South London Papers
South London Press
I was born at no 48 Newlands Park in 1950, and knew the shops, Wayne Tank, Grundigs and the small-scale roads in Alexandra Park. I have never seen any photos of the road system, it was by chance looking for photos (as some of my colleagues did not believe me!) that I came across this forum. The traffic lights and Belisha beacons used to work and there was a full set of road signs, roundabouts, dual carriageway, all about quarter scale I would guess.
There used to be motor cycle racing on the Crystal Palace circuit and we knew a hole in the fence we got in to watch for free, we could disappear all day in those times, with a bottle of Tizer and a packet of crisps, go on 'adventures' to Beckenham or Dulwich, and in about 1962 London Transport started 'Red Rovers' a ticket that let you travel on any red buse all over London for 3 shillings, then the 'Twin Rovers' for 5 shillings where you could travel on any red bus AND the Underground (except Waterloo & City Line), a mate and me planned a journey that let us jump out at every underground station and back on again to say we had been on every undergound station - I am not sure we actually did get as far as Amersham or Upminster but I like to think we did.
The first shop on the corner of Newlands Park and Tansfeld Road was a greengrocer, then I think a hairdressers, then a small grocers, then a sweetshop/newsagents run by the Newholms, I used to go on holiday with the Newholms after my father died in 1961. Next to the Newholms was, I think, a shop used as offices, but we kids never knew what for, a couple more shops (can't remember what), then the shop on the corner of Studland Road was a sweetshop (and sold other 'requisites') run by a Mr Lovell. The Newholms moved to Maple Road to run a wool shop, and we moved to Woolstone Road in Forest Hill in about 1964. I went to Forest Hill Secondary School, and did my ONC at SE London Tech in Worsley Bridge Road. I lived in Kingsthorpe Road and Champion Road in Sydenham and Anerley Park in Penge, used to use the Railway Bell, run by an amazing woman called Rita, had been on the stage at some time in the 40s. Also used The Dolphin in Sydenham Road, and in the 1950s Saturday morning pictures at the Granada. Haven't been to Sydenham for years, moved from Sydenham to the Norfolk Broads in 1978
Hi everyone , i was born in Earl road which was just round the corner from dunton road . i enjoyed my childhood in and around bermondsey but as adulthood came i moved away not by choice but by circumstance . i now live in canada but i keep in touch with my friends in facebook who either still or luck enough to reside in bermondsey .i`m very interested in its history and wished i had studied about it when i was younger.anyway i`m happy to have joined this site and to get new friends in here
I was born in Guy’s Hospital and we lived in Guinness Buildings in Pages Walk, Bermondsey (Just off the Old Kent Road). My Mum was born in the flats and lived in Guinness's until about 15 years ago.
The flats were large Victorian blocks built by the Guinness Trust for poor people. There were Guinness Trust buildings all over London. The flats were not luxurious by today’s standards but by Victorian working people’s standards they were a luxury and a great improvement on the slum housing that they replaced.
In Pages Walk, there were four large blocks of buildings and each block had about six entrances. These entrances let to concrete staircases and there were four flats on each landing. The size of the flats varied, but most were just two rooms. A living room/kitchen (this had a range run by coal or gas but no running water or electricity) and one bedroom. The toilets and sinks (two of each) were outside the flats on each landing and were shared by 4 families.
The baths were in two separate blocks and it was possible to bath on only two days a week. My grandfather, George Horton, was one of the caretakers (they were called porters) and one of his duties was to stoke the boilers to heat hot water for the baths. The baths were in cubicles and you had to pay the porter (I think it was 2d) and he would run the bath for you. There were no taps; the porter had the brass tap which fitted on the square spindle to operate the tap, so you couldn't take extra hot water.
There was no electricity in the flats, all the lights were gas mantles. There was electric light on the communal landings.
I lived there as a small child until about 1958 and they eventually put in electricity in about 1960/61.
My Mum remembers one of the neighbours getting a TV and plugging it in to the light socket on the landing.
All the women used to take turns scrubbing the communal stairs and landings and they were always spotless. Once a week, the bag wash man came around. He used to shout out and then all the windows would fly open and white bags of laundry would come flying out. Woe betide anyone walking past.
