Share Your Memories

the hillWe would love to hear from residents or ex-residents of Primrose Hill who have any memories to share of particular shops and pubs, or any comments or suggestions.

Please register with us (a quick and easy process) and we will publish your contributions on this website.

Update 2017 We welcome comments though we’ve had to close the registration process  because of bots and spam, so it’s best to email me directly at wwain [at symbol] yahoo [dot] com.

Privacy Policy : this is a community and non-profit website; we are not interested in passing on your email address or other details to anyone else and we will never do so.

 

4 thoughts on “Share Your Memories

  1. I am writing to asking to see if any users on this site know of a childcare/nursery placed called Dibby’s that was run somewhere out of Regents Park Road around 1962-1963? The writer Sylvia Plath made a notation in her calendar about sending her daughter Frieda there in late December 1962 and January 1963. Thank you very much for any help you can provide.

    Peter K Steinberg (peterksteinberg@hotmail.com)

  2. Hi,
    I have only just discovered this site (in the last fifteen minutes or so).

    I was born on 15th February 1954 in Edis Street and lived in that house until my family moved away in June 1967. I attended Primrose Hill school between September 1958 and July 1965. I then went to Holloway School until we moved away.

    Both my paternal grandmother and my father were born in Regents Park Road, my grandmother later lived in Chalcot Crescent and Chalcot Square.

    I remember many of the old shops and the names of certain of my neighbours and the neighbours of my grandmother

    I look forward to checking out this site and perhaps adding a few memories.

    Jon Collie

  3. In the postwar 1940s Princess Road still had gas lamp-posts, lit each evening by a man on a bicycle with a pole to adjust the wick. The coalman delivered from a horse and cart and the milkman had a donkey. There was an air raid shelter outside No 20. Much of of Primrose Hill and and Regents Park were given over to allotments and the railings had been removed to provide metal for war industries. St. Mark’s Church at the end of the road was a shell only, having been bombed. Services were held for many years in a temporary green hut. The same stick of bombs destroyed a nearby house in Regents Park Road and another in Townshend St off Princess Road.

    The horses from the stables at the end of Princess Road still pulled barges on the Regents Canal. The canal itself was badly silted and was a danger to children who played around it. Primrose Hill School near the railway line was also gas lit. The headmaster, Oswald Clayton, would assemble the entire school to witness savage thrashing of pupils who had offended. Things have changed for the better in that department.

    The houses in Princess Rd were mostly rented and some already divided into flats. The reisdents were even then of very mixed background. In a top flat at No24 a train driver lived as a lodger. At No 26 there was a noted concert pianist who practiced on the first floor living room (Michal Hambourg). His sister Nadine, married to a Professor at LSE, lived a few door along. Towards the end of the road lived a couple who owned a market stall in Camden Town. De-regulation and lifting of rent controls eventually increased the value of the properties dramatically forcing many residents to leave.

    The first trickle of celebrities came after Cecil Sharp House in Regents Park Road was leased to the BBC as a rehearsal room. The early stars of radio and TV naturally visited the Prince Albert pub in Princess Rd during their lunch breaks. By the 1960s the charms of the area had already begun to attract A-list Swinging Sixties celebrities. David Bailey, the photographer, moved in and parked his open topped Rolls Royce outside his flat opposite the Post Office. Mick Jagger was another regular visiting his then girlfirend Chrissie Shrimpton, the sister of model Jean Shrimpton.

    For all the changes that have taken place in recent years, the locality still retains much of its old character, perhaps because it is so cut off from other neighbourhoods by the parks and the railway line. Only the redevelopments around Townshend St have become an eyesore and out of place among the more ambition Victorian developments. Behind Princess Rd, a small warren of terraced streets with workers’ cottages was demolished and a rather faceless development of private house put in its place. I lived then in No 22 where I grew up. I now live in Salisbury.

  4. I used to live at 25 Princess Road: the dairy.

    My father Cyril ( or Arthur depending on which part of the family you dealt with) was from a dairy background, and like a lot of dairymen, from West Wales. Born in Dihewyd, Cardiganshire, he came to London in the 1920s with his parents and siblings. They settled in Portobello Road ( where the Tesco is now). Vincent Davies was my brother.

    All the brothers had dairies, the sisters worked in other people’s as well. Some of my cousins also went into the trade.
    But no more. It’s a hard life, especially if you have a milk round. The cold at 5 am can be bitter in the winter.

    The garage at the back of 25 Princess Road was in Calvert Street. There was a garage before the estate was built, but had no connection to the Dairy. I don’t remember the minicab service, and the garage closed up at night.

    Denise Davies

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