Familiar streets: a Paddington estate

When I first looked at Bernard Selwwyn’s pictures of 1950s Paddington I had no idea I was working with someone who knew a great deal more about the area than me. So this week my colleague and friend Isabel Hernandez is guest blogging, about a neighbourhood she knows very well:


You may recall a post Dave wrote a little while back called Unfamiliar Streets: Paddington 1959…It so happens that when I had the opportunity to view the photographs within that blog I realised to my surprise that I was very familiar with these northern Paddington streets. Views of the Warwick Estate prior to its redevelopment beginning around 1959 and the early 1960s were images I had never seen before, and considering I spent my entire youth growing-up on the relatively new estate, it really was like entering a time capsule. Very few of the original buildings survive now, with the exception of St Mary Magdalene’s and the local Victorian schools which I will talk about later, and some of the bigger, grander houses around Blomfield Villas. There have been name changes too: some abolished, others given to rebuilt roads such as Clarenden, Woodchester and Brindley.

Below is an image of Bourne Terrace, previously Westbourne Terrace North. The photograph appears to have been taken from Torquay Street which backs on to the now Westbourne Green Sports complex, opened around 1976. The railway lies directly behind that with the Westway looming large alongside it. On the corner of Bourne Terrace you can see 264 Saws Ltd and various blocks which no longer exist. They look to be derelict and ready for demolition with people going about their daily lives as usual. Nobody in that scene seems to have noticed the camera.


Here’s another photograph showing Bourne Terrace, only this time one of the blocks has already been demolished. Already a new build has been erected on the left – the familiar flats of the current Warwick Estate. The spire of St Mary Magdalene’s is clearly visible in the background.


Below is the Harrow Road with Bourne Terrace to the right and what appear to be lines set up for trolley buses. They were certainly gone by the time I moved in. The 18 and 36 bus routes were diesel run, ironically less clean than the electric bus option. All these blocks are now gone: the billboards, the shops. My memories of this part of the Harrow Road are not dissimilar to what exists today. To the right is a high rise block, possibly Brinklow House. Further up on the left, past the block of flats, existed the Westminster Council Offices (now an academy) and below that, garages where I housed my first car. To the right there was a Londis, a video shop (the epitome of visual technology at the time) and George’s chip shop. Each business had a residing family that we all knew well. People tended to stick around in the same community for a long time.



Here’s another street which runs parallel to Bourne Terrace. This is Cirencester Street. To the right is the Roman Catholic chapel, Our Lady of Sorrows where I first had confession and had to wrack my 8 year old brain into confessing something inoffensive, like I really didn’t like my breakfast that morning, much to the priest’s amusement. Soon after, I did my First Holy Communion where my friends and I looked rather charming in our white dresses and suits. The chapel itself is quite beautiful inside.


Next to the chapel and above it – although not obvious – is my old primary school Our Lady of Dolours. The school was founded on this site in 1872 having previously been managed by priests of the church of St Mary of the Angels. It’s one of the few schools in London to still have a roof playground. At this point the school had yet to convert the front part opposite its façade into the front playground. I have many fond memories of the old place and I’ll never forget how small it looked when I returned many years later to visit. It must be true for all those who visit their old primary schools. We grow and mature and yet we’re not really sure when and how it all happened.


Here’s the chapel again with the camera facing Desborough Street. The blocks to the right face onto the Harrow Road looking rather shabby and derelict.


Below is a view of Our Lady of Dolours from a higher vantage point. Already the shabby, block opposite has gone and new flats are being built in the surrounding area. The high-rise block under construction is Wilmcote House, the first of six, high- rise blocks in the Warwick and Brindley Estates.


Here’s another high vantage point of view. Our Lady of Dolours and Our Lady of Sorrows sectioned off and Wilmcote House nearing its 20/21 storeys. I lived in Gaydon House, nearest to Royal Oak and possibly the last of the six blocks to be built. Great views over London if you lived on the uppermost floors.


Here’s Wilmcote House from the view point of St Mary Magdalene’s. To the far left is Edward Wilson C.E School. I assume named after the physician and naturalist who died on the ill-fated British Antarctic expedition lead by Captain Robert Scott in 1912. Edward Wilson practiced as a doctor in Paddington in his earlier years.


Edward Wilson School seen from the back possibly from Cirencester Street. The skyline is a little different now with Gaydon House directly opposite the front of the school and the Westway marking a path through the lower horizon towards Edgware Road and Marylebone Road.


