view and Peter Jones c.1975 Sloane
Square 1912 Sloane
Square looking East 1970
row of shops to the east of the railed area, comprising
odd numbers 1 to 31, also included: Sketchleys cleaners,
a post office, Clark's shoes, Victoria Wine, a baker's and
a couple of clothes shops - numbers, dates or locations
not currently known.
2-32 Peter Jones est. 1906:
Occupying this site, but with an address listed as 'Sloane
Square', is the Peter Jones department store, a business
that began as a drapery store on Draycott Avenue (then Marlborough
Road). It grew to occupy 26 premises on the Kings Road and
was rebuilt as one department store in the 1880s when it
was one of the first stores in the country to be lit by
electricity. Purchased by John Lewis in 1906, it was rebuilt
in the 1930s in its current style and is now a Grade II
listed building. Before the Peter Jones expansion and construction,
the site originally also held a public house called the
Star and Garter. The
Who and a TV film crew assembled at the Duke of York's
Barracks on 12th November 1966 to film five numbers for
a TV broadcast about 'Swinging London' on NBC network's
Today show in the USA. The segment included interviews with
fashion designer Mary Quant and Carnaby Street retailer
John Stephen. The segment aired in America on 15th November
Early 20th Century
of York Square Kings
of York estate railings Aerial
Planning permission was granted to remove the high railings
surrounding the Duke of York area in December 1999.
Buzzy's Bistro 1962-1971 later Easiphit shoe
Adam and Jane Busfield advise: "My father, Brian Busfield
(from whence the name derives and who was actually a dental
surgeon in Beckenham), owned Buzzy's Bistro in the 1960s.
You walked down an alley that actually said 'down this alley
you will find Buzzy's Bistro' and you found the doorway
to the basement, a few yards before the rubbish-bins, so
what I remember very clearly is the insalubrious smell!
However, it didn't put anybody off it seems".
"Once inside, there was a reception desk and coat-check,
and the DJ with his shelf after shelf of singles. The minute
a new release was available, he bought it. Buzzy´s was the
first Dine and Dance venue in London. Then you descended
a steep flight of stairs down to the restaurant itself (so
the Bistro was below ground). Red and white check table-cloths,
candles in straw-covered bottles covered in wax drippings,
and a tiny round dance floor. The original boilers with
their round metal-plate doors were kept - the doors painted
matte black. Minimal lighting and banquettes created an
intimate atmosphere. I recall seeing Paul McCartney and
Jane Asher entwined once".
"My dad once told me that Ringo Starr used to go there,
and actually had part of his wedding reception at Buzzy's.
I was 11 years old at the time, but accompanied my father
some Sundays when he went to check all was in order. Double
prawn-cocktail followed by banana-split was my standard
lunch! The food was good, especially the steaks, all cooked
by a highly temperamental chef who, when drunk, was known
to threaten the waiters with a meat-chopper. In the evenings,
people would dance between courses and have to be thrown
out in the early hours".
"In time, the idea was copied and my father and his
partner struggled to compete, having to re-decorate too
often to make it a viable proposition. Loving food, they
set up Rustums Le Gourmet (it was further down the road,
just a few doors from The Vale turning, on the north side
of the road - 312?) in Kings Road and also owned an Indian
restaurant Haddy´s (or Hadi's) in Old Brompton Road, Knights
in Knightsbridge (just before you got to the old Bowater
House junction, where One Hyde Park now stands) and Monsieur
Jacques (afterwards Le Gourmet) in Queensway".
"Alas, they all had to close around 1971 when profits
dwindled, rents soared, and the competition became too much
- but the creation of Buzzy´s, in the early 60s, set the
scene for trendy eateries where you could have a good meal
while listening to the latest hits and observing the jet-set
of the day".
13 Smith's newsagent (?) 17A
British Federation of University Women c.1959
Angelique & Francoise, c.1968. I am advised that
Angelique was a ground floor restaurant and, beneath it,
accessed by a steep flight of steps, was Francoise night
club (better known as Frankie’s). As Kings Rd rents soared,
the street level unit was rented to a clothes store and
the Angelique restaurant moved downstairs. At about10.30-11.00pm
all the Angelique branding would disappear and be replaced
with Francoise, tables would be shifted and the venue would
be miraculously transformed into a disco. However, with
changing tastes and lifestyles and a growing number of eateries
in the area, the restaurant didn’t fare so well so it just
became Frankie’s. It briefly ran as The Ritual
for a time from c.1978 and then closed altogether.
Patio: boutique (early 70s, possibly 1960s) later
(?) Twenty Seven boutique c.1972
31 Topper shoes later a Tobacconist
(My Shop?) In 1965 the upper floor in No.31 was occupied
by the legal offices of Charles Alfred Leat who oversaw
the liquidation of Copydex.
area known as 'Blacklands' formed part of the estate of
Charles Cheyne, 1st Viscount Newhaven, who purchased the
manor of Chelsea and Chelsea Place with the dowry of his
wife, Lady Jane Cheyne, in 1657. Blacklands comprised about
90 acres and prior to c.1770 was mostly open grazing land
described as '... a lonely place where a cow keeper tended
the commoners' cattle'. A report from 1729 stated 'On Sunday
morning last, about 8 o'clock, Mr. Rogers of Chelsea, crossing
the common in order to go to Kensington, was knocked down
by two footpads who robbed him of his money and beat him
in a barbarous manner and then made off across the fields
towards Little Chelsea'. The name is perpetuated in the
adjacent Blacklands Terrace. 8-9 Blacklands Terrace was
used as a location in the film 'Blow-Up'.
CHELTENHAM TERRACE 1
to 13 west side looking south 1962
area known as 'Whitelands'
housed a girls' boarding school from 1772 until 1841 when
it became a teacher training college. The establishment
moved to Putney in 1930 and the building was briefly occupied
by Oswald Moseley and his black-shirted British Union of
Fascists (including 'Lord Haw Haw') as a 'barracks', during
which time it became known locally as 'The Black House'.
The building was demolished and replaced by flats in 1935.
The row of businesses on the ground floor at 33 were
sub-numbered A,B,C etc.
33 Lloyd's Bank 33A SW3
at Salon 33 c.1962
Joseph Ettedgui moved from Casablanca to London with his
brother Maurice in 1960 to train as a hairdresser. In 1962
they opened a hairdressing salon (Salon 33) in King's Road
and their brother Franklin joined them in 1964. In a 1989
interview Joseph said: “I really wanted to be an architect
but I'm terribly impatient. I decided to take a course in
hairdressing and I loved it; I loved the way you could transform
someone in two hours". Joseph Ettedgui began travelling
to Paris to see the ready-to-wear collections, leading to
a meeting and early business association with Japanese designer
Kenzo Takada. He began to sell Kenzo sweaters in Salon 33,
and in 1972 the first Joseph clothes store opened underneath
the hairdressing premises.
Luigi restaurant c.1966 33D
Anschel (G.Anschel) c.1967 craft jewellery and fashion
Weston c.1967? Smart
33E Martins of Chelsea (possibly 1965 - known to
occupy the premises mid-70s - electrical
goods, radios and record shop)
33F 33G 33H This block
of units was the Blue
Star garage until c.1969.
WALPOLE STREET 23
to 35 east side 1962 1
to 22 1962
- 36 Lilley
& Skinner shoes c.1972 upper floor: London
School of Bridge
35 - 37 W.Battersby watchmakers
and jewellers c.1959 35 - 47 Safeway
supermarket c.1965 From 1842-1917 35-47 was occupied
by the Whitelands College Girls School.
38 - 42 Sidney
Smith Mans Shop men's clothing
store c.1967 (company founded 1907 for ladies clothing)
39 Martins television shop c.1959 41
Courtney Reed leisure wear c.1959
43 Post Office (?) 44
45 W.M. & C.J. Jones
46 Cecil Gee
Founded in 1851, and now part of Moss Bros, the company
opened its first store in King Street in Covent Garden.
47 Royal Avenue House in 1963, with individual units
numbered from 1 to 21 Street
view of premises 35 to 47 c.1959
plaque The road was originally part of a
1681 plan by Sir Christopher Wren to connect the Royal Hospital
with Kensington Palace, but never got any further than the
King's Road. Previously known as 'Chestnut Walk' and later
'White Stiles' it became Royal Avenue in 1875.
Road access onto King's Road was closed in 1970.
wine bar. Also Not
Known (date?) and earlier Smithy's
c.1968 The Chelsea Drugstore
opened in 1968, replacing the 'White
Hart' public house', and was a three-floor 'chrome
and neon' complex styled on 'Le Drugstore' on Boulevard
St. Germain in Paris. With areas to eat and drink, dance
and shop, it contained a soda fountain on the second floor,
news stands, record stores, boutiques and (of course) a
chemist. It was open sixteen hours a day, seven days a week,
and at one time offered a service where purple catsuit-clad
girls on motorcycles delivered purchases. It rapidly became
one of the road's top venues. The inside of the store can
be seen as it was in 1972 in the film 'Clockwork Orange'
as the 'Musik Bootick'. The original pub, The White Hart,
can be seen in Joseph Losey's 1963 film 'The Servant'. (also
featured is the Thomas Crapper showroom directly opposite).
from local residents forced its closure in May 1971 and
although a similar venture ('Harlequin
Arcade') opened later, it failed to emulate the
success of the original. It was later renovated first as
a pub, then as housing, and has more recently been taken
over by a McDonalds restaurant.
50 Chelsea Cobbler c.1967 A
British shoe brand and outlet founded by Richard Smith and
Mandy Wilkins. Also Not
51 to 61 and 124
to 128 Street View August 1969
(Cash) Turf Accountant c.1968
later Ferbain the Bookmaker 52
Unique boutique (?) Other
(not known) Jean Machine occupied the premises
53 Casual Affair boutique (?) c.1975 Not
Known image 1969 54 Old
Kentucky eating house c.1968 later
Bathgate greengrocers (?) c.1976
butchers c.1963 (previously a Post Office?)
56 F.W. Woolworth
& Co Ltd 56B
(?) Eric Shemilt c.1967 Sloane
Sauna (later or on upper level?)
57 Cosy Dining Rooms
restaurant c.1963 Inside
Aram & Associates and Aram Designs Ltd.
Zeev Aram opened his first showroom in 1964 at 57 Kings
Road. A tiny showroom, with an open slot cut into the window
for mail, contained bright, white, stainless steel designs
by Marcel Breuer, Castiglioni and Scarpa and the self-designed
Dino storage system. In 1966 he introduced designs by Le
Corbusier, P. Jeanneret and C. Perriand. In 1967 he designed
the Altra table system and introduced the 'Action Office
One' from Herman Miller (designed by G. Nelson and R. Props)
in 1968. The shop closed in1973 (image c.1976?)
Marsden fine art picture shop c.1963, Topper
Shoes "This boutique has a beautifully cool interior
in weird purply shades". Later Wagstaff
WELLINGTON SQUARE Wellington
Square area - old map Looking
east 1962 Looking
west 1962 Fred Hillsden's
coffee house 61
c.1965 then Gee2
Berzolla confectioners (?)
63 Richard Henry
hair fashions c.1965 Robert
Fielding of Regent Street c.1967 63A
(upstairs) Dentist 64 H.H.Wagstaff
hosier / hatter
Evans Eating House aka (Peter)
? c.1965 I
Was Lord Kitchener's Thing c.1968 66A
London Central Asian Research Centre c.1969
poultry, provisions c.1968
67A Originally part of Wrights Dairy later
& Sons furriers c.1967
69 Originally Wrights
Dairy then United
Dairies outlet. Later Take
Six boutique c.1969 Part of the Sidney Brent boutique
SMITH STREET St.
Leonard's Studios 1974
69A Nora Bradley
shop c.1972 70 Dolcis
shoe shop c.1970
Blacklands Terrace 10 John
72 The Colville Tavern
c.1856 Lord John 1969: Previously
the Colville Tavern public house, which closed in
1969, was named after Colvill's Flower Nursery that occupied
the site in the 18th century. It seems to have acquired
the 'e' on the end around the start of the 20th century.
John' chain was started by brothers Warren and David
Gold who opened two boutiques on Carnaby Street in 1964,
supplying Mod fashions. By 1970, the Gold brothers owned
eight boutiques and expanded this to thirty during the early
Colville Wine Store was also on the corner of Blackland
Pearson & Co c.1967 74
c.1976 coffee / kebab / sandwich bar side view
Lincoln Street 75 Victor's
toy shop (?) c.1967
76 - 78 Blake's
of Chelsea c.1967 later Ravel
c.1970 (now at 128) then Syndicate
Patterson Goods Yard c.1967 now Charles II Place.
On Saturdays this was the site of an open air market called
the Chelsea Flea Market. Inside
of Chelsea ladies accessories c.1967
Coffee House (Kenco after 1962). Later a
Bar restaurant c.1972
view 1973 then Pizza
The Kenya Coffee Company Limited was founded in 1923 by
a co-operative of retired white Kenyan coffee growers. L.C.
Gibbs and C.S. Baines began selling coffee from a shop in
Vere Street, Mayfair, and moved to 30 Sloane Street as demand
increased, next door to a food merchants called John Gardiner.
After World War II, Tom Kelly, a Gardiner employee, persuaded
the company to buy the Kenya Coffee Company and he expanded
the chain, opening 11 coffee shops including the one in
Kings Road. These may well have been the first branded high
street coffee shops in the UK. In the 1960s, the cafes were
thriving, selling not only coffee but all sorts of cakes
as well. Tom Kelly also acquired the rights to sell Gaggia
espresso machines which they sold to other coffee bars.
In 1962 the company changed its name to Kenco. It
was in the Kenco coffee shop that Radio Caroline's Ronan
O'Rahilly and photographer friend Chris Moore first discussed
the possibility of radio broadcasting from an offshore ship.
boutique (81A?) later (?) Lady
Tramp c.1973 and Jean
Junction c.1976: Also see 161. 82
1967 One of the Irvine Sellar boutique
wallpaper & paints later
boutique c.1976 84 Fifth
Avenue boutique (?)
Great Gear Trading Company (The Great Gear Market
1980s). Tom Salter, who ran the 'Gear'
boutique in Carnaby Street, was also involved in the Great
Gear outlet that housed a number of establishments including,
at various times, fashion 'shops' such as Marx, Tik and
Tok's clothing shop, an outlet of 'Boy', Reflections restaurant
and the Antenna hairdressers. A feature of the premises
was a DJ booth 'cage' manned by drummer Rusty Egan. The
Japanese fashion designer Yamamoto presented a fashion show
there in May 1971 prompting David Bowie to ask him to design
his costumes for the 'Aladdin Sane' shows. Jon Baker opened
a fashion shop there called Axiom, in 1978, the same year
as Stargazer started there. Entrances,
occupants and numbers of 83-89 are somewhat confused over
86 House of Bewlay
tobacconist and pipe shop. Later Not
Known (street scene) 87
later Not Known Serge
c.1967 (Harry Finegold) Lots of mirrors
and loud music inhabited this boutique which, like the Drugstore,
was designed by architects Garnett Cloughley Blakemore (who
also designed the revolving restaurant at the top of the
Post Office Tower).
Hill c.1970 boutique
- also see 303. Later Second
Girl c.1967. In 1948, Bernard
Lewis was selling fruit & veg and knitting wool from a bomb
site in the East End. Working with his three brothers, the
business moved into clothing and, by 1965, was operating
70 stores under the name 'Lewis Separates'. On deciding
that the business needed 're-branding' it became 'Chelsea
Girl' as the Kings Road was at the centre of UK fashion
and popular culture at the time. It became the first real
fashion 'boutique' chain with its use of bold colours and
imagery, along with music, to reinforce the brand name.
The menswear side, called Concept Man, was started in 1982
and this was merged with Chelsea Girl in 1988 to become
The Unity Restaurant 1950s later The
Handbags 1960s 93
Steak House 1960s 95 Marco
Polo restaurant c.1961 96
Peter Dominic (?) also Warehouse
Squire Shop A late Sixties boutique owned by Jeff
Kwintner. Kwintner was also the owner of a chain of 16 menswear
shops, 'Village Gate' which, at one time, was selling 3,000
suits a week.
(Previously a butcher's).
Chelsea Kitchen The restaurant was established in
the late Fifties - certainly by the very early Sixties,
as part of the 'StockPot' chain and was popular with stars
such as The Rolling Stones and George Best. It was not an
'elite' establishment, but served 'good fresh home-made
food at good prices'. It closed in 2006 and was reopened
in 2009 at 451 Fulham Road by the son of the original owner.
99 - 101 Entrance to a small Industrial
Unit area, site of a Saturday market (see
aerial images here at rbkclocalstudies). 1976
image as car park.
99 might also have housed Chelsea
Pet Stores. It is now the Atlantic Court entrance
to Marks & Spencer.
cleaners - later moved to186a - Later: Office
clothes store later combined with 104
103 BRS Parcels
c.1968 clothes shop / boutique 104
boutique - operating c.1966. The premises were later combined
with 102 as Wakefords.
& Sons (est.1868) Chelsea
Pawnbrokers (?) Images show different establishments,
names unclear. The curved shop windows pictured still exist.
106 John Michael
boutique c.1969. The premises were combined with 108 and
refitted in 1975
to become the new John
dell'Aretusa c.1967 - 1970. This was an elite establishment
and allegedly the location of John Lennon's first public
appearance with Yoko Ono at the pre-launch party for Apple
Tailoring, held on 22nd May 1968. In 1967 Alvaro Maccioni
had teamed up with Enzo Apicella and Mino Parlanti to open
the large, members-only bar / restaurant / discotheque.
A double-page spread in the Evening Standard asked "Are
you one of the beautiful people? Simple test: Can you get
in to the dell'Aretusa?". The establishment attracted diners
such as Princess Margaret, Sammy Davis Jr, David Bailey
c.1966 boutique later T.Pritchard
c.1969 - also see 106.
- 9 Anderson Street 1969 view
from Anderson Street 1970
Mini-Store 1960s boutique. Anne Sutherland, who
worked there in 1967/1968 has kindly provided the following
"I applied for a job from an advertisement in The Times
newspaper. It read 'Wanted - super secretary for super job
with super clothes'. I got the job and started work in the
attic as secretary to Mr. Frank Federer and Mr. Henry Keith
who owned a clothing manufacturing company based in Bolsover
Street called 'Keith Federer' which traded with the 'Kweens'
label. On the ground floor of the shop was a retail space
and a door to a stock room.
