please empty your brain below

You missed Weston Rise vent shaft on its corner with Pentonville Road. It was an access stairway to Weston Rise Signal Cabin on the Northern line during the line’s early years.

dg writes: I didn't miss it. I did miss it out.
I visited Joseph Grimaldi Park last year on a guided walk. Having heard his life story, we were encouraged to stamp on the underfoot bell panel, which many did with enthusiasm. Then the guide gave out lyric sheets and encouraged everyone to sing Grimaldi's theme song around his graveside. A truly strange moment.
I remember back in 1980 visiting the Scala building when it became home to a bizarre and short-lived venture called the Primatarium!
The Crafts Council building is well worth going inside. Even if you don't enjoy the current exhibition there is a very nice open access library. It also has very well kept colourful toilets (think Ettore Sottsas' Memphis).
As someone who regularly frequented the Scala on Fridays around 1999-early 2000s for the wonderful gay indie night Popstarz, I’m ashamed to say I knew little of its history. For anyone interested in its time as a left field cinema club I thoroughly recommend watching the documentary film released late last year; the tongue-twist titled, ‘Scala!!! Or, the Incredibly Strange Rise and Fall of the World's Wildest Cinema and How It Influenced a Mixed-up Generation of Weirdos and Misfits’. It offers such personal insights into what was an institution in the late eighties and early nineties.

Meanwhile, a far less trendy and far younger me would make my way to King’s Cross and up the Pentonville Road to visit a model railway shop whose name escapes me. It specialised in “continental” and American model trains but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called. I remember it being located on the left hand side of the road, if walking towards Angel, past the Scala and Thameslink station (on the opposite side). I can still see the counter at the back, two old guys (who probably weren’t that old at all) chatting behind the till, and shelves bursting with new and second-hand HO gauge delights bearing liveries as diverse as SNCF and Santa Fe. King’s Cross was such a different place then, even in daylight.
The Co-op Bank is alive and well and living in another agreeable building nearby on the corner of White Lion Street.

dg writes: see previous post.
London is an amazing place. And your illustrated descriptions of so many bits of it are invariably great. So many inventive schemes for choosing the bits, jam jars, geography, bus routes and many others. But this Monopoly Board scheme is turning out to be yet another really fruitful one.
Pentonville Rubber was a point of hilarity for me when, as a West Midlander, I first started seeing my (now) husband and passed by on a no 73 bus. The photo comes up in my FB memories every March.
I used to drive up Pentonville on my way to work. On one occasion, amid the mid-morning traffic, I came up behind a labouring cyclist, flesh bulging against the restraint of his clothes, a tell-tale spray of white hair escaping a lurid, undersized helmet strapped to his head. Boris still lived just the other side of the Angel at the time. In idle moments, I sometimes wonder how different the world would be if I’d sneezed and jogged the steering wheel. Involuntarily, of course.

Some time before this, I bought mattress foam from Pentonville Rubber. The two things are not connected. The other thing I associate with Pentonville Road is ticket checking (‘revenue protection’ I assume) squads at the bus stops near Grimaldi. Why they chose this location on a regular basis, I do not know. Perhaps to nab dodgers coming up from the mainline termini below.
The pub on the corner of Penton Street is the Lexington, currently one of Londons finest music venues, which compensates a bit for the Scala now being one of thw worst, expensive, crowded and heavy handed security.
As a teenager I would sometimes head up to London on my own and would frequently come out of the wrong exit of the Tube station, meaning a dash along the Pentonville Road to Kings Cross Thameslink. In the early 90s it was terrifying, especially for a sheltered teen, and I would make the dash with my head down avoiding the homeless people and junkies and prostitutes filling the pavements. As a consequence this is the first time I've ever heard of The Lighthouse, even though I must've been past it dozens of times.

Also, RIP Kings Cross Thameslink, I knew you well. I hope the mural on the wall linking the double arrow and the bullseye is preserved somewhere.
The Lighthouse's origins are a bit of a mystery, with a body of opinion that, in common with other such structures, it publicised an oyster bar at ground level . Whatever the truth, the recent restoration is welcome.

Enjoying this series.
Muntjac... The model railway shop was "Victors". Owned by Bernie Victor who took over his dad's record shop in Chapel Market round the back of the Angel before moving to Pentonville Road. He preferred selling model trains to records. One of those great model shops where the staff were a great source of knowledge and advice.

I too would visit there on trips to London in the early 80s, walking up from King's Cross, carefully avoiding the discarded needles on the pavement.

I've known Pentonville Road since childhood in the 1940s. I remember being particularly struck by a surgical appliance shop on the ground floor of the Lighthouse building. It had a frightening display of its stock in the window.

