LATIMER ROAD LAUNDRIES AND SHOPS

Before the Motorway was built, Latimer Road ran all the way from North Pole Road south towards Shepherd’s Bush. It was a familiar walking route for those in North Kensington, ending at Norland Market which ran to the junction of Norland Road and Holland Park Avenue. In the early half of the century at the northern end there were many laundries. For many years Pilgrim Payne was the only surviving laundry/dry cleaning business, but they too recently moved to new premises away from North Kensington.

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Above: Latimer Road (northern end, looking towards North Pole Road) circa 1900 (NK Community Archive)

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Drawing : The Laundries along Latimer Road in the 1920s (drawn by Audrey Jones)

Memories of Latimer Road as remembered by Mary Osborn whose family owned several laundries in the area.

Eynham House Laundry was quite a large building adjoining the red brick terrace of houses built, I believe, by a Mr. Eyles. It was owned by G&B Osborn (George and Bess), George’s father and mother. They were married in January 1903, so I presume that was when the business started in one of the houses facing the “Latimer” public house. It was eventually carried on by George, Frank, Elsie and Henry (always called Sonny).

Between Eynham House and Oxford Gardens were two other laundries, as I recall, one owned by Bill Osborn, father of Willie, Ernie, Eva and the other owned by Tom Osborn, father of Tommy and Ivy and there might have been another brother. All these Osborns lived in Highlever Road in houses which backed on to their laundries.

Further up Latimer Road, just before the “North Pole” was another Osborn owned laundry, I think it was called Osborn House but I’m not sure. I can’t remember the father’s name but one son who died very young, was called Henry. I think there was another brother also.

Bill, Tom and the owner of this laundry were all brothers, but George was a cousin.

Also there was Hatton’s, the laundry suppliers which was subsequently taken over by Harvey’s.

On the corner opposite the “North Pole”, was a receiving shop for the Lechlade laundry but I have no idea where the actual laundry was.

On the other side of Latimer Road, facing Oxford Gardens, there was a tiny shop called ” Little Wonder” which sold sweets etc. Further up on that side was a rather scruffy shop which my father always called “Dolly Fitchett’s”. I believe that was also a sweet shop but I never went in it.

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Above : Dovell’s on the corner of Latimer Rd and Walmer Rd, NKCA

On the corner of Latimer Road and Oxford Gardens was St.Helen’s School and on the corner of Latimer Road and Walmer Road was a small general shop called Dovell’s.

Just before you got to Snarsgate Street was the Post Office where I was taken to open my first Savings Account. I remember it was run by a woman with her hair done up in plaits wound round her ears!

Edited by Audrey Jones

 

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246 Latimer Road in 1903

 The above photo was sent in by Ray Styles, whose great uncle was the proprietor, C.B.Styles.

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Edwin Curtice outside his scrapyard. Photo from Paul Curtice.

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42 Responses to LATIMER ROAD LAUNDRIES AND SHOPS

  1. janis says:

    my grandmother elizabeth ruth edwards went to school at oxford gardens school l have just found her school medal for that school.she also lived in latimer road so this was lovely to look at some of the school photo

  2. Linda Pedder says:

    So wonderful to see the picture of Dovell’s, I was born in Latimer Road and my whole family lived there, we were two doors away from the Britannia Arms and my dad’s parents lived right opposite Dovell’s. Just been reading Alan Johnson’s book about his life in Southam Street and Walmer Road and took me back to such happy days. Anybody have any other photos,there doesn’t seem to be a lot of Latimer Road around.

    • Janis says:

      Hi Linda l saw your notes about Latimer Rd.My Mum lived at 437 Latimer Rd in 1920,also my Grandmother Elizabeth and Great Grandad James Henry Edwards at 320,and my grandad Thomas Mcclurg at 222.my great grandad James was a Laundry Propretor.I was hoping you had
      some more in information about Latimer Rd .As l am doing my family tree. Hope to hear from you soon.
      Best Wishes
      Janis

      • Valerie Rowe says:

        Hello. It was with interest I saw your entry and as I’m working on my family tree I’m trying to find out about a cobblers/shoe menders that was up near the junction with North Pole Road and Latimer Road. It was on the right hand side after turning into Latimer Road from North Pole Road. I don’t know what the number would be but it was supposed to be run by an uncle with the surname Rowe, so I wondered if with your knowledge of Latimer Road you might have heard of it? I had a friend Margaret whose mother ran an off licence in Latimer Road which I think is now Ariadnes Nectar Wine Bar (274 Latimer Road) and would walk past the cobblers on my way to and from her home. Would love to hear from you if you have any info.
        Valerie

    • Clare says:

      Hello Linda. My family lived at 172 Latimer Road – the Holdens. There doesn’t appear to be many photos of Latimer Road at all. Please let me know if you find anything.

  3. Jacquie says:

    Hello, I am the great granddaughter of the Osborn family that owned the laundries. Henry (who died at 37 of TB) was my grandfather. My grandmother, Florence but everyone called her Molly, lived at 24 Highlever Road. She lived on Highlever Road her whole life. She actually was born across the street from 24 Highlever Road. She moved into No. 24 when she married my grandfather. I have been looking for history on the laundries and the Osborn family for a very long time. It is difficult as I live in Canada. If anyone could help me with some history I would greatly appreciate it. My father was a student at Oxford Gardens (he was born in 1943). My grandmother was the school secretary for a very long time (Molly Osborn). If anyone has any history or would like to share their stories I would welcome them.

    • Janet says:

      Hi Jacquie
      My grandfather and grandmother, George and Bessie Osborn owned Eynham House laundry. Subsequently it passed to my father (also George) and his siblings Henry, Frank and Elsie. I remember visiting the laundry as a child. Both my parents, George & Mary were born and brought up in Highlever Road. Mary was the author of the info about the laundries on the website. Please let me know what further info you would like.

      Janet

      • Jacquie says:

        Hi Janet, Thank you for getting back to me. Any and all information that you could offer would be very much appreciated. I know my dad would love to see what you have. Thank you ver much. I look forward to hearing from you.

        Kind Regards,

        Jacquie (Osborn)

  4. Jenny says:

    My Nan and Grandad had a café/ sweetshop on Latimer Road . There daughters names were Vera ,Phyllis and Dot Waterson . Phyllis would give extra rassions during the war. I am hoping someone will remember them.

  5. Sue Snyder says:

    Jenny, do you know whereabouts on Latimer Road was your grandparents sweet shop? Was it the far north end near the North Pole pub and the laundries mentioned above? Do you know the street number? Latimer Road, before Westway was built, was a very long road that went from North Pole Road all the way to Norland Road near Shepherds Bush.

  6. This is a reply to Valerie Rowe (October 15th 2015).
    We talked about the cobbler’s on Latimer Road at our local history session this morning. All of us who have lived for a while in the area remember him. I came to the area in 1976 and we used him until the shop closed, not sure exactly when maybe in the 1980s. I understand from others that it was run by a Mr Rowe and then his son who took over from him. He was a very good cobbler, a very nice, rather quiet man. At the time we had heard that he committed suicide.
    274 Latimer Road now the Ariadnes was formerly a pub, the Volunteer or British Volunteer and later around late 1990s it became the Latimer Arms. Not sure about an off licence – probably attached to the pub.
    Sue Snyder

    • Valerie Rowe says:

      Thank you for this info. My memories run from about 1955 to 1962/3. The off licence was definitely that and did not seem to be attached to any pub.
      Valerie

  7. Peter norrington says:

    Latimer Road was a good pub crawl. The Pole. The Vol. The Latimer. The Brit. The Bramley. The Flag
    A couple I can’t remember. The Norland Arms. And then one at the bush. Never made it all the way myself. But had a good go.
    Peter Norrington.

  8. Peter norrington says:

    I had a mate who lived on Latimer road his name was peter gittings

  9. Jill says:

    My grandparents lived at 363 Latimer Road, and my dad, John (Jack) Lunn was born there in 1926. He lived there until he married my mum with his brothers, Billy, Ernie and Ronnie and his step sister Lallie. My dad will be 90 in Jan 2016 and we’d dearly love to have some pics to help decorate the room with. Please let me know if you have anything at all that might be relevant.

    • Debbie Viney says:

      Do you know if your Grandad Jack also had a brother called Albert Edgar who married Louisa Fisher? They had 5 children, I think we might be related as my maiden name was Lunn.

    • Steve paul says:

      Hi my name is Steve Paul. I lived at a 423. I was good friend of Stephen Lunn – just wondering how he is doing.

  10. Carole says:

    Hi. I lived next door to the fish and chip shop ‘Maud and Peters’ 278 Latimer Road from 1953 to 1975. My dad however was born in the house. Len Turner

  11. Graham McDermott says:

    Jill, my grandparents lived at 365 Latimer Rd, I remember your grandparents well as I used to play with their son, this would be in the mid- 1960s. It is a small world. Graham

  12. Sonya Mills says:

    My dad lived on Latimer Road – Brian Bateman with his brother Ron, mum Lou and dad George, they lived at 244 but I seem to recall a number change and it was a different number before that. My grandmother Lou worked in a laundry at some point , maybe one of the ones shown, when sis they close?? She then worked at Greville Tinners near the Volunteer, I can remember going to the fish and chip shop down there and walking back to Nan’s to eat it.

  13. James Farndale says:

    I’ve just read a post from Sonya Mills, Brian Bateman was a good mate of mine, I think his dad was a technical drawer for Park Royal Vehicles. I remember a Sister as well, a bit older than me. I can’t remember much more until a new post may jog some more memories.

    • Sonya Mills says:

      Hi James, lovely to have found someone who knew my dad. You are right his dad worked at Park Royal vehicles not sure what he did there but my dad Brian and his brother Ron went on to work there also. Ron left but my dad stayed there until he was made redundant in the early 1990’s he was a toolmaker, he then went to work for Rolls Royce until he retired. Unfortunately he died in 2008 and his brother died in 1985 a year before my mum. Brian and Ron didn’t have a sister though but Ron’s wife Doreen spent a lot of time with them as children, maybe that’s who you remember? How old were you when you knew my dad?

      • James Farndale says:

        Hello Sonya, I’ve been gathering my thoughts together. I’m sad to hear of your Dad’s passing.
        I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts together. I was born in 1939, 6 months before WW2. I don’t know when your Dad was born though.
        Your Dad and I would have been about 14 years old and possibly started to drift apart at 15 years old when we started working, as was the case for most of the young people that lived in the area at the time and I guess that’s when regular contact was lost.
        I seem to remember Ron was slim and lean and Brian was a bit chunkier. Maybe Ron was already married by 1953 when I used to visit the house in Latimer Road. I can’t remember the number of the house.
        I think everything I can remember is here, I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.
        My family got rehoused to East Acton in 1959/60 in preparation for the A40 M extension while I was doing my 2 Years National Service.

      • Sonya Mills says:

        Thanks for the info James. It made me smile to hear your description of my dad and his brother it was spot on! 😊 Dad was born in September 1938 so a similar time, there was a girl that lived upstairs from my dad maybe she was who you remember. Ron married in 1956 to Doreen Harvey, they didn’t have any children. They moved to Southall and then onto Gerrards Cross in Bucks where Ron died in 1985. Dad married in 1962 to Pat Cottingham and they had me and my sister, they moved to Willesden then to Greenford where my mum died in 1988. Dad then moved to Gerrards Cross and lived with his widowed sister in law until his death in 2008. George died in 1965 and my nan remained in Latimer Road until she died in 1992. Both my sister and I now live in Warwickshire, I have 3 children one grandson and our granddaughter is due in May. My sister has 2 children but they are slightly younger than mine. Doreen still lives in Gerrards Cross and celebrates her 79th birthday next week. She has lots of memories of the area you all lived in, I will show her the website and see if she remembers anyone. By the way you weren’t the friend who stole lead off the school roof with dad were you? I always remember him telling us that story as he slips and cut his leg really badly and ended up soaking the bed in blood! Anyway, thanks for the memories great to hear from someone who knew my lovely dad 😃👍

      • James Farndale says:

        Hi,
        no it wasn’t me that had the lead off a school roof, but I would have liked to enjoy the money spoils. Do you know what school your Dad went to? I thought he was at Lancaster Road school. I went to North Kensington Secondary School, a couple of hundred yards further away.
        I remember on the way to school there was a gap at the end of one terrace and the start of the next terrace in Lancaster Road. This gap was where we saw the Police in action in the back yard of a house in Rillington Place.

      • Ken Saunders says:

        Hello Sonya, I just stumbled across this website and know most of the names mentioned. I was a friend of your dad Brian. We used to hang around together on school summer holidays with Terry Heyburn who lived across the road to him. I used to go fishing to Iver with him and his uncle who lived nearer Latimer Road station and we used to get upto allsorts if the fishing was not going well, sometimes coming home with apples and vegetables from the fields. Also I knew Ron and his wife Doreen who was a good swimmer. I was a year or so younger than your dad but used to be accepted – even remember going cycling with Ron & Doreen and Ronnie Tuffy & gang to Colnbrook when I was about 13 – Also I knew Doreen and her elder brother as my Nan lived on the top floor in the same house as her family at 328 Latimer Road near the North Pole pub. I do believe the coronation photos on this website has captured your dad in 1953. He is standing top right of the photo and one away with arms folded is Terry Heyburn. Also in the photo is Patsy Palmer with her thumb upto her mouth and her younger brother Lennie, bottom right – Also the big man in the photo with open neck shirt is Luke OConner, my mate Len’s dad who worked at Firestones and lived at 453. I got to meet quite a lot of people by visiting my cousins the Worleys in Mersey St, going to the Harrow Club and drinking in the Latimer etc.

      • Sonya Mills says:

        Hi Ken

        Lovely to hear that you remember my dad and indeed was a good friend with him. My dad would have absolutely loved to have seen this site, and would have been delighted to have heard from old friends, but alas he died in 2008. He spent a lot of time researching his family tree and going to the archives at Kew with Doreen. Doreen married his brother Ron, who died in 1985. My dad married my mum Pat Cottingham from Stonebridge but she died in 1988, so both Dad and Doreen lost their partners at a young age, as a result they become a couple. Doreen lives in Buckinghamshire and keeps in very good health. I will speak to Doreen and show her your post, she will be thrilled to hear the old names. Her brother Billy you mentioned passed away last year.

