Tag Archives: Bramley Road

Lancaster Circus: a vanished crossroad

It really was called Lancaster Circus at one time, the confluence of Lancaster Road, Walmer Road, Clarendon Road and Silchester Road, and was also called Lancaster Cross. This is where we stopped on our journey along Lancaster Road, at the point where the modern Lancaster Road peters out and morphs into Silchester Road with a gentle curve past the new Aldridge Academy.

pc-1145-lancaster-circus-copy

This early 20th century postcard view is looking south from Silchester Road towards Clarendon Road. The Lancaster public house is the largest building in the picture and next to it Walmer Road (where the plain awning is visible) also heads south. (See the post here). Lancaster Road is crossing the picture. A map helps, and here is one from 1935.

1935-os-map-lancaster-road-vi67-copy-copy

As you can see, the public house was not the largest building in the vicinity. That was the Kensington Public Baths, also called the Silchester Baths.

silchester-baths-copy

This picture is dated about 1970. The baths were closed in the late 1970s , despite a local campaign to retain the building for community purposes and a new sports centre was built nearby which was iteslf rebuilt in 2015.

This picture shows the baths at the time of demolition.

aerial-view-of-silchester-baths-under-demolition-late-70s-ht-usc-copy

You can see other changes to the local landscape across the road from the baths.

This earlier picture shows a whole section of the area near Lancaster Road, including the Council buildings we looked at in the previous post on Lancaster Road.

methodist-church-lancaster-road-l-1243-copy

Take a quick look back into Silchester Road as it was in the early 20th century.

silchester-road-pc945-copy

A very pleasant looking scene. Does it seem like a more affluent area than the 1960s?

And as it was in 1970, looking in the opposite direction towards the railway.

silchester-road-looking-west-1969-ks1488-copy

There’s one of those double street lights again. This is another view of the Lancaster pub.

lancaster-road-east-side-161-1969-ks1417-copy

Walmer Road is visible on the left, and here is the view south from there.

 

walmer-road-central-section-looking-south-from-lancaster-road-1969-ks1498-copy

There are more pictures of Walmer Road in a previous pair of posts. (Starting here) If we alter the point of view you can look down Clarendon Road.

clarendon-road-looking-south-from-lancaster-road-1970-ks1690-copy

And finally south into Lancaster Road.

lancaster-road-looking-south-1969-ks1395-copy

This picture shows the corner of Fowell Street, which ran south off Lancaster Road opposite the Baths.

lancaster-road-east-side-167-corner-of-fowell-street-1969-ks1416-copy

This is what the area looked like on a 1971 map.

1970s-os-map-showing-west-end-of-lancaster-road-16

You can see that a wide section of the area has gone. This picture shows part of the demolition.

lancaster-road-east-side-demolition-site-1969-ks1411-copy

Those buildings in the background are, I have been told, two of the towers of the Edward Wood Estate. I must admit that I find it hard to get the angle right in my head, so have a think about that yourselves. It’s always tricky conceptualising places that no longer exist.

lancaster-road-east-side-no-numbrs-1969-ks1413-copy

This picture shows the edge of the demolished area on the rights. The photographer could not see any numbers on these houses so they might already be empty.

We’re in the final stretch of the old Lancaster Road now.

 

lancaster-road-west-side-252-1969-ks1398-copy

252 Lancaster Road. The cross street is Blechynden Street (which we have also covered before – some pictures here)

About ten doors down that side of the road, the trees, bushes and other undergrowth are quie luxuriant.

lancaster-road-west-side-262-1969-ks1399-copy

This impressive building which is part of St Francis School is on the corner of Treadgold Street.

lancaster-road-east-side-237-1969-ks1410-copy

And this is looking back up Treadgold Street at the corner opposte the school.

treadgold-street-looking-north-towards-lancaster-raod-1969-ks1523-copy

This corner in fact.

lancaster-road-west-side-294-copy

The picture shows the final section of Lancaster Road as it was in the 1960s and early 1970s in the 29os and 300 house numbers. This is where it went down to meet Bramley Road. The tall buildings in the background were part of the Phoenix Brewery. Most of the buildings in the picture have been replaced but the street survives under the name Whitchurch Road. The name Whitchurch had  formerly applied to a small area around this spot (A man named James Whitchurch was a local landowner.)

This takes us almost outside the borders of Kensington and Chelsea as they used to be when Latimer Road was in Hammersmith. I’ve explored that area through the pictures of Bernard Selwyn and there are a series of posts set around that border zone which I wrote last year. [Links: here, here, here and here ]

Postscript

I hadn’t anticipated continuing the story of Lancaster Road immediately when I wrote last week’s postscript, but I’ve been preparing several posts at the same time and this one did get finished in time.

This part two post turned out to be almost entirely set in streets or parts of streets which have changed completely since the photographs were taken. For me this is another venture into a space that only exists in pictures and memories. For those of you who remember this period of North Kensington’s history I hope these images take you back there.

Thanks once again to Maggie.

Another postscript on an unrelated matter

I seem to have got into the habit of noting the deaths of rock musicians as they occur. I must be at the age when my heroes are starting to die. This time it’s someone who was never particularly famous in the wider world, but was nevertheless a significant figure in the history of popular music, Jaki Liebezeit, the drummer of the German avant garde rock group Can. I loved that band, have most of their albums, even saw them on five occasions (quite a lot for me). More importantly I still listen to them, forty years or more ago after I first heard their music. Jaki himself was very influential on later music whether it was post-punk or EDM. The music world is a little less interesting without him.


Speed kills: St Ann’s Road 1971

I said we would come down to street level for this next installment of Bernard Selwyn pictures, so here you are:

 

1-9 Tidy's - corner of St Ann's -Bramley 02 May 1971

Tidy’s, for toys, hardware, confectionery and many other items I suspect, located at 20-22 Bramley Road at an intersection with Treadgold Street which no longer exists (the intersection no longer exists – Treadgold Street has been truncated since 1971 but still goes on). You can also see St Ann’s Road on the far left of the picture. We’ll go for a bit of a walk around here.

I said we’d come down to earth but it might help if we look at another of Selwyn’s bird’s eye views from Frinstead House.

 

col looking south from FH 22 jun 1971 8

You can make out Tidy’s on the left side of the picture two thirds up from the bottom. Bramley Road runs diagonally past it and St Ann’s Road heads south. The main road running under the railway was called Latimer Road in 1971 but now this section is called Freston Road.

This map also dates from 1971 and shows the layout of the streets.

 

1971 OS map Treadgold Street - Bard Street - Copy

Across the road from Tidy’s a man in shirtsleeves stands near Leone, the hairdressers.

 

 

1-12 Bramley Arms 1-9 Bramley Road May 1971

Further up the road the Bramley Arms which we first saw along the roofline a couple  of weeks ago in front of the brewery building.

 

2-4 Bramley Arms 02 May 1971 - Copy

Looking back at Latimer Road, the Zenith Cafe.

 

2-9 Bramley Road - Copy

In close up Gene and Pearl, button manufacturers. A woman looks back as she walks.

 

2-9 girl looks back outside 12-14 Bramley Road - Copy

A view further back, showing the Trafalgar pub. Do you see the building on the left, in the foreground?

 

2-0 looking up Latimer Road pastTrafalgar at Bramley Arms - Copy

Here it is looking south.

 

2-12 M Gold 119-121 Latimer Road 02 May 1971 - Copy

From Kelly’s Directory: M Gold and Co (Rags) Ltd non-ferrous scrap metal merchants 119-121 Latimer Road. Take another look back up Latimer Road.

 

Latimer Road looking north - Champion Dining Rooms May 1971 BS36 - Copy

I know some people will be interested to see the Champion Dining Rooms.

At the end of this stretch of road:

 

1-32 looking north up Latimer Road - The Enterprise 02 May 1971 - Copy

The Enterprise, an off-license rather than a pub was on the corner of Mortimer Square. This is where we turn off.

 

1-30 Mortimer Square north side 02 May 1971 - Copy

This view of Mortimer Square looks north again. Many of the buildings in these pictures no longer exist but that double fronted resturant is still there under a new name. The street on the right is St Ann’s Road and it will take us back to where we started.

 

1-24 St Ann's Road MGB - Copy

There were some gaps in the rows of house where there were yards and small businesses, and an MGB for those of us who like such things. (As always identifications of vehicles featured are welcome.There are no spectacular cars here but they’re alll of interest.)

This view includes the other side of the street.

 

1-25 St Ann's Road looking north west at SK May 1971 - Copy

There’s some roadside activity by the post box. (What is happening there?) and in the distance, one of those towers is Frinstead House, from which Selwyn took many of his pictures.

1-21 looking up St Ann's road at SK May 1971 - Copy

Closer to the top of the road, another gap in the row of houses, another view of the towers and painted on the back of a building on Treadgold Street …a couple of words.

That phrase was painted on other walls around this time I think. There’s a new edition of Roger Perry’s book about graffitti, the Writing on the Wall in which you can find other examples (and see my post on graffitti in K&C).

 

1-16 Treadgold Street junction with St Ann's Road May 1971 - Copy

We’re back now facing Bramley Road. Peggs and Dolls. a boutique at number 11, next to Curtiss and Sons, furniture removers. And finally:

 

1-17 Tidy's 02 May 1971 - Copy

At Tidy’s, “for your entertainment” posters for White City Stadium – stock car racing. The stadium hosted speedway, greyhound racing and even football and rugby, not to mention events in the 1908 Olympics. But that’s a Hammersmith and Fulham matter, so let’s stop here.

Postscript

Of course as historians of local government know although all the streets in this week’s posts are in Kensington and Chelsea today, back in 1971 they were in Hammersmith (the Borough had yet to add the “and Fulham”). Which is why our libarary photographer never got there and we have to be grateful to Bernard Selwyn whose work and interests crossed Borough boundaries. There will be more from him in the future. (He also went over this ground in some colour pictures).

This post is dedicated to my friend Cy, who knows the area as it is now well.

 


%d bloggers like this: