Latimer Road 1971: life in colour

As promised in the last post featuring photographs by Bernard Selwyn this week there are some colour pictures. I frequently feature monochrome images of this period on the blog, which sit in the space between living memory and the historical past. The overall effect is of  anchoring those places in the past, especially if you’re looking at streets or buildings which no longer exist.

Colour prints, especially those which have survived the years with their colour tone intact have the opposite effect, making those same places look modern, as if you just looked through a car window speeding past. Even if the cars and buildings are distinctively from another era you still feel closer to them.

Selwyn has a number of these colour prints, tiny by modern standards which capture that feeling of nearly being back there.

col 01 - 02 27 jul 1971

This is Latimer Road in 1971 looking north. The brick building with the vans parked in front of it is M-Gold & Co, the scrap metal merchants, at number 119. The other interesting features are the two-tone Triumph Herald, the dilapidated house whose first floor windows are covered by a billboard announcing the nearby location of the Fidelity Radio works (Selwyn took a special interest in that building). And of course, the rag and bone man’s horse taking some well-earned refreshment in the right foreground.

col set 01

The edge of the M Gold building, on the corner of Evesham Street. A Rover saloon is parked there, a classic managing director’s car. But what’s that on the next corner?

col 07 27 jul 1971

A two tone pick up truck, quite a large vehicle. American? That estate car in front of it looks interesting too. Can any of our regular car identifiers name them?

Let’s move on to that red sign.

col 08 27 jul 1971 - Copy

The Ament Engineering Company, sheet metal workers and engineers of 131 Latimer Road. That extended section of pavement can be seen on the map of 1971 below,near the bottom.

1971 OS map Bard Street detail - Copy

This is a slightly different detail from the one I used in a previous post.It shows a little more of the area north of the railway bridge. It also shows Frinstead House, the vantage point from where Selwyn took some of his pictures.

col looking south from FH 22 jun 1971 8

I’ve also used this picture before but it does help locate the ground level photos in relation to each other. If you look closely you can see the M Gold building and the white fronted buildings north of Evesham Street. The next intersection is Bard Road with the long narrow building on the corner.

col set 01 - Copy (3)

The Flexaire Ltd section of the Ament Company.

The view north towards the bridge:

col set 01 - Copy (5)

A closer look at that corner.

col set 01 - Copy

Do you see that boy sitting on the pavement at the corner? Where did he come from?

Let’s go back up into Frinstead House.

col 04 27 jul 1971 - Copy

We’re looking down at The Patent Steam Carpet Beating Company, just north of the bridge. (I’ve used this image before as well but it does fit with this week’s journey.) Let’s sneak a peak at their rear yard.

col set 01 - Copy (2)

Just a little untidy.

And here’s the building at ground level:

col set 02 - Copy (2)

There’s another one of those managers’ cars, a Rover 3.5. It looks like the so called coupe version, which unlike most coupes had four doors. They were distingushed by a slightly more sloping rear window. Or so my friend Steve told me back in the 70s.

The building which looks a little like a church beyond the works building was I think the home of the Harrow Club, one of two youth clubs in the area run by public schools. (The other was the Rugby Club in Walmer Road.)

We’re going no further north this time but there are a couple more pictures to see.

col set 02 - Copy (3)

This is Olaf Street, which came off Latimer Road south of Evesham Street almost opposite Mortimer Square. The building on the corner is the People’s Hall and has since been restored.

This is further down Olaf Street. This section is much changed nowadays.

col set 01 - Copy (4)

You can see a sign for Dein Brothers (Food importers) Ltd, and some signs of life.

Finally:

col set 02 - Copy

We’re back almost where we started, with a design classic and some colourful houses, at the beginning of what would be a colourful decade.

Postscript

There are some more colour pictures by Selwyn in our collection, further north, and even further west, although they may be outside my usual borders. Expect to see some more of them in the future.


5 responses to “Latimer Road 1971: life in colour

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