St Ervans Road: another era

Firstly, I should apologise for those readers who accidentally got an early draft of this post emailed to them a couple of days ago. I pressed the wrong button while preoccupied with the way the streets near St Ervans Road had changed since 1970. The idea for the post came out of a conversation I recently had with a former resident of St Ervans Road, reminiscence of his childhood days living there. It stuck in my mind because his memories were largely happy, as opposed to some other memories of North Kensington I’ve heard recently.



The post box on the left was a goalpost when he and his friends were playing football in the street. As the picture shows, things were a bit quieter then. If you look at St Ervans Road now you will find that these houses are gone. The street is part of a whole set of streets filled with relatively new housing. The picture above looks towards Golborne Road. You might not be able to see it at this magnification / brightness but there is a street sign on the left for Acklam Road, which once ran west from the end of St Ervans Road to Portobello Road. Acklam Road still exists of course but it now snakes away from a gap on the north side of St Ervans towards a junction under the Westway and then back to the bottom of Blagrave Road. (If you’re not familiar with this part of North Kensington, follow it on Google Street View, as I did earlier.)

It’s complicated, jumping backwards and forwards from the past to the present. All I intended to do was to take a look at the street in 1970.

This is the norther corner of the street where it met Acklam Road.




I hadn’t planned to include a map but to avoid any further confusion here is a section from the 1935 Ordnance Survey.



You can see how Acklam Road once linked St Ervans, Wornington, Swinbrook, Bevington and Blagrove Roads before reaching Portobello. It now stops short of that at the end of Blagrove where the Acklam Village is located. And of course the southern side of Acklam Road where the houses backed onto the railway was swept away by the Westway.

One of the interesting aspects of these pictures is that the Westway was already there, in the background. The street looks quiet and the people are ambling around.



In close up the two women look quite unhurried.



There are plenty of old cars to spot, as you know we like to do. I haven’t named any myself – this post has taken up enough time already, but as always I welcome contributions from car enthusiasts. Does anyone remember that series of books from a publisher called Olyslager which covered British and American cars by decades? My friend Steve referred to one volume as “the Bible”. American cars of the 1950s, obviously.




People are chatting in the street, unconcerned with traffic. Above, a young woman offers servicing advice to a man with the bonnet of his car open. Perhaps he’s got a Haynes manual just out of sight.. Below, one man slouches on his bike while talking to a couple of friends.



Houses are for sale as you can see so no-one is expecting the development to come in later years. Perhaps some owners made a decent profit.



This is I think the northern end of the street at the junction with Golborne Road.

Below, the other end, with that post box again.




Some of the housing looks a little rough, like this section.




Some of those house may be empty, especially the one with all the rubbish outside.

But there’s plenty of activity for a quiet street.



Another conversation by a pair of mopeds.

Is that a Rover below?




And is that Trellick Tower rising just behind the houses?



A Morris 800, and the view back to where we started. What’s that in the distance?

Is it the Westway itself? This view is looking east from the junction of Acklam Road and Portobello Road.



The final view links us up with Acklam Road at the end of St Ervans, looking west.



The Westway has an anniversary next year, so expect some more pictures of it here then. St Ervans Road is now in another era.



I was working on various matters yesterday so I never got to finish this post till this morning. There was also a slight digression when I checked on the Olyslager books. It seems there’s a copy of one in the Reference store. I’m going downstairs now to see if I can find it. (One of the pleasure of working in a library.Allow me to indulge myself while I can.)


16 responses to “St Ervans Road: another era

  • Shirley

    Remember it well. Bridge fish and chip shop Golborne Road at end of St Ervans Road. Long queues there every Friday evening. I lived in Acklam Road and we were moved to new property in Appleford Road which is still in use today. Remember Trellick Tower being built and mum saying she would not live that high up in the air for anything. She hated the look of it. I had an extremely happy childhood that I look back on fondly. But it brings it home how dilapidated parts of North Kensington were when you see these and other photos.

  • teresastokes

    Yes, image number 8 is definitely the northern end of St Ervans Rd at the junction with Golborne. The building at the top is the back of number 51 Golborne Rd which is still there. Currently occupied by Insight KC.

  • Roy Farndale

    is that a Rover below? it is not, its a Ford Corsair I had several of them.

  • John Brooks

    Thanks so much for posting these pictures. The pre-Westway pictures are the St. Ervan’s Road of my childhood. The post box was also the wicket for cricket and the telephone pole the other wicket. I used to live in No. 1, just out of the picture at the right. I concur with the happy memories of my early childhood shared by your other correspondent.

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  • Maureen Barnes

    My Grandparents Ethel and Ernest Webb lived at number 10 St Ervans after they married in 1910 (My Grandfather in fact had been living there from a babe in arms, as his parents owned it before he and my Nan did) and they raised their children there, my Mum and her 9 siblings. My grandparents lived there until the Summer of 1968 when they decided to move to be closer to some of their grown up children in Berkshire. I spent many Christmas and Summer holidays visiting them in St Ervans as a child in the 1960’s and I too can confirm it was a very happy place, I absolutely loved it there.

  • Lynne Dey

    Brilliant webpage. I’ve only recently discovered that my great grandparents lived at 61 St Ervans Rd in 1901 and thought I wouldn’t ever see a picture of how it looked prior to it being developed. Fabulous pictures, thank you.

  • Alan Butler

    My great uncle lived at 5 St. Ervans Road. Just a long shot, but has anyone got any photos of his Grocery Store around 1947. Thanks.

    • matt canning

      Was his Name “Smith.” I remember a Mr. Smith who one time told me as a child that he was in the Merchant Navy and was rescued three times in one Night when he was in a convoy during the War.

  • Stephanie Mathivet

    Do you know when st Ervans Road was built please? Were they owner occupied or rented? Or do you know where I can find out please?

  • Megan Mulholland

    Hiya, great pic’s and info, thanks. Do you know what year the (current) Council flats were built?

  • Rod Berrieman

    No.61 was rebuilt as up-to-date flats in the 50’s possibly as bombsite redevelopment. My granddad moved to one on the top floor from Appleford Road where he’d lived from the 1920’s until it was demolished. 61 was a great place for the young train-spotter me to visit as the kitchen window overlooked the main line out of Paddington.

  • Tony Connor

    I lived in St Ervan’s Rd at 79 until we as a family moved to Basingstoke in 1967 and to my surprise there is a picture of the house a lived at in the gallery.

  • Tom connors

    Hi all me and my family lived at no49 in the basement all 8 of us the Connors .there was a Coal merchant also at the end of st ervans road . I was born in the road we moved to the next street Wornington road and stayed till I was in my late teens great memories .thanks for the flashback to a great time

  • Glenis

    We lived on this road in the ’60s and can only remember happy times of it. I cannot recall the grime. As children, we would be playing out on the street and on the local bomb sites and under the Westway while they were building it. We saw the Crain for Trellick towers going up, and then we moved to Fulham. Neighbours admired we were going to Fulham with its tree-lined streets, but I was inconsolable on our moving-out day. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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