Christmas Days – up on the roof

This is the first in my regular series of short posts for Christmas. If all goes to plan, there will be three more this week and one on Christmas Eve. Usually, the subject matter is small and/or quirky. As it is today.

Inevitably I suppose I found these five pictures while looking for something else, and equally inevitably they related to a subject I’d already covered here only recently, the Council Depot in Warwick Road. (You always find new stuff after the post is published) So although they’re not particularly seasonal, they’ve ended up here.

They’re interesting for a number of reasons. The date is July 1957.  Mr D S Hooper and Miss W.M. Parfitt  (identified in formal mode on the back of one of thephotos) have made their way to the roof of number 161 Warwick Road to take a small set of pictures. quite why, I can’t say, except perhaps that it was a pleasant spot to be on a summer’s day.

Here, they look south.



The distant parts of Warwick Road look familiar, but at the cross roads with Cromwell Road everything has changed, even the width of the road. The current dual carriageway with traffic islands and lights is shown here as a perfectly ordinary street corner with a pub and a branch of Barclays.



The same two buses are shown moments before on the other side of the lights. A third one is about to turn right. The BEA logo is visible.

My transport correspondent tells me this: the buses are AEG Regal 4s in airport livery. You can see some more of them in this post about the West London Air Terminal (third picture).




The third picture shows us some chimney pots, all sitting on top of some fairly irregular brick chimneys. You can see a BOAC billboard, and of course the roof of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre



I imagine the two of them sitting on another dusty slate roof. Did they linger for a while, enjoying the comparative calm, chatting about the view, or were these pictures just a few momentary snaps? Did Mr Hooper or Miss Parfitt stand there impatiently while the other one took a few unnecessary pictures? This was the money shot.




Facing north with a clear view of the Warwick Cafe, the old piano factory, now owned by the Royal Borough of Kensington and used as part of its Depot. The Warwick Arms is on the far left. Fancy a snack?


Monkeys recommend

This year’s special feature for Christmas are books which have enjoyed some popularity in the in the soft toy community. (I have helped with recommendations) Today’s book is chosen by Bill and Lucy (with the seal of approval from their friend Little Cthulhu).



Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff is set in 1950s America where Atticus Turner returns from service in the War to find his father missing, possibly as a result of conducting research for the publication his uncle edits, the Safe Negro Travel Guide, which lists hotels and eating places where people of colour are welcome in 1950s America. (Ruff has based this on the Green Guide, a genuine book which did the same job) Atticus embarks on a perilous road trip where he has to cope with the dangerous racists in law enforcement along with eldritch horrors from dark dimensions, some of whom may be related to his own family. Various friends and relatives of Atticus are drawn into their own fantastic narratives. In the light of H P Lovecraft’s known prejudices, it present a new slant on supernatural horror.

For more Lovecraftian thrills listen to BBC radio’s adaptation of the Case of Charles Dexter Ward, availible on BBC Sounds. It takes the form of a true mystery podcast. It has some seriously creepy moments.

See you tomorrow.



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