Tag Archives: Guest posting

Notting Hill – An Interesting History

Notting Hill is located within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea just to the west of Central London. Notting Hill’s boundaries have always been pretty hazy, but it is generally considered to be the area around Notting Hill Gate and the southern end of Ladbroke Grove running into Holland Park. The W11 postcode is the one that is linked most closely, although it takes in parts of W2, W8 and W10 too.

[T]oday, the Notting Hill area is mostly affluent and cosmopolitan and is home to many well-known names such as Stella McCartney, Robbie Williams and David & Victoria Beckham as well as many politicians including ex-Prime Minister, David Cameron.

However, although Notting Hill is now renowned for being cool and sought after, it has not always been so fashionable. For much of its history, Notting Hill (or Notting Dale, one of the earlier names for the area) was a rural suburb of London and was avoided by the wealthy because it was run down with a poor reputation. In fact, in its early history and right up until the late 19th century, Notting Hill was home to potters and pig farmers and was known as the Potteries and Piggeries!

During the 19th century London grew massively and, as a result, expanded outwards into the surrounding areas leading to dramatic change in Notting Hill. The Ladbroke family were responsible for much of this and many new developments in the area formed part of the Ladbroke Estate.

Streets were constructed and large townhouses built, some with private communal gardens, such as Ladbroke Square, which remains the largest private garden square in London. These were attractive to wealthy inner city families wanting cleaner air and more space.

Initially middle class London families moved into the newly built homes but Notting Hill’s reputation changed during the middle part of the 20th century and, with that, many of the middle class families moved away. Some of the servants once employed by the families remained, but few had enough money for the upkeep of the large houses. Even more families left following the Second World War as Notting Hill suffered extensive bomb damage.

In the 1950’s the population of London grew and, to support the increased number of people, a new era of housing development commenced. In some areas, including Notting Hill, bigger family homes were re-purposed. Many of the large Victorian terraced houses were subdivided into small flats that were rented out cheaply – sometimes illegally.

It was also a time when many people from the West Indies were making their way to what they thought would be a better life in England and many were attracted to the areas of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove as a result of the cheap rents. However, many were forced to live in poor conditions in properties that were neglected by their landlords who were more interested in making money than providing a decent home.

In the late 1960’s some of London’s run down areas benefitted from philanthropy and the development of Housing Associations. Improvements involved renewing public areas and cleaning open spaces and Notting Hill started to change yet again. Whilst some of the historical properties remained, some of the deprived parts were cleared and new housing developed.

With the benefit of such a central location, as London property prices have risen in recent decades, many streets in Notting Hill have became home to a wealthier section of its population. Single occupation houses became popular once again, whilst some of those previously converted into functional flats were transformed into luxury apartments, many of which now cost in excess of £1million. Independent shops, boutique retailers, smart restaurants and bars followed as Notting Hill became highly sought after and property prices rocketed.

As a result of the property price increases there have been further changes in the cultural diversity of the area. However, there are still pockets of some of its original population, particularly around Ladbroke Grove and the northern end of Portobello Road, where the world renowned Notting Hill Carnival takes place every year in August.

In Portobello Road (which became known worldwide thanks to the much loved film Notting Hill) and its environs you’ll find antiques shops and stalls, fresh food and local crafts. Many are open every day of the week, although weekends are the best time to visit.

There is no doubt that Notting Hill has been a constantly changing part of London and one that attracts a diverse range of people – and one you should certainly make time to visit.

Article provided by Vincent House London, a Notting Hill residence that provides great value single room accommodation for both long and short term stays.


CabbieBlog-cabThis is a sponsored guest post for which CabbieBlog has received a fee. Proceeds from these articles help keep the wheels turning on this site offering free content for anybody with an interest in London. All links here conform with guidelines set out in Write a Post.

10 reasons to live in London

Ten excellent reasons why young professionals want to live in London

If you’re Londoner, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the capital really is the centre of the universe. While that may not hold true for everyone who has ever lived in London, it would seem that young professionals agree: London is a great place to live according to Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry.

[A] recent survey carried out by Lloyds Bank discovered that crucial factors professional people in their 20s and 30s consider when choosing where to live include:

  • Vibrant social scene
  • Good local amenities
  • Good shopping
  • Arts and culture
  • Easy commute

It’s no wonder that urban surroundings are favoured among this demographic. London scores particularly highly – Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Battersea, Streatham and Fulham, Putney and Hampstead all feature among the most desired locations.

Young professionals are highly career minded with typically high levels of disposable income. Coupled with their relative youth and absence of any family responsibilities, this is a group that can live life to the full.

