Posts Tagged ‘July’

Dalston, Shacklewell and Stoke Newington – 1989

Saturday, November 25th, 2023

This post is the second and final part on my walk in Hackney which began with Dalston Doorcases to Marie Lloyd.

German Hospital, Chapel, Ritson Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-32
German Hospital, Chapel, Ritson Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-32

Founded in 1845 with German staff to provide medical services to German-speaking immigrants who had settled in parts of North London. English staff took over when the German staff were interned in 1940. It became a part of the NHS in 1948, and only closed in 1987. The Grade II listed buildings survive and were converted into affordable flats.

Man on van, Ridley Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-33
Man on van, Ridley Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-33

I wandered up into Ridley Road where business was beginning to slack off in the market for the day. This man having a cigarette sitting on the bonnet of a van saw my camera and asked me why I was taking photographs. We had a short talk and he insisted I take his photograph, so here he is.

Public Washing Baths, Shacklewell Lane, Shacklewell, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-34
Public Washing Baths, Shacklewell Lane, Shacklewell, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-34

I continued north to Shacklewell Lane and took this picture of the Public Washing Baths, built by the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney in 1931 when many houses in the area were without bathrooms. Many poorer families and single people lived in one or two rooms sometimes without any running water or gas supply in their rooms and shared lavatories and kitchens with other tenants of the buildings.

This bath house provided 24 baths for men, 16 for women and they will have been well used in the early years before slum clearance provided better housing for many in the area. They were damaged by bombing in 1940 and reopened in 1942 and only closed some time in the 1960s. It is now occupied by the Bath House Children’s Community Centre who bought it from Hackney Council in 2002. This is now part of the St Mark’s Conservation Area, designated in 2008.

Works, 124-128 Shacklewell Lane, Hackney Downs, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-36
Works, 124-128 Shacklewell Lane, Hackney Downs, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-36

Built in 1932 as the Albert Works for the printers Henry Hildesley by architects Hobden & Porri, it later became the Rona Fashions House of George Gowns Ltd, but by 1989 their name had been removed from the facade leaving the marks you can see on the horizontals of the building. I think it was then still in use for the rag trade but my picture has the end of the names ‘RONA ROON… and Bab… hidden by the trees of Shacklewell Green.

Robert William Hobden who died in 1921 and Arthur George Porri (1877-1962) whose practice was based in Finsbury Square were responsible for many commercial and public buildings across London in first third of the twentieth century but seem suprisingly little known – perhaps a good subject for some academic research.

Henry Hildesley the printers are best known for the many posters they produced, including some for London Transport and HMSO, with many produced to help the war effort in the 1940s. The building, now called Cotton Lofts is in the Shacklewell Green conservation area designated in 2018 and is now flats.

Houses, Perch St, Hackney Downs, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-22
Houses, Perch St, Hackney Downs, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-22

I can no longer remember the route I took to make the three final images in this post, but they were all made on 27th July 1989.

This terrace was built in 1882 and the conservation area statement calls it and other similar buildings in nearby streets “attractive and architecturally interesting”.

Former synagogue, Montague Road Beth Hamedrash, 62a Montague Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1989 89-7i-16
Former synagogue, Montague Road Beth Hamedrash, 62a Montague Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1989 89-7i-16

Founded in 1910, this Strictly Orthodox Ashkenazi synagogue owned by the Federation of Synagogues was closed and the membership merged with the West Hackney Synagogue in 1981. Used for some years by Roots Pool Community Association and Dalston Community Centre it was eventually converted into flats as Montague Court.

Shops, Cazenove Rd, Stoke Newington, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-26
Shops, Cazenove Rd, Stoke Newington, Hackney, 1989 89-7k-26

Possibly I may have taken a bus to pay a visit to Abney Park Cemetery, close to where this final image was made though if so I took no pictures on this occasion, or perhaps just to make this picture.

Shops were added in the front gardens of these houses built in 1878, and that now housing the artist’s house Madame Lillie was initially a carpentry workshop owned by the Wright family. In 1917, when Mrs Wright was a widow, her daughter Lillie opened a corsetry shop, which continued in business until she retired in 1970. In 1973 she sold the shop and house to her young artist nephew Paul David Wright. He converted the premises into studios for artists and a gallery space.

You can read the first part of this walk at Dalston Doorcases to Marie Lloyd.


South Lambeth & Vauxhall 1989

Sunday, November 12th, 2023

South Lambeth & Vauxhall 1989: Yet again I’ve found some more pictures from my walk in South Lambeth on 19th July 1989, which began with Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason. This time the pictures comefrom the end of the walk where I had wrongly remembered my route that day. I didn’t always develop films in the order in which they were taken and things sometimes got rather out of order in my files.

After taking pictures on Old South Lambeth Road I thought I had simply walked to Vauxhall Station without taking more pictures. But I now realise I had walked further up the South Lambeth Road an had then gone on to take some photographs in Vauxhall.

