The north side of Hatfield Road, when first laid out, was a mix of small houses and then increasingly shops. Living accommodation for the shop owners was in the form of an upstairs flat; house occupiers had a tiny front garden, and both groups enjoyed a small private rear garden.
In time the rear gardens were lost to rear extensions, preparation buildings and stores. Where possible vehicle access was squeezed in from the side roads. Even in a nearby residential road a corner property owner has foregone a rear garden in favour of building three accommodations. Recently, it was revealed that a property in Hatfield Road undergoing alterations was about to add a similar number of one bed accommodations on the first floor, shoe-horned into space too awkward and inadequate for the purpose. And our residential districts are littered with examples of a jarring streetscape created through unsympathetic and over-sized extensions intended to overfill the plot.
|A variety of well-proportioned homes form a backdrop to the open spaces of Clarence Park.|
|A Percival Blow designed house in Clarence Road.|
While most of Blow's residential buildings were substantial in size and on good-sized plots, it appears that the architect was as concerned about how the proposed dwelling would sit in the street scene, and so space was as important as the physical structure.
One suspects that if Blow had been called back to add something to one of his houses he would have given it the same meticulous attention as the original, and would know the limit of what was aesthetically possible on any plot.
|Elements of the previous building on the site are captured in the red brick|
Rats' Castle public house in Fleetville, designed by Percival Cherry Blow.