My new hood, Earl’s Court is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is bordered by Chelsea, South Kensington, West Kensington, and Kensington. Freddie Mercury, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Alfred Hitchcock at one point called Earl’s Court home. Five hundred years ago, the area was mostly rural. However, the construction of the Metropolitan District Railway station in 1865-1869 changed the area for good. The twentieth century saw several different populations move into the neighborhood. After World War II, the area was nicknamed ‘The Danzig Corridor’ since a number of Polish immigrants moved into the area. The 1960s brought a wave of denizens from New Zealand and Australia giving rise to the nickname ‘Kangaroo Valley’. The nickname still lingers today, however many of them have moved further away from the center of London. There is a large Filipino British community in Earl’s Court Village. The area has quite a few Asian restaurants and Filipino supermarkets.
In addition to Mercury, Princess Diana, and Hitchcock, many other famous people lived in the area. Some of them include Howard Carter, the English Archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, Edwin Arnold, an English poet and journalist, Dame Ellen Terry, a Shakespearian stage actress, and Norman Lockyer, an English scientist and astronomer who discovered the gas helium. This isn’t a complete list but it gives you an idea.
For music fans, the coffee house, The Troubadour, has a small music venue and since the 1950s, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and others have performed there. In 2009, the cafe won the Best UK Cafe Award from Les Routiers UK.
I haven’t visited the addresses of all of these people and places yet, but I plan on tracking them down. As I do, I will share photos and what I learn. I’m excited to get to know London and my new neighborhood. This is an exciting place.