My granddad used to sweep the roadways and paths every day with a great big broom. I remember standing on the brush end while he swept with it. He was my hero, but he used to chase the kids off the shed roofs and bins. He lived in a house next to the flats where the alleyway went into Leroy Street. He used to lock the metal gate at the Leroy Street entrance about 5 o clock every afternoon and people had to walk all the way round to Pages Walk to get home.
The flats were demolished in about 1970 and brand-new flats were built. They are still there.
We moved away to Guinness Buildings in Kennington Park Road (where we had our own bath) and they are also still there. This description of the flats makes me sound ancient, but I am only talking about 45 years ago in central London! I am only 56 myself. I am still an ardent Millwall supporter, but I must be the only Bermondsey boy who doesn’t like Pie and Mash!!!!!!!! I used to love the peas pudding from Young’s butchers in Tower Bridge Road and pints of cold sarsaparilla from Baldwin’s in Walworth Road. We used to pretend it was beer. Like granddads. My whole family lived in Bermondsey from about 1860. My other Nan was a Basham and they lived in Keyes Road (formerly Alfred Street) just of Grange Road and opposite the Town Hall. Most of my ancestors were Carmen. I do have a brilliant picture of my other granddad Charlie sitting on a wall in Cooksey’s scrap yard in Pages Walk. He is surrounded by bales of paper going for recycling (who says recycling is new).
Nearly all my family, including me, worked in F. M. Meyer Chamois Export in Weston Street Off Long Lane. My Mum and dad met there in the late 1940s and they are still going strong today.
None of us live in Bermondsey now but Bermondsey still lives in us!!!!!!! I am very proud to tell people that I am a Bermondsey boy.
I was born in Bermondsey in 1943 or to be accurate in Woking, thats where pregnant women in labour went to give birth during the bombing.I don't remember anything about the war (or my early years in an air raid shelter) but I asked Mum She said the bombs were bad but the rockets were realy bad.
Our playground in and on the bombsites was a by-product of that, I went to Webb Street School and then to Tower Bridge Secondery Modern.
Manzes was the best pye and mash I still go there for a treat, Edwards Doughnuts coming out from the back of the bakers being shaken on the tray of sugar nothing is as good as that now.
We lived at 39 Harold Estate,I remember a few people, my freinds Peter Feddon and Jimmy Rolf, Mary Ashdown lived down the landing at 41.
Tha Grange Road Baths were I thougt I would learn to swim but didn't it had a little room were you could by a cup of Oxo a piece of bread for one and a half pence.
My Dads pub was The Victoria Arms,(I pop in there sometimes to) The Men would leave there on the Beano with the pennys and half pennys thrown out of the windows for us.On a Sunday some of the old ladies would take a jug of beer back to have with dinner.
Ther were no cars parked in Pages Walk or Webb Street,The Cart Horses stabled of Linten Road were more familier to us.
Guy Faulks Night was great, the fireworks compaired to the one's we have now were poor but the hole thing, the bonfires on the bomesites the excitement of something realy special,even if the jumping crackers didn't jump, the rockets just about left the ground and the bangers just went pop it was great.
Ther was so much more Hop picking, saturday morning pictures at The Trocket, the beach at Tower Bridge, Trams, collecting jam jars, newspapers and things for salvage and with luck after a day of collecting perhaps 4 pence to share between the gang.
To go back there seems to be no sence of shared comunity,but perhaps its just me.
Sorry I still can't spell.
Derek Phillips commented
Hi I lived at 20 Ilderton Rd and went to Ilderton Road then the Aylwin school.
My dad was born in the house and my nan lived upstairs.
I remember most of the shops near my house. The dr's then Welchs, there was O'Briens - one shop sold cooked meat & next door sold dried goods and was an off licence. There was Stan Ross the chemist, a butcher, café & a plumbers merchant. On the other side of the road was a baker, greengrocers (Hales?), post office, haberdashery, hair dressers, fish shop, butcher and Putts.
I have fond memories of the area. I remember the grocers on the corner of bramcote grove/barkworth rd. There was a shop on the corner of Ilderton and Delaford which my mum called the egg shop - I think this was because they had the egg stall down the blue.
