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.)