Help! Information Needed - Can you Assist
We are ever on the lookout for information and photographs about Peckham and or Nunhead. We need information for our Magazine, to answer readers' queries, to assist our editor in compiling new books. All information we receive is published in our magazine The Peckham Society News where possible and also lodged with the Southwark Local Studies Library where it will be available to others who may be interested.
Any information you can help with should be sent to John D. Beasley at: email@example.com
Or John D. Beasley at 6 Everthorpe Road, London SE15 4DA. Tel: 020 8693 9412
There are also requests for information (as well as responses containing useful information) on our letters page.
We currently need to know more about the following:
Autumn 2012 - Information Sought
The Peckham Flag (1915) has been given to our editor. As with all publications not already in Southwark Local History Library, this has now been deposited in that important library.The bound volume starts with the January 1915 (No. 1 Vol. 2) issue and ends with December 1915 (No. 12 Vol. 2). Does any reader know whether any other issues exist and, if so, where? We are grateful to Roger Young, who worked for Southwark Council, for deciding to give The Peckham Flag to our editor. The magazines include information about various organisations that existed in Peckham in the early part of the 20th century – and shed light on what Peckham was like during the First World War.
Any information about Harry and Florence Blackwell who lived at 24 Peckham Hill Street in the first half of the 20th century. Photographs of the Peckham Liberal Club,24 Elm Grove, are wanted. The building is in danger of closing down and being sold to developers. Did a resident at c48 Glengall Road, prior to the 1960s, commit a robbery and die in prison before the loot was found?
Photographs of Claude Road, Hinder & Long in Peckham Hill Street and Windsor Castle pub, 95 Cator Street are wanted.
Summer 2012 - Information Sought
Where in Pitt Street was the Coach and Horses pub?
What do you know about the 1926 General Strike in Bermondsey, the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark and Peckham, including any stories regarding strikers, volunteers, dockers, printers and anyone with experience of R.Hoe and Co. Ltd., Borough Road.
Did you know anyone who lived at 27 Philip Road?
Photographs of Rural Place, Lugard Tavern, Coronation street party photos in Geldart Road, and 113 Kirkwood Road (What was sold in the shop?) are sought.
Spring 2012 - Information Needed
Where was the Bellenden Road Air Raid Precautions Depot? In 1953 the pond on Peckham Rye Common was filled in. Do you know why? Early photographs of Peckham are always wanted: Whittington Road and a parade of shops at the junction of Kirkwood Road and Brayards Road prior to the Second World War;the house in Moncrieff Street where the Goddard family lived and in a building in the back garden the famous Goddard’s White Horse Oils were made. (See Peckham Society News No. 121 p. 30.) Bishop Wilfred Wood Close now occupies the site. These photos are currently sought.
Winter 2011 - Can you provide information please?
Did you know Pat Brown, a long-time parishioner of St John’s Goose Green. She was a writer and needlewoman? What do you know about Bevington & Sons, organ builders (1794-1950), who had temporary premises in Peckham (possibly in April 1902 and later)? Photographs of Peckham Photos of Reddin’s Road School, Avondale Road Unitarian Church, Carlton Place and Lugard Tavern are wanted. The same applies to a parade of shops at the junction of Kirkwood Road and Brayards Road prior to the Second World War.
Autumn 2008 - Information Sought
Studio potter Alfred G. Hopkins was born in Lambeth in 1884 and was an instructor at the Camberwell School of Art. Did he live at 285 Commercial Road (now Way) from 1926 until 1951? Peckham basket makers. Bateman & Son, were basket makers, of 68 Green Hundred Road were there other Peckham basket makers and when? Photographs of Peckham Early photographs of Peckham are always wanted, Buller Square; Victory parties; Elcot Avenue; Green Hundred Road; Strakers Road are currently sought.
Summer 2008 - Information Wanted!
Where in Peckham was Alex Vale (wartime pilot turned police officer) born? Do you have information about his childhood? What do you know about he Pearman family who were textile designers and lived at the Peckham Arms in 1841. T. Brem-Wilson was born in Ghana and arrived in Peckham in 1906/7. He was involved in the Pentecostal ministry at Sumner Road Chapel and died in 1929. We would like to know more about him.
Spring 2008 - Questions!
The dates of the birth and death of John Grummant are needed. He was a Camberwell Vestryman after whom Grummant Road was named. When was Placquett Road (now part of Copleston Road) built and who was the builder? Old photographs are wanted. What is known about the baby market at Peckham? A drawing of a man using a spade to fill in a hole in the ground with the caption "The baby market at Peckham – disposal of the children" is included in Family Skeletons: Exploring the lives of our disreputable ancestors by Ruth Paley and Simon Fowler (The National Archives, 2005; page 21). Did the actor Daniel Day-Lewis visit W.Head & Company’s shop in Rye Lane? Former Peckham butcher John Dell taught Day-Lewis skills he needed as a sadistic murderer in Gangs of New York. Peckham Image Does any reader know what the “image”, which may have been situated in what today is the back garden of 33 Highshore Road, was? Part of Highshore Road was Image Road when Dewhirst produced his 1842 map of Camberwell parish.
The Bussey Building
Did you work here? Either when it was Geo Bussey or afterwards when it housed small businesses? Do you know anything that will help us find out more? Was it knocked down and rebuilt? Do you have photos?
Edison Bell Works
In the early part of the 20th century J.E.Hough Ltd made gramophone records at Edison Bell Works at 62 Glengall Road. No information is in Southwark Local History Library but a letterhead can be seen in the London Metropolitan Archives. Do you know anything that will help us find out more?
