Contact Me

Please use the comments box below or email me at to contact me, it would be great to hear your stories, your local history information, or comments and suggestions.


17 Responses to Contact Me

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Chris,
    What a brilliant website – I too have been bitten by the bug after watching The Secret History of Our Streets recently.

    Myself and my parents live on Morat Street and I have been struggling to find any real info about it yet. We were told by an elderly lollipop man back when I was a child (and attended Reay School) that Morat Street used to be a red light area (I’m now not sure how true that is after looking on Charles Booth’s map!) and that Reay School was built on the site of an old pub that had been bombed – this probably is true as looking at Holland Street’s photograph from 1911, the infant playground looks like it also covers where the Dairy was as well.

    So far I’ve been trying to find out details of when Morat Street was built and if they were purpose built as flats. I haven’t found anything about them until a photograph of the street in 1910 ( .
    Voting information shows that the bottom flat in our house lived a man called Charles Harman & the top flat a man called James Traynor but no dates and no information on a middle flat.
    Then the 1911 census shows that in the top flat, where my parents live today, James William Traynor aged 27 lived with his wife & 4 children (one born, I believe, in the flat!) and that he was a music hall artist – this made me very excited due to Lambeth being a famous area for Music Hall in that time period – sadly so far I have not managed to find any further mention of him. I believe that he may have died in 1934 aged 50, no longer living in Morat Street but in Hackford Road, married to another lady and leaving her an inheritance of £50. However, I am very new at this so I could be wrong!
    Have you had much luck looking into Morat Street’s history? Also, any tips on how I could carry on the search for James Traynor?

    • Hi Michelle
      I also live on Morat St…since me on if you fancy meeting up for a chat about street history i have lots 🙂


    • Rowena Grant says:

      James Traynor was my great grandfather. He lived in 31b Morat Street Brixton at the time of the 1911 census with his wife Isabell and children Edward, Louise (recorded as Louisa at that time) my grandmother, George and James. James Snr was 37 not 27 in 1911. Young George, then aged 5, became an Olympic athlete My great grandmother Isabell was a Tiller girl or a Bluebell girl, and a music hall artiste. She and James Traynor divorced, and the family were sadly embittered. She outlived her daughter (who died in 1965) by a few years. My grandmother Louise (Louisa) worked in the theatre and travelled about, often leaving my mother with her not much-loved grandmother Isabell. My mother (Jill Traynor) also went into the theatre, working with Sir Donald Wolfit in his repertory theatre company. Nobody rich and famous, I’m afraid. Can’t give you much more at this time, I’m just starting on my family history voyage!

  2. Ron says:

    Hi Chris,

    Interesting project. Maybe compliments our little project and we could add a link to our directory/ links page.


  3. Brenda Kirsch says:

    Great site Chris. Apologies if I have missed a reference, but do you know ‘London Belongs to Me’ by Norman Collins, recently reprinted as a Penguin Classic? It’s set in the Oval area at the start of the war and gives an interesting contemporary feel of life in the area (and London) at the time – worth a read!

  4. Lucy says:

    This is a really interesting website – many thanks for putting this together.
    With best wishes, from a Hackford Road resident

  5. G says:

    Love your website. So interesting and giving. Thank you so much. From a Crewdson Road resident.

  6. dave farren says:

    Chris you have created a gem with this site. I grew up in the area, living in Chrysell road from the age of 3 -14 during the 1960’s and early 1970’s until our house was condemned and we ‘emigrated’ to Milton Keynes.

    Christchurch was my primary school and I have so many happy memories there although as the years have gone by they are fading. I then went to the London Nautical until we moved. I have been back a few times and Brixton rd and around the Oval is much the same as my memory will allow me to remember. Chryssell Road was demolished and is now a different lot of housing altogether and is very nice. I often wonder what would have been different for my family had we stayed as mum and dad would not have moved unless we had to but in the early 70’s it was a tower block or nothing.