St Mary Magdalene’s in the distance with the endless row of houses leading up to it. This gives you an idea as to how little space there was. It was designed by the architect George Edmund Street and it is often described as a ‘long, tall narrow design’ simply because the layout of the former streets gave little room for width. Now, of course, there is a spacious green behind the church with the Grand Union Canal running parallel to it. As children after school lunch, usually a hideous concoction of hard boiled potatoes, spam and simpering vegetables that would probably make Jamie Oliver’s toes curl, we would be taken by dinner ladies to the green to play. We would often dare each other to go up to the church wall, put our hand on it and count to ten – seems perfectly harmless – except we just knew it had to be haunted. To our point of view a gothic behemoth such as that, towering over our small frames was good enough reason to allow for our vivid imaginations to concoct some fantastical cowl covered floating monks to be living there in all their frightening silence. I know now that this is quite impossible. St Mary Magdalene’s was only completed around 1878. No cowled monks in the area at the time as far as I know.


Here is the church again a little closer, from the other side of the canal. I have always admired its red brick walls and unassuming character. It’s not surprising it is often used as a film location. A church ‘completed by degrees’ in the middle of a crowded residential area. Now it stands as the centre piece of the Warwick Estate. If you want more details about the church, Pevsner’s London 3: North West is an interesting read.


The Warwick Crescent development underway; note the leaning lamp-post in stark contrast to the massive crane beyond the corrugated barriers. Out with the old in with the new. It seems a shame that these could not have been restored – as far as street furniture goes these were rather attractive.


The new blocks of flats were going up as soon as the rubble from the old houses was cleared. Presumably, rather than demolish everything in one fell swoop and displacing many residents, it made sense to demolish sections and rebuild, that way you could re-house people in increments and not displace them for too long.


Here is a clearer photograph of the flats under construction. These are what you will find on the Warwick Estate now.



I will conclude my post with this image. Here, the old and the new seem to co-exist in an absurd time warp: old houses new flats. Note the lampposts again! Here we see (what I assume) are residents passing through what appears to be Lord Hill’s Road. It now connects Senior Street with Delamare Terrace. I imagine a mother with her shopping trolley; gentlemen in suits, perhaps finishing work for the day; somebody on a motorbike and a chap looking at the camera on the other side of the road taking an interest in what our photographer is doing. It’s difficult to see unless you expand the image. They all seem to be taking the huge redevelopment in their stride quite literally. I wonder what they thought of it all.



I came to the Warwick Estate as a child in the early 1970s and my first impressions are still relatively clear in my memory: tall high-rise blocks, lots of green spaces to play in, a canal full of sticklebacks and the ever stoic St Mary Magdalene’s at the centre of all the residential flats. Being a new girl on the block what I experienced was the London County Council’s post war answer to social housing. I never realised – now looking back at maps and photographs – just how densely populated the area was with narrow streets. A true Victorian relic. I had never seen what the area looked like before my tenure there so to have looked at these images and given the opportunity to talk about them was a real treat. Some of you reading this may be familiar with these Paddington streets and may even remember how it was before the cranes arrived on the scene. There is so much I’m still learning about my old haunt; for example, I had no idea that the painter, Lucien Freud had a studio in Delamare Terrace and later in Clarenden Crescent. Did you? History always has a way of inviting you to delve further. I would never say I know everything there is to know about my old address because I clearly don’t but I hope to have piqued your interest just a little and that you have enjoyed looking at these photographs as much as I have.


42 responses to “Familiar streets: a Paddington estate

  • Cassie

    Thanks for this really interesting step back in time. I grew up in Gaydon House on the Warwick Estate with one of the authors and it’s fascinating to see what this area looked like before the post-war blocks we see today. As a footnote, the film The Blue Lamp was filmed around this area in the 1950s. There is a scene on Lord Hill’s Road where the camera makes a 360-degree sweep and takes in St Mary Magdalene’s, Clarendon Crescent (now parkland of sorts) and Bourne Terrace.


  • teresastokes

    Another film which was shot all over here was “Never Let Go” (1960) starring Richard Todd, Peter Sellers, Adam Faith, John Le Mesurier, Peter Jones, Mervyn Johns. There is a fascinating website reelstreets.co.uk full of stills from the film, accompanied by modern shots of the same place where possible, but often not possible such as in the long gone Chichester Road and Chichester Place.

  • Che

    I also grew up in gaydon house have lived on warwick since 1988, i love to see old pictures, and know exactly what wall you were referring to that is haunted, that church is a very scary church, i remember the park next to gaydon having a couple of swings and one bit of apparatus, i remember when George lowe court was a scrap heap. This area is incredibly beautiful and always has been it looks like.

  • Ted Marsh

    I Used to live in this area of Paddington before and during the war so I recognise most of the photos shown, it certainly is amazing to see some of the old sights again.I was born at Westbourne Square in1936 which was near most of the streets in this collection of photographs. Westbourne Square connected to the bottom of Lord Hills road, and although it was called a Square it was more triangular in shape with a garden in the centre, the houses were large Five story terraces with basements my family lived in one of those, the garden is still there, but during the war an air raid shelter was built there, and so it was a short run to get there when when the siren went. Westbourne Square was hit by a flying bomb in July 1944 resulting in a large loss of life. If there is anyone else out there that remembered Westbourne Square it would be good to hear from you also there must be a photo of the Square before it got bombed, I have been searching for years for one, this great site is an opportunity to maybe find that elusive photo.

    • Jacqueline Cowling was Dell

      Hi It is good to read your post ..I lived in Westbourne Square in the prefabs that were built on the bomb site. we left when we were rehoused in Watford I was 12 then and I missed my life in Paddington very much.a
      My father was born in Delimere Terrace, where I spent the first 6months of my life and where my grandparents lived,
      Be good to hear from you

      • Ted Marsh

        Hi Jacqueline. It is nice to know that at last l have been in touch with someone who lived in Westbourne Sq, as l have said in my previous post l was born there in 1936 and when the Fly Bomb flattened it in 1944 we were rehoused to Westbourne Park Road. I’m not sure when the prefabs were put up probably around the mid 50s l suppose, it interested me that you lived in the Sq l never went back there much after the war, l went to Senior St School until l was eleven and then on to Amberley rd, and left in 1951 to start earning my keep as they say. You mention Delamere Terrace where your parents lived, strangely so did mine from about 1920/29 with my elders brothers and sister, they lived at No3 so maybe they may have known your family, my mothers name then was Nelly Heal, been searching for a photo of Westbourne Sq pre war for years, alas no one seems to have one it would be nice if you have,thanks for your message, Ted Marsh

      • Jacqueline Cowling was Dell

        Hi Ted, good to read your post yes very sad that there is no photos, I spoke to my Aunt who was Lillian Dell who was born on Delamere terrace and she said she remembers they had to lay out all the bodies on the street when the square got bombed, I will ask her which number she lived on D.T. and ask her if she new your family she is 92 but is all there

  • Jay

    I Grew up in Gaydon house during the 80’s and 90’s and went to Our Lady Of Dolours primary school…..have actually been in awe while reading this article and viewing what Warwick estate used to look like.
    Hearing the story of touching the wall of the haunted Church was astounding as I did the exact same thing and to know that the author went to the same school and lived in the same block as me is just made it all the more cool!
    Brought back some amazing memories…George’s chippie and the video store! #Nostalgic…..thanks!

  • Marion Rice

    I have lived in the area all my life.My grandmother came Paddington after the war with her two children.They had to leave Cork (rep of lreland)to join my grandfather who had been wounded in ww2.Four generationso have now lived in the area.I would like to be able to show my children and grandchildren what the areas was like.They will then understand their root’s andshow them the community that existed then.

    • Jacqui r

      Hi Marion, was just checking out old photos of Paddington and saw your comments. My husband’s family (Harts)also moved from Cork to London. They lived at 6Desborough street in 1939. They also lived lat 422 Harrow Road in the 50’s. we believe it was a fishmongers shop. Not sure if it was theirs or they just lived above it. Their children would have gone to Our Lady of Delours primary school Thomas and Bridget. Do you recognise the names? Kind regards Jacqui Ryan

