Honorary Felloship – Horror in our house – First sound


THANKS beautiful Royal Holloway College for awarding me my honorary fellowship. It was a lovely day and I feel very honoured. Royal Holloway – all in the cause of bringing Victorian stereoscopy into the 21st century. My brilliant archivist and co-author Denis Pellerin was awarded an honorary degree which makes me very proud.

After a nice day at The Royal Holloway College, we came back to horror in our house.

Brian May: Horror in our house – 12 July 2021

The whole bottom floor had been inundated with a sewage overflow – which has covered our carpets, rugs and all kinds of precious (to us) things in a stinking sludge. It’s disgusting, and actually quite heartbreaking. It feels like we were have been invaded, desecrated.

Anita had a lifetime of memorabilia on the floor of our basement – and most of it is sodden and ruined.

I had rescued all my most treasured childhood photo albums and scrapbooks from my studio house ,because it was threatened with a forest fire some months ago. Where did I put it all for safety ? In the basement here in Kensington. Irony. Today it turned into a sodden mess. I’m devastated – this stuff is only ‘things’ – but it feels like Back to the Future when the photograph fades – feels like a lot of my past has been wiped out. I’m angry. Historically, for 150 years, Kensington has never flooded due to rainwater.

Why did this happen ? It’s almost certainly the result of all the basement building that has been plaguing this area for the past 10 years. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council was warned years ago that sinking so many deep basement extensions would obstruct the aquifers underneath our living space and render the drainage system ineffective.

This devastation is a direct result of the infamous RBKC allowing the ruination of our quality of life. These are the same people who scandalously allowed the wrong cladding to be put on Greenfell Tower leading to the loss of so many lives. The same people who allowed a vast area at the end of Kensington High Street historic buildings, to allow the building of the – 1, Palace Gate monstrosity by developers – in spite of almost the whole population of Kensington objecting. The same council that has allowed selfish basement building bastards to ruin the lives of residents for endless years with the noise, pollution and destruction of our habitat by purely speculative basement construction. The RBKC have been called one of the most corrupt and negligent borough councils in England. I hold them responsible for all the misery that is going on in my neighbourhood tonight. It’s time they were held to account.


Rachel Johnson tweet

I have no idea who Rachel Johnson is – but someone should tell her (on Twitter) that if she’s gonna be a clever tweet she needs to get her facts straight. I have never had a double basement, or even a single one. I have a lower ground floor which came with the house. If that needs explanation, it sits about half a floor below street level, while the upper ground floor sits just above it. That’s the way these houses were designed in the last century.

In contrast, many of the basements ADDED over the last few years project two or even three stories into the ground and cause severe disruption to the water table and the area’s ability to drain surface water. I would NEVER put my neighbours through the four-year Hell of adding a basement as an extension to an existing property. People who do this are a menace to decent residents. Kensington has been wrecked by the RBKC’s policy of allowing these works to compromise our quality of life.

If you want to do some good in the world, Ms Johnson, why don’t you redirect your smart comments towards the borough council.


Queen first album cover

Thanks Pola- and – yes – this was the first sound anyone heard when they put the shiny black vinyl disc on their turntable and hit the button – the first ‘hello’ from a band of young hopefuls – known as … QUEEN.

Wishing you lots of hope today, folks.