at first sufficiently isolated to be able to go about their business unfettered; and by the time streets were being built nearby, the piggeries were so well established that developers simply steered clear.

Shacks sprang up wherever convenient for there was no building control in London at that time, and inevitably they were jumbled together with the pigs and the ponds: indeed often the three were combined, with humans sharing their roofs with animals and living directly over stagnant water: the animals at one stage outnumbered people by three to one.

The area’s unsanitary conditions had become so notorious that Charles Dickens ran a special feature on it in the first edition issue of his magazine Household Words.

The Piggeries and Brickyards were far from the sight and concern of the Vestry and its duties were taken up by charities, both religious and secular. But it was Kensington’s first Medical Officer of Health, Dr Francis Goodrich, who was given the formidable task of cleaning up the area. Goodrich stated that it was one of the most deplorable
spots not only in Kensington but in the whole of the metropolis.

Rather than manufacturing bricks, locals started to concentrate more on the making of pottery, mostly drainpipes, tiles and flower pots to supply the local building boom. This trade, however, gradually declined and business ceased by 1863, the same time as when the stagnant ’Ocean’ was filled in.

As far as the Piggeries were concerned strong opposition to a clean up came from the pig keepers themselves, as that was their only livelihood. And perversely the Vestry did not want them to lose the pigs because the families then could become a charge on the poor rate.

By 1878 Goodrich’s successor Dr Dudfield managed, however, to gradually reduce the number of pigs but it was not until the 1890’s that the last pig was banished.

The area nevertheless remained notorious. Instead of pig keeping the men turned to living off what their women could earn as laundresses, initially at home (especially in
the Stoneleigh Street area) and later in small laundries. A local saying in this area declared that ’to marry an ironer is as good as a fortune’

But change was coming.

The 1860s at last witnessed the opening of schools, (such as one in Sirdar Road), the paving of streets and the construction of proper sewers. But it was not until 1888 were public baths and washhouses provided at the junction of Silchester and Lancaster Roads.

In 1889 the Rev C E Roberts of St Clements Church and the Rev Dr Thornton of St Johns appealed in a letter to the Times for an open space for the children of this area. As a result the old brickfield and the area of the ’Ocean’ became the start of Avondale Park opened in 1892 and named in memory of the recently deceased Duke of Clarence and Avondale.

But even then, a year after the park was opened that the Daily News described the area adjacent to the park as ’Avernus’ (the fabled gateway to hell!). The article identified Wilsham Street, Kenley Street, another two streets now replaced by Henry Dickens Court and part of Sirdar Road as ’hopelessly degraded and abandoned’.

The dense rows of artisan houses in these streets were massively over-occupied or else were the most primitive lodging houses in which a bed on the floor cost a few pennies per night. Local residents made a living as best they could but it was a close knit community who seemed to scrape together enough money to pay for visits to the music hall and for summer day trips.

By 1904 new low cost tenements were built and the Improved Tenements Association bought 64 year leases of four houses in Walmer Road in 1900, and these were modernised and divided into two room tenements to accommodate 13 families for rents of 5 shillings a week. Other housing associations followed such as the Wilsham Trust formed by Ladies- in-waiting at Kensington Palace.

The poverty and hardship of the Potteries and Piggeries is very much a thing of the past. Now the neighbourhood is an attractive, leafy, peaceful backwater made up of rows of well kept two and three storey Victorian brick terraced houses and cottages, in the shadow of the graceful golden weather vane and clock of St Clements Church.

The area has come a long way.

Sources:
The Notting Hill & Holland Park Book by Richard Tames
Kensington & Chelsea by Annabel Walker with Peter Jackson
Notting Hill and Holland Park Past by Barbara Denny
Survey of London: Northern Kensington: Vol:XXXVII for the Greater London Council


LOCAL PHOTOS
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Coronation street party, 1953.
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Children of Ruston Close
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The "Western"
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Adair Road street sign.
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Political meeting (1920s)
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Ladbroke Grove (1866)
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Clayton Arms
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In the neighbourhood...

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Coronation street party, 1953.
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Children of Ruston Close
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Adair Road junction with Southam Street (1932)
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Corner of Bangor Street and Sirdar Road, W11 (1911) This became the Dolphin Pub. The location was demolished to make way for the Henry Dickens Estate.
Credit: London City Mission magazine
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Political meeting (1920s)
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This photo pf Bangor Street was featured in the London City Mission magazine from 1911
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Ladbroke Grove (1866)
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The St Agnes soup kitchen was situated on the corner of Bangor Street, W11 that this photo was taken from. Bangor Street disappeared from the streetscene of Notting Dale after the Second World War.
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The Tile Kiln, Notting Dale (1824)
Credit: Florence Gladstone
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Photographed just after the Second World War, this is the bombed-out Rackham Street, London W10 looking down from the junction with Exmoor Street. Rackham Street ran off Ladbroke Grove, roughly along the line of the modern Bruce Close.
Credit: Kensington and Chelsea library
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