Posts Tagged ‘works’

Around the Abbey in Bermondsey 1988

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surrey Docks & North Bermondsey 1988

Monday, June 13th, 2022

I can no longer remember whether the short excursion to Greenland Dock from Rotherhithe came at the end of my previous walk or a few days later at the beginning of my walk on 28th October 1988, though of course it doesn’t really matter. The story of my previous walk began at Greenwich and Deptford Creek October 1988 and ended with Deptford to Rotherhithe October 1988.

I’m unsure now whether I took the fist few of these pictures at the end of my previous walk or at the start of my next one, but it hardly matters as they are in the same area and within a few days of each other.

Lifting Bridge, Dockside sheds, Redriff Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-03-Edit_2400
Lifting Bridge, Dockside sheds, Redriff Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-03

This is one of the two bridges that linked the riverside areas of Rotherhithe and the Surrey Docks to the area around Lower Road and Surrey Quays station, then on the East London which ran between Shoreditch and alternately to New Cross or New Cross Gate, linking to the District line at Whitechapel. Both have been preserved, though not in working order and this one a short distance from it former site.

At the centre of the picture you can see the curved lower end of the bridge and below it the flat rail on which it rolled back to raise the bascule, with a heavy counterweight above so very little power was needed to raise the bridge.

Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-12-Edit_2400
Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-12

Several relics from the working docks, including this capstan are still present at the east end of Greenland Quay.

Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-13-Edit_2400
Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10h-13

Four people in kayaks link up and stop to talk to each other in Greenland Dock. I was standing at the end of Greenland Quay and looking towards the tower blocks of the Barkantine Estate on the Isle of Dogs across the Thames.

Southwark Park, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-62-Edit_2400
Southwark Park, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-62

My next picture was made in Southwark Park, which I think I walked through to Jamaica Road. I’m not absolutely sure what the building in the background was, and I think the area it was in has now been re-developed. Somewhere in the north-east corner of the park it was probably a part of the former St Olave’s Hospital which closed in 1984 and was demolished and replaced by Ann Moss Way in the 1990s.

I seem deliberately to have tried to make this picture mysterious, taking three near-identical frames, an unusual number for me at the time when film was relatively expensive.

Major Works, James Jackson and Co, Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-65-Edit_2400
Major Works, James Jackson and Co, Jamaica Rd, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-51

This works was next to Major Road, though I’m not sure if it took its name from the road or gave its name to it. It was demolished to build Bermondsey Underground Station on the Jubilee Line Extension which opened at the start of 2000. According to the text on its frontage the company was ‘Established 1827’ and made ‘Flooring Adhesives, French Polishes, Wax Polishes, Varnishes, Seals, Staines – Etc.’

Jamaica Rd area, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-51-2-Edit_2400
Jamaica Rd area, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-51-2

Relatively few streets in the area aspire to a No 90 and none that I can find that look anything like this now. This was a part of a terrace of 5 similar houses starting at a street corner, with two pairs of doors on the street and one around the corner as another frame (not digitised) shows. It appears to be later Victorian and I suspect has been demolished. The gate was perhaps a 1930s addition.

Lockwood Square, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-52-Edit_2400
Lockwood Square, Bermondsey, Southwark, 1988 88-10j-52

Lockwood Square was a 1960’s addition to the council’s Southwark Park Estate with flats around a central grass area. There had been a Lockwood Street here and it was probably badly damaged by wartime bombing. The buildings are bounded by Drummond Road, Clements Road and Southwark Park Road. Some of the ground floor is garages and there are a few shop units. To the north is a play area and Saint Crispin with Christ Church Bermondsey and the similar block of New Place Square.

To be continued…


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Deptford to Rotherhithe October 1988

Saturday, June 11th, 2022

Deptford to Rotherhithe October 1988 – the continuation and end of my photographic walk in October 1988. The previous post on this was Liquor, Motors, Furniture, Packing & Timber.

