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.
Above: Latimer Road (northern end, looking towards North Pole Road) circa 1900 (NK Community Archive)
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.
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
The above photo was sent in by Ray Styles, whose great uncle was the proprietor, C.B.Styles.