The second floor comprised the directors' offices and an
empty floor space for modelling the clothes for prospective
buyers. All the garments sold in the shop had the 'Kweens'
label and were sold to independent boutiques all over the
country. There was a garment called 'Pan Pan' which consisted
of a very short dress with round neck and cap sleeves. Hundreds
of these, in different colours, were produced and the factory
worked flat out. They were very popular. I shared the attic
office with an accountant/book keeper who was constantly
trying to keep the books straight as any new boutiques buying
goods from us without the correct references had to pay
in cash and, more often than not, Henry would put the money
in his shirt top pocket and forget he had it so invoices
went out for goods that had already been paid for.
I was expected to work long hours. Often, just as I was
going home an extra letter or two were found for dictation
and, when Henry discovered my train got me to the office
half an hour early, he quickly utilised it. If he had a
client in the showroom and no one else was available I had
to find time to model the clothes too! There were two or
three assistants in the shop and I believe a Mr. Mendoza
was stockroom manager. A Mr. Paul Leader was the Sales Representative.
The back window of my office overlooked the Club dell'Aretusa
but I only remember seeing Twiggy pushing a lettuce around
her plate and Lionel Bart".
109A R.Soles shoe shop
(founded 1975) More recent
110 - 112 The Chelsea
Permanent Building Society, later Chelsea
& South London then just Chelsea Building
Society, was founded in 1875. In 1934 new offices on
3 floors were opened. From 1966 the Society's administrative
headquarters were based in Streatham, with the registered
office at 110 Kings Road.
112 (?) Spy boutique c.1972
113 Quorum boutique c.1969 114 Scotch
Wool and Hosiery Stores c.1969 115
G. Jones &
Sons c.1957 Wine
Growers Association 1960s
RADNOR WALK contained
two significant boutiques:
Radnor Walk 47 The
Shop c.1964 'The Shop' was a 'girls boutique' jointly
owned by photographer Terence Donovan and designer Maurice
Jeffery, providing inexpensive but exclusive trouser suits,
skirts and floral coats and accessories which were designed
and made on the premises. Apparently there was a wart hog
skull in the changing room......!
Radnor Walk 52
1966 - 1969 Just off the Kings Road, at 52 Radnor Walk,
designer Alice Pollock opened Quorum in Ansdell Street W8
in 1964, to be joined in 1965 by Ossie Clark and his future
wife Celia Birtwell, who designed fashions and fabrics respectively.
The Radnor Walk building also housed the English Boy
modelling agency on the first floor while the top floor
was Clark's design studio. The boutique was well-known for
its extravagant fashion shows, usually attended by celebrities
such as The Beatles. David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) was a
delivery driver for Quorum for a while. In 1969, Alfred
Radley became a partner in the business in 1969 and Clark
started designing for Radley as well as Quorum. The business
was bought out by Radley in 1969. It also occupied 113 Kings
Road between 1969 and 1972 Inside
c.1964 shirt shop appended to the store in Tryon Street.
Later (?) Emilie
called Keppel Terrace, the street was renamed in 1913 after
Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon).
11 to 23 Tryon Street
7 - 9 Just
Men c.1964 Owned by banking family brothers
Lionel and Brian Abel-Smith. Managed by Charles Schuller,
it featured suede and leather suits, sweaters, flared trousers
and tailored suits. This shop also had an in-house hairdresser.
It later expanded to include 118 Kings Road.
117 - 119 The area around a detached house called Manor
House, sited between Little's Nursery and Shawfield Street,
was turned into The New Vauxhall and Royal Bath Gardens,
a tea and recreation garden by Richard Smith in about 1836.
This was superseded in 1838 by the Royal Manor House Theatre,
which only lasted 3 years. The house eventually became the
Chelsea Literary and Scientific Institution. 'The Commercial
Tavern' public house and Radnor Walk were built on the
site in 1842. Around 1874 a building was listed as being
attached to the side, containing a florists, but this had
disappeared from maps by 1896. In 1958 the tavern was renamed
Chelsea Potter' in 1958 in commemoration of ceramics
artist William Frend de Morgan who founded the Chelsea Art
Pottery in 1872.
Whites c.1968 Later Just
Crapper 1907 - 1966 Laura Ashley c.1966 then
Sons boots and shoes c.Oct 67
Until 1966, the premises of Thomas Crapper, the WC manufacturer
who originally started in Marlborough Road (now Draycott
Avenue) in 1861 and moved here in 1907.
It became a 'Laura Ashley' outlet in 1966, although the
first shop actually under the Laura Ashley name opened
in Pelham Street,
South Kensington, in 1968. The company originally made
furnishing materials in the 1950s under the name 'Bernard
Ashley' and expanded into clothing design and manufacture
in the 1960s. Later Bertie
121 Green &
London general ironmongers & builders merchant
122 Kings Walk
Man Boutique c.1968 later Skin
boutique c.1970 (number?) also contained
outlets for Oscar's Mens Clothes (a subsidiary of
Michael's Man boutique), Lennards, Boots the Chemist,
Sainsbury's opened 1966
Dreams c.1976 .
Kings Walk was previously the entrance to Ranelagh Works
(oil cloth then gas meter) manufactory, situated behind.
123 - 123A Victoria
& Sons c.1969 builders and decorators. This
location became the first UK Starbucks in 1998 124
F.J. Ward's Bookshop
News was in Shawfield
Street, next to Kendall & Sons
Mitre House The
downstairs units contained a number of premises including
The Magic Carpet Inn (1950s) Alvaro
1966 - 1970: Alvaro Maccioni's highly exclusive restaurant
- the first one ever to go ex-directory. London Life: "The
name Alvaro is whispered from the studios of showbiz to
the courts of royalty". He went on to open and run 'La Famiglia'. Look
of London cover December 1967 International
Stores c.1969 food store with sawdust floor.
Strickland c.1969: Peter Gurling advises: "This
was a record shop and part of the chain named Soho Records
which was owned by Mr Alex Strickland. He had branches all
over London, but mainly in the West End and two in the City
on Cheapside and London Wall. In the late 60s I managed
the one in London Wall for a time, and my brother managed
the Cheapside branch".
The Shop c.1968 (Harry Finegold) 'Stop the Shop'
opened in mid-June 1968 with a ground floor occupied by
three 'revolves', one 20 ft in diameter and two smaller
ones each 5ft.The all black interior of the shop was accessed
via two peripheral ramps, one leading to the main sales
floor area ( raised about 18 inches above ground level )
and the other to the lower level where the roughly circular
space was dominated by the central support column of the
upper 'revolve', surrounded by an octagonal mirror arrangement.
The large 'revolve' rotated at less than 0.5 rpm although
it was possible to turn it considerably faster. Unsuspecting
customers stepping onto it were likely to stumble, an event
that was keenly awaited by onlookers watching through the
curved glass facade. Two rotating display windows on either
side of the main frontage ran somewhat faster and the rotating
'Stop the Shop' sign on the perimeter of each gave considerable
movement to the whole elevation.
The mannequins that formed the main display were sited on
the central axis and appeared to rotate more slowly, giving
the impression of customers seeming to be orbiting a static
display. 'Stop the Shop', therefore, did not have anything
in its window except people. There were occasional problems
with loading and a dozen people crammed onto one side of
the platform could bring the 'revolve' to a halt due to
the safety mechanism installed by The Bolton Turntable company,
its designers and manufacturers. The black interior was
lit only by movable spotlights, some with colour effects,
and the walls and floors were carpeted in charcoal grey
The small, carpeted changing rooms were rotating semi-cylinders
and the facetted mirrors lining the entrance ramps gave
the effect of customers leaving the shop splitting into
multiple people walking away in different directions. These
optical effects were designed by Garnett, Cloughley and
Blakemore who also did work on other Kings Road outlets.
The site was taken over by Italian fashion house 'Fiorucci'
in 1975, establishing them in London, with the store sporting
roller skating ramps.
coffee bar. The Picasso
first opened in 1958 and was frequented by the likes of
Michael Caine and Terence Stamp during the Sixties. David
Hemmings was also a regular visitor during the filming of
Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film 'Blow-Up'. The Picasso
survived until February 2014 when it finally closed, apparently
boasting the same internal decor as it had when it opened.
coffee bar. The Fantasie, one of the first espresso
coffee bars in London outside of Soho, was opened at the
start of 1955 by ex-solicitor Archie McNair, who lived in
the rooms above where he also operated a photographic studio
which had among its users one Tony Armstrong-Jones, who
was later to marry Princess Margaret and become Lord Snowdon.
McNair had previously asked Mary Quant and Alexander Plunket
Greene to help him start up the coffee bar but they declined
as they thought that coffee bars were a passing fad and
it wouldn't be successful. In the event, it became one of
'the' places to be if you were to become one of 'The Chelsea
It was in the Fantasie that the three of them originally
planned the opening of Mary's 'Bazaar' boutique. Like the
Soho clubs it had live music and one of the regular acts
was The Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group. In 1998 the premises
became the site of the first Starbucks to be opened in Britain.
(name not clear?) 130 F.J.Ward's
Print Shop c.1956 later 'F.J.
Ward's Art Shop'
Dollond & Aitchison
- 143 Antiquarius
c.1920: Part of the 'Antiquarius' building was originally
a billiard hall, a fine example of Arts and Crafts architecture,
built in the 1920s by the Temperance Movement. Along with
the adjoining Chelsea Garage, a new garage at 15
Flood Street built in 1919 and disguised to look like an
'olde English' inn, it became home to a number of fashion
boutiques and a conglomeration of about 150 antique dealers'
outlets during the 1960s until fairly recently, when the
entire building was let to Anthropologie, the US
fashion chain. Many of the antique dealers of the old Antiquarius
have now moved to the Antiques Centre at 58 Kensington Church
At various times, different companies were listed as 'occupying'
one of the street-facing 'numbers' in the 131-141 sequence.
The downstairs stalls (see 135) included Acme Attractions,
a new wave outlet founded by John Krivine and Steph Rainer.
Rainer recalls ''The basement went mad. Before we knew it
we had complaints from the people upstairs about the thugs
coming in. The entrance to us was by a pipe shop. On Saturday
mornings the queue came out on the street and the guy from
the pipe shop wouldn't have any of it, but there was nothing
he could do. It became a shrine, almost. People got married
there.....''. Acme moved upstairs in 1977, becoming the
Boy punk boutique.
boutique c.1969 1970
frontage planning drawing Earlier
A.Hicks (?) 133
May have been a newsagents
at some point
BYWATER STREET Old
Bywater Street junction
134 Glass & Black (?) Reported
to have been a large, spacious boutique with a fish pond,
or tank, dominating the centre of the shop.
to Antiquarius: Inside and downstairs
Attractions c.1974 Initially inspired by Malcolm
McLaren's 'Let It Rock' boutique, John Krevine and Stephane
Raynor opened the multi-vendor outlet Acme
Attractions in 1974, in the basement of the Antiquarius
building. The store was managed by Don Letts who said that
Acme was selling "... electric-blue zoot suits and jukeboxes,
and pumping dub reggae all day long". Acme was frequented
by artists such as The Clash, the Sex Pistols, Chrissie
Hynde, Patti Smith, Deborah Harry and Bob Marley. Raynor
recalled: ''The basement went mad. Before we knew it we
had complaints from the people upstairs about the thugs
coming in. The entrance to us was by a pipe shop. On Saturday
mornings the queue came out on the street and the guy from
the pipe shop wouldn't have any of it, but there was nothing
he could do. It became a shrine, almost. People got married
there ...". They closed Acme in 1977 to create the 'Boy'
clothing outlet upstairs, concentrating on 'punk' fashions.
c.1978 (downstairs in Antiquarius) clothing outlet. The
Purple Shop (downstairs in Antiquarius) jewellery and
art-deco items. CoCo
c.1966 younger Japanese look by Suzuya.
Gear c.1965 (front of Antiquarius): Previously a
travel agent's, TopGear opened at 135 in 1965 and was owned
by hat designer James Wedge and model Pat Booth. It featured
shiny black walls and scaffolding for clothes hangers, with
the back wall covered by a huge mirror surrounded by light
bulbs. It was an influential shop that Biba's Barbara Hulanicki
is reported as being "most envious of". It had a reputation
for selling 'Mod' clothing to the 'rich and influential'
and the 'Mod' image was characterised by an eye-catching
bullseye on its front
canopy and carrier bags, a logo later much popularised
by 'Mod' group 'The Who'.James Wedge
recounted: "I did most of the buying.
There was a shoe designer who I think was at college (Moya
Bowler) whose shoes sold very well. There were people who
did crochet dresses, very simple little straight dresses
with short sleeves and square necks in gold and silver metallic
fabric and they were all knitted on home knitting machines.
They used to go very well. I had one woman who used to come
in with a little packet of six hand-knitted sweaters and
they used to sell very well, they were angora. But we didn't
have any out factories or anything like that. Foale and
Tuffin were our biggest suppliers".
In the early 60s this was a boutique owned by Kiki Byrne,
a former Quant employee. Victoria
Wine c.1969 later
a shoe shop c.1975
c.1965 - 1971 (front of Antiquarius): Next door to TopGear,
and also owned by James Wedge and Pat Booth. This boutique
had cork-covered walls with moody lighting and regular customers
included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. It was also
famous for stocking the 'breast shirt', the design of which
was based on a photo of Pat Booth taken by Wedge. This was
an outlet for Tuffin and Foale's clothes.
"...on Saturdays there was always a Rolling Stone. Mick
Jagger did a concert in Hyde Park and he wore a dress, a
little white dress I think it was, and he got that from
Countdown, and Marianne Faithfull used to be in there on
a regular basis. All the 'people' used to hang out there.
There were people who used to come and buy and there used
to be a hell of a lot of people who came to steal and we
lost so much stuff. That was why, in the end, I felt it
was time to get out".
138 The Markham
Arms 1856 - 1991: Public house, now a branch of
Santander. John R. recalls 'The Markham Arms was used as
a gay pub on Saturdays only, and I can remember meeting
friends there inside in the fuggy, fetid atmosphere! On
a Saturday, after lunchtime drinking, a number of patrons
walked down to the cafe on the top floor at Habitat at 208
for tea, cakes and more cruising'. This was the pub where
Anthony Blunt re-established contact with Kim Philby c.1954
House: Originally residential and occupied
by solicitors, in November 1955 Mary Quant, Archie McNair
and Alexander Plunket-Greene bought the freehold of the
basement and ground floor of Markham House, later The
Markham Pharmacy, on the corner of Markham Square, for
£8,000 (now worth about £9.5 million). and
split it into two businesses, Bazaar
1955 - 1969: The
shop was an immediate success, largely due to the fact that
their inexperience had them selling their clothes and accessories
too cheaply, not only affecting their profits but also annoying
other local retail outlets, a 'mistake' that was quickly
rectified, but not before the boutique had gained a significant
some of her designs were featured in Harper's Bazaar and
purchased by an American manufacturer, Quant concentrated
on designing and making more of the clothes she sold rather
than buying the stock in.
Although Quant is acclaimed as the person who 'invented'
the mini skirt, it is more factual to say that she popularised
the description after allegedly naming her short creations
after her favourite car, even though the term had previously
been used as early as 1920, by the Daily Express and other
newspapers, to describe the (relatively) short skirts of
the time. In her 1966 first autobiography 'Quant by Quant',
the term 'mini-skirt' isn't mentioned at all. She is also
credited with either 'inventing' or popularising the accompanying
coloured or patterned tights and, later in the decade, the
'hot pants' fashion craze. "We were in at the beginning
of a tremendous renaissance in fashion. It was not happening
because of us. It was simply that, as things turned out,
we were a part of it". Ronald
Tuckerman estate agents occupied the rest of the
basement initially housed a coffee bar / jazz club called
Alexander's the sign to which can be seen on the
The club Bosun’s Locker used to be here, as well,
underneath Markham House. Around 1925, Markham House was
occupied by G.F.Wilkins, solicitors.
MARKHAM SQUARE 14
to 16 Markham Square 1968
Wear clothes shop 140
- 144 Barclays
to c.1973 (later
Not Known) 141
tall single-storey building located behind 131/133. In
made for 'use of the billiards hall at the rear of 131/141
King's Road as a studio, rehearsal rooms scenery store and
for the general use of Granada Television network'
but no record seems to exist showing that this was ever
used by Granada. The Granada contract expired in 1968, when
the area was absorbed by Antiquarius
Flood Street 1 - 11
Manor Studios opened in 1902 and, from 22nd July
1966, was'home' to the photographer Michael Cooper, who
occupied Studio 4 on the rear ground floor. On 30th March
1967 the photographic montage for the sleeve of The Beatles'
'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' album was put
together at Studio 4. Wax
figures from Madame Tussaud's and other collage items
were used along with the live subjects and the actual cover
was a painting of that photograph. Cooper died young, in
1972, when the studio became a 'beauty school' and it was
converted for commercial and residential use in 2002.
Chelsea Garage was built as a motor garage in 1919
and extended along the full length of the rear of the Antiquarius
premises. In June 1965 it became a motor showroom instead
of just a workshop. It was taken over and became part of
the Antiquarius trading area in the early 1970s.
Street 85 (Alpha
Place) Hall of Remembrance. Often used as a rehearsal
facility by Associated Rediffusion TV. The Beatles rehearsed
here for the AR-TV special 'Around The Beatles' filmed at
Wembley in 1964.
