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A History of Du Cane Court
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A History of Du Cane Court

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A History of Du Cane Court
Gregory K Vincent

Omschrijving

Land, Architecture, People and Politics

Du Cane Court, in Balham, south-west London, is a popular art deco block of flats, which in its early days had a stylish restaurant and ballroom; and other social facilities, including rooms designated for playing billiards or cards, and even a reading and writing room. Originally, there were plans for squash courts and a children's crèche area, as well as roof gardens. The building has changed a lot over the years, but still has a beautiful foyer and attractive Japanese gardens, landscaped by Seyemon Kusumoto; and, at the time of its completion, had the distinction of being probably the largest block of privately-owned flats under one roof in Europe, and the first to employ pre-stressed concrete.

The name of the building is traced back to a family of Huguenots called the Du Quesnes, who left France to escape persecution. Later, in the twentieth century, a doctor's house and grounds occupied the estate before the arrival of the new block.

Herein you will meet some long-term residents - including several who arrived in 'the court' before or during the war, and one who gives and insight into what it was like to grow up there in the 1950's. You will learn about the Central London Property Trust; and relish an intimate portrait of its chief architect, Mr George Kay Green, revealed through conversations with his affable son, Charles, who supplied the complete architectural plans for the site.

Many stories are recorded about famous individuals who were reputedly there - including actresses Margaret Rutherford, Elizabeth Sellars and Hermione Gingold; comedians Tommy Trinder, Derek Roy, and Richard Hearne alias 'Mr Pastry'; band leaders Harry Roy and Harry Leader, also several of the Tiller Girls; cricketer Andy Sandham, and the table-tennis ace, Ernest Bubley. Today, theatrical celebrities Arthur Smith and Christopher Luscombe are numbered among the resident population.

Du Cane Court has also been home to a gallery of eccentrics. And it is a place rich in legend. It is said, for instance, that Hitler intended to use it for his headquarters when he invaded Britain; and that the German Luftwaffe may have found it helpful as a navigational aid. It is also rumoured that the building was once a hotbed of spies.

The history of the Residents' Association is explored, along with the mixture of noble aspirations, and conflicts of interest, which have taken root within it. Apart from this, there are endearing stories of community spirit; and of disputes, which in certain cases have reached the courtroom. And who can forget the visit paid to Du Cane Court by the infamous pharaoh ants?

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  • Editie:EPUB met Adobe DRM  Meer informatie
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  • ISBN: 9781780358758
  • Auteur: Gregory K Vincent
  • Uitgave: Upfront
  • Jaar van uitgave: 2018
  • Taal: Engels
  • Bladzijden: 282
  • Artikelnummer: 64146542
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€ 6,49
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