Films of Pimlico Past

Sadly I do remember when Pimlico looked like this! I remember the Rag and Bone man’s horse & cart coming up the street, and remember when a dirty man with a massive nose would walk round the streets shouting “Eeeeeuuuup!” which was probably a contraction of “Newspapers for sale” and I would be sent to run after him with a penny, to come back with an Evening Standard. This really is what Pimlico was like around 1960.

I also went to see a film at the Biograph Cinema once – it was a lovely Art Deco style building, demolished in the 80s. In this film we see Mrs Griffith the country’s oldest cinema goer, looking at the film I have decided that she lived in Hugh St. and that at the time of the film the route down the side of Victoria Station wasn’t available to pedestrians, so she walked up Belgrave Rd. (passing the distinctive shop front that is now Winkworth’s Estate Agents) along Warwick Way and down Wilton Road.

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And here we see a demolition of a piece of history. The Stag Brewery at Pimlico, of Messrs. Watney & Co., arose from small beginnings. In the first half of the 18th century it consisted of some few buildings attached to a small brewhouse standing in the midst of green fields and far away from any habitations, formerly the royal mews of St. James’s Palace which were removed when Buckingham House became a royal palace. Underneath the cooperage of the brewery ran the King’s Pond watercourse, a stream which issued from the lake in St. James’s Park. In 1782 this lake was simply a marshy pond surrounded by a green pasture for cows, whose milk was disposed of on the spot. In 1820 no one dared to set out for London from that quarter at night, as Pimlico was infested with footpads. Now even the brewery that replaced it is gone.

Finally a proof that even the past can be recreated. Even though this station is given the fictitious name “South Pimlico” the scenery is remarkably accurate, and the film is just what you would have seen if you had stood on tiptoe & peered over Ebury Bridge in 1960.

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