Fowell Street

There has been a trail of comments on the blog (see posts on Coronation Day Street Parties and 1966 and all that- the Demolition of Walmer Road) regarding a chapel on Fowell St. Researching recently for photographs of Lancaster Road at RBKC Local Studies, I found these photographs taken in 1969.

Fowell Street looking north 1969

Fowell Street looking north 1969

Fowell Street east side 1969.KCCHG.

Fowell Street east side 1969

Fowell Street west side 22-  1969

Fowell Street west side 22- 1969

Fowell Street ran south from Lancaster Road,  almost opposite the old Silchester Baths,  running parallel with Walmer Road. It was later demolished along with all the surrounding streets such as Bomore Road, Dulford Street and Grenfell  Road to make way for the Lancaster West Estate and the Kensington New Pools (not very aptly named since it is now being rebuilt!).

Fowell Street west side with Bramley Hall Mission 1969

Fowell Street west side with Bramley Hall Mission 1969

With thanks to RBK&C Local Studies for the photographs.

I found the following information about the chapel in an online text at


A Book of 
Metropolitan Churches and Church Enterprise.

by the Rev William Pepperell. Published in 1872


A small plain brick edifice, built in the old familiar Grecian style, and situated in Fowell Street, in the Potteries, Notting Hill. The building is square; and has in the interior on three sides a gallery, the other being occupied

A small plain brick edifice, built in the old, familiar Grecian style, and situated in Fowell Street, in the Potteries, Notting-hill.  The building is a square; and has in the interior on three sides a gallery, the other being occupied with a platform for the preacher.  In all, ground floor and galleries, there is accommodation for about 200 people.  On a memorial stone outside is the following: “This stone was laid August 2, 1864, by J. Fowell, Esq., who kindly gave the land, Rev. J. Phillips, Superintendent Minister.  J. Carrud, Architect and Builder.”  The chapel is connected with what is called the “Second London” Primitive Methodist Circuit…………………..

The Primitives are poor, their chapels are of the least costly kind, and their ministers have barely a subsistence, yet are they highly respectable in their order, and exert themselves with vigour and enthusiasm in their calling.  One of the junior ministers, the Rev. Mr. Knipe, was officiating in Fowell-street, and offered extempore prayer with an ardour, read with a homely emphasis, and preached with a demonstration of manner that can seldom be heard except in a Primitive Methodist chapel.  His congregation consisted of about 70 or 80 of the adult population, respectable-looking poor people, by no means the lowest class to be found in the Potteries……………. There is a Sunday-school with about 80 children, held in the morning and afternoon.  The services are on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.; prayer-meetings, Sunday morning at 7, and on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings at 7.  The society, according to Methodist custom, contributes its quota towards the support of the ministry by the weekly pence of the members, quarterly contributions, and collections.

Audrey Jones, whose family have been members of the Lancaster Road Methodist Church recalls that her grandmother attended the Fowell Street Church when she first came to London from Norfolk, where she had been a Primitive Methodist. This was around 1900.  Audrey has told me that the various Methodist Churches all united together in the 1930s, so presumably that is when the chapel probably ceased to be Methodist.

In the 1950 Street Directory the building is called  the Christian Community Mission (Bramley Hall). The photo above,  taken in 1969 refers to it as Bramley Hall Mission.  So any more information – let us know.

Next posting will be about Lancaster Cross, where Walmer Road, Lancaster Road, Clarendon Road and  Silchester Road all converged -including Kensington / Silchester Baths and Laundry. If you want your memories to be included send them to Sue at



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72 Responses to Fowell Street

  1. Len says:

    Many Thanks for the Photographs I’m sure everyone will be please and happy to see them …

    • Geraldine moore says:

      Great to see photos at last does anyone remember who lived there I lived at 20 and can remember the seers Coles curds murphys balflours struttons imms Morris benches mcgowns to name a few happy days ,,

      • Ray From Sally Ray From Sally says:

        Hello. My nan lived at number 10 fowell St. My mum was ada seers. She had a sister penny. 3 brothers tom. Roy & Brian. I spent many holidays there with my nan and grandad. I used to help the men at the tyre yard at the end of the road. Used to come home black as the tyres. Then had tin bath in the front room. Happy days

      • Seers family says:

        Ray your mum had five brothers and on sister – George, Len, Tom, Roy, Brian and Penny.

      • Will Murphy says:

        I was born in the Middle Front Room of No. 12, Fowell Street, where a total of 8 children (7 of my siblings) took their first breath of Life, in that same room. I remember well the families you mention and quite a few besides. We were eventually rehoused in December, 1970 when the area was to be redeveloped and I was to gain my first ever inside Loo and a Bathroom, at the age of 20! No more Silchester Road Public Baths (always and only ever referred to as ‘The Barves.’) Happy Days? Not really, but as a kid, carefree days.

      • Tony Ardis says:

        Hi Will,

        This is Tony Ardis lived No 1 Fowell Street. Good friend with your brother Tommy,
        Can you tell me how he`s doing and pass on a hello message from me if poss (happy days).


      • Will Murphy says:

        Hi Tony,
        I remember you and your Brother Alex well. For some reason I have always associated the Everly Brother song ‘Cathy’s Clown’ with you and my Brother Tom around the time it was a hit.

        Tom is doing fine, the odd medical bits and pieces you’d associate with age. It’s not been an easy life for Tommy, had a couple of huge personal losses.

        He retired recently from Royal Mail and now lives in High Wycombe. Of course I’ll pass on your Best Wishes to him Tony. I hope all is well with you and yours.

        Best Regards,


      • Tony Ardis says:

        Thanks for info Will, are you on Facebook? if you or Tommy are you could find my wife Anne Ardis if you want become her friend then i can contact you via this.


      • Will Murphy says:

        Hi Tony,

        Tommy don’t do Facebook, but I do. I’ll send your Wife a Friends request when I’m next on there. Best you let her know!

        Chat soon,


      • Tony Ardis says:

        Thanks Will.

      • ray long says:

        Hi Will, thanks for the reply. Also my relatives lived in Fowell Street, my nan/ grandad, uncles Len, Tom, Roy, Brian, aunt Penny. Ada was my mum, Tom and Kath with their children next to the tyre yard, my cousins Margaret and Tina lived across the road from my nans house.

      • Kim Bowden says:

        My gran father lived in 20 and my grandfather live in 3 in the very early 1900 ‘s .

      • raymond long says:

        hi kim, my name is ray long, ada seers was my mum

    • When I stayed at my nan and grandads house in Rowell St. I sometimes helped out at the true yard. Came back as black as the tryes. Then tin bath in front of the fire. Happy days

  2. Julia Hotton says:

    Great to see the photos particularly the one showing the east side of Fowell Street which shows the back entrance to the undertakers – EH Napier and Sons. This was my grandfather’s business at 157 Lancaster Road.

    • Cy says:

      Hello Julia…Ive just been talking to my cousin about your mail above…Do any of your family know Peggy who lived with her Aunt Florence Nelson, pre.war time and after, at number 11 Fowell St. Apparently she used to play hide and seek with one of the Napier children in and out of the new coffins. She was great friends with them and they spent much time together. The Family Nelson had lived at no 11 since the 1900’s…Number 11 was previously owned from by the Family Coleman who were also related to the Nelsons by marriage.

      • Julia Hotton says:

        Hi Cy, I have spoken to my mum who was Marilyn Napier and she remembers playing with Peggy Hoath. She said she lived with her aunt downstairs and the Norris family had the other two floors. They lost touch in their teens. Julia

      • Cy says:

        Hello again Julia….(Hotton) Have just phoned my cousin and, if your mother is willing, she would very much like to get in touch with her. I dont think there are private mail facilities on here (that I know of) so we would have to think of a way to exchange email address to give out contact information. I could open a temporary mail address for this process if you like.. What do you think? Looking forward to hearing from you after you have spoken to your mother. Best regards..Cy.

      • Clare says:

        Hello, my grandmother Lydia May Holden lived at 10 Fowell Street in 1911

  3. As a child I barely noticed the Church/Mission building as I passed through Fowell Street many times a day. Now as both a pensioner and a Christian I am so glad to know it was there all those years for us.
    Napiers I knew all to well, and used them to bury both my parents. The day I buried my dad I left Notting Hill and didn’t return for 25 years!
    Thank you for your work on this history, our history project!

  4. roger doogan says:

    i rember all of them , i lived next door to the imms . we were top floor on ground floor were the curds.

  5. jennie patterson says:

    I remember a Rita Curd from the 1950’s.

  6. Edmond Franck says:

    I was born in no18 Fowell st in 1924. My father was a Belgian refugee from the first w war. My mother used to make toffee apples for the poor kids. She would open her downstairs window and leave them to help them selves. Next door lived the Downs. The youngest fell off the back wall and died. The house owner was Mr & Mrs Thurston, they lived on the top floor with their daughter Nora. The rent was five shillings a week. I also remember the stable at top of st catching fire and the horse screaming trying to get out. We moved out in 1931. The man came round regular and mother would give two jam jar and I’d get a ride on his roundabout on the back of horse cart.

  7. Clare says:

    Hello – so lovely to have found these pictures. My nan lived at 10 Fowell Street – Lydia (Lill) Holden. I’d love to hear any stories you have of this road and the people living there.

  8. Anthony Ardis says:


    We lived next to Napier`s rear entrance at No1 Fowell Street (Ardis family 3 boys Phil/Alex/Tony)
    anyone remember the tyre yard opposite the mission,and playing cricket/football/sticks etc in the street and ooh for a bag of Messer`s chips followed by a Mancini ice cream.

    Great fond memories of childhood thanks for photo`s.


    • roger doogan says:

      yes i rember all that. we lived 2 doors up from tyre yard top floor.

      • Ray From Sally Ray From Sally says:

        Hi roger. If you lived 2 doors away from the true yard . you must have known my nan. ( seers ) my mum ada . and the rest of the seers family

  9. Ray From Sally Ray From Sally says:

    I meant tyre yard.

  10. marco Barry says:

    Gran drove me crazy with the church, but met ruby creed fowell st happy days bazza

  11. ray says:

    hi geraldine, thanks for the reply back, i forgot about the other brothers my mum had, i dont know if it is true or not but the story is, when my uncle len got married , instead of spending time with his new wife he went fishing on the afternoon of his wedding day

  12. Hallo, my name is John Boughtflower. I lived next to the Mission at number 16 with my brother Bob and sister Linda. Reading all the comments brings back lots of old memories regarding all the people that lived in Fowell st. Across the road lived Mrs Murphy Will was one of boys and two doors to the right at the top of the house going towards the tyre yard lived Roger and Alan Dogan, although they moved when I was very little. To the left of me was Mrs Morris and next to them was the Coles, I can remember Norman and Brian, Brian more so as I used to walk to school with him and Michael Stratton. Unfortunately, Norman died recently. Does anyone remember the dad Sam who sometimes parked his horse and cart outside the house with his nose bag on while he had a cup of tea? Ivy Cheese who was my aunt had the top two rooms in the Coles house and lived there with her son Barry who used to rent the old garage to the left of the Mission for his motorbike. Next to the Coles was the Curds – Albie and David who later went to Australia and let’s not forget who lived above them the Peels, Lil and Derick on the same side of the st I’m getting semi vacant” the Sanfords – the Gentreys Ronnie and Peter and of course last but not least, Bulls the sweet shop. On the other side of the street at the tyre yard end at number 15 was Michael Thomas and his sister whose name may have been Bernadette. Anyway the next house was number 14 where my aunt Doll and uncle Arthur who has Curd as a last name also ? Yes he and Albie Curd were brothers. Also the Dogans lived above them. At 13 lived Mrs Nel Cotton who from memory who was quite a character, her grandson Alec Hymns who was also Q A C. Just from memory I can remember him telling some of the kids to run around the block and the winner would get a chew, to see the winners face when he saw him smiling and already chewing. I have already spoke about Mrs Murphy whose house was next. Have some good memories of them all going hopping some summers including their nan in earlier years. l also worked with Jim Murphy for a few years in my thirties. The next house and family was Mrs Sears. I cannot remember much about her except sometimes in the summer she would sit outside Mrs Morris’s house who lived opposite on a couple of kitchen chairs eating tubs that they had got off the ice cream van. P S Brian Sears recently died. Also reading some of the blogs someone mentioned Jennie Creed unfortunately she is no longer with us. Anyway it’s nice to have so many really good memories.

    • David Curd says:

      Hi John I am David Curd who went to Australia and am reading this there. Yes we lived at 19 on the bottom floor; we were mum and dad Ruby (née Wicks) Albert, sister Christine and brothers Albie and Peter. My nan Mrs Wicks lived at 15 when I was little. My uncle Arthur and aunt Doll Curd lived in 14 with their children Rita Arthur and Janet. Great to read these stories.

      • John Boughtflower says:

        Hello David I remember you very well your aunt dolls daughter Rita has moved near me which is near Bogner Regis . I live in Selsey Bill which is 12 miles from Bogner but my brother Bob lives just around the corner from Rita and my brothers wife and Rita go to bingo every week and are really lucky they have had some good wins. If you want to contact Rita yourself she is on Facebook her married name is Rita Donnally I think that’s how you spell it JohnBoughtflower no16 Fowell st next to the mission Notting Hill W11 saying really nice to hear from you hope we can type again soon PS-I think you’ve still got some of my toy soldiers

    • Rising says:

      Just found this site.
      I was born in Fowell Street 1947, my older brother was David Norris, my sister Betty who was friendly with Shirley Cheese
      Our doctor was Dr Laurie. I think we lived at number 6

  13. roger doogan says:

    Hi John don’t now if you remember me and my brother Alan, Tony we lived top floor of no14 doll and Arthur, little Arthur and Rita we’re on ground floor. I think we used to sit on the wall of the chapel by your house. Regards roger

    • John Boughtflower says:

      Hello Roger
      Yes I do Remember you and your brother
      after all this time I also remember your mum
      Gloria if my memory is right and you moved
      into the white block of flats at the top of
      Ladbroke Grove opposite Hamrax the bike shop
      that’s as far as I can go memory wise
      It’s nice to hear from you again
      and I hope Alan’s ok and well and maybe
      we can talk again soon and you can tell me
      we’re you ended up as Fowell st went to the
      5 winds when it was demolished
      I look forward to our next chat if you’re
      up for it,

      • Laura says:

        Hello john just wanted to know was you related to a annie boughtflower married name wise

      • raymond long says:

        Hi Laura,
        I’m Ray Long, my mum was Ada Sears my nan and grandad lived in Fowell street with the rest of the family. I used to stay a lot when the school holidays was on for 6 weeks, and a few more of the family lived in the same street. Margaret and Tina are my cousins who lived across the road. I sometimes helped at the tyre yard, used to come back as black as the tyres, then into the tin bath in the front room. Happy day.

      • John Boughtflower says:

        Laura l can’t answer your question as there’s not enough people
        left to ask but if l find anything out l will let you know

  14. Ray Styles says:

    My great great Grandmother lived at No.1 and No.6 Fowell Street around 1875-1887. Her name was Eliza Styles (Lindsay) and her lodgers paid 4 shillings and sixpence a week rent.

    • Valerie Robinson says:

      Hi Ray, my maiden name was Styles and I know my Granddad Harry Styles was born in Fowell Street in1886. His father was Charles Bryan Styles and his wife was Eliza. I was born in 11 Rillington Place and now live in Wiltshire. Looks like we share the same great grandmother.

      • raymond long says:

        hello valerie, thank you for that ,do you have any more information please, i would like to learn more about our relatives, take care, ray

      • Ray Styles says:

        Hello Valerie, do you know who Raymond Long is?
        Ray Styles

      • Valerie Robinson says:

        Hi Ray, I have no idea who he is, do you think he might be related to us?

      • Ray Styles says:

        No idea but he thinks he is! Are you on Ancestry as I have a fairly large tree but I am always looking for more input eg photos of family etc

      • Valerie Robinson says:

        Hi Ray, no I am not on Ancestry, this is all new to me, I had to really pluck up courage to do my first post. Will you tell me a bit about your side of the family please so I can have a go at the family tree. Val.

      • Ray Styles says:

        Hi Valerie, I’d be delighted, are you on email? I don’t want to clog up the blog site. I will write with as much as I know. Ancestry charge £13.95 per month subscription but we subscribe for a few months at a time when there’s something else to follow up.
        Ray ps I am at

      • Will Murphy says:

        Hi Valerie,

        You’ll find lots of contact comments on here from and for Ray Long. His relations were the Sears around No.17 Fowell Street among others.

      • raymond long says:

        hello ray long here, a message was left here for me saying that we share the same great grandparents, eliza and harry stiles

      • Ray Styles says:

        Hello Ray,
        If you have relations with the surname Styles who lived at either No1 or No.6 Fowell Street sometime between 1881 and 1886 then you are related to both myself and Valerie Robinson
        regards Ray Styles

  15. Lesley Jadaa says:

    My wife’s name is Lesley (nee Searson) and lived in Fulham,she was a best friend of Tina Seers who lived in Fowell Street with her mum,dad & little brother. her sister Margaret was married. They went to Mary Boon School. They lost touch in about 1974. They both worked at BOC in Hammersmith. They went on holiday to Walton-on-Naze a couple of times and Lesley & Tina went to Greece on holiday.
    If Ray Long is in touch with Tina at all can you tell her Lesley says hello and often thinks of the great times they had. We live in Lanzarote a long way from home but Lesley is still a Londoner at heart.

    • raymond long says:

      hello lesley, ray long here, thank you for the message, yes tina , margaret are my cousins, my nan and grandad lived across the road from them, not heard from them all in a very very long time now, i dont know where any of them are now living, i am in hemel hempstead, would be nice to speak to them again after all these years,
      take care,
      ray x

  16. Frank Howard Clark says:

    Frank Clark
    Hi all. So good to read all these memories. I remember during bob a job week for cubs and scouts, cleaning the roof light of Napier’s. I looked through the glass to the room below and
    saw a very small coffin. I suppose I was 10 or 11 but it made quite an impression on me.
    I am trying to recall where, in relation to Napier’s Dr Laurie’s surgery was. I was there with my
    Mum when news of the Munich air crash came through.
    I lived at 200 Lancaster Road and I have to say folks we were so blessed to grow up in a
    wonderful community.
    Best wishes and thanks for the memories!

    • Hi Frank. So good to read your comments here. Albie DOB 30th 1945. I85 Lancaster Rd.
      Now in S. Spain. Good Luck Bro!

    • Tony ardis says:

      Hi Frank,
      This is Tony Ardis lived number 1 Fowell Street next door to Napier’s garage.

      Dr Laurie’s surgery was on the corner if you look at photo of Fowell Street looking East you will see Napier’s garage with the Doctors Surgery next door hope this helps.

      All the best Tony.

      • Dave Conway says:

        Hi Tony, I lived in Silchester Rd. but was friends with you and your brother and all the others from Fowell St. back in the 50s. Hope you and Alec are keeping well.

        All the best Dave.

      • Tony Ardis says:

        Hi Dave,
        Was it your mum that used to wear white gloves?,
        Me and Alec are both well but unfortunately we lost our brother Phil a couple of years ago.
        I live in Newport Pagnell Bucks and Alec lives in Laleham near Staines.
        Good to hear from you and taking me back to those happy days when we could all play out in the street.
        Take care Tony.

      • Dave Conway says:

        My mum did have to wear gloves because of eczema problems, sorry to hear about Phil but I am struggling to remember Phil, was he older than us. Remember your nan, in I think the front room. Do you know what became of Jackie Lewis the French boy who played with us. Got some great memories of Fowell St. I was always telling my new mates when I moved to Limehouse about it.
        I live in Plumstead SE18 now
        Say hello to Alec for me. All the best Dave.