        Once again it’s lovely to find someone who remembers my dad, you must remember his cousins, Roy, Alan and Ray. I am in contact with Alan as a result of this website too.

        Kind Regads
        Sonya

  14. Roy Farndale says:

    Graham McDermot,
    Hi Graham, where was number 365 Latimer Rd say in relation to Latimer Rd school and the Latimer Arms on the corner of Walmer Rd? Although I lived around there for the first 23 years of my life, I can’t place the numbers now. My brother and I both attended Latimer Rd school and Latymer Mission Sunday school. I remember families called Eldritch, Munns, Melluish, Bill Terry, Watts, Podmores who are related to us, Burgin, Russell. Many more I shall dig out of the memory soon.

    • Graham McDermott says:

      Hello. Number 365 was on the opposite side of the road to the Latimer Arms. It was about 2 thirds of the way from the Latimer and the dairy that stood in a little row of shops.

      • Roy Farndale says:

        Thank you Graham, I had forgotten which way the numbers ran, all the best, Roy

      • Graham McDermott says:

        You are welcome Roy. A question for members, does anyone know what the building opposite the dairy used to be? It was a large disused building, I always was always puzzled, even as a boy in the 1960s, as to what it was used for.

    • Edward Crisp says:

      Hi Roy Ferndale. I believe the Watts you refer to are my mothers family. I think we lived above a cafe, which my granny owned, opposite the Latimer Arms. My mum was Ruby. My cousins also lived with us, they were John and Joyce Matthews and Bobby Langley. My aunt and uncle, Bill and Doris Watts lived nearby in Highlever Road. Would love to hear your recollections if you remember them. I was 4 when we moved away in 1958. I think the house was compulsory purchased

  15. Peter Tozer. says:

    Currently writing up my family history, and have got to the period time of the 1900 to 1950. My father was a laundry engineer in Latymer Road near to the North Pole Road. He lived in Calderon Place. My mother was born in Latymer Road, she worked in a laundry, and two of my father’s aunts also worked in Eastmans Laundry. After WW I I my dad became works engineer of Hytex Ltd, a rubber products company which was very close ( almost next door) to his original laundry company. But I did not know the laundry name until now and I recall the name of Hattons Ltd which I see is marked on the map. My sister worked there in the office.
    I would be interested to know if there is history written on the laundries of Kensington.
    I did not realise there was such a number of laundries in the area.
    .

  16. James Farndale says:

    Hi to Peter Tozer.
    your post reminded me of the name of the rubber producer in Latimer Road. I used to go to them for my mum to collect pressed rubber sheets of washers and grommets that my mum had to clean up with scissors. There were quite a lot of out workers at the time. There was always a container at home filled with soap she used to make the scissor blades cut through the thin rubber. I don’t know how much she earned for this task, but I had to visit the factory several times a week. I must have been 12 /13 years old at the time.

  17. carole Lee says:

    I too remember my mum cutting the rubber as homework in the evening she used to have blisters on her hands.
    We lived next door but one to the Volunteer, my mum was Daisy Turner and her brother and his family lived across the road at 345
    She worked for a while in the 70’s on the corner of North Pole Road and Latimer Road in the laundry.
    My dad was a grandson of Turners the builders near Latimer Road Station
    I went to Latimer Road/Thomas Jones School between 1958 and 1964

  18. Ray Styles says:

    My family had the grocery shop called Dovells . In 1903 it was CB Styles ‘Licensed to sell tobaccos’
    at No 246 Latimer Road and we have a photo of it.

    • Clare Harrington says:

      Hello Ray, I’d love to see a photo of it if you wouldn’t mind posting it. You wouldn’t happen to have any photos of Latimer Mews would you?

      • Ray Styles says:

        Hello Clare, I will be posting a photo on the website, but I can send you a jpeg via your email address if you wish?

    • Dear Ray,
      This is Sue speaking from the north ken histories
      blog. If you want me to put your photo near the photo of 246 that we already have on the Latimer Road pages, please send a jpeg of the photo together with details e.g when and who is in the photo and send it to me at the website at northkenstories@yahoo.co.uk. Sue

    • Valerie Robinson says:

      Hello Ray, I was interested to see the photo you posted of CB Styles shop in Latimer Road. I am sure he was my great grandfather. I have mentioned this in my post on the Fowell Street site. Can you tell me who your grandfather was as I am keen to learn more about the Styles family. Val.

  19. Judy Berry says:

    Hallo – I was born on Latimer Road. My mum’s family names were Keen on her dad’s side and Dyett on her mum’s. Her dad owned a coal business and her mum part owned a laundry.

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