Sunday, 28 May 2017


Church Road.
Bookham Station.  Built in 1885 it now lies between Leatherhead and Effingham Junction on South Western Rail. It was originally built by the London and South Western Railway.  They wanted to build the line into the centre of Great Bookham village but landowners and villagers were opposed and as a result the station was built north of the village in the country.  The original station buildings remain brick and with timber and corrugated sheet steel canopies, stationmaster's house (now a private house) and a cast and wrought iron footbridge.
Goods yard. This was west of the station and closed in 1965. The goods shed was used as a coal depot and builders yard and eventually demolished in the 1990s. There are now offices on the site.
Photo Me. This company building is now on the Atlas Works site. They make self operated phone booths and a range of related material was set up in 1954 and has an international reach.
Merrylands Hotel and Tea Room. This was built by Mrs Mary Chrystie opposite the station in 1885. She was a wealthy widow who invested in property development and had strong views on the dangers of alcohol. She entertained hundreds of poor families from London with non-alcoholic refreshments. In 1917 the Hotel was acquired for offices and the New Atlas Works was built in its grounds. When the factory closed in 1980 the hotel was demolished and a new office built for Photo-Me International.
New Atlas Works. In 1917 Waring, of Waring & Gillow, bought Merrylands Hotel and built New Atlas Works in the grounds and used the hotel building as offices. In the Great War it was used for the production of aeroplane parts. Afterwards the factory was run by Gillett, Stephens and Blackburne & Burney set up by Tom Gillett making engines for light cars and motor cycles. It then became known as 'Gillett Works' and was used by Wildt Mellor Bromley, a part of the Bentley Engineering Group. They made hosiery-making machinery, hydraulic equipment and undercarriages for Hawker aircraft. They closed around 1980. The factory area is now used for the manufacture of phone booths.

Edenside Road
House of Douglas Edenside nursery. This was here from 1893 to 1985. This was originally opened by James Douglas and passed to his osn Gordon. They specialised in auriculas, carnations and pinks. It was demolished in 1967 when the land was compulsorily purchased by the Leatherhead Urban District Council to enable building of Edenside council estate

Great Bookham Common
This is a remnant of a wildwood that once covered most of southern England.  In the late 1800s these commons became a popular destination for people enabled by the railway, to visit for the day. In 1923 the common was sold to a property developer and it was bought from him following a local campaign. In 1941 the London Natural History Society started making detailed surveys of these commons and since 1961 they are a Site of Special Scientific Interest. During the Second World War the commons were occupied by troops, ant-aircraft guns, a search battery, lorries and tanks. They are now managed by the National Trust
Stream. This is a tributary of the river Mole.

Little Bookham Common
This common was presented to the National Trust in 1924 by H Willock-Pollen, Lord of the Manor. It is mainly rough grassland and scrub which is poorly drained. There are several old gun pits and bomb craters.

Little Bookham Street `
Maddox Farm. Tarred 18th black barns
The Blackburn. This is the site of the old Atlas Works.  In the early 20th Thomas Gillett opened an engineering works here and in 1913 it became the works of Gillett, Stephens. They ran this along with the New Atlas Works making aeroplane parts in the Great War. Afterwards they made engines for light cars and motor cycles. In 1927 a motor cycle with a Blackburne engine won the Isle of Man TT. Engines were made here for the Bleriot 'Whippet' car and for the French-designed Marlborough car. Bookham Engineering Company took over this works in 1947 and overhauled tractors and later steel and wrought iron work. In the 1960s they moved and The Bookham factory was demolished in 1968
The Village Hall. This was a gift from Mary Chrystie, after she had bought up and closed down the Fox Inn here

Maddox Lane
Turner’s Bridge. Very narrow pedestrian bridge over the railway
Beehive Farm. The farm is also the address of an engineering company.
Bookham Grange Hotel. This opened in 1947 and closed in 2012. It is now converted into flats
Sewage works. This was built in the early 1940s by Leatherhead Urban District Council.

Maddox Park
Long Maddox Farm

Merrylands Road
Merrylands Cottages 

Oakdene Road
This was built by developer Arthur Bird and called Nelson Road

Oaken Wood
Said to be the last remaining piece of ancient woodland in the area. Mixed woodland with butterfly orchid and wild service trees.

Railway Tunnel.  The line passes through a 91 yard long tunnel which has brick portals.

Knowles. Surrey and the Motor
Mole Valley District Council. Bookham Heritage Trails
National Trust. Web site
Penguin. Surrey
Photo-me. Web site
Tarplee. Industrial History of the Mole Valley District
Wikipedia. As appropriate

Saturday, 27 May 2017


Post to the north Bicley
Post to the east Chiselhurst

Bickley Park Road
Bickley Park Estate. From 1861 Ernest Newton built houses throughout the area. The land had been bought by George Wythes among accusations of malpractice.
Lauriston House. Care home.
St.George's Church.  This dates from 1863 and was provided by George Wythes for the estate. It was built very expensively by F. Bames. It is in ragstone and the tower and spire were rebuilt by Ernest Newton in 1905—6.  The church was bombed in the Blitz and the next-door vicarage destroyed. Subsequently the interior was turned from light to dark by the vicar. Canon Hugh Glaisyer, by blocking all the chancel windows. It was also severely damaged by a fire in 1989.
War Memorial. This is in the churchyard and was rededicated in 2016. It is on a square base surmounted by a two stepped plinth tapered shaft and a bontonne cross. There is an inscription on the cross giving dates in Roman numerals.
Cricket club. The cricket ground here appears to have been set up by George Wythes, the original developer and appears on maps since before the Great War. The current club has an active fixture list and an arrangement with a club in Hong Kong.

Hawthorne Road
15 This is on the site of Bickley Park Farm and some buildings are said to remain at the rear

Page Heath Lane
Bickley Park School. This is a fee paying ‘independent prep’ school. It was founded in 1918 and is on two attractive sites in the road.

Southborough Road
Elmwood Nursing Home.
Bickley Station. Opened in 1858 it now lies between Bromley South to the west and both Petts Wood and St. Mary Cray to the east South Eastern Trains.  The station was originally called Southborough Road and opened by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway on the Chatham Main Line, at first from Bromley and then in 1860, to Faversham and then to Dover and Ramsgate. In 1861 it was renamed Bickley.

Bickley Cricket Club. Web site
Bickley Park School. Web site
Goldsmiths. South East London Industrial Archaeology
Pevsner West Kent
Pevsner and Cherry, South London
St. George’s Church. Web site
War Memorials On line. Web site

Bexleyheath - Pickford Lane

Brampton Road
Old lane – before the 1930s almost the only lane through the area, and this is reflected in a sprinkling of 19th country houses, mostly now gone.
164 J. Thorn & Co. pre-fabricated building construction. This firm was on a large site behind housing – now Kingsgate Close. They went out of business in 1969.
142 Brampton Lodge
Brampton House. Country house demolished and replaced by semis
Brampton Place. Country house demolished and replaced by semis

Husdson Road
49 St. Thomas More Catholic Primary School. It was established in 1980 to cater for the educational needs of St. Thomas More Parish and St. John Vianney Parish, Bexleyheath.

Long Lane,
Another old lane which is now a long road consisting almost entirely of 1930s semis.  There is a small, nameless, green on the corner of Hudson Road

Pickford Close
Racing magnate Bernie Ecclestone lived here when first married.

Pickford Road
St Peter’s Parish Church and Hall. Evangelical Anglican church. In 1930 £2,000 was fund raised by local people. This resulted in a Mission Hall. Money raising activities continued and in 1936 a new Hall was opened. In 1957 a new octagonal church building to replace the mission was opened. Hans Feibusch painted murals which are now on the wall behind the Communion Table and within the dome of the roof.

Station Approach.
Bexleyheath Station. This opened in 1895 and now lies between Barnehurst and Welling Stations on South Eastern Trains. It was opened on the Bexleyheath Railway and was sited north west of the town centre because Robert Kersey, a director of the company, owned Brampton Place and wanted to profit by it. It meant However that the station it was a quarter of a mile north of the Dover Road and a mile from the market place. It is in a cutting at a point where an embankment ends. Originally it had weather boarded buildings with a bridge across the tracks which were gas lit. There was a amall waiting room on the down side.  The footbridge was built prior to electrification in 1926.  In 1936 these buildings were replaced by brick ones.
Goods yard. This was some distance from the station in a cutting. It was extended in 1932 with a new car road and another siding and a redundant goods shed was brought here from Chilworth and Albury Station. It closed in 1968
Signal box. 

