Sunday, 19 February 2012

Watergate Street 1920's? but viewed from what end?



This is a great old photo. The more you look the more you see. Look at the young lad in the fore ground.... to the left, wondering what the rest of the locals are looking at. There's a street name on the left hand side...... any guesses??

Update 26th Feb. 2012.



This extract from Booths notes of London shows Rowley Street was somewhere close to Barnes Alley and I presume Queen Street.


Extract courtesy of London School of Economics and Political Science.

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.







Ghosts In Deptford 

by Cicely Fox Smith


If ghosts should walk in Deptford, as very well they may,
A man might find the night there more stirring than the day,
Might meet a Russian Tsar there, or see in Spain's despite
Queen Bess ride down to Deptford to dub Sir Francis knight.

And loitering here and yonder, and jostling to and fro,
In every street and alley the sailor-folk would go,
All colours, creeds, and nations, in fashion old and new,
If ghosts should walk in Deptford, as like enough they do.

And there'd be some with pigtails, and some with buckled shoes,
And smocks and caps like pirates that sailors once did use,
And high sea-boots and oilskins and tarry dungaree,
And shoddy suits men sold them when they came fresh from sea.

And there'd be stout old skippers and mates of mighty hand,
And Chinks and swarthy Dagoes, and Yankees lean and tanned,
And many a hairy shellback burned black from Southern skies,
And brassbound young apprentice with boyhood's eager eyes,

And by the river reaches all silver to the moon
You'd hear the shipwrights' hammers beat out a phantom tune,
The caulkers' ghostly mallets rub-dub their faint tattoo —
If ghosts should walk in Deptford, as very like they do.

If ghosts should walk in Deptford, and ships return once more
To every well-known mooring and old familiar shore,
A sight it were to see there, of all fine sights there be,
The shadowy ships of Deptford come crowding in from sea.

Cog, carrack, buss and dromond — pink, pinnace, snake and snow —
Queer rigs of antique fashion that vanished long ago,
With tall and towering fo'c'sles and curving carven prows,
And gilded great poop lanterns, and scrolled and swelling bows.

The Baltic barque that foundered in last month’s North Sea gales,
And last year's lost Cape Horner on her sails,
Black tramp and stately liner should lie there side by side
Ay, all should berth together upon that silent tide.

In dock and pond and basin so close the keels should lie
Their hulls should hide the water, their masts make dark the sky,
And through their tangled rigging the netted stars should gleam
Like gold and silver fishes from some celestial stream.

And all their quivering royals and all their singing spars
Should send a ghostly music a-shivering to the stars —
A sound like Norway forests when wintry winds are high,
Or old dead seamen's shanties from great old days gone by, —

Till eastward over Limehouse, on river, dock and slum,
All shot with pearl and crimson the London dawn should come,
And fast at flash of sunrise, and swift at break of day,
The shadowy ships of Deptford should melt like mist away.


Cicely Fox Smith (1 February 1882—8 April 1954) was an English poet and writer. Born in Lymm, Cheshire and educated at Manchester High School for Girls she briefly lived in Canada, before returning to the United Kingdom shortly before the outbreak of World War 1. She settled in Hampshire and began writing poetry, often with a nautical theme. Smith wrote over 600 poems in her life, for a wide range of publications. In later life, she expanded her writing to a number of subjects, fiction and non-fiction. For her services to literature, the British Government awarded her a small pension. (Courtesy of Wikepedia)

Friday, 3 February 2012

West side of Watergate Street, Deptford 1903

I think the pub at right center is the Bull & Butcher, 97 Watergate Street, Deptford ?

No. 17 Watergate Street, Deptford.

I found this old photo of No. 17 Watergate Street. Taking a closer look at the door bracket carvings, scroll work and cherubs, one cant help but notice the similarity to the surviving original door brackets in Albury Street.

Monday, 2 January 2012

History of Albury Street. Final Part.

History of Albury Street. Part 8

No. 37.
Old buildings in the neighbourhood with a romantic past such as Deptford’s are invariably associated with well known historical figures. It is reputed that Admiral Benbow lived at No. 20 Union Street, north side (Now number 37) and that Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton spent some time at No. 19 (now number 34) the house built by Reyalls and Pearce.







No. 34.

It is unlikely that Admiral John Benbow who died in 1702 ever lived in Union Street. He leased Sayes Court in 1696 for 3 years from John Evelyn, but does not appear to have been there much. His son, John Benbow the Traveller, who died in Deptford in 1708 and in great poverty, might possibly have lived in Union Street. No evidence has been seen to prove or disprove that Lord Nelson stayed there. It is of greater significance that from the first, Union Street was inhabited by men connected with the Royal Navel Dockyard. Lucas’s will mentions houses occupied or in the possession of five sea captains and three shipwrights. Union Street must have been with these people, the most affluent in the parish, in mind. As the mortgage made with John Loving, the block maker, suggests, it was these people who provided some of the capital needed by Lucas. The rate books which go back to 1730 on the south side, and to 1750 on the north side of the street, show that this link with the dockyard was maintained until it closed in 1869. By the middle of the nineteenth century, there are signs that the occupants of some of the houses were of a lower social order. For instances No. 24 Union Street on the north side in 1851, was in multiple occupation, the heads of the three families being a labourer and two sawyers. But even then fourteen occupiers of thirty-two houses were craftsmen employed in the Royal Naval Dock Yard or were master mariners. Perhaps the most striking thing at that time was the number of private schools or academies flourishing in the street, which seem to have occupied no less than four houses.


Albury St, North side still mostly intact.
The last vacant site in Union Street was filled in 1838 when No.7 on the north side was built. Already, No. 21 on the same side had been pulled down and replaced by a pair of houses first rated in 1829, but by-and-large, Union Street remained intact until the end of the nineteenth century. In the last quarter of the century Lucas’s own house on the south east corner and No.2 on the south side were demolished and replaced by a single building facing the High Street, and the public house (King of Prussia) was rebuilt. In 1882, Union Street was renamed as a part of Creek Road and in 1898, became Albury Street loosing its anomalous numbering. The final re-naming of the street was necessitated by the re-aligning of Creek Road to join, at its west end, Evelyn Street, thereby at last obscuring the field pattern shown in the map of 1623, cutting off the north east corner of James Browne’s land. But even up the time of the Great War, Albury Street remained very much as Lucas left it. But by 1921, the south side had been broken and two large gaps appeared in the terrace in the middle and at the west end.

Since the Second World War these gaps have been made wider and recently they coalesced leaving just four houses of the original twenty-three. The north side has been luckier. A few houses at each end of the terrace on this side have be altered or rebuilt and since demolished, but a sizable number of the houses remain These houses are among the few survivors in the whole of London from the first two decades of the eighteenth century and although the gaps in their ranks are to be regretted, the four houses on the south side of the street and the longer series on the north must be seen as one of the most important treasures architecturally and historically among domestic buildings in London.

My thanks A Quiney for allowing me to reproduce his thesis on Union/Albury Street.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Albury Street looking East. 1950's.

Here's a rare photo of Albury Street taken in the 1950's looking at the south side of the street from the direction of Deptford High Street. The square plain looking building just left of center use to be lodgings for the Macmillan nurses. The door way at ground level, just a square opening, use to belong to Pickford's removals. Just out of view on the right hand side was where the King of Prussia Public House use to be. As kids we use to stop and look through the boarding of the houses. Use to frighten the life out of us!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Church Street 1940's? House numbers 172 to 180

On the left of this photo is an ornate building which Michael thinks he identifies as the Unitarian Baptist Chapel.

Can anyone help confirm the identity of the building?

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Druid.

 
THE LAST LAUNCH AT DEPTFORD.

Loyally and Lovingly Dedicated by Mil. Punch to  
H.RH. Princess Louise.


