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.


Anonymous said...

i remember it too Andy. The pub was originally joined to the terrace, yes ? if so that makes the flank and gable end of the house on the left a recent build?

andy said...

yes bro...I studied them the other day and they are built in the same style. I think its now called Albany House.

andy said...

They are the original houses. Something to do with the albany Institute. Im researching and will get back to you with an update.

andy said...

Hi Andy,
thanks ever so much for this fantastic blog, what a marvellous source of information.
I live In Albury Court, 45 Albury street.
The building was constructed in !995 and is a total new build as far as I have been informed.
It was built on the old site of the `Albany institute later named albany empire, which is another whole historical journey!
Permission was given for the developer to build it on the basis that they refurbished and made safe several of the other houses along the street.
Including the old vicarage at no 35.
The developer apparently ran into financial difficulties and the project was completed by another company.
If you need any more info on the Albany institute i can point you in the right direction, as john turner the man that ran the building, recently put a historical promenade performance together called "Deptford stories".
I would love to find some more photos of the eastern end of Albury Street.
Any ideas where to start?
Once again thanks for this great resource.
All the best

Andy Jones

James said...

Does anyone have any information on the white,supple or coggins familys who lived the street

andy said...

Hi Andy Jones,

I'm so sorry I missed your original post.. Thanks for your comment on my site and the information you supplied. Can I ask a favour. I am researching the Albany Institute and wonder wether you coulf contact your freind John Turner on my behalf. I looking for any info on the Deptford Babies Hospital. I know the Lewisham Local Studies have original papers from the institute but perhaps John knows another source of infomation. Ive tried contacting the but have had no response.



andy said...

Hi James,

My family was the White family who lived at 29 Albury St. Family names were James father, Clara..Mother. Jim... son, Clara... daughter, Tony... son,



Kieran said...

Granddad (Maurice Gobey, Son of Alfred) grew up in Deptford (born in Stroud in 1909). My Uncle Dave still lives up in Charlton. Nice to see some older shots of Granddads old neighborhood. Alfred moved to Deptford in 1920.

Disney Mummy said...

From what I understand, the Kings Head Pub was at the corner of Church and Albury. My ancestors owned it from 1881-1898.

Olivia said...

Thank you for a fascinating blog, Andy. I refer to it every so often as I have ancestors from Deptford, and wanted to say thank you for all the hard work you've put into the research.

My Russell family lived in Mary Ann Buildings, and two of the girls worked in service for daughters of the Webb family who lived at 15 Union Street (Albury St) back in the 1860-80s.

Has all the numbering changed on Union Street now? And do you have any images/references of the Mary Ann Buildings residents?

andy said...

Hi Olivia,

Thank you for your kind comments about the website. To answer your questio..Yes numbers have changed. I am at present working on the numbering changes in Union/Albury St. If you read the History of Albury St. here there is some references to what the numbers were back in the late 1890. I will post some photos of Mary Anne Buildings soon.

Olivia said...

Thanks Andy - can't wait for Mary Ann Buildings pics!

One of my Russells worked for a Webb schoolmistress working at the Wesleyan Chapel School in Lewisham. I assume it was on the same circuit as the Mary Ann Buildings Wesleyan Chapel (now a more modern Sally Army building). Does anyone know anything about the original chapel or the Wesleyans of the area?

andy said...

Hi Anon

Can you remember the White family in Albury St?

Charlie said...

I have to say this is an incredibly impressive piece of research. Thank you for your hard work. I have looked at it a few times as ancestors of mine lived in Union Street. The re-numbering and demolishing had left me with the thought that I would know no more than I had found for myself.
Olivia’s recent post however leapt out as my family descend from the Webb family you mention Olivia. James Richard Webb and his wife (Harriet Catherine Ramsey) lived in number 15 Union Street from about 1837. James eventually dies there passing it on to his eldest daughter, Margaret Smith Webb a spinster School-mistress. She is my second great grand aunt, her brother Joseph being my great, great grandfather.
If either of you have any more info on the house or the Webb family – I would love to hear it.
Many thanks

andy said...

Hi Charlie, thanks for your positive comments on the blog. I have to admit its not all my work. I am indebited to all the people and locals who contribute to this site especially Proffesor A Quiney for allowing me to reproduce his written difinitive work on Albury Street. Glad to have you on board.


Lesley Leat said...

Hi Andy ..i used 2 live in Albury St was born there aunt clara & uncle Jim White other members of our family lived there we lived i think No 29 & was only house 2 have a bathroom as Lord Nelson used 2 keep his lady friends there when he was there i think Lady Hamilton as was told both my mum & dads parents had lived there Diggins being aunt clara whites maiden name also we lived next door 2 the wood yard it might have been so because a house had been destroyed any way im maiden name Senner & am 60 this year unfortunatly i dont have any one 2 ask so was thrilled 2 read this info there will be a bbc 2 prog on wed-night 6th june called the secret history of our streets i do hope that i have helped u in ur quest

andy said...

Hi Lesley,
I was so thrilled to hear from you. Let me verify what you say and ask you a few questions.

My father was Jimmy White and his wife was Pat White. They lived at No. 29 with my Grand Mother who's former name was Diggins! Aunt Clara was my Dads sister. You must have lived not at 29 but 34 Albury St where my aunt Jeanie (is this your mother ??) lived. I believe her surname was Senner. Where do you live now? Your house is still standing. Mr & Mrs Tegg live there. My mum, Pat, and your mum Jeanie were very good friends. We were always in your house at the weekends and during the week waiting for my mum to finish work as a dinner lady at Creek Road school. Please send me an email with your contact so that we can talk. My mother is still alive but my father died in 1979.
You can contact me by email which is I look forward to hearing from you.

Very best regards

Andy White.

andy said...

Hello again Lesley,

Here's an update. After talking to my mother she tells me the we are related. I and my twin brother are second cousins to you... I think. My Grandmothers sister was Mary who I believe was your Mums mother..your Grandmother. Was your dads name Bill?
Please get back to me as my mother would like to know more of your family and how you all are now.

Very best regards


grace nowell said...

I lived at 36 albury in late 70's
until the late 80's the tunnels used to go down to the river but it was closed off in middle of the road with a pure soil floor in basement i believe it was the only house in the road that had the tunnles these were the happiest days loved the house and loved deptford & i would go back tomorrow lovely area

andy said...

Hi Grace

That's interesting about the tunnels. My Nan who lived at No. 29 said there was a tunnel behind the basement fireplace where a big range was sited. My father and his brother explored the tunnel which led to the Creek which was much nearer than it is now. They traveled a long way down it but the further they went more water they discovered. They also found an old musket leaning against the wall! When did you live there at 36. Did you ever hear about the haunting in No. 34 next door?

Best regards


grace nowell said...

wonderful old deptford love it

grace nowell said...

Andy the tunnel opposite was probably 29 and we did hear plenty of noises at 34 & the workman would not gon into 36 alone my husband bless him was redecorting the house before we moved in would sit on the wide staircase with his can of beer he heard them all the time and saw figures on the staircase hear from you soon

andy said...

Hi Grace,

Can you tell me more about the haunting? My aunt Jeanie Senner lived in No 34 for many years and always knew and had experienced the haunting herself. She once saw a shimmering figure standing at the top of the stairs, doors would open by themselves as well. My father found a secret door in the garret (attic) which connected your house and there's. Also a former resident, Mrs Wilcox in the 1950's reported the same happenings. My mother was witness to the doors keep opening whilst she stayed there on occasions. When did you live there and did you know there was a door in the attic.

best regards


grace nowell said...

Hi Andy i never went up into the attic but i must say my grown up children would not sleep over in the house.One night they stayed in the dormer bedroom at the top of the house he woke up & saw a women
sitting on the end of the bed in a
long grey dress he was down in the
basement putting up the wall light
all the doors were opening & closing all on there own and he would not go down there again everybody who went up the staircase
got a cold chill but it never bothered me my old dad said that someone was walking up down &in the
of the middle of the night.I moved
in 1973/74 but i really loved that house wished i was back in it English heritege found some buttons
off of a French navel uniform when
they went into the house but they kept them.All the walls were wood paneld The staircase was lathe hair & plaster done by hand the house was built 1704/1715 hope this has been a use to you but there was a ghost in the house
& is proberly still

andy said...

Hi Grace,

That's just the information I was looking for. When I say the attic or Garrett as it was known I meant the top most room with the little bay windows. If you go to this link on this website you will see reported haunting's of 34 and 36.

just cut and paste in the address bar.

Do you have any old photos of the house and the street. I have some of your front room when it was the babies hospital. My email is

If you could give me your email I can post all the information and photos, newspaper cutting which deal with the haunting

Please contact me on this email if you have any other stories

Many thanks again Grace!

very best regards


grace nowell said...

In the garden by the gate there was
a tunnel but my husband laid a path there never explored it was too dank & dark my daughter said the house always gave her the creeps i think the ghosts who they liked & did not like because i always felt comfortable in the house Mr & Mrs Marney who lived at 34 never had attic because the top part of the house burnt down but i belive they were going to have it rebuilt.In 1988 a german guy was writing a book on |Albury he had been looking for the house for years but i told him i had a wall built to cover it up because i did not like the big hole & also a solid floor we had a black range which might still be there the front bedroom on the first floor took 40 square yards of carpet i was told it was connected to 34 hope this has been useful to you.When i left Mr & Mrs Jones moved in they did not have any children or reliatives so maybe it went back to the heritage people it would be good to find out
regards Grace. Ps there was something creepy about the top of the house maybe it was the barn door the first landing was a big window

Olivia said...

Charlie (posted 23rd May 2012) I just saw your post and wanted to say thanks for picking up on my comment re the Webb family... What are the chances of that?!? Remarkable.

In 1871 your Margaret Smith Webb was a governess at the Lewisham school where my g.grandmother Louisa was a servant. They lived in parallel streets to each other (Albury and Mary Ann Buildings, Deptford). Louisa's sister was also in service to Margaret's married sister Eleanor Timbury.

Please get in touch (contact at oxfordgenealogy dot com) if you would like to find out more...

@Andy - anything on Mary Ann Buildings yet? ;-)

grace nowell said...

My happiest years was when i lived in Deptford (Albury st)lovely place
lovely people just wished i could move back

grace nowell said...

Andy no one ever mentions st paul church with father diamond Dougie messenger used to live Albury st
i dont know if you that he was the
town cryer & when they had beating
of the bounds with other the priest
& Dougie laid a nice spread & there
was a race to see who would be first to the pilot pub.When Dougie's wife died he had the small
alter in the church dedicated to Ruth Messenger we all ended up in
the vicarage in mary ann gardens

Regards Grace hope to hear from you soon

Paul said...

Increadible resource for anyone researching their Deptford ancestors.

When I googled Albury Street,
the place my Digby relatives were
living in 1901 and was directed to this site I was amazed.

You mentioned the re-numbering, when did this take place?
They were at 39 Creek Row 1898,
39 Albury Sreet 1899, and 14 Albury
Street 1901. Was it around then?

Thanks for a brilliant site.411

Ron Lingwood said...

My wife was born at #35 Albury Street in 1939. It was then occupied by the Griffiths family.

We have been to this house in 1960 when the Griffiths still lived there. We have since visited in 2002 and now there is a plaque on the wall put there by the National Trust (we think) which refers to Lady Hamilton living there in the 1800's. However wikapedia does not reference this. What is the truth, anybody know?


andy said...

Hi Ron,

Terry Griffith was may brothers God Father. We grew up at No29 and knew the family well.

My Aunt Jeanie lived at No 34 which was the reputed place that Lord Nelson stayed at times. This was handed down over the past 200yrs by word of mouth. I did however discover that when the Albany Institute sold the 3/4 house(Nos. 34,36,38 and 40) which they owned the inventory listed items from Nelson ship the Trafalgar, namely the back door which was one one the hatches and his private locker chain which hung behind the front door. So there is a connection somewhere. It was also said that Lady Hamilton stayed at No.36. My father discovered at secret door in the Garret(attic) which connected 34 and 36 which it was said they use to meet privately through this door. I have researched at the Maritime Museum but to date this is the only connection I can find.



Penny Hancock said...

Please could anyone tell me if the older houses in Albury Street had dumb waiters?

Keith Franklin said...

What a very interesting site - thank you.

I've discovered that my gran was born in Aldbury Street in 1902, her mother (my great-grandmother) Elizabeth Klein was housekeeper at number 20 - would anyone know who lived there?


Joyce Boyle said...

Hi Andy....My family and I lived in Albury Street from around 1959 - 1967, my sister lived in one of the end Georgian houses too. Then moved on to Tanners Hill eventually. I knew many of the families that lived there, sat on the step of the Kings Head when the governor Mr. Toy used to manage it. Play in the Albany and the opposite bombsite. The Macmillan Nurse house and Pickfords Depot. Lots of memories and but would like to ask you if anyone has any information of a pub in Grove St, called the Ship Defiance. Would be really interested to find out anything related to the period 1820s - 1830S....Kind Regards Joyce Boyle.

Jeff James said...

my greatgrandmother lived at 41 Albury Street for 58 years. she died Boxing Day 1935. In 1934 she was interviewed by the Mercury Newspaper. She talks of Deptford Fair which lasted for three days starting Trinity Monday. I have her photo and the cutting.

Anonymous said...

Hi whilst tracing my family tree I came across this site my grandmother was Mary Supple and her sister was Ellen (or Nellie) would love to know if this is the same family. I've got reginald road deptford as a later address

Andy Gray said...

Hi, Just found this site, and saw the comments about No. 34. I heard the same thing about Nelson staying there. How true that is I can't say, but it was talked about in the 50's, when I lived around the corner in Church St.

Andrew White said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee said...

My grandmother lived in Albury Street on the right side looking toward the High Street. Her name was Florence Barnes ( also known as Dolly ) She had 5 children - George, Charles, Peggy, Doris and Vera. Doris died of TB in Hithergreen Hospital. My mum, Edna lived there for a while during the war when my brother, Gary, was born. A bomb went off nearby and blew the window in but a wardrobe had fallen across his cot and saved him. George married my aunt Mag who ended up living in the top of the house. Eventually my Gran had to move out and was given a flat on the Orchard Estate near Lewisham. Gran was a cleaning lady for a butchers in the High Street. I wonder if anyone remembers her.

KeithyT1999 said...

I'm researching my wife's family tree on her Dad's side. Her Nan was a Richards (born 1913) and in 1901 her ancestors were living at 38 Albury Street. I've been reading this great blog/site with interest and have checked out Google street view and re-watched that marvellous BBC Secret History of our Streets for the Deptford episode. Would love to know if anyone has any links or family recollections of number 38...?

Her Great Great grandparents George (a cattle drover at the foreign import market) and Elizabeth had a number of children - George (my wife's great grandfather, eldest son and aged 20 at this point, he worked at Wheen & Sons soapworks, and joined the Royal West Kent Regiment in 1902 for about 6 years, then was also a drover at the cattle market, then dockworker, and apparently was a boxer - probably amateur. Other children in rough age order were Arthur and Bert or Bart (mid teens) who worked at a Dry Dock and Soap Works respectively. Youngest kids at this point were Emily, Alfred, and Ernest (12 yo, 9yo and 5yo).

By the 1911 Census they had moved to 54 Creek Road and that's where the family remained until sometime in the 1950s or 1960s as my father in law regularly visited his grandmother and other relatives there.

If anyone can add any extra info to all that, it would be fantastic! Many thanks...

Harry Pearson said...

My family name of Pearson lived in Albury St around about the 1940s,we then moved to an alley next to Mary Annes Buildings called Andom Terrace,I remember going into the tunnel in the cellar and trying to clear it out with some mates because we believed it led down to the water gates by the river,but the roof had collapsed and we could not do it.My mother told me stories about the houses being haunted and meeting a woman one night when she walked up the stairs to bed the woman slapped her face and disappeared when mum woke up in the morning she still had the hand marks on her face.We used to use the Kings Head pub when it was called the Blue Light,and my dad use to take the boxing training in The Albany which was sponsored by Goldsmiths College there were 5 brothers and we all boxed and won various competitions and were nicknamed the fighting Pearsons.Reading your blog brought back lots and lots of memories.

Andrew White said...

Hello Harry,

That's great information. Tell me what number did you live at in Albury Street?
We lived at 29 and my aunt Jeanie lived at 34. I was also interested in the ghost encounter, can you tell me more of this

Best regards and thanks