Posts Tagged ‘shops’

Hull General Cemetery and Princes Avenue 1989

Monday, March 18th, 2024

More pictures from Hull General Cemetery and Princes Avenue that I took on walks in the area in August 1989. You can see more pictures of the cemetery in 1989 at Hull General Cemetery – 1989.

Quaker Burial Ground, Spring Bank, Hull, 1989 89-8d-42
Quaker Burial Ground, Spring Bank West, Hull, 1989 89-8d-42

According to the article by Chris Coulson on the Friends Of Hull General Cemetery web site, the Quakers bought a 999 years lease on a 0.23 acre plot, about 55 yards by 20 yards and burials took place there from 1855 until 1974.

The graves in this plot, still there, include those of many of Hull’s leading Quaker families and include some whose family names gained international recognition for there products including members of the Reckitt family and engineer William Priestman.

The graves in the foreground of my picture have stones recording seven members of the Reckitt family and there are some others in those behind. All except one of the burials and some whose ashes were scattered here have the same simple design for their memorials.

Hull General Cemetery, Spring Bank, Hull, 1989 89-8d-41
Hull General Cemetery, Spring Bank West, Hull, 1989 89-8d-41

Back in 1989 the cemetery was home to a number of feral cats who I think scrounged for food in the bins and at the back doors of some nearby houses, though I did see (but not photograph) old women bringing scraps into the cemetery for them. The cats generally scrambled away when I approached, but I caught one clinging to the trunk of a tree.

In the background you can see a grassed largely cleared area of the cemetery, then kept mown short by the council.

Fallen Angel, Hull General Cemetery, Spring Bank, Hull, 1989 89-8d-55
Fallen Angel, Hull General Cemetery, Spring Bank West, Hull, 1989 89-8d-55

I don’t know what happened to the many headstones that the council removed from the cemetery, though when the work was taking place there were quite a few piles of them and many had been broken as much of the work was done by unskilled and poorly supervised youth labour.

Vandalism continued in the cemetery after the council had done their worst, and many of the more ornate memorials were damaged and some completely destroyed by youths who roamed at night in the unfenced cemetery.

Dr William Atkin Thompson, Ely House, 149, Princes Avenue, Hull, 1989 89-8d-52
Dr William Atkin Thompson, Ely House, 149, Princes Avenue, Hull, 1989 89-8d-52

Princes Avenue was only a country lane at the start of the nineteenth century and the first significant development on it were the ornate gates of Hull General Cemetery close to Spring Bank West. A few years later the railway branch to the Hornsea and Withernsea lines was constructed with a level crossing across Spring Bank and a station, Cemetery Gates, later called Botanic, opened in 1864. Further down the road, Pearson Park, Hull’s first public park, was opened in 1862.

Dr William Atkin Thompson (1978-1961) qualified at Owens College, Manchester in 1899 and became a GP in Hull in 1907. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1914, and after the war continued in service in the army and later the Territorial Army while also practising in Hull. There is a profile of him on the RAMC in the Great War site. He was one of Hull’s most distinguished doctors, continuing to practice well past normal retirement age.

Houses, Princes Avenue, Hull, 1989 89-8d-65
Houses, Princes Avenue, Hull, 1989 89-8d-65

Princes Avenue was laid out to lead to the Westbourne Park Estate, now known as The Avenues, and opened in 1875, with the houses facing the Park at its north some of the first built on it.

Shops, Princes Avenue, Hull, 1989 89-8d-64
Shops, Princes Avenue, Hull, 1989 89-8d-64

Further south on Princes Avenue most of the development took place between 1890 and 1910, but the cemetery entrance was still on the west side at the southern end. I think these shops are on the long parade south of Welbeck Street which probably dates from around 1900, but those on the corner with Spring Bank West, which later housed one of Hull’s most internationally famous shops, Gwenap, were only added after the cemetery gates were moved to Spring Bank West.

Gwenap is said to have opened in 1903, though it was rather a different business back then and I think may have been in other premises as I think the shop the business occupied until 2013 was probably only built in the 1920s. The windows where it used to be are now of no interest.

More from Hull in August 1989 in later posts.


FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis
London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.


Latchmere, Shaftesbury & Park Town Battersea – 1989

Sunday, January 14th, 2024

Latchmere, Shaftesbury & Park Town Battersea – 1989: More pictures from my walk which began at Vauxhall on Friday 28th July 1989 with Nine Elms Riverside. The previous post was Shops, Spurgeon, Byron, Shakespeare & a Café.

Freedom St, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-17
Freedom St, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-17

Battersea was one of the most progressive areas of the country in the late nineteenth century and in 1886 Battersea Vestry came to the decision that the parish should itself erect working class dwelling on the site of the Latchmere allotments, themselves enclosed from Latchmere common in 1832 to provide allotments for the poor.

But, as the Survey of London which recounts the development of the area in some depth states, the Local Government Board told them that they did not have the power to build houses. The Vestry put forward a bill in parliament to enable them to go ahead but it met wide opposition and had to be withdrawn.

Things began to move again in 1898 when Fred Knee, a member of the UK’s first organised socialist party, the Social Democratic Federation and of the Co-operative Society, moved to Battersea and founded the Workmen’s Housing Council to campaign for better housing for workers to be built by public authorities on a non-profit basis. He tried to get the London County Council involved as they had the powers to build homes. But this shortly became unnecessary as the 1899 London Government Act replaced the Vestry with the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea which under the 1900 Housing Act was able to apply for the power to build housing itself. Knee continued to play an important role in the development by the council.

In 1901 Battersea Council set up a competition for plans asking for designs for five house and flat types, and prizes were eventually awarded to five of the 58 entries, and work began by Borough Surveyor, J. T. Pilditch and his architectural assistant William Eaton on finalising the designs and estate plan.

Maisonettes, 2-8, Reform St, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-62
Maisonettes, 2-8, Reform St, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-62

The Survey of London states that the final plans included “eight five-room houses, 69 houses with a three-room flat on each floor, 73 houses with a four-room flat on each floor and six odd houses of four or five rooms“. The competition-winning designs were simplified with their more picturesque features “expunged in the interests of economy” which perhaps makes them more aesthetically pleasing to modern eyes.