As a place to live, London fits the bill perfectly.

In terms of job opportunities, London is unbeatable. 75 per cent of Fortune 500 companies are located in London and there are thousands of other businesses across all industry sectors in the city. Whether you’re a lawyer, stockbroker or digital marketing executive, your career prospects are safe in London’s hands.

London’s transport links are awesome. Not perfect, obviously, but with 270 station on the London tube network alone, there aren’t many place left that are hard to reach, particularly in Central London.

Looking further afield, London has excellent global connections all across the world, thanks to the capital’s 5 airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Luton and Stansted. Brexit or no Brexit, you couldn’t be more international if you tried.

Nearly 40 per cent of London’s area is covered by green space, providing some much needed and much loved contrast to the urban environment. There are 8 Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, Bushy Park, St James’ Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park and Greenwich Park) and many smaller gardens and squares for public use.

London has no less than 240 museums, including the Natural History Museum, The British Museum and the Tate Modern. That means ample opportunity for cultural enrichment at often no cost at all.

Talking of history, imagine walking to work past historic landmarks such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, The Gherkin or The Shard… enough said?

Famous London residents (fictional or otherwise) through the ages include Sherlock Holmes, Jimi Hendrix, Alfred Hitchcock, John Keats, Michael Faraday, David Beckham, Charlie Chaplin, the Royal Family and many more. Neighbours, almost.

London has over 7,000 pubs. Whether you like craft beers, ciders or wine, or the increasingly sophisticated food choices that are served in many gastropubs, you will never ever get bored of going to the pub!

London is famous for its markets. You can buy virtually anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to buy from Portobello Road, Camden Market, Borough Market, Brick Lane, Columbia Road, Spitalfields, Covent Garden, Maltby Street and many more.

Football is huge in the capital and there are 6 Premier League football clubs that call London their home, including Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspurs and Watford.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry – working together with investment specialists Prime Centrum.

Picture: St. Paul’s Cathedral by Davide D’Amico (CC BY-SA 2.0)
CabbieBlog-cabThis is a sponsored guest post for which CabbieBlog has received a fee. Proceeds from these articles help keep the wheels turning on this site offering free content for anybody with an interest in London. All links here conform with guidelines set out in Write a Post.

Good reasons to move to Enfield

If you are thinking of living in North London, take a look at Enfield in the London Borough of Enfield. Sitting on the edge of North West London close to beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, it’s an attractive place to live with plenty of local amenities for everyone. Much underrated and often overlooked, the area offers excellent accommodation at reasonable prices, great schools for all ages and fast transport connections into town. That’s a lot of boxes ticked right there!

Housing stock
[A]s one of the most affordable areas to live in London, it’s no wonder that Enfield is especially popular with young professionals and families. The housing stock ranges from modern, purpose built blocks of flats to a plentiful supply of period properties.

Enfield town centre boasts some beautiful Georgian houses, and the charming Victorian cottages along Gentleman’s View and River View are among the best addresses in the area. Handsome Edwardian and 1920s semis and detached houses can be found in the Bush Hill Park conservation area, with more Victorian, Edwardian, 1920s and 1930s properties available elsewhere in the town.

According to recent figures, most of property sales in Enfield Town last year involved flats, which fetched £285,331 on average. Terraced properties sold for an average of £417,766, and semi-detached houses averaged £543,182. Prices in Enfield were up 18 per cent on the previous year.

In terms of comparison in the area, overall average property prices in Enfield Town stood at £387,475, similar to Bush Hill Park nearby (£384,032). This was higher than Enfield (£359,619) but lower than Chase Side (£407,228).

Good schools
[E]nfield is a popular destination for families with children, and the provision of state school education in the area is excellent. Local primary schools include Eversley, St George’s RC and St Andrews C of E, all of which were ‘outstanding’ according to a recent Ofsted inspection. 4 other primary schools – St Michael’s C of E, Lavender, George Spicer and Chase Side ­– were judged to be ‘good’.


Well performing secondary schools include Enfield Grammar School (boys aged11-18 years) and Enfield County School (girls aged 11-18), where 100 per cent of students received 5 or more A* to C grades, according to the Enfield Independent. The 2 co-ed comprehensives Kingsmead and Chase were not far behind in terms of results. The very sought after Dame Alice Owens School in nearby Potters Bar was deemed by Ofsted to be ‘outstanding’.

