Starting with this issue, the Kensington Society annuals will feature a local architect, starting with Richard Parr and his two studios, who do careful “upgrades” of old buildings as well as ultramodern ones. The cover and back pages on the new annual  shows an example of their modernistic arm: a house in the Cotswolds, overlooking the Cheltenham racecourse.

The Kensington Society annual for 2022-2023 has arrived

The Kensington Society annual for 2022-2023 has just been distributed to all members. As always, it contains lots of interesting material, spread over 100 pages. Beside the regular reports from our president (Nick Ross) and our chairman (Amanda Frame), a summery of the 2022 AGM, the financial statement for 2022, 22 pages of planning reports, and 12 pages of reports from our affiliated societies, it contains the following special articles:

  • After having featured a local artist in each annual for the past 24 years, we have now begun to profile a local architect instead. First out is Richard Parr, who specialises in restoring old buildings while adding a discreet layer of modernity to them. This accounts for half of the work for his two studios, one in north Kensington and one in the Cotswolds, while the other half tends to be very modernistic buildings.
  • Our series about local retailers, which began in last year’s annual, this time features the watch and jewellery shop Henry Hallpike, situated at the western end of Kensington High Street and specialising in watch and jewellery repairs. It’s a family business with a long and very fascinating history.
  • The annual’s Blue Plaques series looks closer at the controversial American poet and critic Ezra Pound (1885-1972), who lived at 10 Kensington Church Walk from 1909 to 1914.
  • There is also an article about the recently restored Leighton House, which became one of Kensington Society’s most popular events in 2022.
  • Another article is about the rather mysterious Notting Dale police station, which closed 36 years ago, but wasn’t put on they market until 2021.Although closed all those years, it was still being used by the police, but nobody will still say what it was used for.
  • In December 2022, General David Ramsbotham, Baron Ramsbotham, died, 88 years old,. He was vice president of the Kensington Society from 2002 until his death. Our obituary looks at his long and interesting life.
  • At the Kensington Society AGM on 1 June, the main speaker will be the art historian and long time Kensingtonian Philip Mould, for most people known as Fiona Bruce’s co-presenter in the BBC arts programme Fake or Fortune?. But he has done much more.
  • One of London’s least well-known theatres is the 20th Century Theatre in Westbourne Grove. However, its history goes back to the 1860s. After years of neglect, it has now been acquired by a well-funded philanthropical foundation with a particular interest in music. They are planning to refurbish and reopen it for chamber music concerts and community events. An article takes a closer look at the building and it’s long history.

A digital copy of the new annual be found in the Archive, or by clicking on this link.

First published 04/05/2023