Sunday 4 December 2016

Sayes Court

View of the John Evelyn's manor house at Sayes Court, based on a drawing by Evelyn himself. The diarist John Evelyn came into possession of the Elizabethan manor house and the estate at Sayes Court through marriage to the heiress Mary Browne in 1647. He took up residence at the house in 1652 and lived there until 1694 when he returned to his family estate at Wootton, Surrey, letting the property to rent paying tenants.

The house was pulled down in 1728 or 1729, and the workhouse built on its site 

Sayes Court was the ancient manor house of Deptford. There was a building on the site from the 12th century. However, the building shown here (originally the St Nicholas Workhouse) dates from 1729. It was demolished c.1930.

This picture depicts one of the old parish workhouses that served the local poor in south London. In 1777 the parish of St Nicholas was known to have 130 inmates. The Poor-law amendments in 1834 stated that "no able-bodied person was to receive money or other help from Poor Law Authorities except in a workhouse". Despite the workhouse being considered a harsh environment, one observer of Greenwich's poor was to note: "It is curious to notice the effect that the workhouse regime has in prolonging the lives of those who may have often survived hard buffetings in the world. Anxiety and care concerning the future are thrown off at the entrance to the house, and the inmates are henceforth placed under conditions more favourable to health and longevity than they have ever before experienced".

Creek Bridge through the Ages

Saturday 3 December 2016

I'm looking for any information/photographs reflecting life in Pender Street (off Deptford Church St and Berthon St), particularly between the two World Wars, and wondered whether any one on Old Deptford might be able to help.

My father grew up at 25 Pender Street between 1920 and 1937 with his younger sister and, early on, with an older married sister and her husband who lodged there. For some of this time, his mother (my grandmother) worked as a charwoman at theRachel McMillan Nursery which Dad also attended from age 3 to 9 before transferring to the Clyde Street School for Boys. 

Dad later described the area as 'a dreadful slum area by the Thames' and, with no other financial support (as far as I know), it must have been a poverty-stricken up-bringing. How my grandmother managed to keep the family together and a roof over their heads in such circumstances I can't imagine so any insight into day-to-day life at that time would be fascinating, or any recollections at all.y

Dad did record some of his experiences many years later and recalled these names among his nursery schoolmates - Katie Seymour, Dorothy Amstead, Hilda Court, the Fergusons, the Rossiters and Bertie Shear. So perhaps these might ring a few bells?

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Christopher Snowden

Saturday 12 November 2016

B&B for the RUSSIANS

Little snippet I came across regarding the above which may be of interest: During the 5th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which took place in London between May 13 and June 1, 1907 many of the delegates were billeted in Carrington House and apparently were quite impressed with the facilities. (Lenin and Stalin stayed elsewhere!) See - Nottingham Evening Post, 11 May 1907, 3; 'Congress in a Lodging House'. The report claims that the first meeting of the Congress was held on Friday 10th May in Carrington House. (Although it is generally believed that the sessions actually took place in the Brotherhood Church, Southgate Road in Islington.) Regards Bob Henderson

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Help for Teresa

I wonder if anyone can help? I am working on a family tree for a friend but have hit a sticky patch.

My friends grandfather was Alfred Ernest Stanton born in 1905. I have a baptism record for him that States his father was Alfred Stanton and his mother was Florence (Shreeves) that they were living at 22 Octavia Street and that he was a Bar Man. I have not found a marriage for these two and am having trouble continuing on this Stanton line. there are talks of a pub in deptford, which does tie up with the baptism record, but haven't traced him to a pub. also New Cross and a theatre, maybe hearsay links but thought I'd add them just in case it rings any bells with people. I know not much to go on but any help greatly appreciated.

Regards, Teresa

Friday 21 October 2016

Help for Jackie please

am trying to get a replacement WW1 roll of honour for  St. Lukes, Deptford. I am trying to find a photo of the roll of honour at St Lukes Church , Deptford. Unfortunately the photos I have found on the internet (e.g. I am unable to read the names. I do have 100 names but am missing the 47 that were on the 2 additional panels. I wonder if anyone knows of any other photos. I have contacted the local church, Lewisham archives, LMA, British Legion,  Imperial War Museum and checked the local newspaper of the time but to no avail.

Many thanks


Saturday 3 September 2016

I hope you might be able to help me by posting the following question on your Deptford History website.
I trying to track down information about a group of teenagers who belonged to the St Joseph's youth club ramblers group in the war. I have extracts of a diary from1943 handed down by my wife's late father Bill Grizzell. I'm trying to piece together the stories of the people in that diary. Father Coleburt ran the group and I know about him, he would have been linked to Our Lady of the Assumption church in Deptford high street. The members of the club included Arthur James, Susan Hickman, Betty Stork, Esther Gummer, John Wren, Dickie Boorman, John Grogan, Gerald Donoghue and Joan Sharp. All would have been about 16 or 17 at the time the diary was written.
Peter Eustace

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Deptford Reminiscences from Christine Fagan

My nan lived in Brookmill Road, just past Carrington House (but not in the Sylvan Cottages), and we often visited her there in the 1950's.
Her front door opened onto the street, and there was a long passage leading down to a living room with a scullery off. The living room was typical of the time, with a cast iron cooking range/fireplace (nothing at all fancy, mind you). I remember being horrified once, by the smell and look of her dinner simmering on the stove. It was green tripe (unbleached) and is unfit for human consumption apparently, but she still lived to a ripe old age.
The other two rooms off the passage must have been a bedroom and a parlour, although I never got to see inside either.
Upstairs was rented to another family, as was quite usual in those days. Most houses where I lived, in East London, were multiple occupancy. A young couple, wanting to get married, would speak to their mother's landlord who would find them a room in a house nearby. As they got on their feet financially, they might rent an additional room as it became available, and eventually a whole floor. It was usually a really large family who ever rented a whole house.
This was the reason that London then was a succession of 'hamlets'. I knew everyone in a radius of 4 or 5 streets, and was related to a number of them. These communities were broken up due to the post war 'slum clearance', initiated by a Labour Government. I often smile at the frequently referred to 'problem' of an ageing population. We lived in 'slums', unheated and without indoor plumbing, everyone smoked in tiny rooms, we burned coal, breathed in pea soupers, and played on bombsites. How come we have lived so long??
I was a bit intimidated by the men outside Carrington House, but my dad told me that a lot of them were ex-servicemen who had come home to no house and no family. After that I noticed how many of them had service tattoos. No-one ever bothered kids anyway.
I was amused to read that Carrington House was considered inferior to Rowton Houses by residents, on the grounds that it wasn't 'homely' enough.
Thanks for bringing back these memories of a slum, that is now a Conservation Area!
kind regards,
Chris Faganpt

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Help for Mark please


I was wondering if you could help me. 
My family pre and post wars were from Deptford the family name being Elston on my grandmother's side.

Enclosed is a photo of the butcher's they once owned on Deptford high street..a picture proudly on display in my great uncles house and a copy also now in mine! 

The picture is anticipated to have been from around the turn of the century may be earlier.

We believe the butcher's was called Elston's, again not too sure! 

In addition the family were landlords and or owners of the Victoria pub on grove street and the old centurion on Deptford high street during war times.

They also had the Crystal Tavern pub...but believe this was rotherhithe.

If you have any knowledge or can help pass on to someone who may no more that would be great.


Mark Roles

Thanks to Bill Ellson's sharp eye we can see Marks grandparents butcher's shop middle left. Also Elston's Market

Thanks Bill

Wednesday 16 March 2016

"Hi there can anyone help? Trying to trace the MORGAN family for an elderly friend who was born and bred a Deptford Lad. He lived in the same building as the Morgan's and grew up with the children. War broke out families moved on and he lost contact with them. He is now approaching 90 and would love to know where they are now, or what became of them all.
They lived in RECTORY BUILDINGS, CROSS FIELD LANE, DEPTFORD in the 30's 40's? You are probably aware the 1931 census was destroyed by fire, the next census never took place because of the war and the christian names I have are mostly "nicknames". What I know is that Mr "Sonny" and Mrs Morgan had 5 children: Jessie, Ronnie, Kit (Kitty), Alfie and Dolly. Kit was definitely born in 1926. There was talk the family may have moved to Orpington or Tunbridge Wells?? But thats really all I have to go on. Interested in ANYTHING that anyone may know, marriages, proper christian names, dates, deaths, ANYTHING. I'll do anything to find some closure for my elderly friend, the families were so close, then because of war etc they were divided and lost contact.
I thank everyone in advance."

Monday 8 February 2016

Help Please

James Ashton asks the following questions and help.

Dear Sir:

I was very interested to find your Deptford History web site.  I have a 
question rather than a story that I was hoping you might be able to help 
me with.  The C.S. Forester Hornblower novels refer to Deptford and 
there are mentions of a couple of names that I can't find any references 
to online.

The first is "Deptford Hard".  I know what a "hard" is (a firm, gentle 
slope allowing vessels to be launched or careened, usually with the help 
of the tide) and it seems reasonable that there would have been one in 
or near Deptford Yards.  Does anyone know where it was, or if it existed 

The second is "The George," apparently an establishment with 
accommodation in Deptford.  I suspect this will have been an invention 
of the author but I'd be pleased to discover otherwise. There is one 
online reference to someone living at "The George", George-row, Deptford 
in 1852 but the nearest George-row I can find is in Bermondsey.  Also, 
the National Archives hint at a "George" in Grove Street, near Cornish 
Place, in 1852: 

Thanks for providing such an interesting online resource.

James Ashton