Grinstead Rd, Evelyn St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10h-25-Edit_2400
Grinstead Rd, Evelyn St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10h-25

I turned around on Grinstead Road and made this picture as I returned to Evelyn Street. Directly ahead on the other side of Evelyn St was the car auction site shown in a previous post, and towering above that two of the towers on the Pepys Estate. On my right was the grim factory wall of the former galvanised iron and zinc Ida works, at the back of Neptune Wharf on the now filled-in Surrey Canal

Clare Villas, Evelyn St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10h-26-Edit_2400
Clare Villas, Evelyn St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988

Clare Villas at 114-116 Evelyn Street and the neighbouring semi-detached pair Oak Villas whose doorway is at the left of the picture show us that there were then some wealthy local residents. These houses back on to Deptford Park and probably date from when this land was market gardens around the time this was bought by the London County Council in 1884. I think one of the two pairs was a little earlier than this date; Pevsner mentions both Clare Villas and Oak Villas, dating the latter to 1881.

Clare Villas, Evelyn St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10i-22-Edit_2400
Clare Villas, Evelyn St, Deptford, Lewisham, 1988 88-10i-22

Another picture of Clare Villas. I walked further along Evelyn Street stooping to take a couple of pictures of a large block on the corner with Bestwood Street, with six rounded columns going up between its four storeys of windows with a vaguely deco feel, I think where MacDonalds now is, which I seem to have forgotten to digitise, along with an interestingly angled four-storey building with balconies on the north side of the junction, also not digitised.

Bestwood St, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10i-26-Edit_2400
Bestwood St, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10i-26

I often saw this block of two storey properties with their neatly trimmed hedges from the top floor of a bus, but this time I was on foot and stopped to make a couple of pictures, of whcih this, with its row of striped posts is more successful. Though I think it looked better from the higher viewpoint of the bus. This is a council development from the 1930s.

Lower Rd, Plough Way, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10i-14-Edit_2400
Lower Rd, Plough Way, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10i-14

Scorer’s Corner has conveniently placed road signs among its wealth of text to tell us that this is the corner of Plough Way and Lower Road. The buildings on Lower Road were demolished before 2008 and the site remained empty until replaced by a rather boring development in 2015-6. This includes the site of the Dreadnought pub at right, first recorded in 1849, although its mock Tudor frontage is rather later.

The buildings along Plough Way at left are still standing, though the Prince of Wales pub, there since at least 1861 closed and became a betting shop around 2012.

The Crystal Ball, Rotherhithe New Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 198888-10i-15-Edit_2400
The Crystal Ball, Rotherhithe New Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 198888-10i-15

The Crystal Ball frontage at 30 Rotherhithe New Road survived until around 2011 although I think the shop probably closed rather earlier. The building was then converted into residential use.

The Crystal Ball, Rotherhithe New Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10i-16-Edit_2400
The Crystal Ball, Rotherhithe New Rd, Rotherhithe, Southwark, 1988 88-10i-16

It name ‘The Crystal Ball’ was inspired by the pub next door, the Crystal Tavern, first recorded here on the corner of Rotherhithe Old Road in 1852 but the current building, a fine example of a late Victorian pub, is dated 1895. Although it still has the pub sign (altered to read ‘Christ All Tavern’) and the Courage cockerel you can see in part at top left of this picture, it has since 1996 been home to the Christian Arise & Shine Evangelistic Association as their London Outreach Centre.

I think this walk ended here, at Surrey Quays Station, though it was then a rather longer an inconvenient journey for me by Underground back to Waterloo, requiring changes at Whitechapel from the East London Line to the District, then at Embankment onto the Northern Line one stop to Waterloo. The extension of the Jubilee Line to Stratford, opened at the start of 2000 made journeys to Rotherhithe considerably more convenient.


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Brompton around Swanscombe 2015

Monday, June 6th, 2022

Brompton around Swanscombe 2015 – Late in 2002 I bought a Brompton folding bicycle, something I’d been considering for years, but the cost had put me off. I can’t remember exactly what it cost me then, but with a few essential bits and pieces it was around £700 – allowing for inflation now equivalent to around £1200. Bromptons (hereafter just B’s) now start at £850, even better value. In an interview a year or two later with a photographic magazine I was asked “What is your favourite photographic accessory?” and my answer, “My B” wasn’t what was expected.

