Plaque (lost): James Selby
Erection date: 14/12/1938
To the memory of James Selby (Jim) a famous stage coachman (born 1844, died 1888) who lived here.
On July 13th 1888, he established a record by driving “The Old Times” coach from The White Horse Cellars, Piccadilly, to the “Old Ship” at Brighton and back, 108 miles in 7 hours 50 minutes, changing horses 13 times on the road.
This tablet was presented by Bertram W. Mills, J. Roy Lancaster and Edward P. Watts
and was unveiled by Bernard N. Mills.
14 December 1938.
Bertram Mills had died 8 months before the plaque was unveiled. The Winnipeg Tribune of 7 January the following year contains a vivid description of the unveiling, in the 50th anniversary year.
Site: James Selby (1 memorial)
NW1, Edgware Road, 7
Our street picture is from the British Pathe news film of the unveiling and shows the carriage of coaching enthusiasts arriving for the unveiling. Annoyingly the film does not show the building on which the plaque is erected, other than a few feet around the plaque. Assuming that the street has not been renumbered since the unveiling we believe the plaque was where we have placed the pin on our map. The 1957 building now at the location is a post-war bomb site extension to the Victory Service Club in Seymour Street.
This area, to the west of Edgware Road, was first developed as the fashionable suburb of Tyburnia, 1800-30. So in 1888 we think 7 Edgware Road, Selby's home, was probably one in a terrace of Georgian housing. However, in the film of the 1938 unveiling what one does see of the building to which the plaque is attached does not look like a Georgian terraced house, more like a circa 1900 commerical building; one which only 2 or 3 years after this ceremony would itself be bombed out of existence.
We thank Jamie Davis for finding this link to the British Pathe news film of the unveiling, and for telling us about it.
In case anyone is interested: The Victory Service Club was formed in 1907 to relieve the poverty of demobilised soldiers following the Boer War. Starting as the Veteran’s Club in Holborn it moved and changed its name a few times settling in Seymour Street in 1948 into Connaught House (1906, architect Durward Brown) which had been used by the United States Armed Forces during the war. The Edgware Road extension was built in 1954-7 on a bomb-damaged site.