Category Archives: 19th Century

The family album

Readers who have been following the postscripts will know that my mother passed away over Christmas and I have now taken possession of a number of family photographs which have now joined my personal archive along with a small Kodak camera, a Box Brownie and a few Instamatics (remember those?). It was inevitable that a few of these pictures would end up on the blog. Although I’ve never researched my family history I’ve met many people who were in the process of genealogical research and helped some of them on their way. Family albums are often the start of such a quest. Census returns, electoral registers, street directories, parish registers and Ancestry / Find my Past (other online genealogical tools are available) tell the story but it’s often family photographs which bring the search to life.

So this post is not just about me and my collection of old photographs. It’s about how family ties connect all of us to the historical past. In this post I start by looking at the oldest photos I could find some of which feature people I never knew personally. Like this one which my mother had copied for me several years ago.



This is my grandparent’s wedding. Ellen Barwise has just married Charles Williamson. He has his hand on her shoulder. His two brothers stand with him. One of them married one of the Barwise sisters standing near Ellen. The guests are a mixture of Barwises and Williamsons. The diminutive lady on the right side of the picture is a Williamson. She has her arm linked with an elderly Barwise lady.

A studio portrait of the two.


Charles did a variety of jobs

This was one of them.


The fire brigade at the lunatic asylum in Liverpool Road, Chester. Charles is dead centre, behind the man in the helmet.

In the picture below, an action shot of the brigade in action. He is eighth from the left standing in shirt sleeves.

I have been asked (and asked myself) why this establishment needed its own fire brigade. Perhaps they were ready for general emergencies in the area? In my last visit to the house I found a number of pictorial histories of Chester to one of  which my mother contributed the picture of the men in action. The author confirms that the hospital did indeed have its own fire brigade

That doesn’t seem to have been Charles’s only job. He also worked part time as a gardener. Here he is with some of the others staff. The lady in the dark outfit might be on eof the family.

I’ve left the caption. I think this is my mother’s careful printing but I’m not sure when she did it.

Other members of the family were involved in agriculture, as this badly faded pictures of Walter Barwise, one of my grandmother’s brothers shows.

Here is a studio picture of another of Ellen’s brothers, Bill. A distinctly country man.

And a later picture of Bill and his wife.

There are several other pictures of men in uniform in the album, but I’m saving them until some further research on uniforms and badges can be done.

This particular album is pretty old and was obviously started by someone in the family well before I got my hands on it. I’m lucky because at some point my mother annotated it with notes on who the people in the pictures were and their relationship to each other. But even she wasn’t sure of all of them, and was sometimes going on what she had been told when she was young. Such as this one, simply captioned “relations in America”. I never knew we had any at this point.

In every family perhaps there is someone who gathers together loose photos and puts them in an album. The explanation of the picture is not always clear like this picture of a crowd of people being addressed by some eminent man.

Others need no explanation like this picture of my mothers’ two aunts, Lizzie and Martha and her cousin, also called Martha.

I knew Aunt Lizzie (on the right I think) when she was quite old. But before we get to the end of the post I should show you another picture of Cousin Martha, who was my mother’s godmother.

She is sitting with Auntie Em (and friend)

Family albums and the pictures in them tell a story of people getting older, living their lives. In this case the album started with what to me was the historical past, gradually becoming more personal.

When someone dies they become ageless. My mother is no longer the exhausted woman who passed away in a hospital bed. She is just as  much this little girl aged 8


Or the young woman who served in the ATS.

Or the woman who met my father after the war and became my mother.



I don’t make any claims for my family being especially noteworthy. But as a lover of old photographs I believe all the pictures in all the family albums are interesting. If you like these, start looking back at your own family photographs. In my case there are several more albums and many loose photos, some of which may get used in the future.

I’ve been working on this post for ages , thinking I might add more information or thoughts. But I finally decided to leave the pictures with a fairly minimal commentary. This post is dedicated to my mother of course, but also to my father who died in 2003. More about both of them on another occasion perhaps.

Forgotten buildings: the lock house

We’re back to the same place we started last week, near the junction of West Cromwell Road and Warwick Road in the company of Bernard  Selwyn, urban explorer.

This picture shows the east side of Warwick Road, looking north. You can see a large building known now simply as the Council Offices, Pembroke Road. There are residential floors on top of it with walkways leading to entrances in an adjacent building, an unusual arrangement I haven’t seen anywhere else. When I first worked for the Council it was simply called the Depot.

