|Fitzjohn's Avenue rising to Hampstead.|
|The same scene today.|
The postcard shows a water trough in the foreground for horses about to make the climb. And to the left there is a fountain under a conical roof. Today the trough is gone and the fountain serves as an occasional flower stall.
|A winter's day.|
|To Florrie Sambrook c/o Lady Salt.|
|From Lucy at 3 Fitzjohn's Avenue.|
3 Fitzjjohns Avenue
I am afraid you will think I have quite forgotten your tie pattern, but hope to send it the end of the week, been so very busy.
Goodbye Love to all.
This message on the back of a postcard is almost all we know about Lucy. She is in service at 3 Fitzjohn's Avenue; in what little spare time she has she is working on a pattern borrowed from her friend Florrie who also is in service but far away in Staffordshire. 'Love to all' suggests that Lucy knows not only Florrie but others there. It is tempting to think that they 'all' know each other from Staffordshire, that they all come from there, but as we shall see they probably first knew each other not in Staffordshire but in London.
|Isaac Lewis, diamond merchant and financier.|
At some point before 1916 Lewis sold 3 Fitzjohn's Avenue to August Ries, a banker born in Wurtemberg and a British citizen. Ries was a partner of L Hirsch & Co, a firm that made its money from South African gold mines and British coal mines. Ries and Lewis must have known one another through their business affairs: the London business addresses of Lewis and Ries were the same, Warnford Court, Throgmorton Street.
But I do not know when Lewis sold 3 Fitzjohn's Avenue to Ries. Was it before or after Lucy sent her postcard in 1907? Whatever the date and whether her employer was Lewis or Ries, Lucy was working for an extremely wealthy man with business dealings in South Africa, England and on the Continent.
|c/o Lady Salt|
|Lady Salt at Walton on the Hill|
Then in 1921 August Ries sold 3 Fitzjohn's Avenue to Philip de Laszlo, the society painter who lived there and used it as his studio. De Laszlo was born into humble circumstances in Budapest but his ability as an artist got him a long way, including marrying Lucy Guinness of the banking branch of the Guinness family.
|Philip de Laszlo's self portrait; he married a banker's daughter.|
|De Laszlo's portrait of the then Duchess of York, mother of Queen Elizabeth II.|
|The home of Isaac Lewis, August Ries and Philip de Laszlo.|
A blue plaque identifies the house as that of Philip de Laszlo.
|A blue plaque honouring Philip de Laszlo at 3 Fitzjohn's Avneue.|
Lucy and Florrie are remembered by their postcard.
|The old fountain turned flower stall. Beyond it is the Territorial Army centre and beyond that is the house where Lucy wrote her postcard to Florrie.|