South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-66
South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-66

In a previous post I wrote about the library and linked to an article on Vauxhall History about the fights by people in the area on several occasions to keep their library open. Thanks to their efforts the library, in the heart of Lambeth’s Portuguese community, is still open five days a week, though doubtless it will not be long before Lambeth Council tries yet again to close and demolish it.

South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-51
South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-51

Despite the street name on the wall, South Lambeth Library is on South Lambeth Rd, and Wilcox Close is here simply a pedestrian way than runs along its southern side, with vehicle access to the houses in the Wilcox Cloase being from Kenchester Close, another street in the Mawbey Brough council estate built here in the 1970s – one of the times the community had to unite to save the library.

This picture concentrates on the highly ornamented frontage of the building. Particularly impressive are the decorated words TATE FREE LIBRARY.

South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-52
South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-52

A final picture of the library in this post shows more of the library building, which is only locally listed, which gives it no protection. In a previous post I suggested that this was because it had been considerably altered since it was built in 1888, losing the copper cupolas on top of its powers possibly to meet demand for metals in the war and also losing a fine porch, probably to allow road widening. Historic England seem to be very reluctant to list buildings which have been significantly altered.

Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsheaf Lane, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-55
Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsheaf Lane, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-55

Opened in 1896 as the Wheatsheaf Congregational Church Mission and used until 1939 as a mission hall, it claims to have been the first free public library in Lambeth, though possibly this was in the small villa on the site before this, as South Lambeth Library opened in 1888. The building was Grade II listed in 1975.

In 1980 Lambeth Council began proceedings to evict the then tenants Cinebuild to develop it as a tenant’s hall and community centre which opened in 1988 and continues in use “for community and business meetings, meditation groups, faith groups, council surgeries, rehearsal space, weddings, christenings, birthday parties and bingo.”

Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsheaf Lane, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-42
Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsheaf Lane, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-42

Another view of Wheatsheaf Lane and the hall, which still looks much the same now. The pub glimpsed at left was The Wheatsheaf, reflecting the agricultural nature of the area, parts of which were still fields when this was first opened. It is known to have been here in 1788, though this building is Victorian. It closed as a pub in 2017 and is now a Brazilian restaurant.

St Anne & All Saints, Miles St, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-44
St Anne & All Saints, Miles St, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-44

According to Vauxhall History, a chapel was built on this site in 1793 after much pleading from local parishoners who had to walk across marshland to get to St Mary’s Church next to Lambeth Palace. It was a dangerous route as this offered hiding places for robbers who would attack those walking through it.

They were allowed to build a private chapel and the cost of building was paid for by selling shares entitling those who bought them to seats in the chapel and leasing other seats. There were no free seats and the poor still had to cross the hazardous marsh.

Perhaps it was because it was a chapel for the rich and not the rapidly growing working class population of the area was that led to a fire which partly burnt the chapel down in 1856 and an incident of sacrilege of which details have not survived the following year.

In 1860 the Church of England decided to set up a separate parish of South Lambeth and to build a new church on the chapel site. They wanted to take over the chapel, and it took them 8 years to find all the shareholders and get the site conveyed to them. A slow process of rebuilding then began to turn the chapel into something more suitable for a parish church which was only completed in 1876 to the designs of architect R Parkinson. It was rebuilt again in 1958 after bomb damage in the Second World War.

The church was dedicated to St Anne probably as a tribute to Ann Beaufoy, the wife of George Beaufoy who had become head of the local vinegar factory in 1851 and had been one of the promoters of the new parish. It was his son Mark Beaufoy, who became MP for Kennington who chaired the meeting in his home in 1881 to found the Waifs and Strays Home, now the Children’s Society.

Behind the church is the tall tower block of BT’s Keybridge House on South Lambeth Rd, built 1975-7 and demolished in 2015. Few would mourn its passing but many wish its successor was rather better.

'SCHOOLS ARE PRISONS', Langley Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-46
‘SCHOOLS ARE PRISONS’, Langley Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-46

This was taken in Langley Lane but although the wall is still there the building behind it has gone and it is now just a car park at the rear of the imposing 5 storey block of the former LCC’s 1908 Lawn Lane Schools. Later this was Vauxhall Central Girls School which in 1957 this became one of two buildings of Vauxhall Manor Secondary School, a comprehensive 11-18 girls school. This merged with the Beaufoy School, a school for boys in 1983 to become the mixed comprehensive Lilian Baylis School, now on Kennington Lane The Lawn Lane building has now been converted to flats as ‘The Academy’.

A later post will I hope finish this walk with some pictures from Vauxhall.


More From Stockwell & South Lambeth

Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

More From Stockwell & South Lambeth: My apologies that the previous post in this series from my walk on 19th July 1989, Tradescant, Old South Lambeth Rd and Caron, ended with a repeat of three images taken on Fentiman Road from my walk two days earlier.

After taking pictures on Old South Lambeth Road I probably simply walked to Vauxhall Station without taking more pictures. But I have now found a few more pictures I took probably at the start of the walk which began with Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason, and also some at the end of my walk in Vauxhall.

