Sunday, 7 December 2014

Paston Place, Brighton

Another exciting recent find was this Darby & Co of Clapham Junction cover near the hospital in Kemptown. The star design is very similar to many others, but this is the first time I've seen a Darby cover. Darby is one of the manufacturers listed on the Faded London blog.

Dean Trent Street, London SW1

No, not a geezer called Dean, but presumably an ex Dean of Westminster Abbey as this is near the place. This is a monster size Haywards cover.

Herbert Road, Brighton

This is a most exciting (for me) find round the corner from my house. It's a cover inside someone's gate from a new foundry for me - Frederick Betts, from 33 Skipton St London SE. A couple of doors up the street, a house had railings and a gate  which also carried this mark.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Steyne Gardens, Worthing

This is a well worn unbranded Patent Safety Plate Improved
It's on the west side of Steyne Gardens (that's pronounced Steen, by the way) in Worthing.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Right royal coalhole cover, Hampton Court Palace

This is one of my favourite finds.  On a recent trip to Hampton Court Palace I found this cover in a yard outside the kitchens. An obvious place to put one,  presumably well after Henry VIII's days.

Smith Square oddity

There are a few oddities in Smith Square. The biggest is that the  former Conservative HQ is now occupied by the European Union.  Sitting on the grass outside the rather lovely church in Smith Square, I noticed this other oddity It's odd because it's in the road,  unlike every other coalhole cover I've seen.  I assume it's because the crypt (which houses a fine cafe) extends out under the road.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Duke of York St, London SW1

Once more unto the Smoke and a stroll through the refined streets of St.  James revealed this modern replacement coalhole cover from Durey. What's pleasing about this one is the star design which of course also serves a useful function of reducing  the chances of slipping.

Friday, 13 June 2014

A sad pilgrimage

Up in the sweltering Smoke for a day,  I fulfilled a long standing ambition and went to find the site of the Hayward Brothers foundry in Borough SE1. The foundry churned out thousands of coal hole covers and other streetscape paraphernalia in Victorian days.

Alas,  its site at 187-189 Union Street is now occupied by a modern block of flats and studios and a non-descript car park on the corner. A truly uninspiring and dispiriting development. There aren't even any Hayward coal hole covers in the immediate neighbourhood

The trip wasn't entirely wasted because on Blackfriars Rd I spotted a building with Blackfriars Foundry signs on it and I also had a nose around the wonderful Peabody Estate - a great example of Victorian social housing
which raised my spirits a little.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Palmeira Avenue, Hove

Just when I thought I'd seen all the Hayward's coal hole cover designs in Christendom, I find another one.
Just North of Palmeira Square there is a sprinkling of coal hole covers including a Haywards No 1d featuring 4 circles containing 7 circles.

There is also this  relatively rare Imperial cover. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Cowley St London SW1 and Chelsea

Apologies for my absence for a few months. I've not seen any 'new' coalhole covers, until last week that is.

This Luxfer cover bearing the address, 16 Hill St, London EC is round the back of Westminster School. The (almost) square panels are filled with concrete but I think they may have originally been glass.

Visiting Stamford Bridge the other week to see the very sad defeat of the Fulham Under 18s team in the final of the FA Youth Cup, I saw some 'never seen before' coalhole covers on Finborough Road. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush to get to the station to get out of the hellhole that is home to C*****a FC. I've tried to identify them on Google Streetview but can't zoom in enough. You can see what I mean here.

I'm now tweeting as @theplanorak and will post pictures on there as well, so please 'follow' me and tweet me your pictures as well.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Regent Foundry, Brighton

A visit to the most excellent Foundry pub in Foundry Street, Brighton last night prompted me to find out more about the Regent Foundry. It was located on the spot now occupied by the Royal Mail sorting office.

The North Laine Community Association website has this potted history:
The area behind the western side of [Foundry] street, where the post office now stands, was once dominated by the Regent Iron Foundry, the town's largest employer for much of the 19th century. The foundry opened in Regent Street and moved to Foundry Street in 1823, possibly for the larger premises it needed, for it was then making much of the ironwork needed by the Chain Pier, being built at the time. The foundry continued to make cast iron products for the town until it eventually closed in 1912. The building was demolished in 1921 and the Post Office was built on the site in the mid 1930s.
and an interesting account of an early tour of the Foundry.

At the time, the North Laine was the industrial heartland of Brighton. The Regent Foundry made the iron for the Chain Pier, the predecessor to the Palace Pier, as well as lots of other products like coal hole covers, although for some reason they weren't stamped with the 'Regent' name. According to the NLCA, Palmer covers were made there.