Lots of questions!
Collingwood School Why was that name chosen? Dr Walter Rodney is commemorated by a plaque and trees outside Peckham Pulse. Where locally did he live? What were his local links? Dr Walter Rodney is commemorated by a plaque and trees outside Peckham Pulse. Where locally did he live? What were his local links? A soldier called Frank Lambert (No. 1790567). He was at The Coast Battery RA in Stromness, Orkney in 1942. He was from the Peckham area. Who knows anything about him? Information is needed for a television programme. Air-raid shelters on Peckham Rye. Photographs, information and experiences - did you sleep in the shelters? Leicester House Academy in the High Street, Peckham Do you know anything about it? Bournemouth Road Do you remember or know anything about a street market? When did it start and cease to exist? Councillor George Allender A relative is searching for information. Reg O. Harrison He ran a cycle shop at 41 Queen's Road. Any information is needed about him including his middle name and when he died. All Saints' Church, Blenheim Grove The vicar is preparing a thesis on the church's history. Howard Court, Peckham Rye Why was the name Howard chosen?
William Keddie Forrester
There is very little information in Southwark Local History Library about artist William Keddie Forrester (1914-1959) who painted the ruins of Winchester House, Peckham High Street, in 1952. He lived at 132a Copleston Road and was a prolific recorder of local views.. A memorial exhibition of his work was held at the South London Gallery in 1961.
There are no old photographs of Oglander Road in Southwark Local History Library. Do you have any?
What Is Origin of Mortlock
A man who is researching people called Mortlock has enquired about Mortlock Close. Before the Cossall Estate was built, Mortlock Gardens (1869) stood where part of Cossall Park is today. A section of Harder's Road used to be known as Mortlock Terrace. Do you know why that terrace was so named?
The Five Miles Club
A reader came across an old medal, with an inscription on the back: 5 Miles Club C. C. Abbott 1923 We have mentioned the "Five Miles Club Championship Race": "Rovers' Club Race meeting at Sayes Court Recreation Ground Deptford, where my Grandfather Henry d'Arcy won the Five Miles Club Championship Race" in our magazine. Our reader would like to know if this has anything to do with her medal? And does the name "C. C. Abbott" mean anything to anyone?
Peckham photographic project
Graham Anderson writes from Toronto canada and is doing research into his Grandfather John Muir Macgregor.
He was in business with Crampton at 10 & 11,Barbican. The company being listed as Crampton,Macgregor & Co Ladies Blouse, Robe and Costume Manufactures.
The Post Office Directory of 1915 list them both at the Barbican Address but also as Crampton & Co Blouse Manufactures at Hanover Street in Peckham. Can a reader shed light on the Peckham address?
Do you know anything about Louis Lion who lived in the pub with the sadly neglected mural - the "Kentish Drovers", Old Kent Road, S.E.15? He is shown in the 1920, 1921 and 1925 London phone books.
The Coopers Arms
A researcher desperately needs to find a photograph of The Coopers Arms where the youngest Titanic survivor was allegedly born. It was on Bird in Bush Road, and no longer exists and was ruined so he believea, in a bomb attack during the Second World War. He has had no joy at Southwark History Library, the London Metropolitan Archive and the National Monuments Record Centre but wonders if perhaps one of our members might have a snap shot of it or know where he might find one? Failing that, perhaps someone has an old photograph of Bird in Bush Road which could he could copy?
Wooden Toy Manufacturer
At some time in the early 1900's a wooden toy manufacturer had a factory, believed to be in King Arthur Street Peckham. The owners of the factory, were a Mr Patterson and a Mr Edwards. They made wooden rocking horses and the factory was eventually taken over by Pedigree toys. Do you have any information about this?
"Does anyone remember the waxworks in Rye Lane, opposite the ‘Heaton Arms' about 65 years ago?" asked a woman in the South London Press on 10 June 1955. Do you know about them?
Jones & Higgins
Do you remember Jones & Higgins? If so, memories are wanted for a booklet on its history.
Peckham photographic project
A friend and I want to publish a magazine featuring photographs and profiles of Peckham and Camberwell residents in the style of a celebrity magazine. This will be a not-for-profit undertaking as part of our art course. The project brief is to create a record of the achievements and diversity of the community in this part of the borough. We need to find volunteers of all ages and occupations who are willing to be photographed for the magazine. Local residents who might be interested in taking part. should send am email to lauramitchison AT yahoo.co.uk or to Peckham Society (see above) to the attention of Laura Mitchison
Boot and Shoe Repairers Shop
My husband is currently in the process of restoring a photograph of my late Grandfather Leonard Biggs, standing proudly outside his Boot and Shoe Repairers Shop at 42 Phillip Street. This was unfortunately lost to a bomb raid in 1940. He was deaf and obviously things were quite a struggle after that bomb attack. He then moved with his wife (also deaf) and two children to Lancing in West Sussex. My mother was only three years old.
Father George Potter
What is my interest asks Colin Goodman? I was an inmate from 1950-1957 at St Martins House Lee and I remember him as a somewhat larger than life figure as he used to visit us at regular intervals. Father George had a great sense of humour as I recall. On one visit we all sat down to tea, the bread was a bit stale and I being a bit cheeky referred to the Brotherhood of the Holy Crust this caused him much amusement and saved me from the dreaded slipper. I also saw him at the friary at Linden Grove Nunhead. I have just made contact with another of his old boys after 50 years and we are both interested in researching our childhood homes history. St Martins House Lee and the friary at Linden Grove Nunhead are no longer extant. If you have any further information or can point me in the right direction it would be most appreciated.
