Category Archives: West London

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Weston’s Cider House – 339 Harrow Road, London W9

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My father told me a few tales about ‘Weston’s Cider House’, cheap “Lunatic Soup” cider, served by men in white coats! There was sawdust on the floor and sometimes you’d need a boat to get to the WC as most of the piss was on the floor. Not a place to bring a first date! Walshy Next door to the ‘Cider House’ there used to be the National Cash Register building/factory. My late mum’s eldest brother, Uncle Ern, was known … Continue reading

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When there was an Outbreak of Highway Damage by Treasure-Seekers in Shepherd’s Bush (and Beyond)

Posted on by Steve Russell

The following article appeared in the Cornish & Devon Post on 30th January 1904: George Stevenson, twenty-four, plasterer, was brought up at West London Police-court, on a charge of wilfully damaging the surface of the highway on Loftus-road, Shepherd’s Bush. A police-constable said he saw defendant scraping the earth away from the roots of trees on the footway with a trowel. He told him that he should arrest him, and he replied, ‚ÄúWhat for. I am doing no harm. I … Continue reading

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Memories of Paddington

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Born and brought up in Paddington, with family connections that go back well over a hundred years, ‘Paddington Paul’ was an obvious choice for me for a user name on this site. The first mention of Paddington is as ‘Paddintun’. ‘Tun’ being the Saxon word for a fortified farm. It is mentioned in documents that date to 998, recording lands granted to Monks at Westminster. However, there is no mention of Paddington in the Doomsday book, so it is likely … Continue reading

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The Ealing Theatre/Hippodrome – Formerly Located at 22, Ealing Broadway, London W5

Posted on by Steve Russell

The theatre dominates the right-hand side of the postcard (circa 1907) shown below, with the tower and right-hand spire and the elaborate gable bearing the name ‘Ealing Theatre’ in the centre. A hall of variety was Ealing’s sole place of entertainment in 1832. It stood next to the New Inn in St. Mary’s Road and may have been the Royal Standard Theatre of 1850. A concert hall in the Broadway adjoining an older building was opened in 1881. Known as … Continue reading

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London’s Smallest Houses in 1926 were situated in Notting Hill and off the Bayswater Road

Posted on by Steve Russell

The following article appeared in an issue of ‘Wonderful London’ magazine in 1926. ‘At No.10, Hyde Park Place, a street off the Bayswater Road near Lancaster Gate Tube Station, the quaint dwelling seen in the upper photograph is to be found. No one seems to know how it got there. Tradition says it was built specially for a dwarf. On the other hand, being so near Kensington Gardens, where – according to Sir James Barrie – strange things live, No.10 … Continue reading

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There’s a Riot going on…with Cliff Richard? Are you sure?

Posted on by Steve Russell

Cliff Richard is possibly not the first name to spring to mind in answer to the question ‘Whose show at the Chiswick Empire was stopped by a riot?’ But I swear it’s true. It was 1 May 1959 and you never know, there may be a few readers out there today who were in the Upper Circle that May evening 57 years ago. It’s odd to think of Cliff as a dangerous rock and roll star. People of my vintage … Continue reading

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The Hammersmith Palace, Temple or Theatre of Varieties

Posted on by Steve Russell

The Hammersmith Palace, Temple or Theatre of Varieties in King Street, was another example of a Music Hall evolving from a public house. According to ‘The Stage’ weekly newspaper, in 1884 Acton Phillips purchased the Town Hall Tavern, the Theatre of Varieties, which stood behind it, and also some of the adjacent land, which then evolved into the Palace of Varieties. It became a stronghold of variety and most of the top Music Hall stars appeared there. When she was … Continue reading

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The Blue Plaque in Hammersmith that commemorates the planning of the D-Day Landings

Posted on by Steve Russell

Following our latest trip to the Hammersmith archive, Bernard Lambert, Colin Woodley and I headed up the Hammersmith Road to ‘Latymers’ for some lunch. Whilst taking a photograph of the pub, Colin noticed an interesting building situated through the trees. A closer inspection revealed a blue plaque on the outside wall that commemorated the planning of the D-Day landings in 1944. Dan Hodges wrote an interesting article on the subject for the local newspaper in 2009 following the unveiling: ‘It … Continue reading

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When the Largest European Film Studios were located in Shepherd’s Bush

Posted on by Steve Russell

The following article from 1933 was written by Ellis Coughter and appeared in the Meccano magazine. It provides a wonderful insight into British film production during that period. An extract follows: ‘One of the most interesting features of the cinematograph world since the War, has been the steady development of the British film industry. During the War the American film industry made enormous strides, both technically and commercially, whereas all British activity of this kind was at a complete standstill. … Continue reading

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Bob Grant: Born on this Day and Grew up in Hammersmith

Posted on by Steve Russell

Robert Sinclair Grant was born on 14th April 1932 and grew up in Hammersmith at 20 Rivercourt Road. His family also had local connections with Wolverton Gardens and Weltje Road. Best known for his role as Jack Harper, the scheming and lecherous clippie in ‘On the Buses’, a label that he tried to shrug off for years. The popular television series ran from 1969 to 1973 and there were also three film productions. For his National Service, he was commissioned … Continue reading

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