  • Tony Gray

    From the late 40’s to 1958, I lived at 35 Lord Hills Road. The Tuck shop and laundry were opposite. A few doors to the left was a newsagent (Tessa was the daughter) next door was a drapers shop (wool, knitting needles) a few more doors further was Ossie the oil shop, he drove an Austin. On the other corner of Senior St. there was a shop were you get a 2d loose(fags) then another laundry. Opposite the newsagent was Delamare Cresent on one corner the Old England pub the over corner Dr. Lewis, he drove a green Jaguar. Under Lords Hill canal bridge on the W9 side was Scotties. rag and bone shop. Matthew Hall factory was in Amberely Rd. To the right of 35 was another rag and bone man, he drove a Standard Vanguard. On the corner of Bourne Terrace was an off licence, on the far corner was Jones the dairy. On the corner of Harrow road and LHR was a club we named the Tin Hut, table tennis, etc. When you turned left into Bourne Terrace from LHR, with your back to the canal. It was known as the Square, there was about 30 Prefabs. To the right after Jones dairy, there was Cressies the green grocers, a toy shop on the next corner. There was a chemist and boot repair shop opposite the green grocers. Philip Terrace was after the boot shop there was an entrance to Edward Wilson my old school. There was a bakers on the Bourne Terrace end and an off licence on the Senior St. end, which sold peace pudding and faggots. Top end of Bourne Terrace, Torquay St. was Copydex glue co. left into HR was Mosses fish and chip shop further up was Kings, toys paper, etc. Just round the corner was a chewing gum factory. Also went to Mary Mags and was in 122 life boys in the Baptist church hall,over by Royal Oak.

    • Cathy Heap

      Amazing detail, we moved into Oldbury House on the main Harrow Road in 1963. When we moved in the Pub with the off licence was called the Oliver Arms. I am really pleased that you remember Kings chip shop, nobody I know that was brought up there can remember it at all. You could get a penny of crackling along with anything else you wanted and all wrapped in newspaper. 4 out of 5 of us children in the family went to Edward Wilson but my little brother for some reason went to St. Mary Mags. Oldbury House was above the shops on the Harrow Road with Torquay Street across the other side of the road behind more shops (but those shops were not part of the Warwick Estate. In the shops underneath our maisonettes was DER television shop, The Post Office which was heaven for us kids as it seemed like behind the counter on the wall there hundreds of big jars of sweets, then all the loose sweets that you could buy your sixpence mix up sweets. There was Billy Lodge the fruit and veg shop who had an after school and Saturday boy called Tommy Bloomfield. Their was a butchers which Mum sent me to under instruction to ask for 1lb of Best Mince so that people didn’t know we were poor!!! We were no poorer than anyone else I don’t think but my Mum had her standards to keep up.
      Across the road was a shop that opened with only big chest freezers (not that I knew they were chest freezers then). Even for mum and other neighbours they were mesmerised by everything being frozen, she was particularly impressed with frozen peas!!!
      Whether this is relevant I don’t know but it was known as The Birds Eye shop. I can only assume that it had a sign above the shop front with that name on it.
      Lastly good old Dr A A Lewis with his bow ties on every day. We had originally lived at 242 Harrow Road, which was virtually the new site for the Stowe Boys Club. When we lived there Dr Lewis had a Surgery on the Harrow Road, it was on a corner and if my memory serves me correctly it was somewhere before Torquay Street an the canal. If he was needed on a home visit that’s before we moved, he used charge 2/6d to come out. I don’t think that carried on after he got his lovely new surgery on the Warwick Estate.
      Truly enjoyed your memories, so thanks for sharing 😌

      • Eddie B

        I remember parts of this area undergoing demolition and construction, playing in the derelict houses of Clarenden Crescent the ones on the canal side, I saw every tower block built, the 21’s we called them, all having 21 floors, and played on the building sites. Site security was non-existent and we used get in and sit on the dumper trucks etc, one time they had the police out warning kids in the area not to play with the nail-gun cartridges that had been taken and there was us with hammers merrily setting them off. When Brinklow house was being built they had left a long rope hanging from about 5 floors up and can remember swinging in a huge arc around the corner of the building. If my parents knew they would have had a fit. We never saw danger then in fact found it great fun, probably why the adventure playground on Senior street which soon opened was popular. I remember it very well and spent a lot of time with other kids there. One particular memory is of one firework night, they had a huge bonfire built in there and someone had poured petrol on to get it going, but far too much, so that when it was lit there was a big explosion, blowing the kid who had the matches back 10 feet, burning his hair and eyebrows off. Donald was his name, brothers Dave and Steve, they lived over St Stephens Gardens area over the foot bridge, at the end of Torquay street, I remember you Cathy, I think you also had a sister Susan who was about my age possibly younger. I do remember Lodges and Tommy Bloomfield although my brothers knew him better, as they were older. I had three who all used to go around there as well. I remember the shops mentioned also the little shoe shop around the corner past the Oliver on Bourne terrace, I think there was a little hairdressers as well. Some of the other family names I recall around this area were The Timoneys, Halligans Liz & Frank Buckley, Kate Carberry, Dennis, Christine and Tony Kavanagh, Tony Peverall, The Delaneys and Hastings. Shaylers, Newnhams, Colin Handel, Charlie Daly, Jimmy Lowe, Richard Bennet, Peter Sculley, Micky Nagel, Pete McCabe, Jimmmy Docherty, Janet Coombs, Tweet and Cheryl. Not all the names lived in the area but used to go around there. There was also a younger kid they called Handbrake who could occasionally be seen whizzing his way around the streets with his imaginary handbrake and steering wheel.