Barr-Hamilton & Reilly. From Country to Suburb
Bygone Kent,
Dover Kent. Web site
Field. London Place Names,  
Geocaching. Web site
Kent County Council. History 
London Borough of Bexley. Web site 
Shaw. The Bexleyheath Phenomenon,
Spurgeon. Discover Bexley and Sidcup
St. Thomas More Parish. Web site

Friday, 26 May 2017

Belsize Park

This posting covers only the south west portion of this square.
The north west portion is South End
The north east portion is South End and Gospel Oak

Post square to the west Hampstead
Post square to the east Gospel Oak  and Gospel Oak and Kentish Town

Aspern Grove
Local authority housing on the site of Russell and Aspern Nurseries and sports grounds. Built in 1980s on land previously owned by the railways, designed by Bill Forrest and Oscar Palacio, Camden Architects Department in post-modern style. It was the borough's last new-build housing; plain pale brick terraces. Previously this area was owned by the railway and a tunnel runs underneath. Post war it was leased to John Russell (Hampstead) Ltd., who developed here a nursery garden, jazz club and public tennis courts plus some light industry. In the 1980s it was developed for housing and following community action the three woodland areas were created alongside.

Belsize Avenue
The road was originally the carriage drive to Belsize House. At the Haverstock Hill end of the road the road surface is lowered and footpaths are raised with railings.

Belsize Wood
These sites are at the eastern end of the Aspern and Russell Nurseries estates and are between them and Lawn Road
Belsize Wood is a Local Nature Reserve is a steeply sloping site. There are two parts, one which is always open and another only open at weekends. It stands above the London and Midland railway Lismore Circus railway tunnel built in the 1860s. There are forest trees and an understorey of hawthorn and elder
Railway ventilation shaft in the North West corner of Belsize Wood
Russell Nurseries Woods. These have a network of paths and steps and some biodiversity enhancements. There is a bird feeding area and some Stag Beetle loggeries as well as an owl box.
Belsize Sensory Garden. Associated with this is a Green Gym.

Belsize Lane
5 Hunters Lodge. Gothic building from 1810 built for a merchant, William Tate.  Designed by Joseph Parkinson.

Fleet Road
Fleet Road is said to follow the Fleet River. However, a tributary to the river appears to have run to the north of this section of the road, only joining it to run alongside in the square to the east.  In this section the south side of the road is entirely covered with outbuildings and sub entrances of the Royal Free Hospital, including a long stretch of wall which may date from its fever hospital predecessor
154 White Horse pub. This pub is said to have been established early in the 18th. It was rebuilt in 1904 as a big prominent corner put with a clock at the pinnacle of the frontage. Inside original ironwork features survive.
Byron Mews. This new housing is on the site of the tramway depot (in the square to the north)
77 Royal Free Hospital Recreation Centre and Club.  Run by the Royal Free Charity this provides sports and swimming facilities as well as studio and other spaces.

Hampstead Green
This area was described as manorial waste land in the 18th and became the site of big houses and was adjacent to others.  There appears at one time to have been a small green here and in 1746 was an open space with an avenue of trees and a few buildings and a railed triangular site is now managed for wildlife, planted with a wild flower meadow. The site was owned by St Stephens’s church from 1869-75. Later it was called the Pond Street Enclosure and protected under the London Squares Act of 1931.
A Cabman's Shelter stood near the Green in  1935.
Bartram House. Bartram’s had been an ancient estate in this area with various buildings. Bartram House was built around 1806 north of the copyhold estate. It was the home from 1849 of Sir Rowland Hill whose family continued to own the site. Land to the south was purchased by the Metropolitan Asylums Board for a fever hospital and following objections in 1883 the board bought Bartram House and it was then used as a nurses' home but was exchanged in 1901 for land belonging to Hampstead General Hospital
Hampstead General Hospital. This had been founded in South Hill Park in 1882 but needed to expand. Land opposite Hampstead Green was acquired in 1901 and then exchanged with the Hampstead Fever Hospital for Bartram House which was then demolished.  It opened as Hampstead General Hospital in 1905 in a building by Young & Hall and in 1907 merged with the North-West London Hospital and began to expand its services.  In 1948 it joined the NHS and was closed and demolished in 1975 to be replaced with buildings of the Royal Free Hospital. The site became a car park and a small garden adjacent was dedicated to Dr. W. Heath Strange, the hospital’s founder.
Strange Garden. This memorial garden to Dr. Strange and the Hampstead General Hospital includes the frieze which was on the facade and which is laid out on a sloping lawn. There are other memorials on site: a Mulberry tree donated by the League of the Royal Free Hospital Nurses to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Hospital; a tree in memory of Broderick Dewhurst, clinical nurse manager 1990; a stone n memory of Helen Hendrick; a plaque in memory of Annette Mendelsohn. This garden is being moved because of redevelopment plans.
The Institute of Immunity and Transplantation is now being built on the car park and will be called the Pears Building after its donor. Along with this will be a new development, some of which will be sheltered housing ‘retirement living but not as you know it’.

Haverstock Hill
Stretch of road linking Chalk Farm and Belsize Park. The name – which dates to at least the 17th - means the place where oats are grown and it seems to have referred to the whole slope of the hill. It was also called Hampstead or London Road.
250 The George.  Established in 1666 and on Red Lion Hill in 1826. It was rebuilt in the 1920s in 'brewers' Tudor' style and has latterly been called The Rat and Parrot.
238 Rosary Roman Catholic primary school. This was originally Bartram’s Roman Catholic School and part of the orphanage run by the Sisters of Providence in Rowland Hill Street. Although it received a parliamentary grant it was not recognised as a public school but was maintained by the London County Council after 1921. After the Second World War it became Rosary School as a Roman Catholic voluntary aided primary.  It is a 19th red brick building set back from street with four storeys and an attic.
230 Maternity Welfare Centre. This was extant in the 1950s but the building is later described as a ‘Spastic Centre’.  The site appears now to be part of the Rosary School.
George V pillar box. This is on the corner with Ornan Road. It has ornate lettering cast into the door and ‘GR’ set below a crown.
WAC Arts, Arts trainbing organisation in the old Town Hall.  This was the Vestry Hall of 1877-8 built by Hampstead Vestry following a competition won by I. F Kendall and Frederick Mears. It is in red brick and stone, with a pediment on two of its sides and a corner tower. Inside is an imperial stair with cast-iron balustrades to a public hall on the first floor – the fireproof back arched floor of the hall is visible in the vestry room -later the council chamber – below. .  Alterations by Frederick Nie in 1886 included a large new committee room. In 1910-11 Hampstead Borough Council extended the building along Belsize Avenue to designs by John Murray. In 1965 the new London Borough of Camden chose St Pancras Town Hall as its main headquarters. In 1998 this was converted to an Arts Centre by Burrell, Foley
210 Shelter at the end of a drive alongside a shop – currently a Costa. This is a circular concrete pillbox with a square brick ventilation shaft on the roof. To the south is an open vertical shaft surrounded by corrugated iron with a system for dropping items into the tunnels by pulley. To the west is a low concrete structure which was probably a water or fuel tank. This was built during the Second World War with sleeping accommodation and facilities for 1,200 people. These shelters were designed as two parallel tunnels, so that they could be part of a future – but never built - express railway. Tunnels were on two floors with iron bunk, first aid facilities, wardens, and lavatories in hoppers under the works.
Ventilation shaft – modern structure painted white the brick is unpainted.
Odeon Cinema.  This opened in 1934 and with an Art Deco interior by T.P. Bennett & Son. It also has a Compton 3Manual/6Rank theatre organ with solo cello and an illuminated console. It was badly German bombed in 1941 and was. It reopened in 1954 and was by then a Rank Organisation Cinema. It closed in 1972 and was demolished leaving its adjacent shops and flats, one of the original shop units became the entrance to a new Screen on the Hill.
203 Screen on the Hill, this is in part of the site of the former Odeon Cinema, The entrance is in one of the parade of shops that was built as part of the original Odeon and retains the cream faience tiles from it. It opened in 1977 by Mainline Pictures. It has since been expanded and is now known as the Everyman Belsize Park
Belsize Park Station. Opened in 1907 this lies between Hampstead and Chalk Farm on the Northern Line. It was an original station on the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway taken over by Yerkes and now known as the Northern Line. It is a Leslie Green designed station with with rows of arches and ox-blood glazed tiles. It was refurbished in the late 1980s and although the lettering above the façade has gone there are bronzed poster surrounds from the 1920s and the original clock has been restored.  The staircase to the emergency stairs also survives in its original tiling and the original wooden lifts survived into the 1990s.  . The station was built back from the building line and this has left a small forecourt with Edwardian railings and stone plinths.
210 Deep Shelters. A quarter of a mile of twin tunnels lie below the station, constructed in n1944 as war rooms. In 1940 it was announced that a limited programme of deep public shelters would be available.
Shelter. At the junction of with Downside Crescent. This is a circular pillbox giving the northern entrance to the tunnel complex. There is a brick extension in Downside Crescent which is the current entrance and behind it a brick tower with a door at the bottom. There also a low rectangular concrete structure which is, probably a water or fuel tank. Most of the structure is painted white.

