An error occurred while saving the commentIan Jackson commented
I lived in Camberwell from 1944 until when I married in 1964.
There remains a small terrace of seven houses in Grove Lane called ‘Grove Lane Terrace’; they were built in the 1920s. My family has deeper roots than Grove Lane as my mother was born and lived Wells Crescent and my father lived in Vestry Road until they married.
My grandfather told me that, when he was a boy, the land that the terrace was built on had been an orchard.
Just before my fifth birthday I started school at Dog Kennel Hill in the pre-school class. One of my memories from this time is, in the summer, sleeping on small fold up beds laid out on the grass in, what was then, the front of the school, beside the hill.
At that time the trams passed by on the main road so if, or how, we slept I have no idea. J
I was baptised in St Giles as an infant. When I was old enough I was taken to St Giles’ Sunday school and then, again when I was old enough – I think 7, I became a chorister in St Giles’ Choir. The choirmaster and organist at the time was R J Crickmer who had retired as Headmaster of Brunswick Park Primary School.
In 1952 I joined the Wolf Cub Pack of the 23rd Camberwell (St Giles) Scout Group. This had started out as the 109th South London in 1914 and in May 2014 we celebrated our centenary. For the Centenary I republished a little book, the history of the first 60 years that had been written by Guvna (Henry W Pearson) as part of the 60th Anniversary. (Note copies of this book, including group pictures up to date, are on sale now: all proceeds to 23rd Group funds – please contact the writer)
In 1952 the wolf cub pack met in St Giles small hall (now C.A.C.) and the Scout Troop in the main hall – St Giles Parish Hall - both still there in Benhill Road.
Life appeared to be much safer for children in my early years; at a very young age I was sent, (or allowed) to go, to buy the bread from Muhl’s the bakers just down the road on the corner of the Grove Lane (The Lane) and Daneville Rd
Mr Muhl opened another shop on Coldharbour Lane; just down the lane from Muhl’s was the butchers; We also bought from Edwards the Butchers, in Camberwell New Rd.; they MADE their own sausages and fagots, cooked meats, processed, other associated products like braun etc on the premises.
Further down the lane and around the corner into Church Street (to the left) was first the green grocer and fruiterers, then the Police Station and then the feed shop; here we bought feed for the chickens and hay for the rabbits, dog biscuits, from sacks, and biscuits for ourselves.
Further along were the banks: Westminster and on the opposite corner with Wren Road was Lloyds Bank, where Grandad banked; in my memory next was the Joe Lyons Café.
Now you were almost in Denmark Hill with the taxi rank and phone in the middle of the road; over to your right “the Green” with the, now replaced, steel railings, which had been removed during the war.
Returning to the foot of the lane and on right hand corner (Lane and Church St.) was ‘The Co-op’; The very next shop to the Co-op in Church Street was another ‘grocers’ I think it was S W Frosts, and here they sold the same things as the co-op but the shop was larger and the arrangement was such that on the left as you entered was the dairy etc counter and on the right the dry goods counter.
I remember lugging potatoes from the shop in Church Street or the stall in D’Eyns Road opposite the oil shop . When paraffin was not delivered it had to be collected from the oil shop on the corner of Camberwell Green and D’Eyns (prn. Danes) Road (now demolished);
Up the Lane (Grove Lane) after you had crossed the railway, where Champion Park meets the lane, there was a small row of shops. A hair dressers, a green grocers, the ‘sweet shop’, Franklin’s, and the United Dairies a wall and then next up was an off licence and then across the road into Canning Cross was the William Canning Pub. Further up from there was the Post Office.
I was given my first bike at 11, bought from Edwardes (still there) in Camberwell Road (called the Walworth Road as it led into it) Later I bought alloy wheels for it from the bike stall in East Street market
This brought to mind the fact that we often went to East Street Market on Sunday; here were all kinds of stalls and shops; there was the eel and pie shop on the main drag where we bought pie, mash and peas, boiled eels, again with mash or jellied eels – wonderful for Sunday lunch; There was the stall where we bought glasses of hot sarsaparilla in winter; the pet stall – stalls selling anything that you can imagine and the market ‘auctions’ where the guys would sell from a lorry standing up high holding the item for sale shouting “am I asking £10, am I asking £5, no give me a pound and this is yours”.
W H Smiths in Denmark Hill Station. The main station building is as it was but now a pub with a much smaller modern attachment with ticket machine behind.