I wasn’t new to cycling – I’d got my first two-wheeler back in 1951 and had owned and used bikes since then, but this was my first folding bike and was bought as a photographic accessory to enable me to explore areas in outer London and the outskirts where public transport was often in scarce supply.

I’d hoped also it would be a convenient way to get around when photographing various events in the centre of London, but soon gave up on that idea as finding safe places to leave it appeared impossible. Bs are idea for bike thieves. Relatively high value and much in demand, they can be stowed away in a car boot in seconds. And even the sturdiest bike lock can only hold up the well-equipped criminal for less than a minute.

Locking and leaving isn’t really an option unless you can keep it in sight or in a secure place. Office workers can keep them in cloakrooms or under their desks, but when your place of work is the street you have a problem.

For cycling close to home I still had the full-size Cinelli that my eldest brother had given me as a birthday present back in 1958, and despite being dirty, dilapidated and having suffered much downgraded with more robust and heavier wheels and tyres still rolling well. But the huge advantage of the B was that it could be folded and taken on trains, underground and even buses at any time, enabling me to make rides from places which were too far away for me to cycle to.

I made my first such journey back in January 2003, taking the train to Erith, a little over 30 miles away, and then spent a few hours cycling “around the town and along the Thames, Darent and Cray before braving the Dartford bypass and striking off along Joyce Green Lane before returning to catch the train home from Slade Green.” Much of that cycling was along footpaths and other poor surfaces and tiring enough – and at one point I almost collapsed trying to lift the B over a stile. I couldn’t understand why, as even with my photographic gear in the front bag it was probably less than 15kg. A week or two later I found out the reason, having a relatively mild heart attack at home which required some minor surgery to put a stent into a blocked artery.

As soon as I could walk, my doctor told me I had to exercise, and soon I was taking a series of rides from home on the B over much of the nearby country. It was much easier to mount and dismount than a normal men’s bike, having no crossbar. Scattered through My London Diary are pictures from a number of bike rides, mainly made on the B. On a bike you can stop almost anywhere and don’t need a place to park, and the ease of getting on and off makes a B ideal. At times I’ve also used it, parked against a wall to stand on, one foot on the saddle and the other on the handlebars, but it can roll away and leave you unsupported.

My trip around Swanscombe on Saturday 6th June was one such ride, taken while the area was under threat from development as the Paramount London theme park (and it still is though this now seems less likely.) It was an area I’d photographed on a number of occasions since the 1980s and knew reasonably well. In the 1970s, together with neighbouring Stone, Greenhithe, Swanscombe and Northfleet was the largest cement producing area in Europe, mainly run by Blue Circle. But by the time I first visited that production was centred at Northfleet, and the works at the other sites had largely disappeared or were very run down, and the Swanscombe works had ceased production although the site only finally closed in 1990. Northfleet continued for some years into this century, but nothing now remains – except of course the huge quarry areas with their chalk cliffs.

The post Swanscombe on My London Diary gives more of the history of the area, and also includes a fairly complete description of the route I took on Saturday 6th June 2015, so I won’t repeat that information here. The B isn’t a great off-road bike – and impossible in muddy conditions – but is fine on reasonable footpaths but I might had had to get off an push in some places. One of the paths I mention, Lovers Lane, is now a wide road beside a new housing estate but otherwise the area is much the same as it was in 2015 except there are now notices that some of the areas are private property.

The area is also well described in the many pictures, many of which were made with a very wide horizontal and vertical angle of view. Although not panoramic in format they are panoramic in their scope.

Swanscombe

Walking Around Kingsland Road

Sunday, March 27th, 2022

Walking Around Kingsland Road. This is the final part of my walk on 3rd Augest 1988. The previous post on this is More From the Balls Pond Road.

Tottenham Rd area , Kingsland, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-64-Edit_2400
Tottenham Rd area , Kingsland, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-64

My walk continued south of the Balls Pond Road. I think this workshop was in Bentley Road, a short street which connects both the Balls Pond Road and Kingsland Road to Tottenham Road in an area which was then dominated by light industry, most of which has now disappeared. This building had the large notice above its doorway with the message ‘WANTED – EXPERIENCED SKIRTS’ which rather amused me.

Public Washing Baths, Englefield Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-53-Edit_2400
Public Washing Baths, Englefield Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-53

The Public Washing Baths on Englefield Road were opened in 1932, long after the first public baths in London which opened in 1847. It remained in its original use until the 1960s, a vital facility as many individuals and families lived in rooms and houses without access to more than a washbasin or kitchen sink and without running hot water, and would come to take a bath (slipper bath) here, particularly on a Saturday or Sunday when they were off work. The baths were cheap and popular, with over 60,000 baths being taken there a year.

When I photographed them the sing outside read ‘ENGLEFIELD LAUNDRETTE’ and gave its opening hours but I think it was no longer in use. Shortly after this it became a centre for the Vietnamese Boat People in the borough, run by the An Viet Foundation until 2017 and in 2019 received a grant from the London Mayor to fund a new kitchen for its continuing use as a Chinese and Filipino community centre. I’m unsure of its current status.

Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-55-Edit_2400
Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-55

Kingsland Road was obviously a very piecemeal development with each plot here having a different buidling height, though they were all built to the same front line.

Metropolitan Hospital, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-56-Edit_2400
Metropolitan Hospital, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-56

The Metropolitan Hospital was built here in 1886, but had been founded by Joseph Fry, the son of the more famous Elizabeth, in Stepney 50 years earlier. It moved to several sites and was planning for a new building in Bsihopsgate Street when the site was needed for an extension to Liverpool St Station and the Station Hotel, and this site further north outside the City was found.

The hospital treated outpatients and had beds for 160. It had been set up as a free hospital but failed to attract sufficient funds and and removed the ‘free’ from its name. But the income from subscribers was still not enough to keep all of its beds in use. In 1948 it became a part of the NHS and was finally closed in 1977. Since I made this picture it has been refurbished for residential use and has lost the ‘HOSPITAL’ from its frontage and is now Metropolitan House.

London Dog Centre, Kingsland Rd, Middleton Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-41-Edit_2400
London Dog Centre, Kingsland Rd, Middleton Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-41

To the left of the London Dog Centre is a narrow and winding street, Glebe Road, which runs along to beside the railway line and then straight beside it to industrial and commercial premises built back to back with those on Kingsland Road, going all the way north to Richmond Road. One of these units presumably sold carpets.

The London Dog Centre claims to have good quality puppies usually avaialable and also carries a large sign for the next shop along, Waynes Removals who offered free estimates for D. H. S. S. & Cash, as well as selling cookers. It looks as if Wayne (or Mr Waynes?) has left a few random pieces of furniture on the pavement including some some of shelf unit in front of the LDC.

Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-44-Edit_2400
Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-44

Finally at the end of my walk I went up and down the Kingsland Waste, in front of the shops

Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-31-Edit_2400
Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-31

The Waste began in the middle of the nineteenth century when the land owner allowed people to trade alongside the road without charge and developed into a long and packed area of stalls selling secondhand goods, often of dubious utility, all the way from Middleton Road up to Forest Road, around a quarter of a mile to the north.

Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-32-Edit_2400
Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-32

Back in 1988 there were still many stalls on Saturdays, but over a rather shorter length, and some of the shops also spilt over onto the pavement. But on weekdays there were only a few traders. The market got smaller over the years, and Hackney council eventually refused to renew the licences for the remaining traders in 2015, saying it generated too much waste. But there was a local outcry and they were forced to reopen it a year or two later.

Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-22-Edit_2400
Kingsland Waste, Kingsland Rd, Kingsland, Dalston, Hackney, 1988 88-8e-22

My walk ended here on the Kingsland Road. I spent most of the rest of August in Paris – you can see the black and white pictures in Around Paris 1988 – and it was only 25 days later on 28th August that I was able to go for a walk in London again. More from that at a later date.


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More Around the Roman

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-64-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-64

It’s doubtful if the Romans ever marched or walked along Roman Road, although some Roman remains have been found in the area. But most will have gone along Old Ford Rd which runs parallel a short distance to the north, it’s ford taking them across the River Lea from Londinium to the Iceni capital Venta Icenorum around 5 miles south of modern Norwich.

