Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Click on the heading for more photos of Edna St
We bought 24 Edna St in Battersea through John D Wood in 1993. It was a perfect location for the time having a delightful garden with a south-west aspect and kind neighbours, not far from the local Montessori and the favoured local prep school, Thomas's in Battersea High St.
Edna St was one of the 'sister' streets built by a Mr Orbel in the 1840s with each street named after one of his daughters - Edna, Ursula etc. Recent developments have been helpful, creating an enclave by means of a one-way system which ensured that there was no through traffic.
The house had three bedrooms, one of which became my study. That and the kitchen overlooking the well-planted garden and the pond, and a 'Frisia' flourished at the end giving perfect shade when we sat out or barbecued. We had the front door painted many coats of the the classic Parisian 'Amersterdam' green so that it glowed, and put in a wrought-iron gate and fence as well as a fine Prunus 'subhirtilla' to complement the existing yew hedge and the scrambling wisteria.
Neighbours included Lord Donaldson, a charming retired Labour peer and Viola Pemperton-Piggott, the restorer of the Queen's pictures, a selection of smart women (most of whom seemed to work for estate agents), two MPs and several solicitors. Our immediate neighbours were a family of mathematicians - one of who's sons came in to coach Kei in French - and there were many original locals who added greatly to the friendliness of the area.
We generally took our holidays in Swanage during this time, staying first at the flat of an old City friend, Richard Shaw, and then renting Old Harry's Cottage in Worth Matravers.
We stayed at Edna St until May 1998, while Kei attended the two nearby schools. When she completed her time at Thomas's and settled on James Allen's (JAGS) as her public school, we looked for a house closer to Dulwich and found The Orangery.
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