Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Urban Wandering around London W14

So, as my Psychogeography inspired Urban Wanderings continue, I managed to escape for another lunchtime urban wander again this week. I shouldn’t complain about the weather but it was blisteringly hot. My wander took me towards Kensington Olympia station where, what I assume was once an impressive motorail terminal, is now a car park. As I walked through the residential streets to the west to the railway line, trying as best I could to keep into the shade, I eventually crossed over the London Overground line and was rewarded with this quite spectacular mews running along the side of the train line. As with many London mews, this really could have been anywhere and I was quite surprised when I exited out of the northern end of the mews to be back on a main London A road.

Hansard Mews, London W14
Hansard Mews, London W14

Street lamp on Hansard Mews, London W14
Street lamp on Hansard Mews, London W14

Hansard Mews, London W14
Hansard Mews, London W14

As I drifted back in the general direction of Olympia I came across a ghost sign, or more accurately two ghost signs, in Richmond Way. The one on the left needs no deciphering and clearly says DAIRY but the one on the right is a bit more of a mystery. I can just about make out the words PASTRY, CRESSWELL, HOME MADE and BAKERY

Ghost sign in Richmond Way, London W14
Ghost sign in Richmond Way, London W14

Ghost sign in Richmond Way, London W14
Ghost sign in Richmond Way, London W14

 Next find on the wander was this little road which, despite sitting close to some high rise housing, still had a village feel to it, and also a reminder of colonialism, but perhaps should have now been renamed Sri Lanka Road.

Ceylon Road, London W14
Ceylon Road, London W14

As I neared the end of my wander, I walked past Blythe House and the West Kensington Post Office. Blythe House is a huge and impressive looking building, originally built as the Head Quarters of the Post Office Savings Bank but now used as storage for the Victoria and Albert, and Science museums. The post office is still very much in use, but this stamp machine inset into the wall outside is clearly not.

Disused stamp vending machine, West Kensington
Disused stamp vending machine, West Kensington

 I would have liked to get closer to Blythe House but access seemed restricted so the best I could manage was this shot, from a distance, of some sort of chimney tower.

Blythe House, London W14
Blythe House, London W14

Finally, as I neared my destination, I found this ghost sign. All I can make out of the lettering behind the new sign is that whatever the sign was, it started with a “C” and ended with an “S”. I only managed time for the briefest internet research but could find nothing obvious to suggest what this once said, but I’m sure the words beneath the new sign have no relation to “Permanent House”, somewhat ironically appearing on what looks like a temporary sign on top of the original signage.

Ghost sign in Hammersmith Road, London W14
Ghost sign in Hammersmith Road, London W14

     

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