Some of you won't recognise the picture above, probably taken in the thirties from the eastern corner of Langton Street, looking south south-west across the World's End towards the power station. The road running from left to right is the King's Road. The World's End pub is just off picture to the left; the bus is standing roughly in front of what is now the World's End Pharmacy.
I like to think of the young lady with the long hair, third from the left, walking towards us as Beckett's Celia:
"She had turned out of Edith Grove into Cremorne Road, intending to refresh herself with a smell of the Reach and then return by Lots Road, when chancing to glance to her right she saw, motionless in the mouth of Stadium Street, considering alternately the sky and a sheet of paper, a man. Murphy"
Samuel Beckett, Murphy (1938)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Early references to the World's End

From The Times, June 3, 1816.

George III and his consort Queen Charlotte were frequent visitors to Chelsea Farm the residence of Lady Cremorne in the early part of the 19th century. Chelsea Farm would later come to be known as Cremorne House and its grounds would become the famous Cremorne Gardens. Interestingly the article also refers to the estate as the "World's End", presumably from the name of the nearby tavern.

From The Times, December 18, 1794.

Recently built houses in Riley Street to be sold "By Mr. Pettitt, At the Sign of the World's End, Chelsea, on Tuesday the 23rd inst.* precisely at 2 o'clock"
* abbreviation for "instante mense", meaning a date of the current month, such as "the 5th inst."

Potential buyers would have been well-advised to take up the offer. The air was of a particularly salubrious nature: in 1831, Patrick Gibson of World's End Passage passed away at the age of 111.

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