Posts Tagged ‘Bermondsey Abbey’

Bricklayers Arms, Page’s Walk and Birds of the World 1988

Sunday, August 7th, 2022

This is the first post about my walk in Bermondsey and other parts of south London on Novermber 13th 1988. My previous walk at the end of October ended with the post Around the Abbey in Bermondsey.

Rothsay St,  Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-41-Edit_2400
Rothsay St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-41

Bricklayers Arms, Page’s Walk and Birds of the World 1988

Rothsay Street is not far from the Bricklayers Arms roundabout on the New Kent Road to where I think I probably got a bus from Waterloo to start my walk.

This long block of council housing is still there, part of the Meakin Estate managed since 1996 by the Leathermarket JMB which manages around 1500 homes in Borough and Bermondsey. The block was built in 1935 to high standards for the time by the Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey.

The building at left on the corner with Alice St is also still there, but there is now no sign of a door at this corner. It was a public house, The Jolly Tanners, dating from before 1851, though renamed in 1985 as Uncles and later as Sherwoods, finally closing in 1997. A couple of storeys were added when it was converted into Tayet Towers

The Victoria, pub, Page's Walk,  Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-42-Edit_2400
The Victoria, pub, Page’s Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-42

Not far away I photographed another pub on the other side of Tower Bridge Road on the corner of Page’s Walk. The Victoria is still there, still very much open and still looking much the same except for a paint job and a large climbing plant on its right corner. The pub was built in 1886 when workers from the Bricklayers’ Arms railway depot across the street probably supplied much of its custom.

CAMRA gave the pub a good write-up in 2008 and in 2017. Of course Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co no longer supply the beer – they stopped brewing in 1989 though various mergers had set them on a downhill path since 1971.

Willow Walk,  Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-46-Edit_2400
Willow Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-46

You can see The Victoria pub at the right of this picture on Willow Walk, where in 1988 Balfour Beatty and Jones Lang Wooton were busy on Tower Bridge Business Park, “Business, production and warehouse units … available from August 1988”.

Bricklayers Arms began life as alternative terminus opened by the London and Croydon Railway and the South Eastern Railway in 1844 to London Bridge, but was soon converted to a goods station which closed in 1981. The sidings are now built over for housing but the former stables remain in place on Page’s Walk.

Grange Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-32-Edit_2400
Grange Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-32

Birds of the World was at the read of a shop, possibly a pet shop which my contact sheet states was on Grange Road, and probably either on the corner of Pages Walk or Fendall Street. I liked the paintings of the birds and was amused by the shadow which put them on a tree.

Page's Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-33-Edit_2400
Page’s Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-33

Sapphire Laundry Ltd still own the buildings at 29-31 Page’s Walk and are still an active company, though they are their business is now registered with the classification ‘Buying and selling of own real estate.’ This building is next to a rather more substantial one, Sultra House.

Willow Walk,  Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-34-Edit_2400
Willow Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-34

The “roadline” premises at the corner of Willow Walk and Page’s Walk were part of the former British Road Services Parcels Ltd which had been created as a nationalised road haulage industry in 1948. This was one of the first of Thatcher’s privatisations in 1982 when the company was sold to its employees changing from the National Freight Corporation to the National Freight Consortium. I think it probably went out of use after the Bricklayer’s Arms goods depot closed in 1981.

Willow Walk,  Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-35-Edit_2400
Willow Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-35

Another picture showing more of the Bricklayers Arms stables with their roofs with clerestory windows which were also a common feature on some early railway carriages, highly useful when coach lighting – if any – was provided by oil lamps, but not needed once carriages had electric lighting.

I will continue this walk from Sunday 13th November in a later post.


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Around the Abbey in Bermondsey 1988

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

The previous post on my walk on Sunday 30th October 1988 was Bermondsey St, the Green Dragon & Crucifix Lane.