What do you know about the Hart family?
I am writing you from the Vancouver, B.C. area. I have a picture that I found in my grandparents things after my dad passed away in 2001. The picture is of an H.W. Hart. On the back of the picture is has written Watney Off License, 171 Queens Road, Peckham SE 15. There is a stamp on the back but it is hard to make out. The address looks like 135 Queens Road, New Cross. Likely the photographer's address.
I am wanting to know what happened to him if possible. Would anyone remember him and I think his wife, who ran the shop. There were posters in the window of movies that were running around 1955-1956. I can send it to you if it will help. H.W. I believe stands for Henry (Harry) William Hart. He was the nephew of my grandmother. She was the only one of her family to come to Canada. After she died in 1967 all contact with the U.K. stopped. She had 9 other siblings and I am trying to find some of their children so they can fill me in on some of the family history. Any suggestions or other contacts would be much appreciated.
Richard William Harry Carter
My father, Richard William Harry Carter, was born in Peckham in 1920. His father, Harry Carter and his wife Katherine, emigrated to South Africa approximately 1923. Does anyone have any information whatsoever to offer? Am also interested in what took place in Peckham in the 1920's. My email address is admin @ covpub.co.uk
Peckham Cinema History
Dark Screens is a personal project which may be of interest to your members and anyone interested in 20th Century history in your locality. I am gathering information on the old and lost cinema buildings of Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth and making it freely available and easily accessible through this site. If you think it of interest, please mention it in your newsletter or other appropriate forum - I would welcome reminiscences, pictures (and corrections) to add to the infromation I am finding from published sources. This is very much work in progress, and with support from those who lived, worked and were entertained in these cinemas hopefully it ca develop in to a community resource of wide interest and use. Dark Screens
I was interested to read about the musician Charles Seaton. I'm afraid I can't offer any information on him but wonder if you could enquire as to whether he was any relation to my husband's father Henry Charles Seaton 1888-1926? He was born in Woolwich, married Ellen Bonnick and lived in the Medway Towns. They had 4 children Harry, Pat, Peter & John. Thank you for any help you may be able to give. Irene Seaton
Sage of Peckham.
Sophie Reid writes: We have recently discovered that our great great uncle `William Margrie` has been put into the Oxford Dictionary of Biographys.May of this year. My sister has found many newspaper cuttings that were in a tin box of my late mother Brenda Reid (NYE) paying tribute to William also known as the Sage of Peckham.
Where were you between 1939 and 1945?
Despite many mentions made about the mass evacuation of people at the beginning of World War II, little has been reported about those who either returned home through unhappy experiences in their foster homes or continuous homesickness. This is a gap which needs filling and research is planned to talk to those who returned to their family homes, right into the year of the Blitz.
"I would love to hear from you and perhaps talk to you about those traumatic days and would appreciate contact from you. I too was an evacuee." writes Eva Roman. We will forward any replies.
WHEN WAS GROTTO MADE?
The grotto in Peckham Rye Park was improved during the recent restoration work. When was it created? Is it the one that was made by prisoners of war who were housed in huts on Peckham Rye Common? Please contact our Editor if you know the origin of the grotto.
CALIFANO’S ICE CREAM - yet more memories and information
I have just discovered your website and details of your magazine in my search for information on my family tree. I was delighted to read about Califano’s ice cream. Mr Califano, the ice cream man/coal merchant mentioned in your letters page, would have been my grandfather, although he died nineteen years before I was born. One of your readers asked what had become of him once the war started. Well, he and his wife, and some of his by then grown-up children and their families, continued to live in Peckham until 1947. Mrs Califano went back to visit relatives in Italy and died out there and then Mr Califano died two years later on his way to visit his wife’s grave. He was taken ill at Dover and died of pneumonia on 1 September 1949 aged 70. He was buried in what is now called Camberwell New Cemetery. He and his wife had ten children, two of whom died as infants. The other eight – Lou, Jo, Nin, Raff, Tom, Madeleine, Calene and Tony – all lived to good ages. Tony, my dad and the “baby” of the family, was the last of that generation and he died in April 2004. Tom, who took over the business on his father’s death, died in June 1995.
I am happy for you to update your readers regarding Califano’s ice cream and would also love to hear any memories or stories about the Califano family or receive any copies of photos or newspaper cuttings, as apparently Mr Califano’s funeral was covered by the local press.
Nugent family - Sheep & Rugskin Manufacturers
Richard Hutt in Australia asks: Even though I now reside in Australia (after having lived in Nunhead for several years during the 1980s and 90s), I shall always have a fondness for the history of Peckham and its surrounding area. This is also helped by the fact that my forebears had lived in the Peckham area for well over 150 years, up until the first few decades of the 20th century. Still kept in the family is a beautiful Victorian hall table (late1800s) which has affixed underneath it a small ivory plaque with details from where it was first purchased - "Jones & Higgins - Peckham, London SE". This lovely table has had an interesting history too, having been taken to Argentina and back during the early years of the 20th century. When back in London, it was nearly lost in 1940 when a bomb fell on the house in Brockley where it was kept at the time. The table has now travelled much further afield and is admired by many here in Australia, 13,000 miles away from Peckham. I am descended from the Nugent family and I ask anyone to let me know if they have any known details relating to the family's trade in years gone by. They were Sheep & Rugskin Manufacturers in the Peckham, Camberwell, and New Cross areas during the Victorian/Edwardian eras. The factories also produced Cavalry Skins and Feather Boas. The two main factories were at 181 Neate Street, Camberwell, and in Achilles Street, New Cross.
