Townshend Cottages after the Second World War

John Harnden-Taylor

Townshend Cottages and the new Townshend estate

Born in 1945, I lived briefly in Townshend Cottages with my parents and grandparents with memories of chickens kept in the back garden, and helping to track down rats. My grandfather was George Norman Harnden, who worked as a security doorman at Oslo Court, Charlbert Street.  My grandparents were, subsequently, relocated to Opie House on the Townsend Road Estate which replaced the cottages, and their other daughter, Amy married Dan White and lived in Cotman House  with their daughter Janet.

Hamilton Terrace and memories of growing up

I moved out and lived with my parents Denis and Winifred Taylor, at 150 Hamilton Terrace. This three storey Georgian style house, no longer exists but was sited almost at the Carlton Hill [north] end of Hamilton Terrace. I remember a large bombed site next door, nearer Carlton Hill, which I explored with my younger brother, Timothy. We lived in a flat on the top floor and shared a large rear garden with other tenants. One family that lived in accommodation over an large annexed garage was the Lashfords.  I remember another couple living in a self contained unit on the top floor with the surname ‘Wass’.

My pre-school days were spent in a large building in Carlton Hill, directly opposite Hamilton Terrace, which was run by nuns.  I started school at Barrow Hill primary school, but moved on to George Eliott primary school, near Finchley Road.   Ice cream treats were bought from Toni’s sweet shop in Boundary Road off Carlton Hill .

Memories of Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, Church Street market off Edgware Road , ballgowns, entering the Carlton Ballroom (now a mosque) featuring Joe Loss, Kilburn High Road shops, the cycling  track in Paddington Recreation Ground  together with many other childhood school friends  on the Townsend Road Estate which replaced the Townsend Cottages including  Michael, Toby, Henry & Quinton.


Janet is married and lives in Australia, whilst I married Claire, a New Zealander, and live in Cambridge, New Zealand.


This page was added on 26/11/2012.

Comments about this page

  • Janet Bassett what year/years are you referring to?

    By T Grindy (02/02/2018)
  • My name is Ann Rathbone /Buchanan i was born in 37 Townsend Road. then lived at 12 Townsend Cottages. My nan lived at 37 Townsend cottages, she was a Bassett. My uncle George and cousin lived there also and Janet Bassett above is my cousin.
    I remember Mr Harnden working at Oslo Court opposite my friend Primrose Vincent’s flat in Charlbert Court. I vaguely remember a wedding from that house; they had colourful bridesmaid dresses which everyone had come out of their houses to see. My dad Joe Buchanan worked at Frost the removals garages at the top of the cottages and my mum Flo Basset/Buchanan worked at Lords Cricket Ground. I remember a Street party of which I have a photo with my cousin Ann Bassett ,I think I was about 9 which would make it 1946.

    By Ann Rathbone/Buchanan (11/10/2017)
  • I am sure I knew Janet White, I can see her clearly if it is indeed the same person, my name is Janet Bassett and I live on Townshend Estate to this day, my parents Reg and Clara Bassett lived in Townshend Cottages with my fathers family. My Mother was born in Henry Street now McKennal Street her family name was Thompson.

    By Janet Bassett (30/09/2014)

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