Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Camden Karma; Homes and Property

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Camden Karma; Homes and Property

Article excerpt


ROSALIND " R o s s " Savill, director of the Wallace Collection and author of the collection's three-volume Catalogue of Sevres Porcelain, has a worldwide reputation as a passionate conservationist - except at home in the north London terraced Victorian home she bought in 1974, where the original tiny rooms have long gone.

Light floods her white-walled, ground-floor living area from front sash window to rear patio doors. But with Ross's display of black and white china, the polished beech flooring and original staircase, nothing is lost of the period charm.

Ross bought the house with her brother for [pound]12,500, when he was studying medicine at University College Hospital, and she was manning the cash till in the V&A canteen; she later bought his share from him. "I just loved it here when we moved in, walking in the morning along the canal to the zoo to catch the bus to South Kensington. And I still adore it.'' Originally there was no bathroom and only a hut in the garden, housing the most basic of sanitary arrangements. "So I got one of those chemical loos from a camping shop in South Ken and dug a hole in the garden - and we took turns with the tin bath in front of the fire," she explains.

"I adore Regent's Park. I'm passionate about the gasometers down towards St Pancras, and driving past St Pancras old church is endlessly fascinating.

I loved watching Piers Gough building his glass house every night as I came home. I like change."

But probably the most profound catalyst was the birth, 10 years ago, of daughter Izzi, around whom Ross's life revolves when she is not at the centre of things at the Wallace.

"This road is wonderful for children; there's no through-traffic so they can lark about out there pretty safely," she says. …

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