Sloane Street, approach to Sloane Square. Click to enlarge.
Kodachrome by Chalmers Butterfield. I posted three others earlier. Wikimedia Commons. There aren’t many colour images of London streets before 1960 that are this vivid.
Furs, in the UK at this time, were not necessarily a sign of wealth, though this was a rich area (Cadogan Estate). The only definite sign in this picture is the chic young girl in the background.
Furs protected you from the cold. Even a barely genteel woman might conceivably have a fur coat in her wardrobe. Here they still have square shoulders. Much post-war fashion (Dior “New Look” aside) had, in fact, come in in 1938-39, but fashion didn’t develop during the war.
I remember, in my earliest childhood, women wearing actual foxes’ heads slung around their shoulders. This was commonest in the ’30s.
Placid queue. The men, too, are wearing rather good coats. There’s a schoolboy. The woman with the fur jacket is dressed for something. The wearer of the brown coat is lower class.
London Electricity Board. Tobacco advertising. “Iconic” bus (pre-Routemaster) and bus-stop. Wintery charm of Sloane Square in the background. The Venus fountain had not yet been built.
The railings of parks and squares, but not, I believe, of houses, had been melted down in the war to make armaments. The ones here are no longer there.
A few doors further down Sloane Street, away from the square on the same side as the railings, was Tablet House, the offices of the Catholic weekly, where my father was working in 1949 and which was demolished in the late ’50s.
The church is Sedding’s Holy Trinity. You can’t see it, but it had been badly damaged by bombs. The restoration was completed in the early ’60s. There was then a very 1960s attempt by the church authorities to close and demolish it, thwarted by a campaign led by John Betjeman and the Victorian Society.
Can one see a tube entrance in the square? If so, it’s no longer there.
There was a post office in the King’s Road, opposite Peter Jones, until (I think) the early ’90s which was presumably there in 1949. The woman carrying parcels might be returning from it. There was a butcher (I am now quoting someone else) in Symons Street.
Peter Jones, the department store, was already in its present building, which had been built between 1932 and ’36 and had the first glass curtain wall in Britain. It still looks modern.
Buses 19, 22 and 137 still go down Sloane Street.