Houses, 43-49, Lansdowne Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7h-14
Houses, 43-49, Lansdowne Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-14

These fine houses were built in the mid-nineteenth century and are Grade II listed. The closer and further houses are semi-detached pairs while 47 in the middle is detached. Behind them is the tower block Edrich House on Lansdowne Way.

House, 93, Priory Grove, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-62
House, 93, Priory Grove, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-62

Priory Grove runs south from Lansdowne Way (formerly Priory Road) and much of it is beside Larkhill Park. This four-storey block, with the name at the top Priory Building is close to its end at Larkhall Lane. In 1989 it had two doors, but now there is only one at the left giving access to the four flats inside. The ground floor has been coated with stucco eliminating the architraves which are a feature of the upper floors.

Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-65
Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-65

Larkhall Lane has a listed building and several on the local list, but all I chose to photograph were a couple of odd corners, the first perhaps showing something of the state of the property with a fine stone hidden pillar. I think this has now disappeared.

Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-52
Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-52

66 Larkhall Lane is now much improved rendering, a tidy garden and the anachronistic shutter removed. The tree has also gone and I suspect much of the interior has also been remodelled. A property listing on the web describes it now as “This is an attractive 2 bed, 1 bath semi-detached house in Lambeth, London. This efficient home is 753 square feet in size with 2 fireplaces and has been extended 3 times since construction before 1900” and estimates its value at £1m-£1.2m.

341-9, Wandsworth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-56
341-9, Wandsworth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-56

I think I took this rather rapidly through a gap in the traffic which perhaps accounts for its rather odd tilt. At left is a rather odd Gothic Grade II listed building trying to be a castle, with shops on the ground floor and an octagonal tower at each end. The building dates from the mid-19th century but the shops reaching out to the main road were added probably around 40 years later over what was originally a front garden and have since been much altered.

Tucked away in the centre of the picture is a slim building with some interesting polychromatic brickwork at No 345, small and rather unusual Victorian infill.

Wilbraham House,  Wandsworth Road, Nine Elms, Lambeth, 1989  89-7i-41
Wilbraham House, Wandsworth Road, Nine Elms, Lambeth, 1989 89-7i-41

Through the imposing three story vehicle entrance of Wilbraham House we can see Fosbrooke House behind. This long block of flats occupies most of the block between Thorncroft St and Wilcox Road. One web site helpfully tells me it was built between 1930 and 1949 and my guess would have been it was at the end of that period. Four impressive sets of steps on the frontage lead to the 36 flats, with glass bricks providing natural lighting for the stairs. Nine Elms underground station opened in 2021 is just a few yards up the road.

The Elephant And Castle, pub, South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7k-11
The Elephant And Castle, pub, South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7k-11

You get a good view of these elephants from trains going through Vauxhall Station on the Windsor and Reading lines I normally go to Waterloo on. This picture is taken from immediately outside Vauxhall Station entrance. The pub building is still there but closed in 1997 and is now a Starbucks, but its upper floors look much the same. The local list dates it as mid-late 19th century, but the building replaced an earlier one on the site.

The name Elephant And Castle thought to have been first used for pubs around 1770 in nearby Southwark probably derives from the coat of arms of the Cutler’s Company who adopted it in 1622. They used ivory to make knife handles. Though if so it may have been used first for a pub in the City for which we have no record.

I’ll post the other pictures I’ve found from the end of the walk in Vauxhall later.


Tradescant, Old South Lambeth Rd and Caron

Friday, November 3rd, 2023

Tradescant, Old South Lambeth Rd and Caron continues my walk on Wednesday 19th July 1989 in Stockwell and South Lambeth which began with Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason. The previous post was Clapham Road and South Lambeth – 1989.

Houses, Tradescant Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-24
Houses, Tradescant Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-24

I took a picture (not on-line) on the corner of Tradescant Road, and then walked down it, pausing to take this single image on my way towards South Lambeth Road. I think I took this picture of an exuberantly growing hedge and a spindly small tree largely because I was thinking about the name of the street and the history behind it.

John Tradescant the Elder (c. 1570s–1638) settled in Lambeth and with his son John is said to have founded gardening as we know it in England, importing many of the trees, shrubs and plants we now grow.

He had begun his career as a gardener to the Cecil family, one of Englands richest and most politically influential families and had laid out the gardens at the Early of Salisbury’s new house, Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, travelling across Europe to find new plants for it. In 1617 he helped finance an expedition to the colony of Virginia, and among the plants this brought back was one later named Tradescantia virginiania.

John the Elder in the following years travelled to Russia, bringing back the larch tree, to Algeria coming home with apricots, gladioli and horse chestnuts, to the Middle East for Lilac, as well as to Italy and Turkey and later to France from were he introduced the poppy and scented stock. Later his son also travelled to Viginia bringing home many plants including Virginia Creeper and added to the collections which were exhibited to the public and sold from their nursery.

The family also set up the first public museum in England in the 1630s, the Lambeth Ark or Musaeum Tradescantianum, dsplaying the many curiosities natural and manmade they also brought back from their travels. Thee family were tricked out of this after the death of the younger John and his wife by the wealthy collector Elias Ashmole who later gave it to Oxford University as the main founding collection of the Ashmolean Museum.

