Clarendon Road is another of the streets that converged at Lancaster Circus running roughly north to south. In 1970 it ran from the junction with Lancaster Road all the way down to Holland Park Avenue. This week’s post is another in a series exploring the streets of North Kensington as they looked in the late 1960s and early 1970s when there were many streets in the area like Walmer Road which took a journey from relative affluence to relative poverty. The recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower put the contrast between the different conditions of life and property in the Borough into a new perspective. But we can still look back at how the streets of North Kensington used to be.
This first picture shows the short section of street on the west side of Clarendon Road after the pub (The Castle) on the corner of Holland Park Avenue. In 1970 there was a Radbourne Garage, a small car dealer at number 1. Next to it was a low rise block of flats in a recognizeably 1960s style.
The block wasn’t typical of the street though. The early numbers on both sides were more like this.
The houses were substantial, showing the ambitions of the original builders and developers of the Ladbroke Estate. By 1970 some of them were a little run down. But the process of gentrification was well under way.
This section of the street is relatively narrow, with one or two surprisingly striking houses.
The one above, a double house, the work of the builder William Reynolds. Below a leaf-clad detached house.
As you move north the street widens out.
I’m not entirely sure of the vantage point in this picture, but I was taken with the woman strolling slowly towards the photographer on what I think would be a winter’s day.
This view is also looking north up the hill from the junction with Clarendon Cross
Clarendon Road intersects with a number of other streets, Ladbroke Road, Lansdowne Walk, St John’s Gardens, Lansdowne Rise, Portland Road. Below, a girl crosses the road near Portland Road unconcerned about traffic.
The Britannia public house was on that corner.
As we get to the junction with Elgin Crescent the street becomes more mixed and the pictures more interesting.
The east side of the road again.
On the west side Nottingwood House.
This view looks north again.
The next turn off is Cornwall Crescent. This is the point where we need some help from a map.
This is actually a detail from the 1935 Ordnance Survey map, which shows the layout of the streets before 1970s development and also has had the individual houses numbered by some unknown hand at Kensington Town Hall. If you look at the point where Cornwall Crescent meets Clarendon Road, the house numbers above 120 on the east side, you see which houses were later demolished when the Lancaster West Estate was built.
This one, 122
Outside Telemart (“radio and television distributors”), a man is making some kind of adjustment to a camper van. You have Talbot Grove visible on the left. Dulford Street was almost opposite, visible in this view of the west side of the street.
Then looking north again you see the final curve of Clarendon Road.
The tower block in the background is one of the towers on the Silchester Estate built by the GLC a few years earlier. although its sudden appearance above the traditional streets reminds us that this was the start of a period of housing development in the area.
Back to the east side:
Below, a number of somewhat run-down shops.
I can’t help wondering what ID Clearance might have been.
This view turns back to look southwards.
And again. We’ve seen this picture before.
I’m a little late publishing again today. One or two other demands on my time, plus the fact that there were quite a lot of pictures of Clarendon Road in the end. I’ve been uncomfortable with the idea of writing about North Kensington since the fire but in the end it’s one of my jobs so I knew I would be back. All this week’s photographs were by John Rogers.