You can’t see the west side of the road but many of you will know that what is there now is a Tesco superstore, surmounted by a car park. From the car park there is still a good view of the railway track we looked at last week.


On the other side is a large building which was formerly a repository for Whiteley’s, the Bayswater department store. It now forms part of a development called Kensington Village.On the eastern side of the picture was a wide, relatively open space.

Now you will recall I mentioned the Kensington Canal last week. Originated by Lord Kensington and Sir John Scott Lillie (of Road fame) and opened in 1828 this was a comparatively short lived venture intended to link Kensington with the Thames, following the course of an existing waterway called Counter’s Creek which rises near Kensal Green Cemetery and flows south, under several names (including Billingswell Ditch as which it featured in a post about Brompton ), ending up at the river under the name Chelsea Creek. On Starling’s 1822 map of Kensington Parish the stream is called a “common sewer”.

The canal would follow the course of the creek north to a basin just short of the “Great Western Road” (the road from Hyde Park Corner to Hammersmith which Kensington High Street is part of), the ultimate plan being to join up with the Grand Junction Canal at Paddington. This was happening in the 1830s when railways were also on the rise, somewhat complicating matters.  The story is told in an excellent book called London’s Waterways by Martyn Denney (1977) but to cut this account short the canal suffered throughout its existence from silting up and the most profitable section was the part running up from the river to the King’s Road. There don’t seem to have been many views of the canal. The artist William Cowen painted a water colour, showing the walled garden that was Brompton Cemetery in the background.



The banks look like they’re already suffering. The canal was tidal so was only navigable for part of the time. It ended up in the hands of the West London Extension Railway Company who began filling in the upper section of the canal in the 1860s. This detail from a plan of 1854 shows the basin at the end of the canal.


And this  detail from an 1848 map shows the basin, with its various wharves, in relation to nearby streets.




The railway, which still goes under the King’s Road ran alongside the remainder of the canal and crosses the river near Chelsea Harbour. You can see the remains of the canal in 1972 in this post about Lots Road, and this one.

Mr Denney tells us that at the time he was writing, the “site of the canal basin” was behind “a pair of high wooden gates that open onto a patch of waste ground..opposite Pembroke Gardens“. He speculates that some of the old buildings in the railway goods depot could date back to the old wharves. What was definite though was the continuing existence of the old lock house and board room. Back in 1983 this was Selwyn’s quarry.

Where is it?


It’s there



A lock keeper’s cottage and what was called the board room where meetings were held and the records of the company kept. If you can stand one more map, this is from about 1968.



You can see that at one point the board room had been taken over by the Kensington Rifle Club who used it for shooting practice I suppose.



You can see that by 1983 it was located in the centre of some waste land which was being used as a car park.


The building itself is looking dilapidated and the area around it overgrown.



Fair game for the questing camera of Bernard Selwyn. Canals and the remnants of them were just one of his interests.




But we have to thank him for his diligence. Below the level of a major road he had found his way to a small piece of transport history.



He slipped back there in 1990 to take a colour picture.



The building looks worse than before.

The Tesco Superstore was built in 1998, and the lock house became a forgotten building. But Selwyn and others transport aficionados preserved its memory.


Friend of the blog Roger Morgan gave the game away last week. But perhaps he just whetted your appetite. The old lock house was familiar to many people while it still stood. I’m sorry I never took a detour to look at it when I was visiting the Depot (for training courses, particularly the ones where the trainer started a fire in the garage and you had to put it out with the correct colour coded extinguisher) in pre-Tesco times. For those who do remember I hope Selwyn’s pictures bring it all back.




Christmas Days: a bunch of busts

I scanned today’s pictures in response to an enquiry about busts inside the former Holland House. We have an album from the 1880s with some views of the interior taken before a bout of redecoration. On another occasion I might have scanned the whole album which could have resulted in a full length post but I didn’t have much time so I only did a few. I was particularly intrigued by the conservatory.

This was Holland House at the time.


The east front with, a couple of guys standing patiently in front of it to add some local colour. At least one of them might have come from breakfast.


Here, in the sumptuous breakfast room. I spotted a bust up there in the corner but then turned a page and found a whole set of busts. (Is there a collective noun for busts?)


This is the conservatory, looking back into the house. A pleasing number of busts are on view, and some convenient chairs in which to sit and contemplate the outside while inside. You can see another Kensington conservatory near the end of this post.