Excellent transport links
[E]nfield has enviable transport links, making it a popular location for those needing to commute into Central London. The area is served by no less than 4 underground stations on the Piccadilly line – Arnos Grove, Southgate, Oakwood and Cockfosters – with a ½ hour train journey taking you directly to Leicester Square.


Rail services to London are frequently operated from 3 train stations. It takes 30 minutes to travel from Enfield Town or Enfield Lock to Liverpool Street, while trains from Enfield Chase terminate at Moorgate.

For motorists, there are speedy links to London’s North Circular and to the M25 motorway.

Local amenities
[E]nfield is a friendly place to live, with a good community spirit and a bustling town centre, offering great shopping and eating out opportunities for everyone. The Dugdale Centre comprises a theatre and small museum.


Enfield has a rich history, including one of the oldest pubs in England (The King and Tinker) and a historic mansion nearby. The Grade I listed Jacobean manor house Forty Hall is a beautiful venue for weddings and outdoor concerts and well worth a visit.

Open spaces include Capel Manor Gardens’ [above] 30 acre estate which dates back to the 13th century, the beautiful Myddleton Gardens and public Grovelands Park.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with North London based Estate and Letting Agent Peter Barry, who was consulted over the information contained in this post.

CabbieBlog-cabThis is a sponsored guest post for which CabbieBlog has received a fee. Proceeds from these articles help keep the wheels turning on this site offering free content for anybody with an interest in London. All links here conform with guidelines set out in Write a Post.

Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge

Charlotte Gunnell is a blogger on a mission to find quiet, cultured and unusual corners of London, then blog about them at A Peace of London. One she has found is tucked away in Epping Forest, and has written a Guest Post for CabbieBlog.

Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge was created by Henry VIII, inspired William Morris, and was given to the public by Queen Victoria.

[Q]ueen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge in north-east London is forever associated with its namesake and the extraordinary tale of a queen and her horse. A Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade II Listed Building in Chingford. Built for Henry VIII in 1542-3 as a grandstand from which to view the hunt, it was originally intended to complement Fairmead, the King’s magnificent new Royal Park.

There is evidence to suggest that the hunting Lodge was not the first building to exist on this site. According to a report written after an archaeological investigation by the Passmore Edwards Museum in 1992-93, “there are substantial buttresses beneath the corner storey posts, and a surfaced floor has been found adjacent to the south door which extends below the stair tower . . . Other artefacts recovered, e.g. shaped flints, could indicate a long history of human activity on Dannett’s Hill.” 1


Tree-ring analysis of timbers in the Lodge, again in 1992-93, suggested that ‘some of the timbers were felled in the spring of 1542’, and that the stair tower was constructed at the same time. 1 The work was completed by 1543, when Henry VIII signed a warrant for Sir Richard Rich to pay £30 to the woodward of the Chingford Walk for the ‘ffynyshinge as wall of(f) on greate stondeinge’ and for laying out the King’s new park at Fairmead. 4

Everything about the Lodge was designed to suit the purpose of watching the hunt and the shooting of deer from its windows. Sir Addison reports that ‘the spaces between the studs on the upper floors were left open above breast height’ 4 so as not to spoil the view. Furthermore, the windows were left open to the elements and the walls would have been painted and draped in colour during hunting season to demonstrate the status of the building’s owner.


One would assume that the ever-grandiose Henry VIII would have planned to view the hunt from the top floor. However, it is interesting to note comments made by Jeffrey Seddon, curator of the Lodge from 1975-2001, which describe the intricate carving in the spandrels of the first floor rooms. This suggests that the King would have planned to shoot from here and the lower-ranking courtiers would have been sent upstairs. 5 This would have certainly suited the declining health of the King, who by the 1540s was in constant acute pain from an ulcerated leg.


But it’s thought that Great Harry never got to visit his ‘Great Standing’ as his health declined even further in the years following the Lodge’s creation, and he died in 1547. Neither Edward VI or Mary I had interest in sport, though, and Fairmead, the great royal park that their father had done so much to create, was turned into common ground in 1553. 4

Fortunately, the fortunes of the Great Standing were to change. The most compelling legend associated with the Lodge, and the one that has stuck in the public’s imagination, originated from around this time. The story goes that Elizabeth I rode up the stairs on horseback to celebrate the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. This story was given further weight in the 1800s with the tale of an anonymous ‘sporting celebrity’ who won a bet by successfully ‘riding an untrained pony up the assigned route of her Tudor Majesty’ in the 19th century. 3


But it would take Elizabeth 31 years of her reign (and one year after the horse incident was supposed to have taken place) to order five lords, along with her surveyor, to report on the condition of the building and the cost of repairing it in 1589. 4 They would find the Lodge in poor shape, owing to 42 years of neglect. The building’s poor condition at this time might discredit the ‘legend of the horse and the stairs’ even further.