You can see more about the family and their huge contribution to gardening at the Garden Museum which is next door to Lambeth Palace in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, where the Tradescants are buried.

The Tradescant’s main house, Turret House, was demolished in 1881 and two streets, Tradescant Street (now Road) and Walberswick Street (named after the Suffolk village where some of the family lived) laid out on the site.

Girl, doll, shop, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-25
Girl, doll, shop, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-25

On South Lambeth Road I came across this young girl sitting on a stool and playing with a doll outside her family shop. I didn’t want to disturb her and took this picture as she was lost in play.

House, 99, Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-13
House, 99, Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-13

The demolition of the Tradescant’s house which apparently had been long-abandoned and overgrown South Lambeth Road in 1881 enabled the South Lambeth Road to be straightened and widened in 1883, leaving a section of the old road to the east, now known as Old South Lambeth Road. No 99-105 South Lambeth Road are Grade II listed as an early 19th century terrace, with the listing noting their graceful railings which attracted me.

As you can see at the left of the picture some of these properties were in a fairly poor state in 1989. This was then the side wall of a shop, now converted to residential use and in rather better condition.

Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-14
Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-14

This section of Old South Lambeth Road is named on Google Maps as Heyford Terrace, although I think this is simply this long row of 8 terraced houses on the east side of the street, separately numbered from the rest of this short road. I think they were built as terraced housed but are now flats and are late Victorian, built not long after the rerouting of the road in 1883.

The houses at the end of the road are in Heyford Avenue, I think also developed around 1890.

House, 119, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-15
House, 119, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-15

I walked down Dorset Road and then turned left into Meadow Road to take me to Fentiman Road where I made my next picture about a quarter of a mile later. I’m rather surprised I didn’t find anything to interest me in that distance.

This house is in one of two similar short terraces immediately west of the junction with Meadow Road and I now think is No 119. The eleven other houses have similar decorative elements though the gables are varied with three patterns. I think then that many now had vigorously overgrown front gardens like this making hiding much of the ground floors, though now some are cleared for parking cars.

House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62
House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62

The houses opposite on the north side of the road here are rather larger and detached. Those at 106-112 are listed as is the church on the east side of this house. I think I photographed this rather than the listed buildings as for the reflection in the car and the tree shadow in the lower part of the image.

Caron's Almshouses,  Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63
Caron’s Almshouses, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63

A few yards further along Fentiman Road are Caron’s Almshouses, founded in 1618 by Noel Caron, Dutch Ambassador to the court of King James 1, and a popular local philanthropist who lived in South Lambeth.

Originally on Wandsworth Road, Caron’s Almshouses became unsuitable for elderly people and moved to these new buildings in Fentiman Rd in 1854. The buildings were leased to the Family Housing association in the 1990s and repaired and modernised for local women in need and officially reopened by the Dutch Ambassador in 1997.

I included these last two pictures in a post on a previous walk made two days earlier in 1989, and I’m unsure now on which of the two walks in the same area they were taken on.


Squat, Circus, Garage & Church

Saturday, October 7th, 2023

Squat, Circus, Garage & Church continues my walk on Wednesday 19th July 1989 in Stockwell and South Lambeth which began with the previous post, Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason.

House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7g-33
House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-32

I took a couple more pictures of the previously squatted Grade II listed house at 38 Guildford Road, which ended the previous post on this walk. It now seemed firmly bricked up against further occupation.

The garden gate was only tied closed with rope, but I didn’t trespass and photographed from the pavement. At the side of the house the gate was open, announcing thyat this was 38 and The House, with the message to ‘POSTMAN DELIVER LETTERS INSIDE GARDEN PLEASE’ and some drawings, with a leaping figure and the sun for the Solstice Festival as well as smiley faces.

House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7g-33
House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-33

As the smiley faces and the LSD on the wall show, the Solstice Festival in Stockwell was an acid culture event, celebrating peace and love – part of the ‘Second Summer of Love’ in 1989 which also saw raves and parties in deserted warehouses across the UK, largely propelled by Ecstasy. But I can find no details of this Stockwell event online.

Lansdowne Circus, Lansdowne Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-35
Lansdowne Circus, Lansdowne Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-35

Landsdowne Circus is the central element of the area laid out in 1843 with houses built shortly afterwards by John Snell; the land was owned by architect James Humphreys who probably designed the houses in the then popular neo-Classical style. These houses are at 35-41 on the south-east of the circus, which I think is all Grade II listed.

The area had deteriorated considerably by the middle of the twentieth century but fortunately escaped much wartime damage. After Lambeth Council failed to find a responsible legal owner they used compulsory purchase to take control of the area in 1951. It became a conservation area in 1968.

Mondragon House, 49, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-22
Mondragon House, 49, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-22

Grade II listed neo-Jacobean style former vicarage for St Barnabas Church immediately to the south, in a neo-Jacobean style. It is listed as Mandragon House and was built between 1843 and 1850 by John Snell as the vicarage to adjoining St Barnabas Chapel.

