Golborne features

Going out



Community directory



Community First Funding

Millie Christian, Kelso Cochrane's niece, speaking at the opening of Kelso Cochrane House with Kelso's nephew Worrell Christian on her right.

New council homes named for Kelso Cochrane

May saw the official opening of a brand new block of Kensington and Chelsea Council flats on Golborne Ward's Kensal Road. The new building is called Kelso Cochrane House in memory of the man who was brutally murdered in 1959 in a racist attack on the junction of Golborne Road and Southam Street.

Born in Antigua in 1926, Kelso Cochrane arrived in England in 1954 and settled in Notting Hill, working as a carpenter. On May 13, 1959, Kelso had an accident at work that resulted in a broken thumb. After attending Paddington General Hospital on Harrow Road (closed in 1986), he was set upon by a group of white youths not long past midnight. One of them stabbed him in the chest, penetrating his heart, and then the gang ran off. An hour later Kelso died of his injury in St Charles Hospital.

Kelso's murder happened at a time of high tension after the Notting Hill Riots the previous year. The fascist and racist British Union Movement was active in the area and its leader, Oswald Moseley, stood as a candidate for Parliament in the 1959 general election in the Kensington North constituency. He came last at the polls with eight per cent of the vote.

Such was the local outrage at this appalling crime, some 1,200 joined the funeral procession as it made its way along Ladbroke Grove. As no one was ever charged with Kelso’s murder the fight for justice has continued to this day.

Kelso's niece Millie Christian and his nephew Worrell Christian both attended the official opening of Kelso Cochrane House. Millie spoke movingly at the opening, "The family are immensely grateful that the tragedy of Kelso’s death is finally being recognised. We are thankful to Kensington and Chelsea Council for approaching us to name this building in his memory so that Kelso can be remembered as part of the North Kensington community.

"We can only hope each and every time people come and go in this building, it will remind the community that we are all equal under the law. Had those who took Kelso's life recognised and treated him as equal, this terrible tragedy would not have occurred."

Kelso Cochrane House has 38 new homes - 28 for Council tenants and the rest for key workers. These are the first Council homes to be built in the borough for decades.

Councillor Sof McVeigh, Lead Member for New Homes, said, "It is completely right and fitting that Kelso’s name is attached to these new homes and I’m so pleased that Kelso’s family, who have remained steadfast in their fight for justice, were present to remember Kelso."