It’s not known whether Elizabeth ever visited the Lodge, but Jeffrey Seddon suggests that Elizabeth might have visited only during a stay at one of her courtiers’ houses in the area, if she used it at all. The Lodge’s use as a gift bestowed to courtiers as a mark of favour seems a more likely use during Elizabeth’s reign. 5

During the first half of the 17th century, the Lodge came into the hands of the Boothby family, although the costs of repairing it were still the responsibility of the Crown. Manor Courts were held here until 1851, in which time the Lodge had passed through marriage to the Heathcote family.

From around 1750, the Lodge was occupied by a succession of ‘under-keepers’ who, according to Sir Addison’s account, were paid by the Crown and ‘probably regarded locally as the gamekeeper-cum-bailiff’.

The rise in popularity of Chingford Plain as a tourist attraction guaranteed many visitors to the Lodge, including a top floor tea-room which was run by the wife of one of the under-keepers. But the real turning point for Epping Forest and Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge was the Epping Forest Act of 1878. As part of the Act, the Lodge was to be preserved by the Corporation of London as ‘an object of public and antiquarian interest’,” 3 and given to the ‘poor of the East End’. Outbuildings attached to the Lodge were demolished between 1879 and 1881, leaving it as an isolated structure once more.

From here the Lodge’s progression from residence to museum was almost complete. In 1882 William Morris fondly recalled a childhood visit, remarking in The Lesser Arts of Life:

I remember as a boy my first acquaintance with a room hung with faded greenery at Queen Elizabeth’s Lodge . . . and the impression of romance that it had upon me! . . . yes, that was more than upholstery, believe me.

Although the under-keeper Herbert Butt and his family (his wife and their six children) still lived there in 1895, the top floor of the Lodge was turned into a museum of natural history by The Essex Field Club. The Essex Field Club maintained the museum until the 1960s, when it was taken under the direct control of the City of London Corporation.

At the time of the last restoration in 1992-93, the building, including its oak frame, was lime-washed, and a Tudor fireplace uncovered, before the building was reopened to the public as a museum detailing the building’s use as a hunting Lodge, rather than a natural history museum as it had previously been. Visitor reactions to the building’s new limewash look were mixed (even though it was more historically accurate) and the curator’s report of 1994 adds that visitor comments on the new look and purpose of the building, ‘ranged from expressions of extreme excitement and pleasure to near-apoplectic hostility’. 2

However, as is also noted in the report, “It is a fact that you cannot please everybody.” The report finishes, as we will finish, with a comment from a volunteer on the reactions of visitors to the interpretation of the building:

I just like to come and absorb the atmosphere of this beautiful building. I don’t need to have it explained or interpreted in order to enjoy it, I only need to be inside it.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

1.    Visit of HRH The Duke of Gloucester, as Ranger to Epping Forest, Wednesday, 3rd November 1993, Appendix E
2.    “QEHL: Visitor Reactions”, report by curator at Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, 1994
3.    Newspaper cutting: “The Chingford Rise Estate on the Borders of Epping Forest, One of the Prettiest Suburbs of London” dated 1833-189?
4.    “Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge and Epping Forest Museum” (booklet) by Sir William Addison
5.    “Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge: a brief history” by Jeffrey Seddon with additions by Tricia Moxey, 2003


CabbieBlog-cabThis is not a sponsored post. The author has written this Guest Post for CabbieBlog. Other articles can be found on Charlotte Gunnell’s A Peace of London: Quiet Places in London to Explore. All links here conform with guidelines set out in Write a Post.

Bolding’s Grosvenor Works

Bolding’s factory, or to give them their full name, John Bolding & Sons Grosvenor Works, were situated at 56-58 Davies Street from 1891 to 1969. The building nowadays holds Grays Antique Centre with small antique shops positioned around a visible stretch of the Tyburn river (see here), but it was for many years the workshop, salesroom and despatch department of one of the major manufacturers of sanitary appliances.

[T]he decorations on the outside of the building are a reminder of the Bolding history and have fortunately been left as they were and have not fallen victim to someone’s misguided idea of modernization.

