What do Ford Hermann Hueffer and Michael Emile Telford Miller have in common? Well, they both ended up being called Mr Ford and they both have blue plaques in Kensington.
It seems he and Nora Barnacle were only there from May until September 1931. During this time he worked on the final draft of Finnegans Wake. He didn’t like the flat though, and thought Campden Grove should be renamed ‘Campden Grave’ as it was so full of mummies. He presumably meant Egyptian-type mummies rather than yummy mummies. Continue reading
Now for someone I’d not heard of before. But he was another previous inhabitant of Kensington – or perhaps Holland Park to be exact.
Running parallel to Gloucester Walk is Sheffield Terrace, where an English Heritage blue plaque commemorates Sir Edward Henry, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1903 to 1918. Continue reading
Tucked away somewhere in, around, or beside the grounds of St Mary Abbots Church just off High Street Kensington is a thin and windy road called Kensington Church Walk. In an offshoot of this road, presumably still a part of Kensington Church Walk, is a house with a shiny English Heritage plaque bearing the name of Ezra Pound.
I know very little about Pound’s poetry, and was not especially drawn to him once I learned he had been a supporter of Sir Oswald Mosley, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. However he did help TS Eliot get The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock published, and later edited and reshaped Eliot’s The Waste Land. Continue reading
I like blue plaques on the walls of buildings. I like their unpretentious informational content, and the way they embellish a dog walk with random snippets of cultural history.
For example in 1909 the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius lived for a while in Gloucester Walk, W8, part of that arid wasteland between Holland Park and Kensington Gardens. This was shortly after a successful operation to remove a throat tumour – possibly the result of too much smoking and/or drinking and/or lobster.
While in Britain Sibelius conducted his En saga, Finlandia, Valse Triste and Spring Song.
© Chris Lawrence 2019.