St. Mary’s Road School for Girls
From: Angela Quick of Toronto, Canada
I am very interested to know if anyone recalls a school I attended from about 1937 to 1939 in St. Mary’s Road, Peckham. It was a private school named St. Mary’s Road School for Girls, Peckham, and the Head Mistress was Miss Emerson. My maiden name was Angela Coyne, and my parents had a drapery shop at 109 Queen’s Road. Adjacent to the shop was John Wells’ butchery and on the other side of our shop was a bakery. Many memories come flooding back except some of the names of the pupils at the school. I would love to hear from anyone who has any recollections of the above.
WHEN WAS BULL YARD DEPOT BOMBED?
The former Tilling's Bull Yard depot was badly damaged in the Second World War; the Peckham Bus Garage was opened on the site in 1951. On what date in 1940 was it bombed?
Where in Meeting House Lane were Marsh (or March) Cottages? A birth certificate has been received showing that a boy was born there in 1858.
Composer/pianist Maria Hinckesman
From: Michael Kassler Australia
I am interested in the composer/pianist Maria Hinckesman (born 1803) who lived at Union Row, Peckham, in the 1820s. She was the daughter of the Fleet Street bookseller and stationer Richard Hinckesman and his wife and successor Mary. Maria's 1823 composition “A rose-bud” was dedicated to Mrs William Mutrie (Sarah Mutrie née Robins); the Mutries lived in Bath Place, Peckham. Maria's 1824 composition “Ye tell me shepherds” was dedicated to the Peckham surgeon Josiah Henry Wilkinson (the man who owned Oliver Cromwell’s head). Maria lived in central London in the late 1820s but about 1830 apparently returned to Peckham where she was a schoolmistress in partnership with Julia Maria Astier until the latter's marriage in 1834. She went to Sydney in 1842. I do not yet know where or when she died I have been in contact with the Southwark Local History Library who advise that the name “Hincksman” appears in the 1821 rate book as living in Union Court (not Union Row), Peckham. Otherwise they have no information about Maria Hinckesman or her family.
[Please send any information to our Editor who will pass it on to Michael Kassler.]
Peckham & Dulwich Passive Resistance League
In Peckham Society News you ask for any printed material referring to Peckham. I have a postcard postmarked 29 July (19)04. It advertises a Public Indignation Meeting to be held near the Peckham Queen’s Road Wesleyan Church presumably on that day. I wonder if anyone knows more about the Camberwell, Peckham & Dulwich Passive Resistance League and the cause of their indignation other than that their goods had been seized. [Please send any information to our Editor so he can pass it on to Mr Stone and deposit a copy in Southwark Local History Library which has no record of this meeting.]
Charles Seaton (1838-1902)
I am interested in Charles Seaton (1838-1902) - the man, himself, my great grandfather, and his piano music. He was a piano (pianoforte) tuner, a composer, a music publisher and a music seller. He had a music stall in The Crystal Palace. I believe he, originally, lived at/ran a music selling business from Hope House, Rye Lane; then Handel House, 76 Peckham Rye; then he moved to Tower House, Etherow Street, Barry Road, E. Dulwich. I have a collection of sheet music composed by him and would be interested to hear from anyone who also has some of his music - possibly in your attic! Hugh Bailey, 26 Cedars Road, Hampton Wick KT1 4BE
Turk's Head Hotel, Peckham.
I have an ancestor called Lewis Jones who appears in the 1851 census as Hotel Keeper at the Turk's Head Hotel, Peckham. In 1841 he was the licensee at the Coach & Horses, Fan Street/Goswell Street and in 1861 he is listed as a retired Inn Keeper, living at 14 Oxford Terrace, Peckham.
I have found the Turk's Head on a map of 1850 on the website www.archivemaps.com/mapco/london.htm It is situated on what is now the Old Kent Road, opposite the end of Commercial Way. A friend tells me that there has always been a pub on that site and thinks that it is now a night club.
I wonder whether you can tell me any more about the Turks's Head and whether the 1851 building is still standing. Also do you know where Oxford Terrace was, as I have been unable to find it either on an old map or a current one.
Help re the Coxes
My grandmother, Doris E. Cox, was born in Peckham (or Peckham Rye) around 1897 and came to America with her sisters (Eleanor & Winifred N.) in 1919 on the passenger ship, Saxonia. I am looking for any family history from the area, particularly my grandmother’s parents names. Can you please guide me to any resources that might help? Thank you in advance for your assistance. Sincerely, Karen Leiper Haffmans
"Leather Goods" shop in Glengall Road
I'm researching my family history and a letter I have mentions a "Leather Goods" shop in Glengall Road, Peckham, SE15 run by my Great Grandfather Frederick William Brown circa 1900. I wonder if any of your members/readers know of this? He had 4 sons including Ernest George Brown, my Grand Father, who attended Reddin's Road School - hence the search.
WORLD'S FIRST STAMPED ENVELOPE WAS SENT TO PECKHAM. Can you solve mystery?
Bath is the postmark on the world's first stamped envelope, bearing a Penny Black, and it was addressed to a house in Peckham. It was sent on 2 May 1840 by the daughter of the Postmaster of Bath, Thomas Moore Musgrave. Part of the envelope still exists and is owned by a philatelist. Unfortunately most of the address is missing. No one knows the name of the addressee or where he or she lived in Peckham. The surname appears to end in "byer". The last letter of the road name appears to be n but Dewhirst's 1842 map shows no Peckham road ending with the letter “n”. Please contact our Editor if you can shed any light on this mystery. (SOURCES I never knew that about England by Christopher Winn (Ebury Press, 2005). Information provided by Bath Postal Museum, 8 Broad Street, Bath BA1 5LJ (? 01225 460333). The Museum is situated in the very building where the Penny Black - the world's first postage stamp - was used on 2 May 1840 - four days ahead of the official date. )
Do you know in which Peckham school the mathematician Isaac Todhunter (1820-84) was an usher (assistant master) with a Mr Austin who had taught him in Hastings?
