Wednesday 30 January 2008

The things you see and take for granted

I found time to pause and look up along the Kilburn High Road the other day and have now sorted out and picked out what I think are this illuminating set of pics - nothing much, but just little insights into the vibrancy and history of the area.

Picture 1:
GW & AE Thomson Ltd
It's a great old metal sign from an age now slipping out of view - magnificently the shop beneath is still a jewellers - I do think that this needs either the building owner to leave the sign up or to take it down now and put it in the Museum of Kilburn (whenever that comes about! - perhaps Kilburn Library or one of the archive offices should take the sign now with the owners agreement?)

Picture 2:
The Tricyle Cinema and Theatre has a landmark status now for the area leading on Irish and Black traditions, drama and culture. The Theatre opened in 1980 in the old Forresters Hall (the Forresters shop front still survives in full operational status) before being burnt down in 1987 and rebuilt opening in 1998. The sign on the KHR is just great and I love the tricycle mechanism just inside this open hallway also (well worth a look if passing) - and has a great little coffee bar inside.

Picture 3:
The Black Lion Pub is just an architectural masterpiece of it's type - great street presence, well maintained, and inside - well, it just takes our breath away. It has the best of pub architecture and probably my best and favourite pub for aesthetics. I have other critieria such as atmosphere, beer quality, fond memories etc. that put other pubs high up my list. But the long and short is if you haven't been in this pub you are really missing something.

Pic 4:
Vacancy board on the High Road. This dates back to a time when the High Road was identified as the heart land of temporary and indeed very packed bed and breakfast boarding. I suspect that it was areas such as this that generated the definition of 'garret' in old parlance. I'm told that this sign is the last one of what used to be one on every building advertising vancies - the Old Bell used to have boards showing vacancies and that this little sign is one of the last vestiges of the need for hundreds of rooms for rent from the days of the thousands of Irish workers who moved into the area and were very mobile and transient when they first got here...

Picture 5:
The old sign advertising the newspaper of record: THE KILBURN TIMES. Founded in 1867 the Kilburn Times has outlived all of the other newspapers of Kilburn and area. papers it has seen off have included Kilburn & Queen's Park Post, Kilburn Free Press, and Kilburn News and the Kilburn Post. I'm told that this sign dates from the 1970's and has been updated at various times.

Picture 6:
My favourite: the old cigarette wall painting advert - previously covered in the blog and reproduced here because it is my favourite picture.

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