This is the view looking in the other direction into the garden, You can just make out a full length statue in the daylight. Wouldn’t you want to sweep through the conservatory after that nice breakfast and tale a turn in the grounds? You can’t walk through this space anymore but the grounds are still available for all, winter and summer.



Today’s monkeys, Boris and Dino (who live in the Park) have taken the opportunity to do just that, while wishing you a happy Christmas. Here they are in the office:


And out in the park.


I was checking the link above to an earlier post and was reminded of my Christmas 2013 post about Irving and Caldecott’s Old Christmas. That was one of my first posts about book illustration, and Caldecott was a contemporary of our friend Hugh Thomson. Check out a traditional Christmas here.

Another short post, and more monkeys tomorrow.


Christmas Days: the old old town hall

The grand municipal building  on the King’s Road which is the home of the Chelsea Registry Office, the Sports Centre  and Chelsea Library is called Chelsea Old Town Hall. It was completed in 1908 and designed by Leonard Stokes. Let’s remind ourselves what it looks like. This view is from an early moment in its history.


It’s called the Old Town Hall now I suppose to distinguish it from Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall which would have become “the” Town Hall when the boroughs united in 1965. (Not the current K&C Town Hall of course. There was an old town hall in Kensington too, if you remember it, but we won’t go into that now.)

But Chelsea Old Town Hall was not the first Chelsea Town Hall. In fact Chelsea Old Town Hall was once the new Chelsea Town Hall because it replaced the original Vestry Hall, the home of the  Chelsea Vestry, the precursor of the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea, which began in 1900. Is this confusing? You wait. Here’s a picture:



This is the Vestry Hall of 1886 designed by J M Brydon which actually replaced the first Vestry Hall of 1860 designed by William Wilmer Pocock (an old old old town/vestry hall, which had problems with the walls and was declared unsafe in 1885) a more modest affair than the 1908 building, which only occupied part of the space its successor now commands. You can see that the word Town has replaced Vestry below the balustrade. The land next to the Town Hall was occupied by public baths and a couple of commercial premises.

Now look at this view of the side.



A man is unloading some crates but has paused to look down the street. Behind him a couple of others are looking into the basement area. Do those crates have to go down? Or up that staircase?Next to the wall is a slope leading down to the premises of W F Picken. But have a look at that roundel and the door beneath it further back. Those features and the whole of the rear section of the building still exist. The 1908 building simply replaced the front section. The old part was grafted on to the new building. If you go round to the back into Chelsea Manor Gardens you can see it, looking slightly grander than you might expect the rear of a municipal building to look. So part of the old old town hall is still in the old town hall if you follow me.

And that door under the roundel? I have walked through it many times.


Finally, have a closer look at number 181, next to Mr Picken’s sign. Next to the door is a sign for Miss Annie Northcroft and her school of singing.  Miss Northcroft lived there with William Northcroft (brother? father?) and a few other names. Strictly speaking this was 181A. 181 itself was one of the first homes of the Chelsea Arts Club and later the Chenil Galleries were built on the site.

I feel I’ve slightly short changed you on pictures so here’s a view from 1897.


Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. No expense spared.


The 12 monkeys of Christmas

Following on from last year’s Christmas posts which featured members of the soft toy community, this year I’m featuring the 12 monkeys of Christmas paying visits to the archives. To start with, here is the eldest monkey Keith Phelps sitting with the scrapbooks.


And getting amongst the drainage plans.


See you tomorrow.

Italian Gardens of the mind

Many years ago I had a dream after watching the original 1934 version of a film called “Death takes a holiday” featuring Frederic March and Evelyn Venable in which Death, taking a breather from collecting human souls, has a mini break in the land of the living and falls in love with a mortal woman. (It’s been remade a couple of times since, in a mostly uninspired fashion).


My dream, as far as I can recall it, took place in an afterlife which took the form of an unending ornamental garden. We’ve seen plenty of unearthly gardens in films and books so I couldn’t have claimed any originality in the idea. The one I always think of is the garden in the Draughtsman’s Contract where the young Anthony Higgins as Mr Neville, comes to grief.


(I’ve also imagined the afterlife as a beach in some autumn northern climate, and a small town set on a steep slope near an ocean, not to mention an endless city full of tall buildings and giant statues but I’ve read a lot of fantasy and horror so what do you expect?) We’ve seen Death in a variety of forms from Terry Pratchett’s morose character to Neal Gaiman’s teenage goth girl. Don’t forget the Blue Oyster Cult song Don’t fear the Reaper. But don’t get me started on the BOC.


