Old Images of St. John’s Wood, London

Old postcard of Grove End Road St John's Wood London England 1907

Glimpse history through old images of St John’s Wood, once a part of the Forest of Middlesex, but now a well established affluent district of leafy residential streets in the City of Westminster, London. It is also home to the famous Lords Cricket Ground.

The Cochrane Flats 1949

In 1949, Queen Elizabeth, the wife of King George VI, attended the official opening of a new block of flats.

The Queen opens flats in St. John’s woods (1949) – British Pathé on YouTube

A second archive film shows the same footage a above, but silent, and with an opening shot of the block of flats across from the new ones.

Queen Opens Flats (1949) – British Pathé on YouTube

There is more silent footage of the Queen at the Cochrane Flats, showing more of the buildings and people.

Queen Opens The Cochrane Flats (1949) – British Pathé on YouTube

Then there is silent footage of the rooms inside the Cochrane Flats.

Queen Opens The Cochrane Flats (1949) – British Pathé on YouTube

Peggy Cripps

Enid Margaret “Peggy” Appiah, MBE, was a British children’s author, philanthropist and socialite. She was the daughter of the Right Honourable Sir Stafford Cripps and Dame Isobel Cripps. In 1996, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Peggy Appiah the MBE “for services to UK/Ghanaian relations and community welfare”.

When Peggy Cripps married the Ghanaian lawyer and political activist Nana Joe Appiah at St. Johns Wood Church (the newsreel label says 1950, but other sources say it was June 1953), the event was front page news. 

The best man was George Padmore, and guests included Hugh Gaitskell, Michael Foot, Aneurin Bevan, Lady Quist, and Krishna Menon.

The couple then enjoyed a honeymoon in France.

The silent footage of their wedding includes a few shots of the church and nearby buildings.

Peggy Cripps Married (1950) – British Pathé on YouTube

Chester Terrace 1955

Michael Denison his wife Dulcie Gray moved into Chester Terrace in 1955. The two movie stars hired interior designer Bertram Tyrer to modernise their new home.

This newsreel also includes a few shots of surrounding buildings, as well as the exterior and interior of the Chester Terrace home.

Carpets Beware – Other Colour Pics Share This Title (1955) – British Pathé on YouTube

St John’s Wood street in the 1960s

This is a 30 glimpse of one local street in probably 1967. It shows the number 187 bus to Hampstead Heath going by.

1960s St John’s Wood, London, 35mm – Kinolibrary on YouTube

Buttermere Court in the 1970s

In the 1970s, flats being built at Buttermere Court on Boundary Road went up for sale, based on a first come, first served basis. With a chronic shortage of housing , the council had a waiting list of 400 people, and just 70 flats available. So desperate buyer joined the queue as early as four days in advance, camping out in folding deckchairs.

Unfortunately, the sound doesn’t seem to work, so we can’t hear people’s concerns about housing shortages, and the risks of queue jumpers. But there are a few interesting shots of the people, flats, and nearby buildings.

In 2022, the price of a 2 bedroom flat at Buttermere Court was roughly £1.2million. Rents for the block were roughly £650 per week, or £2,817 a month.

St. John’s Wood Flats (1970-1975) – British Pathé on YouTube

St Johns High Street 1973

This silent footage was recorded for the Thames TV Report ‘Mosque in the Park’. 

It shows the exterior and interiors of some of the businesses along St John’s High Street in 1973.

1970s High Street | St Johns High Street | West London | St Johns Wood | Report |1973 –  Thames News

Wheelclampers 1987

Broadcast on 18th March 1987, this Thames TV news item looked at wheel clamping. It was hoped that fines of £25, plus a £12 ticket, as well as a 4 or 5 hour wait to reclaim the wheel clamped vehicle, would provide a deterrent to the area’s parking problems.

Local shops were reporting significant downturns in trade.

WHEELCLAMPS. – private St.Johns Wood. –  Thames News

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