Life in Hamilton Terrace 1957 – 2011
Roger Eden, born in 1922, came to live in Hamilton Terrace, St John’s Wood in 1957, where he has been ever since. His wife did not like the old houses, which were generally very decrepit, and when they saw the new red brick house, she liked it straight away. It has been a good house, a happy home. The garden was full of weeds and had four large trees in it. Roger has enjoyed working on it over the years. The difference in the street is that there were very few cars in the 1950s. Roger had an Austin Sheerline ,which was a delightful large car built by British Leyland, and then he had a Mercedes for 23 years which matches it in quality.
Changes in the 1960s
After the war there was some rebuilding but not as much as there is now. There have been at least five new blocks of flats in the last 20 years, one on the corner of Maida Vale, then up St John’s Wood Road, and Hall Road too. A lot of things built in the 1960s were dreadful.
Schools and shops
Their oldest daughter went to school in Elgin Avenue while the younger ones went to Barrow Hill School which seemed to be dramatically better than anything else available. He and his wife went to Kilburn to do their shopping. Everything was more expensive in St John’s Wood High Street. In those days Sainsburys in Clifton Gardens would deliver.
They went to the Gaumont State cinema in Kilburn which had a huge auditorium. There was another cinema at the top of Maida Vale and also one further up Kilburn High Road, and more in the West End. With his second wife, he attended St Augustine’s church. They might go to Paddington Recreation Ground or Parliament Hill Fields. Roger likes the canal now. – you could not walk along the towpath when he first came to St John’s Wood.
There is very little social intercourse in Hamilton Terrace now. This is remarkable. People are isolated, particularly as they use their cars all the time.