Parson's House, Edgware Road.


 

Parson’s House, a tower block in Edgware Road

The pen and ink drawing and the colour photograph printed side by side, show the difference between printing and equipment in 1980 and 2010. In 2010 schools had only black and white photocopiers. For teachers to be able to use my pictures I had to draw them slowly with Indian ink, print the pictures and allow teachers to print the pieces they needed with photocopiers. In any case I could not have afforded to print books in colour.

In 2010 we have digital colour cameras and both schools and students have computers. Things move so fast that technology thirty years old is archaic.

This is the shape of Parsons House when it was first built in the 1960s. Later it was cladded and the irregular top shape disappeared under the new cladding.

In the first edition of this book there was a chapter on the geological and building materials to be found in the area. This has been added as a separete article called,

A Building Materials Walk – No Experience Required

This is about Building Materials to be found in the neighbourhood. We will return to Parson’s House there.

 

Gentrification


Ashmill Street
At the same time as massive tower blocks were being built, a process of gentrification began. In 1979 a pair of three-storey houses in Ashmill Street were taken out of multiple occupation and converted back into separate houses. The coal cellars, which were only about 5 foot 8 inches deep, were dug out to the full depth and tanked with asphalt to make sure they were not damp and were healthy to live in.New attic storeys were added, with a Mansard roof behind the parapet. Thus houses similar to three-storey still to be seen in Church Street, were converted into five-storey ones. A plaque for 1824, the date of the original houses, was added as historical reminder or the originals.

 

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