PECKHAM ROVERS BICYCLE CLUB
A large photograph of the Peckham Rovers Bicycle Club is in Southwark Local History Library; it was reproduced in Transport in Peckham and Nunhead. An email has been received from a grandson of a member of the club requesting more information. He sent an undated newspaper cutting about the club's first annual race meeting at Sayes Court Recreation Grounds, Deptford.
DID NELL GWYN PERFORM IN PECKHAM THEATRE?
A comedy in three acts was published in 1799 entitled The Peckham Frolic or Nell Gwyn and a copy can be seen in Southwark Local History Library. However, the author of Nell Gwyn : A Biography (Macmillan, 2005), Charles Beauclerk, has found no reference to Peckham or Sir Thomas Bond who was a friend of Charles II and lived in the Peckham Manor House (where Whitten Timber is today).
REGENT STREET OF SOUTH LONDON
Which Rye Lane store had the slogan on its bags RYE LANE - THE REGENT STREET OF SOUTH LONDON?
Batty & Co
A member writes: I am on the trail of the Peckham firm Batty & Co and now have quite a collection of memorabilia: bottles, mustard pots, letterheads and adverts. I recently tracked down that they had a warehouse in Edinburgh in the late 1800s. That’s apart from my wife’s connection through India! I shall be grateful for information on the Batty – Peckham connection.
Who knows about R.O. Harrison touring bicycles?
"I've just acquired a 1950s (I think) R.O. Harrison touring bicycle. The head badge says “41 Queens Road Peckham”. I would be really interested in any information anyone has about this marque." asks J Fox
Did you know Joyce & Florence Green?
Florence Marriner says, "I recently became a member of The Peckham Society and received the summer magazine. The picture of Caroline Gardens brought back many memories as I was born in Devon Street beside the gas works. During the war Caroline Gardens was used as a large balloon site. Before the war I was a member of Christ Church Brownies and attended church parade once a month. The Scouts had a band which played at the front of the parade. We assembled in a hall in Friary Road which belonged to the church. I was also a regular visitor to Livesey Library and spent many a happy winter evening in the children’s room. I also remember the second hand clothes stall in Hardcastle Street. If any members remember me or my sister I would love to hear from them. My sister’s name is Joyce. Our surname was Green." We will forward any letters.
Joan Westling - was Joan Gadd remembers
I was delighted to read a copy of Peckham Society News; many bells rang in my memory. I was born in Maxted Road. I went first to Bellenden Road School, then to Grove Vale School and finally to Peckham Central School for Girls. I used to walk to and from school from Oglander Road unless I took the unreliable 37 bus. Sometimes I walked home via Rye Lane, where Holdron’s had a “moving staircase” as we called the escalator. The school was opposite “Peckham House” and our French mistress once suggested that we were in the wrong building when we gave mad answers to her question! A lamp burned in the school hall, signifying that we lived up to the school motto “Whatsoever things are true, honest, just and pure, whatsoever things are lovely, think on these things”. A coloured glass in the lamp was the colour of the “House” that had most marks during the past school year. I was in “Blue” house and “Yellow” house never won during my time there. Does anyone remember me when I was Joan Gadd?"
Ian Cameron seeks old school friends
Do any readers remember St James’s Church of Scotland in East Dulwich Road? I married there in 1958 when the minister was the Rev. David Norwood. I lived at 36 East Dulwich Road where my late father was the chemist at Foster’s Chemists; part of the shop was a Sub Post Office. The P.O. was run by a Miss Parvin and my father’s assistant was a Miss Nobbs. My wife was from Surrey Road, opposite Cheltenham Road Post Office. My wife Pamela was an assistant at Foster’s other shop in Forest Hill Road. I went to Grove Vale, Adys Road and Choumert Road Schools; I left in 1951 aged 16. If anyone would like to write to me, my wife and I would love to hear from them.
Francis Thompson - Architectural Consultant
A member asks: Francis Thompson was for twenty years architectural consultant to Robert Stephenson, the famous railway engineer. Early in 1842, his work on the North Midland Railway completed, Francis returned to London and acquired a plot of land in Peckham on which he had forty-five houses built. Twenty-five were in Trafalgar Square, later Buller Square, and twenty in Nelson Square, later an extension of Furley Road westwards. Buller Square was demolished some fifty years ago, as were the houses on the south side of Furley Road. However the houses on the north side remain in good condition and occupied. Does anyone have any further information about these houses?
3,000 Seat Cinema in Peckham
Kinematograph Weekly on 23 October 1930 reported that there were plans to build a 3,000 seat cinema overlooking Peckham Rye. Does any reader know which site was never used for this purpose?
What ever was HOLDRON'S "WONDER"?
A man in the Wirral has bought a wooden gadget on which there is a label saying HOLDRON'S "WONDER" PECKHAM. It is about 9" x 3 ¾" x 1½" including the feet. Do you know what the "Wonder" was used for?
