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.


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.


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.

12 responses to “Latimer Road 1971: life in colour

  • katie kofemug

    truck might be a Dodge D100

  • william

    The car between the pick up and the Mini looks like a Standard Ten Companion

  • Bob Kirkham

    The first photo with the Triumph Herald also shows the spot out side the White House where Billy Smith was shot dead around 1960/1. His relatives lived in that house.
    Further down the photos, yes that is the Harrow Mission building that to this day is home to the Harrow Club. I was a member in the late 50/60 s and at that time the entrance was in Bard Rd behind the Mission building .
    I visited the club a couple of years ago and received a very warm welcome as will any old members I am sure. They have a good collection of old photos of the club.
    Great photos Dave and much appreciated.

    Bob Kirkham

  • bruce cooper

    bloody lovely 🙂

  • John white

    My father works in the place here Deion bros sign is now.i believe the other buildings are no

  • Marian Cleary

    Such a walk through the places of my childhood.My first boutique ‘Peggs and Dolls’. Where my mum got the carpet cleaned at the “Patent’. Fitzy’s where we went for sweets. Treadgold St where I went to school at St. Francis Infants (Catholic school).Thank you so much.So much i’d forgotten and yet remembered instantly with the photographs.

  • Dave Morgan

    I believe the building on the corner of Olaf Street was occupied in 64/65 by Tella Photography and just further along was Fidelity radio??

  • Dave Morgan

    Also i remember a cafe not far away and a tobacconist too, no more than a few minutes walk

  • John Hunt

    I left Glasgow at 16 worked in the electroplating works, then the laundry, finally the garage under the railway arches body work on taxis all on Latimer rd. I cannot remember the names.I would welcome any info. I am now 72 .Jobs were so easy to get then. best regards John.

  • Diana Dickson

    I came across your blog after ‘googling’ 117 Latimer Road. My grandfather’s family lived here and I wanted to see where my dad spent a few years living here before moving to Scotland. The last census entry for the family connection is in 1953 when I think my Grandfather Frederick G Starr died? I am actively working on my family tree and trying to find some London ancestors and hopefully some living relatives. If anybody knows this area from the 50’s I would love to hear what it was like then.
    Thank you 🙂

  • teresastokes

    One of my favourite bands the Cool Notes filmed the music video for their 1985 song “In Your Car” at a car breaker’s yard off Latimer Road and I think this could be M Gold. The area was beside the flyover and stretched right under it:

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