It’s always good on a cold winter’s day to remind yourself of the pleasures of city life in the summer. If it’s a more innocent age so much the better. These pictures go back to the 1950s and were taken in Knightsbridge, on or around the Brompton Road, a busy street which had wide pavements with pleasant mews streets running off it.
A street with a passing 2CV trundling along, dogs walking, women strolling, men sitting in benches, on eof them smoking a pipe. And, Erik’s ladies hairdresser, one of the many small businesses.
I’ve taken advice on the two buses, by way of dating the pictures, assuming they were taken the same day. Between the 14 above and the 9 below my transport correspondent got it down to a date between 1952 and 1958, which looks about right in terms of what people were wearing.
Oh, and it’s apparently a Sunday. The 9 ran further on Sundays as many buses used to, and this one is ging all the way to Becontree Heath. (It ran out of the Barking Garage)
The gentleman with the newspaper looking back at the Roller. Is a notable person about to emerge?
This sort of chair stringing activity used to be seen quite a lot, even up to relatively modern times. It’s a bit of street theatre in some ways. It has certainly captured the attention of the boy with the almost finished ice lolly.
More leisurely work activity below, in a nearby mews.
Are the two young women making miniature trees? Something like that, with a non-working friend sitting nearby. Check out all the chalk messages on the wall. 1950s graffitti? One of them appears to read “Cymru am byth” – “Wales forever” of course.
Nearby perhaps , in Brompton Square I think, some more light work as a man waters hanging plants, assisted by a lady and watched by a couple of poodles.
And as it might be a Sunday, the best leisure activity of all, just hanging out in the park. Did they hang out in those days?
The photos were taken by a photographer named Mark Hamilton. Our thanks to him and whoever gave them to the Library.
Miscelleany: what a way to earn a living
While we’re in Knightsbridge I have another snippet for you. I came across this Harrods Christmas catalogue last year in a filing cabinet containing some quite dull ephemera, along with with a few interesting items. The nice people at Harrods thought it might be a good idea to persuade this young lady to put on a silly costume.
As we sometimes do at Christmas. But how did they persuade her?
Perhaps it was a fun afternoon out. If you know who she is, please get in touch.
More tomorrow I hope.