Where expense was not spared was in the internal facilities for the new tenants, with electric lighting (and slot meters), unusual at the time and “patent combined kitchen range, boiler and bath … fitted in all the houses at the high cost of £18 10s apiece.”

The area was designated in 1978 as the Latchmere Estate Conservation Area.

Yard, Railway, Culvert Rd, Shaftesbury Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-63
Yard, Railway, Culvert Rd, Shaftesbury Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-63

Battersea is cut through by the railway lines from two of London’s major termini, Waterloo and Victoria with junctions, goods yards, engineering works and a number of branches creating an incredible maze of tracks, viaducts, and bridges, now only slightly simplified.

Culvert Road predates the Shaftestbury Estate and was important as an entrance to Poupart’s market garden on which that estate was built. It originally had a level crossing over the railway line here – four tracks leading from Clapham Junction and from the rail bridge over the Thames at Battersea to Wandsworth Road – but this was closed and a narrow footbridge reached by slopes on each side provided in 1880. This footbridge provided may vantage point for this picture.

Culvert Road continues to the north in a tunnel out of picture to the left under around 13 more tracks leading to Victoria or Waterloo. Over the railway viaduct you can see the blocks of the Doddington Estate.

House, Culvert Rd, Eversleigh Rd, Shaftesbury Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-64
House, Culvert Rd, Eversleigh Rd, Shaftesbury Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-64

The history of the Shaftesbury Park Estate, developed by the the Artizans, Labourers and General Dwelling Company between between 1873 and 1877 was roughly based on workers cities (cités ouvrières) built earlier in France.

Its development was overshadowed by one of the era’s largest scandals which resulted in the entire board of directors being replaced in 1877 and its secretary/manager William Swindlehurst and chairman Baxter being jailed for conspiracy and fraud, and another director fleeing the country. You can read more of the details on the Survey of London.

Doorway, Shaftesbury Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-66
Doorway, Shaftesbury Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-66

When the disgraced board of the Artizans, Labourers and General Dwelling Company was replaced in 1877 their architect, the self-taught Robert Austin was sacked. His more conventionally qualified assistant was also dismissed the following year to save money. But the work of the pair has stood the test of time with a remarkable overall unity about the estate, planned on a grid system, enlivened with some minor and varied decorative features.

Despite its board’s fraud, the estate was generally well-built and houses provided with good ventilation and an improved system of drainage, though this was a cause of arguments with the local authority which favoured traditional methods. There were also various community buildings, but the estate is best-known for not including a single pub, influenced by the temperance movement of the times. William Austin, usually thought of as the founder of the company, was a poor and illiterate navvy before taking ‘the pledge’ and becoming a successful drainage contractor and builder. He set up the company as largely a business enterprise, aimed at making an annual profit of 6% rather than for any great philanthropic intent. He was voted off the board before the scandal with The Survey of London quoting him as later explaining ‘I was too
honest for them
’.

Houses, Broughton St, Park Town, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-52
Houses, Broughton St, Park Town, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-52

Broughton Street runs from the end of Eversleigh St east parallel to the railway lines before turning to cross Queenstown Rd and ending on Silverthorne Road. I think I was probably standing on the end of Eversleigh Street to photograph this long terrace on the north side which according to the Survey of London were built by partners Robert Lacy and James Flexman shortly after an agreement they made in 1867.

This block of over 20 virtually identical houses (that nearest the camera has a carriage entrance, as No 1 still does) is followed past a narrow entrance road leading to a tunnel to the London Stone Business Estate between railway lines by another long block much the same. The houses here along this side of the road are numbered consecutively from 1-52.

The houses in these terraces are quite substantial, three floors each with two main rooms and rather than their front doors opening directly onto the pavement all except the two end houses have vestigial front gardens.

Shops, 56-64, Lavender Hill, Battersea, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-56
Shops, 56-64, Lavender Hill, Battersea, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-56

I walked down Prairie Street to Queenstown Road taking a couple of pictures there before turning down Lavender Hill where I made another three, only this one on-line. I’d photographed this row of shops earlier but took this second picture showing the multiplicity of signs – a cinema poster with dinosaurs, Ice Cream, the two posts with signs for the off licence and vegetarian food. the shop fronts and a large JEANS up one of the curved ends of the houses. The area in front of the shops looks very different now.

This was the end of my walk on Friday 28th July but I returned to Clapham the following day to take more pictures – in a later post.


FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis
London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.


Shops, Spurgeon, Byron, Shakespeare & a Café

Saturday, January 13th, 2024

Shops, Spurgeon, Byron, Shakespeare & a Café: More pictures from my walk which began at Vauxhall on Friday 28th July 1989 with Nine Elms Riverside. The previous post was Rail, Housing, Matrimony & A Warning.

Shops, 56-64, Lavender Hill, Battersea, Lambeth, 1989 89-7m-22
Shops, 56-64, Lavender Hill, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-22

The six houses between Woodmere Grove and Shirley Grove at 56-66 on the north side of Lavender Hill were built at a slight angle to the road. Each of them also has a rounded corner at the south-east, making them look from the east side as a series of round towers, some strange castle beside the road. Unlike the other terraces on the road this makes them stand out as individual buildings, though shop extensions on the ground floor present a straight line on the pavement.

These houses were built as a part of Seymour Terrace in around 1870 as private houses with basements on a part of an estate bought by Clapham surgeon and GP Henry Meredith Townsend who lived nearby on Clapham Rise. The ground floor was converted into shops in 1882. The Survey of London which gives more detail describes them as “a minor masterpiece of street architecture.

Queen's Road Stores, Hartington Terrace, Stanley Grove, Queenstown Rd, Clapham, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-24
Queen’s Road Stores, Hartington Terrace, Stanley Grove, Queenstown Rd, Clapham, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-24

Hartington Terrace on Queenstown Road is still there though the shopfronts have changed a little over the years they are still basically the same. No 43 on the corner has lost those ‘decorative’ blinds and looks very much more sober, not welling bathroom fittings rather than wine. This whole area of Battersea, Park Town, was the heart of a single farm, Longhedge Farm, which began to be developed after the opening of Battersea Park in 1858. Its long and complex story is told in great detail in the link cited.