(See 140) 145
Kiki Byrne at
145 (Honiton House) was contemporary to Mary Quant's 'Bazaar'
through which some of Kiki's early designs were sold. Owned
by Kiki Byrne and her partner, graphic designer Robert Brownjohn,
and frequented by Susannah York and Grace Coddington. Byrne
was known for very simple, youthful little black dresses
and unfussy suits made with good quality fabrics in neutral
tones. Some of her designs were worn by Cathy McGowan on
the TV music show Ready Steady Go! She also created the
golden bikini worn by Margaret Nolan in the title sequence
of the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Jaeger
1960s shoe shop,
which was at 59 Markham Street
MARKHAM STREET Looking
North 1971 Markham
Street 59 Merle boutique
Garman Ltd. (?) (dental surgeon) c.1974
- 150 This
site was previously occupied by Box
farm, from 1686 to 1899. The
Electric Theatre (one of London's first purpose-built
cinemas), was built in 1913 by the London & Provincial Electric
Theatre Company at 148 Kings Road on the corner of Markham
Street. It was designed by Felix Joubert, who also made
miniature furniture in his premises in The Pheasantry, next
door. It was given a new frontage in 1937. Later known as
Cinema, it was closed in 1973 and re-opened with
live shows but was eventually demolished in 1978 and replaced
by a branch of Boots.The
frontage on the corner included a sales outlet called Clare's.
(later Quincy Jones, Sen chinese herbs, L'Eto cafe) 150
- 152 now Waterstones
Pheasantry 1769: The Pheasantry is an historic Georgian
building built in 1769. In 1865 it was occupied by a game
dealer named Samuel Baker who raised pheasants for the royal
household, hence the name. The façade and entrance arch
were added in 1881. During the early 1900s it was inhabited
by Eleanor Thornton, the favourite model of artist and sculptor
Charles Sykes and she is believed to have been the model
for his most famous work, the Rolls Royce mascot 'Spirit
of Ecstasy'. By the 1920s and '30s its rooms contained the
studio of dance teacher Serafina Astafieva, who taught prima
ballerinas Alicia Markova and Margot Fonteyn.
The ground floor and basement was a members-only club from
1932 until 1966 when the then owner Mario Cazzini died.
After this the ground floors became a nightclub that survived
into the 1970s and was where singer Yvonne Elliman was discovered
by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, leading to her role
in the recording of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. Post-war the
upper building was let in apartments and famous residents
have included Eric Clapton, journalist Martin Sharp (editor
of 'Oz'), Germaine Greer (who wrote 'The Female Eunuch'
there), film maker Philippe Mora, artist Tim Whidborne,
Clive James, writer Anthony Haden-Guest and rock/pop photographer
Robert Whitaker who was responsible for the controversial
'butcher' photo used on the original cover of the Beatles'
album 'Yesterday & Today'. The site also contained Bassi's
Restaurant during the 1960s
The Pheasantry was redeveloped
in 1979, retaining the original facia, and currently
houses shops, apartments and a pizza restaurant.
'Coiffeur de Dames' c.1967 Ricci hair
stylists (early 70s) 153
The Cheyne Gallery
W.Churcher photographer. Later (c.1974)
Acme Attractions and BOY
Cellar (basement) Not Known image c.1967
Methodist Church (1903) Methodists first started
meeting in Chelsea in a local woman's house in John Wesley's
time. He preached several times to them. As numbers grew
they rented a room, then a suite of rooms in the Ranelagh
Pleasure Gardens (now part of the Royal Hospital grounds).
Shortly after, they leased and converted an old slaughter
house in the present Sloane Street area. In the early nineteenth
century, their first purpose-built chapel was in Sloane
Square (now the Royal Court Theatre), their second one in
Sloane Terrace – where the Christian Science church now
stands. This second chapel was used by Chelsea Methodists
from 1812 to 1903. In 1903, Chelsea Methodists built on
the present site on the corner of King's Road and Chelsea
Manor Street. In 1941, a bomb destroyed the sanctuary, and
after the war, the rooms that were left underwent various
changes. The bombsite itself was long used as a car park,
before the whole site was redeveloped in 1983. Today, this
is the only church with a door on King's Road.
156 Village Gate
boutique owned by John Simons and Jeff Kwintner - 'sister'
shop to The Squire Shop opposite (image
scene from 'The Party's Over' (1964)
157 Melita (basement restaurant run by Victor Hugo Borg
until c.1977?) 158 Oscar's
Clothes (?) (Later: Brighter Homes)
& Co shoe shop c.1967
(boutique?) (Later: Millers).
Fashions October 1966 became Apple
Tailoring May 1968 and then The Rag Machine
Dandie Fashions originally opened in October 1966,
in South Kensington, and was owned jointly by Tara Browne
and John Crittle with associates Alan Holston, Neil Winterbottom
and Freddie Hornik. Fashions and tailoring was supplied
by Foster & Tara, a business Tara Browne had set up with
Pops and Cliff Foster, a father and son team.
Dandie moved to 161 King's Road at the beginning of 1967,
by which time Tara Browne had been killed in the high profile
car accident. The
external mural decoration was carried out by BEV (Binder,
Edwards and Vaughn) and was where The Beatles bought many
of their clothes. The establishment also had a psychedelic
multi-coloured Bentley, used to transport important
customers to various clubs and party venues around London,
that was commissioned from BEV
at the same time as the shop front. Jimi Hendrix and David
Bowie were also big customers and it was Dandie that supplied
Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust' outfit. Note: The shop and clothing
labels were, at various times, named 'Dandie' or 'Dandy'.
Apple Tailoring (Civil and Theatrical): From Thursday
23rd May 1968 the premises were 'shared' with The Beatles'
Apple Corporation, to become their second 'boutique' outlet,
that closed within a year. Apple's Neil Aspinall and company
accountant Stephen Maltz became directors of Dandie as part
of this agreement. The short-lived business was run by 25
year-old Australian John Crittle and had a hairdressing
salon in the basement run by Leslie Cavendish.
The Rag Machine: See 163. These premises are now
occupied by Proud Galleries with an excellent display of
rock & roll, fashion and pop culture photography.
c.1966 I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet
c.1967: (Later: E.Marmo)
Tommy Roberts, along with his wife Mary and his new business
partner Charlie Simpson opened the original Kleptomania
on 10 Kingly Street, Soho, in 1966. The Kings Road branches
at 164 and 106 were added shortly afterwards, but were short-lived
as Roberts moved on to open 'Mr Freedom' at 430 in 1968/9.
Kleptomania handled Paul Reeves fashion designs under the
label name 'Sam Pig In Love'.
Tommy Roberts: "In the style of 'Granny's' decor, the interior
of Kleptomania's back room was repainted in purple and magenta
and enhanced by the addition of an ultraviolet light surrounded
by antique shawls gathered across the ceiling. ...... a
hi-fi (allowed customers to) appreciate the aural pleasures
of Love, The Mothers Of Invention and the Velvet Underground".
"Kleptomania metamorphosed into an incense-filled, 'hippified'
haven". "Any customer coming through the door and 'spoiling
the vibes' was felt to be an inconsiderate nuisance".
The original 'I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet' was opened by
Ian Fisk and John Paul at 293 Portobello Road, Notting Hill,
in 1966. In the summer of 1967 Fisk and Paul dissolved their
partnership. Fisk took sole ownership of the premises, which
became the Injun Dog head-shop (subtitled 'Once I Was Lord
Kitchener's Valet'). Paul and new partner Ian Richardson,
managing director David Morgan and manager Robert Orbach
opened a new branch of 'IWLKV' in Foubert's Place, Soho,
selling militaria and Swinging London novelty items. In
1968 Paul added two more, in Carnaby Street and Wardour
Street, and soon expanded to sites in Piccadilly Circus
and in the Kings Road (on the corner of Jubilee Place),
where the shop superseded Kleptomania, and another branch
sited at number 65 that was called 'I Was Lord Kitchener's
Orbach: "The name 'I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet' was thought
up by Ian Fisk just because we sold Victoriana. It conjured
up images of Edwardian smoking jackets, top hats and canes
and Birdcage Walk on Sunday - pure nostalgia".
"In about 1967 we took over Kleptomania on the Kings Road,
so we were now operating in both streets. Carnaby Street
was really run by working class people. The upper middle
class Cambridge crowd were all in the Kings Road and they
didn't like us working class heroes. For a while the Kings
Road did better than Carnaby Street. There were rope barriers
down the centre of the shop to direct people towards the
cashier. The till was going all day long".
163 Jean Junction c.1972 Jean Machine was a chain
of stores selling jeans, founded in 1971 by Tony Lonsdale,
nicknamed the 'Blue Jean King'. He brought jeans over from
California and, after initial resistance from local wholesalers,
set up a shop on the King's Road. He originally set up The
Pant House in Hornton Street, Kensington, before adding
The Rag Machine and The Jean Machine next door to each other
at 161 and 163. Shortly after that, The Pant House also
opened nearby in the King's Road.
STREET (just Manor Street before 1937)
- 166 Lloyds Bank
- 174 wide view 164
to west wide view
- 179 Chelsea
Old Town Hall 1886 to 1965 became the Chelsea
Register Office 1978
Dating from 1886, the Register Office in the Old Town Hall
holds the records for all births, deaths, marriages and
civil partnerships that have taken place within the Royal
Borough of Kensington and Chelsea since July 1837. It ceased
to be the local town hall in 1965 when Chelsea amalgamated
with Kensington and became the Register Office when 250
closed in 1978. It is now a venue for all manner of concerts,
fashion shows and fairs. It was the venue for John and Yoko's
media launch of The Plastic Ono Band on 3rd July 1969.