The Mystery of The Image Deepens; writes Derek Kinrade
Early maps of Peckham show in the fields to the west of the public footpath that is now Bellenden Road, and to the south of the western section of what is now Highshore Road, a 'statue' or 'image'. Who or what it represented I have never been able to discover, but it must have been of some importance because that section of Highshore Road was originally named Image Road and appears so on the 1842 map. The most definitive indication of its exact location is on an early property deed drawn up before Image Road was created but showing the eastern part of Highshore Road (then Hanover Street) and its junction with Elm Grove.
DO YOU KNOW about the Peckham Rye Common Pig Club?
Dulwich Park: A park for the people forever by Liz Johnson states that during the Second World War there were Pig Clubs where people grouped together to own pigs, feeding them on collected food scraps, and sharing the meat after slaughter. One of the Pig Clubs was on Peckham Rye Common.
DO YOU KNOW about South London Albion FC
J. Pellicci asks "Does anybody have any information about the South London Albion FC? I know that they were still playing in 1910. I have a programme for a concert which they held in February 1910 at the Dover Castle, Great Dover Street - as a mark of esteem to their late secretary Mr H. Banting. I have been unable to find out any further information."
Peckham Rovers' Cycling Club - WHAT DO YOU KNOW?
Jeanette Brook (nee d'Arcy ) asks "I have a faded Newspaper Cutting about Peckham Rovers' Club Race meeting at Sayes Court Recreation Ground Deptford, where my Grandfather Henry d'Arcy won the Five Miles Club Championship Race. I have no date or other information about this but would be interested in any information. The clipping says - PECKHAM ROVER'S CLUB On Saturday afternoon in the presence of but a limited number of spectators, this club decided their first annual race meeting at Sayes Court Recreation Grounds, Deptford, the weather at the time being miserable. The officials were - Messrs. C. Smith and A.J.Cannon. of The City Rovers B.C., who acted respectively as starter and judge. Results then follow."
Buller Square. A photograph is wanted.
Yvonne Dyer in Australia emailed to ask us: "My mother's family lived in what used to be Buller Square Peckham, (originally Trafalgar), & now believed to be completely obliterated. She is 81 & would dearly love a photo of Buller Square as it was."
DO YOU KNOW Graham Cole?
I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me or was a neighbour and would like to exchange letters and memories, etc. We lived at 125 Kirkwood Road from April 1942 until January 1967. I was born on 17 April 1942 so just remember the air raids, POW camp, dairy on Lugard Road, the great freeze (1947) and the killer smog in the 1950s. - Letters to Graham can be sent to the Editor of Peckham Society News and will be forwarded to him. He now lives in Derby.
Unfortunately no photographs of Adelaide Place or Grove Mission have ever been deposited in Southwark Local History Library (the new name for Southwark Local Studies Library).
Nor are any old photographs of Boathouse Walk in Southwark Local History Library.
If you have any photographs or information about these items please get in touch with our Editor. Any photographs will be returned.
Peckham Evangelistic Choir
A photograph of the Peckham Evangelistic Choir is one of thousands of photographs in Southwark Local History Library and that on microfilm the South London Observer for 24 October 1888 can be seen. This includes a report of a Harvest Festival Thanksgiving Service which took place at the Peckham Public Hall. The Peckham Evangelistic Choir, under the leadership of Mr G. Nelson Martin, sang several special selections. Do you know anything about this choir?
What are your memories of Hardcastle Street?
Hello, it's the lady from King Arthur Street who now lives in Highcliffe in Christchurch. I was wondering whether any of your readers remember Hardcastle Street. What memories the name of that road brings back! Every Saturday morning my sister and I were dragged there to find second-hand clothes. It was just down the side of the Gaumont Cinema in Peckham High Street and consisted of a row of stalls each one selling second-hand dresses/coats/shoes and a number of other items. Our Mum always enjoyed herself making us try on different things and we hated it! The humiliation still stays with us to this day and to make matters worse, when we got home we had to go next door to our Gran's house to show her, and a variety of aunties, what we had bought. I suppose, looking back, money must have been short and it was one way of making ends meet.
My sister and I always have a laugh when we talk about it and we look back with mixed feelings. I am sure there must be others out there who remember the Saturday morning ritual and I would love to hear from them. Thanks for printing my last letter - it was great to see it in print. Your magazine certainly stirs the old memory cells and I wouldn't change a thing about my time in Peckham. It's amazing how many people in this area have come from Peckham - we'll have to start a club of our own. - from a letter by Bette Everett.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MR CHALLIS'S MISSION?
Information is needed on Mr Challis's Mission which was in the vicinity of Sumner Road. If you know anything about it please contact our Editor as soon as possible.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT COURAGE BREWERY?
A reader writes: "My Grandmother is Jessie Watts. Her mother used to run an off licence in Peckham. My Great Grandfather used to work for Courage Brewery as was. I would be very interested if you have any information specific to them." Well we dont but perhaps you can help!
DO YOU KNOW Chas Hill who made cycles at his premises in the Old Kent Road?
I wrote about my quest to find out about Chas Hill who made cycles at his premises in the Old Kent Road. I have donated my Chas Hill cycle to the Cuming Museum in Southwark.
In response to your publishing my letter in the Society’s Winter magazine asking for information about Chas Hill, I have already had one reply from a reader who also owned a Chas Hill cycle. Norman Lenton of Purley wrote: "Your letter in the Peckham Society News of Winter 2004/05 was most interesting to me.
"I too had a Chas Hill cycle which I bought from him at 856 Old Kent Road, but a little earlier than you. It was, in fact, in the spring of 1940 and it cost me thirteen pounds. The price doesn’t seem a lot now but then it was about seven times my weekly earnings. I took very great care of it and had some wonderful trips on it - including one to south Wales - between 1940 and 1942. In the latter year I joined the RAF and passed the cycle down to my younger brother. A feature of the cycle was its Derailleur gear. I think there were four gear changes and going downhill in top gear was really exhilarating.