My, how things have changed over all those years.
And Bravington's, the huge jeweller's shop on the left, just before you get to the Scala, where I bought my wife's engagement ring, and subsequently our wedding rings.
And, IIRC, Mole Jazz record shop opposite.
And the specialist cabinet makers tool shop, roughly in the area of Pentonville Rubber.
My first London place of residence was just off Pentonville Road at James Lighthill House on Penton Rise. And yes, living on a gyratory is awful. It was also old and pretty much stuck in the early 90s. Lots of buses to campus though so can't really complain too much. Supermarkets not too far away at Angel and the Tesco opposite so that was that checked off too. Not that infrequently I'd see stories on Instagram from, let's just put it this way, less mature peers, who were particularly amused by Cumming Street on the west side of Joseph Grimaldi Park.

Appearances can be deceiving! Based on the amount of work that was going on at the now RNIB I thought it was some proper restoration going on.

Credit for the DoubleTree for having Angel first and foremost in its name, clarifying that it is not next to King's Cross (unlike the completely dishonest Crowne Plaza - King's Cross, which is actually by the Royal Mail distribution point at Mount Pleasant). The rooms aren't too bad and if in the right one you can get quite a good view of the skyscrapers towards Old Street.

jpmac, the section between KX and that stop is apparently the busiest section of the 73 according to TfL data! So a good place to do inspections it seems.
Some nostalgia here as back in the late 90s/early 2000s I often went to a sandwich shop in the same building as Scala and next door to Kings Cross Thameslink. All the pots would rattle when trains went underneath.

I worked on the railways based in The North so this was my first real introduction to London. I loved the thrill of stepping out of the station and all the buzz of London and that feel of excitement never left me no matter how many times I've since visited.
"Take the ring road to Bravingtons" said the numerous jeweller's adverts on the Underground. I think I'm right in saying it was opposite The Lighthouse where McDonalds now are.

The self storage building at the top of the hill was originally the long established Cattermoles Garage which lasted until around the late seventies/early eighties and was then a wall coverings warehouse for some years.

I seem to recall The Lexington used to be called something else but can't think what.
dg writes: Wikipedia
Wikipedia- that's a strange name for a pub; oh! I see.
My ageing memory must be a bit off kilter as 'The Belvedere' doesn't ring any bells either. I used to drink in there with the boys from Cattermoles opposite so it's certainly the pub that I'm thinking of.
dg writes: WhatPub
Pentonville Rubber - might just be the place I can get a bespoke waterproof cushion made for our raised planter bench seat! Thanks!
There used to be an Eastern National Bus Garage just opposite the Thameslink Station. Although the road entrance was in Northdown Street, there was a pedestrian entrance on Pentonville Road itself.

In the mid-1970’s, during the era of the ASLEF Rail disputes, I used to catch the 400 Express route there. It ran from Kings Cross to and from the Eastern National Bus Garage in London Road Southend, where Sainsburys now is.

The route was quite speedy covering the distance in a couple of hours. Drivers seem to quite enjoy opening up the engine as we sped along Eastern Avenue and the Southend Arterial Road.

The garage itself was pure “On the Buses” in its layout and atmosphere.
I used to work on this road, opposite the Ethiopian church.

Only factoid I'd have included is that the Castle is the pub where the Hatton Gardens Heist was planned by septuagenarians
The office market seems pretty strong on Pentonville Road!

Also the Ethiopian church also has quite a few services for evangelical congregations. I’ve got a feeling the Ethiopian Orthodox Church doing have Sunday services.
Interesting that a church built for one immigrant community is now used by another.
Compare [Welsh] with [Ethiopian]
In line with the area’s then rather seedy reputation, Ken Russell used the lighthouse building as the location for Harry Palmer’s office (he was an unsuccessful private eye) in the opening scenes of the 1967 “Billion Dollar Brain”, complete with a selection of sleazy-looking pin-ups on the wall. Funny what you notice as a teenager.
Baldrick: Victor's! That was it. I had a feeling it was a name and one word but I kept thinking of Jane's Trains in Tooting. I didn't know Bernie Victor's backstory, thank you. He certainly didn't mind a teenager spending a good hour looking through all the shelves and more often than not leaving without a purchase, though I remember buying a nice Corail carriage and a couple of second-hand items.
Muntjac: thank you for reminding me about the shop where I used to buy occasional copies of Trains ("The" magazine of railroading) imported from the United States, and;
Baldrick: thank you for reminding us of the shop name. I think I would have remembered it eventually but only when thinking of something else.
jpmac - There is a Transport for London building at Penton Street j/w Donegal Street. I don’t know if ticket checking staff are based there though

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