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


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Gary Kemp staring in Hide and Seek 1972.

Hi all,
Can anyone please identify this location from the 1972 film Hide & Seek, staring Gary Kemp. Most of the film set location were filmed in and around Deptford but I'm not sure if this Police Station is in Deptford. Any help would be great.

Friday 13 November 2015

Help for Geoff please

Hi, I am trying to find out more information about the Royal Victualling Yard and their cricket team . Enclosed is picture of a team which has my grandfather, Arthur Stevenson, pictured seated far right middle row. The date I am not sure of , it could be just before or after WW1. Any information,great or small, would be gratefully received as my personal research has drawn a blank. 
My grandfather, I know,  worked there  after he returned from the war.
Also, does any one know what local newspaper that may have reported on matches. As I am aware, from my mother, that there was a report on my grandfather bowling a hatrick.


Geoff Gough

I've been trying to find a band that I stumbled across on Youtube a few years back. They had some relation to Deptford. It may have been that the music video I saw was filmed there, or they may have been from Deptford themselves. I'm not entirely sure. It was led by a female and, in the video I saw, she was wearing a dark stocking cap. If I remember correctly, the video was also in a sepia tone. I remember truly enjoying the music, but I can't for the life of me remember the name. It was a recent band (this was December 2012/January 2013) and I don't think they were terribly popular. I may be on a fool's quest, and I do apologize for bothering you with this as I know your site is about old Deptford. I've been searching all over with no answers, and found your site (which is quite wonderful by the way!) and was hoping you might have an idea of where I could at least look for such a thing. I truly appreciate any information you can provide. I hope you're fairing well.

Thank You!


Wednesday 28 October 2015

Hi all

Can anyone help Jonny Mudge please ? Here's  his email to me........

Here's my 2 cents on a house in Deptford--stranger than fiction?  Dunno.

When I was in my early teens in the late 40's there were family discussions going on to which I was only a "seen and not heard" child listening in to the adult conversations.  The gist of the conversations was that there was house that my grandfather owned that was being compulsorily purchased as part of a slum clearance and/or redevelopment.  Nelson/Hamilton had some association with the house.  My grandfather lived at 45 Adolphus St which is close by Abury St.  At the time I was only casually listening and may not have got the story correct.  In the family, it was referred to as "Nelson's house".  He was fairly entrepreneurial and bought a number of houses in the east end of London and it's possible that he owned 34 Albury St.

I noticed from Google maps that 34 Albury St is still there so maybe I got it all wrong or perhaps they were discussing the possibility of it being compulsorily purchased.  In the event, it didn't get pulled down.  He didn't live in the house but I understood that he rented it out.  

I would like to verify, for our family history, if, in fact, he owned a house on Albury St.  Unfortunately, I live in California and so to visit Deptford is not easy, but can be done, but it would be more convenient if I could get on-line access to some house ownership records to verify or disprove my memory of events  My grandfather's name was Joseph Mudge and he was born in 1869 or 1870 in Deptford, probably on Adolphus St.

I am the self appointed family historian and any help you give me would be greatly appreciated,

Best regards.

Johnny Mudge

Thursday 14 May 2015

Help for Robert Oliveri who lives in Australia.

Robert is trying to trace any Information regarding the 39th Divisional Artillery Ammunition Column, Deptford. Is there an association??

Robert says

My grandfather was in WW1 in the 39th Divisional Artillery Ammunition Column.  And I think that the unit was formed in Deptford.  I was wondering if you can  point me to any associations or historical societies that may have more information.  l have some old unit photos in poor condition and I was hoping I could trace one in better shape. The first photo is very much like like a company of men although the title indicates it is section 3 of the Ammunition Column 39th Divisional Artillery.  

Roberts mother says he always kept the photos in a cylinder and that is both the reason for it's damage as well as its preservation.  The second photo is, he assumes, his small group, a section in modern infantry terms.  His grandfather was a black smith by trade and a shoe smith by rank. His name was Charles Walter Hollis.  

Robert is planning a trip next year that will probably see him on the Somme almost exactly 100 years after his grandfather arrived there in 1916.  Robert shares the only war time story he heard about his grandfather which was when he had an argument with a tent mate over a game of cards one night. He got angry and decided to sleep under a tree and that night a shell took out his tent.  He died aged 90. 

Robert says

Thanks for your help.  I would imagine it is unlikely that anyone else will have this photo unless there is an old association still active or a local library or historical society.   I plan to restore the photo very slowly.   In Australia our War memorial in Canberra has this type of photo on file, is that the case in the UK as well?

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Deptford Kids 1960's

Soldiers wives making Sacks for the trenches at the Albany Institute 1914-1918

Somewhere in Deptford.

                                                       Anyone know where this is???