168 All Kinds
Jan Curtis advises: "All Kinds traded from the late
60s to the mid 70s. It was owned by David Pratt and sold
very modern boutique menswear.
customers shopped there including The Four Tops, The Temptations,
and many famous footballers. My husband served Tony Curtis
and sold him a jacket. When they released the musical Hair
a group of nude women ran down the Kings Road and some came
into the shop. The alterations to the clothes sold in the
shop were done by Freddie Burretti, the famous designer
for David Bowie, who became a good friend of my husband.
He worked in a tailors above one of the shops near Take
John Michael 1957 - 1968 John
Michael Ingram's boutique was one of the earliest on
Kings Road, opening in 1957, only two years after Mary Quant's
'Bazaar', and was one of the original retailers of the style
that was to become 'Mod'. He also opened 'Sportique', in
Soho, situated right next to the 2i's coffee bar in Old
Compton Street. By 1965 he had built the business into a
public company and, by the end of 1966, he had opened 17
shops with a head office on Savile Row. He subsequently
started an export business, selling his lines to the JC
Penney chain in America and later went on to design clothes
for TV personalities, including Patrick McGoohan in the
cult TV series 'The Prisoner'.
Later renamed Westerner
c.1968, an Americana boutique specialising in western gear
for all the family. Later renamed again, as Guy,
but still owned by the chain.
172 Choy's Chinese
restaurant 1952 - 2013 174
boutique later Tips
c.1976 180 Chelsea
Gems where you could get an 'accurate'
horoscope for a shilling - amazing! Wavell
& Co Ltd. chemists c.1967
180 - 182 The Eleusis Club had a lease of numbers
180 and 182 that expired in 1902. The
Chelsea Electric Palace was a long narrow cinema
seating 400, possibly a shop conversion. It was operating
prior to 1910, through to at least 1914, advertising pictures
and variety. It was later renamed Cadogan Electric Palace
and closed as the Cadogan Cinema in 1927. By 1930
the building was in use as a chemist shop.
181 - 183 / 183a Chelsea Arts Club / Chenil
Art Galleries / Decca Studios: 181 was the home
of Chelsea Arts Club until 1901 when it moved to 143-5 Old
The Chenil Art Galleries next to the Town Hall were built
on the site of Charles Chenil's art material shop in 1906
by Jack Knewstub. Augustus John had a studio there in 1910,
as did Roger Fry and Eric Gill. David Bomberg held his first
show there in 1914 and in 1926 David Barbirolli conducted
a chamber orchestra there. Knewstub's art business went
into receivership in 1927. The last documented exhibition
was held there in 1926. The building was sold at auction
and became Decca's first recording studio between 1929 and
1936. It was acquired by the local council in 1947 for retail
and later became an antiques market, then a toy shop. It
had fallen into disuse by 2008 and in 2010 redevelopment
began on a new residential and retail scheme.
182A Semmens of
Chelsea Mens Hairdressers c.1967
Heath Bullock -
period furniture later Girl
c.1970 boutique 184 C.
Ashby & Sons electrical engineers
185 David Clulow opticians est 1962
186 Gipsy boutique
(1960s?) 186a Sketchleys
House business and residential occupation
on upper floors 188a Pompadour
Classics(? or possibly American Haven which was a 'burger
bar) then Lorenzo
Italian restaurant c.1970
192 Sir Mark
boutique (?) 193
& Tolkien theatrical costumiers 1993 - 2007
194 - 198 Tankard & Smith This was a long-established
petrol service garage, also dealing in classic cars, and
was a supplier of service vehicles to London Transport.
Still operational in the early Sixties, the exact closure
date of the Kings Road site is unknown. The London Gazette
lists Tankard and Smith (Shepherds Bush) Limited, Motor
Traders, as going into liquidation in October 1962. Tankard
& Smith adverts
Hartman American car sales took over the site. Sold
to the Lex motor group c.1960, they moved to Flood Street
in 1966. The site was briefly occupied by Billy Murphy's
Wyoming in 1974 (named after a track on Neil Young's
first solo album) for a short time before closing and eventually
concentrating its Kings Road business at its Worlds End
location at 408 (see 404). Later (?) Allied
Carpets. The site is now a Waitrose
195 - 197 Six
Bells (1722) The
original Six Bells public house is known to have been
licensed to a John Westerbone as early as 1722. The site
contained a tea garden with arbours and little summer-houses
in the 1820s and sported a bowling green (a club with 65
members) in 1895. The building was reconstructed in its
Tudor style in 1900, at which time a mammoth's tooth weighing
16 lbs and measuring 15" by 12" was excavated.
In the winter of 1958 the 'Wally Fawkes Troglodytes' jazz
band had to move from their residency in Piccadilly and
settled into the Six Bells as their new 'home'. Fawkes
was not only a talented and well-known jazz musician, associated
with George Melly and George Chisholm, but also a cartoonist
who was the creator of the 'Flook' character featured in
a strip in the Daily Mail in the Sixties. He ran 'Trog's
Jazz Club' for many years in the Six
Bells upstairs rooms, which also had 'blues' evenings
on Thursdays featuring artists such as Zoot Money, Alexis
Korner, Graham Bond and others.
Renamed in the 1970s, 'The
Birds Nest' was one of the Watney's pubs bearing
this name that represented a new concept in entertainment.
Watney's combined a pub with a discotheque and an innovative
system of telephone tables where customers could dial for
food and drink. Two hundred and fifty people attended the
launch party including Simon Dee, Cleo Laine and Johnny
Dankworth. Here the theme was Bavarian. Watneys engaged
German architect, Thomas Gehrig, who had designed the interiors
of bars and clubs in Germany, Italy and the USA. The aim
was to appeal to an international clientele. It still existed
as one of the Henry J. Beans bar / restaurant chain until
its recent closure.
196 - 222 is currently being redeveloped, with a
new Waitrose, Curzon cinema, a large pub with a rooftop
bar, offices and homes, restoring the Gaumont art deco frontage.
199 Hide Park
200 - 204 The
Lord Nelson 1806 renamed The
Trafalgar 1970: The Lord Nelson public house was
first established here in 1806-7 and was rebuilt in 1933.
In 1970 the pub's name was changed to 'The Trafalgar' and
it operated as a kind of 'discotheque with a fairground'.
The 'opening' ceremony saw film stars Julie Ege and George
Lazenby pulling the 'first pint'. It is now owned by Mitchells
and Butler and incorporates a brasserie.205 Tom Salter's
Cafe: Owned by Tom Salter who operated the 'Gear' boutique
chain, the cafe later became a wine bar (Pucci Pizza) and
in 1975 was the venue for a gig by a group (called either
The Strand or The Swankers) who, after some personnel changes,
were to become The Sex Pistols some months later.
201 HIS clothes boutique (John Stephen) Chelsea
Wash-Inn launderette c.1975 203
Chelsea Record Centre
205 Salter Tom Salter's cafe 1960s Salter
and street view 1975 later Pucci
- 208 The
Gaumont Palace 1934. The
Odeon 1963: The current building that includes the
Curzon cinema is built on the site originally occupied by
the studio of film pioneer William Friese-Greene, whose
image can be seen on a bas relief on front of the building.
The Gaumont Palace opened on the site on 8th December 1934
with 2,502 seats and a 150 seat restaurant with its own
entrance. It was modernised in 1960 and re-named the Odeon
in 1963 before closing in 1972. Part of the site was converted
into the Habitat
store now at 208 and a new Odeon cinema seating 739 was
opened at 206 in September 1973, closing again in November
1981. After lying fallow for two years film distributors
Artificial Eye took it over, re-naming it the Chelsea
Cinema for its re-opening on 15th September 1983.
The cinema was taken over by the Curzon
group in 2006. Sir Terence Conran opened the first Habitat
store at 77 Fulham Road in 1964, later moving the 'flagship'
store to its current location and is now one of the brand's
only remaining premises. Inside
the cinema Odeon
Irish linen stores c.1975 1987
The Wine and Beer Shop
c.1975 later Superwines
CHELSEA MANOR STREET
(just Manor Street before 1937)
OAKLEY STREET 58
to 69 Oakley Street 1963
- 222 Kings Road
These numbers are untraceable and do not currently exist
but it is most likely that they were swallowed up by the
'footprint' of the cinema.
Argyll House 1723. The oldest houses still existing
in the Kings Road can be seen at 211-217, the oldest of
which is Argyll House, designed and built by Venetian architect
Giacomo Leoni for John Perrin in 1723. The house is named
after the Duke of Argyll who bought it in 1769. It was occupied
by society hostess Lady Sibyl Colefax from 1922 to 1937
at whose soirees it is alleged that the future Edward VIII
was introduced to Wallis Simpson.
213 - 215 Kings
Road c.1725: These houses
were added later in the 1720s. 213 was occupied in the 1930s
by noted society interior designer Syrie Maugham (a daughter
of Thomas) and, from 1948 to 1978, 'Third Man' and 'Oliver!'
film director Sir Carol Reed whose occupation is commemorated
by a blue plaque. Judy Garland and her family rented the
house in 1960. Dr. Thomas Arne, the composer of 'Rule Britannia',
lived at 215 during the 18th century and the premises were
later occupied by acclaimed actress Ellen Terry from 1904
to 1920 and, more recently, Peter Ustinov. house
Road 1750: This house was originally occupied by
James Hutton, one of the founders of the Moravian Church.
