As Hasi is away for the weekend I’m holding the blog fort today. I’m off shortly to The Leinster, one of my locals, to watch Eurovision with my friends. I’m sure it will be fun. Whenever I take any of my friends to the Lenny for the first time, I end up telling them about the fake house on that street. Well, it’s more of a fake facade.
When the first tube line opened in London 150 years ago, the tracks needed open ventilation for all the steam. In order to go west from Paddington they had to cut through some of the terraced houses. As it is a bit of a posh area, they didn’t want to create a big hole in the facade, so they dug everything out and then reconstructed the front in keeping with its neighbours. It’s basically just a wall that looks like the front of a house, very much like a stage setting.
I first read about in a magazine long long time ago, and even though it’s in my hood, it took me almost a year to find that house, well that wall. There wasn’t much written on it and me and my friends used to go on fake-house-spotting-duty trying to locate it. We finally did (it’s 23/24 Leinster Gardens in case you’d like to visit) and since then, every time I walk past (which is quite regularly, seeing that my local is just opposite) I feel a real sense of pride that I found it. Very silly, I know, but apparently there are not too many fake houses around.
Nerd alert: The legend goes that somebody early last century sold tickets to a charity ball that was to take place there. It was only when the guest starting arriving all suited and booted, that they realised it was just a wall (albeit a very lovely-looking one) and that the had been made a fool of. That’s one very naughty fraudster!
I’m gonna see that I take a pic of it tonight, but for now I leave you with an overview from googlemaps. By the way, when I started looking for it the fake house there wasn’t any googlemaps; we are talking 2002. Otherwise it wouldn’t have taken me that long to find it.
UPDATE: I took some pics.