The Perils of Speculative Building
Speculative building so far out from the centre of Town was always a chancy business. George Pocock, a speculative builder and himself the son of a speculative builder, was active along the Edgware Road in the 1820s.
The family lived at No 2 Kilburn Priory and then moved to the larger No. 7, specially built by George Pocock for the family. It is now 136 Maida Vale, with a plaque on the house to a later resident, Wiliam Friese Greene, the pioneer of cinematography. George Pocock built around Greville Place, including No, 18 (formerly No. 6) which was built as a country house for his brother, who was a City merchant, the owner of St Bride's Wharf. George had a timber yard where large mahogany baulks were sawn into planks in a saw pit. His son John started a diary at the age of 12 and kept it up all his life. Part has been published as 'Travels of a London Schoolboy, 1826-1830'; and tells a fascinating story.
The family knew the Gurneys, who ran the stage coach along Edgware Road. Tom and Fred Gurney were John's friends and they stayed in each other's houses.
1 Travels of a London Schoolboy, Ed Tom Pocock, Historical Publications Ltd, 1996.