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Welcome to Du Cane Court, Balham. The purpose of this site is to provide email addresses for residents of Du Cane Court and a space to exchange information.
There are also two Facebook groups the more active being a closed group with approval required. Du Cane Court and Du Cane Court is groovy.
Find out what services are available and how to request an email address @ducanecourt.com.

If you are looking for information about the block management or other information you should contact the Estate Office (ARIM) directly on 020 8675 7046. Further contact information available via ARMA.
Information about Du Cane Court Book Club (DCBC) is available by joining the Du Cane Court Facebook group.

You can find out more about the history on the site and residents are welcome to share their own history and photographs of Du Cane through the years. Described at the time as “a magnificent up to date building providing distinctive accommodation”, Du Cane Court Balham High Road, was built in 1937 and completed in just one year. Although the sales and rental information at the time stated that the development was ready for occupation from June 1936. With around 676 flats under one roof it is thought to be the largest private block in Europe and since then a number of additional apartments have been added to what were previously communal spaces such as the seventh-floor restaurant. If you were inspired by the V&A’s recent Art Deco exhibition, this is certainly the place to live. The block’s design is a classic of the genre, with vast pillars in its reception. Residents benefit from the services of a 24-hour security guard and reception, small communal gardens, a shop, as well as the prime location, two minutes from Balham Tube and rail station.

You can buy A History of Du Cane Court: Land, Architecture, People and Politics by Gregory Vincent in the reception of Du Cane Court, Balham High Road or from Balham Library or online from amazon.co.uk

Read more about Du Cane Court and if you are interested in the building, Art Deco Architecture or Balham local history then you may wish to purchase one of these items.



History

The name derives from the Du Cane family who were landowners in the eighteenth century and on whose land the building was constructed. It has mellowed gracefully over the years, its former grandeur now almost camouflaging neatly into Balham High Road – but not quite.

Central heating, constant hot water, water softener and a radio with a choice of two programmes were basic features. A large restaurant held regular dinner dances and the licensed club offered membership at 5/- per annum. A shop on the premises and helpful porters to assist with the luggage and the occasional repairs to electrical appliances meant it was not really necessary to leave the building at all.

Du Cane Court was used to house part of the civil service during the war, chosen for it’s quick and easy links into the city. Surprisingly it was never bombed despite the station and parts of Balham High Road becoming target practice. In 1940 Balham tube station was involved in bombing raids that led to 64 people who took cover in the tube station being killed when a bomb burst water and gas mains. This particular bomb was featured in Atonement, a 2001 novel by Ian McEwan which later was to become a film in 2007 starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightly. There is also a memorial artwork on Balham Station Road.
A new book is now available on the imposing art deco building in Balham, which was reckoned to be the largest block of privately owned flats under one roof in Europe when it was built. Many famous comedians and theatrical celebrities have been part of the community living at Du Cane including Tommy Trinder, Derek Roy, Margaret Rutherford, Elizabeth Sellars and Harry Leader.

You can buy A History of Du Cane Court: Land, Architecture, People and Politics by Gregory Vincent in the reception of Du Cane Court, Balham High Road or from Balham Library or online from amazon.co.uk

 




Design

Behind the mature trees and Japanese gardens laid out by Kusumoto, the famous landscape artist, lies an interior more akin to a cruise ship than a block of flats. The window design of the architect G. Kay Green ensured that each flat received maximum light although in recent years many are being replaced with newer double glazed windows in a similar style. Du Cane is such a good example of Art Deco Architecture that scenes from Agatha Christie’s Poirot were filmed in the building. You can see Du Cane Court at the opening of “The Plymouth Express, in which David Suchet appeared as the lead character Poirot. In the episode, Florence who was a daughter of a multimillionaire, Holliday, lived in the block. The entrance to Du Cane appeared when Florence’s husband was visiting her. Another Christie character Miss Marple is linked to Du Cane Court this time because the actress playing her, Dame Margaret Rutherford, lived in the block.

Available to purchase A History of Du Cane Court: Land, Architecture, People and Politics



Legend

The urban legend has it that Hitler had earmarked it as his HQ if his invasion was successful. It was rumoured that Hitler had placed spies here and that he also found the construction a useful landmark for his air crews. “it was turn left at Du Cane Court and then head home for Germany” Whether this was true or not, the flats were quite an innovation at the time.

Available to purchase A History of Du Cane Court: Land, Architecture, People and Politics
Search for more Balham: Local Interest Books


Books

A HISTORY OF DU CANE COURT: LAND, ARCHITECTURE, PEOPLE AND POLITICS

A book is available on an imposing ‘art deco’ building in Balham, Wandsworth, – which was alleged to be the largest block of privately owned flats under one roof in Europe when it was built. The book has a colourful cover composed of variegated ‘windows’ into the life and characters of the estate. It is 279 pages long, and includes 104 pages of black and white illustrations.

Buy it on Amazon, in Balham Library or any bookstore (by quoting ISBN 978095416751-6). The author may be contacted  at [email protected]

Download to an iPad or a Kindle e-reader, the e-book is also available on  Amazon.