Thursday, 10 April 2014

Greetings from Camden Town

Six hand-coloured scenes in the life of London's Camden Town, captured on photographic film in 1907, and presented on this wonderful Edwardian multi-view postcard.

The five buildings and one monument are depicted on a funereal-style black backing, complete with a tasteful Art Nouveau decoration. This was the house style of The Chaucer Postcard Co. (named after the publishing address of the street in South East London where the company was based), whose 60 known postcards of the districts of London were all actually printed in Saxony, Germany.

Chaucer Postcard Publishing Co. No.135

All six places still exist in Camden Town today, though one in a very different guise. From left to right, working down from the top row:

'Parish Church' - first known as Camden Chapel, and from 1920 as 'All Saints', it has been a Greek Orthodox Church since 1948.
'Cobden's Statue' - the memorial to Free Trade campaigner Richard Cobden has stood on the same spot since 1868
'The Brecknock Arms' - this once famous ale house on the corner of Brecknock Road and Camden Road (a mighty long stone's throw from Camden Town by the way!) was named after the Earl of Brecknock, 1st Marquess Camden, John Jeffreys Pratt. The pub is now called The Unicorn.
'Working Men's College' - Founded in 1854, the WMC is the oldest surviving adult education institute in Europe.
'Royal Camden Theatre' - the building (now called KoKo), opened to the public in 1900, and it subsequently has been a variety theatre, a cinema, a radio studio, a rock venue, and a nightclub.
'The Britannia' - on the corner of Camden High Street and Parkway, this marvellous-looking former pub now houses a mobile phone shop on the ground floor.

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