Health and welfare: streets in North Kensington 1966

I’m grateful this week to one of our volunteers, who found these pictures together in an envelope among a collection of pictures given to us by the Planning department .They originate in another Council department, the Health and Welfare department, which was once located in Kensington Square.



It says on the back of this picture” Appleford Road”, which means the road you see at the top of the picture could be Adair Road. Nothing in the picture remains today after redevelopment in the early 1970s.

The picture could have been taken from a new housing block. It is dated, as many of today’s pictures are, 12th September 1966. The Health and Welfare department would have been interested mainly in the condition of the housing in North Kensington which had been causing concern for some years.

Below, a view of the narrow spaces between the terraces of houses. You can see how cramped they were.



This is the space between Bramley Road and Testerton Street. I’ve looked at some of these streets before in this post for example. Those pictures were taken by our photographer, John Rogers who wanted to chronicle some of the streets that were about to be demolished.

Blechynden Street, below, was one of those. It only exists today as a stub, facing towards the Lancaster West Estate. Here it is still a place where life was going on.



Some demolition had already occurred.



That fence in Barandon Street, behind which rubbish was accumulating, is supposed to be 14 feet high according to the caption. Note the graffitti which has been concealed. The swastikas do not show some right wing message: the words read “Nazi-occupied Britain” which puts a slightly different slant on the sign. The message “Down with Taggart’s” must be personal in some way. Too early to show an antipathy towards the Scottish crime drama.

The picture below shows more rubbish building up in a back yard. But the neighbours have hung their washing up undeterred by the mess behind the wall.



The yards were between Lancaster Road and Testerton Street.



This is a cul-de-sac where Testerton Street was bisected by Barandon Street. Although the houses look rough, they’re still being lived in. I should know the distinctive rear of that car on the right. Anyone?

Cars and other vehicles were still a focus of life and work in this area.




This scrap yard was in Bramley Mews which ran between Bramley Road and Silchester Terrace. The Silchester name only survives on the eponymous estate.

This was Bramley Road. The houses were already vacant at this point.



I think that’s the rear of a Jaguar on the left. You often find these relativity upmarket cars in less than affluent neighbourhoods. As I’ve said before, there was a Jaguar collector in Dalgarno Gardens in these days.

This picture is the rear of Golborne Gardens , a now demolished street near Appleford Road.




See the two women looking out at the photographer from the top floor. The one of the left is definitely smiling.

The front of these house looked like this.


Those two women were photographed nearly ten years earlier in 1957. Was one of them the same person?

Below, a street under demolition which has not even left its name behind.



Lockton Street ran between Bramley Road and Mersey Street (another name which was not used again). One end of it was underneath the railway close to Latimer Road station.

The picture below is not dated like the others although Hazelwood Tower could have been the vantage point for a couple of the pictures.



It would have been almost new at this time. You can see that it looks as if it had just materialised, plonked down in the midst of the terraced streets

We’ve jumped back to Blechynden Mews in this picture. Another instance of these mews streets being devoted to m otor vehicles.



Finally, a quick look back to Hurtsway Street, which we know quite well. I won’t go on about the cars (although I could)



Instead, take a look at the woman looking at the photographer from a first floor window on the right. If you follow that line of windows you’ll just about see another woman looking towards the camera. The men in the street are paying no attention, but take note of the pile of tires in the distance. There were a lot of them in this area when these pictures were taken.

I can’t say exactly how these pictures were passed on between Council departments before arriving here in Local Studies. But this is where they will stay as a witness to some forgotten street scenes. (More on Lancaster Road here.)


It seems appropriate this week that the death I noticed most was that of John Haynes, the creator of the Haynes workshop manuals. At one time this library had dozens of his books, a couple of bays of them down in the sub-basement to which library staff, myself among them, regularly went to pick out the relevant volume from the 600s.

The Haynes company was clever enough to produce some less serious works in more recent years, including such items a as workshop manual for the Starship Enterprise which we bought for my son on year. I also own, somewhere, a key ring with a cutaway drawing of a Ford Capri.



29 responses to “Health and welfare: streets in North Kensington 1966

  • Roger Rogowski

    An excellent blog as always showing the old streets from some unusual angles. That first photo is of Appleford Road but looking towards Golborne Road. That very distinctive shopfront facing Appleford Road, which I’ve seen in two other photos, gives it away. The street running at right angles in the top right hand corner is Southam Street running towards Westbourne Park station. From the angle, the photo was taken from Adair Tower as was the photo of Hazlewood Tower, distinguishable because it’s at the apex of the angle created by Hazlewood Crescent and Golborne Gardens. I’m sceptical about the date of those photos because, by 1966, Appleford Road had been demolished and the junction with Golborne Road had been blocked off by the new development of shops and flats running from the junction of Southam Street and what was the Prince Arthur (now Lowdown), which includes Kensal Town library. I think they were taken in 1962 when the towers were completed. There’s an episode of Gideon’s Way (The Firebug) made in 1964 – just this final point and then I’ll stop!! – showing the shops and flats and shops under construction.

  • Shirley

    Born in 1950 I lived in Acklam Road until the house was demolished when they built the flyover. We were rehoused in Appleford Road which had been redeveloped. Hazelwood tower and Adair tower were close by on the newly developed estate. Remember some of those old houses were still standing opposite our block, and nearby. However after a few years, life there became intolerable and we moved right away, to the area where I still live today.

  • Malcolm Edwards

    The mystery car is a Ford Consul Capri, a coupe version of the Consul Classic.

    • Ann

      I think Hurstway street had railings in front like Testerton and little tTess did so maybe it’s not hurstway street. Was the end of Fowell street where the doctors were on Lancaster road and the sweet shop Bulls was on the other corner ? So many memories like a lot of people have said to us it was home not slums. Not when your born there .

      • Debbie hobbs

        Yes it was Ann, but not the end this picture is looking towards the Canterbury Arms.. the surgery was on the corner along by Napier’s the undertakers

  • Gwen Nelson

    In the first picture it is definitely Appelford Road facing Golborne Road. The shop that’s visible top left hand is 23 Golborne Road that had the bookies downstairs and where the Gonzalez and Christou families lived upstairs. The roof just visible to the left of that is 21 which was my father’s shop, known locally as the Green Shop because of the colour of its tiles. I used to climb up onto the roof to sunbathe as there was a nice little dip, just wide enough for a towel and a transistor radio.

  • John Henwood

    The car in the cul-de-sac in picture 6 (we called them ‘dead end streets’ by the way Dave – nobody in W10 would have known what a ‘cul de sac’ was!)) is the first ever Ford Capri and was simply a two door coupe version of the Ford Classic. I owned a Classic and thought they were the best of the Ford output at that time. I’m pretty sure this street is the setting for the feature film ‘Leo the Last’ which the makers obtained use of for filming immediately before it was demolished.

    Regarding Lockton Street, mentioned in another photo, Bette Davis appeared here in a scene from ‘The Nanny’ c1965 and photos of this can be found on on the post ‘Walmer Road, the day Bette Davis came to W.10’

  • Ann

    I lived in Testerton street and we always called it little Tess
    Loved all the pictures remember st Francis school opposite st Clements school where myself and my sister went. Stoneleigh street was off Treadgold street as well.

  • Janice Lello

    Wonderful old photographs, so sad, whilst people were moved to what they considered cleaner places, no mice etc, the Tower Blocks destroyed communities and it’s very hard to get that back. Many of them turned into ghettos for young gangs. Whilst these old terraced houses were described as small, many were not, some of the rooms where very large. THEY TOOK AWAY PART OF THE LIFEBLOOD OF OUR LONDON, WHAT THEY DON’T SHOW IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS IS THE CAMARADERIE, LOVE, RESPECT, COMMUNITY, SAFETY, HONESTY AND THE LOVE THAT ABOUNDED AMONGST THE FAMILIES, THE NEIGHBOURS AND ALL THE OLD SHOPS WE USED TO HAVE.. I MISS IT SO MUCH.

