This Day In London’s History
1825: The Grosvenor Canal is opened.
In 1723 the Chelsea Waterworks were constructed to supply water for parts of West London. Part of these works included a small tidal inlet on the Thames, just east of Chelsea Bridge, which became the entrance to a canal that ran about a mile to Grosvenor Basin (where Victoria Station currently resides).
The Grosvenor Canal was opened on 5th March 1825 and was initially used to carry goods to Belgravia. However in the latter part of the 19th century, Grosvenor Basin was filled in for the development of Victoria Station, and the canal was truncated to Ebury Bridge (effectively halving it in length).
By 1925, as more housing was built in the area, the canal was truncated again – and major works were undertaken to repurpose it so that it could be used to transport local councils’ rubbish. However what little is left of the canal has now been redeveloped once again, making way for posh apartments.
Londoner Of The Week
John Calder is, in his own words (or at least the words of his website), the “publisher of the most significant literature of the 20th century.” A bold claim maybe, but looking at the list of publishing achievements provided by his website, we think he might have a point.
Anyway, his bookshop on The Cut (near Waterloo) is apparently struggling to pay the rent in the face of escalating charges. By all accounts this won’t be the first financial challenge that Calder has faced, but we with him luck with this one nonetheless.
One Thing You Must Do In London This Week
From this Friday, for six days, the Birds Eye View Film Festival at the ICA promises to showcase the talents of “the best women filmmakers from around the world.” It looks pretty good too – just check out the listings on the ICA website.
The picture is taken from an 1869 Ordnance Survey Map, found on the fascinating UCLA Department of Epidemiology website about Dr. John Snow (1813-1858).