Thursday, 7 March 2013

24 - 6

Proceeding to Pimlico
Part of Pre-Pimlico ; click in image to enlarge
Grosvenor Road becomes Belgrave Road

Starting in 1825, Thomas Cubitt developed Pimlico as a grid of handsome white stucco terraces. The largest and most opulent houses were built along St George's Drive and Belgrave Road, ...

... the two principal streets, and Eccleston, Warwick and St George's Squares. Lupus Street contained similarly grand houses, as well as shops and, until the early twentieth century, a hospital for women and children. Smaller-scale propertes, typically of three storeys, line the side streets. An 1877 newspaper article described Pimlico as "genteel, sacred to professional men… not rich enough to luxuriate in Belgravia proper, but rich enough to live in private houses." 
The area is not a bit like the Pimlico of the eponymous film as featured in "24-3" (read again)! Our service 24 follows a much more up-market route, joining Belgrave Road, just missing Pimlico Underground station and performing a large loop to reach its Grosvenor Road terminus on the banks of the Thames.
Like its northern counterpart, the terminus is pleasant, leafy and made all the more attractive by the grand vista of the River Thames.
On the left can be glimpsed the arches of Grosvenor Bridger which carries the tracks from Victoria station, and just beyond, the suspension cables of Chelsea road bridge. Very pleasant!

The Victoria underground line extension to Brixton opened in 1971 ...
click to enlarge map

... albeit not linked to Brixton proper-train station. East Brixton Station on the new bit of Boris's Overground from east London to Clapham Junction closed in 1976 and Boris, the hairy tory, can't fine enough pennies to build a new one further west. The overgound line runs on a higher viaduct and it would be horrendously expensive.
Brixton proper-train station on viaduct left
Overgound on lattice bridge 1950s OR
a little different today!

Back to Pimlico; which opened, almost as an afterthought, in 1972. The 24 doesn't quite make it to Pimlico underground station, stopping just "round the corner" in Belgrave Road. But two other routes do pass the shy little station, almost hidden in its office block.
The C10 passes by on its way from Victoria to Canad Water, whilst ...
... the 360 ...
... runs its merry way between Kensington and Elephant & Castle. Pimlico has changed little since Cubitt built most of it ...
.. although many of the grand residences are now offices and hotels. The area bordering the river between Lupus Street and Grosvenor Road was further developed as Churchill Gardens in the 1950s, replacing areas on WW2 bomb damage.

Notable residents have included Winston Churchill, designer Laura Ashley, philosopher Swami Vivekananda, actor Laurence Olivier, illustrator and author Aubrey Beardsley, Kenyan nationalist Jomo Kenyatta and inventor of lawn tennis Major Walter Wingfield.

Nevertheless there still remains a smattering of real (well blessed) people occupying private residences and possibly travelling by the 100 year old route 24.

We conclude our 24 theme in a few days. with a look at the variety of bus types that have plied the roads between South End Green and Pimlico - almost a potted history of London Transport rolling stock.

 Next Bus Blog : Friday 8th March 

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