I live in a small flat in Hanson Street which used to be called Savile Street, and before that it was called Ogle Street. But that’s another story.
Built around 1900, the red brick building where I live is quite handsome in a Dutch sort of a way. It must have replaced several houses in a typical London Georgian terrace. Some of the Georgian houses still survive. At some stage I think a back extension was added, and later the layout of the flats may have been altered. I suspect that originally there were no internal toilets.
There have been few changes to the outside of the building since the Second World War. I know this because I saw a photo of a VE day street party in Hanson Street in Fitzrovia News. The rather grand railings have survived more less intact. They were made by F. Bird & Co in East Castle Street which is now better known for art galleries.
When I moved into my flat in 2011 (over four years ago) I knew that there was plan to refurbish the building. It certainly needed it. Paint was peeling off the front door, the staircase had holes in the wall where the banisters had been removed. One of my neighbours told me her windows are rotting. My share of the costs would be around £6,000. It seemed a lot, but I thought it would be worth it in the end.