Friday, 29 April 2011

Arnold Leese House

The property that was once the home of Arnold Leese and later Colin Jordan is up for sale. The house in Princedale Road, Notting Hill, West London is the one with the red door. It is being advertised at just over £2million.

Arnold Leese founded The Imperial Fascist League in 1929 and launched its official organ The Fascist that same year. For a short time the property in Princedale Road was known as Arnold Leese House. The front of the property has been completely rebuilt, it once had a shop front like the house next door.

When Arnold Leese died in 1956, he left the property to Colin Jordan.

In 1957 Colin Jordan set up The White Defence League with Arnold Leese House as its headquarters.

This is how the property looked in 1958 with its original shop front

Colin Jordan, on the left, talks to a reporter

At the time Jordan set up The White Defence League, he was friendly with the Britons Publishing Society (founded in 1923 and a regular publisher of The Protocols) and both groups operated out of Arnold Leese House.

Because of this shared space with the Britons, the WDL was able to publish its own magazine, Black and White News, as soon as the group was founded. It reached a circulation of around 800 with a diet of anti-immigration rhetoric.


The WDL gained notoriety after members of the group were widely reported in the press as having taken part in the 1958 Notting Hill race riots. During that summer, the WDL held rallies through immigrant neighbourhoods on a nightly basis.  In 1959 the WDL began to cooperate with the National Labour Party, a group led by former League of Empire Loyalists John Bean and Andrew Fountaine, which was also active in Notting Hill. 

The WDL helped Bean's group with their election campaigns and the two groups held a joint rally in Trafalgar Square in May 1959.

Colin Jordan speaks in Trafalgar Square in May 1959

John Bean speaks in Trafalgar Square at the same event

Keep Britain White banner in Trafalgar Square 1959
Jordan, who had developed a network of international contacts through his newspaper, Black and White News, impressed both Bean and Andrew Fountaine, and in February 1960 the two groups fused to form the British National Party, which was also to be based at Arnold Leese House.

This early version of The British National Party operated from 1960 to 1967. It published a monthly newspaper called Combat.

Selling Combat in Trafalgar Square

A reprint of Combat No 10 Jan-Feb 1961, which is eight pages long, is currently available from: Steven Books

In the summer of 1962, Colin Jordan, John Tyndall and Savitri Devi (representing France) gathered at Arnold Leese House for a trip to the Cotswolds. At a weekend camp near Temple Guiting, George Lincoln Rockwell (head of the American Nazi Party) and Jordan hammered out the Cotswold Declaration, which led to the formation of the World Union of National Socialists.

Arnold Leese House has an association with The Imperial Fascist League, The Britons, The White Defence League, John Tyndall, Savitri Devi and the first manifestation of The British National Party. That's quite a history in nationalism.

The majority of images used in this report are stills from the website of British Pathe