  • Shirley

    I agree. The conditions in which we lived in Acklam Road were very poor, but despite the new flat in Appleford Road we were moved to, we all hated it. But there was no alternative to knocking down all these unsanitary houses. The big mistake was not replacing them with houses. Save space and “stack em high” was the motto. Hence estates and tower blocks. Also a chance for the new wave “architects” to give free reign to their imagination. But they did not have to live in them. They caused lives of misery for many, and still do.

    • john henwood

      All very true Janice and Shirley. In defence of the architects, they were probably given a brief to design blocks rather than houses. I doubt it was their decision….but you’re right they didn’t have to live in them.

  • Debbie hobbs

    That last picture is fowell street surely?

  • Debbie hobbs

    The last photo isn’t Hurstway it is Fowell street if you look closely you can see the mission steps and at the top the corner of Avondale Park road

  • Debbie hobbs

    The last photo isn’t Hurstway it is Fowell street if you look closely you can see the mission steps .. The tyres would prob have come from Hanningtons tyre shop who worked on the corner of fowell street

  • Debbie hobbs

    Down with Taggerts picture is corner of Hurstway street .. Taggerts are a family that lived in Testerton Street or Little Testerton as it was known

    • Debbie Hobbs

      The last photo is Fowell street not Hurstway if you look closely you can see the mission hall also there was a Tyre place called Hanningtons

      • Debbie Hobbs

        Look back at your blog on Bomore road the white building at the end is opposite the Canterbury arms’ you are looking down fowell street to Bomore road that is the corner of Avondale park road

    • MJH1963

      Why did someone have a problem with the “Down With The Taggart`s” family,were they an infamous local family?

  • Michael ODonovan

    Hi. I was born in December and lived in Appleford Road until we were re-housed in 1965 to Denbigh Road. I know this as my younger brother was born a year later in 1966 in our new home. So good to see Appleford road. We lived at No 5 and my aunt lived at No 39. I attended Southern Row Infants School until I was 5.

    As an indication of the delapidated condition of these houses, I fell through a rotten wooden barrier on our first floor flat roof balcony and fractured my skull. Probably like all houses in the street we had an outside toilet and resident mice.

    Many thanks for unearthing such memorable photos.

    Mike ODonovan

  • Shirley

    Had a friend who lived in Hazlewood Tower on tenth floor. My family, four of us, were moved from demolished Acklam Road to the new Appleford Road flats, Appleford House, that are still there today. However, we had enough of it there after a few years and moved out to Greater London.

  • Daniel

    Hi David, I was fascinated by these pictures as I grew up around the Latimer Road, Ladbroke Grove, Portobello Road areas during the 1950’s – 1980’s. However, I must question the date given on the back of the Health & Welfare photographs. Although the date given is 12th September 1966. all the photographs date back to the early 1960’s if not the late 1950’s.

    My reason for saying this is that my family moved into a brand-new block of flats on Adair Road (next to the railway line) on 16th Jan 1967. Obviously, the flats had already been built and I remember our caretaker had an office at the bottom of Adair Tower which was already built with tenants living there. Therefore, for all those old properties to have been knocked down, cleared and new buildings erected, I would imagine a time period of at least 2-3 years before that date. Also, I believe the new flats on Adair Road still had an early address of Southam Street.

    Referring to Shirley’s comment, if my memory serves me correctly, there used to be a shoe repair shop at the bottom of Hazlewood Tower. Those were the days when you fixed and repaired things because you could not afford to buy new all the time especially shoes for school.

    Keep up the good research as it is very satisfying to share memories with like-minded people.

  • Ian rhodes

    The car you couldn’t identify is a 1962 ford Capri, it was the fastback version of the ford classic, think they had a 1500 engine.

  • Tony Connor

    Hi Daniel is right there was a shoe repair shop in that building,
    I know this because I helped out the Co-op milkman in the mid 60’s he delivered all around this area. I lived in St Ervans Road until my family moved away to Basingstoke in 1967.

  • John otoole

    What was the name of the pie mash shop at golborne rd

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: