Rye Lane shopping

From: Mike Mills
by email

C&A Rye Lane 1935

C&A Rye Lane 1935

I remember the Choumert Road Market, and the wonderful atmosphere at Christmas, during the late 50s and early 60s. In those days the stalls would stay open until late at night, with people leaving it until the last minute to get a cheap turkey or chicken for Christmas. I seem to remember the stalls opposite the Heaton Arms also being open till late.

From: Jean Bartlett, née Towler,
Oxenford Street

I lived in Hollydale Road from 1945 until 1959 and went to Hollydale Road Primary School and then on to Honor Oak Grammar School near Peckham Rye Park. I loved my time at Hollydale Road Primary School. The playground used to open after school and during school holidays so I used to meet my friends there and be gone for hours!

I remember J. Lyons in Rye Lane, where my friend and I used to get a bowl of soup and a roll for 6d every Saturday and then go to Choumert Road market for a quarter of mushroom stalks for our tea. We also loved going to the Tower Cinema on Saturday afternoons. We stayed and watched each film twice as we were allowed to in those days.

I loved shopping at C & A, Martin Ford and, of course, the wonderful Jones & Higgins. I also remember a coffee bar opening in the late 50’s and there used to be a record shop where you could go in a booth and put some earphones on to hear your record before you bought it. It’s all changed now but still good fun there, with “open” shops selling real food, fresh fish, meat and an enormous selection of vegetables. The covered market is still going strong.

I also remember my dentist, Mr Johnson, with his drill, which was torture, and I used to hope that my mum and I couldn’t get across Rye Lane so he’d be closed by the time I got there! I also remember the big Co-op store where my Nan used to get metal “checks” for her dividend.

In Nunhead there was a bomb site on the corner of Evelina Road where we used to play and eventually flats were built there. There was a sweet shop owned by a Mr White where we used to buy our sweets after school.