51 Chelsea Open Air
of Chelsea antiques later
Tiger Tiger c.1976 221
wines, spirits, beer later The
Loose Rein food bar, wine store and cellar wine
223 - 227 Kings
Road These numbers do not appear to exist, although
buildings are contiguous at this point in time. There appears
to be a service entrance to the west of
number 231 so it is possible that these numbers belonged
to premises behind the road-facing shops? This parade
housed the road's oldest shops
224 - 226 Westminster Bank. Now a Grade
2 listed building planned to be converted to retail
outlets and residential units.
228 - 232 Old Post and
Sorting Office: The building at 232 King's Road
was converted and extended c.2007 to provide affordable
housing, with access from the King's Road to the side of
the retained shop.
229 Albert King antiques dealer (?) .....Cigar
Store (?) Nicholas
art dealer (?) c.1973 229 - 231 was
later occupied by Antique Clothing c.1976
234 - 242 Chelsea Palace
of Varieties 1903 Granada TV Studio
1958 1957-1966: Previously
occupied by Wilkinson
Sword's Oakley Works, where guns and swords were
made, the building was replaced by the Chelsea Palace of
Varieties (a music hall theatre designed by Wylson and Long
and built by contractor C.T. Kearly) which opened on the
13th April 1903. It seated 2,524 on two levels, stalls and
pit, and a box gallery. By 1923 it was also being used as
a cinema but was sold in 1925 to Variety Theatres Consolidated
after which, until it closed in March 1957, it reverted
to live performances only.
During 1956 the Palace hosted a Radio Luxembourg talent
contest which was won four weeks in a row by Fantasie coffee
bar regulars Chas McDevitt's Skiffle Group. It was during
this competition that Chas met 20 year-old Glaswegian singer
Anne Wilson, performing under the stage name Nancy Whiskey.
Together they recorded 'Freight Train' which became a hit
on both sides of the pond and the success it brought allowed
Chas to eventually open his own coffee bar in Berwick Street
in Soho, inevitably called 'The Freight Train'. The Theatre
was taken over by Granada Theatres in 1951 and renamed the
Chelsea Granada in 1957, with the intention of turning it
into a cinema, but it was subsequently leased to Granada
Television who remodelled it for use as their 'Studio 10'.
TV shows produced in this studio over the next eight years
included 154 episodes of 'The Army Game' and three series
of a variety show called 'Chelsea at Nine', which featured
many top acts who were appearing live in London.
A note of interest is that Granada owners Sidney and Cecil
Bernstein only gave their studios even numbers, so this
was, in fact, the fifth Granada TV studio. Billie Holiday
gave her last (recorded) performance there on 23rd February
1959, performing 'Strange Fruit', 'I Loves You Porgy' and
'Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone', only the first
two of which survive. Granada abandoned the building in
1966 and it was demolished to be replaced with flats and
the Heal's furniture store.
(1966 - closed 2015). The company dated back to 1810, when
John Harris Heal founded a family bed-making business at
the store's main branch in Tottenham Court Road, W1. The
sign of the four-poster outside his shop was to become the
mark of good design throughout the UK. The TCR store was
particularly important to the Arts & Crafts movement, fostered
by Sir Ambrose Heal, who joined the firm in 1893. Heal's
was where Aldous Huxley first met Virginia Woolf, was the
first to exhibit Modigliani in its (now defunct) Mansard
Gallery, and first showed room-sets by Mies van der Rohe,
Marcel Breuer and Maxwell Fry.
by Rodney Rawlings from 1965 until 1974, it was bought from
Jonathan Hanson and his business partners and transformed
into one of the most popular restaurants in the area. The
50-seat bistro boasted devoted regulars, at various times,
that included Dudley Moore (always ordered Shepherd’s Pie),
Lance Percival, Derek Nimmo, Alan Bates, Jean Muir, James
Clavell, The Hollies, James Hunt, Marjorie Parr, John Cowan,
Dan Topolski and the current Oxford eight, and many other
notables. Nigel Dempster and the William Hickey team usually
commandeered one end of the communal centre table at jam-packed
More rarefied visitors included Lee Marvin, Julie Christie,
Charlotte Rampling, Brigitte Bardot, the King of Sikkim,
Princess Anne, Mick Jagger, Tiny Tim... and others, with
everyone eating at shared, candle-lit tables (there were
no tables for two) in a paparazzi-free atmosphere. On the
door of 235 Kings was a sign with the message “Interdit
aux paysans!” (by ‘peasants’ we meant uncouth, uncivil people
of any sort, including Hooray Henrys and the like.) “Cet
etablissement est un lieu prive, cree surtout pour l’amusement
du patron et son personnel. Si vous voulez manger ici, soyez
c.1973 wine store (?) 239
(Street Level) Not Known
Chester Antiques at street level. The
Gateways Club (Basement) 1930 - 1985: The
Gateways club, with its famous 'green door' side entrance
in Bramerton Street, was established in 1930/31 and, almost
unique for its time, became more or less exclusively lesbian
during the war when large numbers of women, working or stationed
near London, needed somewhere of their own to go to. It
legally became a 'members' club in 1936. Ted Ware ran the
club during the war, allegedly after winning it in a poker
game. He married actress Gina Cerrato in 1953 who took over
the running of the club, together with an American woman
called 'Smithy' who originally came to England with the
US Air Force. Inside the green door was a steep set of steps
leading down to the cloakroom and the club entrance. The
windowless cellar 'club room' was only 35ft long with a
bar at one end (usually run by 'Smithy') with a fruit-machine
by a central pillar and a jukebox opposite the bar.
the Sixties it was popular with artists and celebrities
such as Diana Dors and Dusty Springfield and it was used
for scenes in the 1968 film 'The Killing of Sister George',
featuring many club regulars on screen and starring Beryl
Reid, Susannah York and Coral Browne. It is also believed
that the song 'Green Door' was inspired by its entrance.
The Gateways closed on 24th September 1985 when it lost
its late licence due to complaints about the loud music,
by which time many more alternative venues for the gay community
had become publicly acceptable.
241 Chapman Brothers (1908 - 1964) previously at
251. Carvers and gilders, picture framemakers, by 1911 also
picture dealers and restorers. This important business produced
frames for many leading artists. The Chapman business is
not well documented. It appears to have been founded by
George Chapman (c.1844-c.1915?), who was recorded in the
1881 census at 251 King’s Rd, as a master gilder and picture
framemaker, employing four men, with his brother, Joseph,
house and estate agent, in the same household. In the 1901
census George Chapman, age 57, gilder and picture framemaker,
was listed with his son Edwin John Chapman (1879-1958),
age 21, also a gilder and picture framemaker. George Chapman
was included in the electoral roll until 1915 but his death
has not been traced. By the time of the 1911 census Edward
John had married and was living in Fulham, described as
Manager, picture dealer and restorer, carver and gilder.
He died in 1958, leaving effects worth £8251.
Meenys (1972) Gary Craze opened Meenys on the Kings
Road in 1972 and sold American adults and children’s clothes
like Levi’s, Converse, Oshkosh, Gant, Topsiders, Bass, just
to name a few. The other branch was located at Draycott
Avenue, which was the first Meenys in 1971 and was also
a children’s hair salon. He then opened on Kensington High
Street and in Hampstead. Before Meenys, Gary Craze had also
opened Sweenys (1966), a men’s hair salon in Beauchamp Place,
and Todds (1968) in 478 Kings Road at the World’s End.
SYDNEY STREET Looking
North 1966 Sydney
Street west side (demolished 2003 to make a garden centre).
Shop c.1976: Boutique, previously a cafe / coffee
- 252 Board of Guardians / Chelsea Workhouse 1883 Chelsea
Register Office until 1978: The Board of Guardians'
offices were built in 1883 and extended to Sydney Street
in1903-5. The complex also included a workhouse situated
behind the main building but sharing the same address. 250
was the old Chelsea Register Office where Bessie Wallis
Warfield married her second husband, Ernest Simpson, in
1928, becoming Mrs Wallis Simpson.
It was the venue for Judy
Garland's 1969 marriage to disco manager Mickey Deans,
with singer Johnnie Ray as best man, just a few months before
her death and also Neil Aspinall's (the 'fifth Beatle')
to Suzy Ornstein before the official records and licence
for marriages were transferred to the old town hall in 1978.
245 Chelsea Antiques Market (1960s) then D.Kirkham
Entrance to Chelsea
Antiques Market: Listed as 245A,
but with two entrances, this conglomeration of shops and
an advertised 110
stalls was the site of the original 'Chelsea Antiques
Market' until it changed ownership in 1991. Peter and Adrian
Harrington bought the freehold but did not want to spend
£5 million to redevelop it and sold the premises on. It
has since re-opened. Pattie Harrison and her sister, Jennie
Boyd, ran an art-nouveau
stall called 'Juniper', between July 1968 and February
1969, and Emmerton & Lambert was a well-known 'second hand'
fashion 'boutique'. Slightly confusingly, 'Chelsea Antiques
Market' has more recently been advertised and reported as
running at 135 Kings Road, the Antiquarius building, which
was its main rival.