This is a long way round to recalling the post featuring Hugh Thomson’s illustrations to As you like it, which has a few pictures set in an ornamental garden, possibly in Italy. I mentioned then that the American novelist Edith Wharton had written a book called “Italian villas and their gardens” (1904) illustrated with photographs, and paintings by the artist Maxfield Parrish. These have exactly the right atmosphere about them, slightly ominous and unearthly. The sky looks as if dusk was not far away.


The Villa Vicobello was near Sienna. Miss Wharton’s text is descriptive and precise but has nothing weird about it, which is a shame, as her ghost stories are excellent, and very atmospheric.


The Villa Scassi, Genoa. The statue in the garden has something to do with a childhood nightmare, the details of which I am thankfully unable to recall, although the image used to be persistent in the moments before sleep.

At the Boboli Gardens, a body of still water, a favourite feature of Parrish’s, and mine.


Below the Villa Deste, featuring the only figure in this set of pictures, a naked youth like a minor Roman  deity. Do you remember the living statue in the Draughtsman’s Contract?


I’ve also been looking at a book by the artist George Elgood who depicts an even larger number of villas and gardens in his book “Italian Gardens” (1907). They too have a certain mysterious edge about them.


[The Dragon Gateway, at Villa Garzoni]


[The cascade, at the Villa Cicogna]


Villa Collana – slightly too many statues for comfort, if you and your companion were otherwise alone in a quite garden with dusk approaching. Picture a young Edwardian couple suddenly taking fright and hurrying away to shelter. Some of these images are verging on the sinister.


I’m not an expert on garden history but I imagine that English travellers on the Grand Tour (and before that time) saw many of these gardens and brought ideas about garden design back with them. This process has embedded these gardens in our collective memory so the pictures in these books seemed familiar as well as sometimes unearthly. Well that’s my excuse anyway. As a fan of illustrated books from the early 20th century I don’t really need a better reason to write a post about the pictures in these two books.

Some of you of course will be far more experienced at visiting ornamental gardens, in Europe and the UK. I can’t help wandering if my own conception of the unearthly garden is based on childhood recollections of a municipal park in Chester, far less grand but having some stone seats and an excellent view over the river and the meadows on the other side.

Some pictures don’t need much of a push to seem disturbing, whether as a painting…


..or a photograph


This view calls to mind the scene in the Innocents (a version of Henry James’s Turn of the Screw featuring Deborah Kerr) in which the governess sees the ghost of Miss Jessel across a stretch of water. Instead of a ghost it has a temple, and some statues.


There’s some still water here too. Is it another one of my things, finding still water a little spooky?


Death has to go home in the end. I can’t remember if he takes the young lady with him.


The Blue Oyster Cult seem to think he would have done.

Love of two is one / Here but now they’re gone
Came the last night of sadness / And it was clear she couldn’t go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared, saying don’t be afraid
Come on baby, and she had no fear
And she ran to him, then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodbye, she had become like they are
She had taken his hand, she had become like they are
Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper

Donald Roeser, 1976


I’ve managed to get through this post without overusing words like sinister and mysterious. Just about anyway.  And yes, I realise that this one doesn’t have much of a connection with Kensington and Chelsea. But both books come from our Reference Library, and also from the golden age of book illustration, examples of which we’ve looked at many times.

We’re heading towards the holiday season after all. What better time to take a mental break in a sunny garden, even if some of the trees and statues look a little disturbing. And if you’d like to see an atmospheric garden closer to home try this one.


That could be an island of the dead, like this one:


[Arnold Bocklin – Isle of the Dead]

Next week, that Christmas tradition, the daily post. From Monday to Friday, short posts on short subjects.

The stone carvers, and others: St Cuthbert’s Church

St Cuthbert’s Church, Philbeach Gardens was built in the 1880s at a time when churches were springing up all over London to serve the growing population of  former suburbs like Earls Court and Old Brompton which had consisted of country houses, markets gardens, inns and lanes. The builders, vicars and others were spiritual entrepreneurs, carving out new parishes from older larger ones which were better suited to sparser populations. After some struggles with ecclesiastical authorities the Reverend Henry Westall (a curate from St Matthias’s, Warwick Road) succeeded in getting formal consent for a new church.


