Living in a Mews
Spear Mews is an original and surviving Mews located between the Earl’s Court Road and Templeton Place. The properties date from around 1870 and have typical Mews histories. The Mews’ original inhabitants included farriers and livery staff. These residents disappeared long before the swinging sixties made Mews properties fashionable residences for bohemian types. They too have now mellowed or made way for financial service supremoes and other white collar executives.
No. 15 Spear Mews enjoyed the company of the Bee Gees in the late 1960’s, although this has not been officially commemorated.
It is now in the proud ownership of retired oil industry executive John Walker who is researching its celebrity connection with a view to having a plaque erected to register the unique connection with one of Britain’s most popular and successful groups.
John purchased 15 Spear Mews in 1999, but he did not get to live there until 2003 when he took early retirement and returned from Singapore.
The property was refurbished in 1996 when an additional floor was added. Not content with the previous developers’ refurbishments John undertook his own alterations, including gentle remodelling of the exterior and more substantial internal works. The formerly three bedroom Mews is now a more sumptuous two bedroom Mews complete with its own wine cellar.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to living in a Mews and whilst accepting the disadvantages, which include unwanted cabs and delivery drivers using the Mews as a rat run, John considers it a very fine place to live and revels in the sense of community there. Indeed, over the last few years this community feeling has been nurtured and expressed in the annual June street party which this year will be shared with Her Majesty on her ninetieth birthday.
The Mews is occupied by people originating from at least ten nationalities. John celebrates this multicultural aspect by displaying his own flag collection both from the roof of his Mews and occasionally adorning the whole Mews.
Remarkably there seems to have been little full scale re-development undertaken in this Mews although recently one of the properties was altered without the necessary statutory consents and this is now subject to enforcement action to have the original layout reinstated.
John clearly enjoys living in a Mews. He comments that whilst the Mews were originally built to serve the main houses of Nevern Place and Trebovir Road those properties are now largely divided into flats and the Mews are no longer their poor cousins.
Everchanging and adaptable are the Mews – this certainly applies to Spear Mews.