I remember going to the library in Spa Road and Spa bakers. My parents were friends with Milly & Tim Back who had the grocers on the way to the blue, it was on a corner of a road off Linton road. I used to drink in the Fort in the 70s.
Be great to hear from anyone else from the area.
I remember these shops in the 60s, although I have not been down Newlands Park since the mid-70s. I certainly remember the sweet shop, in the style of just about every sweet shop of the era and in many, many areas. Photos no, far too expensive in those days to take pictures of what was everyday, unfortunately.
My usual sweetshop was on the corner of Newlands Park with Sydenham Road, next to the cobblers
I should have been born in Pages Walk but the war messed that up along with lots of other things, woman in labour were often sent to less dangerous places like Woking were l was in fact born in 1943. Mum took me back to Harrold Estate were l lived. My first school was Webb Street an then onto Tower Bridge, as with many of the Bermondsey boys and girls on this site our pathes would have crossed even though we may not have been friends.l am hoping to be more involved in this site again as it is a great place to be
In 40s and 50s, On the corner of Tansfeld and Newlands Park was a Greengrocer ( 7lbs. of King Edward potatoes 1/- (one shilling or 5 pence to the youngsters) ). A couple of shops up was a Newsagent (where I did my paper round) and the shop on the corner of Newlands Park and Studland Road was a sweetshop (where I developed my sweet tooth). Sorry no pics.
By the way on the left of Tansfeld opposite the entrance to Alexandra Park was a row of lock up garages and next to them a bomb shelter (great for playing in). In Studland Road was the Wayne Tank and Pump company factory until 1958
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the history of Sydenham on your forum, and this is my first post. I wondered if anyone had any old photos of the Newlands Park parade of shops (the ones halfway down, between Tannsfeld Rd and Studland Rd)? I have only ever seen one photo from around 1910 in which the shops can just about be seen. Most old photos seem to be taken either up or down Newlands Park, from around where the shops are! Does anyone know what sort of shops were there pre-1970s? I would love to hear any tales you have to share. Many thanks.
Neil Monday commented
Does anyone have or know where i can get a picture of the Children's Hospital at Sydenham please :D
Came across this today.
Apparently Lammas Green was built in 1955/7.
Does anyone know what was on the site previously
Brian Mee commented
Sydenham and District motor club
This was a very active club between the wars which , organised and partook in all sorts of events for two and four wheels.
Has anyone any info on it?
I would particularly like to find one JC Thyne who rode, and was quite successful with, a Grindlay Peerless sidecar in a lot of events.
Kay Howard commented
The Haven 42 crystal palace park road
I am looking for information on what was a childrens home run by the salvation army. Its entrance was situated originally in crystal palace park road number 42. I cant find any photos of that building before it was knocked down. It was build in the 1800's and was i assume part of the lush houses built oposite the crystal palace park road entrance to the crystal palace. It was huge house and had a cottage situated in its grounds. I am told it was knocked down and rebuilt due to subsidance and has been replaced with a new building also called The Haven which is a childrens home.
I would imagine it was in the news over the years and seeking help tracing its history.
It had a huge garden and behind it was an old peoples homes to the left.
Its entrance was lined with lots of fir trees and there was an old bunker there too which we were always told was for the war.
Does anyone have any information
I live in Medina, Ohio. My mother Catherine Baker, her brother Jack and sister Mary grew up in Home Cottage, Mill Gardens Sydenham with their parents. If I'm not mistaken the house was built in 1844. I believe it has been in our family most if not all of those years. My mother married Eric Tompkins from Chelmsford around 1940. My parents and my sisters Barbara and Pauline then moved to Canada around 1949. My Aunt Mary passed away in January 2002 after the death of her brother Jack. We sold Home Cottage in 2003. My reason for writing is we have many photographs from the area and I would be happy to share if there is an interest
Can anyone help ? Looking for friends of my brother Lee Barry. Going back to around 1950 s and 1960s.lived in flats around Sumner rd area. Joey o.doner? Billy Francis? ???? Callefarno icecream related?. All about 70 now . any help or knowledge would be really good. Time running
Cover more dates of the archives we have very little to go on
Gary Thurlow commented
Hi, I'm intrested in anyone who can remember Lambeth Market between 1920s/30s and can tell me exactly where it was held. Also can any body recall a market stall holder by the name of Fred Wartnaby he was my grand-father, I think he sold meat and poultry. I've been told he got hold of a vehicle around this time and sometimes he'd give all the stall holders kids a ride round the market. He had two sons one who was also named Fred and the other one named David. They lived in Newport Street, Lambeth.
