Side streets of Chelsea: part two

We took a look at the Cross Keys in part one, and I was pleased to hear it would be opening again. So let’s start with another look at it down one of the side streets of Chelsea, Lordship Place.

Lordship Place looking west 1970 KS 3182

All the pictures this week are glimpses of the places behind the well known thoroughfares, the back streets, the short cuts, the hidden alleys and openings or the odd buildings you somehow failed to notice. Like this one:

Danvers street east side 1970 KS 3100Danvers street east side 1970 KS 3099

Two views of the Danvers Street garage, the only business on a mostly residential street at one time. Did I walk past the sign offering lubrication myself when I lived nearby or had it gone by then? The other sign “Chauffeur driven hire” looks unconvincing now, slightly dodgy in fact. It might have come from an episode of Minder.

This is another possible location for a seventies TV drama:

Radnor Walk east side Chelsea Pottery 1975 KS4636

Imagine one of those quirky detectives peering out from that balcony off Radnor Walk wondering where the missing girl has gone.

Here is another atmospheric alley bearing the name of a famous local resident, Joubert Studios.

Joubert Studios 3724

The detective has just gone into one of the mews style houses.

The other theme this week is cars parked on narrow streets.

Danube Street 17805

That’s Danube Street again. I like the rear view of those houses, the jumble of flat roofs and railings. It wouldn’t have been much of a view but on a sunny day you could sit out in the open and look down on that Vauxhall Victor. (Am I right, car experts?)

Paradise Walk W side 1974 KS 4653

This is Paradise Walk, a salubrious residential street today like most of the side streets of Chelsea but back in 1974 this set of commercial buildings look like they were only recently adapted for residential use. The tall building in the distance is still there, but now has a glass door and an entry phone.

Paradise Walk runs into Royal Hospital Road. Here’s a view further east.

Royal Hosp Rd looking W fr Tite St 1974 KS 4361

Royal Hospital Road is an enclave far enough from the King’s Road to support a few shops. Oakeshotts was a chain of grocery shops you used to see all over London. This one is now a Tesco Express. Let’s move on back towards the main drag.

Royal Hosp Rd N side Burtons Court 1974 KS 4366

I don’t suppose this view has changed much since 1974, but it does have the still quality of that time as the photographer, John Rogers caught a moment when there was virtually no traffic.

Wellington Square gardens 1975, KS 4140Nearby John paused to get a picture of this ornamental fountain in Wellington Square where Aleister Crowley lived briefly in the 1930s.

On the northern side of the King’s Road, Blacklands Terrace named after Blacklands Farm.

Blacklands Terrace 1970The John Sandoe  bookshop has been a Chelsea institution for many years. According to rumour Dirk Bogarde used to go there to sell review copies of books. A couple of typical seventies people emerging not from the shop but the pub next door.

Moving west again, to Bramerton Street.

Bramerton street East side 39-37, 1970 KS 33889An otherwise dull view enlivened by the woman standing in her doorway peering at something we can’t see.

Burnsall street 19-17,15, 4In Burnsall Street, an Austin Allegro, perhaps one of the worst cars British Leyland ever made. I cleaned a great many of them at Mamos Motors in Soho. This was the period when Ford were in the ascendant and it was slightly surprising that Leyland continued to sell cars

Despite all the Allegros, Marinas and Princesses I had a good time during my brief spell in the motor trade. London was full of surprising places to see even in the most obscure streets, like this last picture of an odd turret in Jubilee Place.

Jubilee Place East Side 8-10 Postscript

We’ll be back for a part three, but not for a while. I’m not sure what’s coming next week but it will be quite different from idyllic Chelsea in the 1970s. Thanks to everyone for their best wishes for my health. I’ll try and stay out of trouble.

9 responses to “Side streets of Chelsea: part two

  • Peter Freeman

    Vyvyan Holland wrote about Paradise Walk in his memoir ‘Son Of Oscar Wilde’… ‘one of the most forbidding of Chelsea slums. It was a row of tenement houses with wretched filthy back yards from which sounds of bawling arose nightly’.

  • Michael Gall

    Excellent post Dave. Your usual poetic view of our village. Stay well. Kindest regards.

  • Chris Pain

    Another fine set of photographs Dave. The first one taken from ordship Place looking towards the Cross Keys is particularly interesting, not just because it’s a nice pub, but also because John Atkinson Grimshaw produced a series of paintings with almost exactly the same view. Of course the Grimshaw’s Cross Keys was not the same building as we see in the photo, it having been rebuilt in 1889, and Grimshaw having kept his Chelsea studio in the 80s. The original pub had only two storeys and was the pick-up point for the stagecoach to London. As Thomas Bell Ellenor wrote in 1901, referring to his childhood in the 1820s and 30s:
    “In my early recollection Chelsea had many industries characteristic of the village, which have entirely passed away. The only conveyance—a two-horse stage coach, called the “Village Clock”—used to run from the Cross Keys, in Lawrence Street, twice a day, for one shilling to Charing Cross, and one-and-six pence to the City. It would stop to change horses at the “Black Horse,” in Coventry Street. Time, from Chelsea, ten in the morning and two in the afternoon; supposed to do the journey in an hour—which it never did. This coach appeared to be as much as was required, as it was seldom full, although it would go round in the morning to pick up its regular passengers.”
    Here are some links to the excellent Grimshaw pictures:

  • Keith Saunders

    Thanks Dave, so many nostalgic views of the place of the home of of my ancestors.

  • Debbie Robson

    Thanks again Dave for more wonderful photos! Take care of yourself.

  • gavin blair watson

    Well these are really good Dave, and many thanks as, they are appreciated greatly, just as the other writers here have said…
    Whilst a school boy I had a good friend whose dad ran The Surprise pub if anyone has pics from 60s or 70s. For a while in 60s I dated a girl who lived in Tite Street just down from Paradise Walk which runs into Royal Hospital Road, many fond memories of this part of Chelsea.

  • Linda James

    So wonderful to view these great photos, my aunt lived opposite the garage in Danvers street I remember it well.

  • Susan Webber

    Can’t believe it ! Oakshotts !! my mum used to send me there for a loaf of bread in the 50’s, from Christchurch St, down Tite St and warned me to be careful on that Zebra crossing

  • Christina Brooks

    I was a volunteer decorator at the Chelsea Potteries (married the thrower) in the early eighties. Joyce Morgan was one of the loveliest women I’ve ever known.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: