Friday, 17 February 2012

Carrington House, Deptford 1902




I always remember Carrington House and the doss house that use to be there. My mum use to hate walking past it. This photo taken back in 1902 shows the place before Carrington House was built in 1903 .....advertising beds...then! Middle far right you can see Deptford Broadwayin the distance. Seems like this photo was taken in the winter months. Can anyone else remember the doss house?

As it looked in the 1960'-70's


As it is now Mereton Masions.



 Update 25th Feb 2012.

I found these old photos of the interior of Carrington House taken when the building was finished in 1903.  Looks pretty state of the art accommodation.







25 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I first moved to Brockley I had a job at Deptford Skillcentre (now Lewisham College) and I walked past Carrington House on my way to work every day. Most days I would be asked for money or fags or both, occasionally by someone who looked as though they'd had a row with the pavement. More depressing was the people peeing in the doorway of the old cinema - every day, without fail! I varied the route along Tanners Hill but they still managed to catch me as I cut through the bit by Wellbeloved butchers. When the anchor was installed at the end of the high street they all moved there, by that time I was working in Speedwell Street. I knew someone who worked in housing the homeless and she said that they all had flats but congregated on the anchor for companionship.

Deptford Pudding said...

I remember the doss house, was it the biggest in London? There was apretty big one off Drury Lane, and there was The 'Spike' in Peckham which featured in the opening scenes of 'Blow Up'.

andy said...

Hi Anon... exactly why my mum use to avoid the area

Anonymous said...

Andy I would have avoided it if I could but I did feel sorry for them and later worked with some of the ex-residents. I think the 999 club on Deptford Broadway picked up some of the slack after Carrington House closed. Deptford Pudding The biggest doss houses in London were probably the Rowton Houses. My mum worked in one before the war, not sure if it was Hammersmith or Kings Cross.

John said...

I remember Carrington House well.
We used to live in Vanguard Street (which runs parallel to Brookmill Road) from 1961 to 1972.

Rather ironic that the old house is now a "mansion".


Great site. Keep up the good work.

John

Philip said...

I'm in the middle of writing a story based around Carrington and the men that lived there. You might be interested to have a read. Open my profile to see the link. There's a "what i write about" bit down the right hand side - click on carrington. Like your site a lot and will be back
Philip

andy said...

Hi All,

Thanks for your input and kind comments about the site. John it is indeed ironic...! In those day the drunk,down and outs were looked down upon but today its a more caring society.... for the better I think.

regards

Andy

andy said...

Hi Phillip,

Only a person who had been in that place could tell that story...from the gut. There were many Danny's in that place and on the streets of Deptford ....as I remember when walking back to Greenwich.

Regards

Andy

Read Phillips story at

http://www.domesticatedbohemian.blogspot.com/search/label/Carrington

Anonymous said...

Up to the age of 5 (1971)I lived at Heald st just off Tanners Hill. Carrington House used to frighten the life out of me, at that age I didn't know what to make of it but it was a heaven and hell situation. As scared as I was of the "different looking men" I used to go to Saturday morning pictures across the road with my older brothers and then there was a boys dream, Noble's toy shop where the college is now, so it was a trip that had to be made. I used to go quiet, shrink into myself and get past as quick as I could and same again on the way back. The funny thing is I don't remember anyone ever telling me anything bad about it or the men but its just one of the memories that stayed with me. To everyone else around me then it was just normal and part of everyday life. I don't know if we became more caring or not by shutting it down, they had a place to go and a roof over there heads at night which is more than some less fortunate people today.

andy said...

Hi Anon,

I to can remember Nobel's as well. As you say it was a Toyshop heaven. We use to walk around the front of the shop as it was a "U" shaped glass walk through giving two entrances on to the street....

Gary said...

Terrific website. I remember Carrington House so well as I was 6 in 1971 and lived in the Crystal Palace Tavern pub in Tanner's Hill as my dad was the publican. Was always a bit scary going past the big imposing building as a little boy and seeing the drunks there and on the Broadway. Poor blokes that lived there, terrible lives really

andy said...

Hi Gary
Thanks for your praise of the website. Crystal Palace Pub... I think I can remember it. Yes Carrington House was a tragic place but by all accounts a clean and well run establishment. Gary if you have any old photos..of Deptford or your family... really anything to do with that area just copy them and email them to me and I will post on the site with any comment you would like to put with them.

Thanks and best regards

Anonymous said...

Hi Gary.

I went to Lucas Vale School and there was a lad in my class called Kenneth Lebow and his dad ran the Crystal Palace in Tanners Hill at the time. It would have been around 1969, its not your brother by any chance is it ?

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Deptford having been born there in 1950. Just like your other contributors Carrington House made a huge impact on me when we walked or I was pushed in a push chair past it obn my way to see my Nan who lived at the foot of Blackheath Hill. Itruely thought it was a trip through hell wit the smells of the doss house and those of Seager Evans with the visual impact of the foam sitting on top of the "river" Quaggy. A sense of relief only visited me when we reached the Magistrates Court. I can now look back and wonder how many of those men who frequented that area were indeed damaged by the effects of WW2

KTF said...

