Tag Archives: Danube Street

Side streets of Chelsea: part two

We took a look at the Cross Keys in part one, and I was pleased to hear it would be opening again. So let’s start with another look at it down one of the side streets of Chelsea, Lordship Place.

Lordship Place looking west 1970 KS 3182

All the pictures this week are glimpses of the places behind the well known thoroughfares, the back streets, the short cuts, the hidden alleys and openings or the odd buildings you somehow failed to notice. Like this one:

Danvers street east side 1970 KS 3100Danvers street east side 1970 KS 3099

Two views of the Danvers Street garage, the only business on a mostly residential street at one time. Did I walk past the sign offering lubrication myself when I lived nearby or had it gone by then? The other sign “Chauffeur driven hire” looks unconvincing now, slightly dodgy in fact. It might have come from an episode of Minder.

This is another possible location for a seventies TV drama:

Radnor Walk east side Chelsea Pottery 1975 KS4636

Imagine one of those quirky detectives peering out from that balcony off Radnor Walk wondering where the missing girl has gone.

Here is another atmospheric alley bearing the name of a famous local resident, Joubert Studios.

Joubert Studios 3724

The detective has just gone into one of the mews style houses.

The other theme this week is cars parked on narrow streets.

Danube Street 17805

That’s Danube Street again. I like the rear view of those houses, the jumble of flat roofs and railings. It wouldn’t have been much of a view but on a sunny day you could sit out in the open and look down on that Vauxhall Victor. (Am I right, car experts?)

Paradise Walk W side 1974 KS 4653

This is Paradise Walk, a salubrious residential street today like most of the side streets of Chelsea but back in 1974 this set of commercial buildings look like they were only recently adapted for residential use. The tall building in the distance is still there, but now has a glass door and an entry phone.

Paradise Walk runs into Royal Hospital Road. Here’s a view further east.

Royal Hosp Rd looking W fr Tite St 1974 KS 4361

Royal Hospital Road is an enclave far enough from the King’s Road to support a few shops. Oakeshotts was a chain of grocery shops you used to see all over London. This one is now a Tesco Express. Let’s move on back towards the main drag.

Royal Hosp Rd N side Burtons Court 1974 KS 4366

I don’t suppose this view has changed much since 1974, but it does have the still quality of that time as the photographer, John Rogers caught a moment when there was virtually no traffic.

Wellington Square gardens 1975, KS 4140Nearby John paused to get a picture of this ornamental fountain in Wellington Square where Aleister Crowley lived briefly in the 1930s.

On the northern side of the King’s Road, Blacklands Terrace named after Blacklands Farm.

Blacklands Terrace 1970The John Sandoe  bookshop has been a Chelsea institution for many years. According to rumour Dirk Bogarde used to go there to sell review copies of books. A couple of typical seventies people emerging not from the shop but the pub next door.

Moving west again, to Bramerton Street.

Bramerton street East side 39-37, 1970 KS 33889An otherwise dull view enlivened by the woman standing in her doorway peering at something we can’t see.

Burnsall street 19-17,15, 4In Burnsall Street, an Austin Allegro, perhaps one of the worst cars British Leyland ever made. I cleaned a great many of them at Mamos Motors in Soho. This was the period when Ford were in the ascendant and it was slightly surprising that Leyland continued to sell cars

Despite all the Allegros, Marinas and Princesses I had a good time during my brief spell in the motor trade. London was full of surprising places to see even in the most obscure streets, like this last picture of an odd turret in Jubilee Place.

Jubilee Place East Side 8-10 Postscript

We’ll be back for a part three, but not for a while. I’m not sure what’s coming next week but it will be quite different from idyllic Chelsea in the 1970s. Thanks to everyone for their best wishes for my health. I’ll try and stay out of trouble.

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Side streets of Chelsea: part one

Most people have heard of the King’s Road, and when these photographs were taken it was at the height of its cultural / historical significance, Chelsea was one of the fashion / youth culture centres of the world. But off the main road were ordinary streets, home to the affluent and the less than affluent. These pictures were taken by the library photographer John Rogers in the early 1970s as a contemporary record of how Kensington and Chelsea looked. It was then a relatively new borough, the result of an amalgamation of the old separate Metropolitan Boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, so the photo survey was one of the first attempts to show the character of the new entity.

The pictures have that quiet mood we’ve seen before in the survey pictures. They remind us that this is now a historical era, even if some of us think we can remember it. There are less people and fewer cars. And there’s an atmosphere about them, the hint of a more optimistic, less frantic time.

Markham St 1970

Markham Street, off the northern side of the King’s Road. A young woman with a string bag goes shopping. Further west in Burnsall Street a man checks out some jackets.

Burnsall Street

As always in these photo survey pictures I’ll be very pleased if you can identify the cars even when they’re not exactly classics.

Further south there are more traditional scenes.

Danube Street from the east

This narrow street is Danube Street, off Cale Street. The building on the right still has that shop front almost the same except for a different paint job.

On the south side of the King’s Road you could have found your way to this quiet autumnal backwater, off Christchurch Street.

Christchurch Street east side 1974, KS 4175Something about this photo takes me back to  my 1974 when I had been in London for less than a year.

So does this tranquil spot in Dilke Street:

Dilke Street north side 1974 KS4347

Dilke Street, which runs parallel to the river, deserves a second look:

Dilke Street south side 1974 KS4344

This distinctive house can still be found on Google Maps. The trees behind the wall are in the Chelsea Physic Garden.

The trees below on the other hand are in Margaretta Terrace. This street, rumoured to be the site of a plague pit was built by Dr John Samuel Phene and named after his wife.

Margaretta Terrace east side 26-27 1973 KS 4534

But in 1973 as John passed by, a small child ran between a Rover and a Citroen, two cars characteristic of middle class life at that date.

Margaretta Terrace is behind Oakley Street which I used to walk down on my way home from working at Chelsea Library, past the site of Dr Phene’s famous house heading along Upper Cheyne Row towards this narrow passage:

Justice Walk from west KS 3083Justice Walk may get a post of its own one day, or maybe my whole walk home. You can see a view from the other end in this post on WW Burgess.

If I’d turned left I’d have walked down Lawrence Street.

Lawrence St W side The Cross Keys P.H 1970 KS 3197

This is the Cross Keys, a public house dating from 1708. In 1970 the existence of a large number of pubs in Chelsea was taken for granted but many of them have gone now. The Cross Keys avoided being turned into a residential property in 2012 but is currently closed and up for sale again.

When I was walking home in those days my journey finished in Beaufort Street. Further west back in 1970 a major building project was in progress.

Cremorne Road looking west 1972, KS 3920Cremorne Road was just as busy in 1972 as it is today. The World’s End Estate was rising and places like this were gone:

Dartrey road 1969 KS1835A doorway in Dartrey Street just before demolition.

Some of the old neighbourhood still survived in 1972:

Burnaby street south side 1972, KS 3993

Burnaby Street, at the intersection with Upcerne Road (I think). Note the word Shed on the wall. Not a reference to the small building in your garden, but part of the Chelsea football ground, home to one of the original firms of football hooligans (according to Wikipedia  I’m sure one of my Chelsea readers could give us chapter and verse).

This nearby street is no longer on maps:

Meek St looking W 1972  KS3999A black cat crosses Meek Street in the thirteenth picture. He’s in no danger from passing traffic.

For the most part as we’ve seen the streets are calm. There are plenty of these pictures so expect a part two in the next few weeks. Let’s have one more for my friend Carrie, at the other end of Chelsea.

Pavilion Rd east side 107-103 1970Pavillion Road – what car is that, motor enthusiasts?

Postscript

This is a topic I’ve had on the back burner for a while, but for a couple of reasons, one medical (I’m not at work right now after a small accident on Monday night) and one practical (our scanning equipment is locked up in the Library basement during some building repairs), I’ve decided to go with it this week.

While at A&E I had an idea for a post which may be next week’s. This is the blogger’s life – everything you see makes you ask: is there a blog post here?

Stop press: I’ve just seen a tweet saying  the Cross Keys is to re-open. Story at:

http://chelseasociety.org.uk/cross-keys-reopen/

 


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