Pond Street
15 Roebuck pub. Probably dates from the mid-19th and was a Hoare’s house
Royal Free Hospital.  This originally opened in Hatton Garden and later Gray's Inn Road from 1840. It had been founded in 1828 to provide free healthcare to those who could not afford medical treatment. The title 'Royal' was added under Queen Victoria in 1837 because of work done with cholera patients. It was then the only hospital in London to offer medical training to women and work began with the London School of Medicine for Women, later renamed the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.   A decision was taken to move out of central London after the Second World War. The site here had been occupied by the North Western Fever Hospital, which begun in temporary buildings in 1870, and the Hampstead General Hospital.  The first phase was by Watkins Gray Wood International, was built 1968-75.  These are wards in tower blocks of eighteen storeys with concentric balconies. The hospital has expanded enormously since.  In April 1991 the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust was established. Outside is a decorative iron tympanum of 1894, brought from Gray's Inn Road.  Sculpture by Jesse Watkins, two interlocking curved forms, 1974.  .
Marks and Spencer.  This is on the site of the Hampstead Picture Playhouse which opened in 1914.  It closed in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War and, despite opening again, was closed in 1940 and re-opened in 1946 as the Hampstead Playhouse. It was taken over by the Classic Cinemas chain in 1965 and then re-named Classic Cinema  It was modernised in 1968 and frontage changed and then converted into a triple screen in 1978. In 1985 it was taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon. There was a bad fire in 1986 and in 1991 it became the MGM and in 1995 taken over by Virgin.  It went on to a management buy-out and was re-named ABC. It closed in 2000 following which it was used for illegal raves and squatters. It was then bought by the Royal Free Hospital and demolished. The new building has hospital staff accommodation as well as the shop.

The Belsize Tunnel and the Belsize New Tunnel run under much of this area, east/west. The first was built for the Midland Railway by William Barlow in 1865. It was duplicated in the 1880s. It lies between Kentish Town and West Hampstead Stations.

Rosslyn Hill
St. Stephen's. This was designed by S.S.Teulon as his most expensive project.  It opened in 1870 and was funded by local Lord of the Manor Thomas Maryon Wilson. It was constantly prone to subsidence from its hillside location and by the late 1960s there were real concerns. It was closed in 1977. It was not demolished because of its listed status and instead it was squatted. It has since been refurbished following fund raising appeals and is in use by Hampstead Hill School and as a community lifelong learning centre. It is also available for community and other events.

Rowland Hill Street
North Western  Hospital. The Metropolitan Asylums Board purchased part of the Bartram’s estate for its earliest smallpox and infectious diseases hospital.  Temporary wooden and corrugated iron huts were built in 1869 and the   Hampstead Smallpox Hospital opened in 1870. Nursing care was provided by the Anglican Sisters of St Margaret, from East Grinstead.  The Hospital closed when the epidemic subsided, but reopened for a smallpox epidemic later that year. Additional huts had to be built. There were complains about possible infection and the Hospital was closed in 1872.  the Hospital buildings were then used to accommodate mentally handicapped children until Darenth Park School was ready and permanent hospital was planned for the Hampstead site.  In 1876 another smallpox epidemic began and local residents took to the courts.  Following a Royal Commission in 1881 it was renamed the North-Western Fever Hospital, treating scarlet fever and diphtheria. Bartram House was sold to them who used it as a Nurses' Home.  More land was acquired and more wards and other blocks were built.  In 1930, control of the Hospital was transferred to the London County Council.  It joined the NHS and was renamed the North-Western Hospital and became a branch of the Royal Free Hospital then still in central London.  The first kidney transplants were performed here in the 1960s, as well as the development of home dialysis was pioneered here too. The North-Western Hospital was demolished in 1973 and its site was used to build the new Royal Free Hospital.
Convent by the Sisters of Providence of the Immaculate Conception bought part of Bartram’s in 1867. they opened a private boarding school for girls in Belle Vue house and an orphanage and day school for girls in Bartram House, A new block was added in 1887 – still in use as a school. The old house was demolished and a hostel with a chapel built
Bartram’s Residential Hostel
Bartram Park. This was a large house to the south of Bartram House. it was sold to Midland Railway Co in 1867,

Borer. Hampstead and Highgate
British History on line. Camden. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Camden History Review 
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
GLIAS  Newsletter, 
Hillman. London Under London
Historic England. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Leboff. The Underground Stations of Leslie Green
London Borough of Camden. Web site
London Gardens On line. Web site
London Remembers. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Parks and Gardens. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North
Pub History. Web site
Royal Free Hospital.  Web site
St.John's Church. Web site
Subterranea Britannica. Web site
Wade. Hampstead Past
Wikipedia. As appropriate

Thursday, 25 May 2017


Post to the south Banstead Downs
Post to the west Cheam

Avenue Road
Built on the line of an old track way
Avenue Primary Academy. This was Avenue Primary School which became an “Academy” in 2015. It is managed by the Cirrus Primary Academy Trust.  It moved to this site which had been allotments in the late 1950s. It has previously been Belmont Village School at a site which is now a private nursery.
Wildlife area.  This is behind the school and was created in1980 on the old gardens of houses which had backed onto the school fields. The school created habitats and a pond. It has chalk grassland with cowslips and other flowers and also the nationally scarce small blue butterfly. Around the pond are yellow flags and there are newts, frogs, pond skaters and water boatman.
16 Belmont Village Primary School. This was built in 1902 on part of a site designated for a church. When the school moved to its current site it became known as “Avenue School Annexe’. It fell out of use in 1970 and became a private Hopscotch nursery.
18 Sterling House.  This old factory is now flats. It was once a laundry but has been used by numerous companies many of them in specific areas of scientific innovation and expertise.
18 Nagard. This was a scientific instrument maker based here and in Brixton. They made oscilloscopes, signal converter valves and bespoke mounting. In 1962 they were taken over by Advance Components Ltd. who themselves were taken over by an American company, Gould, soon after.
St. John the Baptist. This parish church is a joint Church of England and Methodist Church. In 1908, following a public meeting, a building committee was set up to build a parish church. This site was purchased in 1910 and architects Greenaway & Newberry were appointed. A foundation stone was laid in 1914 and the church was completed in 1915. There was not enough money to build the tower as planned, and the west end remained a temporary structure until 1966 with the completion of the west wall. The wall includes the stained glass window and stonework from St Paul’s Church, St Leonards-on-Sea which was demolished. It became a joint church with the Methodists in 1983.

Balmoral Way
The South Metropolitan District Schools were on this site. They were built in 1852-3 and provided industrial education for 1500 poor children from Greenwich, Camberwell, and Woolwich. They had many facilities including playing fields and a gas works. The original schools closed in 1902. After a brief period as a hospital and asylum they became Belmont Workhouse in 1908.
Belmont Workhouse. In 1915 the buildings became a hospital for German prisoners of war and the internment for enemy aliens. In 1922 it became a workhouse for unemployed men and in 1930 was training centre for the unemployed run by the London County council.
Sutton Emergency Hospital. This was set up in the buildings of the Belmont Workhouse in the Second World War. In 1946 it became Belmont Hospital, specialising in psychiatric medicine and later Henderson Hospital both in Homeland Drive. The main blocks were demolished in the 1980s and redeveloped for housing.

