Friday, 25 June 2010

NW3 to Scotland

Sometimes the history of an area emerges unexpectedly in front of you and so it was one day the other week when a billboard came down revealing this old painted advert for the trains from Kings Cross to Scotland.

The space only lasted for a few days and indeed came to the attention of the South End Green Association who spotted it and featured it in their newsletter... but I managed to get a few pics and then mislaid them.

So i'm now catching up and popping them on here. Because I don't think we'll see it again I'm uploading all the pictures I got.

If you squint and stare you will see it says

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

My Mum's called Sally!

Hampstead has it's fair share of historical and famous people and few greater in reputation than Gracie Fields.

More usually connected with Rochdale, Hampstead was the London bolt hole/base for Dame Gracie.

I wandered past this the other day and realised I hadn't featured the house and so reminded myself to do so.

It also drew into my mind the nature of past singers and actresses who I sense might (and this may be a heresy for some) fade from public perception. I mentioned the Gracie Fields house to a pretty clued up friend and it clearly meant nothing to her... is Gracie Fields becoming a faded memory?

More on Gracie and her significance to Rochdale can be found here:

The house is Number 20 Frognal Way and it's reported that the house was "Her husband Archie Pit built a £15,000 28 room mansion at Hampstead called The Towers. It had marble bathrooms, crystal chandeliers, a lift, and the housekeeper was a Russian princess. Gracie was terrified of the butler, hated the house and kept to her own little bed sitting room."

But I can't help but think that this relates to 136 Bishops Avenue which was also owned/lived in by Gracie - certainly from the outside this house in Frognal Way does not feel big enough...