        We moved away in the early 70’s after my dad died, but still kept in touch with the area, and later on when drinking became a common past time we would sometimes visit The Oliver, The Gondolier, The Saxon, and sometimes on a weekend, Fangs below the hotel at Paddington Station. All now long gone. I hope these thoughts bring back some memories.

      • Joe

        Hi Cathy,
        I remember all those shops well and the fish shop in particular. The crackling was the best especially after having been swimming down at Porchester Baths. I also worked at Lodges the grocers as a Saturday boy for a while and remember having to carry sacks of potatoes up from the storeroom which was downstairs. We rented our TV’s from the DER shop for years and hardly had any problems with them. The Post Office was always the first port of call after school at Dolours. As well as the sweets they had a great selection of comics and toys. .We lived around the corner in Senior and would often play footbali in the lane behind Oldbury House where the garages were.


    • Jacqueline Cowling was Dell

      Hi there I lived in those prefabs till I was 12 and went to Edward Wilson school from 1949 to 1959 lovely to read your post and remember all the shops

      • Tony Gray

        Hi Jacqueline,
        The three schools and Mary Mags, are all that remains of that era. Mary Mags, have obtained a grant to refurbish St Mary Magdalene Church and to build a new Heritage and Learning Centre next door, with a cafe. They are looking for people with stories of their history in area. Lucy foster is the contact on their website. The church has murals on the ceiling, which are to cleaned as part of the works.


      We lived in Lord Hills Rd [could have been No15] from 1956 to 1963. When they finished building the flats in Bourne Terrace [where the prefabs used to be] we simply moved across the road. I vividly remember playing football and cricket in the street and if a car had the temerity to drive down there we’d grudgingly move our goalpost or wickets to allow them to pass. Ah, those halcyon days of playing on bomb-sites, swimming in Porchester Baths [and going chlorine blind], cycling up to and around the Rec or bunking in the Bughole. There was a fabulous shop halfway up Lord Hills Road which sold mops etc and had a wood burning stove which I liked to huddle around. Was it Matthews who had the dairy in Bourne Terrace and their son delivered milk on a pull-along float?

  • Sue Spendlove

    Hi also lived in the area as a child. Mum and dad were born in North Paddington and came to Warwick est from Harrow Road mid 60,s. Lived on Warwick Crescent and loved it. Lots of friends and a good community. Little Venice which I could see very morning out of my bedroom window. 64 Warwick Crs. I remember names such as Gary Peveral, Steve Cole, Steve Lowin and the girls were Alice Ossawy, myself Sue Howe and Jane Wynn. Loved looking at the old photos, reminding me of my time in Paddington and shopping on the Harrow Road in the early 1960’s with my mum on a Saturday morning. I went to Sarah Siddon’s School not so good experience walked along the Westway each day to get there.

    There also used to be a Cinema on the Harrow Road and my granddad I believe worked as a projectionist at one time. This is the cinema which was in the film the Blue Lamp. Anyway its been fun reminiscing.

    • Peter Hewlett

      Hi maureen, I went to Holy Trinity school in the early fiftys, head master a Mr Annge a Mr Soper, Miss Clements, Mrs King. And a tall skinny teacher, who I can’t remember the name of. A little shortarse Taffy the caretaker, with an liking for the young ladies!!!!!!!

  • maureen fallows

    love reminiscing I remember the chewing gum factory was next to the salvation army in cirescester street of the harrow rd used to go to Edward Wilson school then to holy trinity near royal oak old church school gone now remember sarah Siddons school being built I thought that school was posh what you think when you are young I wonder if jane wynn could have been my cousin I am Maureen wynn.

  • Nick Irish

    What a fabulous series of posts from Dave and Isabel.I have lived in the area for 25 years (Gloucester Terrace, Talbot Road, Clarendon Gardens, Sutherland Avenue, and now Randolph (previously Portsdown) Avenue) so it’s a real treat to see and hear some of its history.
    Many thanks to you all.

