I was going to do a sequel to Backwaters a couple of weeks ago when I got sidetracked onto Pelham Street so this week we’re going back to the mewses crowded with parked cars and street names you can’t quite place back in the early years of the 1970s.
Like Ledbury Mews North, featuring the usual cluster of cars awaiting servicing, men at work and cramped first floors, offices or homes reached by odd looking staircases:
Or names like Sheldrake Place.
A sunny little spot off Duchess of Bedford’s Walk not all that far from the Library. Or Morton Mews:
A semi-residential alley in Earls Court, a stone’s throw from Cromwell Road, dominated by the rears of apartment blocks in Barkston Gardens and Knaresborough Place. It’s the element of seclusion which is the essence of a backwater. They can be close to major thoroughfares or hidden away.
This was Russell Mews in 1972, now known as Russell Gardens Mews, a cul-de-sac which sneaks away from the north end of Russell Road. Take a virtual walk up Russell Road on Google Maps these days and you see a residential street with comparatively modern housing on its western side. There is a discreet gap which leads to a footbridge over the railway to the station at Olympia but in 1972…
The area by the footbridge was an open space mostly used as a car park. You can see the station at Olympia and the great curved roof of the exhibition hall. There was a fine selection of 70s vehicles.
A lone VW camper van parked outside the fence.
A triumph Herald, parked next to the fat more stylish Ford Capri (see this post for my quest for this particular car). The mark 1 version I think (the mark 2 had a hatchback as I remember it. Car experts can correct me if I’m wrong). I wonder what TWA stood for? Not the airline I assume.
Our photographer got as close as he could without crossing the border into Hammersmith.
Park between the lines? I can’t see any lines.
Here you can make out a sign.
“Motorail Terminal” Now look back at the picture featuring the Capri. Are cars lined up on a platform waiting to be loaded onto a train?
Not one of these:
A regular tube train I think, but I’m happy for further information from rail enthusiasts.
I seem to have got stuck in this particular backwater, but before we move on, one more picture.
This shows Russell Road looking south, leading down to Kensington High Street. The house just visible to the right of the trees are on over the railway bridge on the south side of the street, and they’re in Hammersmith.
We’ll stay on the border though, heading north to a street off Holland Park Avenue, just before the roundabout at Shepherd’s Bush.
Lorne Gardens, with the Duke of Clarence pub.
There is another of those residential enclaves but there is also this paved open space.
Note the abandoned bike and on the rear of a building called Beacon House some graffitti, including a name: Chico.
And unusually this concrete staircase which looks as if it belongs in a much wider space.
It forms part of the unexpectedly brutalist rear of the Hilton Hotel in Holland Park Avenue which had a much milder front facade. It looks distinctively late 60s / early 70s.
Did it ever appear as a film/TV location? I’m thinking Man in a Suitcase, or possibly Edge of Darkness.
We’ve been having a few technical problems with the computer linked to our scanner so at the moment there’s no scanning being done. Hence an early appearance for this post. I have a few posts in draft form in various stages of completion some of which are a bit left field so if it takes a while to sort out our computer you might see some slightly odd or tangential posts in the next few weeks. The longer it takes, the stranger the posts. Bear with me, and expect the unexpected.