St Cuthbert’s is a distinctive looking building with its iron fleche on the roof rather than a tower, seen here at a later date surrounded by houses. It also sat next to the  railway lines around the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The full story of its creation can be found over several pages of the Survey of London but I’ll try not to duplicate their good work here.

From the beginning St Cuthbert’s was associated with High Anglican and Anglo-Catholic forms of worship. Perhaps as a result of that the interior of the church was highly ornate and decorative. And possibly also because of that a great many photographs of the interior were made. Sometime in the late 1960s our photographer made copies of more than two hundred images, which I’ve been looking at with interest.

Some show the elaborate interior.


With such features as this giant lectern (designed by W. Bainbridge Reynolds, a member of the congregation) and the many paintings, some of which can be seen in the background.


Others are group photos of people associated with the church. The account of the church in the Survey of London tells us that the members of the congregation took part in the furnishing and decorating of the church. They enthusiastically organised themselves into teams which they called Guilds. This is the Guild of St Margaret:


The guild ,”under the direction of Miss Harvey” according to one caption, were responsible for vestments, banners and other drapery, like this example from the high altar.


But most of the group photos depicted the Guild of St Peter,  the stone carvers.


A mostly male group dressed in their best clothes for a Sunday. But sometimes the group looked more businesslike.


The ladies are wearing aprons or smocks. Some of the work was done by professional craftsmen but ordinary members of the congregation took classes to learn some basic skills. You can see one of the ladies holding a mallet and a chisel, demonstrating her technique.

Here they are again with the same master craftsman.


The caption says they are “under the direction of Mrs Dalton” Is she the one in the middle behind the table?

Or is she one of these?


The pictures identify several people by name. Below, the Miller family, featuring Walter, Gerald and Laurence (the youngest, on the left). Mrs Miller is in there too but I don’t know which one is her.


Below, a group of acolytes. The church was known for “extreme Anglo-Catholic ritualism” according to the Survey, or you might describe it as picturesque ceremony depending on your point of view. There was some Protestant backlash at the church in 1898 when the “agitator” John Kensit interrupted a Good Friday service and was arrested for his trouble. There must have been enough acolytes on hand to deal with him.


The picture below shows St Cuthbert’s Hall, attached to the church, built slightly later in 1894-96.


You can see the Great Wheel on the left looming over the buildings around it. The caption reveals that the people in the foreground are Father Hatt, a man only identified as the Beadle (on the left) and on the right Miss Kenny (the organist) and Miss Carr. The identity of the man with the bike and the others in the background are unrecorded. We can have a closer look.


The two ladies seem to be wearing veils but you can see that Father Hatt looks quite young. There is another picture of Miss Kenny actually at the organ.


But we’re not much nearer to her. As always with old photographs there’s something more you’d like to see if you could only get closer.

For a final picture let’s move forward in time, past two world wars to 1954 where the church sits in a peaceful looking residential street still only a short distance from railway lines and busy roads.




There are more than 200 pictures of the church and hall interiors in our collection, making it one of the best documented churches in the borough. I discovered them for myself when I was asked to find some pictures of the hall (the only part of the building I’ve ever been inside). I came across the stone carving ladies and wanted to see more of them.

Thanks of course to the Survey of London who can always be relied upon for a good ecclesiastical story.

The clocks have gone back so WordPress time and London time are in sync again but I’m still going to launch new posts on Thursday morning rather than just after midnight which means the accompanying tweet should get seen by more people. So don’t panic if new posts don’t appear at the crack of dawn.

While I’m on the subject of publicity, this month brings with it the 8th annual London History Festival at Kensington Library. We have an excellent line up this year featuring, among others, local boy made good Hugh Sebag Montefiore (brother of Simon) talking about the Somme and the always popular Dan Snow with a talk on his favourite heroes and villains from history. Details can be found here. And don’t forget our fringe events – Philip Mansel on the history of Aleppo, for tragic reasons even more relevant now than when we booked the event and on November 10th renaissance man Benet Brandreth talking about his Shakespeare novel. I’ve done a few Shakespeare related posts this year, and there may be a couple more to come.