Basinghall Gardens
Toll Bar Court. 12 floor block built 1965.
Carew Court. 12 floor block built 1965.

Belmont Rise
This was part of the Sutton Bypass built in 1927 and is now the A217.  It provides a through route from Wandsworth Bridge to Horley south of Reigate.
Vicarage. This was built here in 1927.

Brighton Road
B2230. This was the route of the A217 before the Sutton Bypass was built in 1927. The A217 itself runs from Wandsworth Bridge to near Gatwick in Surrey. This was a turnpike road which was created in 1745 and there was a tollgate near Sutton Lodge..
Milestone. This is on the west side of Brighton Road near Basinghall Gardens. It is a rectangular block of stone with peaked capping. On the east side is the inscription: ‘XIII Miles From The Standard In Cornhill London 1745’. It is one of a series erected in 1745 between London Bridge and
Banstead Downs.
137 Health Centre 
139 Sutton Lodge. This is home to Sutton Over 60s club. It is a brick house with a central block and matching wings.  It was built by brewer John Wells in 1762.  It is said to have been built on the site of a cottage, of 1754. It then had stables, granaries, oasthouses and other buildings. In 1838 was sold to farmer John Overton of Cheam and served as the farmhouse for Sutton Farm. Later, the farmland was sold for house building and the lodge was bought by Sutton Council, for use as a day centre.
Homeland Drive – the junction of Homeland Drive from Brighton Road marks what was the entrance drive to the South Metropolitan District Schools. A lodge stood to the south side of the junction.
Belmont Park. This is the southern part of the war time prefab site and was landscaped as part of the site redevelopment in the 1960s. It is on an undulating grassland plain bordered to the west by the railway line. Along the railway is a dense belt of trees.
The California Belmont Pub.  The pub is current called California but has sometimes also been named Belmont.  It was bombed and subsequently rebuilt in 1942. There are various stories about its origins and the origins of the name concerning gold coins, gamblers and the California gold rush.
Little Hell. A site here is marked as ‘Little Hell’ on the Roque map of 1765. This may be nothing more sinister than an old dialect form of the word ‘hill’ – ie a site on the edge of the North Downs. The name has been applied to stories about the origins of the pub.
310 R. Dance Contractors. This firm is in a cutting between 1950s the road and the railway and has been used as an industrial site since the Second World War. In the 1950s it was a coach builders and may have been Watsons. It was originally the goods yard for what was then California Station. It had two sidings and a ‘dock’. It was moved to the other side of the road when the Station Road level crossing closed.
Coal Yard and sidings. The sidings were moved to the east side of Brighton Road when the site on the west side closed. It closed for goods in 1964 but continued to handle coal until 1969. It appears to have been on the site of what is now Commonside Close.
Bus Stand. This is a long-established terminus for bus services.

California Close
This is on the site of a plant nursery run by a Mr. Belcher. In 1939 Post Office built a telephone engineering depot which fronted onto Station Road. When this became redundant in the 1970s it was let as offices. Later the site, including the nursery was redeveloped as flats.

Cotswold Road
This was previously called Banstead Road
Turf Cottage. This stood north of the junction with Banstead Road in the 19th and appears to be a single storey house with an elaborate porch, and gardens to the rear.
Sutton Hospital. In order to replace a small cottage hozpital a larger hospital was built in 1930 on the corner of Chiltern and Cotswold Roads.  It opened in 1931 as the Sutton and Cheam District Hospital. In the Second World War it had ten Emergency Medical Service beds for war casualties. In 1948 it joined the NHS. It soon began to expand taking over a private nursing home and vacant buildings belonging to the Downs Hospital. New wards were built, am outpatients and a chapel.   In 1959, the old Downs Hospital for Children became the Cotswold Wing.  Today it has a modern day surgery unit and some specialist outpatient services.  There is a Day Hospital for elderly patients and a centre for mental health care.  It is now beginning to be run down in favour of improvements to St Helier Hospital and is expected to close.
Downs Hospital for Children. In 1882 the South Metropolitan District Schools purchased this site from the Sutton Lodge estate to extend the school in Brighton Road. This opened in 1884 with a pavilion block layout, design, by the 1890s it was the Girls' School. In 1902 the School closed and the buildings were purchased by the Metropolitan Asylums Board. This then became the Downs School for children suffering from ringworm and other skin and scalp diseases. In 1913 non-tubercular children were transferred to the Goldie Leigh Children's Cottage Homes, which also specialised in ringworm cases, and the Downs School became a TB hospital for children - the Downs Sanatorium. In 1920 it was renamed the Downs Children's Infirmary and, in 1922, Cleveland Street Children's Infirmary joined them here.  In 1924 its name changed to the Downs Hospital for Children. It closed in 1948 at the beginning of the NHS. The buildings were then used by the Sutton Hospital, the Institute for Cancer Research and the Sutton branch of the Royal Marsden Hospital.
11-13 farm cottages built 1834
Malvern Centre.   This currently accommodates a Centre of Pain Education (where patients who suffer with chronic pain are helped to deal with their condition and chronic fatigue syndrome clinics.
15 The Institute of Cancer Research, This  was founded in 1909 as The Cancer Hospital Research Institute, a small laboratory in what would become The Royal Marsden in Chelsea. In the 1920s and 30s they had discovered carcinogenic compounds in coal tar and worked on the role of chemotherapy. It became independent under the NHS in 1948 but the organisations still work together. In the 1950s they moved to this site to work on nuclear medicine. In the 1960s they gathered evidence on DNA damage and cancer, leading to modern immunotherapy. In the 1970s and 80s, they helped to discover treatment drugs. They also found the cancer-causing gene. The 1990s saw the discovery gene in the familial inheritance of breast and ovarian cancer. Since 2005 they have discovered 20 preclinical drug candidates, the ICR also has a long history in training is an Associate Institution of the University of London, and was recognised as a full College of the University of London in 2003.
Letter box by Sutton Hospital entrance.  This was originally mounted in a gate post in part of gateway and gate. This model is 1882-1885.
Banstead Road Primary School. The school was built here in 1897 and was the original Belmont school. More recently it has catered for pupils with special needs, This is now housing as Baron Close
24 This was built around 1860 by farmer, John Overton, of nearby Sutton Lodge, probably to house his farm workers.

Dorset Road
This was Burdon Road before the Second World War
12 Air raid shelter extant in the garden.
Sutton Ambulance Station. This was on the edge of the Industrial School site, later the hospital

Downs Road
California Court. This stands on the site of chalk pits and limekilns.  Cottages for the workers were said have been built here later.
99-101 house which is claimed to be the oldest building in Belmont; a 19th agricultural building.
Royal Marsden Hospital. This was was the first hospital in the world dedicated to the study and treatment of cancer. It was founded in 1851 and is based in Fulham Road, Chelsea. In 1948 under the NHS the Royal Marsden became a post-graduate teaching hospital an. In response to the need to expand to treat more patients and train more doctors, a second hospital in Sutton was opened in 1962. They moved into buildings which had been the Metropolitan District School.
Baptist chapel.  This was started by a Miss Hale in the late 1880s managed to secure £30 funding for iron church building on a plot just above the chalk pits. It was at first The Belmont Mission church catering for nonconformists of various demoninations. It was however dominated by Baptist members, and by 1910 there was pressure to re-establish a non-denominational church elsewhere and this was provided in Station Road. building. T
63 Sutton Mental Health Foundation. This is a member led facility for people with experience of mental distress, and their carers. It provides facilities for recreation with the object of improving quality of life. This is in what was St. John’s Church Hall.
Christ Church and St.John’s Church Hall.  In 1880, an Anglican Mission and Parish Hall was built under the auspices of Christ Church, Sutton, and St Dunstans, Cheam. When St John’s parish church opened in 1916 it became the parish hall. It was rebuilt in 1940 as a a steel framed structure with brick infill. When the Northdown Road hall opened in 2004, this became a mental health drop-in centre

Holland Avenue
50 Downs Lawn Tennis Club.  Cheam Lawn Tennis Club is said to have started here in 1926.