The church was deconsecrated in 1978 and converted into flats as Ekarro House by a housing cooperative, Ekarro Housing Co-operative Limited, set up by local residents which leased the church and vicarage, and now also manages some other properties in the area still as a cooperative.

Kelvedon House, a 22 storey tower block built nearby for Lambeth council in 1966 towers 64 metres in the background.

Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-23
Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-23

I walked back down to Landsowne Way and could not resist another photograph of the Grade II listed concrete bus garage, one of London’s finest postwar buildings completed in 1952. I hope its concrete is still safe.

Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-25
Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-25

I turned east down Lansdowne Way to South Lambeth Road where around a hundred yards to the north I came to this fine classical church, Stockwell Baptist Church at No. 276. Again Kelvedon House towers in the background.

Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-12
Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-12

The church web site has this short history:

And as it also says, it “has been part of the rich and ever-changing history of this part of London for a long while.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-92) who preached the first sermon in the chapel was a remarkable man and one of the leading non-conformist preachers of the 19th century. For 38 years he was pastor at the Metropolitan Tabernacle at the Elephant & Castle. He founded an almshouse and an orphanage in Stockwell, as well as a college named after him following his death, and set up various institutions to aid the poor, following the Bible example of Jesus and exhorting his congregations to do so too. He had great influence both nationally and internationally and campaigned for free hospitals for the poor, and against slavery which antagonised Southern Baptists in the USA. He wrote many books, some of which are still now re-published and is still held in high esteem by many, particularly evangelical Christians.

My walk continued – more shortly.


Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason

Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Two days after my previous walk which had ended at Vauxhall I was back in Stockwell again on Wednesday 19th July to photograph the area to the north, walking towards South Lambeth.

House, 31 Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-33
House, 31 Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-33

Stockwell Park Road has some interesting properties particular from the mid to late Victorian era with some earlier and later properties, some now very expensive. Probably most of the large houses are now flats, but one four bedroom Georgian house here, 4 storeys including a basement and with four bedrooms was recently put on sale with a guide price of £2,100,000.

This house is something of a mystery, as you will find if you try to view it on Google Street View. It is now divided into flats. Next door is the empty site that was formerly a purpose-built nursery on the corner at 50 Groveway. I think the house still looks much as it did when I photographed it in 1989. The arched doorway with the four square windows above and the narrow slot windows in the gables, one with wood meant to cover it drew my interest and I wondered when and for what purpose it was built but found no answers.

Linden Hall, 38  Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-35
Linden Hall, 38 Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-35

Linden Hall at 38 Stockwell Park Road is also an interesting building and appears to have been built by the Lambeth Housing Movement, formed in 1927 to help low-income tenants in overcrowded conditions who could not afford private rents but whose conditions were not considered sufficiently bad for the LCC’s slum clearance schemes. In 1957 they joined with the Southwark Housing Association to become the Lambeth and Southwark Housing Society Ltd. I think these flats were built in the early 1950s.

Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-56
Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-56

I returned along Stockwell Park Road to Clapham Road and crossed it, going down Landsdowne Road to South Lambeth Road and continuing along it to the remarkable concrete Grade II* listed Stockwell Bus Garage, opened for London Transport in 1952. It’s a remarkable structure by Adie, Button and Partners with Thomas Bilbow and probably the most impressive early post-war modern buildings in the UK. I think it is still in good condition and doing its job as a garage now, 70 years late.

Edrich House, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-42
Edrich House, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-42

Continuing along Lansdowne Way brought me to Edrich House which can be seen at the right of the previous image. This impressive block designed by George Finch was completed in 1968. Built using the German designed Large Panel System it contains spacious flats. It was built for Lambeth Council whose chief architect was Edward “Ted” Hollamby at a time when council leaders considered nothing was too good for the working classes. As with other similar developments the estates were well designed with communal provision at ground level. I think at right is a surgery. I think there may now be so concerns over the state of the building as the link above states “Please note that we are unaware of any lenders providing mortgages on this estate at the present time.

F W Poole, Marblemason,12, Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-46
F W Poole, Marblemason,12, Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-46

Turning the corner into Larkhall Lane I came to the works of F W Poole, marble mason, with a good collection of marble in its front yard. The company moved out from here in in 2012 to premises in East Lane Business Park Wembley but I think has now ceased trading. This property was sold for £1 million.

House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7g-31
House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-31

One of a number of squatted houses in the area, which had been the location of a Solstice Festival, but was by 1989 emptied and bricked up. It has since been renovated at least twice.

Its Grade II listing begins, “House, derelict at time of resurvey. Part of a planned estate built between 1843 and 1850 by John Snell. Italianate style.” It was part of a scheme for a site known as “THE 34 ACRES”.

The property now looks in good condition and has been divided into a number of flats.

My walk will continue in a later post.

Houses, Almshouses, A Pub and Cold Store

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

Houses, Almshouses, A Pub and Cold Store: The end of my walk on 17th July 1989 which began with Back in Stockwell. The previous post was Stockwell Housing and Adventure.

Terrace, 195-203, Brixton Rd, Angell Town, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-64
Terrace, 195-203, Brixton Rd, Angell Town, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-64

This terrace is on the east side of Brixton Road, with 195 on the corner with Normandy Road. They were built on a part of the large Lambeth Wick estate which was owned by the Church of England but was developed by Henry Richard Vassall, the third Baron Holland, who had adopted his wife’s maiden name of Vassall in 1800. The manor was leased to him in 1820 with a building lease that specified he had to built “houses of at least the third rate” and keep them in good repair, painting outside wood and ironwork every 4 years “and offensive trades were prohibited.”

Vassall’s lease was for 99 years and he let out small plots such as this one to builders and speculators on 80 year leases. The lease for the plot for these three-storey terraces was granted to James Crundall in 1824, but the actual date of completion of Alfred Place as they were known may have been a little later. The Grade II listing simply states early-mid C19.

The end wall facing Normandy Road has no windows – its interior layout is presumably similar to those houses in the middle of the terrace, but what would have been a massive slab of brickwork is relieved by a central pilaster and blind windows.

House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62
House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62

I was now on my way home and walked quickly north up Brixton Road before cutting through Crewdson Road to Clapham Rd and then turning down Fentiman Road, heading for Vauxhall Station.

It wasn’t until I stopped opposite No 124 that I made my next picture. This was built on part of the large Caron House estate which stretched north from South Lambeth Road. Fentiman Road was laid out just to the south of the large house after it and its extensive grounds were sold to Henry Beaufoy in 1838 and this unlisted mid-19th century building probably dates from shortly after this.

There are a number of other interesting buildings on this section of the road, some listed I did not stop to photograph, and I think the reflection in the car and the shadow of the tree which occupy much of the lower part of the picture may have made me stop here.

Caron's Almshouses,  Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63
Caron’s Almshouses, 121, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63

Sir Philip Noel Caron, Dutch Ambassador to King James I founded his almshouses in 1621 on what is now Wandsworth Road to house seven woman aged over 60, but by the 1850s these were, according to the Survey of London ‘“uncomfortable and unsuitable” for aged persons‘ and the site was sold to Price’s Patent Candle Company for their factory. They sold the site in 1865 to the Phoenix Gas Light and Coke Company, which later became part of the South-Eastern Gas Board.

The £1500 from the sale in 1853 was used to erect these new almshouses in a Tudor style in 1854 and they are now Grade II listed. Various charity amalgamations took place over the years and in the 1990s the Trustees granted a 50-year lease on the almshouses to the Family Housing Association. Modernised and repaired they were officially reopened by the Dutch Ambassador in 1997 and are still housing local women in need.

Builders Arms, pub, Wyvil Rd, Vauxhall, Lambeth 1989 89-7g-52
Builders Arms, pub, Wyvil Rd, Vauxhall, Lambeth 1989 89-7g-52

The pub was built in 1870 and an application for a licence refused in 1871 but it did open shortly afterwards, and remains open now, though under a different name. At some time in became Wyvils, then the Vauxhall Griffin, but after it was bought in around 2018 by Belle Pubs & Restaurants they renamed it the Griffin Belle. According to Camra, “Refurbished in contemporary style in 2017, with a further make-over in 2018, the interior now features varied seating, plastic foliage and an array of TV screens showing sport (can be noisy at times). Upper floor has been converted to hotel rooms.”

Still overshadowed by tall buildings (although those in my picture have been replaced by more recent versions) and on the edge of what has for some years been the largest building site in the country if not in Europe, stretching all the way to Battersea, its earlier name might have been more appropriate.

Nine Elms Cold Store, Brunswick House, Wandsworth Rd, Nine Elms, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-53
Nine Elms Cold Store, Brunswick House, Wandsworth Rd, Nine Elms, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-53

Brunswick House is still there on one of the busiest traffic schemes in the country, at the junction of Wandsworth Road and Nine Elms Lane close to Vauxhall Cross, but the Nine Elms Cold Store is long gone, replaced by St George Wharf, which isn’t a wharf but a “landmark riverside development spanning across 7 acres of London’s newest area of regeneration” with the 48 storey Tower which is the tallest solely residential building in the UK.

Some describe it as ‘magnificent’ but others think it hideous and I’m more inclined to the latter view. The Guardian in 2016 called it “a stark symbol of the housing crisis“, with two-thirds of the apartments in the Tower “in foreign ownership, with a quarter held through secretive offshore companies based in tax havens.” At its peak is a £51 million five-storey penthouse “ultimately owned by the family of former Russian senator Andrei Guriev“.

Brunswick House has a long article on Wikipedia. It dates back to the mid seventeenth century but was extended in 1758. In 1860 it was bought by the London and South West Railway Company who used it as offices and a Scientific and Literary Institute. In 1994 it was sold to the railway staff association who again sold it in 2002. It is now a restaurant and the yard around it is used by an architectural salvage and supply company.