Most of Roman Road was only built when the sewer system was extended by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855 to allow further development in the area around, extending what was then Green St to the east, beyond Grove Road into Old Ford to an end a little short of the Lea. The western section from the Cambridge Bridge Road was only renamed to be part of Roman Road when London street names were rationalised in the 1930s – there were far too many Green Streets. It makes consulting old sources of information about shops and houses on the road difficult as all the street numbers then changed. The market in Roman Road was set up in the late 1860s.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-65-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-65

The whole area was a stronghold for the suffragettes, particularly after the formation of the East London Federation of the Women’s Social and Political Union by Dr Richard Pankhurst and his wife Emmeline Pankhurst, founder members of the Independent Labour Party in the same year, 1893. This was unusual in welcoming men as members and also having a democratic organisation. Their daughter Sylvia Pankhurst and the East London Federation were expelled from the WSPU in 2014 and set up the East London Federation of Suffragettes (ELFS) and set up a newspaper, The Woman’s Dreadnought, published from Roman Road. In 1917 its title was changed to Workers’ Dreadnought, with the slogan ‘Socialism, Internationalism, Votes for All’ and it continued in publication until 1924.

The East End was a very political area, but not only for its suffragettes and socialists and in the 1930s became of the the areas of strongest support for Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists. Their support came mainly from the middle classes in the area, shopkeepers and other traders and business owners rather than the working class, but it was strong enough for the area to have two BUF branches until it was proscribed under Defence Regulation 18B of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-66-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-66

Bethnal Green was badly affected by bombing in World War II and the Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Green carried out extensive building of council housing in the 1950s and 60s, with some outstanding architecture close to Roman Road. In 1965 Bethnal Green merged with Stepney and Poplar to become the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The area has in more recent years become considerably gentrified, a process which was beginning to be clear when I took these pictures in 1988.

Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-52-Edit_2400
Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-52

South of Roman Road and roughly parallel to it is Tredegar Road, built up in the 1850s and 60s. Star Auto Electrics fortunately informs us it was at 123A Tredegar Rd. This is now the site of a large block of flats.

Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-54-Edit_2400
Star Auto Electrics, Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-54
Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-56-Edit_2400
Tredegar Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-56

This neat late nineteenth century terrace is still there on Tredegar Rd. The street – like the rather better known (and roughly four times as expensive) Tredegar Square close by south of the railway line gets its name from Lord Tredegar, Sir Charles Morgan (1760-1846) who made a large fortune promoting agriculture in south Wales and in 1824 was granted a private act of parliament by King George IV to develop a large area of Mile End and Bow. Although several of the streets are named after places in Wales, they have not inherited a Welsh pronunciation.

Tredegar Rd, Coburn Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-41-Edit_2400
Tredegar Rd, Coburn Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-41

This picture was made at the junction of Tredegar Road at its west end with Coborn Road, though nothing in the picture remains. A few yards away around the corner in Coborn Road there are some older buildings and the site of the former railway station, opened as Old Ford in 1865, later renamed as Coborn Road and then Coborn Road for Old Ford which was permanently closed and largely demolished in 1946.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-45-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-45

My walk ended on Roman Road, where I joined a queue at a bus stop waiting for the bus to take me back into the City and from there by Underground and British Rail back home.


Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the album.


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Around Kensal Green, 1988

Friday, June 4th, 2021

Tropical Palace, Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Green, Brent, 1988 88-3c-13-positive_2400
Tropical Palace, Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Green, Brent, 1988

The Tropical Palace Theatre in Chamberlayne Road, close to the junction with Kilburn Lane was in the 1980s a major reggae venue. It had begun as The Acme Picture Theatre in October 1913, but with a change of management became Kings Picture Palace three months later. In 1931 a new company greatly enlarged and remodelled the building in an Art Deco style with architects John Stanley Beard and A. Douglas Clare and decorative work by by W.R. Bennett to seat 1600 – over 5 times its original capacity – with the old theatre forming the foyer of the renamed ‘New Palace Theatre’, and the rear of the building stretched to Kilburn Lane. Taken over by ABC in 1935 it became simply the Palace Theatre, and in 1970 it became the ABC and was converted into a bingo hall in 1974, but closed soon after to become a nightclub. It was completely demolished and replaced by housing shortly after I made this picture. The building on the left has also been replaced, but Chamberlayne Mansions at right are still there

Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988 88-3c-21-positive_2400
Advert, Shop, Felixstowe Rd, Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988

The distinctive frontages of the shops at the extreme right of this picture enable me to positively identify this washing machine advert as being on the side of the shop on the corner of Felixstowe Rd and Harrow Road in College Park at the west of Kensal Green, close to St Mary’s Cemetery.

Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988 88-3c-22-positive_2400
Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988

Kensal Green Cemetery, which is immediately to the east of St Mary’s Cemetery is rather better known and is worth visiting for some of its fine Victorian monuments. There are plenty to choose from, with over 65,000 burials there since the cemetery was opened in 1833 by the The General Cemetery Company, who were inspired by Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery. The Grade I listed cemetery is still in use and well worth a visit and there are often guided tours – and on another occasion I visited the catacombs

Gate, Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Rd, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-3c-23-positive_2400
Gate, Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Rd, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988

Three London Boroughs meet around here, and Kensal Green Cemetery and its gates are in Kensington & Chelsea, while the opposite side of the road is in Brent, and the neighbouring Roman Catholic St Mary’s is in Hammersmith & Fulham. Kensal Green. Kensal Green was the first of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ private cemeteries around the city’s then outskirts and was, as Wikipedia points out, ‘immortalised in the lines of G. K. Chesterton’s poem “The Rolling English Road” from his book The Flying Inn: “For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen; Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.” ‘Paradise by way of Kensal Green’ is now the name of a pub on Kilburn Lane.

J S Farley, Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988 88-3c-25-positive_2400
J S Farley, Kensal Green Cemetery Works, 758 Harrow Rd, Brent, 1988

I don’t know what proportion of the monuments in Kensal Green Cemetery were produced in these works opposite the entrance gates, and set up in the same year, but they works now been demolished and replaced. There is still another monumental masons just a short walk away.

Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-3c-31-positive_2400
Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Further west along the Harrow Rd just before Scrubs Lane was a small industrial area in Waldo Rd and Trenmar Gardens. Rather to my surprise this small industrial building and its similar neighbour at Waldo Works have survived, though I think some of the area behind is now housing.

Trenmar Gardens, Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 88-3c-46-positive_2400
Trenmar Gardens, Waldo Rd, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

The large garage at the left of the picture has been demolished and replaced by housing.

Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 v88-3c-33-positive_2400
Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988 v88-3c-34-positive_2400
Trenmar Gardens, College Park, Hammersmith & Fulham, 1988

All of these pictures (and a few more) are from my Flickr album 1988 London Photos and were taken in March 1988. Clicking on any of the images will open a larger version in the album from where you can browse forwards or backward in the album.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Around Three Mills

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

House Mill, Clock Mill, Three Mills Island, Bromley-by-Bow, Newham, 1981 29q-15_2400
Three Mills

Three Mills Lane which runs from Hancock Road, a short walk from Bromley by Bow Underground station takes you across the Lea Navigation and Bow Creek to a remarkable ensemble of four of Newham’s listed buildings, including the Grade I listed House Mill from 1776, the early 19th century offices and the 1817 Clock Mill, with its 1753 Clock Tower. The fourth is easy to miss, as it is the stone setts and flagstones under your feet, dating back to the 19th century.

The Clock Mill, Three Mills Island, Bromley-by-Bow, Newham, 1981 29q-13_2400

Together they make a splendid early industrial landscape, though now a little hemmed in by rather more recent flats. When I photographed there in the 1980s and 1990s, the area around was full of largely 20th century industrial sites, mainly along the navigation, and a little still remains, particularly an impressive set of gas holders (seven Grade II listings) on the southern side of the Channelsea River at the former Bromley-by-Bow gas works (which also has listings for its bridge across the canal and Bow Creek as well as its war memorial and statue of Sir Corbet Woodhall.)

Three Mills Wall River, Stratford, Newham, 1981 29t-63p_2400
Three Mills Wall River

In more normal times the House Mill, which was saved from demolition in the 1970s and has been partially restored offers reasonably priced guided tours on Sundays from May to October and at some other times as well as hosting various events. The mill is a tide mill, and is on a site recorded in the Domesday Book, with foundations dating back to the end of the 14th century. It was able to generate power for 7-8 hours a day, though the output varied with the monthly changes in tides. Together with the Clock Mill it would grind an average of 125 tons of grain a week.

