Readers may remember our quiet love or Anglers Lane, the curving bacstreet leading south-west from Nando’s which, in Victorian times, was the haunt of fishermen.
An imposing (and now scrubbed-up) building, once the excellently-named Claudius Ash & Co (Manufacturers of False Teeth), dominates much of the street. Look closely as it’s generally considered an outstanding example of Victorian industrial architecture: note the gabled facade in red brick with terracotta bands, and “sculptural decoration beneath the eaves.”
Claudius Ash was a silversmith who made false teeth from precious metals (for the wealthy, of course) at a time when the alternative was using the teeth of corpses or skeletons.
By 1840 Ash had started to make “mineral teeth” – and it was this hot potato of a business that allowed expansion to Anglers Lane, soon becoming the largest false-teeth factory in Europe.
By 1915, the company was a worldwide presence in 24 cities -and its solely (unmarried) female staff considered it a prestigious place to work.
It only moved away from Kentish Town in 1965 – and the building then served a variety of purposes as offices and studios, most notably perhaps the War Child charity and Brook Lapping, the internationally acclaimed documentary production company.
Now? Flats, of course.
Article updated Oct 2017