The Nine Elms Cold Store was built in 1964, a huge windowless monolith erected on the site of the South Metropolitan Gas Works, ideally placed to take barge loads of frozen meat and other goods from London’s docks and store them in its 150,000,000 cubic feet of cold dark space for onward distribution from the adjacent railway yard or by lorry. But when the docks ran down it was redundant, only 15 years after its construction.

According to Kennington Runoff after it closed it became “used illicitly as a cruising ground, a recording studio, a performance space and even a convenient spot for devil worshiping.” It remained in place derelict until 1999 as it was extremely difficult to demolish and it provided a popular location for filming when desolate urban industrial landscapes were required.

Vauxhall Station was a short walk down the road and I was soon sitting on a train on my way home.


Back in Stockwell

Saturday, September 23rd, 2023

Back in Stockwell: It was the 17th July 1989 before I was able to return to Stockwell and take up my wanderings around south London where I had left off on 4th June.

Stockwell War Memorial, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7c-26
Stockwell War Memorial, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7c-26

Coming out from Stockwell Underground I turned left and came to the war memorial, then on a rather scruffy triangle of grass and litter between the South Lambeth Road and the A3 Clapham Road. This has since been tidied up as Stockwell Memorial Gardens with a mural celebrating others who died in WW2 including war hero Violette Szabó, GC and a the Bronze Woman statue by Aleix Barbat, a tribute to all black Caribbean women.

The Stockwell War Memorial was erected in 1922 to the design of Frank Twydals Dear which attracted praise at the time for its excellent proportion, refined detail and simple lines.

The figure of Remembrance is by sculptor Benjamin Clemens and the clock with a face on all four sides of the tower was donated by the father of one of the 574 men named on the memorial who died on the Somme on 9th August 1916, aged 19, Frederick H S Caiger. He was the only son of Dr Caiger, superintendent of South Western Fever Hospital.

The mural is on the Security Archives in my picture, one of eight deep level shelters built for WW2. Stockwell was used to house US troops. The bunkers were 100ft underground and had 8000 bunks, canteen and hospital facilities.

Scallywag, Clapham Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7c-15
Scallywag, Clapham Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7c-15

Scallywag was a pine furniture showroom which had started in an old church in Camberwell in 1970 and moved here in 1985 becoming the largest pine showroom in Europe. It is now based in a rural location in East Sussex as well as in the USA.

TDA House, Mecca Bookmakers, 211-213, Clapham Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-66
TDA House, Mecca Bookmakers, 211-213, Clapham Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-66

Opposite the war memorial on Clapham Road were these two architecturally very different buildings, TDA House and Mecca Bookmakers.

TDA House at 211 was built as the Stockwell Palladium cinema which opened in 1915 but was rebuilt as the Ritz Cinema in 1937. In 1954 it became Classic Cinema and in 1969 the Tatler Film Club showing uncensored blue movies, reverting to the Classic for a couple of years before closing in 1981. A snooker club for some years it then became TDA House for the Tigray Development Association supporting Ethiopian refugees and in 2017 became an Ethiopian restaurant.

Next door at 213 Mecca is now Ladbrokes.

Stockwell Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-53
Stockwell Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-53

I didn’t go up Clapham Road but turned into Stockwell Road, walking along her and making this picture just after I had turned into the narrow Stockwell Lane. It shows quite a mixture of buildings, with a recent house close to where I was standing, the back of a row of shops on Stockwell Road and a white building on the opposite side of the road which then had shops on its ground floor, but which is where Stockwell Green United Reform Church moved to after selling its premises on Stockwell Green.

The tower beyond is Birrell House, with an address on Stockwell Road but set well back from it, now managed by Hyde Housing, who took it over from Lambeth council after a vote by residents in 1999. The block, approved by the London County Council in 1964 was an addition to the Stockwell Gardens estate with 68 flats on 18 floors was named after Miss Elsie Birrell, London Undergroud’s first female porter who worked at Stockwell Station during the Second World War.

Garden, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7d-56
Garden, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-56

Stockwell in the past was noted for its gardens, particularly the botanical gardens of the Tradescant family and I could resist these fine specimens (certainly not Tradescantia) filling a fairly small front garden near Stockwell Park Crescent.

Houses, 2-4, Stockwell Park Crescent, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-46
Villas, 2-4, Stockwell Park Crescent, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-46

Stockwell Park Crescent was laid out in the late 1830s and many of the houses in it date from the 1840s. These were large houses for the middle classes many of whose heads will have worked in the city but wanted to live in the ‘country’ in places such as Stockwell. The small attic rooms will have been for the servants. These were villas rather than the terraces common in urban London and on a crescent which aimed for a more informal and romantic landscape.

Although basically plain, there are classical details on the frontage rather than actual columns, extending to the eaves which give a classical facade. The pair is Grade II listed.

More on my walk in a later post.


Police Protect The Rich

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

Police Protect The Rich: Our police are often said to protect the interests of the rich and powerful in our society, and their behaviour outside the exclusive Mayfair private club LouLou’s against members and supporters of the IWGB Cleaners and Facilities Branch on Thursday 11th July 2019 certainly seemed to demonstrate this.

Police Protect The Rich

Of course in part this reflects our laws, made by the overwhelmingly rich and powerful who sit in our parliament and generally serving their interests. There are laws that protect the rights of trade unions and our civil rights including the right to protest, but increasingly over the years under both Labour and Tory governments have brought in more and more restrictions on these.

Police Protect The Rich

But although the police have a duty to enforce the law, they often seem to fail to do so evenhandedly. Outside Lou-Lou’s they turned a blind eye to the security staff failing to wear their licences (if they had them) and to their assaults on the protesters.

Police Protect The Rich

Police had also closed the whole street running along the front of the club which boasts of being one of London’s most exclusive clubs, owned by Robin Birley, a friend of Boris Johnson and a major financial supporter of the Conservative Party. According to The ObserverIt’s the place to be for royals, billionaires, A-list celebrities and socialites—when they can get their name of the list.” And the names they listed as frequent visitors were “Harry Styles, Lupita Nyong’o, Leonardo DiCaprio.”

Police Protect The Rich

The police themselves also seemed to be using unnecessary force and trying to impose unnecessary restrictions on the protesters, and this led to some angry scenes with two protesters being arrested. None of the heavy-handed security staff were warned or arrested and when IWGB officers complained to police about them, they were themselves threatened with arrest.

I was not stopped from taking photographs or touched by the security staff, but whenever I went near simply moved directly in front of me to try to prevent me photographing the wealthy clients going in to the £1800 a year club. This only encouraged me to take more pictures, by stepping further back and working more rapidly.

The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) Cleaners and Facilities Branch were protesting on behalf of their members at the club, kitchen porters who were demanding to be paid a real living wage, treated with dignity, respect and given decent terms and conditions including proper sick pay, holidays and pension contributions.

Police knocked one protester to the ground – possibly accidentally

Until recently the kitchen porters were directly employed by the club, but they were recently outsourced to ACT which has worsened their conditions and they want to be returned to direct employment.

The protest was still continuing when I left as the light was beginning to fall.

IWGB demand living wage at LouLou’s


Darent Valley Path & Thames

Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

Darent Valley Path & Thames, Dartford, Kent. On Saturday 4th July 2015 I went by train with my wife and elder son to Dartford for a day’s walking mainly beside the River Darent and River Thames.

Darent Valley Path & Thames

It was a hot summer day and the sky was blue with just a few small patches of white cloud. It probably wasn’t the best day to have chosen, as this was a walk with relatively little shade, but as usual there was a little breeze by the rivers to cool us slightly.

Darent Valley Path & Thames

I’d walked (and cycled) along the paths we took several times before, first in the 1980s, but they were new to my companions. After taking a short look at the Darent in Dartford we made our way to Hythe Street. Its name means a landing place or small port, and the Darent was once an important navigation at least as far as the mills in the centre of Dartford. The has been a pub here since 1764 and the Hufflers Arms gets its name from the men who guided and pulled the barges up the river to here.

Darent Valley Path & Thames

A footbridge takes the path across the Darent here, and past the backs of some industrial sites on towards the half-lock which stopped the river above it drying out at low tide, long derelict. It was something of a surprise to see a narrow boat moored close to it.

Darent Valley Path & Thames

There has been a huge change here since 2015, with volunteers working on and around the lock and the river. You can read more about the work of the Dartford and Crayford Creek Restoration Trust on the Facebook page of the Friends of Dartford and Crayford Creek, and see some of the changes in the pictures there.

Darent Valley Path & Thames

Later in the day I photographed a yacht making its way through the flood barrier from the Thames and going upriver. I heard afterwards that it had reached the recent bridge under the Bob Dunn Way bypass when the tide was just a fraction too high for it to creep underneath with its mast lowered.

The Thames is pretty wide here and the channel deep enough to take fairly large ships, with the ferries including the ship in the picture operating regular contianer services to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.

I made a few panoramic images, but the sky was a little empty and blue for it really to be a good day for that. This one which shows my two companions walking on ahead is interesting to me as I have managed to make use of the curvature inherent in these very wide angle views. The path on which I was standing to make the image was more or less straight, though in the picture it seems to bend at roughly a right angle.

The Littlebrook Power Station had only recently ceased operation, and we walked past some interesting structures there before making our way under the Dartford Bridge.

I was pleased that the ferry was leaving and I was able to take a series of photographs of it going under the bridge and sailing on downriver. Some of the pictures give a better impression of the relative heights of ship and bridge with an enormous amount of headroom for the passage.

By now I was getting tired, mainly from the heat and the lack of any shade, and I took few pictures on the rest of the walk to the station at Greenhithe. We didn’t see any sign of the path marked on the map which would have taken us up to the church at Stone as I had planned, but I think I was releived not to have had to climb up the hill, and perhaps didn’t look too hard. After all I’d been there and taken pictures on various occasions before. And if you are walking this way it’s worth the detour.

More about the walk and more pictures at Darent Valley Path & Thames.