  • Elaine Alexandrou

    I was lived in Paddington most of my young life at 26 Warwick Crescent. What a lovely area. I have such happy memories of living there. Lovely neighbors. My parents, Lou and Leslie Hill, moved away in 1996. Whenever I visit the area I think of all the good times we shared in Warwick Crescent. Unfortunately mum and dad have passed away. We have a bench dedicated to mum and dad at Little Venice gardens.

  • Moquette

    Fascinating stuff! Oddly another film was located in this area – “The Boys” in 1962 with scenes of the redevelopment under way. The National Library of Scotland map site shows the area well.


    Very nostalgic looking at these photos where I grew up. We lived in the basement at 32 Delamere Terrace opposite the canal. I was born in 1947 and went to Edward Wilson school, later Essendine. Due to what was termed the slum clearance, we had to move in 1959. Yes, Lucien Freud did live further down the street. I remember all the filming that took place in these streets and have many autographs…David McCallum. Jill Ireland. Jeffery Hunter, Stanley Baker and many more. They were happy days for me playing in the bombed buildings and streets. I also used to go to the Salvation Army as a kiddie, they had lots going on. Oh well !m

    • Jacqueline Cowling was Dell

      Amazing Margarate I was born in 1946 went to same shool as you E.W. and also used to go to the sunday school, I remember the teacher had budgies so we used to collect grass seed for her to give them, Do you remember Mr.Stride the head master at E.W. and my one teacher I remember who scared me was miss Brick

      • MARGARET

        Yes a coincidence Jacqueline. I remember Mr Stride the HM, and I think the other teacher you mentioned was a Miss Warbrick. Also a Mr Dupre (it was said as Doopray), a Mrs MacIlheny. I remember the junior girls playground on the roof. It was great. Where did you live by the way ?

    • Sandy Orr

      Jacqueline Cowling was Dell / Margaret (?) – I am researching my mum’s family right now and came across your response to Ted Marsh while looking for a shot of Cirencester Street (No. 55 where I have my Great Grandparents Robert and Flossie Vidgen living in 1933), as my mums whole family also comes from that area, she went to Edward Wilson between 1951 to about 1957 so you might even know her or her sister Susan Broxup nee Vidgen (who still lives on Shirland Road).

      We were trying to work out how you could see Edward Wilson School from Cirencester Street When I read your response to Ted out to my mum (Janice Vidgen) you mentioned Lillian Dell who my mum remembers as being friends with her mum & dad – Vera and Bobby Vidgen, she was so pleased to hear she’s still around. Please give Lily all our best from Janice Lello nee Vidgen and family in Canada 🙂 Sadly my grandparents are now gone, and the only one of my granddads sisters/brothers left is my Great Aunt Flossie Vidgen who she may remember, and who still lives in the area.

      Just a note, my mum had to be moved on as a toddler by Jimmy Handley when they wanted to film a scene of the Blue Lamp , she wouldn’t be moved and had to be bribed with an ice Cream lol,

      We wondered what Margaret’s (comment above) name was back then as you were all about the same age and your memories are similar to hers.
      My mum also remembers those teachers from E.W. and distinctly that Mrs MacIlheny walked with a cane. Dr Lewis was her family doctor too. My mum and I used to live on the Harrow Road above Carpenters Jewelers in the early 70’s (Mr Carpenter was lovely man & I used to watch him work for hours through a hole in the stairs above his workshop) this was next to the Fish and Chip shop,

      • MARGARET

        Hi, sorry for the delay. I believe that I corresponded with your mum Janice Vidgen on Friends Reunited, but that has now gone. My surname was Errol. Some of my friends at EW were Jennifer Burton whose mum and dad George and May Burton had the corner shop on Senior Street at the Lord Hills Road end. Linda Reid from Clarendon Crescent, Janet Oliver from Delamere Terrace also Vera and Jimmy Smith. Rosemary Barnstaple (married and living in Germany), Terry Housego (I am still in touch with) Keith Goss, Christine Doyle, Beatrice O’Donnell, the Corrigans who lived next door, and so on. Dr Lewis was also our doctor.

  • Ndinos Kyriacou

    This is a fabulous historical resource. I moved into 88 Gaydon House as a young child when it was completed in 1964, we lived there until 1984. I have many early memories of the Westway flyover being constructed, concrete sections were manufactured in the area in front of Gaydon House, now a green space. Another film worth mentioning is Secret Ceremony (1968) starring Elizabeth Taylor which has a scene (about 2 minutes in) shot on Lord Hills Road with Mary Magdalene’s in the background.