Works, Lea Navigation, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1981 29t-33_2400
Works, Lea Navigation, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1981

The towpath running south from Three Mills is on a narrow strip with the navigation on the west and Bow Creek to the west, and it leads down under railway bridges to Twelvetrees Crescent (where recent stairs now allow you to go on to the bridge and continue your walk beside Bow Creek) and under the bridge to Bow Locks where you can continue along the Limehouse Cut.

Railway bridge, Wharf, Lea Navigation, Bromley -by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1981 29t-61_2400
Railway bridge, Wharf, Lea Navigation, Bromley -by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1981
Bromley-By-Bow Gasworks, Imperial Gas Light and Coke Co, Bromley-By-Bow, Newham, 1981  29q-25-6_2400
Bromley-By-Bow Gasworks, Imperial Gas Light and Coke Co, Bromley-By-Bow, Newham, 1981
Lea Navigation, Twelvtrees Crescent, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, Newham, 1983 36v-02_2400 (2)
Lea Navigation, Twelvtrees Crescent, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, Newham, 1983

You won’t see the empty lighters on the navigation that were there when I walked along here in 1983, not long after commercial traffic ended. The large pipe across in front of the bridge would have carried gas from the Bromley gas works across to deliver gas to London west of the works. The listed bridge dates from 1872. Under it you can see the bridge which takes the path across Bow Locks and on to Gillender St or to the towpath beside the Limehouse Cut.

More on page 4 of River Lea – Lea Navigation. Click any of the images above to go to larger versions on my Flickr site.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Around High St Stratford

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

St Thomas's Creek, Cook's Road, Stratford, Newham, 1983 35q-34_2400
St Thomas’s Creek, Cook’s Road, Stratford, Newham, 1983

There is and long seems to have been some confusion about the naming of this part of the canal system that links the main line of the Lea Navigation at Bow Bridge to the City Mill River and City Mill Lock. On some maps (including Google’s) it is simply referred to as ‘Bow Back Rivers’ but I find it less confusing to give it the more local name, St Thomas’s Creek, sometimes written as St Thomas Creek. The creek got its name from St. Thomas’s Mill, sometimes called ‘Pudding Mill’, I think because of its shape, which also gave its name to the small stream the Pudding Mill River and was actually on that stream on Pudding Mill Lane. For those interested there is a good map of the area before the flood relief works of 1931-5 on British History Online.

Yardley's Box Factory, Stratford High St, Stratford, Newham, 198336m-63-positive_2400
Warton House, former Yardley’s Box Factory, High St, Stratford, 1983

The earliest connection of the Yardley name to soap-making was in the first half of the 17th century, when a Yardley was given the concession to produce soap for the whole of London, but the company dated its founding as ‘Clever Brothers’ to 1770. This company making soaps and perfumes was taken over by William Yardley in 1823 and passed on to his son Charles when he died the following year. The company moved from Bloomsbury to a large factory on Carpenters Road Stratford in 1904 and bought land on Stratford High St in 1918. In 1913 they had trade-marked a picture by Francis Wheatley from his 1793 series, the ‘Cries of London’ to use in their advertising, replacing the primroses in his picture by lavender, and when they built a new art deco box factory in 1938 this was installed at a large scale on the building. Yardleys moved to Basildon in 1966, needing large premises, but in 1967 were taken over by British American Tobacco who sold the business to Beecham in 1985, who again sold it on after they merged to be SmithKlein Beecham. The company went into receivership in 1998. Parts of the box factory – including this section on the High St next to the Northern Outfall Sewer and the Waterworks River are still there, all that is left of Yardley’s in Stratford.

Stratford High St area, Stratford, Newham, 1983 36m-14_2400
Stratford High St area, 1982

I cannot remember exactly where I took this or the next picture, though from other exposures on the same films both are clearly somewhere not far from Stratford High St. I think the canal seen at right here is probably St Thomas’s Creek.

