- Maida Vale
The Grand Union Canal at Little Venice
Maida Vale shown within Greater London
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Maida Vale is a residential district in West London between St John's Wood and Kilburn. It is part of the City of Westminster. The area is mostly residential, and mainly affluent, consisting of many large late Victorian and Edwardian blocks of mansion flats. It is also home to the BBC Maida Vale Studios.
The Maida Vale area is usually regarded as being bounded by Maida Avenue and the Regent’s Canal in the South, Maida Vale road to the north east, Kilburn Park Road to the north west, and Shirland Road and Blomfield Road to the south west. The southern part of Maida Vale around Paddington Basin, a junction of two canals with many houseboats, is known as Little Venice. The area to the south-west of Maida Vale, at the southern end of Elgin Avenue, was historically known as "Maida Hill", and was a recognised postal district bounded by the Avenues on the west, the Grand Union Canal on the south, Maida Vale to the east and Kilburn Lane to the north. Parts of Maida Vale were also included within this. The name of "Maida Hill" has since fallen out of use, although has recently been resurrected through the new 414 bus route (which terminates on Shirland road and states its destination as Maida Hill), and a new street market on the Piazza at the junction of Elgin Avenue and Harrow Road.
Developed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in the early 19th century as middle class housing, Maida Vale took its name from a public house named after John Stuart, Count of Maida, which opened on the Edgware Road soon after the Battle of Maida, 1806.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Maida Vale was a predominantly Jewish district, and Lauderdale Road in Central Maida Vale contains the 1896 Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue (a Grade II listed building) and headquarters of the British Sephardi community. The actor Alec Guinness was born in this road. The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, lived within sight of this synagogue on Warrington Crescent, and the pioneer of modern computing, Alan Turing, was born a few hundred yards further down this same road.
Maida Vale is home to some of BBC network radio's recording and broadcast studios. The building is in fact one of the BBC's earliest premises, pre-dating Broadcasting House, and was the centre of the BBC radio news service during the second world war.
Maida Avenue, Warwick Crescent and Blomfield Road, the streets in the south of Maida Vale overlooking Browning's Pool including the section of Randolph Avenue south of Clifton Gardens are known as Little Venice. The name is believed to have been coined by the English poet Robert Browning. who lived here from 1862 to 1887. Browning's Pool is named after the poet, and is the junction of Regent's Canal and the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal.
South Maida Vale is one of London's prime residential areas, and it is also known for its shops and restaurants, as well as the Canal Cafe Theatre, the Puppet Theatre Barge, the Waterside Café and the Warwick Castle pub. A regular waterbus service operates from Little Venice eastwards around Regent's Park, calling at London Zoo and on towards Camden Town. Since 1983 the Inland Waterways Association has hosted the Canalway Cavalcade in Little Venice 
Central Maida Vale
Central Maida Vale is characterised by its wide tree-lined avenues, large communal gardens and red-brick mansion blocks from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. The first mansion blocks were completed in 1897, with the arrival of the identically-designed Lauderdale Mansions South, Lauderdale Mansions West and Lauderdale Mansions East in Lauderdale Road. Others quickly followed in neighbouring streets: Elgin Mansions (Elgin Avenue) and Leith Mansions (Grantully Road) in 1900, Ashworth Mansions (Elgin Avenue and Grantully Road) and Castellain Mansions (Castellain Road) in 1902, Elgin Court (Elgin Avenue) and Carlton Mansions (Randolph Avenue) in 1902, and Delaware Mansions (Delaware Road) and Biddulph Mansions (Elgin Avenue and Biddulph Road) in 1907.
Blue Plaques in Maida Vale
- Edward Ardizzone (1900–1979), artist, has an English Heritage blue plaque in his honour at 130 Elgin Avenue. This is where he lived and worked from 1920 to 1972.
- Alan Turing (1912–1954), code breaker and pioneer of computer science was born at 2 Warrington Crescent.
- William Friese-Greene (1855–1921), pioneer of cinematography, developed a camera that took a sequence of pictures on a roll of perforated film moving behind a shutter, lived at 136 Maida Vale from 1888-1891. He later shot the world’s first movie film at his Maida Vale home.