Homeland Drive
This is on the route to the original drive to the South Metropolitan Schools.
1 Belmont House. This is a residential care home belonging to the NHS. This site was originally occupied by part of the South Metropolitan District Schools. They closed in 1902 and the buildings became Belmont Workhouse.  In the Second World War it became the Sutton Emergency Hospital and, because if fears of mass hysteria at the beginning of the war, it was designated as - the Sutton Neurosis Centre.  The Hospital was however used to treat trauma patients and war casualties.   1946 it was renamed the Belmont Hospital, specialising in psychiatric medicine.  In 1948 it joined the NHS as a treatment centre for general psychiatric conditions. By the 1960s it had become the leading centre for the study and treatment of neuroses. In 1975 its work was transferred to Sutton Hospital and the Belmont Postgraduate Psychiatric Centre remains in the Chiltern Wing.  The main blocks were demolished in 1980s and there is now new housing on the area.
2 The Henderson Hospital. This was on part of the Belmont Hospital site.  After the Second World War a Social Rehabilitation Unit was established on part of the Belmont Hospital site for soldiers suffering from war related post-traumatic stress disorder. The unit went on to treat adults who had experienced childhood abuse. In 1959 it was renamed the Henderson Hospital, after the Scottish psychiatrist Professor Sir David Henderson. It developed a patient-orientated approach to the treatment of psychopathic disorders.  Until 2005 it had funding from the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group but in this changed to contributions from regional health bodies and lack of money from them made the hospital unviable. It closed in 2008 despite its reputation and success. The site now has planning consent for housing.
Belmont Pastures, A conservation area of 1.18 hectares of grassland, was once part of the site.
Bridge over the Railway. In 1864-5 the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company had built the Sutton to Epsom Downs line.  The bridge, which carried Homeland Drive over the railway tracks, was rebuilt in 1984.  The plaque on the bridge mentions the Belmont Hospital.

Hulverston Close
Shanklin Village Estate. This is local authority housing sited between Brighton Road and the railway. It was built in the late 1960s to replace wartime prefabs,

Northdown Road
Church Hall. This opened in 2004
Belmont Rest Garden. This was sold to by church to the local council in 1927;

Overton Park
Overton Park is on the site of an old recreational areas and sports grounds, some of it resulting from playing fields for the Metropolitan District Schools. It is mainly open grass with trees around the perimeter. There is an emphasis on sports facilities with three football pitches and other smaller pitches. There is also a pavilion with changing rooms, as well as a playground and trim trail.

Queens Road
3 Manse for the Methodist Minister, having originally belonged to the Roman Catholics also had planned to build a church there.
War Memorial. This is at the junction with Queens Road in a small grassed area. It has a circular stone base surmounted by plinth and in-filled wheel cross. Inscriptions are on attached metal plaques and they say ‘To the Glory of God and  in memory of the Bbelmont men who fell in the Great War 1914 - 1918 and/ those men and women who gave their lives in the World War 1939 – 1945. There are 42 names

Railway Line
This is the Epsom Downs railway which was built to convey huge crowds of race goers to the race track on the Downs. Following a number of legal problems it opened in 1865.
There were sidings north of the station for the South Metropolitan District Schools

Sevenoaks Close
Belmont Pastures. This is a long narrow triangle of land which is an old meadow which formerly belonged to Belmont Hospital. It is unimproved chalk grassland with common grasses and wild flowers, along the railway line is a hawthorn hedge and on the west is a line of large trees, mainly horse chestnut

Stanley Road
Stanley Road itself is in the square to the north.
Overton Grange School. The school is accessed from Stanley Road, to the north. Overton Grange School is a mixed “academy” school. It opened in 1997 after the need for a school in the area was identified in the 1980s and was built on the site of a blood transfusion centre. It includes a sixth form college, opened in 2002. It also has a hearing support department and purpose-built facilities for pupils with disabilities. It became an ‘academy’ in 2011.
South London Transfusion Centre. These were sited in what had been the LCC Laboratories in 1952..
Belmont Laboratories, London County Council. These laboratories dated from at least 1908 and were sometimes described as ‘Serum Laboratories’.  They carried out important and ground breaking medical and environmental research as well as preparing various chemical substances for use by the County Council.
Sutton Youth Theatre

Station Road
Folly Cottage. This house is shown in the 19th as taing up an extensive site on the corner with Avenue Road. One outbuilding is said to remain to the rear.
34  London and Belcher. This florist shop was founded in 1928 and Mr. Belcher then had an extensive nursery business to the rear and east of the shop
34 Post Office Engineering building. This occupied what was the original frontage to Belcher’s nursery. The site is now redeveloped as flats.
Deacon House. These flats are on the site of what was once The Constitutional Club. The Free Church bought the site and laid a foundation stone in 1915. The church initially included Methodists, Baptists, Congregational, and Evangelical however in 1928 it affiliated to the Methodists. After the Second World War the cost of maintaining it became unsustainable and in 1986 it agreed to share St John’s church. Sale of the site paid for adaptations to St, Johns
Hall. This was built alongside what became the Methodist church. The site is now flats.
VR pillar box. 
29 this was a dairy before the Great War and sheds and outhouses remain behind it which may have been in use for the cows. This is also said to be part of an old cottage called Hare Warren.
Rail bridge. This humped bridge was built in 1888 to replace an original level crossing. The effect is that Station Road splits into two and has two parallel arms for a short distance west of the station and an even shorter parallel section to the east.  North of the station were originally sidings, one for use of the Metropolitan District School.
Belmont Station. This opened in 1865 and now lies between Sutton and Banstead on Southern Rail. The station was built by the Banstead and Epsom Downs Railway as part of a line to take race goers to Epsom Race Course.. The station was first called California but changed to Belmont following complaints of misdirected parcels. The original station was bombed and the buildings were destroyed. In 1970 the buildings were finally replaced with a CLASP system on the down side.

The Crescent
Milestone. This is said to survive in a garden here and marked 14 miles from The Standard in Cornhill.

York Road
Built on the line of an old track beside which there were once fields where Colmans of Norwich grew garlic.

Avenue Primary Academy. Web site
BSCRA. Web site
Field. London Place Names 
Historic England. Web site
Imperial War Museum. Web site
Kirkby. The Banstead and Epsom Downs Railway
London Borough of Sutton. Web site.
London Encyclopaedia
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Overton Grange School. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry,  Surrey
Royal Marsden Hospital. Web site
St. John the Baptist. Web site 
Sutton Hospital. Web site
Sutton Nature. Web site
University of Brighton. Web site
Welcombe Collection. Web site
Wikipedia. Web site. As appropriate

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Beddington :Lane

Beddington Lane
Beddington Nursery. In the mid 19th this very large nursery site stood to the north of the railway line and east of the Beddington Lane – and perhaps at the same time a Jolly Gardeners pub should be noted in Croydon Road
Beddington Lane Industrial Estate. Industrial area on site north of the railway line. This is light industry and warehousing locations.
Tarfroid Ltd later Thames Tar Products and Construction Ltd. They made “bituminous emulsions” but also undertook sheet metal work and welding. They originally intended to produce tar for road surfacing.  They had a siding from the Croydon bound rail line and are noted as opening in 1930 (although not shown on maps until the 1950s)
Beddington Lane Station.  Opened originally as ‘Beddington Corner’ in 1855 on the li built by George Parker Bidder between Wimbledon and Croydon following the route of the Surrey Iron Railway.  It is nearly two miles from Beddington itself and in 1887 it was renamed ‘Beddington Lane’. It was demoted in status with the introduction of push-pull services and was renamed ‘Beddington Lane Halt’. The word ‘halt’ was dropped in 1969. Until the 1990s the premises still had its old wooden building, which was painted red but kept its rural appearance.  It was then demolished and replaced by a single shelter. In 1997 the station was closed and opened as a Tramlink stop.
Beddington Lane signal box. This stood at the east end of the platform, adjoining the level crossing and dated from 1877, possibly relocated from elsewhere. In 1930 it was replaced. The box was where passengers purchased tickets. It closed in 1982, and was later demolished.
Goods Line. Immediately beyond the crossing was a sand drag which marked the western end of' a goods line, which paralleled the passenger route between Beddington Lane and West Croydon. This was used in connection with electrification, and created by joining up various sidings which lay on the north side of the line. This closed in 1976,
Beddington Lane Tram Stop. This lies at what was the west end of the old Beddington station and was opened in 2000. It is between Mitcham Junction and Therapia Lane tram stops.
Station Master’s house. This dated from 1896 and may have replaced an earlier building.
Level crossing. As a tram line crossing this is now traffic light controlled. As a railway line it was controlled by the signal box.
Townson and Mercer. Scientific instrument works. This works was on the west side of the lane on the site now covered largely by the Brookmead Industrial Estate where they had an electronic-controlled annealing gas furnace. Established in 1798 they made laboratory, scientific and medical (including lampblown) glassware and apparatus; for laboratory use, as well as for aviation and for hospitals. They invented the ‘sortationer’ which could distinguish different aluminium alloys.
58 Pullen Pumps. This firm has now closed. They were originally founded in Vauxhall London by Fredrick Pullen before the 1930s and moved here in 1968. Since 2000 they have been HoldenBrookePullen Ltd and moved to Manchester in 2003.
Townmead Foundry. Extant in the 1950s. This was an iron foundry owned by H.Hendra and Sons. They were ironfounders and patternmakers who made grey iron and castings of all descriptions.
Ebdon’s Joinery. Ebdons produced high quality joinery and woodwork for churches and other prestige locations. Their address is given as Oak Lodge, 56 Beddington Lane., Oak Lodge appears to have been at what is now 156 Beddington Lane. At 154 Beddington Lane is a very nice art deco factory, now Advance Fuels – was this also Ebdon’s?  It is known their works was rebuilt following bombing.
Energy Recovery Facility. This was commissioned by the South London Waste Partnership made up of Croydon, Kingston, Sutton and Merton Councils. Previously residual waste sent to the landfill site here but this new facility will allow it be disposed of as safely and cleanly as possible and at the same time generate electricity to be fed into the grid. It is being built and will be run by Viridor.

