Thursday, 5 May 2011

Scenes from Childhood

My brother just sent me this list of the shops on the north side of the King's Road Chelsea in 1921. While I'm not quite that old and there were changes between 1921 and when I first became aware of the world around me, I still find the list tremendously evocative - each afternoon until I was old enough to go to school I would be taken for a walk from just beyond the Man in the Moon, past MacFisheries, past Laffeaty's, past March & Co, antique dealers, from whence the best surprise Christmas present of my life (an ancient rocking horse who is still with me), past Thomas Crapper (ceaselessly amusing) - up to Sloane Square and back. If Cullen's (grocer - on the south side, sadly) and Geo. White's, stationers (where I spent all my pocket money but geographically just beyond the list's reach) were included, I'd call it a found poem:

2 to 20 Jones Peter Ltd, drapers
22 Poppy A W Ltd, mantle makers
24 Jackson Cecil, ladies outfitter
26 Serre Achille Ltd, dyers & cleaners
26 & 28 Flour Milling Employers Federation, Capt L H Green, sec
30 & 32 London Joint City & Midland Bank Ltd, H J Woodington, man
... here are Cadogan Gardens ...
34 Berte, bootmaker
36 Grant John, butcher
38 & 40 Beaumont & Co, costumiers
38A Bingham Major-Gen Hon Sir Francis Richard, KCMG, CB
40A Pipon Commander Harry Cecil Brand RN
42 Smith Sidney, embroiderer
44 American Clothiers Ltd
44 & 46 Building Products Ltd
52 Cobb George, butcher
54 Freeman, Hardy & Willis Lim, boot & shoe makers
56 & 400 Home & Colonial Stores Ltd
58 Wagstaff Herbert Henry, hosier
60 to 70 Traylen Frank Whitwell, fancy draper
... here is Blacklands Terrace ...
72 Colville Tavern, Pioneer Catering Co Ltd
... here is Lincoln Street ...
74 Legg Chas Sidney, ladies outfitter
76 Goodman Bros, stationers
78 Blake Charles Henry, greengrocer
80 Rees William, fancy draper
82 Staple John, artificial teeth manufacturer
82 Passmore J & Son, chemists
84 Smith Alfred John & Co Limited, wine merchants
84 Goodbody Alfred George
86 Salmon & Gluckstein Limited, tobacconists
88 Brown Thomas, baker
90 Andrews & Co, butchers
92 to 96 Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd
98 Lipton Limited, tea merchants
100 Fowler William Edward, hosier
102 to 106 Wakeford Bros, linen drapers
108 Osborn Harry, baby linen warehouse
... here is Anderson Street ...
110 International Tea Cos Stores Ltd
112 Parker Arthur, fancy draper
114 O'Dell Miss Grace, court dressmaker
114 Fleming, Reid & Co Ltd, hosiers
116A Mulvey Wm John, vet surgeon
116B Phillipe, milliners
116C Ayliffe Wm & Sons, boot makers
... here is Tryon Street ...
118 Solomons Ephraim, ladies outfitter
120 Crapper Thomas & Co Ltd, sanitary engineers
122 Glover George & Co Ltd, dry gas meter makers
122A Inland Revenue, HM Inspector of Taxes (Chelsea), J F Grainger
124 & 124A Webb, Sons & Clarke Ltd, wholesale cheesemongers
126 Fryer Mrs Ellen, confectioner
126 Reeves Gilbert & Co, wine & spirit merchants
128 & 185, 353 & 355 harding Fredk & sons, boot & shoe makers
130 Gemini Samuel, dining rooms
132 Da Costa Eleazer N, glass & china dealer
... here is Bywater Street ...
134 Beaton George Alex, baker
136 Williams Frank, tobacconist
138 Markham Arms, Harry Arthur Andrews
138A Wilkins George Frederick, LLB solicitor
138A Porter Major F Johnson
138A Guerin George, antique dealer
... here is Markham Square ...
140 Barclays Bank Ltd, C H Marsh, manager
144 & 196 & 198 Williams Daniel & Co, linen drapers
146 Dupont Mrs Emily, tailor
... here is Markham Street ...
148 & 150 Chambers & Smurthwaite Ltd, cinematograph theatre
152 Joubert Amedee & Son, upholsterers
152 Astafieva Madame Seraphine, dancing school
152 Somerset Miss
154 Freer Edward Luke, physician & surgeon
154 Porteous Hugh Templeton, LDS, dentist
156 Overnell & Tregellas (Mesdames), restaurant
158 & 391 Simmonds Albert Ltd, oilmen
160 Gigner & Co, chemists
160 Carter Miss May, typewriting office
162 Davis Leonard Thos, perambulator maker
... here is Jubilee Place ...
164 Chelsea Motor Building Co Ltd
164 Radnor Mansions:
1 Brown Miss
2 Digby Miss
3 Olive Miss
166 Bertocchi Thomas, tea rooms
168 Treadwell Bros, boot & shoe makers
170 McQuilland Louis
170 Robinson William & Co, dyers
172 Levman Madame Rebecca, ladies outfitter
174 Singer Sewing Machine Co Ltd
176 hedley Madame Marthe, milliner
176B Louis & Co, musical instrument makers
... here is Blenheim Street ...
180 & 182 Eleusis Club, Joseph J Cooke, sec
182 Cadogan Cinema
182 Harrison Charles Alan, physician & surgeon
184 Ashby G & Sons, electric light engineers
184 & 188 Howells David, wardrobe dealer
184 Collins Misses Hephzibah Florence & Olive Faith, boot & shoe makers
186 & 103 Miller Arthur, furniture dealer
188 & 184 Howells David, wardrobe dealer
190 Duerre Mrs Amelia Rosina, watch maker
192 Bull Arthur & Co, hosiers
194 Defrae Joseph, hairdresser
196 & 198 & 144 Williams Daniel & Co, linen drapers
200 Lord Nelson, William James Stephens
202 & 135 White Mrs Gertrude, tobacconist
204 Cocks R M & Son, estate agents
206 Hawkins Alan, physician & surgeon
208 Gordon Albert, photographer
212 Steel Thomas & Sons, carpenters
214 Sutton John, artificial teeth maker
216 Cole Edmund James, watch maker
218 Lloyd Arthur, fried fish dealer
220 & 405 Oliver Douglas, cycle maker
222 Myers henry, tobacconist
222A Lucas Mrs Olive, servants registry office
... here is Upper Manor Street ...
224 London County Westminster & Parrs Bank Ltd, Austin Hardwicke Neame, manager
226A Buck Miss Rose
226 Leader Edward, picyure dealer & importer
228 Postal Telegraph Office, Money Order Office & savings Bank
Chelsea palace (Music Hall)
... here is Sydney Street ...
250 Chelsea (Offices of Clerk to the Guardians of), Charles W Shepherd, clerk & supt registrar
250 Facey james William, registrar of births & deaths for the sub-district of Chelsea North
250 Moweis Miss Harriet Louisa, registrar of births & deaths for the sub-district of Chelsea South
... here are Arthur Street & St Lukes burial ground ...
262 Beasley George, plumber
264 Butler Frank Edward
272 Cranford Mrs Sarah, antique furniture dealer
276 Adams Bernard Robert, artist
276 french Miss Isabel M, artist
... here is Manresa Road ...
280 Robinson T J & Son, solicitors
282 Bevan Henry, house agent
282 Metropolitan Water Board Collectors Office
292 March & Co, antique furniture dealers
294 Holton Mrs Elizabeth, servants registry office
Chelsea PSE National Health Insurance Approved Society, Richard V Holton, sec
294 O'Hara Mrs Betty, court dressmaker
296 CArlyle Studios:
1 Robinson Miss Stewart, artist
1A Muir Miss Lily, artist
2 Carter William, artist
3 Campbell Colin, artist
4 Lintott Barnard, artist
5 Wilmot Miss Catherine, artist
7 Fripp Thomas
... here is Carlyle Square ...
298 Cadogan Arms, William Knight
... here is Church Street ...
300 London County Westminster & Parrs Bank Ltd, Percy Fredk Nichols, manager
300 Youngman Ernest henry
302 Crowe Mrs
302 RAdcliffe-Smith Mrs
302 Symes Mrs
304 Osborn & Shearman, wallpaper manufacturers
306 Schofield Hy Robert, fruiterer
308 Laffeaty Thos John, cycle maker
310 Wood Henry, grocer
310A Smith Mrs Algernon
312 Copley Miss Edith Amy & Cunningham Miss Catherine Smith, costumiers
314 Pearce Frank, artists colourman
314A Bogle Stewart
316 & 318 Clisby Edgar Terence, restaurant
... here is Vale Avenue ...
340 Jones Timothy, dairyman
344 & 346 beaufort Drapery Co
... here is Beaufort Street ...
348 & 350 Roebuck, Mrs Amy Clarke
374 Stebbing Samuel Jas, butcher
376 & 378 Allen Thomas, hatter
... here are Chelsea park Dwellings ...
380 Vedy Alfred Fredk, newsagent
382 Jones Misses jane & Mary, dairy
384 & 349 Clisby Kent Fredk, fruiterer
386 Smith Henry William, butcher
388 & 397 MacFisheries Ltd, fishmongers
390 Maypole dairy Co Ltd
392 Man in the Moon, Harry Wasley


  1. A most impressive list

  2. 304 King's Road, now Osborne and Little, and still manufacturing wallpaper. How interesting that George's family name acquired an 'e' sometime in the 20th century, perhaps to make themselves a bit posher?

  3. I was really surprised that they'd been there for so long too - and I don't remember them from childhood, but I suppose wallpaper was never going to catch a child's eye. I agree that it was probably a desire to appear smarter that had them attaching the 'e' eventually, although I think the 'e'less variety has rarity and therefore far more class (and the fact that I have an opinion on the subject shows that I'm just as much of a snob as them).

  4. I do also wonder what happened to Mr Shearman. Was he ruthlessly ousted by the socially aspirational Mr Little, I wonder?

    I have an extraordinarily vivid memory of that part of King's Road, the morning after the hurricane of October 1987 had done its work. In the night we had half a tree come crashing through the back window of our flat in Beaufort Street. Then the morning came and it was eerily quiet. We went outside and saw trees lying on top of cars and windows blown out. There was no traffic as the road was impassable. Instead of waiting at the bus stop for the No 19 bus (outside Messrs Osborne and Little) I walked down to Sloane Square, marvelling at the scale of the destruction. Quite a start to my working day!

  5. Australian Aboriginals have a concept of the area they come from being their 'dreaming' (I'm probably grossly oversimplifying the concept, before anyone points that out) and the King's Road and its environs are mine - where I learnt to walk, ride a bike et cetera. But when I go back, I find it's been taken over by rich show-offs (Australian Aboriginals may feel the same about their country). Walk around Paulton's Square any day and look through the windows - the rooms within look like interior decorators' showcases, whereas they used to look like comfortable places that people lived: newspapers scattered about, scruffy old sofas and so forth. Mr Shearman probably saw this fancypants stuff coming and got out - perhaps he emigrated to Australia?