Tuesday, 19 July 2016

12 Years of My Art Deco Childhood

That massive door - possibly oak - was at the foot of a broad central staircase that served all four flats which each had similar individual front doors.[ It was still there last time I looked in 2009.]
Although I was only three years old at the time, my memories are vivid.
The art deco architecture has stood the test of time and I guess it was built in 1935 and 244 Brixton Hill was my home on and off between 1940 and 1950
244 Brixton Hill

I had kindergarten friends in this more impressive block at Christchurch Court. They lived in a balcony flat on the curved facing at third floor level.

Later I had a girl friend who lived at The High in Streatham High Road SW16 ...

Each of these flats had bathrooms very similar to this reproduction ... the tiles on floor and walls,, the sink, toilet and mirror are typical although the bath was larger and more angular with a terrifying Ascot gas water heater hissing and roaring above it. Ours never had a bidet either.
This was an age when few homes had indoor toilets and many had to share one outdoor shack with several other families.
This is a rather glamorized version of a typical interior of the art deco period ... possibly from a movie set.

Affordable cameras had only just come onto the market in those late 1930's so there are very few contemporary interior photographs ... even on the internet ... but the deep chunky 'three piece suites', timber standard lamps,wall lights, electric fires built in to tiled surrounds ...amazingly modern kitchens with even a refrigerator and then a space saving ironing board that dropped down from inside a cupboard door are all from my indelible memory bank.

Despite these early childhood events happening in the midst of the Blitz of WW2, those buildings in Brixton  and Streatham survived the bombs and subsequent modernization plans.

All this recall is tiring ... where's my caffeine fix?

And what features of home will children of today recall in the years ahead?

All photos in today's post were scavenged from various internet searches.
I'm tempted to bang on about all the art deco cinemas and theatres I visited and the airfields I have flown from that had art-deco control towers ... but I guess you can find them on Google if you really wanted to?