A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES.
There were four alehouses, including one in the Westbourne part of the parish, in 1552 (fn. 1) and three after some had been suppressed by the justices in 1830. (fn. 2) Ben Jonson's A Tale of A Tub of c. 1596 mentioned a Red Lion, presumably in Edgware Road, (fn. 3) and John Taylor the 'water poet' in 1636 noted a tavern kept by Walter Whitlock, (fn. 4) who may have been Walter Whittock, a vintner presented for recusancy. (fn. 5) Orders against Sunday drinking were made against alehouse keepers in 1641 and 1647. (fn. 6) The stabling of the White Lion in Edgware Road was probably painted by George Morland c. 1790; (fn. 7) the 19thcentury White Lion was said to date from 1524 and an inn of that name existed by 1644. (fn. 8)
Despite changes of site and name, the number of inns varied little from the early 18th century to the early 19th. Eleven alehouse keepers were licensed in 1723 and 1730, 15 in 1760, 12 in 1790, and 14 in 1815. (fn. 9) In 1730 two of the inns, the Bell and the Saracen's Head, were at Bayard's Watering, (fn. 10) where in 1710 the Bell had been a new building, formerly the King's Head. (fn. 11) The Saracen's Head may have been a short-lived name for the late 18th-century Swan inn, since a Swan field bordered the Uxbridge road in 1729. (fn. 12) A third inn beside the road was the Oxford Arms, in 1751 called the Black Lion. Two more inns were at Westbourne green, one of them the Red Lion, near the bridge carrying Harrow Road across the Westbourne stream and later rebuilt after the road's realignment. All the other inns in 1730, including another Red Lion, were presumably in Edgware Road or close by, at Paddington green. (fn. 13) In 1760 there were three Red Lions, described as at Paddington, Westbourne green, and the road to Westbourne green. A second inn at Westbourne green, the Jolly Gardeners, (fn. 14) had become the Three Jolly Gardeners by 1770 and had made way for the Spotted Dog by 1790. (fn. 15) Of 13 inns licensed in 1810, 4 were considered to be in Bayswater, 2 in Edgware Road, 3 in Harrow Road, 1 in Maida Hill, 1 at Paddington green, and 2 at Westbourne green. (fn. 16) Numbers rose steeply with the spread of housing: 49 taverns were listed in 1862, a few of them serving hotels, and 138 on-licensed premises, including 104 public houses and 23 beerhouses, in 1906. There were 95 public houses and 16 beerhouses, besides 19 licensed hotels, by 1935 and 73 public houses c. 1960. (fn. 17) At no. 93 Warrington Crescent the Warrington hotel of c. 1900, despite its description, was built and used only as a public house; it became popular with racing men and in 1984 was a striking example of an ornately furnished gin palace. (fn. 18)
Pleasure gardens were often attached to inns in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The earlier and more fashionable were at Bayswater, relatively accessible from London's west end and well known for its fresh-water springs, where medicinal plants were grown by John Hill (1716?-1775). (fn. 19) Hill's former establishment was a tea garden by 1795, (fn. 20) with boxes and arbours in 1796. (fn. 21) It was painted by Sandby (fn. 22) and later, when less exclusive, it was called the Flora and finally the Victoria tea gardens. (fn. 23) The scene of balloon ascents in 1836 and 1839, of a foot-race in 1851, (fn. 24) and of nightly concerts and vaudevilles, (fn. 25) it closed in 1854, when the adjoining nursery grounds were to be sold for building. (fn. 26) Another tea garden lay a little to the east, behind the Crown. (fn. 27) As Bayswater coffee house, in 1790 and 1810 (fn. 28) it had a different licensee from that of the Crown, which had been so named at least since 1751; there had been a licensed coffee house, of unknown location, in 1751 and 1760. (fn. 29) As Bayswater tea gardens, the premises drew custom from their proprietor's lease of 4 a. to the Toxophilite Society from 1821 until 1834 (fn. 30) and were united with the Crown, a music and dancing licence being received for the tavern and tea gardens in 1840. (fn. 31) Probably it was the same resort, called Wale's Bayswater tavern or the Royal Albert saloon, which was licensed in turn to William, Frances Sarah, and John David Wale from 1848 until 1860. (fn. 32) Also at Bayswater, the Black Lion had gardens which included a skittle ground in 1802 and was later licensed for music and dancing. (fn. 33) At Westbourne green, there were pleasure gardens at the Royal Oak which were described in Charles Ollier's Ferrers of 1842. (fn. 34) What were perhaps the last tea gardens were opened by James Bott at the Princess Royal, Hereford Road, c. 1842. (fn. 35)
