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Sir John Soane bought Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, in 1800, replacing much of the existing building in 1801-3. The figures topping the four grand Ionic columns of the facade are of Coade stone; Soane is known to have ordered more than three dozen Coade caryatids, also using them on his home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields (see Camden). There is more Coade ornament inside the Manor, whose Victorian wing is now a museum, the PM Gallery; it holds a large collection of pottery by the Martin Brothers, who moved their works from Fulham to Southall in 1877. The collection includes a Martinware fire surround (1891) designed by the architect William Aitken Berry, and the upper part of an elaborate fountain designed and made by Robert Wallace Martin in 1901-6 which was originally located in Southall Park.
Also on Mattock Lane is the Questors Theatre, part of its facade comprising the faience fascia saved from the demolished Walpole Picture Theatre (1912, architect John Stanley Beard), which stood in Ealing’s Bond Street. Beard designed several other cinemas with eccentric faience facades including the Forum Cinema (1934, now UGC Cinema) just north on New Broadway (part of Uxbridge Road), which has an impressive colonnaded faience frontage by Shaws of Darwen. The building is due to be redeveloped as a sixteen-screen cinema opening in 2006; its facade is to be retained.
Half a mile east along Uxbridge Road, opposite Ealing Common underground station (at 2 The Bridge) is Mo’s Fisheries. Its splendid interior, dating from the early 1900s and complete with marble display fittings, has six hand-painted tile panels, four of fish and game birds, the others showing Calais Harbour and the Royal Yacht Britannia. The latter pair are marked Malkin Tile Works Co Ltd, but designs for the fish and bird panels, some by the artist Albert H. Wright, are held in the Minton archives. It appears that Wright was a freelance who sold his work to several manufacturers.
St Aidan’s R. C. Church (1958-61, architect John Newton), stands amidst an interwar shopping parade on Old Oak Common Lane, south-west of East Acton tube station. Its fine collection of contemporary furnishings includes ceramic reliefs of angels and a dove (representing the Holy Ghost) by Adam Kossowski on the baptistery wall.
The dark green faience facade of the Forester PH (1909), Leighton Road, is typical of the style of its architect T. H. Nowell Parr (see Hounslow).
The white concrete and glass facade of the art deco Hoover Factory (1931-5, architects Wallis, Gilbert & Partners), Western Avenue, is enlivened by Carter’s tiling in brilliantly coloured strips. Supposedly Egyptianate in style, it was the fanciest in the series of Wallis, Gilbert ‘Fancy Factories’ which included Firestone (1928), a few miles south on the Great West Road in Brentford; its partial demolition in 1980 aroused great protests. The rear of the Hoover Factory was rebuilt as a supermarket in 1992, and the front section serves as offices.
The exterior of the former Palace Cinema (1928-9, architect George Coles), South Road, is a Chinese fantasy with a pagoda-style pantiled roof, dragon finials, ornate ridge tiles and a multicoloured faience facade, the ceramics being supplied by the Hathern Station Brick & Terra Cotta Company. The Palace was converted to house an indoor market before being gutted by fire in 1998; after complete restoration, it reopened as the Himalaya Palace Cinema in 2001.
Twelve of the Carter’s tile panels (1934) from the children’s ward of Ealing’s King Edward Memorial Hospital have been restored and re-sited at Ealing Hospital, Uxbridge Road, on the eastern fringe of Southall. The panels, most of which depict nursery rhymes, were decorated by Phyllis Butler, senior paintresss at Carter’s during 1927-72, and fired four times to provide the required detailing.
1.^ Alison Kelly, Mrs Coade's Stone (Self Publishing Association, Upton-upon-Severn, 1990).
2.^ Robert Walker, 'Finding Mr Wright', Glazed Expressions, (1986) 13, pp4-5.
3.^ Adam Kossowski: Murals and Paintings, (Armelle Press, London, 1990).
4.^ Joan S. Skinner, Form and Fancy: Factories and Factory Buildings by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners, 1916-1939 (Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 1997).
5.^ Modern Practice in Architectural Terra Cotta, (Hathern Station Brick & Terra Cotta Co Ltd, Loughborough, 1930).
6.^ John Greene, Brightening the Long Days (Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society, 1987).
The Tile Gazetteer is Copyright © 2005 Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society and Lynn Pearson, Richard Dennis.