"After 1942 I did not cycle again until the early nineteen fifties when I acquired a second-hand Hercules cycle (£3.3.0. pre WWII) to go to and from a tennis club. What a comedown after a Chas Hill cycle!
"I always enjoyed going to Chas Hill’s premises. He had a splendid knowledge of the cycle business and loved to talk about it. One particular memory I have is of his envy of some of the paint finishes of cycles built by Claude Butler of Lewisham. However, the last time I saw him he thought he had found out how they were achieved.
"Sadly I have no idea of what happened to Chas Hill and I shall look forward to you reporting in the Peckham Society News any information other members have sent you.
P.S. It’s a great magazine: it certainly evokes some memories for me.
WHERE DID PECKHAM HOUSE PATIENTS GO?
What happened to the patients who were in Peckham House mental institution when it closed in 1951? Someone who is researching her family history is trying to discover what happened to a relative who was a patient.
The South London Press ran a story on 2 November 1951 saying that over 130 elderly and infirm people would be uprooted from Peckham House a few weeks later but a new home had still not be found for them.
Any information our readers can provide will be appreciated by our Editor.
INFORMATION WANTED: SASSOON HOUSE
Sassoon House, in St Mary’s Road, was opened in 1932 and was the gift of Mrs Meyer Sassoon to the Pioneer Housing Trust in memory of her son, R.E.Sassoon. Does any reader have information on Mrs Sassoon or her son? In addition, who knows the date on which Sir Samuel Hoare opened the block? Our Editor will appreciate any information.
INFORMATION NEEDED ON SOUTHWARK’S CINEMAS & THEATRES
Did you know that there have been over 100 cinema, theatre and music hall buildings in existence in the London Borough of Southwark? A book is being prepared to record the history of the borough’s many vanished stage and screen entertainment venues, including those at: Bermondsey, Blackfriars, Borough, Camberwell, East Dulwich, Elephant and Castle, Old Kent Road, Peckham, Rotherhithe and Walworth.
Do you have any memories, photographs, programmes or memorabilia that would help trace the history of these venues? If you can assist, you are invited to contact either: Spencer Hobbs, 9 Bourdon Road, SE20 7SR (( 020 8402 7907) or Richard Norman, 4 Oakhill Lodge, Reedham Drive, Purley, Surrey CR8 4DT (( 020 8668 6077) email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CASWALLON EVANS AND PETER EVARIST LESLIE PEACOCK - INFORMATION WANTED
Information is needed on Caswallon Evans who was a member of the London Explorers Club. His experiences are included in Pickwicks of Peckham edited by William Margrie (Watts & Co, 1938).
Caswallon Evans was the Welfare Officer at Dewrance's in Southwark. He wrote in the Friday edition of the South London Press during the Second World War and beyond 1945.
In Rye Lane the former entrance to the Tower Cinema has a poem, etched in the glass, which he wrote.
Information is also needed on hymnwriter Peter Evarist Leslie Peacock who was born in Peckham on 7 June 1910 and died in New Orleans, USA, on 4 March 1986.
If any reader knows anything about Caswallon Evans or Peter Evarist Leslie Peacock please contact our Editor.
INFORMATION WANTED ON PECKHAM MANOR SCHOOL
Information is needed on Peckham Manor Comprehensive School particularly with reference to the rugby squad that played as the "All Blacks" and performed the Haka before each match. Please contact our Editor.
William Keddie Forrester (1914-59)
Paintings of old Peckham views were displayed at the Carnegie Library in Herne Hill Road during December. The exhibition of pictures from the South London Gallery Permanent Collection was arranged by the Herne Hill Society Art Group and the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.
Views of Peckham High Street included the derelict Winchester House (headquarters of Thomas Tilling Ltd) and the former Kentish Drovers when it was Frank's Department Store. There was also a rare photograph of Thomas Tilling.
A number of paintings were by William Keddie Forrester (1914-59) who lived at 132a Copleston Road. If any reader has information about him please contact our Editor.
INFORMATION WANTED ON JOSEPH HAINES STILES
Lord Shaftesbury visited Peckham on 25 March 1874 to preside over the second annual meeting of the Boys' Home in Meeting House Lane which was established in 1872 by Mr J.H.Stiles who had been a ragged-school boy. The object of the Home was to provide shelter, clothing, employment and a simple education for destitute boys.
The great great grandson of Joseph Haines Stiles is now researching his life. If you have any information on him (other than what is in Ye Parish of Camerwell and Who Was Who in Peckham) please contact our Editor.
BANFIELD’S COACHES INFORMATION NEEDED
References in books to Banfield's Coaches are needed so if you see any (other than in Transport in Peckham and Nunhead and A Historical Tour of Nunhead and Peckham Rye) please inform our Editor.
DO YOU KNOW THE BOWDENS LATE OF NIGEL ROAD?
Help! I am trying to trace any family I may have in the area. My grandparents were George and Ada Bowden, the last house they lived in was in Nigel Road. They had three children, Doll, Harry and Jim (who was my father). Ada died in 1969. I understand that George ran a coal wharf during the war, he died in the early 1960s. My father and his brother had a haulage business. My father was also a prisoner of war in Poland for 4 years.
I would love to hear from anyone who has any memories of the family, I lived in the house in Nigel Road until I was about 6 months old. My mothers name was Glenys and she was originally from Wales. Both my mother and father have been dead for some time and I am now 46! Christine Frew nee Bowden
Old St Stephen's Football Club
I am finalising a short book on the history of Old St Stephen's Football Club, to be published later this year. Like many early football clubs, the club had a succession of grounds, first in south London and, later, north of the Thames.
In 1892/3, the team played at a ground described as 'Denmark Hill' or 'Champion Hill', according to source. In 1893/4 and 1894/5 the team played at Nunhead - playing some games at Brown's Grounds. However, the team left the area in 1895, seemingly abruptly.
I wondered whether your readers can provide from local knowledge, or point me towards, any further information on the early use of Brown's Grounds? Were there any local circumstances in 1895 which may have prompted the club to move yet again?
ODEON PHOTOS WANTED
Photographs are needed of the interior of the Odeon Cinema that was in Peckham High Street. If some exist please contact our Editor.
PECKHAM MUSEUM: INFORMATION WANTED
A man was described in the 1901 census as the caretaker of Peckham Museum. Can any reader provide information about it including its location? Was it different from the Museum of Firearms which was in the huge building that still exists at 133 Rye Lane? Does anyone know when that museum ceased to exist? An article about it in The Journal of The Arms & Armour Society (September 1997) suggests that it no longer existed in 1901. Any information will be welcomed by our Editor.
DO YOU REMEMBER ARLINGTON HALL?
Stewart Kettel of Essex has written his life story which features his childhood in Peckham. He refers to Arlington Hall which was next to the Fire Station in Peckham Road. If readers have information about that building, including the whereabouts of any photographs, please send it to our Editor.
What do you know about Batty & Co?
A reader writes: I am trying to find as much information as I can about Batty & Co, who had a manufacturing plant in Peckham covering some 75,000 sq ft, in the 1800's and early 1900's. The site appeared to include some 19 railway arches but exactly where it was I am not certain. Batty & Co are described in their publicity as Export Oil & Italian Warehousemen, Pickle and Fish Sauce Manufacturers, Original Inventors of Calves' Feet Jelly in Bottles and Proprietors of Dr Kitchener's Sauce and Salad Cream. They were also famous for Nabob Sauce and Pickle. The business thrived and was finally bought in 1905 by H J Heinz as their first English manufacturing plant. Heinz continued to market the products of the Peckham factory under both the Batty and Heinz labels until the 1920's to gain publicity by association as the packaging was identical. Batty & Co appear to have had a Royal Warrant.
Batty & Co were founded by George Batty and his wife Eliza Feast in 1825 at Finsbury Pavement in north London. Quite when the Peckham factory was started I am not certain. However, they must have been a significant employer in the area in the late 1800's. George & Eliza had 11 children, 6 boys and 5 girls. The Company was run as a family business by George and three of his sons throughout the 1800's. George died in 1874, and the sons involved in the business that I can trace appear to have died by 1900, which probably explains why it was sold.
My interest in Batty & Co stems from the fact that George Batty was my wife's great great grandfather and we are tying to build up a comprehensive picture of what is proving to be a very interesting family.
I do have some images of Batty & Co products, jars and advertising which I am happy to share with you if interested. The copyright of some of this information probably rests with Heinz so cannot be used without their permission. Unfortunately the Heinz archive seems to have been largely lost during office transfers so I am afraid that avenue of research has dried up.
Can you help? Please contact our editor who will communicate the information to our reader.
Do you remember Upton Hats?
A reader writes: "I am very interested in Upton`s Hats as my ancestors were Upton hatters from the Southwark.I thought I had exhausted the Southwark local studies library,I found a couple of entries in some books on the hat shop and a photo taken in 1906. Your detailed description of the shop led me to think that there are other sources that I know nothing about.
I would be delighted if you could let me know of other sources,I have done the usual route of census returns,registers,etc. I am interested in the Upton hat Company itself."
If you can help please contact our editor.
Do you know of Evelyn Seymour Smith?
A reader writes: "My aunt died recently. Her mother was Evelyn Seymour Smith, the daughter of William Seymour Smith, the composer, who lived at 4 Albert Villas, Albert Road. She was quite musical and played at 'conversatziones' with bodies like the St Augustines Choral Society. I have her commonplace book with press cuttings and some photos and wondered if you had any photos of Albert Villas. The site is now an estate."
As usual if you can help please contact our editor.
The Fat Boy of Peckham - A reader helped
A reader recently wrote: " Good Evening from the North of Scotland, My late aunt, who died five years ago at the age of 104, would refer to someone excessively fat as:
"The fat man of Peckham".
Was there such a man ? I have trawled the internet without success but one site turned up your e-mail and the Peckham Society - thus this message to you. My cousin and her husband use it quite often having heard her mother come out with it. In fact, and this is what sparked-off my asking about its origins, they were in Madeira last week and there was a man and his son - each over 30 stones in weight - in the hotel; they were immediately dubbed: The Peckhams."
Our editor was able to reply thus:
The Fat Boy of Peckham, Johnny Trunley, is included in Who Was Who in Peckham (Chener Books, 14 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HN; £2.95 post free). His picture is in the book.
He attended Reddin's Road School but not at the same time as Edgar Wallace. The source I used when the book was written in the 1980s was wrong. Many years ago Johnny Trunley's son came to my home. He too was a very large man.
Any information you can help with should be sent to John D. Beasley at: email@example.com
Or John D. Beasley at 6 Everthorpe Road SE15 4DA. Tel: 020-8693 9412
IS there something YOU want or want to know that has a connection with London SE15? Why not ask The Peckham Society.