Help for Rachel


My family, going back at least 200 years, lived/worked in/near Deptford and I have, coincidentally got a flat on Crossfields - I went back to my roots without realising it!

My gg grandfather, Thomas Pay had a bottle washing business on Church Street Deptford which closed in the 1950s. It was called Thomas Pay&Sons. My grandmother was Rosemary Pay and her siblings Jack and Olive Pay and Joe Berry and 'Boy' Parker were also prominent characters involved in the business in the war/1950s - they had nice cars including a flashy Aston Martin.

I am desperately trying to find out more info on their business/story and wondered if you/readers of your site may know anything at all about them or location of Thomas Pay&Sons?

Huge thanks for any help in advance and thank you for running such an interesting and informative site.

Kind Regards

Rachel Worzencraft

Monday 6 April 2015

Help identifying street name.

Hi all,

John and Jacquie are doing the geneology bit and are having trouble indentifying the street name on this census form.
I thought it was Queen Street but I'm not so sure. Can anyone help them please?

Sunday 15 February 2015

Where in Deptford?

Hi everyone
Jane sent me an email telling me about her ancestors in the above photo but more importantly help in trying to identify the location of where the photo was taken. Clue may be in the sign above them. Jane supplied the following info......
His name was William John Clark. On the 1911 census he was living with his parents William John Edward Clark and Finch Morgan Clark nee Pearson (known as Annie) at 53 Crossfield St. I know his first 2 children were born at this address in 1914 & 1919 I don't know when he moved out.

By 1936 he was living at 62 Creek Rd, with his wife Ellen & children, Ted, Nell, Harold & Joyce and my grandmother Ivy Morley. His parents were still at Crossfield St..........
Can anyone help please
best regards

Sunday 1 February 2015

Mystery Bottle

Lorna found this bottle whilst mud-larking the Thames up buy the 02.

She has asked if we can identify the distributors and or the location where they operated from

On the bottle and the top are the words  "The Kent Creamia Milk Co. Ltd. Deptford. 

Can anyone help please???



Tuesday 27 January 2015

Robbins Model Bakery

Can anyone identify whether or not this picture with the bakery in the background was located somewhere in Deptford...? Your help would be much appreciated as I'm trying to trace, for my family tree, the person on the left who I believe is my grandfather's brother who was born in Hale Street.

best regards to all

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Thankfull Sturdee

Thankfull Sturdee was born in Deptford April 24th  1852 and Christened June 27th  1852 in Deptford. He was married to Catherine Sarah Bland (b Deptford 1854) in 1883 and had 1 son and 1 daughter.
He is listed as living and working at the following places.

 70 Tanners Hill from 1899 to 1900
16 Bolden Street from 1900 to 1903.
157 Malpas Road, Deptford 1909 - 1910.

1881: photographer living at 252 Evelyn Street, Deptford.
1901: photographer living at 16 Bolden Street, Deptford.

1912: photographer living at 151 Manor Road, Brockley, Deptford.
1917: photographer living at 26 Geoffrey Road, Brockley, Deptford.

He Joined the Daily Mirror as staff photographer September 1911, retired 1922.
Above is a Commemorative plaque from Lewisham Borough Council fixed to Studio 2 in Bolden Street. He died at 26 Geoffrey Road, Brockley, Deptford April 3 1934.

I recently purchased one of his books "Reminiscences of Old Deptford" printed 1895.
I have seen this book advertise for sale at £75 up to would you believe £145!! My copy was a lot cheaper and I  have decided to copy and post its contents here so all the folk of Deptford can enjoy its content. Here is the first instalment with more to follow. Enjoy

Monday 21 July 2014

Help for Giles in his search

Hello All,

Giles Gaffney has asked me to help him on his quest to find more information regarding the area around Lower Watergate and Butchers Row and in particular parts from a missing map. Here's his email to me and he would be grateful for any help.

Chris at Shipwrights can you help in anyway? As you can see Giles has been trying to contact you but like me he doesn't have you email. Thanks


Dear Andy

I wanted to bring this to your attention - would also be grateful if you could please forward it to Shipwright's Palace as I don't have his email address or perhaps a plug on your website even - this is quite exciting stuff! :)

I am attempting to trace the source of this map (below) left by the Deptford Pier company upon demolition of the old village centre, which may span further south and east compared to the excerpt reproduced by Pre Construct in an archaeological report from 2008. It shows the numbering and position of all the buildings, including the names of the pubs/taverns, but is cropped before taking in Lower Watergate where another pub existed (below).


So far I have failed to trace it, but have begun contacting members of Pre Construct, so with any luck may hear back from them. The report in itself is worthy enough to appear on the same shelf, and alongside, the best history books of the Lewisham borough IMO!

Best regards