Dave Parker commented
Our local corner shop was called Dickins' and was situated on the corner of Goldsmid Street and Sladedale Road. It was owned by a lovely elderly couple, Mr & Mrs Dickins. They were related to the Dickins who had their own shop in Parkdale Road who also later owned another shop on the corner of Parkdale and Sladedale Roads (ex Welsh the Greengrocers) and which was run by Lennie Dickins their son. Dickins' was a typical corner shop. To us local kids it was known as 'the sweet shop' as indeed all local kids called their own local shop. These shops all had that very recognizable corner shop smell, a familiar aroma they shared in common. A bouquet of smells that incorporated hints of soap, paraffin, confectioneries, kindling wood, mothballs and other smells more subtle. Often stacked up on high shelves that reached the wood-lined ceiling, an array of rows of large glass jars, each labelled jar containing varying amounts of different coloured sweets for our young eyes to feast on, whilst we pondered on what to get with our penny held tight in our hand.
I was born at the Woolwich Home For Mother's and Babies in June, 1930.
Between the years of 1930 to 1937 we lived in Burwash Road, Plumstead.
I was a very sickly baby and I had badly twisted legs, probably owing to rickets. Mum told me that grandma wouldn't allow her to take me in the pram into their house in case I died there!
I was about six or seven when mum was having a birthday party for one of us three kids; I can't recollect who it was for, but she reckoned that every kid in the neighbourhood turned up. They turned up with old book covers torn comics and all sorts of things as presents, it was all they had to give; some came from poor families. Mum would have filled them up with plenty of food and drink though, as they were spilling out into the front and back gardens.
I went to Foxhill Primary School from the age of seven. This waswhen we moved from Plumstead to Woolwich. Foxhill School was situated in Nightingale Vale in those days. Cyril Bull was the headmaster. Woe betide any boy who was caught in the street not wearing his school cap by Mr Bull. I enjoyed wearing my cap as it proudly displayed our school badge, depicting a white fox on a black background. Us boys used to go to a sweet shop at the bottom of Foxhill and we could buy half-penny bags of sweets in which you might find a piece of cardboard, if you was lucky, as it entitled you to your money back. Another type of 'lucky dip' was a board that had lots of small holes drilled in it. You'd choose a hole and with a nail or matchstick push a piece of rolled up paper out of the hole and unroll it to see if you'd won a pennyworth, or more, of extra sweets. Our own corner shop was situated on the corner of Fox Hill and Elndean Roads. It sold just about everything you needed; a kind of general store.
Jane Darrell commented
It was good growing up in the prefabs on Winn's Common. I am now 58 *(2019). My brother Joey and I (that's us in the picture) lived at 46 Winn's Common, by the bus stop where the 53 bus used to stop, before going down King's Highway to Plumstead Bus Garage.
Christopher and Dennis Gates, Barry Smith, Joey and myself, Kathleen Faithfull and my dad Joe.
We were the first prefab in our turning; (they had no names) it was a strange shape. Straight for about four prefabs and ballooned out with a grass circle in the middle, it then narrowed and went straight again to the road called Winn's Common Road (although I was never aware it had a name at all). All the prefabs had their own gardens. Ours had a corrugated iron shed which coal was kept in (an old Anderson air raid shelter). We had a pull-down table in the small kitchen; on winter mornings the oven rings were on full and our clothes would be placed around to warm them. We would eat our breakfast sitting round the oven. We had a bathroom but when it was very cold we bathed in a tin bath in front of the fire.
There was a church hall right at the top of Lakedale Road, at an odd sort of angle (*The Ascension Hall, long demolished). The paddling pool is still there, but the sand has been replaced with volleyball. We used to jump from one concrete block to the next and spent many happy hours every summer there