Timber yard, Stratford, Newham, 1982 32v-22_2400
Timber yard, Stratford High St area, 1982

Timber was the main product carried on the Lea Navigation in the later years of its use, and I think this timber yard was probably close to the main stream of the navigation. My attempts to find it again in later years were unsuccesful.

Cafe, Stratford market, Stratford, Newham, 1983 36p-35_2400
Cafe, Stratford market, Stratford, Newham, 1983

The notices on the door offer not just ‘Jellied Eels’ but ‘Best Jellied Eels’, along with ‘Loch Fine Kippers’. My contact sheet puts its location as Stratford Market in Burford Road, just off High St to the south.

Barge, Lea Navigation, Bow Bridge, Bow Flyover, Tower Hamlets, Newham, 1981 29t-26p_2400
Barges, Bow Bridge, October 1981

These last two pictures were some of the first I took in the area after I heard on a radio interview that commercial traffic on the Lea Navigation was to come to an end in a few weeks time.

I think it was the same day that I picked up my camera bag and got on the train to come to look for and photograph any remaining activity. It was a slow journey to Bromley-by-Bow from where I spent an hour or so walking along beside the navigation between Bow Locks and Bow Bridge, where I found three barges loaded with cut timber, photographing all three from the bridge and going down onto the wharf for another picture.

Barge, Lea Navigation, Bow Bridge, Tower Hamlets, Newham, 1981 29t-25_2400
Barges, Bow Bridge, October 1981

I find it hard now to understand why I took so few pictures – only around 30 exposures on the entire visit, and just these two where I found evidence of any remaining commercial traffic.

More pictures from the area on page 3 of my Flickr album River Lea – Lea Navigation 1981-1992.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Stratford Marsh & Carpenter’s Road

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Pudding Mill River and Railway, Stratford Marsh, Stratford, Newham, 1990 90-9h66_2400
Pudding Mill River, Stratford Marsh, 1990

Continuing with pictures from my walks in the 1980s and early 1990s around the area destroyed for the London 2012 Olympics on Stratford Marsh. Although there was then considerable industry of various kinds across the area, many of the factories had closed, and some were derelict, partly as a result of Thatcher’s de-industrialisation policies, but also because of competition from more efficient industry abroad as well as from lower wage economies.

Pauls Cafe, Stratford Marsh, Stratford, Newham, 1990 90-9h63_2400
Paul’s Cafe served the many workers in the area

A few of the empty properties and sites were occupied by smaller local businesses such as car breakers and repair shops, and a few were transformed into artists studios – and I remember going to a great party in one of them off Marshgate Lane, though missing most such events as I lived thirty miles away on the other side of London.

City Mill River, Stratford Marsh, Newham, 1983 33x-34_2400
This path beside the City Mill River was well trodden during the fishing season. 1983

This was clearly a liminal area, on the edge of London and in some respects on the edge of society, even though it was surrounded on all sides by the city which now sprawls out much further east. In it there were also areas of wilderness, with paths beside the various streams of the River Lea across the area often overgrown and some largish areas of now disused land.

Caravan, Marshgate Lane, Stratford Marsh, Newham, 1982 32w-45_2400
Behind the caravan was the Queen Mary College nuclear engineering dept building. 1982

One large building next to the Pudding Mill River was the nuclear engineering department of Queen Mary College, which in 1966 had the first nuclear reactor of any UK university. This very small reactor was decommissioned about the time I made the picture which shows it behind a caravan and lorries parked beside the road.

Jerome Engineering Ltd, Johnson-Progress Ltd, Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983 92-8e23_2400
Jerome Engineering Ltd, Johnson-Progress Ltd, Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983

Although there was clearly considerable industry in the area, quite a few of the properties were empty. You can find more pictures from Carpenters Rd on page 3 of the Flickr album River Lea- Lea Navigation.

Asteroid Ltd, Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983 92-8e62_2400
Asteroid Ltd, Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983
Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983 35p-53_2400
Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983
Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983 35q-26_2400
Carpenters Rd, Stratford, Newham, 1983

The area now is unrecognisable – part of the largely still rather arid space of the new park. And although Carpenters Road still runs through the area, its sides are bare and bleak apart from the Aquatics Centre.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.