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Caledonia (Brockley Rise)
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Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #1
14-02-2013 03:39 PM

A while ago now when I moved to the area I went into Caledonia on Brockley Rise to see if I could find anything of use to me among all the old video tapes, knives, forks and other quite random, miscellaneous items for sale. Whilst I was in there the old chap walked in from his little back room wearing his old school shop overalls (prompted by the bell that rang as I walked into his shop) where he sat most of the time I think, and walked behind his counter waiting for me to buy something.

'ARE YOU GOING TO BUY ANYTHING THEN???' he shouted (he was very hard of hearing), a very direct question I thought but a fair enough one. This directness initiated a conversation of sorts (mostly one which consisted of him telling me to 'SPEAK UP' as he 'COULDN'T HEAR VERY WELL!!!!'). In response to my question, he told me (as he had told many others prior to me as 'THAT WAS THE QUESTION HE GET'S ASKED MOST BY PEOPLE') that he had been there for over 50 years (52 I think it was). Looking round, I could easily see that not much had changed for him in those 52 years.

I left the shop having purchased a door handle and 2 candle holders if memory serves me correctly, 2 things which I think I may have had a use for somewhere down the line. His direct sales approach had paid off.

I haven't seen this old man in a good couple of years now but the shop is still there with all the same paraphernalia sat in the windows and on the shelves as they were, and have been for quite a while, gathering dust.

My question is, does anybody know what's happened to the old man, maybe what his name was/is, is he still around? It's as if everything just stopped for him one day as nothing has moved in there for years now. Same 'old' video tapes sat in the window display, same books stacked in a box under the same trolley of trinkets.

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Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #2
14-02-2013 03:59 PM

No, but like you I am equally as fascinated about this shop. I have lived in Honor Oak since 1998 and only ever seen it open once in all that time.

I actually thought maybe he had passed away until I noticed when waiting at the cash point that objects in the window display get moved around occasionally.

It reminds me of something out of The League of Gentleman, and I often wonder if he's back behind the curtain just waiting for someone local to go in - I've certainly never ever seen any action for at least ten years!

It's a shame because there is an 1980's Eastenders book I want in there that keeps being moved around from time-to-time.


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Posts: 361
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #3
14-02-2013 04:34 PM

Funny, I ask myself that question, too, every time I pop to the post office. Like Cheeky, I've had the pleasure of a browse and a purchase [honestly can't remember what] when I first moved here a few years ago. About time the BBC sent us their best investigative journalist to solve the mystery of 72 Brockley Rise. Love the shop front btw!

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Mr Pickles

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2013
Post: #4
14-02-2013 09:13 PM

Tinkerbell's comment about the mystery of Number 72 is intriguing - what was that?

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Posts: 184
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #5
15-02-2013 08:13 AM

Mr Boyle is alive but maybe not so well though as he is bed ridden. He has always been a very funny character and yes does shout rather loudly due to lack of hearing.

As far as I am aware Adrian, from the electronics shop pops in daily to keep an eye on him. Am sure Adrian will be happy to let you know how he isSmile

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Posts: 361
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #6
15-02-2013 11:47 AM

Mr Pickles - No. 72 should be Caledonia?

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Posts: 215
Joined: May 2009
Post: #7
15-02-2013 11:49 AM

Thanks for the info Milliepop, good to know someone's looking out for him, he certainly is a character

Yep, no 72 is indeed Caledonia

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Posts: 203
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #8
17-02-2013 11:45 AM

I too have been here since about 1998 and I've always been fascinated as to how this shop has stayed open!

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