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Forest Hill Photos
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Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #1
20-06-2010 07:07 PM

Does anyone have any old photos of Forest Hill. I'm thinking more of the 70's/80's. The only ones I can find are Victorian/Edwardian era. A photo of the Swiss Cottage would be interesting. With all the talk of how FH is improving to become the coffee shop capital of the UK it would be interesting to see how much has changed.
Just curious.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
21-06-2010 06:41 PM

Blimey- the Swiss Cottage! I remember it well. I think it was a pub/restaurant. I remember my car breaking down just around the corner from it and my having to rustle up a few of its customers to help me push it to a safer location. I recall it became a second hand car lot later before turning into the block of flats on the corner of Wastdale Road. Is that correct? Sorry no photos to support the above!

I also remember when we had a butchers ( now the bookies) and also 2 delis. And when the Capitol was a very busy bingo hall.

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Posts: 83
Joined: May 2010
Post: #3
21-06-2010 09:40 PM

I remember the swiss cottage too, and as a vegetarian since the age of 13 I also remember the 2 stinky butchers shops (Pooleys in Wastdale Road opposite the Swiss Cottage) and Dewhurst where the bookies is. Saw 'Mary Queen of Shops' on tv earlier and had fun remembering the 2 greengrocers ...... those were the days!

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Posts: 163
Joined: Jul 2003
Post: #4
22-06-2010 07:31 AM

I remember when the Capitol was actually a cinema! Spent many an hour in there.

The Swiss Cottage was actually a Pub and was a listed building. It closed and the developers wanted to knock it down but were refused. It was mysteriously destroyed by a big fire one night.

There was also another butchers' shop opposite the Post Office, along with a couple of shoe shops, Freeman Hardy and Willis and Dolcis along that stretch. Tescos next to the Post Office, and International Stores further down towards the station. There was a fishmongers where the Charity shop is next to the Launderette, a couple of bakeries, greengrocers and the Fruit and Veg stall next to Smiths, which was very popular.
On a Sunday there was a paper stall on the pavement outside Smiths and the lady who ran it always had a huge bag of sweeties which she handed out to the kiddies.

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Ex FH Pat

Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2009
Post: #5
22-06-2010 09:13 AM

Yes i remember the swiss cottage and the stall with the papers plus tesco, there was also a hsbc [ midland in them old days ] near the post office

I still think FH is a very good place yet back when i first moved there [ 1982 ], it was really good, like a little village, in some ways it still is

I think i have some photos somewhere, wil try and find them and truy and put them onto the forum

I also remember when Brian run the Foresters Arms pub, it was a great pub back then, maybe still is as it is a long time since ive been in there

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Posts: 3,244
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
22-06-2010 09:40 AM

Some older photos:

And quite a lot more on Sydenham Forum History Section

To throw in a few other names of shops from the 70s-80s: Galt Toys, Swift Cycles, Goslings, and the pawnbroker with the Greek restaurant above where Blockbusters is. I remember the butcher by the station being West rather than Dewhurst, but I might be wrong.

Over at Goose Green was the large sign - 'Get Younger Every Day' which always meant we were almost home, but I could never tell the difference between Goose Green and Camberwell/Camberwick Green. Camberwick Green has never been the same since Tesco built the large supermarket in Chigley.

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Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #7
22-06-2010 10:21 AM

Swiss Cottage via Steve Grindlay:



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Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
22-06-2010 10:55 AM

Here we go - a memory dump from the 80's - The Greek restaurant became an Indian,The Pakeeza - a late night drinking den with a dance floor and tables around the outside serving everyone's favourite Chicken Tikka masala. At the top of Forest Hill before Sainsburys was a Fish and Chip shop, a Wimpy, a dry cleaners and Goslings the deli. Then Sainsburys. Next to Sainsburys was a DER rental shop and a Woolich building society. A greengocers (cant recall the name) a card shop. On the corner where Bank Santander stands was a bakers (Place Bakers?) and next to the VAS dentist was tobacconist/sweet shop. The large restaurant Aseri, opposite the Capitol was a catering firm - called Hallmark. The Money Shop was a Bloomfields Bakery. Guinnes has morphed into Mackays - a similar type of shop. I recall the downstairs with the balls of wool and many dress patterns. 2 shoe shops located just beyond the Dartmoth Arms, a Barrets and Freeman Hardy and Willis. William Hills was a West Butchers. Plug and Socket for electrical goods next door, 2 more greengocers (one of these may have previously been a Dewhurst now a cafe), Paddy Power was a Co-op (I recall the greenshield stamps). Midland Bank on the corner, Tilt the clothes shop opposite, with Ace bakers next door (now boarded up), a multitude of hairdressers and barbers. Not to forget the large Post Office that has more recently closed. The Pizza Hut was a good cafe called the Golden Griddle and had a large old fashioned juke box. Opposite Sainsburys was a well established Indian, the Sylet Town Inn. The Orchard was called Romantique II (back in the day we didnt expect a lot and I recall the food was pretty bad). Poochies was a small Italian restaurant by the Hob (Hob was previously Pie and Kilderkin for you 80's people!). Poochies was OK.

Oh Happy days.

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Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #9
22-06-2010 07:00 PM

Crikey. I didn't know Forest Hillians were such a sentimental lot! All good stuff. I moved to FH about '94 so I missed out on all the butchers/fishmongers/Woolies etc which is a shame. It sounds like FH was a buzzing place.

Thanks for the photos of the Swiss Cottage IWAF. I live just down the road from there and it would have been great to see it still open. Who knows what it would be now. It reminds me of the Dickens at St Katherines Dock. The chap in the barbers on Perry Vale was telling me it was the place of choice if you fancied a fight just before it closed. It's criminal (literally by all accounts) the place was burnt down. And the place with the jukebox sounds fantastic.

I sincerely hope FH can return to it's days of independent shops. Unfortunately the rise of large supermarkets and internet shopping may prove too much competition. Hope springs eternal though.

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Posts: 83
Joined: May 2010
Post: #10
22-06-2010 07:32 PM

Ok, it's official - thanks you you lot I feel totally ancient!! (as if working with 16-21 year olds isn't enough to crush any thought that Ive still 'got it going on' < I suppose phrases like that prove I dont!) I did say I was a veggie - so please excuse the Dewhurst/West mix up. I remember so much more now thanks to this little jog through our joint history...... Smile

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Posts: 1,033
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #11
22-06-2010 07:53 PM

Place Bakeries was an independent chain of bakers based in Dulwich, they also had stores in Dulwich Village, Lordship Lane opposite the Harvester, also further along by the library (now Badger Bakery) and Goose Green.

I'm pretty sure we also had The Bakers Oven where The Money Shop is now?

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Posts: 83
Joined: May 2010
Post: #12
23-06-2010 06:51 AM

Anyone remember the sweet little bakers opposite the old bank in Dartmouth road? In my memory I think a car ploughed into the front of it and it was closed for years ......

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Posts: 133
Joined: May 2007
Post: #13
23-06-2010 09:50 AM

In the 50's - Sainsburys was at the main traffic lights, with marble counters, cast iron weights and original bacon slicing machine. In those days you could buy a pat of butter. Just under the station entrance was a little tobacconist - where there was a wonderful smell of pipe tobacco. Where Sainburys is now there was a shop that sold real coffee - at least I can remember the smell from the (rather large) hand cranked machine which ground the coffee beans. I think there was also a shop where you popped a penny in the window slot and watched a toy train go around the track. The Capitol was still a cinema and I also remember some stairs to the left of the Capitol which took you up to a shop? restaurant? hairdressers? Roughly opposite the Capitol was Bendy's, which was a hardware shop, metal dustbins, paraffin etc. Pop's tea stall was at the bottom of David's Road opposite the public loos, (most convenient!) a pet shop which I think was called Pet's Corner was at the back of the station, Bell's fish and chips on the other corner. Chalk & Cox by the entrance to the subway, a record shop in Dartmouth road (the name escapes me) where I used to buy my 45's - they had those little booths where you could listen to the record first - Bruce Daniels motorcycle shop in further up Dartmouth road. Then later in the 60's, a large toy shop in Dartmouth road which I think was called Marriot's - had a large scalextric track in the centre of the shop. you could take your model cars there a do a few laps. Yes, very happy days!

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Posts: 379
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #14
23-06-2010 11:16 AM

Looking at the 1965 photo of Dartmouth Rd, does anybody know what used to be where Heron House (Jobcentre) is?

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Posts: 820
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #15
23-06-2010 10:16 PM

steve grindlay's flicker collection:

It was the Sydenham Baptist Chapel.

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Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #16
24-06-2010 08:22 AM

What happened to it?

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Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #17
25-06-2010 05:53 PM

One thing that has changed in FH is the pubs. Remember the Malt Shovel? The Dartmouth Arms where the landlord used to wear his previous night's dinner on his vest? I only went there once. The Honor Oak was a proper Irish boozer. A brilliant place that was crammed to the rafters with old tat and that was just the locals.

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Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #18
25-06-2010 10:50 PM

Was the Greek restuarant in London Rd next to a hairdressers? I remember two shop fronts that were tiny where Blockbusters is now.

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Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2006
Post: #19
26-06-2010 08:16 AM

This is a fantastic thread - being a relative newcomer to FH (only 6 years now) I love to read and see what the old FH was like.

Michael - your links to photos are brilliant! My particular fave is the link to the Sydenham Society's forum where they've posted photos of Dartmouth Rd. A photo of the old FH station taken from the Hob has the caption "The up side, photographed on 13th August 1970 from the raised pavement that marked the course of the canal, displaying a full quota of bricked-up, boarded-up and broken windows, not to mention those totally devoid of frames. The roof is covered in felt to try to keep the rain from pouring in. This decaying structure was a familiar sight for many years to motorists stuck in the traffic on the South Circular Road and can have done very little for the railway's image. - John Minnis"

The port-a-cabin we have now must be a real boost to the railway's image! Wink

And historians, please don't get me wrong, I understand the old station was completely beyond repair but what a shame it wasn't replaced by something that could give FH a heart - and be a real gateway to our community (I know, I know - start a new thread spearmint!).Blush

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Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #20
26-06-2010 01:13 PM

On this photo:

It has a sign pointing to the 'Stanstead Picture Palace".

Was that the Capital?

Is it where the co-operative is now?

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