Brookmead Road
This road and those closely adjacent to it are now called ‘The Meads’ – hence a large sign at the entrance to this road at its Beddington Lane end.

Coomber Way
This square covers a small part of this industrial estate, which is apparently built on reclaimed land and includes sites dealing with waste of various sorts.
Tramlink Depot. This is on a site which once held a network of railway sidings, some accessing various works and other used for maintenance and storage of stock.

Croydon Road
Road which crosses Mitcham Common

Jessops Way
Brookmead Industrial Estate – this is largely a depot for a delivery and courier firm. Much of this is on the site of what was the Townson and Mercer factory.
Traq. Surrey Minimoto club. Outdoor karting, minimoto and off-road quad bike racing circuits.
Croydon Rifle & Pistol Club. This was formed in 1944 by members of the Croydon Home Guard and was known then as Croydon Rifle Club. In 1952 a pistol section was started and in 1958 a site at Beddington on Jessops Way was taken on. They moved there a hall from their previous site near Fairfield Hall – this had been an A.R.P. training centre and & a band rehearsal hall. In 1964 the Rifle Section moved into Jessops Way and it was officially opened in 1966

Mitcham Common
Described as "that dreary long-drawn expanse.  In 1801 and  1812-19 there were attempts, strongly resisted, to enclose it. Since 1891 the Common has been administered by its Conservators. It was once part of a continuous tract of pasture between Croydon to Mitcham. The original oak woodland was cleared in Neolithic times and then used for grazing – the soil is not fertile – and thus low shrubs and acid grassland as well as  heathland were predominant. In the early 19th there was some gravel extraction leaving some ponds and grazing of sheep and cattle by commoners ceased. In the Second World War some ponds were filled in between the wars, and some land was used for agriculture. Other areas were used for refuse landfill.

Mitcham Road
Jolly Gardeners. Late 19th pub which was demolished in 2003. It was commonly called The Red House.

Railway Line
Sidings north of the line near Beddington Lane Station. This was the permanent way depot for the railway. It now partly houses the Tramlinc Depot.

Red House Road
Industrial and trading area – at the present it is apparently motor industry related, with an emphasis on tyres. There were many engineering and metal industries here in the post-war years. Some are shown below:
Mitcham Driving Test Centre. This was previously the Ministry of Transport Goods Vehicle Testing Station
Royal Mail vehicle maintenance depot. This was present in the 1950s.
Red House Sheet Metal, present in the 1950s
Rometal Smelting. Present in the 1950s
Mitcham Smelters. Present in the 1950s.
Coachcraft. Van and coach body builders. Present in the 1950s

Surrey Iron  Railway Route
This early 19th horse drawn tramway ran in a straight line through this area. It was replaced by the rail line, and now by the trams.

Windmill Road
The Mill House. This is one of the few houses ever to be built on Mitcham Common. In 1806 John Blake Barker was  given permission to build a windmill on half an acre of newly enclosed land. This was in constant use until 1862 when, during a storm, it was struck by lightning and was eventually closed. It was dismantled down to its base in 1905. What remains is a single storey brick round house with a conical thatched roof. It was a hollow post mill which looked like ordinary post mill but inside the drive from the sails was taken through ae hollow main post.
House. This was built in 1860 and was called Mill Cottage or Windmill Cottage and later Mill House. It was sold in 1936 sold and used as a home for girls as well as a creamery and for packing biscuits. In 1950 it was bought by the local authority for a Youth Centre but was then divided into flats and used by the Parks Department. In 1994 it was hbought by Whitbreads and the developed into a Brewers Fayre Pub,
Ecology Centre.  This was built by Whitbread to house the Micham Common Conservators. It runs facilities for schools and environmental educaitn generally.

Closed Pubs. Web site
Croydon Rifle and Pistol Club. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
London Railway Record
Mitcham Common. Web site
Retracing the First Public Railway 
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. A Survey of Industrial Monuments of Greater London

Friday, 19 May 2017


Post to the west Mayesbrook park
Post to the east Goresbrook  Park

Amesbury Avenue
Fanshawe Tavern, This was built in 1934 as part of the facilties for the Becontree Estate. It was later renamed The Pipers, It closed in 2000 and was subsequently demolished. There are now flats on the site.

Arden Crescent
75-77 Pupil Referral Unit

Becontree Estate Railway.
This was a temporary line which ran between Chadwell Heath and the river during the construction of the Becontree Estate. It operated between 1921 and 1934. It was established by building contractors Wills & Sons connecting with existing goods sidings at Goodmayes and running south through the future estate, to a jetty on the Thames. In this square a branch of the line ran from Porters Avenue to the lake in Parsloes Park

Cannington Road
Roding Primary School. The main part of this school is in Hewitt Road (in the square to the north) and the school has expanded onto this site since 2000.

Ellerton Road
Dawson School, was established by Barking Education Committee in 1931. The school closed in 1966, amd pupils were transferred to Dorothy Barley School or Cambell School. The site became known as Bifrons Annexe and was used by Mayesbrook Secondary School from 1970 until 1989.

Gale Street
This old lane forms much of the Dagenham boundary.
Great Porters farm. The farm was on the east side of the road in the area of Wykham Avenue. The farmhouse had a castellated parapet to the roof and a pointed doorway and it is thought to have been a 19th façade on an earlier building. It was demolished during the bulding of the Becontree Estate.
Becontree Station.  Opened in 1926 it now lies between Dagenham Heathway and Upney on the District Line. It was originally opened by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway as ‘Gale Street Halt’. It was rebuilt on its present site in 1932 and opened as a District Line Station with the name changed to ‘Becontree’
Gale Street Farm. This was sited south east of the railway line..  It was named after the family of Richard de Gal recorded in Dagenham in 1284. The farm was demolished during construction of the Becontree Estate but was used originally as the home of the LCC Agent – one of whom was father of the clothes designer Hardy Amies.
523 Worshipville Christian Centre.

Langley Crescent
James Cambell Primary School. This built as Cambell School by Barking Education Committee in 1930 and it was a secondary modern school as well as an infants and juniors.

Parsloes Park
Only about a quarter of the park is in this square. The rest is in squares to the north and east.
Parsloes Park. This is owned by the local authority. The park derives its name from the Passelewe family, who owned the land in the 13th. The land was acquired by the London County Council in 1923 and opened as a park in 1935, marking the official completion of the Becontree estate.
Pond. This was a gravel pit used by the contractors for the estate. It had stone crushing plant and coating machinery for making tarmacadam for road surfacing. In the pits were found numerous Palaeolithic flint tools including 26 hand-axes. This indicates that this may have been the site of a camp used by Neanderthal hunters for butchering animals

Stamford Road
2a Mountain of Fire and Miracles. Evangelical Church. This was Greig Hall built as a mission by Shaftesbury Society  in 1933-34

Woodward Road
St Anne’s Roman Catholic church. This now appears to be St Joseph Malankara Catholic  London
Church of God Mission International Dagenham. This is in what was Woodward Hall
Woodward Clinic
Woodward Road Library. This is  is now a re-use centre for disability charity DABD,

Barking and District Historical Society. Web site
Evans. Bygone Dagenham and Rainham.
Field. London Place Names,
GLC. Home Sweet Home
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Web site
Nature Conservation in Barking and Dagenham 
Pevsner and Cherry. Essex
Pub History. Web site
Victoria County History of Essex. Dagenham
Walford. Village London
Wikipedia. Web site. As appropriate

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Royal Albert

Post to the south North Woolwich
Post to the east Cyprus and Gallions

Albert Road
199 Kennard Street Community Centre and Health Centre. The health centre was added in 1990 and both redeveloped in 1996
74 Royal Albert. This pub closed in 2002 and became a private house. It dated from 1867 and was a Watney’s house.
76 North Woolwich Health Centre. Built in 1981 and designed by Aldington Craig & Collinge
Silvertown Methodist Chapel. 1871-1960
78 North Woolwich Learning Zone.   Adult education centre which is a branch of Newham College of Education.
60 Sweetingham’s Cinema opened in 1912. It was later known as the Silvertown Picture Palace, and finally the Albert Cinema. It closed in 1938 and was later demolished.
39 Silvertown Constitutional Club. This was founded in 1892 and used by the local Conservative Party,
Bridge across the railway to Factory Road. This was a cast and wrought iron bridge made by Handyside and Co. There was a trellis and wooden stairs. It has now been replaced by a concrete structure.
Tram wire posts. These were still in use in the 1970s, adapted as lamp posts. They have now gone.

Beckton Railway, Gallions Branch
Beckton Railway, When the Royal Albert Dock was built, the London & St. Katharine Dock company built this railway in 1880 for passengers and parcels from the North Woolwich line to Gallions Reach, passing along the northern side of the Albert Dock. At first it was a single line between Albert Dock Junction to Central but this was later doubled and also there was them a double track to Gallions. They had second hand trains running every half hour. Central Station was converted into a halt from the 1st November 1933. In 1940 the line was bombed and was repaired for the storage of wagons but the passenger service was never reinstated. It was abandoned under the Port of London Act 1950 but was used for wagon storage at least until the mid 1960's. The Docklands Light Railway Beckton Extension closely follows the route.
Central (Royal Albert Dock) Station or Royal Albert Dock Central. This dated from 1880 and was built by the London and St.Katharine’s Dock Company. It could only be reached by a footpath from Savage Gardens along the west side of Beckton Park as it was midway along the dock with no road access. There was a mock Tudor upside building on the up side of the line was built in a mock Tudor and a wooden footbridge spanned the platforms to the east of the station building.  It was closed in 1940 by which time it was owned by the Port of London Authority. The site today is immediately south of the DLR's Beckton Park Station beneath a roundabout on Royal Albert Way. There was a signal box east of the down platform

Camel Road
ASTA Community Hub. They have groups for children, young people, adults and the elderly ranging from sports to computer training.

Connaught Road
Tate Institute. This was built as a social centre for Tate workers with amenities such as a reading room and hot baths in 1887. It was sold to West Ham Council in 1933. Silvertown Library was on the top floor from 1938 to 1961 and then leased back by Tate and Lyle for a social centre.  It is currently being converted into workshops and an art gallery.
Silvertown station.  This opened in 1863 having been built by the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway becoming part of the North London Line in 1979. In 1885 the station was rebuilt with a new, gas lit, booking office and a foot bridge. The station was entered through a tunnel under the signal box. The station was again rebuilt in the late 1970s and in 1985 the line was electrified – all gas lit until the 1970s. In 1987 the name changed to ‘Silverton and London City Airport’.  In 2006 the station closed with the line. It had previously been closed for a year in the 1990s while the Jubilee Line was built.

This current project has been renamed Elizabeth Line and is planned to open in 2018. This section is being built on the line of the old North Woolwich Railway which here ran eastwards from Silvertown Station between Factory and Royal Albert Roads. This is a major scheme which will bring main line trains from the Midlands through central London and on into Kent and Essex.  There are no stations on this stretch.

Dockside Road
Royal Albert Station. This is on the Docklands Light Railway’s elevated section of the Beckton branch- although the line dips slightly before reaching the station. It lies between Prince Regent and Beckton Park stations and was opened in 1994. It has two side platforms.
Polo Group Sculpture by Huang Jian which was unveiled in 2012an shows two modern British polo players playing against Emperor Ming Huang and Lady Yang. A plaque reads: China is the birthplace of ancient polo which was popular among royal families during the Tang Dynasty. The U.K. gave birth to modern polo, which became an Olympic sport in 1908 and popular all over the world.  In 2008, famous Chinese sculptress Huang Jian created for the Beijing Olympic Games “Emperor Ming of Tang and His Concubine Yang Yuhuan Playing Polo”, the only permanent large sculpture in the Beijing Olympic Park.  Four years later, Huang created the sculpture of “2012 London Polo”, in which Chinese lovers of ancient polo and British lovers of modern polo travel through time and space to gather in the London Olympic Park for a friendly polo match. 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the U.K. and is also the year for the London Olympic Games. The sculpture symbolises the friendship and cultural exchange between the two countries.
1016 Travelodge
London Regatta Centre. This is a rowing and dragon boat racing centre. It is owned by the Royal Albert Dock Trust, and is home to London Youth Rowing, London Otters Rowing Club, University of East London Boat Club, Raging Dragons Dragon Boat Club, Thames Dragons, Wave Walkers Windy Pandas DBC and Typhoon Dragon Boat Club. It was opened in 2000 and was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects. It has a 2,000 metre course, with seven lanes plus a return lane. There is also a rowing tank and a boathouse.
Windy Pandas. This Dragon Boat Club was formed in 2008 as a charity crew,
Wave Walkers. London's first cancer survivors dragon boat team
Raging Dragons. This was formed in 2002 as a charity crew called Chinese Professionals, and later Dragonflies. In 2006 it was associated with Thames Dragons and their name changed to Thames Raging Dragons but in 2009 this arrangement ended when they were sponsored by Sun Lik beer. In 2010 they were the highest placed team in London.
Thames Dragon Boat Club, This was established in 1993 and has competitive, mixed, ladies and open crews
Building 1000. Dockside offices built 2004 and includes London Borough of Newham Social Services
1000 Cold Store Compressor House. This was built in 1914 as a refrigeration plant to service surrounding warehouses storing beef shipments from Argentina. Following restoration work it has been used as offices and more recently as exhibition space.  As a compressor house it had a large water tank on the roof.

Docklands Light Railway
There are two Docklands Light Railway Lines in this square
Beckton Extension, This section of the line follows very closely the route of the old Gallions branch, but is carried on a new trackbed, and nothing of the earlier alignment can be seen. It opened in 1994 and is the longest of the railway's extensions. It runs for a little over five miles from Poplar through the Royal Docks area to a terminus at Beckton.
London City Airport Extension. This extension to the Docklands Light Railway opened in 2005. It leaves the existing DLR south of Canning Town station and runs on the south side of Silvertown Way and North Woolwich Road with a station for the airport in Hartmann Road. It was later extended to Woolwich in 2009.

Factory Road
S.W. Silver & Company were 18th Colonial and Army agents and outfitters based in the City, He is said to have set up a factory to make waterproof clothing, on a site which has never been identified in Greenwich. Later this was expanded to include insulated wires and cables. In 1852 a factory was set up in the area subsequently named Silvertown. In 1860 they acquired the patents of Charles Hancock, formerly of the West Ham Gutta Percha Co. As the result of this Silver set up the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company.
The India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company was set up in 1864 and made a cable for the Submarine Telegraph Co, for Dover to Cap Gris Nez in the following year. Subsequently they made many more international cables and were partners in companies set up to manage them and promote them. They also owned specialist cable ships to lay them.  They also continued to make rubber goods and item related to telegraphy and eventually withdrew from submarine cable work during the Great War. The company also supplied electric generating plant to towns and cities in the United Kingdom and on the Continent. In the 1890s they began producing bicycle tyres and later car tyres. They also had a factory in France and one in Burton on Trent. In 1933 they were taken over by the B.F. Goodrich Company of Ohio and in the 1950s this became BTR Industries Ltd. The Silvertown Works site was sold in the 1960s and was redeveloped as the Thameside Industrial Estate.
Albert Works. An iron works on a site adjacent to the Silvertown Works in the 1860s and 1870s and owned by Campbell Johnstone & Co.  engineers and shipbuilders.. The company closed in 1876

Fernhill Street
22 Eastern Electric Laundry. This was an industrial laundry which closed in 1985.
Fernhill Street Baths and washhouse. There was also a clinic here run by the London County Council in the 1940s and 1950s.  These baths may be the slipper baths built by the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich in 1926, although the site appears to be in East Ham – then a County Borough in Essex and not eligible for London County Council services.  The site does not appear to be large enough for a swimming pool.  There is now housing on the site built in 1962 by the London County Council, which, presumably, replaced this washhouse.
242 Newham Catering and Cleaning Services. London Borough of Newham

George V Dock.
This square covers the west end of the dock only.
George V dock was begun in 1912 by the Port of London Authority, the King George V and is the last of the upstream enclosed docks to be built. Construction was completed in 1921. It could handle liners as large as RMS Mauretania. A unique feature was a line of dolphins – wooden posts – which lay along the south side and which were connected to the south quay by wooden bridges.  These allowed lighters to pass on the quayside of moored vessels. It had three miles of quays with concrete-frame sheds, electric cranes and platform trucks and there were 5 railway lines available to the 14 warehouses. George V closed as a commercial dock in the 1980s but it was not decommissioned and is available for use with facilities for cranes, electrical power and water, quayside working areas, storage, security, and refuelling.
George V Dry Dock. This was the largest dry dock in London and opened in 1921. This is now the site of London City Airport
Pump House for the dry dock – this was north east of the dry dock itself and had two sets of electric motors driving pumps. It was flooded in 1979
Watersports Centre. King George V dock is reserved for power water sports.

Hartman Road
Hartman Road appears to have originally been an internal dock road running along the south side of the George V dock. It was accessed via a gate off the, since demolished, Silvertown viaduct. It now serves various airport facilities buildings and a vast car parking area.
London City Airport Station. This is on the Docklands Light Railway and opened in 2005.  It lies between Pontoon Dock and George V stations and was originally built on what was called the King George V branch but is now the Woolwich Extension – since it now crosses the river to Woolwich. The station is elevated and fully enclosed and it has a direct covered connection with the adjacent airport terminal building. There is also, unusually for the DLR, a fully enclosed waiting room on the platform and a manned ticket office.

Kennard Street
Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society shop. This was their only shop north of the river and opened in 1905. It closed in the late 1970s.
St. Mary and St. Edward Roman Catholic junior mixed and infants school. This was originally in a site off Newland Street but this site was acquired by the Port of London authority in 1915 for King George V Dock. The school moved to Kennard Street and a new building was completed in 1917. The school is not there now and there is housing on the site
St Mary and St Edward Church.  This Catholic Church is now sited on the corner of Grenadier Street and Albert Road (in the square to the south

London City Airport
London City Airport is an international airport in London which was developed by Mowlem in 1986–87 and is currently owned by a consortium of overseas investors.  It is sited in the south west corner of the King George V dock with the terminal building, constructed by Seifert, above the two large dry docks – which apparently remain beneath and used for parking.  It has a single runway sited on what was known as the Peninsular Road which ran between the George V and Royal Albert Docks and then housing transit sheds. The airport is the fifth-busiest airport in passengers and aircraft movements serving the London area. The airport was proposed in 1981 with planning permission granted following a planning enquiry it was opened in 1986 and there have been several extensions since. The first transatlantic flight was in 2009.

Manwood Street
Dunedin House. Built in 1963 by the London County Council on the site of the Fernhill Street baths. It has 20 floors.

Newland Street
St. Mary and St. Edward Roman Catholic junior mixed and infants’ school. This school was originally on the corner with Bailey Street but in 1915 was moved to Kennard Street.

North Woolwich Railway
North Woolwich Railway. This was opened by the Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway under George Parker Bidder. It opened as a single freight line from Thames Wharf near Bow Creek to what is now North Woolwich and was intended to transport coal. In 1847 a passenger service began from North Woolwich.  There was later a connection to Stratford and the line was taken over by the Eastern Counties Railway (later the Great Eastern). After the Second World War passenger numbers began to drop and it was used for freight only after 1969. In 1979 it reopened as part of the North London Lines with through trains to Richmond. It was closed again in 2006 and the line through this square is now being rebuilt for Crossrail.

Parker Road
Drew Road Primary School. Originally this was a West Ham Board School opened in 1895. It is now housed in a new purpose-built two-storey building since 2003 when the original building was demolished for the Docklands Light Railway

The railways which run through the area are listed separately. They are:
The old Gallions Branch railway with a station at Central. In this square this is covered by the Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway Beckton Extension with stations at Royal Albert and Beckton Park. This was the Gallions Railway line
The North Woolwich Railway with a station at Silvertown. This is being rebuilt as Crossrail
Crossrail, now called Elizabeth Line. Under construction on the route of the old North Woolwich Line
Docklands Light Railway. Woolwich extension. With a station at London City Airport
Silvertown Tramway. Remains of original line of North Woolwich railway used for freight.
Dock railways on both Royal Albert and George V doc all. Now defunct.

Royal Albert Dock
Royal Albert Dock. This square covers a central slice of this large dock. The entrance area is in the square to the east; the passage to the Victoria Dock is in the square to the west.
The Royal Albert Dock was built in 1875-80 and covers 85 acres of water. It was built for the London and St Katharine Company with Alexander Rendel as engineer, and it opened in 1880.  It was intended as a ship canal running to the older Victoria Dock, with a quay along it where ships could berth. There was electric light using arc lamps, from the start. To the west of the north quay, is an uninterrupted straight line of quay walls for over a mile. There were no warehouses but instead there were transit sheds and designed so that one shed would serve one berth. Cold stores were later added for the frozen meat trade. Most buildings were cleared in the 1980s.
Quay Walls.  These were 40 ft high with a technically efficient stepped face and projecting toe at the base. They were built of Portland cement concrete.
Sheds. These were built in 1882 as twin-span structures made by Westwood, Baillie & Co. with wrought-iron trusses on cast-iron columns and corrugated-iron sheet cladding. They were linked by covered areas into six groups. They represent a change in dock warehousing from long-term storage to transit areas.
Dry docks at the western end of the dock, which, with the King George V dry dock, made up the largest area of ship repair in the port. These are now under the London City Airport buildings. They were thought to have been built in the 1880s. By the 1980-s the smaller was not used except for a floating dock built in 1942.
Sheds 25 and 27. These were converted for use as fully mechanized berths serving the New Zealand export trade.
Sheds 29, 31, and 33 three transit sheds. In 1920 they were replaced with ' two brick-built sheds 29 and 33, sheds, with a continuous upper floor for a cold sorting floor for meat; but later used as a cold store at 16°F  for 198,000 carcasses. Sorting of meat was later done on the quay to cut down the number of times it was handled.

Royal Albert and Victoria cut
This is a historic drainage infrastructure running along the north boundary of the Royal Albert Dock. It eventually discharged into the Thames. It was a surface feature with timber clad sloping walls.

Royal Albert Way
This is the A1020 running parallel with the north quay of the Albert Dock. It was built under the London Docklands Development Corporation with two roundabouts which have DLR stations in the middle which were designed to provide access to future development. However they have not been used as thought and they act as chicanes.
Docklands Light Railway. This runs parallel to and beneath the road. After Royal Albert Station the tracks descend to run in the middle of Royal Albert Dock Spine Road, and then take a further dip as they approach the station at Beckton Park.
Beckton Park Station. This opened in 1994 and lies between Cyprus and Royal Albert Stations on the Docklands Light Railway. It is sited beneath a roundabout.  The road rises slightly whilst the railway dips slightly as they approach the station. It is thus situated in a cutting, under the centre of the elevated roundabout. There is pedestrian access at surface level under the elevated roadways and arched over the railway

Silvertown Tramway
When the Victoria Dock was built the North Woolwich line was diverted to the north.  The old line was left in place and used for freight, being called The Woolwich Abandoned Line, or the Silvertown Tramway.  This lies largely in squares to the west but a small portion of it lay adjacent south west of Silvertown Station joining the main line to the east of the station.

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