Hi I went to West Greenwich School around the corner and used to walk past this place twice a day after getting off/on the bus from/to Bermondsey. My overiding memory is the smell and how foreboding it was to walk past (it seemed to block out all the light being so big). I never had any hassles with the residents but had to laugh at some of the comments as they took me back in time, particularly how they used the cinema as a public convenience. I can remember some good films from that place like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Aristocats. Dissapointed they shut that down. I live half way round the world now and it seems so long ago but happy times (for me anyway). Not surprised its apartments now. Al

eddy said...

Hi.Happened on the site about deptford and found it very interesting.By the way never written anything before so bare with me .My name is Eddy and I am 78 so do struggle with the computer.In 1947 we moved from Blackheath Rd to No 6 Church st.It was a little shop which at sometime earlier must have sold birds because the cellar had lots of rusty bird cages in.It was in a bad state with an outside toilet and a small back yard.Next door to us on one side was the Druids Head Pub.The other side which must have been No 4 was a barbers shop.Owned by a chap called Sid.He also had an assistant and it was quite a busy little shop especially on a friday and saturday when most people had there haircut.Normally short back and sides which cost one and six.No extra charge for a slick of brylcreem.Oppposite on the other side of the road was Donavan Brothers a small factory that made paper bags and carrier bags.They had a couple of vans which they delivered the bags across London.Quite a few people worked there.Next door to that going towards Broadway was a small shop tobbaconists whch was run by a man and wife.I remember his name was Sid.A little further up was the Odeon Theatre which was really nice inside.One and six to get in and if you felt well off you paid two and threepence to sit at the back.Picture houses in those days were always full up and you always had to Queue to get in.Not many people had television and they were only 9 inch screens.On our side of the road just a little further up was two big gates.These led into the yard of Robinsons flour factory were they ground the wheat to make Flower.Our back yard and the area around always had a layer of flower on it.It was a really big factory.Next to that was a little cafe and then Gardeners the r5eally big clothes shop which went right round the corner into the main rd.Then Nobles the fantastic shop which was full of quality toys,lots of train sets,none of which we could ever afford but nice to look.Always wanted a train set but never could afford one.I see a lot of you talking about Carrington house.This wasnt just a place for down and outs but somewhere for people who had nowhere to live.It was a place for men to sleep.Most of them did work and had jobs.The shop at no 6 which was my mums in which we sold secondhand clothes and shoes.Quite a lot of secondhand shops about then because clothes were still coupons.Lots of irish men used to come into our shop and buy clothes on a friday night or Saturday which was our busy time.They would buy there clothes wear them for a week and often throw them away and have another lot the next week.Before we took over the shop my mum had a stall at the other end of douglas st which was were the market used to be before they moved it into the high st.The top end of Douglas st was the normal trading of Goods and the bottom end for secondhand stalls.It was a very busy on market days and got big crowds.No credit cards in those days so you only spent what you had.In Douglas st you could buy almost anything.They used to have a stall with day old chicks which you could buy at a penny each.Also tortoises which were about two shillings each.We did that is me and my brother buy a tortoise and kept it for years in our back yard in church st.Looking back not good for the animals but we never thought anything wrong at the time.We also bought our dog after the war at a market called club row another \london market near Shoreditch.A mongrel which cost us seven and sixpence.My mum told us off when we got home and said we couldn,t keep it,but we did and he lived to be 17 years old.Well seem to be going on a bit so Better try and send this off.Hope this of some interest and have lots more to say about Deptford .All the best to anyone reading this and have a nice Christmas.Eddy

Andrew White said...

Thanks Eddy for your stories. Just the infomation I and the other people of Deptford long to hear. Eddy, do you have any photos of Deptford and where you lived. If you can send them to me with any informayion regarding them I would love to put them on the site.

Best regards

Andy
axelgs1@yahoo.co.uk

Regards

Andy

eddy said...

Hi Eddy here.Did put another blogg about Deptford and sent it but it
dissapeared.Bit dissapointed but as i said still struggling a bit with
computers.My son told me what i was doing wrong so hopefully will succeed eith this one.
Andy you asked about photos of Deptford but afraid never had a camera till i was17.Have
a couple of pictures of our shop at no 6 in the fifties which I will sort out and send.I
have a sister who is 89 and still remembers a lot about Deptford and I am
getting more information from her.Found out lately that my great great grandfather died
at 52 church st on 4th dec 1862.Also that is son was born on January 1863 at the same
address.He was only 32 so never lived to see his son.On the death certificate the person
present at his death an Ann Barrett and this is where the big coincidence is that she lived
No 8 Deptford church st.Which is the Druids head pub which was next door to
my mums shop.My mum and dad never knew anything about this has I have only
found out since they died.Ann Barrett couldnt write because she signed the death
certificate with an x.Would love to know the story behind it all.We are Quite a big family
There were 8 of us children 6 boys and 2 girls.Only 3 of us left now.My Mum
had 5 children and then went 13 or 14 years and had another 3 boys in just over 3 years so
like another family.I was one of the second brood.I have a brother one year older than me.
My jounger brother died when he was six months.My sister Maisie left School when she was 14
and this is where her story begins. In Deptford and havent heard anybody yet mention it on there
bloggs on deptford is Dandridges.Dandridges was a big wharehouse which was
a place where they bought scrap metal and rags.This is one of the places the totters which
there was a lot in deptford used to sell stuff.I know there was another in Tanners hill but this
was on a smaller scale.Have a nice little story about the two which may tell at another time.Back
to Dandridges and my sister.Speaking to her yesterday and she said it was her first job when she
left school which then was 14.She was given a big knife type thing and all the all rags had to be
sorted to woolens linens etc.She said it was a dirty dusty and smelly place
to work.Would have been in 1930s which was a very hard times whith lots of people out of work.My
sister started work at 8 and finished at 6 .Dandridges was in creek st or creek rd.She says she
worked there for 2 years.She said at the time she weighed less than 6 stone.My mum knew mr Dandridge
and I remember going in there one time and seeing all women sorting the rags.Dont know when it clo.sed
but still there in the early sixties.Stopping for dinner now but will continue if of any interest to
anyone.Bye for now and happy new year

Anonymous said...

i have been r eading the comments about carrington house, most interesting considering i was a resident for 2 years in the 1930.s so i can say i am clued up on the comments. i left childrens homes and not having a job etc i was left to tramp the streets before going into the army,i have to say from the bad times i turned out ok. .yes i do well remember if one had some money they could get a sleep times were hard, i had a bit of work in the rag factory to get some money.most of my nights were spent in london road hospital with my feet in a bowl of gentian violet recovering from sore feet due to walking all day thanks all you sure brought back the times . ,,,dave

Anonymous said...

i was surprised to see a write up on where i actualy spent about 2 years of my time . i was born in a workhouse and after a time was sent to various childrens homes till i was14 yrs old , as i had no work or lodgings i was left to fend for myself some old lady used to leave the laundry room at browne house unlocked so i could have somewhere to sleep. but not all residents were that kind,if i got any money i would sleep in carrington house or in shop doorways i had a cafe at lewisham the black and white near the town hall i used to spend a lot of time they were good to me. free cups of tea. all that the people wrote on this page is 100% true i tried to get a job at a case factory i dont know where it was putting locks on but that fell through as i had no accomodation and no food . i was called for national service which was the start of my life. i stopped in for 22 yrs getting to sgt and then in the civil service. i would not wish those times on anyone . thanks all for reminding me of my early life thanks

Peter Stevens said...

I also went to West Greenwich School for many years and Carrington figures large as does Nobles the toy store and the smell of the distillery. My contribution about the residents is that I used to go into the library( cnr Lewisham Rd, Malpas Rd) most nights after school and there were often the same men reading in the warm wrapped up in overcoats and bandages around their hands. One man was always there -a little smelly and with an extremely long ragged beard reading great volume after volume and taking what looked like very careful notes. I often wished I'd approached him but I never did. I agree with the comment about war vets and the lack of places for those who were not coping. I actually lived in St James Rd, off the Old Kent Road and my mum and dad had a cafe there and very often "men of the road" would stand outside after the shop closed and dad would give them any leftovers.I remember those guys wrapped in newspaper during the winter.What times!

Mark Holliday said...

My grandfather worked there in the early 1960s. To say it was a tough environment is an understatement. In those 'less enlightened times,' staff were permitted to keep a cosh under the counter!

Jackie Bailey said...

In the Seventies I lived in Downham just on the edge of Bromley and Lewisham and worked in the City. I was then in my early twenties. One day after work, getting on a 47 bus home, I chanced to sit behind a man who seemed to be in his fifties and looked somewhat rough and worse for wear who turned out to be a resident of Carrington House. We somehow got talking and it turned out be be a most enjoyable experience. The conversation was about things Welsh and Wales and Stanley Baker and Richard Burton and how they loved the beer and the movie Zulu, which has always been a favourite of mine.

There was loads of chat and smiles and some laughter before he left me smiling as he got off the bus opposite Carrington House.

I didn't know his circumstances but I thought, this was a man I was glad to have met.

Anonymous said...

My grandfather's sister was living at Carrington House before she got married in 1918. I think she worked there and it was used as a hospital during WW1.

Jacqui James said...

My grandfather ( Gilbert Middleton ) was superintendent at Carrington house until 1977, he an my grandmother livid at Carrington house on the round floor at the front of the building for approx 25 years until my grandfather retired. I have very fond memories of the imposing building, I was only young at the time so I did not know a lot about what went on, but my father worked nights at the weekend when he first married my mother.