    • Cathy Heap

      I remember watching some of the filming at Mary Mags as we used to call it. The film was Rosemary’s Baby with Liz Taylor and Mia Farrow. Mia Farrow was very friendly but Liz Taylor was stuck up and had a really mean side to us kids.
      The other film I remember watching some of the filming was filmed under the westway, whilst still under construction a little further along, was The Spy Who Came In From The Cold starring Richard Burton. He unfortunately was very much like Liz Taylor, so it’s quite understandable why they married and divorced so often.
      Still it exciting to watch.

  • Nadine Nylander

    your blog/website page is really useful – i’ve already found some interesting background material for a project i’ve recently started – the st mary magdalene development project as a heritage pioneer (so i’ll be checking in again to get more research data…many thanks

  • Jacqueline Cowling was Dell

    can anyone tell how I can contact Lucy Foster Please

  • Cathy Heap

    Wow, what a small world we live in, after finding out through my brother Alan that you had left a reply for me I was amazed, I definitely wasn’t expecting that. Anyway I must not digress, so my brothers names are Russell, Alan and Terry. I was wondering what year you were born in, as Donald must have been born around 1956 ish and your memories of him and where he lived were spot on. I married Dave Cobb, so Donald became my brother in law. I also remember the night of the bonfire it was the night of Dad’s £5 rocket, it was John the manager of the adventure playground that pored on the petrol. Donald was so lucky that night as he could have been a serious burns victim but as you said he was bright red for a while, but as kids do we just saw the funny side of his badly singed hair and NO EYEBROWS…. I remember it as really, really funny at the time, but hey!!! We were just kids, everything was a laugh and an adventure. I remember a load of us climbing onto the canal bank at the side of the old Colloseum which is in the film The Blue Lamp, where Tesse O’Shae was playing. It was all closed down by then and we made a sort of human chain to get into a broken window at the side, when we got in there it looked like a palace all red velvet and and gold, what an adventure that was. My little brother Terry must have been about 3-4 and he was part of the human chain everyone just passed him up to the next person by his arm, luckily he doesn’t remember that. He does however the bonfire and his memory of that night was eating the blackened jacket potatoes that were placed around the edges. I truly think it was a great childhood to have, oblivious to the fact that a lot of the bomb sites were linked to the war. I know that kids today will never experience that amount of freedom to explore things that we got to, oh!!! what a good job our parents didn’t know. Look forward to hearing if any of this rings any bells, Alan and Davy Cobb wondered if you played football at Edward Wilson. Thanks very much for your reply it opened up quite a few memories for us all. We are however puzzled by the ‘B’..
    It would be nice to share more memories with anyone that remembers any of these things.

    • Eddie B

      Cathy, The reason for the “B” is just to add a bit of intrigue 🙂 I thought you might have worked it out anyway after reading a post left by my brother at Dreams of the Westway 3:The view from the high rise article, on this site. I didn’t want to steal his thunder.
      I was born in early 57 with a 4 year gap between myself and three older brothers, John Rob and Bill who each had roughly a year between them. I was quite often associating with kids older than myself because of this. Donald (I can still see the half chipped front tooth and cropped hair) was older than me, I thought he was nearer to Bills age, who was born in 53 but was more friendly with Rob and John. I particularly remember them fishing on the canal opposite the hospital around 68-69 with him singing “Ride your Donkey” a reggae song from around this time, adding a few of his own lyrics as well. I wonder if Dave remembers? My Brother John remembers him and your brother and yes, he and Rob did play football in Edward Wilsons. I can also remember both you and Dave together in the adventure playground and of one time you having a baby with you, must have been Terry I guess. John was the manager there, also another helper called Ian that played guitar, long hair a bit hippified and not as authorative as John. We gave John a small snooker table but I think he eventually destroyed it for attracting “undesirables” in the small rooms below the nursery. I associate a lot of the music played to death in there with incidents of the time, and even now when I hear The Foundations songs of that period, I remember Paddington.The Colloseum I remember well, as it was along the Harrow road from us, and at the back of our flat was the actual screen and seating hall, but this part had been converted to an engineering factory (Mathew Hall), the front was still there but boarded up with the statues above the door remaining for quite a while. To get to that window I think you would have had to get onto the hospital canal bank and walk under the bridge where there was just a small piece of bank where the window was, after that there was nothing as it was the LEB. The bomb-sites you mention were not war related but areas that had been demolished for the building of Warwick estate and the Westway, although I also refer to them the same way and loved these type of places to explore. To think we would be out of the house all day returning early evening, and I laugh at the thought that a game of Runouts would cover vast areas and time. Your recollections of films made in the vicinity also reminds me of one particular area around Brindley and Alfred roads, which by this time were under demolition, and can remember this as a location for a military film, but unable to recall the name now, maybe it was the film you mention.I agree with you on having the amount of freedom in childhood and some might even describe us as feral, but don’t think my children although now adults, would neccessarilly have benefited from some of the experiences I had as a child, but will say it was part of our development, not neccesarily better or worse than now, just a different world and values .It must be evident by writing this, that I too enjoyed my early days there. It is ironic that after all those years ago of living there, I still find myself passing daily on my motorbike either on the Harrow Road or on the Westway and Paddington Slip with all the the other lemmings hurtling into town, this makes the images of their construction on the Westway article particularly interesting as we witnessed the changes taking place.
      Good memories, thanks for sharing, As you say, if these mpressions provoke thoughts with others please share.