Developments at the southern end included some large villas close to Clapham Common, and the developers of the northern part under Philip William Flower (1810–72) originally hoped to make this a middle-class area with its location between Clapham and Chelsea but later had to lower their expectations largely because of railway expansion in the area and develop it as homes for working-class artisans.

An Act of Parliament in 1863 allowed the laying out of Queens Road (known since 1939 as Queenstown Road) and building on the estate continued over the next 30 or so years. One of the two major builders was Walter Peacock who began Hartington Terrace (named by Cyril Flower, (1843–1907), Philip’s eldest son and first Lord Battersea) in 1885. No 43 was built as a pub and there was a parade of 7 shops with stabling and workshops behind. A few more shops were added to the north in 1888 by another builder.

Stanley Grove at left was an earlier development with houses built by a number of builders in 1867-8.

Life Tabernacle, United Pentecostal Church, 32, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-26
Life Tabernacle, United Pentecostal Church, 32, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-26

The church is still there, set back from Battersea Park Road, but the temporary looking building occupying most of the picture has been replaced by a rather nondescript block with a large ground floor betting shop.

The land for the church building was, according to the Survey of London, acquired in 1868 “from the Crown’s Battersea Park purchase, to be used ‘as a branch from Mr Spurgeon’s tabernacle’. ” One of the leading Baptist figures of the age, Spurgeon was for 38 years pastor of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) at the Elephant & Castle. He was a powerful preacher and prolific writer and supporter of many practical schemes to improve the lot of the urban poor as well as missions such as this to convert them to his Calvinistic Christianity.

The first building erected was this, built as a lecture hall seating almost 500 by Lambeth builder and architect William Higgs, and it was 25 years later that a chapel was added to Battersea Tabernacle. This occupied the space between the hall and Battersea Park Road and was demolished probably in the 1970s having been damaged by wartime bombing. The hall was purchased for £25,000 by members of Calvary Temple in Camberwell and became Life Tabernacle.

Decoration, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-13
Decoration, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-13

Somewhere on the stretch of Battersea Park Road between Propert’s blacking factory at 142 (photograph not on-line) and the villas at 445-7 I made this picture of terracotta decoration in panels on a building, but I can no longer find it. Unfortunately although my note says Battersea Park Road it does not give a street number. From the picture I think it must had been only a few courses above street level.

The central panel seems more generic, with a vessel with appears to have a fruit tree growing out of it, perhaps with apples, but the two roundels at the sides are perhaps more interesting. I think they probably represent some trade or other, but can’t decide which. Perhaps someone reading this can solve the mystery and make a comment.

Shakespeare Villa, Byron Villa, 445, 447, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-14
Shakespeare Villa, Byron Villa, 445, 447, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth 1989 89-7m-14

This remarkable pair of villas, now apparently a hotel, were built in the 1850s and the architect is thought to have been Charles Lee. The two are Grade II listed. The gable has a distinctive scalloped bargeboard or decoration and this continues for a short length along each side of the house to a low wall bearing an urn.

Cafe Window,  Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-15
Café Window, Battersea Park Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7m-15

This café on Battersea Park Road, I think in the parade between Stanmer St and Balfern Street, seems a suitable place to pause my walk which will continue in later posts. Although it looks as if it was taken from inside I think it was probably closed and I was standing in a recessed doorway.


FlickrFacebookMy London DiaryHull PhotosLea ValleyParis
London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Photos

All photographs on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
Contact me to buy prints or licence to reproduce.


Bonnington Square and Kennington Lane – 1989

Monday, November 13th, 2023

Bonnington Square and Kennington Lane – The final set of pictures from my walk on 19th July 1989 which began with Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason. It continues from my post More From Stockwell & South Lambeth.

Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-31
Vauxhall Grove, Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-31

At the end of Langley Road I came to a remarkable area of Vauxhall. Built in the 1870s for railway workers Bonnington Square was in the late 1970s compulsorily purchased by the GLC who intended to demolish it and build a school. But one resident, a Turkish shopkeeper, took legal action to prevent the demolition and eventually the GLC gave up. Squatters moved in to occupy almost a hundred emptied properties, setting up a vegetarian cafe, a wholefood shop and bars and a community garden.

Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-32
Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-32

The squatters formed a housing co-op and eventually negotiated a lease and in 1998 were able to buy the buildings from Lambeth Council. Most are now still owned by low-rent housing cooperatives. A few are privately owned, I think including some where the GLC had not managed to get residents to move out. The gardens are still collectively run, as was the café.

Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-33
Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-33

The story is told in The Mavericks of Bonnington Square which also includes a 20 minute film produced around 2011 which gives an interesting view of the area and the incredible transformation made by those who moved in, and also includes many of their photographs from the early days. People had more or less to rebuild many of the properties and developed an incredible community spirit in doing so. The area is now described as a “botanical oasis hidden in the midst of Vauxhall” and includes two community gardens, one on an area destroyed by wartime bombing.

Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-31
Bonnington Square, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-31

I went to Bonnington Square quite a few times, often taking a short wander through on my way from visiting friends who lived in a council flat close to the Oval to Vauxhall Station, not to take pictures but just because it was an interesting diversion if I had a few minutes before my train came, and I also went to some of the festivals there.

St Peters, Vauxhall, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-26
St Peters, Vauxhall, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-26

I often walked past St Peters Church and went inside a few times, including to a service led by a trendy young cleric in black leathers. Now I think worhips there is rather different. The Grade II* listed church built in 1863-4 was the first major town church by the renowned British Gothic Revival architect John Loughborough Pearson. It has magnificent interior and a fine exterior; shortages of cash meant the church was rather plainer than Pearson’s orginal plans, probably much to its advantage. The site was given free by the developer of Vauxhall Gardens on the provision that all seats in the church should be free and not rented. It has a fine acoustic and now hosts concerts as well as services.

Around the corner linked to the side of the church are the schools built a few years earlier (also designed by Pearson) to train local children to be draughtsmen and artists for Maudslay’s engineering works and Doulton’s pottery factory nearby. The wall at the left of the picture is of another building by Pearson, though you can see little of it in this picture, his St Peter’s Orphanage and Training College for the daughters of clergy and professionals and also Grade II* listed, now converted into flats as Herbert House.

Shops, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-25
Shops, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-25

A lively row of small shops is still present here on Kennington lane, although now rather less useful and perhaps a little more run-down. I stood regularly at the bus stop here for buses to Camberwell and Peckham as well as walking past on another longer route to see my friends or to take my cameras in for repair at Fixation down the road, and made a few photographs here over the years.

Window display, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-11
Window display, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-11

This was part of the window display in one of those shops in July 1989., including two Edward Weston posters of Clark Gable and Grouch Marx. The Marilyn Monroe image was her first of her to appear on the cover of LIFE on April 7, 1952, taken by Philip Halsman, and it was later published widely, including again inside LIFE in 1962 at the time of her death.

Happy Birthday Nicaragua, Harleyford Rd, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-24
Happy Birthday Nicaragua, Harleyford Rd, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, Lambeth, 1989 89-7h-24

On the corner of a very busy traffic junction just yards southeast of Vauxhall Station this white wall was a good site for graffiti, though in my picture it is partly obscured by the street furniture. I think I chose the viewpoint to make sure that the message ‘Happy Birthday Nicaragua – 10 years of liberation – (and a long way from Thatcher)’ was clear.

The Sandinistas took power in Nicaragua in July 1979, ending long years of dictatorhsip by the Samoza family who had been put into power there by the US who occupied the country from 1912 until 1933. Thatcher was only prime minister from 1979 until 1990 but it seemed much longer and caused a decisive shift to the right and towards an emphasis on individual greed rather than social responsibility that continues to this day.


Coldharbour, Atlantic & Brixton Rd – 1989

Sunday, September 10th, 2023

Coldharbour, Atlantic & Brixton Rd: My walk which began in Clapham on Sunday 4th June 1989 continues in Brixton. It began with Light & Life, Pinter and Stockwell Breweries and the previous post was Bon Marche, Police, Acre Lane and Tate.

Shops, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-45
Shops, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-45

After taking a near-identical image of Electric Avenue to that I posted earlier I moved on to Coldharbour Lane. Rather to my surprise this row of shops is still there, close to the corner with Electric Lane on the south side of the road.

Clifton Mansions, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-46
Clifton Mansions, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-46

Clifton Mansions, 22 flats at 429 Coldharbour Lane were built set back from the road in 1896 to house workers at the nearby Brixton Theatre, now the Ritzy Cinema and are still reached by a archway between shops at 427 and 431.

They attracted a wide range of squatters in the 1990s, including the Pogues and Jeremy Dellar. The flats were refurbished in 2012. Flats there can now be rented for around £2,500 a month.

Matlock House, Rushcroft Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-32
Matlock House, Rushcroft Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-32

Matlock House looks in rather better condition now and the blocked doorway covered with fly-posting has now been restored. I think the date on the tile above that doorway is 1892. These properties were refurbished in 2015-6 after some 75 squatters living in Rushcroft Road were forcefully evicted in July 2013. You can read about the eviction and see photographs on Brixton Buzz.

Lambeth Council had owned the flats since around 1975 when they had bought them for the constuction of the Innner London Motorway Box, plans for which fortunately were abandoned, as it would have been disastrous for Brixton. Like Clifton Mansions these flats had been built to house artists and technicians from Brixton’s theatre and music halls. The council abandoned the flats and left them to rot, with squatters moving in.

One resident was able to claim “ownership in the House of Lords under the so-called ‘twelve year rule.’ Five Law Lords threw up their hands in exasperation, took a flat away from Lambeth Council and gave it to him, gratis, after more than a decade of Council mismanagement, incompetence, irresponsibility and neglect.”

The squatters formed a neighbourhood association to defend the flats against sale by the council to property developers in 2002. But slowly, despite great public support for the residents the council pressed ahead, destroying a successful community and hugely accelerating the gentrification of Brixton. Flats here are now for sale at around £750,000.

Continental Foods, Coldharbout Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-33
Continental Foods, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-33

Home in 1989 by Continental Foods, this Grade II listed building at 411-417 Coldharbour Lane, was built around 1914 to the designs of of T R Somerford as one of the chain of Temperance Billiard Halls. The company targeted south London in particular because many new pubs were built here around the end of the 19th century.

Since I made the photograph, there have been some changes with the ground floor now divided into a number of shops, including a community police station. Lambeth Council granted planning permission for it to be turned into a hotel in the 1990s, and the rest of the building around 2005 became a hostel with the name London Hotel, but has since been refurbished as flats named Billiard Lodge.

Shops, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-34
Shops, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-34

This row of shops with housing above is between Kellett Road and Saltoun Road on Atlantic Road and includes the Frontline Off Licence. The area around the north end of Railton Road which continues Atlantic Road south of here gained that name after the 1981 clashes with police which became known as the Brixton Uprising or Brixton Riots started here.

Vote Rudy Naryan, Shop Window, Brixton Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-36
Vote Rudy Naryan, Shop Window, Brixton Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6a-36

Rudra (Rudy) Narayan (1938 – 28 1998) was a barrister and civil rights activist who migrated to Britain in the 1953 from Guyana, spending seven years in the British Army before studying at Lincoln’s Inn to become a barrister.

A blue plaque now marks the building at 413 Brixton Road where he had a law practice from 1987-94. Erected by the Nubian Jak Community Trust and the Society of Black Lawyers it remembers him as ‘BARRISTER, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTION, COMMUNITY CHAMPION AND “VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS’. A heavy drinker who was thrown out of chambers for assaulting his head of chambers, he died of cirrhosis of the liver in Kings College Hospital in 1998 following a lengthy battle with alcoholism.

In 1989 Narayan who had been a Labour councillor and once been selected as Labour candidate for Birmingham Handsworth, but then deselected for allegedly anti-Semitic remarks in his books stood as a candidate in the Vauxhall by-election arguing that a largely black area should have a black MP. His campaign failed to attract much support and Labour’s Kate Hoey was elected.

The plaque is above the San Marino coffee shop on the corner with Brixton Station Road. From there I returned to the area around Ferndale Road where a further post will continue this walk.

More Stockwell Green & Mary Seacole

Friday, August 25th, 2023

My walk which began in Clapham on Sunday 4th June 1989 continues in Stockwell. The first and previous part was Light & Life, Pinter and Stockwell Breweries.

Combermere Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-51
Combermere Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-51

The decorations at right are on the fine frontage of The Marquess of Lorne pub. The Grade II listing for this mentions is fine terracotta window surrounds and these panels in green, gold and brown glazed tiles. The pub has the address 51 Dalyell Rd, but this side is in Combermere Rd. The Marquis of Lorne is a title given to the eldest son and heir of the Duke of Argyll (in full Marquis of Kintyre and Lorne.) The decoration on the building includes the name of the Licensee in 1881 although a licence for the pub was refused ten years earlier. CAMRA note that as well as the fine Victorian exterior decoration much of the inter-war interior refitting remains.

Probably the pub name dates from 1878 when John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, later 9th Duke of Argyll but then Marquess of Lorne was made Governor General of Canada. He was married to Princess Louise, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, who has a rather fine pub named after her in Holborn.

The decoration on 20 Combermere Road at left has also survived. This is a Laundromat and dry cleaners.

Hargwyne St, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-52
Hargwyne St, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-52

A street of solidly built late Victorian houses. Their plain elegance is relieved by leaf decoration on three sides of the the first floor windows and dentillation above the ground floor bays. A boy plays with a ball outside in this quiet street. I can’t find any explanation of the street name.

Shops, Brixton Station Rd, Brixton Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-53
Shops, Brixton Station Rd, Brixton Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-53

I made a detour into the centre of Brixton, probably to use the public toilets in Brixton Market, taking a picture of the block of shops on its north side between Brixton Road and Beehive Place, before returning to Combermere Road. I made more pictures in Brixton the same day on another camera, either on this detour or later in my wanderings on the day but I can’t now remember which – I’ll include these in one of the later posts on this walk.

Stockwell Depot, Combermere Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-42
Stockwell Depot, Combermere Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-42

Another view of the former Waltham’s Brewery in Combermere Road which was for many years a Lambeth Council Depot and has since been replaced by housing. Although I wasn’t able to view the interior, this seemed to me to be a good example of a relatively early industrial building, few of which have survived.

New Queens Head, pub, Stockwell Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-43
New Queens Head, pub, Stockwell Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-43

The pub is still there on Stockwell Road, a short distance east of the corner of Combermere Road, and still looks similar though it has lost the ‘New’ and is now longer a Courage pub. The name board between the two first floor windows is gone, now just dull brown empty paintwork and the ground floor paint is all over, no longer emphasising the panels and door and window frames. It used to look rather smarter. Perhaps the beer is better.

Perhaps surprisingly this building is Grade II listed, described as a “Building of Regency appearance with alterations.” The listing states it is included for group value and my picture shows some of that group.

Mary Seacole Mural, Stockwell Green, Stockwell Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-44
Mary Seacole Mural, Stockwell Green, Stockwell Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-44

I moved a few feet west to include a better view of the Mary Seacole mural on the west corner of Combermere Road. Not only has the mural now gone, so has the building on which it was painted.

Mary Seacole (1805 – 1881) was born in Jamaica, her father a Scots soldier and mother a free Creole. She became a nurse and a doctor using natural herbs, learning her skills from her mother who ran a house looking after injured soldiers. In 1854 she applied to the War Office to go as a nurse to the Crimean War (1853-6) but was rejected as she had no formal training. So she made her own way there.

In the Crimea she met Florence Nightingale who refused to let her work in the hospital there, so she set up her own British Hotel near Balaclava to look after sick and recovering officers, also going to nurse wounded soldiers on the battlefield, sometimes under fire.

In the Crimea, ‘Mother Seacole’ gained a reputation among the soldiers rivalling that of Florence Nightingale. She returned to England after the war in poor health and destitute, but thousands who knew what she had done for our soldiers set up a festival and collection for her in 1857. At the time William Russell who had been in Crimea as War correspondent for The Times wrote “I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead.”

But somehow, probably because of her colour, Mary Seacole more or less disappeared from our history books, and this mural and a memorial garden close to where she was buried in St Mary’s Cemetery in Kensal Green were part of a campaign to revive the memory and reputation of this “Black lady of compassion” and Black history in general.

In 2016 a memorial statue to her was erected in the grounds of St Thomas’s Hospital, the first in the UK to a named black woman. There was opposition to the erection of a statue to her, led by the the Nightingale Society.

More pictures from my walk on 4th June 1989 in a later post.


The Heart of Brixton

Saturday, August 19th, 2023

The Heart of Brixton continues the account of my walk on Sunday 28th May 1989. The previous post was Sunlight, Trinity, Town Hall & Granada and the walk began with Lavender Hill & Wandsworth Rd – 1989.

D Bess, Bakery, Brighton Terrace, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-21
D Bess, Bakery, Brighton Terrace, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-21

Was this a Caribbean bakers? D Bess, The Best Bakery. The building is still there at 12-14 Brighton Terrace, trimmed off rather more neatly at the right, modernised and used as an NHS clinic for Lambeth Drug & Alcohol Service, with an extra floor added on top.

Brighton Terrace is one of the older streets in Brixton and was present by the time of the first Skeleton Town plans surveyed by the Ordnance survey in 1848-1851 and by 1870 was lined with smallish houses on both sides, none of which have survived.

At a guess this building dates from around the start of the 20th century but I can find no information about when it was built or its occupiers before it became D Bess Bakery.

A Robson & Sons, 20-22 Brighton Terrace, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-22
A Robson & Sons, 20-22 Brighton Terrace, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-22

A Robson & Sons at 20-22 Brighton Terrace tell us that they are ‘Manufacturers and Rewinders of Replacement xxxxxures Stators and Rotors’ – I think the illegible word must be Armatures, but the state of the sign suggests they were no longer in business at this address. There is still a company in the same business, Robson & Francis Rewinds Ltd, in the Vale Industrial Park in Streatham who call themselves UK Specialists in Rewind & Reconditioning Armatures, Field Coils & Motors and I wonder if this is its successor.

20-22 Brighton Terrace still bears some resemblance to this rather charming small factory building, perhaps dating from the 1930s, but is now the same height as the flats at right of the picture to which it is joined, having four floors rather than the two in my picture. But it still has the same wavy roof line.

Tunstall Hall, Carlton Hall, BrixtonLodge, Bernay's Grove, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-23
Tunstall Hall, Carlton Hall, Brixton Lodge, Bernay’s Grove, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-23

Tunstall Hall at the left of the picture was built around 1860 and at one time was storage for Morleys Department Store on Brixton Road, whose rear entrance is just across the street. The central building is Carlton Hall – Bernay’s Grove was originally called Carlton Grove but renamed before 1912. All these buildings apparently became an engineering works in the mid-20th century.

The house at right, 1 Bernays Grove dates from the 1820s and is Grade II listed. It was one of the villas which then lined Brixton Road, set back from it with long front gardens, later built over.

Carlton Hall and No 1 was in 1889 the Carlton Club, the hall used for religious services only, and from 1905 to 1909 Brixton Synagogue. In 1989 it was a Carlton Hall Community Centre. Tunstall Hall is now an architects studio.

The Railway Hotel, Brixton Station, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-25
The Railway Hotel, Brixton Station, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-25

The London, Chatham and Dover Railway opened Brixton and South Stockwell Station in 1862 taking commuters from what was then a fairly affluent suburb to Victoria, with a further line to Blackfriars opening in 1864. The population of Brixton rapidly expanded. Atlantic Road was laid out in the late 1860s following the railway viaduct and many smaller properties soon appeared. But wealthier residents in the villas along Brixton Road moved out and shops and commercial premises were rapidly built in their place covering their long front gardens.

The Railway Hotel, Electric Avenue, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-26
The Railway Hotel, Brixton Station, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-25

The Railway Hotel has a conveniently located plaque bearing the date 1880 it was built in a finely ornamented neo-Gothic style surmounted by an octagonal clocktower. What can’t be read on my picture is the text underneath the date, LAID BY ANNIE ALLEN, who was its first licensee.

Still the Railway Hotel when I took these pictures, it was renamed Brady’s Bar in the 1990s and became an important music venue, played by Jimi Hendrix, The Clash as well as more local bands such as Alabama 3.

The pub closed in 1999 and was squatted and vandalised. Lambeth Council compulsorily purchased the building, but resisted various local campaigns to turn it into a community asset, selling it off to the highest bidder in 2013. The top floors were converted to flats and the ground floor became a Mexican restuarant, which closed in 2020. It reopened later as DF Tacos. The whole area is under threat from a comprehensive development scheme.

Stairway, Brixton Station, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-13-Edit
Stairway, Brixton Station, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-13-Edit

I think these old wooden stairs have now been replaced by metal, but I can’t work out exactly where I was standing. They go up to platform level and going above the platforms is the line leading towards Denmark Hill which now carries the Overground but has no stop at Brixton. There used to be an East Brixton station on that line but about a quarter of a mile further on, at Barrington Road, but this closed in 1976.

Brixton’s British Rail stations became less important after the opening of the Victoria Line to Brixton in 1971.

89-5l-14-Edit
Shops, Electric Avenue, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-14

Back in 1989 there was virtually no Sunday trading before the Sunday Trading Act 1994 and I took the opportunity to photograph the normally bustling market street of Electric Avenue when it was almost empty.

This was one of London’s most elegant shopping streets when it was first built in 1885-8 and it was one of the first market streets to be lit by electricity. And around 1890 canopies were erected along both sides of the street so that shoppers could keep dry if it rained.

In 1989 I was surprised to see that these canopies had been removed, perhaps to give more space for the street market. The council I think blamed wartime damage, but it seemed a very thin excuse when they had continued to stand for over 40 years. The street has since been further damaged by partial redevelopment, and more is likely.

Brixton Station, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-15
Brixton Station, Atlantic Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-15

These huge pillars carry the railway line over the top of Brixton Station. Behind is one of the railway arches which for years were home to many small businesses that served the area well. In 2015 Network Rail decided to close and refurbish the arches over a year – and any traders that wanted to return would be faced with a 350% increase in rents.

The Save Brixton Arches Campaign was set up to oppose the changes, organising a number of public protests which had very wide popular support in the area. Despite this Lambeth Council decided to go ahead with Network Rail and most of the traders went out of business.

Many of the arches have now re-opened, but not with the useful and down-to-earth shops that people in Brixton had used for years, providing useful goods cheaply. When I last walked along Atlantic Road and Brixton Station Road many were still empty. Brixton has lost a large chunk of its heart.

And it was here at the centre of Brixton that the photographs from my walk on 28th June 1989 ended, though I think I will have walked back to Acre Lane to catch my bus back to Clapham Junction.


The Alexandra, Sanitary Ware & Ace

Friday, August 11th, 2023

The Alexandra, Sanitary Ware & Ace continues the account of my walk on Sunday 28th May 1989. The previous post was http://re-photo.co.uk/?p=15138 Shops, Flats, Trade Unions, Monks… and the walk began with http://re-photo.co.uk/?p=15080 Lavender Hill & Wandsworth Rd – 1989

Shops, The Alexandra, pub, Clapham Common Southside, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-25
Shops, The Alexandra, pub, Clapham Common Southside, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-25

The Alex is one of the best known pubs in the area and upstairs is the Clapham Darts Club, open to non-members where you can book an oche, though at £20 an hour you might think it a bit steep. I’ve never played darts in a pub where you had to pay, but then its probably 50 years since I’ve played pub darts. Then you paid by buying beer.

Its a pub too that is best avoided on match nights and at weekends unless you want to watch sport. The pub dates from 1866, though has sadly lost a much of its Victorian interior features.

6 Haselrigge Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-15
6 Haselrigge Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-15

I can’t remember what route I took from Clapham Park Road to Bedford Rd, probably cutting through some of the estates but not stopping to take photographs. But this house is visible from Bedford Road and drew me down to make this pictures. It was certainly the slender spire which attracted my attention. Built in 1871 it also has an observatory and apparently a matching coach house behind. Long converted into flats, this locally listed house I feel must have more of a story to tell than I’ve been able to unearth.

Haselrigge Road gets its name from one of the oldest well-connected families in England, which dates back before the Norman invasion and are said to have been the lords of the manor on the now lost West Yorkshire village of Hesselgreave. Bartholomew Clerke lord of the manor of Clapham who died in 1589 and his wife, Eleanor Haselrigge, and their son are commemorated in figures on a monument in St Paul’s Church Clapham.

63, Bedford Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-16
63, Bedford Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-16

53-63 Bedford Road were Grade II listed in 1981, the listing reads in part “Circa 1870, in stock brick with creamy terra-cotta dressings, built by J G Jennings as part of a larger scheme of houses of varying size and quality, to the designs of T Collcutt.” Josiah George Jennings was a noted sanitary engineer.”

Thomas Edward Collcutt (1840-1924) was an important English architect, better known for designing the Wigmore Hall, Savoy Hotel, Palace Theatre and more. This house at 63 is on the corner with Ferndale Road which now has its very own Conservation Area which provided me with much of the information below.

Rathcoole House, Ferndale Rd, Bedford Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-63
Rathcoole House, Ferndale Rd, Bedford Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-63

Rathcoole house, Grade II listed in 1981, was the main and final house of a scheme designed by T E Colcutt and built by Josiah George Jennings. Remarkably this house was derelict and had been scheduled for demolition in 1966 but was rented from the GLC as a hostel for vagrant alcoholics and decorated and fully furnished mainly by the efforts of voluntary organisations. A decorated sign on the side has the initials JG, the street name and date 1882.

Rathcoole House, Ferndale Rd, Bedford Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-64
Rathcoole House, Ferndale Rd, Bedford Rd, Brixton, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-64

The house is on the corner with Ferndale Road which has its on Conservation Area. Lambeth Council’s document on this gives more detail of George Jenning (1810-1882) who set up a company in Paris Street Lambeth making sanitary ware, “patenting revolutionary improvements to
toilets
.”

His ‘Monkey Closets’ installed at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in 1851 were the world’s first public toilets – and for a penny clients “received a clean seat, a towel, a comb and shoe shine“. Ever since we have been going to spend a penny even if that now costs 50p and comes without most of the original accompaniments.

Jennings set up the South Western Pottery in Parkstone, near Poole in Dorset to produce sanitary products from the local clays, later expanding to “bricks, chimney post and architectural terracotta” all in a pale creamy colour. He developed other areas of south London including around Nightingale Lane in Clapham.

Jennings began building Ferndale Road in 1870 and only completed the scheme the year he died in a traffic accident. The completion is commemorated on the side of Rathcoole House which had been one of the earlier houses to be built.

House, Bedford Rd area, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-51
House, Bedford Rd area, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-51

Not all houses in the area were built to the same standards as those by Jennings. I think this small building was probably at the front of some works behind whose corrugated iron roof is visible at left. I’m no longer sure exactly where on Bedford Road it was, but somewhere on the west side quite close to the railway bridge.

Ace, Shop, Bedford Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-52
Ace, Shop, Bedford Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5l-52

Another rather basic building a little to the north of the railway bridge at 16 Bedford Road and surprisingly still there, now a minicab office. Ace had a rather wider scope, offering driving lessons and also selling and exchanging books – some of which you can see on the shelves through the window.

I took a second picture without the woman walking past who is reflected in the window, but I think this is better.

I turned around and walked back down Bedford Road to Acre Lane where my account of this walk will continue in a later post.


Shops, Flats, Trade Unions, Monks…

Thursday, August 10th, 2023

Shops, Flats, Trade Unions, Monks… continues my walk around Clapham on Sunday 28th May 1989. The previous post was Voltaire, Billiards & Methodists and the walk began with Lavender Hill & Wandsworth Rd – 1989.

Shops, Clapham High St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-42
Shops, Clapham High St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-42

The rather charming three stroy building occupied on the ground flow at least by Julia Two has gone and together with the low utilitarian shops to the right has been replaced by one of the ugliest buildings on Clapham High Street. But the buildings to the left remain, although with altered shop fronts, as do those on the other side of Venn St.

The Barclays Bank on the corner of Venn St dates from 1895 and closed a few years ago.

Flats, Crescent Lane, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-45
Flats, Crescent Lane, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-45

I walked on further along Clapham High Street and on along Clapham Common Southside before turning down Crescent Lane to wander around some of the streets to the south. Worsopp Drive is one of the roads in Lambeth’s Notre Dame Estate off Cresecnt Lane in an enviable location just a short walk south of Clapham Common. The estate was built in 1947-1952 when this was part of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth on the site of the former Notre Dame Convent. It is a mixture of different low and medium rise brick properties and these 8 storey blocks are the tallest.

I don’t know why I didn’t photograph the Clapham Orangery which was retained at the centre of the estate, but I imagine there was some good reason.

UCW House, Union of Communication Workers, Crescent Lane, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-32
UCW House, Union of Communication Workers, Crescent Lane, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-32

From the estate I returned to Crescent Lane where I photographed UCW House, then the home of the Union of Communication Workers. According to the Clapham Society, around 1920 a house on this site was sold to the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers for use as their headquarters, and renamed ‘The Builders. In the 1930s, the Union of Post Office Workers bought the building and the site was divided between the two unions, with both commissioning new buildings with architect L AS Culliford. This building was opened in spetember 1937, with a extra storey being added in 1976.

The union, by then the Union of Communication Workers , sold the building as offices to he Metropolitan Huusing Trust in 1998. They moved out in 2012 and it was converted to residential use as Metropolitan Crescent.

At the south end of Crescent Lane I turned into Abbeville Road, walking along it to the junction with Park Hill where I made my next picture.

Govette, Park Hill, Abbeville Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-33
Govette, Park Hill, Abbeville Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-33

I first photographed this sign in 1980 and posted this about that picture when I put it on Flickr:

Govette is originally a French name, and a couple of them came over with William the Conqueror back in 1066 and were given land in Somerset. The name was often spelt without the final ‘e’.

Govette Metal & Glass Works, a family firm and was established in 1956 in Clapham, and in the 1970s split up into several divisions, with Govette’s remaining in Clapham. They closed the factory there in the mid-nineties and specialised in the supply, installation and glazing of steel windows and doors, establishing Govette Windows Ltd in 1996, and are now based in Whyteleafe. They also now have a factory in South Godstone.

Peter Marshall on Flickr

I walked back along Abbeville Road and then up St Alphonsus Rd to where it bends at a right angle to the east.

St Mary's Redemptorist Monastery, St Alphonsus Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-35
St Mary’s Redemptorist Monastery, St Alphonsus Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-35

St Mary’s Roman Catholic church in Clapham Park Road whose spire appears in the background of this picture was built in 1849-51. The Redemptorists are a Catholic missionary congregation and came from Belium to set set up houses in the UK, including this Grade II* listed monastery in Clapham designed by J F Bentley in Art and Craft Gothic style and built in 1892-3.

I continued to the end of the road and turned left into Clapham Park Road going back to Clapham High Street as I wanted to take another picture of the Post Office on Venn St – which I posted in a previous post. I came back down Venn St to Bromell’s Road.

Alley, 18-20 Bromells Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-22
Alley, 18-20 Bromells Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-22

You can still see this alley on Bromwells Road but the view down in is much less interesting, with none of the bridges linking 20 with 22 across the street remaining. The buildings on Bromwells Road have been refurbished and those visible down the alley rebuilt or replaced, althhough I think that at the end of the alley is still there. But what looked like a street with various small workshops is now much tidier.

The account of my walk will continue in a later post.


Postmen, The Majestic and More

Saturday, August 5th, 2023

Postmen, The Majestic continues my walk on Sunday 28th May 1989. The previous post was Citroen & More Clapham and the walk began with Lavender Hill & Wandsworth Rd – 1989.

Postmen's Office, Venn St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-23
Postmens Office, Venn St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-23

Postmen and Postwomen are still using the Postmen’s Office, a rather grand building from AD1902 where Venn Street takes a 90 degree turn to the east with Sedley Place going west. It seems now to be officially known as the Royal Mail Clapham Delivery Office.

I liked this picture partly because it gave some indication of the work which goes on inside the office, but came back for another picture when the rented truck had moved.

Postmen's Office, Venn St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-36
Postmens Office, Venn St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-36

When Lambeth Council set up their ‘Local List’ of historic buildings and artifacts which are not included in the statutory listing in 2010 it was one of the first to be listed, along with four others in the Clapham area, recognised by the council itself as being of architectural interest.

The Clapham Society two years later submitted there ow n list of over 70 properties in the area to recommend to the council of which only around ten were added, some excluded because they were inside already designated conservation areas. Clapham really does have a lot of interesting properties

Local listing provides little actual protection to properties but does mean the council will be aware of them in coming to planning decisions and take them into consideration in setting up local development plans. But unlike buildings in conservation areas or listed buildings they can be demolished without consent – which is seldom granted for listed buildings.

Former The Majestic, cinema, Clapham High St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-41
Former Majestic, cinema, Clapham High St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-41

The Majestic Cinema at 146 Clapham High St was designed by John Stanley Beard and opened in 1914.
The narrow front entrance – another shopfront between shops – leads to a large auditorium behind behind the shops. It seems that one of the names on the title deeds was Charles Chaplin. The cinema was taken over in 1928 and became part of Gaumont British Cinemas in 1929. Bomb damage closed it for a few months in 1940-1 and in 1950 it was re-named Gaumont Theatre, closing ten years later in 1960.

Majestic Cinema, Stonhouse St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-24
Majestic Cinema, Stonhouse St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-24

The side of the cinema gives a better idea of its scale. After it closed as a cinema, the balcony was converted into a recording studio, Majestic Studios, continuing in use even after the main space became a bingo club in 1969, though probably not operating during the same hours. Among those who recorded there were Brian Eno. Adam Faith, David Bowie and the Sex Pistols.

In 1985 it became Cinatra’s nightclub and is now Infernos night club and disco. There are now new blocks on each side of the cinema building.

Langley Electrical, 156-8, Stonhouse St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-25
Langley Electrical, 158, Stonhouse St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-25

Langley Electrical, the first of this row of buildings on the opposite side of the street just past the cinema has been removed but the rest from 156 survives and has been tidied up and the ground floor shops mainly converted to residential use.

Houses, 34-40, Voltaire Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-13
Houses, 34-40, Voltaire Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5j-13

I walked along Clapham High Street, wandering a little down the side streets off the north side, and turning down Clapham Manor Road to Voltaire Road, where I amused myself a little with this image, hiding the foreground with the van and the ball on the top of a gate post. I think that gate has since been demolished but the houses are still there.

Shops, Clapham High St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-61
Shops, Clapham High St, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-5k-61

This picture was taken across the road from the corner with Voltaire Road. There are still shops though looking rather less run down and housing different businesses and the houses behind are still there but no longer advertise the CASH SUPPLY STORES selling VEGETABLES CAULIFLOWERS and something illegible or THE MUSIC ROLL EXCHANGE offering Gramophone Records and claiming to have the LARGEST STOCK OF SECONDHAND MUSIC ROLLS IN ALL LONDON.

The railings have also gone, replaces around 2012 with some stands for locking bikes.

My walk on Sunday 28th May 1989 will continue in another post.