Category Archives: Blue plaques

Emile Ford

Emile FordWhat 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.

Ford Hermann Hueffer became Ford Madox Ford, with a plaque in Campden Hill Road. And Michael Emile Telford Miller became Emile Ford, with a plaque in Kensington Church Street. Continue reading

Ford Madox Ford

Ford Madox FordOn Campden Hill Road in between Observatory Gardens and Tor Gardens is an elegant semi-detached house displaying a blue plaque to novelist and critic Ford Madox Ford. The plaque was put up in 1973 not by English Heritage but by the Greater London Council – ah, those halcyon days! Continue reading

James Joyce

James JoyceOne down from Gloucester Walk is Campden Grove, W8, where an English Heritage blue plaque records that James Joyce lived there in 1931.

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

Edward Henry

EdwardHenry

English Heritage blue plaque commemorating Sir Edward Henry, Sheffield Terrace, London W8

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

Ezra Pound

EzraPound

English Heritage blue plaque commemorating Ezra Pound, Kensington Church Walk, London W8

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

Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius

English Heritage blue plaque commemorating Jean Sibelius, Gloucester Walk, London W8

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 sagaFinlandiaValse Triste and Spring Song.

© Chris Lawrence 2019.