We’ve had a few visits to the King’s Road in recent months. No sooner had I introduced you to the work of Bill Figg than my old friend CC came along with some equally interesting (and technically superior) pictures. I initially divided CC’s pictures into people and shopfronts, but the photos she has recently allowed me to scan are a mixture of the two, and best of all, there are several posts’ worth, so you can expect to see more of them over the coming weeks. To anyone who asks the question: Dave, aren’t you tired of the King’s Road? My answer is always: No, you can never have too many pictures of that ever changing thoroughfare, and those of us who live nearby will probably never tire of it.
As I’ve been examining then, I’ve seen pictures of individuals, and locations. This post has some of both, and this one which combines the two.
The lightly clad gentleman and his snake (it is a snake isn’t it?) are standing in the old Sainsburys / Boots area (with its now identified sculpture, thanks to a knowledgeable reader ) which at one time I had no pictures of, but now there are several.
Here it sneaks into another picture.
You can just see the edge of the sculpture.
At the other end of the street, a view of the former police station on the corner of Milmans Street.
One the left, obscured by scaffolding a shop called 20th Century Box.
After the Police had moved on the building ended its days as a community centre, and finally a boarded up shell, replaced in the 1990s by a new building. (Some pictures in this post)
We’ve passed this spot before.
Now, of course, a survivor at the edge of a new development.
Some buildings survive though the shops in them change.
Lord John, at number 72.
Then closing down.
Some people are there for a short while
And then move on.
Some messages are more long lasting, and the same point is still being made.
I don’t remember this shop, but thanks to failing light bulbs I won’t forget ot.
Continuing the night time theme, a view of one of CC’s regular stops.
One more theme to come is looking above the shopfronts at what can be seen above, something I’ve always wanted to do in other Kensington and Chelsea streets.
Here you see a now obliterated ghost sign.
Close up. The wall above Sweaty Betty is now a uniform white.
Finally, a couple hanging around by the entrance to Boy.
Nice shorts, sir.
More of the same in a future post.
I should perhaps have anticipated this series with a more coherent title from the start, but we’ll see how we go.
All this week’s images are copyright by CC who for the moment prefers to remain anonymous, although some of you may know her. Lavish thanks to her once again.
May 18th, 2018 at 6:27 am
I am really hoping you turn up a picture of the boutique “Top Gear” at 134 King’s Road on the corner of Bywater Street, now occupied by a branch of Paul patisserie. I knew the owner, the model Pat Booth, very well. She later became a best selling author.
May 18th, 2018 at 3:20 pm
Wasn’t; the original Top Gear next to a shop called Countdown on the other side of King’s Road, further down and in the block where Antiquarius was housed (building still there and now houses Anthropologie). I have a book called Boutique London, a history of King’s Road to Carnaby Street, by Richard Lester, and it has an entry on both shops. It lists the shop numbers as 135a and 137. Indeed both owned by Pat Booth and James Wedge.
There is a photo of Top Gear but it’s not too good, just the blind with the name on, and you can see next to it one of the pretty little oval bits of tiling on the front of Antiquarius. Countdown doesn’t get a picture in the same piece. Unfortunately the book doesn’t list credits for individual photos, only corporate acknowledgements. The people in the photo of TG are more interesting.
I may have a better shot of it among my collection and if I find it Dave might scan it.
The two shops were always referred to in one breath!
Chris aka CC
June 23rd, 2018 at 10:06 am
Dear Chris, sorry I just spotted your reply rather late as I forgot to tick the box to notify me of new comments. I can’t remember where I got my information from but it is clearly wrong and you are quite right (unless the shop moved at one point which I doubt).
January 5th, 2020 at 10:45 am
I’ve been trying to find photographs (thank you!) of the King’s Walk Centre sculpture for decades – but the title and artist remains a mystery to which you tantalizingly allude! Please put me out of my misery?
Great pictures by the way, brings it all back!
January 5th, 2020 at 6:06 pm
Have a look at the comments section for this post:https://rbkclocalstudies.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/figgs-then-and-now-continued/
And as this is a full service blog then go here: https://miltonkeynesredwayrambles.blogspot.com/2014/12/city-centre-western-scenic-art-trail.html
Consider yorself out of misery. Thanksfor your comment.
January 5th, 2020 at 6:50 pm
Dave – I’m thrilled. I am going to go to Milton Keynes and ask if they will part with it. Thanks a million! Saskia
Fired from my iPhone
July 24th, 2022 at 11:45 am
I am hoping to find out where ‘Le Gourmet’ restaurant was situated. I know it was on King’s Road and ate there often in the late 7os, but cannot find anything about it online.