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May 8, 2018

40 Fabulous Demolition Photographs of 1974 Show How Much Notting Hill Has Changed

Peter Rachman (1920-1962) was a London landlord in the mid-20th century, active in the Notting Hill area in the 1950s and 1960s. Rachman's name is so synonymous with bad housing that is included in English dictionaries: Rachmanism: 'Landlords buying up slums to fill with immigrants at extortionate rents; synonym for any greedy, unscrupulous landlord.

Rachman was born Perec Rachman in Poland in 1920, the son of a Jewish dentist. He was not interned by the Nazis, but did spend time in a Soviet labour camp before fleeing to the United Kingdom. Rachman soon built up a property empire in north London consisting of more than one hundred mansion blocks and several nightclubs. He operated from an office in Westbourne Grove and the first house he purchased and used for multi-occupation was in now-fashionable St. Stephen's Gardens, London W2. Adjacent areas including Powis Sqare were also early areas where he subdivided and let rooms, initially often for prostitution. Much of this area south of Westbourne Park Road, having become derelict, was compulsorily purchased by Westminster City council in the late 1960s and demolished in 1973-74 to make way for the "Wessex Gardens" estate.

These photographs of this area, months before much of it was demolished, were taken in the winter of 1974 by Jonathan Barker.

Westbourne Park, Feb 1974: Moorhouse Rd, now demolished, looking S. Junction with St Stephen's Gardens on left.

Westbourne Park bus queue & view SW from Keyham House, Feb 1974.

Feb 1974: St Stephen's Gdns looking E at Moorhouse Rd.

A north London street: Grosvenor Avenue, N5, 1974.

Moorhouse Road & St Stephen's Gardens, Westbourne Park, Feb 1974.

Corner of Ledbury Rd looking E along St Stephen's Gardens, Feb 1974.

Feb 1974: St Stephen's Gdns looking NE from Moorhouse Road - all soon to go!

Feb 1974: Next for demolition in Westbourne Park - St Stephen's Gardens looking E from Moorhouse Rd.

Westbourne Park, Feb 1974, looking S to Talbot Road.

Feb 1974: Trellick tower, Westbourne Park Station, Westway, Great Western Railway & Westbourne Park tube station.

Paddington: redevelopment at Westbourne Park, Feb 1974.

W through Moorhouse Rd from Mews at back, Westbourne Park, Feb 1974.

Feb 1974: looking E at Morehouse Road S of St Stephen's Gdns.

Westbourne Park, Feb 1974

East on Westbourne Park Rd, 1974: Keyham & Brinklow House towers from demolished Victorian terrace, between Moorhouse & Ledbury Roads

Feb 1974: houses on Westbourne Park Rd & Ledbury Rd.

Feb 1974, view E to Central London from top of Keyham House, Westbourne Park.

Feb 1974: SW from Keyham Ho, jct w Moorhouse & Westbourne Pk Rd.

Westbourne Park, Feb 1974: St Stephen's Gardens just before demolition.

Demolition in Westbourne Park: south down Moorhouse Road to Talbot Rd, Feb 1974.

Westbourne Park, Feb 1974: Mews to East of Moorhouse Road, all pending demolition.

North-East from top of Keyham House, Brunel Estate, Westbourne Park, 1974.

Feb 74: St Stephen's Gardens looking E to Moorhouse Rd. All this soon came down.

Feb 1974: corner of & St Stephen's Gardens & Shreswbury Rd, Westbourne Park.

Aftermath of Rachmanism in Paddington, Feb 1974: St Stephens Crescent, a street that survived demolition.

Feb 1974: Moorhouse Rd N of St Stephen's Gardens from Westbourne Pk Rd.

Westbourne Park & Keyham House NE over St Stephen's Gdns, Feb 1974.

Wrecking Ball in St Stephen's Gardens, Feb 1974, looking SW to Talbot & Ledbury from Moorhouse Rd north of St Stephen's Gardens.

Demolition on St Stephen's Gardens, view of Trellick Tower N up Moorhouse from Talbot Rd, Feb 74.

Pending demolition, Feb 1974: backs of Westbourne Park Rd from S.

Centre for tenant agitation & advice,1974: replaced on W corner of Gt Western Rd and Westbourn Park Road.

Feb 1974: demolition of St Stephen's Gardens looking W across Moorhouse Rd.

Demolition, houses in Westbourne Park Road, Paddington, Feb 1974.

Demolished in Westbourne Park, Feb 1974.

Demolition of St Stephen's Gardens, Moorhouse Rd & Gt Western Rd looking towards Keyham House tower to NW from near Talbot Rd.

View from Keyham House, Feb 1974: Paddington Station, Westway, Great Western Railway & tube lines and what was then the Post Office (now BT) tower..

SW from St Stephen's Gardens towards Shrewsbury Rd & back of Talbot Rd, Feb 1974. All soon to be demolished on W side of Shrewsbury Rd., Westbourne Park.

St Stephen's Gardens, Westbourne Park, February 1974.

Westbourne Park survivor: Talbot Rd & Bridstow Place, Feb 1974.

Awaiting demolition in Ledbury Rd, Westbourne Park, Feb 1974. Looking SE down Ledbury Road.

(via Flashbak)



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