      • Joe

        Hi Eddie,

        Fantastic story and pictures and thanks very much for putting it together.
        We originally lived in Delamere Terrace and were one of the first families to move onto the new Warwick Estate in 1962 when the two blocks of flats, that back onto Our Lady of Dolours, were erected in Senior St.
        We all went to Dolours and also spent some time in Edward Wilson when the new floor at Dolours was being added above the church.
        It was a great area to grow up in especially being so close to the West End, Hyde Park for the concerts etc and Queensway with its Ice Skating Rink, Whiteleys and the pubs and take aways..
        I remember that when the “skyscrapers” were first being built we were all amazed that anyone would be able to live in them.
        We lived right opposite the adventure playground in Senior St and had some great times in there especially on the pulley which seemed massive when we were young. I remember vividly the night of the Bonfire explosion as it rocked the whole block of flats and we were surprised the windows hadn’t blown in it was that loud.
        Beauchamp Lodge and the The Stowe Club were also great places to hang out. I learnt to canoe at the lodge although practicing rollovers in the canal water was not the most pleasurable thing to do as it was very murky back then with all sorts of rubbish in it. Also used to fish on the canal and remember catching Roach, Perch and loads of small Gudgeon.
        The annual Boat Show at Little Venice was another highlight as were trips on Jason’s canal boat up to Camden Lock or the Zoo. There were were also the funfairs that used to set up on the green opposite Royal Oak station.
        I remember the making of the film around Brindley and Alfred Roads and think it was about a German Stalag camp as there was a big fence erected with barbed wire on it but I’m not sure of the name.
        Thanks again for all the great memories.


      • MARGARET

        Hi Joe, I too lived in Delamere Terrace, No. 32 which was near to Lord Hills Road. We moved out in 1959 when all the houses were being emptied and boarded up. I remember all the places you mention and playing in the bombed out buildings. Happy times!

  • Tony Gray

    1960 Film ‘Never Let go’ on SKY343 Peter Sellers and Richard Todd. I saw Adam Faith, on motorbike, filmed corner of Chichester Place and Kinnaird Street, Harrow Road between Red Lion Pub and LHR .

  • Peter Hewlett

    Hi all, I lived in Bourne Terrace, from 38 until early 50. I went to senior street school, then onto amberly road school for a short while, it seemed to full of thugs, and that was the teacher’s
    I got myself transferred to Holy Trinity school, much better, The only twat there was a Mr Frost, I invited him to meet me in the ring on a Wednesday morning, he never took me up on the invite. But he kept his fists to himself after that! I remember Dr Lewis, and paying two and six for a consultation.I saw a picture, which looked very much like an old school mate, Tommy Hill. He lived in hasbrough St. A lot of the info on here is after my time there, No demolition had taken place in my time.Getting a bit tired as its getting late.Jacqueline your tiles are still awaiting your collection, Pete.

  • Mike Larkin

    Hi, I used to travel by bus (1.5d fare) or sometimes walk to Our Lady of Dolours school from Westbourne Terrace starting about 1957. I always remember the playground on the roof, and balls going flying despite the fencing. Looking down from the roof towards harrow road, you could see there was a yard where a ‘rag and bone man’ had his horse and cart. Also just along the harrow road was a place that supplied blocks of ice – for what I am not sure. There was a horse trough near the old Paddington General hospital which I got pushed into and soaked after school one day.

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