Elm Bank appeal

Most people who live at Elm Bank Mansions find it hard to leave. Many are drawn by the central location and village setting; others by the friendly atmosphere and period style. Before long, though, what holds most is simply the river, ever present as a surge of colour and light. Whether you’re rushing down the stairwells, waiting for a bus, or returning home in the dark, the silvery water and chattering geese cast a welcome spell that’s hard to beat.

Aside from its Thameside location, Elm Bank Mansions offers varied attractions, not least its communal gardens and roomy hallways, alongside the comforts and security of a well-run mansion block. To help everyone enjoy the communal facilities to the full, the visual A–Z here covers the basics, from bike storage to fire escapes.


Yellow subs, royal barges, shepherd's delight..?

It’s surprising what you can see when you look out of your window at EBM. Like most flats of the era, they were designed with scenic views from all main windows. Many still look out on the tidal Thames with its seasonal waders and colourful river traffic. For varied and sometimes curious views, check the gallery and send in your own info@elmbankmansions.org.


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Bike storage

Cycles can be stored in lockable racks. For access, please contact the porter at porter@elmbankmansions.com

Building works

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Changes to your flat?

If you plan any structural alterations to your flat, you should first check with the managing agents Michael Richards (MR) for formal consent. You are, in fact, legally obliged to do so, under the terms of your lease, in order to ensure the structural integrity of the building.

Contractors’ rules and hours are posted under members/workshub.

Car parking

Parking slots

Garage owners park in the yard garages (see slider here).

Other residents can park in the street bays.

Contractors should also park in the street bays but, if there’s no space during urgent works, ask the porter for a temporary slot in the yard.

At all other times, the yard should be kept clear for emergency/EBML utilities vehicles.


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If you plan to light a fire...

First ensure that your flues are lined in gas-tight steel to prevent escape of toxic carbon monoxide > see LINED FLUES, SAFE FLUES here, alongside the emergencies page.

Emergency stairs

Escape route

The central stairwells lead directly to the five top-floor emergency roof exits (see slider below).

As a matter of safety, it is vital to keep the stairwells free of clutter at all times. Bikes, prams, boots and mats pose trip hazards, and impede swift passage during an emergency. Rubbish must only be left out between 6am and 10am Mon to Fri as it acts as fuel if there was a fire.


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Before lighting a fire, ensure that your chimney flue is lined in gas-tight steel.

The silent killer carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly toxic gas that can escape from poorly lined flues or unsafe gas and solid fuel appliances. Long-term exposure to CO can cause brain damage, paralysis and even death. Since CO cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, the best defence is an audible detector, along with an annual check of your chimney flues and gas appliances by a Gas Safe Engineer. For full guidelines, see the emergencies page.

Fire exit

Top-floor fire exit

In an emergency, you should leave by the stairs and front door. If your exit down is blocked then the roof exit can be reached at the top of each block. Climb the central stairs to the 4th floor, then push open the fire exit door on to the rooftop (see slider here). From the roof you can find an exit down through another stairwell. For guidelines during a fire, see the emergencies page.

Outside emergencies, though, the rooftop is restricted to authorised people only, as footfall can disturb top-floor flats.


Locker list

Around 15 storage lockers can be rented on an annual basis. They come up rarely but, if you’d like one, please contact the porter at porter@elmbankmansions.com to go on the first-come-first-serve waiting list.

Moving in, moving out

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Fees for moving

Whether moving in or out of Elm Bank Mansions inevitably there is wear and tear on the internal decorations. Over the years this has resulted in us having to spend money on repainting, plastering, carpet cleaning etc.

For this reason there is a nominal charge of £100 when moving either in or out of Elm Bank Mansions.

Effective as of 1st April 2022.


Quiet hours

Shut-eye 12pm–8am

As sound travels in old buildings, residents try to keep noise down at all times but especially between 12pm and 8am, when many people are sleeping. It is, in fact, a term of your lease to do so.

If you have wooden floors, tread softly with socks or crocs.



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Bin-bag collection 6am–10am

The porter picks up one bin bag per flat from outside flat doors between 6am and 10am, Monday to Friday. Please don’t leave bags out at any other times, as they look unsightly and can attract moths and vermin and are a fire hazard.

Black or clear bags?
Black bags for general waste.
Clear bags for either:
(1) mixed paper-card; or
(2) mixed plastics-glass-tins.

Missed collection?

If you miss a collection, you could take your bags down to the trellis bin store at the end of the driveway (see slider here).


Satellite TV

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Communal dishes

Rooftop satellite TV dishes enable each flat to be connected to Virgin Cable services. If you’d like a connection, you should contact Virgin Media directly to set it up in your flat. Please note, though, that individual dishes should not be affixed to any part of the building.

Window boxes?

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A potential hazard

Delightful though they look, window boxes and pots pose potential hazards when left out on window sills. If they fall, they can cause harm, as well as damaging brickwork and paint, so please don’t leave any boxes or pots outside.


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Remember to deadlock your flat door.

To pre-empt thieves:

• CLOSE the communal door.

• DEADLOCK your flat door with a deadbolt key, as well as a latch key.

• LOCK your windows.

• LISTEN OUT for odd sounds.

• NEVER BUZZ anyone up unless you’re sure they’re bona fide.

• REINFORCE your door frame with the London Strip/Birmingham Bar.

• REPORT anything suspicious to the managing agent, porter and police.

Window gardens


From top to bottom: key: © Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay; flowers:  © Derek Courlthard/ebm; remainder: ©bcw private collection. All rights reserved.

Thanks to Derek and David for providing a year-round show of seasonal colour, seen from many windows.

© Copyright 2019, Elm Bank Mansions Ltd. All rights reserved.