Enid St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-36-Edit_2400
Enid St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-36

Around the Abbey in Bermondsey 1988
Railway arches have played an important role in the economy of London and other cities, but particularly in London south of the river, where from the start around 1840 lengthy viaducts were built, beginning with this long one east from London Bridge which cut a gap through Bermondsey. The arches provided relatively low cost premises for small businesses, giving something back to the area in compensation for the damage the railways caused.

This particular business had closed and despite the fence had become a hand area for fly-tipping, with many houses in the area being cleared as gentrification was setting in. Furniture and other items that once would have gone to secondhand shops was simply being disposed of as cheaply as possible.

Unfortunately railway arches are now being refurbished as Network Rail sees them as a real opportunity to profit from its large estates, with often long-term tenants being forced out and the refurbished arches being let at three or more times the previous rents. A long battle was fought against this recently in central Brixton, where most of the previous businesses were forced to close.

Abbey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-23-Edit_2400
Abbey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-23

Former warehouses are boarded up and awaiting demolition on Abbey Street close to the junction with Maltby Street.

Maltby St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-24-Edit_2400
Maltby St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-24

All these buildings in Maltby Street have been demolished and it is hard to locate the exact location which I think was on the part of the road leading from Abbey St to Grange Walk. The sign on one of this range of commercial buildings was for ‘DIAMOND GLASS-FIBRE’.

Bermondsey United Charity School for Girls, Grange Walk, Grigg's Place, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-11-Edit_2400
Bermondsey United Charity School for Girls, Grange Walk, Grigg’s Place, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-11

The BERMONDSEY UNITED CHARITY SCHOOL FOR GIRLS was, according the the text on its side, ERECTED A.D.1830 and was more recently used as St Mary’s youth centre. It and the terrace along Grange Walk to the east remain and the school has been converted into flats.

Grange Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-15-Edit_2400
Grange Walk, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10r-15

This row of late seventeenth century houses on the right hand side of the street are all Grade II listed and Nos 5-7 at right of picture apparently include in their structure part of one side of a late medieval stone gatehouse to Bermondsey Abbey. However I don’t think any of this is visible, and despite various accounts elsewhere they are not the abbey gatehouse, though they show its position.

The more modern structure at the extreme right was recently demolished. On Tower Bridge Road it used to advertise itself as ‘The Bermondsey Indoor Antique Market’ on the Tower Bridge Road frontage withe the message ‘Open Every Friday’ on a board above its Grange Walk side.

Walter Coles, Tanner St,  Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-65-Edit_2400
Walter Coles, Tanner St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-65

Although these last two pictures are filed in my contact sheets under November, my note on the sheet says they were taken earlier than the first November sheet and I think they were taken on this walk.

Walter Coles & Co Ltd sold polythene bags from this warehouse at 47-9 Tanner St, just a few yards east of Tower Bridge Road. Since 2012 it has been an arts venue, Ugly Duck.

The buildings to the right of the warehouse were all on Tanner Street, which turns round towards the north, and have all been demolished and replaced.

Abbey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-51-Edit_2400
Abbey St, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-11d-51

Two notices had once been here but both had gone. One was replaced in 2019 letting us know this was St Saviours Estate and Purbrook Estate. This is Attilburgh House on the corner of Abbey St and Riley Road, a seven storey council block built on the site of five large houses on the street as a part of the St. Saviours Estate and I think dates from the 1960s. Its name probably comes from the old name for Attleborough, a market town in Norfolk not far from Thetford which gave its name to a neighbouring block.

Like most council housing, many of the flats here have been bought by tenants under Thatcher’s popular but disastrous ‘right to buy’. Many who did buy were unable to keep up with mortgage repayments and repair costs, and so many were fairly quickly sold, often to ‘buy to let’ investors who let them out at several times the council rents, enough to more than pay the costs of the mortage or bank loan, the new tenants buying the flats for those investors. A few years ago this estate featured in a court case after Southwark Council found that fire doors required replacement and tenants too them to court over the charges they imposed.

I think this was probably the end of my walk on 30th October 1988. Two weeks later I was back in Bermondsey taking more pictures, the subject of my next series of posts.