Sunday, 27 February 2011

Boom in cinema's locally...

So just how many cinema's have there been in the local area?

I'm counting at least 7 down the Kilburn High Road (only 1 now)
1 on Belsize Road in Kilburn
The current 1 at Swiss Cottage
1 on the Finchley Road
2 on Heath Street, NW3 (1 still there)
and 2 on Haverstock Hill (1 still there)

I make that 13 in the past (3 today)
Any other's I've missed?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Kensal Rise out for a bicycle ride...

Here are 37 of north west London's finest cyclist.

Based on the costumes and the pictures I reckon is is taken in the very early part of the 20th century - c. 1910 - and is a photograph postcard of Kensal Rose Cycling Club.

I think the cycling club didn't last much longer as in 1926 there was the formation of Willesden Cycling Club (WCC) which still operates today.

But as a pictorial and indeed sartorial insight into Edwardian Britain this is pretty good...

There used to be a cycling track at Kensal Green and indeed this saw the first race (for the Finchley Harriers) of 1908 Olympic medal winner Leon Meredith (1882-1930).

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Roll up, roll up - for 6 nights only...

A special treat here which is the programme from 14th April 1896 (the programme is dated by hand on the back - this is the second night of a 6 night run) of the Theatre Royal in Kilburn.

The Theatre Royal was in Belsize Road (opposite the Kilburn and Maida Vale station - the original railway house is still there in great external condition) and is essentially just opposite the Priory Pub.

More information on this music hall can be found here

This programme refers to the 'New' Theatre Royal as the theatre was rebuilt in 1895 and therefore this is just a year old at this point.

The prize top billed act is William Bryer (by his stage name Willie Edouin) at this point quite late in his career - he's now about go freelance and passes away in 1908.

Mark Melford worked with Willie Edouin before not least on a very successful run on this performance "Turned Up" but also on "The Jerry Builder".

Much more on Edouin can be found here

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

NW6 Back in 1790

I thought this little map from my local history collection would be of interest to local officianado's. (To get a large image just click on it and it should open as a new window.)

It's essentially a travel map, a sort of gazeteer, of the route from London to Tring in the form of a hand drawn AA or RAC site - this is the section from London to Bushey Heath - the rest would have been on the next page as columns 21 and 22.

For local drinkers and supporters of ye olde public house you will see on the Kilbourn (sic) part the following hostelries:
The Red Lion
The Bell
The Black Lion
The Crown (now in Cricklewood)

All still there today (although the Red Lion is somewhat dreadfully renamed as The Westbury).

The map also throws into contention the claim of the Cock to be a medieval tavern, but I'll leave that claim to a later date of discussion.

The other bit on the name is the confirmation of the Kilburn Gate toll (from Kilburn Gate estate - top of Maida Vale and bottom of the High Road) through to Edware Gate - a length of some 7 miles.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Some things don't change in West End...

It's incredibly easy to miss Emmanuel Church if you walk down Fortune Green Road today...

Everyone knows it is there, lots of people as a result of the school have heard of it, but the mansions lfats next and around mean that the attractive Victorian build just melds into the local scenescape...

But this postcard, posted in 1906 (when the church is just 9 years old), shows the building off as being much more imposing as there are no surrounding buildings in the way there are today.

But, bar that overshadow of the buildings, little has changed outwardly today. The architect in 1897 was JA Thomas of Charing Cross and the foundations were laid on 19th June 1897 - I wonder if the poster of this postcard realised that they were at the anniversary of the foundation when they sent this card. In fact given it is posted in Highbury it is quite possible that this person attends this 'new' church as they are a donor/supporter and went to the foundation service in 1906.

In fact, the church authorities ran out of money during the work and in fact the work was not completed until 29th June 1903 so this card is almost certainly produced as a new card just after the building work was completed and sold for the next three or four or more years...

You might even notice that the noticeboard is even in the same place 104 years later...! In fact anyone standing at Chomley Garden on Fortune Green Road would see little different today.

Of course, the Rev'd Jonathan Kester will be delighted to read that the sender of this postcard liked the service (18th June 1906) - not much has changed in that respect I suspect!

The only other side issues from this card is that there was a post in Highbury at 9.15pm and you can be pretty confident that that was not the only post dispatch of the day.

But then again postcards are not much used for short day-today communications like this - I guess this is the 1906 equivalent of an email or facebook message.

Friday, 11 February 2011

So what did the Kilburn High Road look like from the inside...

It's relatively easy to track down early postcards and images of high streets or in this instance, High Roads, - more on this to follow.

But I have often wondered who the shop keepers were, the customers and the products.

So this little gem gives us one small insight - dated on the back 1897 it looks like an engagement or aniversary picture... but crucially for this blog is taken on the Kilburn High Road.

It's a studio piece on a card mount, nothing on the back - the sort of thing you would go in have the picture taken and call back a hour or so later and collect it for a shilling or so... It's nice to note the wooden fence prop - relatively common at this period to give it a setting.

The shop of photographer, Edward J Davison, was at 310 High Road, Kilburn.

Now it's Furnishing First - just before Brondesbury Station - opposite the Luminaire (as was) - but a small insight into ye olde Kilburn...