245A Chapman Brothers works 1912 - 1964 247 Joanna
Booth (1976) 249 Dominic's bistro
By the 1880s the poor state of the King's Road
burial ground caused controversy. A mortuary was constructed
in 1882 and the remaining area was used for the recreation
of workhouse residents. After war damage the ground was
redeveloped from 1947-50. The mortuary was demolished and
most stones removed to develop a garden partly open to the
public, The Borough re-modelled the garden in 1977, retaining
mature trees and some monuments, renaming it Dovehouse Green.
DOVEHOUSE STREET street
c.1969: After purchasing the shop from the man after whom
it is named, Joe and Terry Heade ran S.Borris, The Sandwich
Shop, for 35 years, until it closed in 2004. Among its many
notable customers were Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Yoko Ono,
John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland
and Christine Keeler.
253 Emmerton & Lambert boutique 253a
Market second entrance 255
Jeremy Ltd furniture
(1976) 257 Cafe Jazz Hot
& Stone Previously C.L.
Hacking ironmongers, in 1895 Charles Hacking put
in the winning tender to install electric lights in the
Upper Hall of Chelsea Town Hall with a quote of £48. Green
& Stone of Chelsea, picture framers and supplier of specialist
art materials, was first established on the King’s Road
in Chelsea in 1927 when Mr Alfred Green and his sons Alfie
and Peter were invited to work from the Chenil Gallery by
its directors, Augustus John and Bernard Shaw. In 1934,
Green & Stone relocated to 259 King’s Road, a premises previously
run as a shop for the Women’s Suffragette Movement. From
here Mr. Green and his sons continued to run the shop primarily
as a picture framing business, offering only a small selection
of art materials. In 1978 the business was bought by employee
Fire Station The Kings Road Fire Station was opened
on 3rd March 1965 by London County Council and was part
of a development that included the
Chelsea Arts School (Manresa Road) and Chelsea College
of Science and Technology. Previously a Regency
terrace demolished in 1955
266 - 268 The Chemistry Department and Hall of Residence
occupied 266 - 268. Aerial
view 1957 The whole block was
previously an empty lot occupied by Park
a used car trader, on the site of a regency terrace dating
from 1810 - 1955.
MANRESA ROAD Kings
Road looking North 1959 Manresa
and Chelsea College site 1959
270 - 278 Residential
Clytie Jessop Art Gallery: Art gallery owned by the
British actress and film directrix that exhibited works
by many notable contemporary artists. Her first screen role
was as the ghost of Miss Jessel in 'The Innocents' (1961)
and she had minor horror roles for Hammer in 'Nightmare'
(1964) and Amicus in'Torture Garden' (1967). In 1986 she
wrote, directed and produced the film 'Emma's War', starring
: The Stockpot was the one of the oldest restaurants
and a popular Sixties hangout, now sadly closed. 273A
Antiques Then owned by Robin Guild’s
mother, it later became the Designers Guild shop, run by
Trisha Guild, Robin's second wife.
Old Church Street 46A Sound
Techniques Studio 1964: Sound Techniques began its
life as a recording studio in December 1964, when it was
set up by Geoff Frost and John Wood as one of the early
independent sound recording studios in the UK. Artists who
recorded there included: Pink Floyd (who recorded their
first record here), Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention,
Jethro Tull, Steeleye Span, Incredible String Band, The
Pentangle, John Martyn, Beverley Martyn, Richard Thompson,
Martin Carthy, Judy Collins, John Cale, The Yardbirds and
The Who. Outer
The Glaciarium 1876, The Palaseum 1910, King's
Picture Playhouse 1911, The Ritz 1943,
1949 street view 1966,
Kings Road Theatre 1973, The Classic 1980.
The world's first artificial ice rink was constructed in
Covent Garden in 1844 and was a kind of 'prototype' for
the first 'modern' indoor rink, The Glaciarium, which was
opened by John Gamgee in Milman Street on 7th January 1876
and moved to 279 Kings Road in March of that year. This
was a sophisticated artificial rink created by using technology
invented to freeze meat for transport. The site was occupied
by The Palaseum in 1910 and renamed in 1911, with its capacity
increased from 960 to 1200. It became the Ritz in 1943 and
was remodelled in 1949, becoming the Essoldo until 1972
and renamed the Curzon, closing in 1973. It reopened as
King's Road Theatre for live performances, notably the first
live version of the Rocky Horror Show, closing in 1979 and
re-opening in 1980 as the Classic, now CineWorld. It has
also been, at various times, a Cannon, an MGM
1234 and an ABC.
280 - 296 Residential
houses c.1959 281 Contessini
c.1975 restaurant (?) 283
Sandra Shops / Mayfair c.1967 M.Silver
& Sons c.1975 watch & clock repairs
Marjorie Parr Art Gallery
Marjorie Parr founded her original gallery at 285
Kings Road in 1963. Her early exhibitions included artists
Guy Wordsell and Michael Andrews, painter John Hitchens,
sculptors Peter Ball, Roger Leigh, Peter Thursby, Elisabeth
Frink, Enzo Plazzotta, F. E. McWilliam and textile designer
Tadek Beutlich. She sold the gallery to David Gilbert in
July 1974 but continued to assist him at the gallery until
the end of 1975. Gilbert renamed the gallery in March 1977
to the Gilbert Parr Gallery, which finally closed in October
private members’ club
named after colonial mogul Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles,
was founded in 1967 by Peter
Evans, the restaurateur who is credited with bringing
steak houses to London. The Peter Evans Eating Houses took
over from Angus Steak Houses. Members included The Rolling
Stones, Eric Clapton and Vivienne Westwood as well as Princess
Margaret, Earls Snowdon and Lichfield, Barbra Streisand
and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
289 Chelsea Book Shop
PAULTONS SQUARE view
looking west 1961 view
looking east 1961
291 - 293 A.H.Inglis
dentist c.1960 294 Small
Wonder 295 - 301 (?)
Practical House Agents
c.1960 later Hooper & Purchase
Rose & Co. The current shop front
dates from the 1980s but the set-back first floor parapet
defines the former line of the road.
c.1680: This pub was built during the 17th century as the
'Rose & Crown'. The name was changed to 'The Cadogan Arms'
when it was rebuilt in 1838. The pub was altered in the
mid-1960s to designs by architects and surveyors Chesterton
& Sons. These comprised of external and internal alterations,
which included the addition of new windows in place of doors
at ground floor on the west and south side.
OLD CHURCH STREET Sloane
House 149 Old Church Street 1965 64
to 68 Old Church Street 1968 49-51
Zapata shoes (bought by designer Manalo
Blahnik in 1973)
300 - 302 Westminster Bank c.1966 street
- 323 Collectively known as Argyll Mansions. 303
television sales c.1960 later Blueberry
Hill boutique c.1970 and later a betting
The Electric Colour Co art collective was formed in
1969 by artists Andrew Greaves, Jeffrey Pine, David Smith
and Roderic Stokes. Andrew was to say "It was originally
supposed to support our fine art practice but became so
involving that it took up all our time". Late in 1970, among
other 'boutique' projects, ECC fitted out the mysterious
and short-lived King's Road fashion outlet Blueberry Hill,
which lasted all of six weeks before the landlords closed
it and converted it into a betting shop. No-one seems to
be able to remember who operated the business or designed
the clothes. They may also have had a presence in The Great
Gear Market at 89.
1969 - 1975: Lloyd's second Alkasura boutique (also see
380) was a favourite of stars such as Rod Stewart and Marc
Bolan (a particularly good friend), and was where Bolan
acquired his satin jackets in the early 70s. Lloyd was to
develop a religious mania and apparently walked around local
streets in monk's clothing before he eventually committed
suicide via self-immolation. Previously National Westminster
Bank? Later Osborne & Little.
or 313 Possibly Chelsea Rare Books (?)
312 The Chelsea Grill restaurant c.1962 later Rustum's
Le Gourmet (?) restaurant and Susan Locke 318
Not Known old
315 - 323 Old
residential houses (323 originally
a police house
or station earlier - see lamp on building?) 323 Cobblers
To The World (Terry De Havilland) c.1972 and residential.
BEAUFORT STREET view
looking south from Kings Road 1972 Beaufort
Mansions (SW side) 1975
325 Ebenezer French boot and shoe maker c.1891 Forbidden
Fruit c.1972 then The Natural Shoe Store
c.Jan 1981 327 Tobacconist
(Hairdressers early 1980s)
The Casserole c.1960 A trendy 'camp' restaurant frequented
by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the early Sixties Le
Gigolo c.1960: A well-known Sixties 'gay' coffee bar/club
situated in the basement underneath The Casserole restaurant.
Gay historian Dr David Lawrence: “It was a long cellar and
everyone would cram up the far end. The lights were dim.
It was like a scrum."
laundry / dry cleaners
until early 1980s then Astrix
Home Stores second
333 - 339 (337) Midland
Simon's Shop (?) 342
Gloryhole boutique (?)
- 348 The Post Office directory of 1902 gives the following
occupants: 328 Thomas John Laffeaty cycle manufacturers (probably
the original site of Laffeatys), 330 james Ball beer retailer
(King William IV pub?), 332,4,5, wallpaper manufacturers,
338 Wm. Chas Billings corn dealer, 340 Edward Humphrys dairy,
342 Percy Bolton chemist, 344,6 Boothroyd & Marsdon drapers,
348 Isabel Marian Fells dressmaker.