Gas Light and Coke Company
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The gasometers of the Gas Light and Coke company dominated North Kensington until demolition in the late 20th century.
In 1845 the Western Gas Company had opened a gasworks on land, previously the property of Sir George Talbot, with frontages to both the canal and the railway. Licence:
Taken over by the Gas Light and Coke Company (also known as the Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company) was a company that made and supplied coal gas and coke. It is identified as the original company from which British Gas plc is descended.
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This 1930s aerial view of Kensal shows the area during the peak of its industrialisation. The towering gasometers of the Gas Light and Coke company can be seen in the centre with the Sunbeam Talbot motor manufacturers on the other side of the railway lines. North Kensington is dominated by rows of terraced housing. One corner of tranquillity can be seen on the left, Kensal Green Cemetery
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Adair Road, W10 Adair Road is a street on the Kensal Town/North Kensington borders. Alperton Street, W10 Alperton Street is the first alphabetically of the named streets of the Queen's Park Estate in W10. Appleford Road, W10 Appleford Road was transformed post-war from a Victorian street to one dominated by housing blocks. Banister Road, W10 Banister Road just scrapes being classed as belonging to the Queen's Park Estate. Blake Close, W10 Blake Close is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Bosworth Road, W10 Bosworth Road was the first street built as Kensal New Town started to expand to the east. Bruce Close, W10 Bruce Close replaced the earlier Rackham Street in this part of W10. Brunel Mews, W10 Brunel Mews, a tiny cul-de-sac, is the northern extension of Sixth Avenue. Canal Way, W10 Canal Way was built on the site of the Kensal Gas Works. Dalgarno Way, W10 Dalgarno Way is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Droop Street, W10 Droop Street is one of the main east-west streets of the Queen’s Park Estate. East Row, W10 East Row is a road with a long history within Kensal Town. Farrant Street, W10 Farrant Street is the missing link in the alphabetti spaghetti of the streetnames of the Queen's Park Estate Golborne Road, W10 Golborne Road, heart of North Kensington, was named after Dean Golbourne, at one time vicar of St. John's Church in Paddington. Hewer Street, W10 Built as part of the St Charles’ estate in the 1870s, it originally between Exmoor Street to a former street called Raymede Street. Humber Drive, W10 Humber Drive is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Huxley Street, W10 Huxley Street is the only street beginning with an H on the Queen’s Park Estate. Kensal House, W10 Kensal House (1936), was designed to show off the power of gas and originally had no electricity at all. Kensal Road, W10 Kensal Road, originally called Albert Road, is the heart of Kensal Town. Kilburn Lane, W10 Kilburn Lane runs around the edge of the Queen’s Park Estate in London W10. Ladbroke Crescent, W11 Ladbroke Crescent belongs to the third and final great period of building on the Ladbroke estate and the houses were constructed in the 1860s. Ladbroke Grove, W10 Ladbroke Grove runs from Notting Hill in the south to Kensal Green in the north, and straddles the W10 and W11 postal districts. Lavie Mews, W10 Lavie Mews, W10 was a mews connecting Portobello Road and Murchison Road. Lionel Mews, W10 Lionel Mews was built around 1882 and probably disappeared in the 1970s. Malton Mews, W10 Malton Mews is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Maple Walk, W10 Post war development on the Queen’s Park Estate created some plant-based street names. Middle Row, W10 Middle Row is one of the original streets laid out as Kensal New Town. Munro Mews, W10 Munro Mews is a part cobbled through road that connects Wornington Road and Wheatstone Road. Nursery Lane, W10 Nursery Lane is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Oakworth Road, W10 Oakworth Road dates from the 1920s when a cottage estate was built by the council. Oliphant Street, W10 Oliphant Street was the final alphabetical street on the original Queen’s Park Estate naming scheme. Peach Road, W10 Paach Road is one of the newer streets of the Queen’s Park Estate in London W10 Pember Road, NW10 Pember Road is one of the side streets to the west of Kilburn Lane, NW10 Purves Road, NW10 Purves Road is named after the solicitor of the United Land Company who were developers in this area. Rackham Street, W10 Rackham Street is a road that disappeared from the streetscape of London W10 in 1951. Raymede Street, W10 Raymede Street, after severe bomb damage in the area, disappeared after 1950. Regent Street, NW10 Regent Street, otherwise an obscure side street is one of the oldest roads in Kensal Green. Ronan Walk, W10 Ronan Walk was one of the streets constructed in a 1970s build parallel to the Harrow Road. Rootes Drive, W10 Rootes Drive is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Severn Avenue, W10 Severn Avenue is a newer thoroughfare in the Queen's Park Estate, London W10 St Andrews Square, W11 St Andrews Square is a street in Notting Dale, formed when the Rillington Place area was demolished. St Marks Road, W11 St Marks Road, W11 is the southern extention of the W10 street and in the Latimer Road area. Webb Close, W10 Webb Close is one of the streets of London in the W10 postal area. Wedlake Street, W10 Wedlake Street arrived as the second wave of building in Kensal Town was completed. Wornington Road, W10 Wornington Road connected Golborne Road with Ladbroke Grove, though the Ladbroke end is now closed to through traffic.
North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.
North Kensington was rural until the 19th century, when it was developed as a suburb with quite large homes. By the 1880s, too many houses had been built for the upper-middle class towards whom the area was aimed. Large houses were divided into low cost flats which often degenerated into slums, as documented in the photographs of Roger Mayne.
During the 1980s, the area started to be gentrified although areas in the north west of the district at Ladbroke Grove
and Westbourne Park remain deprived and run down to this day.
Waves of immigrants have arrived for at least a century including, but certainly not limited to, the Spanish, the Irish, the Jews, the West Indians, the Portuguese, the Moroccans and many from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Europe. This constant renewal of the population makes the area one of the most cosmopolitan in London.
The Notting Hill carnival was first staged in 1964 as a way for the local Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. After some rough times in the 1970s and 1980s when it became associated with social protest, violence and huge controversy over policing tactics, this is now Europe’s largest carnival/festival event and a major event in the London calendar. It is staged every August over the Bank holiday weekend.