Sunday, 22 November 2009

Albury Street looking East in the 60's.

Albury Street looking east towards Creek Road in the 60's? Look how they dug up the cobble stoned street. Albury Street had one of the finest cobbled streets in London. You can also see where the door brackets have been removed on the l/hand side.

Albury Street looking East again.

This photo shows Albury Street looking towards Church Street and Creek Road, 2010.

How it looked in 1900

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Centurion Pub.

 I always remember this Deptford pub as a child because it had the sign  of a Centurion soldier  but now I see it has been changed to a Ship. When was changed? Could it now represent the HMS Centurion a 60 gun ship of the line? She was built in Portsmouth around 1732 and I believe commissioned in 1734. As a part of the home fleet she took part in the expedition to Lisbon captained by Sir John Norris. In 1738 she was captained by George Anson and led a small squadron to the African coast then to Jamaica and back to England. In 1740 she started her famous circumnavigation being the only ship to survive the entire voyage and capturing the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Cavadonga. After being cut down to a 50 gun ship she took part in the first battle of Finisterre. In 1769 she was broken up at Chatham. I always thought the pub had the sign of a centurion soldier as the photo on the left shows, taken in the 80’s just after the pub caught fire. Maybe the name was changed then?
Visit his photo archive he has a remarkable photo collection of old Deptford Pubs.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Albury Street , Deptford

Albury Street (formerly Union Street) 1906. Spent a good deal of my early years at No. 29. My nan lived here most of her life from 1900 onwards.

I remember here, at the Church Street end of Albury Street, there use to be a pub called the "Kings Head". Many a summer evening I and my brothers have sat outside drinking Vimto and eating the statutory bag of Smiths Crisps (with the proper blue waxed salt bag) listening to the singing and piano playing.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Deptford High Street

This picture shows the mid road toilets at the southern end of Deptford High Street joining to New Cross Road. Toilets are now gone and must have been filled in in the 60's. Opposite on the right of the photo there was the "Centurion Pub". Can anyone remember the one legged war veteran selling papers on the corner outside the pub entrance?

How it is now 2010.

Door Brackets Albury Street.

Charlie Oldham is a Master Sculptor and Woodcarver and lived in Brockley in the 1980s and 90s. After having worked in woodcarving studios in the west end he set up his first workshop with Tony Foley in Mary Anne Gdns next to Albury Street in Deptford.  He was pleased to be there as it was in the next street to where John Evelyn had found Grindling Gibbons in the 17th century, Crossfieid Street. He carved several sets of replacement Door Canopy Brackets for Albury Street and some were for the developer called Martin Gloyne and some were commissioned by Chris Fearnside of Greenwich University who I believed owned the buildings at that time for student accommodation. The buildings were auctioned off in the 90’s. He received a phone call from one of the buyers who went on to explain that after buying the houses the buyers were informed that there were some carved brackets for the door ways and they could call in and collect them. Somehow the brackets got mixed up and no one knew which ones went with which house so it was on a first come first served basis and so this is the reason why the brackets are arranged in a strange order. Charlie moved away and set up a new work shop in Frome in Somerset in 1994. Charlie also carved some more Door Brackets for the Spitalfieds Trust which are also very elaborate and intricate displaying Acanthus and Scroll work. Similar work was carried out on some houses on the Mile End Road. He also carried out carving work for Windsor Castle and has recently completed the restoration of the Redland's Chapel in Bristol.. My thanks to Charlie for the information and permission to publish his photographs. Please visit his website to see some truly beautiful work.


Wednesday, 4 November 2009

No 31 Albury St . Mrs Gittins House

That's where she lived when we were growing up. My Nan lived next door. The porch carvings I believe are not the originals. In Fletcher's book "The London Nobody Knows" it shows different porch supports. The originals had cherub heads either side so I suppose these are replacement carvings. Steve who took the photo was aware of this also. I now know the owners of the property removed some of the porches in the late 60's for storage but some were misplaced from their yard. They then had to employed a master carver down the west country to re-carve the supports, but obviously placed these ones in the wrong place or the different design was somewhat cheaper without the carved cherub's. Any comment or info?

My thanks to Steve for permission to use his photo. He has some great photos regarding Fletcher's book. Follow this link.

The Electric Palace Deptford High Street

Located on the corner of Deptford High Street and Hyde Street. The Deptford Electric Palace opened on 24th December 1910. The front entrance was created out of an existing building, which had most likely previously been a shop. The auditorium seating 625, was built at the rear, along Hyde Street. Hence the local but un-official naming of the site. In late-1912, the auditorium was extended in an unusual way, with the cheap seats at the screen end, as well as being in the main body of the hall, were also now in an annex to the side of the main building, thus giving those sitting on the extreme front side seats an extremely distorted view of the screen. Tragedy struck during a children's matinee performance on 28th April 1917 when a false alarm of 'Fire' sent an over capacity crowd of 1,007 in panic towards the exits. After order had been established, the bodies of four children were found crushed to death. In 1945, it was re-named Palace Cinema. Always independently operated, the Palace Cinema was closed on 18th December 1954 with Charles Starrett(The Durango Kid) in "The Lone Hand" and Mikel Conrad in "Untamed Women". After sitting empty and 'For Sale for a while, it was converted into a supermarket. But this was only to last until the early-1960's when it became a bingo club. In 1989, it was converted into a snooker club, which remains open in 2009 as Shades Snooker & Pool Club.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Albury Street Then and Now!!

This picture shows how the street looked in the late 60's. You can see on the lefthand picture where the porches were removed. Some, I have been told were stolen. Others were removed for safe storage. In the picture on the left the second lamp post on the right was just outside my nans house No. 29. I remember this because we use to use it as a wicket when playing cricket. Many times we hit the ball over Pickford's Removal gates which were opposite. It all gone now. My thanks to dusashenka's for permission to publish this photo. Visit the web site it has some great pic's. heres the link