'The Old Platform near Paddington', an unidentified site, was the scene of a theatrical performance advertised probably in 1762. (fn. 36) In Edgware Road the White Lion was rebuilt in 1836, (fn. 37) licensed for music and dancing in 1840, and advertised as a music hall in 1859. (fn. 38) In 1862 John Turnham incorporated it in his new Turnham's Grand Concert Hall, which, on changing hands, was further altered and renamed the Metropolitan Music Hall in 1864. After its acquisition by a company under G. A. Payne it was rebuilt in 1897 to the design of Frank Matcham, to hold 2,800, and renamed the Metropolitan Theatre of Varieties Ltd. Widely and affectionately known as the Met, it was familiar to nearly every leading music hall star from the late 19th century until its decline in the 1950s. Matcham's theatre had a long street front of terracotta, with a central pediment, balustrades, and domed minarets, and was decorated internally in the Flemish Renaissance style. After serving as a wrestling booth, (fn. 39) it finally closed in 1962 to make way for road widening.
In Market (later St. Michael's) Street 'nightly balls and concerts' were suppressed as unlicensed in 1857 (fn. 40) and in Harrow Road the King and Queen was licensed for entertainment from 1850 to 1868 and the Running Horse from 1855 to 1881. (fn. 41) Westbourne hall in Westbourne Grove could hold 400 people for lectures and entertainments in 1860, when its lessee opened adjoining premises in Havelock Terrace as Bayswater Athenaeum and Literary Institution. (fn. 42) An ornate four-storeyed building (fn. 43) with a hall for 1,000, designed by A. Billing, was built on the site of the first hall in 1861 and licensed for music alone by T. E. Whibley in 1863. (fn. 44) The Athenaeum, although welcomed for its educational value, had become the Athenaeum divan by 1865 and may have closed soon afterwards. (fn. 45) Westbourne hall continued to be used for concerts, plays, and public meetings until 1875 or later and survived in 1952. (fn. 46) The Phoenix coffee tavern at no. 254 Harrow Road, in existence by 1879, had a stage which was licensed for music from 1890 to 1892. (fn. 47) Queen's Park hall, at the corner of First Avenue and Harrow Road by 1888, seated 400 and was licensed for music and dancing by 1905 and until 1911 or later, as were the municipal baths in Queen's Road until 1910. (fn. 48) The council's Porchester hall, opened in 1929 with seating for 800-1,000, was sometimes used for concerts; part was known as the Porchester theatre in 1952. Several private theatre clubs, performing in halls or public houses, existed in the 1960s and 1970s. (fn. 49)
The earliest cinema (fn. 50) was probably the Bayswater cinematograph theatre at nos. 162 and 164 Queen's Road, licensed for 350 in 1910 and 1911 and called the El Dorado in 1913. (fn. 51) The Universal Co.'s bioscope theatre was at no. 5 (afterwards 5A) Praed Street by 1911; its later names included the Electric theatre in 1921, the Gaiety cinema in 1923, the New Gaiety kinema in 1927, the World's News theatre in 1938, and the Classic Cartoon cinema from 1959. The Prince of Wales picture playhouse, the Grove picture palace, and a large cinema later called the Grand were all licensed from 1912. (fn. 52) The Prince of Wales, at no. 331 Harrow Road, survived in 1969 and served as a bingo hall, Mecca social club, from 1970. The Grove, at nos. 90 and 92 Westbourne Grove, was later called the Roxy and c. 1960 was renamed the International film theatre, which survived until 1964 or later. The Grand occupied no. 26 Great Western Road in 1915 and nos. 22 and 24, formerly a police station, from 1916. Closed during the Second World War, it was reopened as the Savoy in 1957, renamed the Essoldo in 1961, and again closed in 1966, thereafter serving as a bingo club. (fn. 53) By 1914 the Electric, later Select Electric, theatre was at no. 413 Edgware Road, where it remained until the Second World War, and there were also cinemas on the Marylebone side of the road. The Ritz was at no. 324 Harrow Road in 1915; renamed the British cinema by 1919 and the Coliseum by 1920, it closed c. 1960.
Later cinemas included the Queen's near the corner of Bishop's and Queen's roads by 1936, converted into the triple ABC cinema in 1975, (fn. 54) the Odeon at the east end of Harrow Road by 1939, soon renamed the Regal and by 1975 the ABC, the Odeon at nos. 319 and 321 Edgware Road by 1939, closed in 1975, (fn. 55) and the Royal at no. 53 Edgware Road by 1947, called the Gala Royal by 1960. Another Odeon, at the corner of Westbourne Grove and Chepstow Road, was under construction in 1939 but opened only in 1955; (fn. 56) it was converted into a triple cinema in 1978 and remained open, as the Coronet, in 1985. Other cinemas open in 1982 were the ABC in Bishop's Bridge Road, the Classic, and the former Gala Royal, which was an Arabic film club. The Bishop's Bridge Road triple cinema, renamed the Cannon, alone survived in 1986.
A bowling green lay on the south side of Alderman Bide's house at Paddington green in 1647 (fn. 57) and another abutted Edgware Road, opposite Upper Berkeley Street, in the 1790s. (fn. 58) One behind the Princess Royal was converted into a skating rink in 1875. (fn. 59) Paddington Bowling and Sports Club was founded in 1905 and occupied land behind the houses along the west side of Castellain Road. An indoor bowls pavilion, claimed to be the largest in existence, was finished in 1935, when there were also squash and outdoor tennis courts. By 1956 the club was the headquarters of the English Bowling Association. (fn. 60)
Fishing in the canal was the subject of a cartoon c. 1800. (fn. 61) A roller skating rink, said to be the first in London, was opened on the west side of Portsdown Road (later Randolph Avenue) in 1875; it filled a gap in the line of houses in 1880 (fn. 62) and was called Kilburn and St. John's rink in 1886. (fn. 63) The concrete rink, in an iron building, was later turned into winter tennis courts for Paddington recreation ground. (fn. 64) Maida Vale Roller Skating Palace & Club was licensed from 1909 until 1912. The building, seating 2,620, (fn. 65) occupied much of the south-west side of Delaware Road. By 1925 it was used as National Insurance offices by the Ministry of Health and from 1934 by the B.B.C., which built a studio there for operatic and orchestral broadcasts. (fn. 66) Bayswater skating rink survived behind the Princess Royal at no. 47 Hereford Road in 1879. (fn. 67) Queen's Ice-Skating Club opened in Queen's Road in 1930 as London's only private skating club; with low subscriptions, it aimed at a large membership and survived in 1986. (fn. 68)
After the departure of the Toxophilite Society in 1834 to Regent's Park, archery continued on a small ground provided by James Bott until 1839 and was commemorated in the new Archery tavern in Bathurst Street, of which Bott was licensee in 1840. (fn. 69) On leaving Regent's Park the society, by then the Royal Toxophilite Society, returned to rent St. George's burial ground, which it used from 1924 until 1968, together with successive clubhouses in Albion Mews. (fn. 70)
Cricket was played by boys on Paddington green, to the vestry's annoyance, in 1815. (fn. 71) Maida Vale cricket club was formed in 1846 and Westbourne cricket club, with help from W. C. Carbonell, in 1852. The Westbourne club's field was in Harrow Road opposite the workhouse in 1857. (fn. 72) There were several local teams in 1870, including the Goldbourne and Nonsuch clubs, both from Upper Westbourne Park, Greville House from Paddington green, and groups of workers such as the Bayswater bakers and, by 1875, employees of Whiteley's. Throughout the 1870s home matches were usually played outside the parish, at Shepherd's Bush or Kensington Park, (fn. 73) until shortage of land prompted R. (later Sir Richard) Melvill Beachcroft, as treasurer of Paddington cricket club, to start his campaign for the purchase of Paddington recreation ground. (fn. 74) In 1890 the ground was used by Paddington and six other cricket clubs. (fn. 75) At football both the Bayswater Ramblers and the Bayswater Hornets played against school sides in 1875 (fn. 76) and Paddington was an early rival of Queen's Park Rangers, established in 1886 with its headquarters at St. Jude's church. Although Queen's Park Rangers soon began to play in other parishes, they still met at St. Jude's church institute in 1898, when the club decided to turn professional. (fn. 77)
Roman or Turkish baths were briefly open from c. 1860 until 1863 in Newton Road. A 'hydropathist', Richard Metcalfe, kept Turkish baths at no. 11 Paddington Green by 1860 and still did so in 1879, by which date there were also public baths. (fn. 78) There was a riding school in Garway Road, first under Edwin Barnett and by 1879 under George Edgson, from c. 1863 until 1902 or later. William Pearce, a riding master in Kensington Gardens Square in 1863, (fn. 79) may have owned Pearce's riding school in Green's Road, where special constables were drilled in 1868. (fn. 80) A gymnasium and fencing academy was kept in 1870 by Capt. James Chiosso at no. 48 Norfolk Terrace, where a Mrs. Chiosso had lived since 1867 or earlier, and also at no. 123 Oxford Street. In 1885 both establishments were called Capt. Chiosso's London Gymnasium and School of Arms, the Bayswater one being under Antonio Martino Chiosso and the Oxford Street one under J. T. and P. J. Chiosso, who claimed that it had been founded in 1835. A. M. Chiosso's gymnasium continued at no. 48 Norfolk Terrace, renamed no. 160 Westbourne Grove, until 1940. (fn. 81)
A volunteer corps was to be raised in 1803, with membership at first restricted to householders or their nominees. Numbers in consequence rose slowly and later in the year the parish heard that its force would not be needed, whereupon the expenses of recruitment had to be met from the poor rate. (fn. 82) The 36th Middlesex (Paddington) Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed in 1860, with a practice ground at Wormwood Scrubs and its armoury and drill ground at the engine house in Hermitage Street. (fn. 83) The headquarters was at Greville House, Paddington green, by 1875 and continued there until after the corps's numbering had been changed to the 18th Middlesex in 1879, (fn. 84) moving to nos. 207-9 Harrow Road by 1900. (fn. 85) The corps was superseded on the establishment of the Territorial Army in 1908 by the 10th Battalion, the County of London Regiment (Paddington Rifles), which was disbanded in 1912, when its remnant was incorporated into the 3rd City of London, the London Regiment, the Royal Fusiliers. (fn. 86) The drill hall, renamed the Paddington armoury, was thereafter used by the City of London Territorial Force Association, until the building of the elevated section of Westway. (fn. 87) The 3rd Middlesex Artillery (3rd division) had its headquarters by 1893 at Porteus House, once St. Mary's Vicarage, where a drill hall was erected and where it was followed by the 5th London Brigade R.F.A. (14th County of London Battery). (fn. 88)
A parochial savings bank had been established by 1832 (fn. 89) and presumably was the one at the National school in Church Place in 1858 and 1875. (fn. 90) In 1853, however, the bank was one of several institutions said to have arisen from the work of the Paddington Visiting Society, founded in 1838 to effect material and moral improvement. (fn. 91) Many friendly societies served a wider area than Paddington. The earliest were probably Paddington Benevolent Whip club and Paddington and Marylebone Loan Society, recorded respectively in 1836 and 1838 and meeting at public houses in Edgware Road. (fn. 92) They were followed by the Junction Loan Society at the Grand Junction Arms, Praed Street, from 1839, the G.W.R. Provident Association at Paddington station by 1843, (fn. 93) and the Prince of Wales Loyal Union Paddington Benefit Society at the Archery tavern from 1844. (fn. 94) Paddington and Marylebone Mutual Association met from 1844 at the Fountains Abbey in Praed Street, Bayswater and Kensington Mutual Association met from 1845 at the Princess Royal; Marylebone and Paddington Mechanics' Institute also met from 1845 and Paddington and Bayswater Mutual Association from 1846. (fn. 95) Thereafter friendly societies, many of them building societies, multiplied with the spread of housing. (fn. 96)
