Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Kenwood: entrance hall - photo mural.


John went off on the Beatles' first U.S. tour having given Ken Partridge a free hand to renovate Kenwood as he saw fit. He arrived home to find the house over-run with builders, but one thing that had been accomplished in his absence was the re-styling of the entrance hall, which included a large blow-up of one of the illustrations from In His Own Write - a droll (and, discounting the "rampling", prescient) comment by Partridge on what he felt the average evening at Kenwood would probably resemble: "Puffing and globbering they drugged themselves rampling or dancing with wild abdomen, stubbing in wild postumes amongst themselves". The idea was Partridge's, and John, who was very surprised to see it, spent some time quizzing Partridge as to how exactly it had been accomplished. (The illustration was made by photographing the image, blowing it up and then transferring it to material which was then affixed to the wall.)
Now, the question, as ever, is...where exactly was the illustration situated? As we have seen, the main wall in the hall was taken up by shelving filled with old books, and looking at the plan, there doesn't seem to be another wall big enough to house it. Sure enough, though, looking closely at the unaltered Partridge plan, the words "photo mural" are there, pointing to the selfsame large wall. So, this means that originally no shelving was there:


John must have removed (or at least covered) the illustration for some reason - possibly because he realised that it was really a sly dig at him! The book laden shelving came later - and in fact, John and Cynthia made many other alterations to Partridge's interior designs upon his departure. (The other feature in the hall was a suit of armour, the helmet of which opened to reveal a sign reading "Harry - Gone For Lunch".)
By 2006, both illustration and shelving were long gone, but the wall, having been stripped back and painted white, again housed a piece of art (of some kind):


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