    Our house had terrible damp and the basement used to flood every winter. I suppose the house was, in modern terms, uninhabitable. This must have been because it was situated right on where the old river used to run. But like I say this site has brought a flood of memories back and I will return to it often.

  7. william pickley says:

    Hi Chris, I used to live in Chrysell Road at number 3. It used to be an old coachhouse. Opposite our house was a garage that was used by London Cabs, also next to this was a printing firm called Baynards Press. I went to Cowley Road Primary School and then to Stockwell Manor secondary school.

    • Ricky says:

      Hi Dave and William, I lived on the Church manor estate and remember Chrysell rd before it was demolished. Can either of you remember Blackwell St as it was off of Chrysell rd and farrar rd. My mother lived in Blackwell St but I can’t find it on a map despite being able to find farrar rd.

      • Chris says:

        Hi Ricky,

        I have sent you an email with some maps attached. Blackwell Street was originally called Baker Street and features on maps with this name up until around 1936. Between 1936 and 1939 the name was changed to Blackwell Street.

        Kind regards,


  8. marian byford/wood says:

    I went to Durand Infant school and then the Reay school lived at no.54 – Remember the rag and bone man and the roundabout on a cart and if your lucky a present of a gold fish in return for old rags – around 1950 onwards – anybody around that lived there during this time?

    • ALEX Richie says:

      Went to reay school from 1951 to 1957.
      Remember the girls-Rita Cade,Lynda Heggie,Ann Sherwood.
      Headmistress Miss West.Very srtrict,us boys were scared of her!

      Alex now 70 years young.

  9. Vince says:

    I lived in a prefab in Hillyard Street from 1949 to 1961. I was born in the prefab, I remember being told my Dad helped to build them when he was demobbed, I remember the rag and bone man and the goldfish he gave out.

  10. Jim Gardiner says:

    Hi Chris
    I lived at 7 Liberty street fom 1953 to 1969, there were six families living in our block and we lived on the ground floor. Opposite our house there was a place we called the wood yard where we kids used to hide in the piles of wooden pallets, which was when you look back was dangerous. Next to the wood yard was Freemans catalog factory. We used to play football in the road but had to be careful of the vans coming from freemans. Our nextdoor neighbour was a Mrs or Miss Rose who had lived there for a long time. Other families I remember were
    then McGeevers, the MacDonalds, Mrs Thomas, the Hargreaves, the Hitchcocks and several more.
    I went to Christchurch primary and junior school followed by Stockwell Manor comprehensive school.
    I went back to liberty street recently and found it had changed beyond recognition, it had gone up market with gated accomodation where the woodyard used to be. I doubt if any of the people who lived there when I was there would be able to afforded to live there now.
    I think a lot was spent on renovating the area after the Brixton riots but not for the benefit of the people who lived there then. It is now a very expensive street to live in and most of the original tennents who rented them have been replaced by a far wealthier person

    I went to Christchurch primary and junior school and then onto Stockwell Manor comprehensive school

  11. I’ve mislaid my copy of Kelly’s Directory for 1-3 Brixton Road circa 1930, so a Google search fortuitously revealed your website. I’m working on a book on Captain Marendaz, car builder, who was based at this address 1926 to 1932, but wanted to check a few details of the various occupants. I have a lot of information and photographs and various references which I’d be happy to share with you. I’d be interested to know if you have any details on the construction of the building itself, one of the first reinforced concrete buildings. I own two cars that were built on this site.
    Any help gratefully received. Regards Graham

  12. Janet Parsons says:

    I lived in Blackwell St until 1960 when we had to move to Nunhead as the houses were being demolished. I went to the Reay School and Hackford Road.
    We lived at no.25 and my grandfather at 27. Our name was Tuck and lived opposite the sweetshop, and I remember mr and mrs Harris, Mr and Mrs Nelson and others.
    Remember the shop, with milk delivered from the dairy behind the shop on the corner of Chrysell road and Blackwell street. The Baynard press was behind our house.
    We had a street party for the coronation . My mother worked at F T Pillivants Box makers in Cranmer Road. I was born in 1942 and left in1960. Janet Parsons.

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