Paddington building society, established as a mutual benefit society for St. Peter's Park in 1879, was in Great Western Road as the North Paddington building society from the 1920s, assumed its modern name in 1957, and was at no. 125 Westbourne Grove from 1971. Westbourne Park building society, founded in 1885, moved to Porchester Road in 1889 and Westbourne Terrace in 1899. Adjoining buildings were acquired and in 1932 opened as new offices called Westbourne House. The society merged with the Leek & Moorlands building society to form the Leek & Westbourne in 1965, opened new premises in Queensway in 1972, and later became part of the Britannia building society. (fn. 97)
Benevolent institutions not primarily educational, medical, or religious included by 1862 a nightly refuge, an annuitants' home for ladies, an institution for employment of needlewomen, and Anglican and Wesleyan girls' orphanages. (fn. 98) The annuitants' homes had originated in 1855 in a house in Victoria Grove Terrace (later Ossington Street) near the Kensington boundary; by 1865 there were six houses, one of which remained open until c. 1930. (fn. 99) At no. 65 Walterton Road an old people's home existed from c. 1884, becoming a Harrison Home in the 1950s. A branch of the Y.M.C.A. which had opened in Titchborne Street by 1872 was constituted a metropolitan district centre in 1882, from which branches were founded in several neighbouring parishes. (fn. 100) Few other such organizations, apart from those of the Kilburn Sisters, survived for long at the same address.
The Kilburn Sisters, (fn. 101) who had housed orphans in Kilburn Park Road since 1875, (fn. 102) were granted a lease of nearby building land in Randolph Gardens in 1874 and of their new Orphanage of Mercy there in 1884. (fn. 103) It was a red-brick building of c. 1880, (fn. 104) holding 300 girls in 1886 and 500 by 1892, (fn. 105) and came to be known also as St. Michael's home. (fn. 106) A neighbouring building in Rudolph Road was completed c. 1890, as St. Augustine's home of rest, immediately south of the church, and later joined to the orphanage. Victoria orphanage was built in 1887 at no. 111 Shirland Road, where younger children at first shared the building with Wordsworth ladies' college, (fn. 107) and leased to the sisters from 1893. (fn. 108) The home of rest apparently had closed by 1905, perhaps to make way for the resited Wordsworth college, (fn. 109) Victoria orphanage had closed by 1938, and the Orphanage of Mercy was evacuated in 1939. (fn. 110) The community also had depots for the sale of clothing at no. 227 Edgware Road from 1884 until 1900 or later, briefly also at no. 229, at no. 229 Maida Vale from c. 1890 until 1935 or later, briefly at no. 231, and finally in Kilburn High Road. (fn. 111)
Westbourne working men's institute, with W. C. Carbonell as president, had been recently founded in 1857. (fn. 112) A reading room for working men was opened off Moscow Road in 1862 and there was one at Greville House, Paddington green, in 1872; another was maintained by St. John's church in Oxford Mews in 1872 and 1875. (fn. 113) The Kildare library was opened in 1875 in Westbourne Grove by William Whiteley for employees who paid 6d. a month. (fn. 114) The West London Auxiliary Sunday School Union by 1878 occupied no. 133 Edgware Road, which served as a booksellers for the National Sunday School Union in 1927. (fn. 115) The National Lending Library for the Blind was in Queen's Road in the early 1920s. (fn. 116) There were musical societies for Bayswater in 1861 and Westbourne Park in 1875, (fn. 117) and Bayswater orchestral society was at Craven Terrace from c. 1896 until 1925 or later. (fn. 118)
A wide range of clubs, all with the prefix 'Kildare', was provided for Whiteley's staff. Earliest was the Kildare athletic club, founded in 1870, followed by the library, a volunteer corps, band, and dramatic club by 1875; a rowing club was started in 1877, a musical union in 1885, and a choral society in 1896. Sports grounds were provided at Acton. Some 600 employees belonged to Whiteley's clubs by 1888, when their activities were brought together in the new Hatherley institute, with Whiteley as president. (fn. 119) The G.W.R. Co. had a literary society, apparently with its own rooms at Paddington station in 1859 and 1865 and with its address as no. 44 Eastbourne Terrace in 1902 and 1934. (fn. 120)
