Supplement to the - ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS - May 31- 1879

Beaconsfield Buildings - Strouds Vale - Bingfield street - off the Caledonian road - Kings Cross  (later known as the N.1. Postal district of Islington) 

                                           'The Beaconsfield Buildings'

                                                   'A' & 'B' Blocks

looking from the south side of Randells Road (with your back to the Board School)  as it bends south to junction with Bingfield St.                                       


                 Observe the Gates - No Entry after 10.00pm - for ANYONE

   N.B   'the board school' -  most residents remember it as the 'Kay Kards' factory. - BUT - why did the building have a weather vain on a tower?  What were the flight of stone steps up to the very large double doors on the building (opposite Robbo's)? - whats your view? - what do you remember about the building you passed 3 or 4 times a day? 






    VICTORIA DWELLINGS ASSOCIATION LIMITED, 9, Victoria-chambers, Westminster Abbey, SW.  Subscription: Shares  10 each, fully paid up. Object: The association was inaugurated at Battersea by the Prime Minister June 23rd, 1877, to provide healthy and comfortable homes for the labouring classes. The dwellings erected by the association are situate in the Battersea-park-road, and at Stroud-vale, King's-cross.     



      So - It looks like the Artizans' & General Labourers' Dwellings Company actually built the first phase of  Beaconsfield Buildings.

       Are we looking at a piece of victorian political 'spin' here?  The American philanthropist Peabody (Appalled at the slum conditions he found when visiting London) was already at the forefront of building affordable 'Model' dwellings for the working classes. Along with other  Religious / Trade Union / Charity led Dwelling Associations. Was he stealing the Limelight from the government of the day?

Did they feel a 'Big Idea' was needed to boost flagging electorial support?  and highjack the work already done by the Artizans' & General Labourers' Dwellings Company to obtain a 'quick fix'?  Hence the Pictures splashed across the 'Illustrated' periodicals of the time, showing the 'great and the good' rallying round to provide for the less fortunate? and at the same time connecting the name of the Prime Minister - Beaconsfield - with royalty - Victoria.

Who knows?  But 'political' ideas soon get dropped when other matters become pressing. Which might explain why, when Peabody, Sicket, Guiness, Lewis and other Trusts were still feeling the need to continue providing affordable accommodation, Beaconsfield Buildings were quietley sold off to private landlords.

What do you think  -  Its your website - Lets here from you.