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Local history question
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oryx


Posts: 203
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
18-11-2015 07:48 PM

Does anyone know - or can anyone remember - what the building on the South Circular, opposite the Blythe Hill Tavern used to be?

It's now painted dark blue and is a William Hill. It has the look of having been something transport-related, like a tram stop or similar.

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BillieJameson


Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #2
18-11-2015 07:56 PM

It used to be a fairly cheap furniture shop lots of years ago. Seem to think it had a name like Cameo. Bought something there years ago but can't remember what.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,358
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
18-11-2015 08:01 PM

Was Cameo. They still have a shop on Catford Hill.

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oryx


Posts: 203
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #4
18-11-2015 08:12 PM

Thanks for the replies. I think I sort of remember it being a furniture place - my partner, who's lived round her for ages, certainly does.

I'm really intrigued to know its original purpose - it's not typical of shop or residential buildings.

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BillieJameson


Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #5
18-11-2015 08:20 PM

You're right - it's an interestingly shaped building. Intrigued to know its history.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #6
19-11-2015 11:10 AM

The main distinctive feature other than the large eave brackets are the double arches. Exit and entrance, men and women, 1st class and second class - it looks like a station, for a railway line that was never built. Very interesting.

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admin
Administrator

Posts: 395
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #7
19-11-2015 11:46 AM
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BamptonRoad


Posts: 44
Joined: Dec 2014
Post: #8
19-11-2015 12:20 PM

Whilst it looks like it could be a small station I doubt that is what it is. A station would more likely be set back from the road, this building is further forward and narrows the pavement. It is also very small for a station in London, it is more appropriate for a commuter village. Surely a long abandoned plan for another rail line into SE23 would have been discussed on here at some point or would otherwise be known about? Would be happy to be proved wrong.

A quick bit of investigation shows that Forest Hill and Catford Bridge stations were both built before the Catford line. Forest Hill station opened in 1839, Catford Bridge in the 1850s and Catford in 1892. I think the south side of Stanstead Road was undeveloped at that point. So this building could have been intended as a station instead of Catford only for the route to be changed. I still doubt it though, why build a station if you're not building the line?

I am now intrigued, hopefully someone knows the history. Interesting that there appear to be painted/covered windows between some of the protruding eaves. These line up with the main windows and entrance. Does the building have a 1st floor or would these ave provided extra light at ground floor level? I haven't been in the bookies.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #9
19-11-2015 02:00 PM

Steve Grindlay will probably be able to help you out with this, you can contact him via his blog.

http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogspot.co.uk

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jaradras


Posts: 45
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #10
19-11-2015 04:54 PM

Building looked very nice back in 2008 when it ceased being a furniture shop -
can remember getting a full length pine mirror from that shop, I think shop called Cameo Galleries ?, can see the word Cameo in the picture (link below)

http://se23.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/William%20Hill

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christgill


Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 2014
Post: #11
19-11-2015 06:03 PM

The 1914 Ordnance Survey map shows the building with the Stanstead Park Nursery behind. (The cross-hatched buildings are glass-houses.)    

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alisa


Posts: 84
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #12
19-11-2015 10:51 PM

christgill beat me to it. I also have the earlier 1894 OS map which shows the same thing but the housing on Carholme not yet having been built. The map also includes entries apparently from the Kelly's Post Office London Directory 915 (not sure why such a later date). This has the house as being no 300, registered to a Duisberg Trougott Geo florist (named Duisberg T George in the 1914 map) and no 302 (the Willuam Hill building) registered as Stanstead Park Nursery. Though the house numbers are slightly different to today, the cross streets are given, so they do refer to this house and building which when I look on google maps do look like they are of the same brick.



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http://www.se23.blogspot.com/
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alisa


Posts: 84
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #13
19-11-2015 11:16 PM

In 1877, the nursery looks like it is referred to as a Market Garden http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/__data/ass...66-750.jpg


http://www.se23.blogspot.com/
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Poppet2


Posts: 59
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #14
23-11-2015 09:05 PM

It could have originally been a ladies and gents toilets. The reason being, there was a similar building in Brockley, opposite the Brockley Jack on the corner of Brockley Grove. That has now been converted into an estate agents.
The same in Forest Hill, opposite the station on David's road, were those toilets have now been converted into flats.

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Mr_Numbers


Posts: 511
Joined: May 2012
Post: #15
23-11-2015 09:12 PM

Quote:
It could have originally been a ladies and gents toilets.

Yes, I think you might be right, Poppet2!
And how appropriate - given that anyone who goes into a William Hill is going to p*** their money away! Rofl
(Sorry. Rude. I'll go away now... Blush)

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stevegrindlay


Posts: 104
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #16
01-12-2015 07:09 PM

Several people have drawn my attention to this thread (one of them even gently chiding me for not having updated my blog for some years) so I felt I should post something.
In 1843 the plot bounded today by Stanstead Road, Blythe Vale, Marler Road and Carholme Road consisted of 4 acres of pastureland owned by Joseph Skilbeck, a dry-salter and merchant. He lived at Stanstead Lodge, which still survives, from about 1843 until his death in 1860.
John Laing was a nurseryman in Scotland, a partner in a company called Downie, Laird and Laing which was formed 1860. The company must have acquired Joseph Skilbeck's field shortly after his death as the 1861 census has John Laing and his wife living in Stoney Lane, the original name of Blythe Vale. This was possibly at the present 24 Blythe Vale. When Downie, Laird and Laing was dissolved in 1874 John Laird became the sole owner of the Stanstead Park Nursery and re-named it Laing's Nursery.
The building on Stanstead Road does not appear on the 1878 map but it is mentioned in an 1882 directory so it seems it was built about 1880. Laing's was a well regarded nursery and won many awards for its plant so the building would have been their shop and display room, and perhaps office, where customers could come to inspect and order plants.
Building begun on the southern part of nursery land by the mid 1890s but the nursery continued in business until the outbreak of WW1, perhaps later. Certainly from the early 1920s the Stanstead Road building was unoccupied.


For a random selection of items on local history visit my blog at:
http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogspot.com/
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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #17
01-12-2015 08:53 PM

Great post Steve, keep them coming please.

Really appreciate all the history you have gave me for my shop from 1900 when it was built till now :-)

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oryx


Posts: 203
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #18
01-12-2015 11:32 PM

Thanks very much for your interesting reply, Steve. I had been wondering about this building for years!

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PVP


Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
03-12-2015 07:20 AM

Thank you for clearing this up Steve. Note on the 1878 map Winterstoke Road was called Lower Winchester Road.

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The Boy Del


Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2016
Post: #20
24-11-2016 11:19 AM

I was originally told by a regular in The Blythe Hill Tavern that the building in question had been a public bath's.
I perpetuated this myth until whilst parking up outside 24 Blythe Vale I commented to the chap trimming his hedge that he had a very interesting house. He informed me that this particular house was the market gardeners when "it was all fields around here". His knowledge seemed quite extensive, it transpired that his father had an estate agency many years ago - a Tudor looking building on Catford Bridge, and I asked him if he knew what the bookies in question used to be. He confirmed it was associated with the market garden and was in fact the despatch building from where the produce was transported, presumably on carts. I assume that there were ramps up to cart level within the building with the carts backed in below the large arches, this is obviously all guess work.

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