Paddington Waterways Society was founded soon after the Second World War and followed in 1957 by the Paddington Society, which later published a monthly newsletter. (fn. 121)
Three political clubs, which also acted as social centres, were founded in 1884: a Liberal club, with winter meetings at the Great Western hotel, was followed by the John Bright Working Men's club and by a Conservative club, which leased premises in Sheldon Street off Bishop's Road in order to continue the work of an older Conservative association. (fn. 122) By 1888 there were the North and South Paddington Liberal association in Porchester Road, Queen's Park Liberal club, the Whitmore Conservative club, and the John Bright Working Men's club all in Harrow Road, and Salisbury Working Men's Conservative club in Edgware Road. (fn. 123) Most late 19thcentury political clubs moved or were re-formed within a very few years. Paddington Radical Working Men's club, as the John Bright club had been renamed by 1890, retained its institute at nos. 11 and 12 Paddington Green until 1952 or later. (fn. 124) The Cobden club and Working Men's institute opened at nos. 170 and 172 Kensal Road in 1880 and remained there, as a social centre with 430 members, in 1983. (fn. 125)
Beauchamp Lodge Settlement was founded in 1939 and later became a member of the British Association of Settlement and Social Action Centres. In 1985 it provided a wide range of social and educational services, mainly during the day but including a youth club and some classes for adults in the evenings. It was financed by Westminster council and private donations, supplemented by funds for individual projects from the G.L.C., I.L.E.A., and the government. (fn. 126)
The Ratepayers' Journal for St. Pancras, Marylebone, and Paddington, later the Ratepayers' Journal and Local Management Gazette, appeared monthly from 1854 to 1857 and was concerned mainly with parish government in St. Pancras and Marylebone. (fn. 127) The Western and Suburban Intelligencer, (fn. 128) soon renamed the Western Chronicle, circulated in Paddington and neighbouring areas in 1857-8. The Paddington News, also known for a few months as the Paddington Newsman, was published from 1859 to 1861. The longest lived newspaper was the weekly Paddington Times, established in 1859; combined with the Kilburn Times in 1918, it was revived under its old title in 1973 (fn. 129) by North West London Press of Newspaper House, Kilburn Lane. The Bayswater Chronicle, published from 1860, continued under various names until 1949, when, as the West London Chronicle, it was amalgamated with the Indicator, which had been founded c. 1870 for the west end of London; for a time during the 1920s and 1930s the Indicator came out daily. (fn. 130) Another long established newspaper was the Paddington Mercury, which appeared from 1881, also with slight variations of name, and in 1981 was owned by London & Westminster Newspapers. The Paddington Weekly Register, for house sales, was founded in 1893 and, after a second renaming, continued as the Paddington Gazette and Weekly Register from 1895 until 1939. The Marylebone Record appeared with that or similar titles, including that of the St. Marylebone and Paddington Record, from 1914 until 1971. The Paddington News was published from 1919, becoming the Westminster and Paddington News in 1963 and merging with the Hackney Gazette in 1975. Shorter lived newspapers, most of them weekly, included the Paddington Advertiser from 1861 to 1866, the monthly Christian Messenger from 1874 to 1875, the Weekly Advertiser, renamed the Paddington Star, from 1878 to 1880, the West London Gazette in 1882, the Bayswater Fiction Press from 1893 to 1895, the Advertiser from 1893 to 1909, and the Paddington Echo from 1948 to 1949. William Whiteley's unsuccessful publication of the Westbourne Gazette and Belgravia Herald in 1877 increased the hostility shown to him by the Bayswater Chronicle. (fn. 131)