Video: Driving Round London In The 1950s

By M@ Last edited 83 months ago
Video: Driving Round London In The 1950s

A fascinating glimpse into the recent past, with unfamiliar shops, quieter streets and lingering bomb sites. But what are the locations? Thanks to Pier Paolo Rinaldi for the tip.

Last Updated 27 August 2011


I think much of it is west London - many of the buildings with porches look like the Holland Park or Westbourne Grove areas to me.  The opening shots are traveling east down Hammersmith Road.  The modernist building with the 3 arches at around 0.45 is Latymer Court.  Around the 4 minute mark the car is driving west down High Street Kensington then turns up Phillimore Gardens.  Just before the turn the camera looks back up High St Ken and you can see Barkers in the background. 


Let's not forget all the digital work behind the uncannily smooth drive - which otherwise would have been bumpier. The poster sez: "This is the result of enhancing and stabilizing the 'Driving through London (1950's)' video that can be found elsewhere on Youtube.It demonstrates how modern videoprocessing tools (like Deshaker, Contrast and Brightness adjust and Enhancement) can really improve an old video. Four Virtualdub filters were used to obtain this result."


Peter Ceresole says....

The first bit is Hammersmith Broadway- well, Hammersmith Road after a few
seconds. The red brick building on the right is the old Hammersmith
Hospital, now on Wormwood Scrubs- I went there as an outpatient. Later,
towards the end of the
shot on the left, is the Red Cow pub on the corner of (I think) Colet
Gardens. Called 'Latymers' now. Immediately afterwards on the right the
camera goes past a row of advertising hoardings which fronted the unused
Colet Court building, which was built as a preparatory school for St
Paul's, across the road, and later became a London HQ for Air France. I
can't remember all the detail but I walked there every day for seven
years, from 1953 to 59. Later in the film, in High Street Ken, on the
left the camera sees some fine red brick mansion flats, under which BEA
had a terminal; you went in from the High Street, they weighed each
passenger and their luggage, and you passed through to Philimore Walk,
at the back, where they loaded each flight into special BEA buses which
were split level; luggage on the lower deck at the back. I loved
those... It's easy to forget how tiny passenger planes were then; the
extended version carried less than 30 passengers. Or how slow and noisy.
All that was moved to a specially built terminal above the underground
tracks at Cromwell Road- now a large Sainsbury's supermarket. On the
film you can't quite see the BEA terminal, which I found very
frustrating... I do recognize the shops though, where I used to go with
my mum.



First is Hammersmith road heading east to the junction of
Brook Green, second south side of Kensington High St turning right into
Phillimore Gardens then into Upper Phillimore Gardens, third north side of
Kensington High St again turning right into Phillimore Gardens then into Upper
Phillimore Gardens.

Reggie Best

So sad,unrecognisable now,I wouldnt go to london to collect a free gold bar now.

Joy Chatsworth

The first red brick building on the right is my old school, Sacred Heart Convent. The hospital was a bit further along and was called West London Hospital when I was there in 1964.