Saturday, 20 February 2016

Churchfield Road, of dead and living

My exploration of the living space continues... There is a small burial ground a short walk from St Mary's Church near the Market Place in Acton.
 Snowdrops are in full bloom there at the moment:
This little cemetery is a small oasis of peace between Churchfield Road and Acton High Street. Some people go through the cemetery avoiding the narrow streets full of parked cars.
Churchfield Rd witnessed filming several Monty Python sketches, according to Dear Wiki, which will also tell you about important people who have lived there. You may not have heard of them, especially being a foreigner. Let's find out about one of them, shall we?

If you are a 1960s music fan, the name Adam Faith will definitely ring the bell. He was born at 4 Churchfield Road on 23 June 1940 and lived there until 1960. 'Known as Terry Nelhams, he was unaware his surname was Nelhams-Wright until he applied for a passport and obtained his birth certificate.The third in a family of five children, Nelhams grew up in a council house in this working class area of London, where he attended John Perryn Junior School. He started work at 12, delivering and selling newspapers while still at school. His first full-time job was odd-job boy for a silk screen printer.'
Well, I don't know of many children in the 1960s Poland that would work at such a young age. They had to go to school. Definitely, some of them would have to help their parents, especially on a farm or with household chores. Hang on a moment... Actually, I've met a successful Polish businessman here in London, who has been working hard since he was a little boy in rural Poland due to very difficult family circumstances. This probably made him a successful person, mind you.

Back to Adam Faith, of course you can read about him yourself clicking here, but I cannot resist quoting one more sentence: 'Still 20 and living with his parents, he bought a house in Hampton Court for £6,000, where he moved with his family from their house in Acton.' Yes, it was £6,000, in old money though. How many people in their twenties could afford to buy a house either in the 1960s or now, when the equvalent price of a house would be more than half a million pounds? Well, Adam Faith was not an ordinary man!

The same can be said about Lionel Bart, a child prodigy and significant personality in the British pop and rock music, despite never learning to read or write musical notation! He lived a busy and varied life, and died at 33/35a Churchfield Road

Eric Ravilious was a talented artist famous for his printmaking and illustrations, design, watercolours and for depicting World War II scenes since  he was accepted as a full-time salaried artist by the War Artists' Advisory Committee in December 1939 till his death. On 28 August 1942 Ravilious flew to Reykjavík and then travelled on to RAF Kaldadarnes. The day he arrived there, 1 September, a Lockheed Hudson aircraft had failed to return from a patrol. The next morning three planes were despatched at dawn to search for the missing plane and Ravilious opted to join one of the crews. The plane he was on also failed to return and after four days of further searching, the RAF declared Ravilious and the four-man crew lost in action. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. You can read much more about this remarkable artist here. That's where I found out about having missed his first big exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery not so long ago. I wonder if Lord Ant B managed to see it as it's almost on his doorstep.:-)

Orchard Road, not Churchfield Rd, was  how Leo Sayer  actually referred to it in his hit 'Orchard Road' after his ex-wife  moved out there when they split up. The singer's name rang the bell, the voice sounded familiar, but this song I didn't know or didn't remember. However, Youtube prompted my memory by suggested some other Leo's songs including the big hit of my childhood days: 'More Than I Can Say'! :-)

Do you do your shopping at Waitrose like Svietlana who I met in Sheen a year or so ago? (It would be nice to see her again. I enjoyed talking to her and planning a holiday in her villa in Egypt.:-)) Whether you do or not, you may be interested to find out that they opened their second branch at 65 Churchfield Road in 1913. The original small grocery store, Waite, Rose & Taylor, in nearby Acton High Street was founded in 1904 by Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor. Yes, Waitrose began as a small grocery store. In 1908, two years after David Taylor had left the business, the name "Waitrose", from the remaining founders' names, was adopted. In 1937, the company, consisting of ten stores and 160 employees, was taken over by the John Lewis Partnership.
 As of February 2015, Waitrose had 344 branches across the United Kingdom, including 30 "little Waitrose" convenience stores, and a 5.1% share of the market, making it the sixth-largest grocery retailer in the UK. This chain of British supermarkets is considered 'upmarket' and has a Royal warrant to supply groceries, wine and spirits to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.

1 comment:

  1. It's been over year since I wrote this post. I'm revisiting it because we will be in the area. Listening to Adam Faith at the moment: