Vinery Villas

1915 map

Vinery Villas were tucked away on Park Road, on the right hand side going south, opposite an entrance to Regents Park and not far from St John’s Wood church. They seem to have disappeared by 1979.

Kate Cubley’s memories  – 1959

The villas were on 3 storeys and I shared with four other girls. I shared a bedroom on the ground floor, two girls  were in the basement and one on the first floor. There was a Blue Star garage on the corner of Park Road and a rail track at the end of the little cul-de-sac.  It was quite noisy having a garage so near and every time a train went past the whole flat seemed to shake!  

I was working for Granada at the time at their film set at London Zoo.   They were doing a series entitled “Zoo Time” (1955 – 1965) and I was the secretary there.  One of my friends worked for the Theatre Critic, Milton Shulman and two were at Cancer Research in Mill Hill.  It was so good to be in St John’s Wood and it was really easy to get into central London.

Zoo Time was an outside broadcast and featured Desmond Morris. It was

filmed at The Den in the London Zoo, situated behind Bird House.

H Gordon Skelling’s memories

Skelling (1912 – 2001) was an expert in Czech history and returning from a visit to Czechoslovakia in 1937 found a comfortable room with use of a kitchen in a little house at no 2 The Vinery Villas in St John’s Wood. The landlady was Leosia Robson, a communist whose ex husband was editor of the Daily Worker.

He then went travelling but came back when the war started. There we experienced the first air raid warnings.  These were false alarms but each time we ran across the street in our pyjamas to our air raid shelter, located none too safely beneath a garage and right beside the railway tracks and a canal.

(From the Education of a Canadian – my life as a scholar and activist H Gordon Skelling )

This page was added on 21/09/2015.

Comments about this page

  • It’s so interesting to read about Vinery Villas. Like Mr Skelling, I shared a flat at No 2 Vinery Villas in 1967. We were all trainee engineers in the Merchant Navy and had to travel all across London to Poplar in the East End. At one time none of us had a car so we bought a 600cc Norton motorbike with a sidecar and four of us used that every day for the trip across London to Poplar. I forget the name of the pub around the corner by the roundabout. Happy days!

    By Mike Lawrie (12/11/2018)

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