Looking at the index of my Collins Superscale London maps I noticed that each section commenced with a capital letter. As I worked my way through the list I found, incredibly, four streets in London appear to have unique names. So, without further ado, here is the first street in every letter in London.
AAaron Hill Road (E6) 400 years ago Aaron Hill was a poet and dramatist, renowned in London for his adaptations of Voltaire, and successful enough to be buried in Westminster Abbey.
BBabmaes Street (SW1) Founded in 1872 the Naval and Military Club, known as the In and Out Club has its premises in the house once owned by Britain’s first female MP – Nancy Astor. The club’s old location in Piccadilly had an in and out drive, hence its nickname. Now its doors are located in St. James’s Square and 7-9 Babmaes Street. In and Out indeed.
CCabbell Street (NW1) Jack ‘Spot’ Comer was an East End gangster attacked outside his home in Hyde Park Mansions on Cabbell Street in 1956. Son of Polish immigrant parents and born into grinding poverty in Whitechapel, Jack Spot joined his first gang at an early age. Comer rose to rule the criminal underground via protection and gambling rackets, by the late 1940s he was making a fortune at the racetrack working in partnership with another famous gangster, Billy Hill.
DDabin Crescent (SE10) Dabin Crescent is only 157 yards long. There is only one street named Dabin Crescent making it unique in Britain.
EEagle Close (SE16) This cul-de-sac of only a few yards long is but a stone’s throw of the last entry here, Zampa Road.
FFabian Street (E6) This short close with only a couple of dozen houses has the advantage of a footpath at the end giving access to the Greenway, a 4.3 mile-long footpath and cycle highway mostly in Newham which at its easterly end runs along the embankment containing the Joseph Bazalgette Northern Outfall Sewer.
GGables Close (SE5) Not many gabled properties here about, the flats do provide easy access to the Camberwell College of Arts counting actor Tim Roth, musician Humphrey Lyttelton and designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen amongst its alumni.
HHaarlem Road (W14) This short street at 94 yards long can boast that it is one of only 3 similarly named Haarlem Roads in Great Britain.
IIbbotson Avenue (E16) There is only one street named Ibbotson Avenue making it unique in Great Britain.
JJacaranda Grove (E8) Properties here, despite the large number of council flats nearby, sell for more than £1 million. At least the local female MP lives in the adjacent road.
KKassala Road (E13) Approximately 120 yards long, this is the only street named Kassala Road making it unique in Great Britain.
LLaburnum Close (SE15) Unsurprisingly there are 84 other streets named Laburnum Close in Great Britain.
MMabledon Place (WC1) UNISON union once had their headquarters at the junction of Mabledon Place and Euston Road.
NNag’s Head Court (EC1)
There are a plethora of Nag’s Heads in London, but it’s hard to imagine a boozer being squeezed into this minute street near the Barbican.
OOak Crescent (E16) Although you have to pay over £350,000 for a flat here the street is yards from the Canning Town Flyover.
PPace place (E1) Could this be the shortest street on this list? So small the postcode E1 2NA was terminated by the Royal Mail in December 2016.
QQueen Elizabeth Street (SE1) The expensive apartments a short walk from Tower Bridge has outside Jacob a life-sized statue of a dray horse as its centrepiece for The Circle to commemorate the history of the site. He was flown over London by helicopter into Queen Elizabeth Street to launch The Circle in October 1987.
RRabbit Row (W8) Rabbit Row is a mews predominantly one-sided, with only 4 properties. The original purpose of the Mews was to provide stable/coach house accommodation for the larger houses on Kensington Mall.
SSabbarton Street (E16) It’s a pity this very short street off Silvertown Way is industrialised, as at its end is a view of Bow Creek as it flows into the Thames.
TTabard Street (SE1) Part of the one-way system at the Borough, I can only think it takes its name from the Tabbard Inn once famous for accommodating people who made the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral
UUamvar Street (E14) The entomology of this strange name could be derived from Uaighmor, also anglicised Uam Var, the name means ‘Great Cave’, referring to a large cave in the cliff face which was a hideout for brigands into the eighteenth century.
VVale, The (SW3) Just how many Vales are there? This one-off the King’s Road is the cabbies’ cut-through to Elm Park. A turning off The Vale is Mulberry Walk once home to Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and actor Laurence Olivier.
WWadding Street (SE17)
Close by was the Heygate Estate, a massive concrete warren containing 1,100 homes. Quite why post-war architects thought such grimly functional structures embodied the progressive, honest and classless fresh start we needed after the war.
XNone now There used to be an XX Place, off Globe Road E1, it was a narrow street, first on the left off Globe Road from Mile End Road, serving ten small cottages on the north side.
YYabsley Street (E14) There is only one street named Yabsley Street making it unique in Great Britain.
ZZamba Road (SE16) The most famous road of this list as at the end of its 200 yards is The Den, Millwall Football Club.