- Ambrose Fleming, (1849–1945), English electrical engineer and physicist, and inventor of the wireless valve, at 9 Clifton Gardens.
- David Ben-Gurion, (1886–1973), the first Prime Minister of Israel, at 75 Warrington Crescent.
- Andreas Kalvos, (1792–1869), Greek writer, at 182 Sutherland Avenue.
Other notable residents
- John Lawrence Toole (1830–1906), English comic actor lived at 44 Maida Vale.
- John Masefield (1878–1967), novelist, playwright and Poet Laureate from 1930 to his death, wrote his famous poem The Everlasting Mercy while living at 30 Maida Avenue.
- Sir Alec Guinness (1914–2000), Oscar-winning actor was born at 155 Lauderdale Mansions South, Lauderdale Road. His most well-known feature film roles included Fagin in Oliver Twist, Sidney Stratton in The Man in the White Suit, Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai, George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- John Inman (1935–2007), the actor best known for his role as Mr. Humphries in Are You Being Served?, the British sitcom in the 1970s and 1980s, lived in a mews house in Little Venice for 30 years
- Stephen Potter (1900–1969), humorist and author of the cult book ‘The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship; or the Art of Winning Games without Actually Cheating’, lived at 23 Maida Vale in the 1960s.
- Vera Brittain, writer, lived at 11 Wymering Mansions, Wymering Road
- Nancy Mitford (1904–1973) co-author of ‘Noblesse Oblige: an enquiry into the identifiable characteristics of the English aristocracy’ which coined the terms ‘U’ and ‘non-U’, lived at 13 Blomfield Road in the 1930s.
- Actress Joan Collins grew up in Maida Vale.
- Mark Turner (Players Please/Kic Pimpz) recorded several early works at Club 131, Randloph Avenue.
- Robert Smith (1986–Present) front of alternative rock band The Cure
- David Gilmour of Pink Floyd formerly lived there.
- Ruth Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, the English crime novelist lives there.
- Jennifer Saunders the British actress lived here.
- Jarvis Cocker of Pulp lived here in 1997
- Paul Weller of the Jam and the Style Council
- Björk, Icelandic singer
- Davile Matellán, Israel Leal, Aksel, of Spanish pop-rock band Magnética.
- Joe Strummer of Punk rock band The Clash formerly lived there
- Mary Hopkin the Welsh pop singer of "Those Were the Days" fame, formerly lived there.
- Delia Derbyshire lived in Clifton Villas during her time with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
- Kate Moss, international fashion model and designer.
- Mary Portas, Retail adviser, journalist and television presenter
- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, model and actress.
- Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Irish Actor
- Steve McFadden, Actor in Eastenders was born and raised in the Maida Vale area.
- Neuromancer, Fifa 11 No 1 UK ranked player
- Ben Miller, comedian and actor
Notable local events
- ^ BBC Radio Resources - Locations - Maida Vale
- ^ List of Postal Districts
- ^ Transport for London
- ^ Harrow Road Local Area Renewal Partnership
- ^ Paddington - Maida Vale | British History Online
- ^ Maida Vale History
- ^ "English heritage Blue Plaques- David Ben-Gurion"
- ^ "English heritage Blue Plaques- Alan Turing"
- ^ Browning's Pool
- ^ Little Venice Music Festival
- ^ 
- ^ Dial 'M' for Maida Vale by Kevin O'Sullivan
- ^ Obituary, The Times, 9 March 2007
- ^ ‘St John’s Wood and Maida Vale Past’ by Richard Tames
- ^ Jarvis Cocker Interview
- ^ 'Sculptress of Sound: The Lost Works of Delia Derbyshire'; Archive on 4; BBC Radio 4, 8:00pm Saturday 27th March 2010
- ^ "My Perfect Weekend: Ben Miller". The Daily Telegraph. 2 October 2009. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/my-perfect-weekend/6248057/My-Perfect-Weekend-Ben-Miller.html. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
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