If there’s a spirit of the tree, as fair Greek fable tells.
And the green blood of the Dryad is the sap of acorn-bells,
Not death, but higher life, befalls the Nymphs of the oak-trees
That are squared and shaped, and set to frame the .ships that rule the
seas.
And they were not doleful Dryads, but exulting ones that spread
Their unseen wings for shelter of Louise's gracious head,
As she faced the nipping March wind, like a daughter of the sea,
To christen the last war-ship that from Deptford launched will be.
Lift high the wine, sweet Princess, and with blood-red baptism crown,
The bows, slow creeping streamwards, as the dog-shores are struckdown:
And, fit name for last heart of oak that from Deptford-slips shall glide, Bid " God speed" to The Druid, as she curt'sies to the tide.
"tis the last launch from Deptford: the old yard has had its day;
Times change and war-ships with them: oak yields to iron's sway:
There are wider slips and statelier sheds, and broader quays elsewhere,
And Wisdom says "concentrate," and Thrift says "save and spare."
Deptford is now a frowsy place, ill-smelling, dank and low,
Where muddy banks are eat away by a foul stream's festering flow:
Where low Vice haunts and flaunts, and flares, fed full on sailors' gains,
And threatening them with surer wreck than all lee-shores or mains.
But the Deptford that we look on, to whose yard we bid good bye,
Was once the Deptford, where, in pride. The Great Harry wont to lie;
Whore, lusty King to lordly ship, from his Greenwich palace near,
Bluff King Hal among his shipwrights showed broad breast and face
of cheer.
With delicate Anne Boleyn upon his brawny arm—
Lamb and Lion,—monarch's majesty, enhancing woman's charm—
To mark, well-pleased, how in his yard the work sped swift along,
From fair keel to tall top-side of swift pink and carrack strong.
And rapid ran the Ravensbourne, a cleanly country stream,
Glassing in its bright bosom, brave attire, and banners' gleam,
When, fene'd in tower of jewelled ruff and tun of pearled robe,
Came good Queen Bess to welcome Captain Drake from round the
globe!

'Twas in this very Deptford creek was drawn The Golden Hind,
Fragrant with spices of New Spain, rich with heap'd spoils of Ind,
As to bold Queen bold Buccaneer knelt on his own deck-board
Plain Captain Drake, and rose again Sir Francis from her sword.
'Twas in Deptford yard, from reign to reign, the Petts * their credit
won, Handing their craft of ship-builder from famous sire to son; To Deptford smug Sam Pepys took boat, in Charles's thriftless day, To note "how still our debts do grow, and our fleet do decay."
And hither, from the fair-trimmed yews and hollies of Sayes Court,
Came a burly, bull-necked Muscovite, for labour and disport;
Sturdy swinker, lusty drinker; king with king, and tar with tar,
The Northern Demiurgus, Russ Prometheus, Peter Tzar.
Richer in slips and stores and sheds, there be other yards, I trow,
But none more rich in memories. Old Deptford yard, than thou.
It was well done and worthily of a Princess fair and sweet,
To christen the last war-babe, born of thee into our fleet.
And may The Druid ne'er disgrace the parentage she'owns,
Or mar the glorious memories that spring from Deptford stones:
May she bear her worthy England, and the white hand that but now
Has dashed the wine of baptism upon her shapely bow!

• The Petts wore the hereditary ship-builders of the English navy from the days of James The FiRst to those of James The Second.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

History of Albury Street. Part 7.

Thomas Lucas, the Deptford Bricklayer, emerges as considerably more than a local craftsman. He was a man of marked architectural sensibility, surprisingly ready to introduce innovations. It is no wonder that writers on architectural history have considered that, on stylistic grounds, Union Street dates from about 1725, a generation after the street was begun. Lucas was an architectural-entrepreneur, and as such, the prototype of the speculative builder who dominated the rest of the century and much of the next. Speculation in Lucas’s day involved more risk, and this makes it the more remarkable that so much of Union Street was completed. His roll was a double one in that he owned the land on which he built his street as well. In his later career, Thomas Lucas reverted to his original trade, being employed as a bricklayer by the Commission for Fifty New Churches.

This work began in 1713, when he was commanded to build a wall round the newly purchased site for St Paul’s, Deptford. The same month he was appointed ‘to do the bricklayer’s work’ for the church and prices and specifications were drawn up with Lucas providing the bricks. He immediately began by digging out the foundations for the church. In October the Commissioners ordered that ‘Mr Hawksmoor view and measure Mr Lucas’s brickwork at Deptford and report the value thereof’. The bricks do not appear to have met the Commissioners standards and a new contract was drawn up in 1714 with bricks now supplied by them.
St Georges in the Field
St Anne
Payments to Lucas exceeding £3000 were made by the Commissioners from 1713 until 1718 when, the brickwork of the church being completed, Lucas built a wall about the burial ground and built the Minister’s house, again to Archers design. He was paid £658 for the latter work. Lucas never worked on Thomas Archer’s other church, St John, Westminster, but he was employed by the Commissioners for part of the brickwork on St Anne, Limehouse,  St Georges-in-the-East, Wapping and Christchurch, Spitalfields, all of which were designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. At Spitalfields, not only was he employed in 1725-6 on Christ Church, but he also built the carcass of the Rectory, for which he was paid £298. The Thomas Lucas, bricklayer, described as of St Giles-in-the-Fields, and later as of St Andrew, Holborn, who built a few houses in Soho in the 1720’s and who became bankrupt in 1727 was someone else and conceivably his eldest son of the same name and who predeceased him. No other work by Lucas is known for certain and it is likely that he retired in 1726 to live his last ten years in Deptford in the house on the south-west corner of Union Street. Being ‘ancient and infirm in body’ he wrote his last will in February, 1734/5 and died in January 1735/6.

Part 7 extract from A Quiney's paper on Albury Street 1979.    


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Street Entrance to Landing 29 Albury Street 1956-7

Another photo discovered showing the entrance to No. 29 Albury Street taken around 1956-7. This must have been taken when we were growing up here but for the love of me I can't remember who took this photo. The original stairway shows the exceptional craftsmanship especially the "Barley Twist" Bannister rails. Top left hand doorway was to my Uncle France's room. France, as we knew him, was an incredible man. His life was filled with trauma yet he always managed to conceal his past. It was only in his later life that he would open up and mention his past experiences. In 1938-9 he was fighting for the Royalists in the Spanish Civil War. During this conflict close members of his family were shot but he managed to escape from Spain by swimming from the Spanish coast to Gibraltar, an extraordinary feat in its self. He came to England on a cargo boat which docked at Deptford. After walking the streets looking for shelter on a very wet and stormy night he knocked the door of No. 29. My Gran took pity on him a took him in. From that day forward he was always known as Uncle France to us. He was a very kind and gentle man. His eyes were always full of warmth and love. He had a way with songbirds, especially canaries. They would have no fear of him when he was in the aviary. They would all settle on him quite content to feed from his hand and lips. With hindsight he was just like Frances of Assisi I suppose. A wonderful man. I will never forget him.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011

29 & 31 Albury Street. Taken Mid 1950's

Here's a picture of Albury Street that was sent to me last week. It's just as I remember it and indeed my nan must have been in residence then. We use to use the lamp post on the left of the photo as a wicket for our games of street cricket. The roof window is shown open and as kids we use to access the roof area without Nan, Grandad knowing.
Another observation...look closely at the original "Lions" head door-knocker on No. 29 (Left). This type of knocker has been reproduced many times but the original one as shown here weighed a ton and when struck sounded like thunder through the house!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

History of Albury Street. Part 6.

At the time of his death, Thomas Lucas still owned the land although mortgaged on which thirty-one houses had been built. His requirements for capital had been so great that he commanded his executors to sell three houses on the North-side of the Union Street at its east end in order to repay mortgages on them and on his other property ‘as far as that is possible’. In the event, they were not able to repay all the mortgages immediately, and one, as has been said, was not paid until 1748.

With all the means at his disposal for raising capital, Thomas Lucas still did not complete Union Street with an unbroken terrace running down both sides of the street from end to end. Apart from at least one gap on the north side, the east end was taken up by back yards of houses fronting Church Street. Whether this failure to complete the two terraces was through lack of capital or because of the demand for houses of this type in Deptford had been satisfied by what Lucas had already built is not known.




How Thomas Lucas financed the development of Union Street is interesting in a wider context. It appears that prices fluctuated considerably as the example of the house built by Ryalls and Pearce and other later transactions show. These transaction affecting Union Street, and the way its builders were paid in materials purchased, provide examples of the results of an only partly accepted money economy. Capital had its value but commodities were as equally acceptable as cash for payment. Bricks had a more consistent value than money, which was often in short supply.

Although it seems that Union Street was not finished at its east end, it is of great significance both locally and more generally in the context of the whole of London. Almost certainly Union Street was the first newly-planned street of brick terrace houses built to an overall pattern and laid out as a speculative development in Deptford. Beforehand, only the larger individual houses there were brick built and most streets were lined with fairly haphazard rows of timber structures. Again, it is almost certain that there were no other developments similar to Union Street in Deptford during the first half of the eighteenth century, or ever again on a comparatively grand scale.



What Thomas Lucas built before Union Street is not known but he must have learnt his skills in the metropolis, not in Deptford. Terraced house planning had become standardised by the eighteenth century with two rooms to a floor, one at the back and one at the front with a staircase at one side. In Union Street all but the wider houses and a single smaller house had this plan. The front walls of the houses were built of ‘grey’ stocks enriched with bright red brick surrounds to the openings and this again was a feature of the metropolis.


