Sunday, 1 May 2011

Surbiton: the good stuff

A couple of posts back I was up a Surbiton side street looking at the nice houses and nasty (and less nasty) flats. Round the corner is one of the main streets, Claremont Road, and very satisfying it is too to walk along from Adelaide Road towards Surbiton Station (itself a classic -- I see I haven’t done a blog on it and I must). Satisfying because interesting in its variety and some of the buildings are good.

First, welcome to our wheelie bins but behind it is the sort of substantial house that was built when Surbiton started to be a commuter suburb with the coming of the railway (which nearby Kingston, the obvious town for it, was too snooty to admit -- to its great disadvantage ever since: it’s stuck on a slow branch line and we’ve got all the fast trains and loads of them.)

 Then this:

And -- a bit of a comedown:

But this I think is a gem:

Pity we then pass on to this, though I suppose it could be worse:

Surbiton doesn't have much more of that stylish 1930s architecture, still less good post-war, but plenty more 19th century villas.  It's been saved from ruination by having the Kingston By-pass (another 1930s wonder) nearby, so there's little through traffic necessitating road widening, one-ways, counterflows, giratories and all that.  It's a backwater with a great, well-served railway station -- about which more one day.

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