Yesterday & Today
How we lived then & How we live now
How we lived then & How we live now
I have just found this site and what a thrill. I have lived in Canada for 52 years and left the general Bermondsey, Camberwell, Peckham area in 1956 to move to Wimbledon. I was shocked to see an image of #7-9 Riddell Street posted by Kiwi. I was born at #30 and we left Riddell St in 1956 when it was designated for redevelopment and the residents were scattered across London to various new communities, including my friend Brian Foxwell. This post by Kiwi is the only photo of Riddell St that I know of and whilst I am not sure, the little girl in the picture might be my little sister Rita. This picture brought a tear to my eye. MANY thanks for the site and to Kiwi
Am image posted by Kiwi prompted me to look for other images of Riddell St. This is the only one that I could find on the net. It is on the corner of Southampton Way and Riddell St. On the other corner would have been Ben’s Café and just a couple of doors down from Ben’s on Southampton was a fruit and vegetable store owned by Jack Brock. I loved his wife Kathy and sadly remember visiting her at St Giles Hospital just before she passed away. Jack had a son, Danny and a daughter Joan. A few blocks along Southampton Way towards Peckham Road was the intersection of Commercial Way and Southampton Way. Uden Undertakers has long been on this corner and I went to St Francis School with the son Paul Uden. There used to be a pub on the corner but it is long gone. Anyone know the name?
You can just see the entrance to Riddell St in the picture. A few yards down Riddell on the left would have been #30 where I was born in 1947 and raised until about 1956. Between #30 and the corner of Riddell and Southampton was a small builder’s yard owned by Henry Cavendish. My Gran lived in #28
I remember some of the stores in the picture. Arnold’s was a Tripe shop that sold non-traditional meat products like tripe (stomach lining), heart, feet, brains, kidney and liver. As a little kid I was fascinated by this place and its window display. Further along there was a fish and chip shop. When I had the money I used to run down and buy a 3 penny bag of chips. You can see a Barber sign. It was owned by Mr Guest and his daughter was named Margaret. There was also a small appliance repair shop owned by a man first name Eric. He was married to a lovely lady named Ingrid. She was German which was not the norm in post WW2 London. Their son was named Luther.
Last edited by Sean.Byrne on Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I used to go to the Saturday morning kids movies at the Odeon. It was a walk up Southampton Way to Peckham Road and then along a little bit in the direction of Rye Lane. I remember some of the episodes of Flash Gordon scaring the heck out of me. I thought it was a huge treat when my aunt took me to the Gaumont below. It seemed very grand with its big sweeping staircase up to the balcony. It was just past the intersection of Rye Lane and Peckham Road.
Last edited by Sean.Byrne on Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Hi Sean welcome to the site, like your story and pictures. I think the pub you mean was called The Old Rosemary Branch. I then think it changed to the Rosemary Branch Tavern. (picture on page 1) In the early 1800s there was a Music Hall on that corner.
In post #9 of this thread Kiwi posted pictures of the horse trough at Peckham Gove and Southampton way. The area was indeed known as the triangle because of the shape of the large open area of the intersection outside of the Samuel Jones factory which you can see in the first image (coming from the opposite direction of Kiwi’s image). The trough was donated in 1909 and hard to believe was stolen in 2006. It must have weighed two tons if an ounce. You can see the site sans trough in the second pic. The roadway used to be paved with wooden blocks with a sort of tar or pitch topping back then. We called them tarry logs. In 1954 they were ripped up and replaced with conventional materials. The homes were coal heated so as a seven year old I took my toy wheelbarrow and would run back and forth from my home on Riddell street to the job site and wheel home the ripped up logs which made great burning material in the fireplace.
Kiwi, thanks for the info on the Rosemary Branch Pub. Shame it is gone, it was a magnificent building and has been replaced by modern bland. One of the stores next to the pub was a tobacconist. I think it was owned by a Mr Swafield. I used to buy my fireworks there and my weekly subscription to the comics Beano (Desperate Dan) and the Eagle (Dan Dare). An other pic of the pub:
Last edited by Sean.Byrne on Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kiwi posted a pic of #9 Riddell Street in this thread. I thought it was poignant and sad when I saw this WW1 info for the same #9. He died 5 months before the war ended. As a kid growing up in post WW2 Riddell Street I was aware that so many families on the street had lost sons or husbands. My dad lost a brother and my Mum lost her brother Sean who I was named after.
Last edited by Sean.Byrne on Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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