Hidden in plain sight: Chelsea’s Jewish cemetery

Last week, on Friday, I was on the 211 bus heading home with a bag of shopping when I saw that  there had been some damage to a brick wall on the corner of the Fulham Road and Old Church Street. A whole section of the wall had been knocked inwards possibly as a result of some kind of impact. I thought I should take some photographs but when I went out on Sunday the area was surrounded by workmen and equipment, with a temporary set of traffic lights. On my way in this morning I took a few pictures, as the breach in the wall was still there.


Not only is there a hole, but behind it a pile of bricks.


Beyond that you can see the gravestones themselves.


It’s not the first time this wall has been disturbed. Back in 1989 I was also there with a camera when the whole wall was partially demolished and there was the opportunity to take some pictures of an obscure corner of Chelsea. In normal circumstances you only get the chance to see the area behind the wall if you’re sitting on a passing bus. This corner, between the Institute of Cancer Research and a short row of shops devoted to antiquarian books and interior design, is the location of Chelsea’s Jewish Cemetery.

Jewish Cemetery Oct 1989 04

The wall, as you can see, was then short enough to look over. The original wall was tall enough to completely conceal the cemetery.

Jewish Cemetery Oct 1989 01

It was a bright day for October. The pictures were taken with an Olympus pocket (film) camera so they look a little grainy.

Jewish Cemetery Oct 1989 02

But you can make out the Hebrew inscriptions.

The cemetery, or burial ground appears on Thompson’s famous Chelsea map of 1836.

Copy of Thompsons 1836_Chelsea 4006 - Copy - Copy

The area was called Queen’s Elm after the Queen’s Elm tavern which was right opposite. On this detail you can see Trafalgar Square (later Chelsea Square) and Bath Lodge (later Catharine Lodge along with a number of houses with large gardens on the west side of Old Church Street,

George Bryan, in his 1869 book “Chelsea in the olden and present times” tells us the burial ground was “erected in 1816 by the individuals whose names are inscribed on the wall of the entrance building” (visible on the map).

Hugh Meller, in the third edition of his London Cemeteries (an invaluable book for London historians) which has details of 14 Jewish cemeteries in London says: “The impression given by this tiny cemetery is more typical of Prague than London.”. I can see his point. The 300 gravestones are in a comparatively small area, almost hermetically sealed behind a brick wall and “a rusty iron gate“. I imagine the burial ground fitting into a Bruno Schulz story (or a film by the Quay Brothers for that matter) especially as modern Prague is often used as a location for Victorian London in recent films and TV dramas.

Jewish Cemetery in Fulham Road c1896

The picture comes from The London Burial Grounds (1896) by Mrs Basil Holmes. Mrs Holmes called it “a dreary place” and remarked on the lack of proper paths between the graves. By the time she wrote her book the prayer hall and office had been replaced by the parade of shops. The last burial was said to be in 1913, although Meller gives the date of closure as early as 1884. He also notes the presence of mulberry trees. (That is actually another story altogether, associated with the estate called Chelsea Park which was on this side of the Fulham Road. Parts of it still survive in Elm Park Gardens and so what he says is possible.)

These pictures, from one of our scrapbooks are also dated 1896.

Jewish Cemetery Queen's Elm 1896 CM142c

In this one, possibly taken from one of the shops you can see South Parade and beyond it Trafalgar Square, and the tower of St Luke’s Church.

I’m not so sure of the angle in this picture:

Jewish Cemetery Queen's Elm 1896 CM142

In the 1970s the cemetery was under the threat of redevelopment and there was a plan reported in local newspapers in 1974 to have the ground deconsecrated, and any surviving remains removed to Israel.

cutting 1974

This never occurred. I was told that a benefactor paid for some restoration work to keep the cemetery secure. It remained an obscure corner of Chelsea, safe behind its walls. A place of absolute stillness beside a busy road, its continued existence a source of satisfaction for those who like the quiet places of the city.

Whether in 1989,

Jewish Cemetery Oct 1989 03or 2016



The hole in the wall is now boarded up, which you can almost see in this picture but the main point of it is to show that even with the wall breached the cemetery is well hidden by the abundant trees.



I promised you a new post by my colleague Isabel this week but she has gone to ground in Kent, somewhere near here:

Old Road Chatham - Copy

Hugh Thomson steps in to help again. The picture is from Highways and Byways in Kent (1907). Isabel will be back soon.

It was fortunate this subject presented itself to me out of nowhere. I’ve noticed that I’ve written posts about almost every point of my journey to work, with very few gaps and this is a further addition to the psycho-geographical trail. I’ll work on those gaps in the future.


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