Bolding 2

The firm was established in 1822 by Thomas Bolding in South Molton Street. In the 1841 census, Thomas could be found at that address with his two sons Thomas junior and John, all three listed as ‘brass founders’. The 1841 census does not give any house numbers, but from Thomas’s will (he died in 1849), we learn that the business was situated at number 19. Thomas leaves his share in the business to the two sons he was in partnership with, Thomas Edward and John Lupton, no doubt the two sons already mentioned in the 1841 census as being brass founders. Thomas Edward lived at Hammersmith and died in 1866. John Lupton could be found above the business in South Molton Street in the 1851 census as brass founder. One of his sons, George, is also living there and has the same occupation as his father. By 1871, John Lupton had moved to 27 Elgin Road, Chelsea. In 1881 and 1891 he can be found at 23 Elgin Crescent and is listed as ‘retired brass founder’. In the mean time, in 1871, 19 South Molton Street was occupied by son John Thomas Bolding, the only son of John Lupton to show a lasting interest in the business. name label

In August 1879, John Lupton announces that he is retiring in favour of his son John Thomas and from the notice in The London Gazette (12 August), we learn that the firm has branched out and that they are no longer just situated at 19, South Molton Street, but also at 14, Barratt’s Court, Wigmore Street, and at 304, Euston Road. They describe themselves as ‘wholesale and retail brass and metal founders, lead, iron, tin, and general metal merchants’.

The activities of the firm must have slowly evolved from brass founding to sanitary appliances and that is what they became known for. Already in 1871, John Lupton and John Thomas, together with one Joseph Titsink, acquire a patent for “improvements in water closets and in valves and regulating apparatus for the same” (The London Gazette, 20 January 1871). South Molton Street was outside the City of London and there was no need for a member of the brass founding family to become a member of one of the Worshipful Companies of the City, but in 1883, John Thomas nevertheless deemed it in his interest to do so and he became a member of the Company of Painters by redemption. This membership gave him the right to apply for the Freedom of the City, which he duly did.

1883 freedom John Thomas

1893-1895 Ordnance Survey

1893-1895 Ordnance Survey

At the end of the 1880s, the firm moved the business to a new building on a triangular plot on the corner of Davies Street and South Molton Lane, not very far from their old premises in South Molton Street (see for the whole building Google Street View here). The building was designed in the northern Renaissance style by John Thomas Wimperis and William Henry Arber who were strongly associated with the Grosvenor Estate who owned and still owns large swathes of Mayfair and Belgravia (see here). It is thus no wonder that Bolding named their business Grosvenor Works. The new building had showrooms, a warehouse and workshops on three of the floors, but, no doubt to the relief of the neighbours, the foundry was moved out in 1894 to Eden Street. John Thomas, according to one story, always came to Davies Street in a brougham and would not allow any females to work in the business. All the administration had to be entered by hand by the clerks or salesmen. John Thomas retired in 1824 and shortly after, the firm became a public limited company, although members of the Bolding family remained on the board.

1932 trade catalogue

1932 trade catalogue

Despite John Thomas’s old-fashioned practices, Bolding’s were one of the first companies to grant their employees holidays with pay and a sickness benefit fund. In 1932, the building in Davies Street was modernised with a new entrance and the basement workshop was turned into a showroom. New workshops and garages were constructed in Davies Mews. The 1930s were a busy time for Bolding’s as the taste in sanitary appliances moved away from the solid Victorian designs to more elegant bathroom furniture that was easier to clean and could be supplied in more colours than just plain white. In 1963, Bolding’s was able to buy their competitor Thomas Crapper & Co., but only a few years after that, the Bolding business was wound up, while Crapper still exists and, as they proudly announce on their website, is still producing bathroom fittings (see here).

1898 advertisement (Source: Graces Guide)

1898 advertisement (Source: Graces Guide)

Basin from Bolding's (Source: English Salvage)

Basin from Bolding’s (Source: English Salvage)

'Plate 21: No. 58 Davies Street, Boldings', in Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2 (The Buildings), ed. F H W Sheppard (London, 1980), http://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol40/pt2/plate-21 [accessed 26 February 2016].

‘Plate 21: No. 58 Davies Street, Boldings’, in Survey of London: Volume 40, the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair (London, 1980), online via British History Online here

This postage stamp with Bolding's name as a commercial overprint comes from http://cosgb.blogspot.nl/2013/03/j-bolding-sons-ltd.html

Postage stamp with Bolding’s name as a commercial overprint (Source: COSGB)

More information on Bolding’s can be found in “A History of John Bolding & Sons” in The Plumber and Journal of Heating, vol. 84 July 1962 issue, p.474-478.


CabbieBlog-cabThis is a Guest Post by Baldwin Hamey who write extensively about London at:
London Details – Details you did not know about London.
All links here conform with guidelines set out in Write a Post.