World's End, Kensington and Chelsea

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The World's End is a district of Chelsea, London, lying at the western end of the Kings Road.

History

It took its name from a public house of the same name, The World's End. World's End and surrounding areas were often bombed during the Blitz.

The 1960s

The fashionable set who had made their home at the other end of the Kings Road discovered the gem that was the World's End and found it was the perfect place to open the boutique Granny Takes a Trip. There were several boutiques and hippie shops that clustered round World's End in the late 60's including Gandalf's Garden selling candles, incense, spiritual books and hippy paraphernalia. Sophisticat sold reconditioned pine furniture and was home to Christian the lion cub; The Sweet Shop at 28 Blantyre Street sold silk velvet patchwork and applique cushions, tunics, and wallhanging designed by artist Laura Jamieson. The shop was frequented by Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, and Keith Richards. Just round the corner on the Kings Road was the Dragon Tea Garden, a meeting place for local aristocrats, bohemians and hippies who sat on floor cushions, played backgammon and sipped exotic teas. The World's End became a centre for the counter-culture world of the 1960s. This continued in the late '70s and '80s with the opening of the boutique SEX started by Vivienne Westwood in the 1970s (which is now known as World's End).

Housing

In the 1960s Chelsea Borough Council erected new social housing, in particular the Cremorne Estate (named after the historical Cremorne Gardens, which once stood on that site). This was followed, in the 1970s, by the red brick towers of the World's End estate which swept away many Victorian terraced houses.

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Transport

The nearest tube station to the World's End area is Fulham Broadway, however this is a 10-15 minute walk away. Sloane Square is easily accessible via the many and frequent buses which serve the Kings Road route.

References

  • Bignell, John. (Ed.) (1978). Chelsea seen from 1860 to 1980: A collection of photographs old and new pp. 96–99. Studio B. ISBN 0-9506228-0-X
  • Gullick, John (Ed.). (1975). A place called Chelsea pp. 106–109. City Journals Ltd. ISBN 0-9504471-0-2
  • Wheal, Donald James. (2005). World's End: A memoir of a Blitz childhood. Arrow Books. ISBN 1-84413-682-5

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