The fronts were terminated by parapets capped in stone, not with wooden eaves cornices which survived well into the eighteenth century. They were prescribed by the Building Act of 1707, and though the act did not apply as far from the centre of London as Deptford, it is clear that whether Lucas began building in 1705 or 1707, by employing parapets, he brought to Deptford the newest building style. 

Building Act 1707. It was this pattern that fueled the Great Fire of London in 1666, which wiped out 80% of the city. That disaster led to the London Building Act of 1667, the first to provide for surveyors to enforce its regulations. It laid down that all houses were to be built in brick or stone. The number of storeys and width of walls were carefully specified. Streets should be wide enough to act as a fire break. This first Act applied to the walled City of London. The Building Acts of 1707 and 1709 extended that control to Westminster. They added a prohibition on timber cornices and required brick parapets to rise two and half feet above the garret floor. A comprehensive Act in 1774 covered the whole built-up area. Its detailed set of regulations included the stipulation that doors and windows should be recessed at least four inches from the front of the building.



Similarly with the windows: in Union Street, although some of the rear windows have original casements, the front windows seem always to have had sashes and these to were then a new fashion. The Heads to the basement and first floor windows are cambered. There are sound structural reasons for this where the basement is concerned but the reasons for using cambered heads to the upper storey is aesthetic: to provide variety from the ground storey windows which have straight heads. Cambered heads are a feature which became popular in the second decade of the eighteenth century, and as in his choice of sashes which again only became popular during the reign of Queen Anne, it is clear Thomas Lucas was fully conversant with the latest architectural style and was willing to apply in Deptford what one might have expected to see only in the City, Holborn and Westminster. Another building act, again only applying to the centre of London, was passed in 1709. It attacked flush frames and ruled that frames should be set back 4 inches behind the face of the brickwork. 

Pre 1709                Post 1709
 These regulations seem to have been less effective than the earlier one regulating cornices. It is not clear that the changes in style which took place in Queen Anne’s reign were so much the result of these acts as a result of a desire for aesthetic change. Lucas employed flush frames, which, on a flat wall, do not give so great an appearance of solidity as recessed frames. That aesthetic quality he achieved in a different way by providing recessed panels some six courses deep immediately below the sills of the windows on both storeys and again above heads of the windows of the upper storey extending ten courses right to the parapet, and he gave each house a blank window panel on the upper storey above the door opening.

So its front elevation was clearly divided by well articulated verticals and horizontals. The verticals edge in red brick marked the solid wall between the openings, and the horizontals marked the storey divisions. The fronts of the houses in Union Street are, in their modest way, Baroque in style rather than the Palladian of a later generation, where the brickwork is flat and the articulation achieved by recessed window openings of carefully graded heights to each storey.  This Baroque sensibility distinguishes the Union Street facades from these developed after the Great Fire which have flat walls of red brick, with squarer, casement windows, all dominated by heavy, and often luxuriously carved eaves cornices. In Union Street luxurious carving was reserved for the brackets of the door-hoods, which seem earlier in style than the houses to which they are attached.     




Part 6 extract from A Quiney's paper on Albury Street 1979.   

Monday, 22 August 2011

Queen Elizabeth 1 takes a fall on Drakes Ship

Extract taken from "The Secret History of His Majesty's Ship -Yard at Deptford" written 1717.


"And it is reported, that Queen Elizabeth much frequented Greenwich, and coming on Shore at Deptford to see a small Ship which was then siting for her Admiral Drake and in going on Board, the Provision which the Shipwright made for her Passage gave way, and had almost let the Queen fall at which she being more Angry than Surpriz'd, went away immediately to Greenwich"

Sunday, 12 June 2011

A Deptford Volunteer 1798.

Painted by John Ashton 1798.
The Roman Eagle, Church Street. St Pauls can be seen in the background through the arch.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Albury Street???

Does anyone recognise the location of this photo. Ive been told that its location is at the junction of Deptford High Street and Albury Street, and that the street sign does say Albury Street SE8 albeit this copy renders it  indecipherable. I don't think it is but it could be the east end joining Church Street and Creek Road. The Pub on the right could be the "Kings Head". Photo was described as pre 1918 but the car boot just showing at the right seems a later model than 1918. I was thinking about 1935 to 1940's  Any suggestions would be welcome.