Monday, 27 March 2017

Albany Park


Post to the north Blendon
Post to the east North Cray
Post to the south Foots Cray


Albany Park
Albany Park is a name purely made up by the developers of the area who used the land from two farms - Tanyard and Hurst Farms -  to build this area up. New Ideal Homesteads were the busiest housing developers – volume builders - in London in the 1930s. They had been founded in 1929 by Leo Meyer, who had been a surveyor for Erith Urban District Council..  They built large estates at low prices and this is not an upmarket suburb, Building here was at double the density recommended by the local council and the advertised pretty countryside disappeared under it..

Bexley Lane
Cleeve Park School. This was formed in 1986 by merging  Parklands School for Boys and Sidcup School for Girls. The new school moved to the site of Parklands School which dates from the 1950s. The building has been extended over the years with a new wing added in 1990 and a further section in 1995.  In 2012 the school became an ‘academy’ and joined The Kemnal Academies Trust.

Footscray Lane
Sidcup Cemetery. This  opened in 1912. The railway runs alongside in a deep cutting to the south. There is no chapel but there is a  lodge decorated with burnt brick fragments. The planting is not profuse but includes Cedars and Araucaria as well as yew, and a hawthorn walk.
Rutland Shaw. Small wood

Maylands Drive
St.Andrew. In 1944, the vicar of All Saints in Footscray started holding communion services in a room over shops and by 1946 a hall in Wren Road was being used officially for St Andrew’s congregation. Eventually plans were approved to build a church and services were held on the empty site before the building work started. The resulting building is  octagonal with the church occupying the roof. It was built on a slope in 1964 and the parish hall is under the church . The entrance is along a glazed bridge. It was by Braddock, Martin-Smith & Lipley.

St.Andrews Road
North Cray Woods.  This old coppice once belonged to the Prior of St Mary Overy at Southwark but the wood is now much smaller because of local housing built post Second World War. It is a mixed woodland dominated by oak with an understorey of sweet chestnut and hazel.

Steyton Avenue
The station stands in a small area of local shops and the pub.
The Albany Hotel. Pub in Brewer’s Tudor built by the developer with the estate.
Albany Park Station.  Opened in 1935. It lies between Sidcup and Bexley on South Eastern Trains.  It is on the Dartford Loop which had been built by the South Eastern Railway in 1866. In 1926 the line was electrified and the area had been developed by New Ideal Homesteads. New Ideal Homesteads donated the land and paid the Southern Railway to build the station. The name Albany Park was made up by the developer who also considered calling it Claremont Park.  The station was and is purely functional . The original brick building is in ‘modern’ style and there is another entrance from Longmead Drive. The building is single storied with a raised central area to form the booking hall. The station building is at street level with steps down to the platforms as the line is in a cutting, The original platform canopies have survived.  There never was a goods yard but there was a very small single storey signal box at the Dartford end of the up platform which closed in 1970..

Sources
Barr-Hamilton & Reilly. From Country to Suburb, Bexley
Cleeve Park School. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
Parks and Gardens UK. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London, 
Pevsner. West Kent 
Spurgeon. Discover Bexley and Sidcup
St. Andrew’s Church. Web site

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