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Things you see that make you wonder

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Things you see that make you wonder

Old 28th Jan 2014, 18:43
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Things you see that make you wonder

Been into Lunnun village today and something I've noticed a few times has finally intrigued me to the point I have to say something about it,
Edith Villas
Half way up the wall is what look like a collection of Gas meters. If thats what they are, what's puzzling me is how they expected to read the things up there.
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 20:27
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What are you looking at, the feature that looks like a window on the curved section on the 3rd floor?
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 20:36
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Hmmm........

Curved rather than a right-angled corner to the building. Looks like metal-framed Crittall windows... 1930's?

Gas was cheap then.

It's gone up now, maybe the meters have gone with it.
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 20:52
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Different view shows a cable or pipe going in at the top along wall and into building. Could it be some kind of fire alarm system for the Brigade?
Water sprinkler indicator?
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 20:58
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A close up. Looks pretty knackered.

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Old 28th Jan 2014, 21:02
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Something to do with trams or trolleybuses?
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 21:20
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I hadn't noticed the cleats in the wall maybe in the days before the safety elves took over there was a ladder there that's been removed.
I had thought that there might have been balconies there at some point that had been removed but there doesn't seem to be any indication of the remodelling that would go with that, different coloured brick work and pointing slight misalignment in the brick courses and so on
Actually looking at the blow up they look more like mail boxes than gas meters.
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 21:38
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They look like ammo tins to me. Some secret Home Guard ammo stash? Maybe the door fell off.
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 21:49
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I don't think they are cleats in the wall. They are overflow pipes.
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 22:07
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I've passed those flats thousands of times over the years and have admired them for their nod to Bauhaus architecture. I'd say that as others have, that the now broken case houses metering of some sort, that was accessed by a now defunct wall ladder. Due to the position of the case/box and where it is, on a main artery from the West into London, I put forward that it was a metering station for air pollution.

Just out of interest, if one were to travel further along the 'beautiful' Talgarth Rd on the same side one comes to purpose built in the late 1800's artist studios with huge windows unlike any other around. And.....across the road and a little way in the other direction Freddy Mercury's old gaff is to be found adorned in writing by fans like Abbey Rd Studios is similarly by Beatles fans



SHJ
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Old 28th Jan 2014, 22:29
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Sallyann123 Yes having had a look at an estate agents site the floor plan shows the kitchen and Bathrooms located with the small windows at the end which would suggest that they were indeed overflow pipes. I'd have thought that they wouldn't have them overhanging the pavements but I guess times have changed.
Looking at the enlargement again it looks as if there is a cabinet around the boxes which probably had a door at one time.
I can't find any archive pictures just hordes of estate agents web sites so it's not possible to compare and contrast now and then.
Oh well it's past my bedtime maybe in time the answer will appear out of the collective knowledge of the Ppruniverse.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 08:52
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Windy, I too gave up trying find an image from the 1930's due to the agents listings. There has to be an archive image somewhere.

However, I've cunningly created a list of 'exceptions' that you can copy and paste into the 'none of these words' box in Google advanced search. I've made a text doc. that I can use for similar searches. I've discovered there is a 32 word limit.

zoopla 192.com dexters rightmove nethouseprices doogal gumtree bective flatmaterooms foxtons mypostcodefinder houseprices mouseprice mitula makeurmove housepricepaid hamptons locatable reapit yell chard blackkatz updn companiesintheuk postcode-finder kfh lawsonrutter scoot

To cover myself, I'm not berating any individual concern or service here.

Hmmm... Doesn't reveal much more.

Off to search the Archives!

Last edited by Pelikal; 29th Jan 2014 at 09:22.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 10:30
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There seem to be six pairs of rectangular slots, and the large block of flats above the shops has six floors. I think it possible that this was an early indicator board to show the fire brigade on which floor a fire had broken out, and on which of two distinct areas of each floor. The slots could have had bulbs which illuminated when the fire detection system was triggered, and provided a quick means of locating the fire to aid rapid deployment of engines, ladders, etc in this congested site location.

A more sophisticated system installed years later would have rendered it redundant, hence its present delapidated appearance.

I used to live not far away from there in the 1960s, and often passed the junction - we used to shop in the south end of North End Road, in the "cheap as chips" fruit and vegetables street market.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 10:39
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Windy,

It is quite normal to have overflow pipes with outlets in such a position. The idea is that if you put them somewhere that flows on to people, something gets done about it!

Many Victorian houses had the overflow pipes directly above the front door. It did mean that the male of the household could not use the old excuse 'I did not notice it' to his wife, when she asked why he had not done anything about it.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 12:11
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I have to say that this block has been very well maintained, which makes the dilapidated item in question stand out even more.
Unlike so many others it doesn't suffer the twin blights of satellite dishes and individual boiler flues outside every flat. Also the windows are all matching and not updated piecemeal.

edit to say: the fire indicator theory sounds good. The block has separate entrances in the two adjacent roads, so it would make sense to have two separate boards to guide the fire crews to the relevant entrance.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 12:48
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...look like a collection of Gas meters...
No wonder some people's gas bills are high.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 14:27
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The fact the building is called West Kensington Court, not Edith Villas might help in your searches.

My theory is on it possibly being some obsolete mobile phone radio bits, the back of an ex-CCTV assembly .... something like that... the clue being its prominent position right on the corner, nice and high up, on a major junction where the A4 crosses the North End Road and with West Kensington Tube on the other side of the road.

edit to say: the fire indicator theory sounds good.
I don't buy that one. Far too high up to be remotely useful. Mr Fireman would need to get on his ladder just to take a look at the indicators !

I have to say that this block has been very well maintained,
Has it really ? Have you taken a Streetview wander along North End Road to the entrance door next to the cheap shops at numbers 154 and 156 .... that front entrance looks pretty dilapidated to me.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 14:35
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Telephone ?

Not sure it fits with the age of the building.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 14:53
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Looks like a old cable TV repeater kiosk,the old HF Rediffusion System,they got smaller by my day employing transistors rather than valves and were oft stuck up on gable ends and such.
Some kind of telecom kit anyway.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 16:51
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Definitely not mobile phone - the early installations were on higher sites than this to give wide area coverage, also there is no sign of where the aerials were mounted. If they were on the roof, the associated cabinets would be up there as well. Nowadays it would be useful for a microcell to cover the busy junction - if it had once been in use for phones it is unlikely to have been abandoned.
Not CCTV either - that wouldn't have needed so many boxes of kit.
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