  17. R E WHEELER says:

    Hi All ….. I’m currently researching my Family Tree and in the 1901 census it reveals that the Girling family, on my Grandma’s side, ALSO lived at no.10 Fowell Street! Fascinating! 🙂

  18. R E WHEELER says:

    It wasn’t 1901, what am I talking about! It was 1871 …….

  19. Roy Jenkins says:

    Hi, my name is Roy Jenkins and this brings back a few memories. I lived at 22 Fowell Street, my cousins lived next door. They were the Hyms family. The Cass family lived opposite who were also related. We knew and played as children with most of you, the Curds the Boughtflowers and a few more in that street. I live in Hanwell now and my mother lives in East Acton and the Cass family moved to Drayton Green. The Hyms were scattered all over. Lil Hyms lived at Paddington for years and died a few years ago now. Some of the children grew up and now live in Bishop Stortford.

    I loved it in Fowell Street as a child.

  20. Rising says:

    I was born at 6 Fowell Street in 1947, family name was Hill anyone know of them now

  21. DAVID WATTS says:

    Hello all,
    I have just been going through this blog and it makes really interesting reading. One thing that stands out to me is the community spirit that existed then.
    I have been reading this as I am trying to find out my family history.
    My Great Grand Father, William Watts lived at number 9 Fowell St, I know he lived there in 1915 as I have seen this in his WW1 Army history.
    I know that I had a big family and they all came from Notting Hill, Dale and Gate.
    William Watts was the son of Robert Watts, I know that William married Ellen Boyle in 1902 also Williams Brother, Henry married Ellen’s Sister Emma Boyle about the same time, Ellen and Emma’s father was William Boyle. They all lived at number 9 Fowell St. I believe that William Boyle was of Irish descent.
    William Watts had two son’s Henry (Harry) Watts and Thomas Watts, Harry Watts was my Grandfather, I think he was quite well known around Notting Hill, he died in 1963, he had three children, Frederick, Thomas and Rose.
    I don’t know if anyone would remember these people but if so I would really love to hear from them as I am trying to piece my family history together, I have found out quite a bit through Ancestry but there are a lot of blank spaces.
    My name is David Watts, I am the son of Frederick Watts.

    This blog has been very interesting reading though.

  22. Trudie Irwin (nee Pinfield) says:

    My great grandfather, William Pinfield lived at No. 18 Fowell Street back in 1871 with his mother and father, grandmother and two brothers.

    • Will Murphy says:

      Hi Trudi.
      If your great grandfather took up residence in 1871, his house, along with all of Fowell Street, was just 5 years old, virtually a brand new structure!
      There was a sort of sand and cement plaque embedded in the wall on the same side of the street to your relatives proclaiming
      ‘Fowell Street 1866’
      A trifling bit if information I know but by mentioning it here, perhaps someone actually either remembers it or better still (probably by chance) some one actually has a picture of it.


      • Trudie Irwin (nee Pinfield) says:

        Whoa, thank you so much. Did not expect anyone to see my post so soon but a brilliant piece of information. William was only about 5 years old and his father, John, had been in the Scots Dragoon Guards, I think but am having trouble tracing this bit. At the time of living in Fowell Street John was working as a hotel porter and his wife, Sarah, a laundress.
        Many thanks.

      • raymond long says:

        hi trudie, my nan and grandad and the reast of the seers family lived in fowell street, i tjink it was number 10, my mum was ada seers

  23. raymond long says:

    sorry about the spelling, i will try again, hello trudie, my nan and grandad with the rest off the seers family lived in fowell street i think it was number 10, my mum was ada seers

    • Trudie Irwin (nee Pinfield) says:

      Thank you for getting in touch. William was my great grandfather and long before my time so, unfortunately, I have no anecdotes about him living there or about any of the people in the street.. Great to see all the pictures of Fowell Street, though, and very interesting to read the posts and all the history about it. There seems to have been a lovely community feel about the area. Much written about the East End and it’s characters but the West End seems to have been just as colourful. Good to hear from you. thank you

  24. Stephen Grieve says:

    My father, James Arthur Grieve, was living in no. 8 in 1939.

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