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.


100 Responses to Contact Me

  1. Hi Chris
    I have just come across your excellent website..a real suprise! I have lived in Morat St since 1979! and have lots of historical info about our neighbourhood. I would love to meet up particularly to discuss info about van Gogh in the area. Take a look at the blog – I am the chair of Streets Ahead – responsible for Grass Routes. I do occasional enews too so let me know if you want to go on the list

  2. 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?

    • Chris says:

      Hi Michelle,

      Glad you like the site! Thanks for the lovely feedback.

      I’ve not done a feature on Morat Street yet, I aim to do one soon however, I’ll see if I can answer a few of your questions now…

      I think the lollipop man was correct, quite a few local people have commented that Cranworth Gardens, Morat Street, Liberty Street and Hackford Road were places where men could find women of low virtue so to speak. The story here on my site is clearly referring to a murder of a woman working as a prostitute. I think it was to do with the multi-occupancy aspect of these streets, back when they were built it the idea of living in flats was considered by many as unsavoury and a way of living reserved for foreigners and those with low income. Couple this with the fact that this area was home to many people connected with the theatre and you find yourself in an area that was undoubtedly more liberal than other areas. Charles Booth’s map won’t give you any insight into this however as he did his main survey in the late 1890’s and this area developed a racy reputation quite a few years after that, once the streets such as Cranworth Gardens and Morat Street had been standing for a while (the murder story I refer to above was from 1922). A local gentleman who grew up on Morat Street also tells me that during WW2 American GI’s would visit Morat Street for it’s women of the night at this time in history also.

      In terms of Reeay school, it’s not quite built on the site of the pub, the school was built much earlier than WW2, looking at maps Reay appears around 1900 and was built on the site of old houses. The pub you refer to is this one which stood on the corner of Caldwell Street and Hackford Road, where the five-a-side football pitch stands now, the pub wasn’t destroyed during WW2 but it did sustain some damage, it stood throughout half of the 1950’s and housed a variety of different businesses, one being ‘Blue Star Batteries’ it was knocked down when the area was modernised and the nearby estates were built. You mention the Dairy that stood near to where there is currently a playground, did you know that in the same photograph the building to the right of the Holland Dairy was the ‘Council School For Defective Children’? So those children in the photograph stood outside this building were presumably pupils.

      I’ve been trying to pinpoint the exact date that Morat Street was built and it’s difficult to be exact, it wasn’t built in 1901 as it doesn’t feature on the Census of that year but by the electoral roll of 1903 it appears, however there are very few tenants or buildings which probably indicates that it was in the process of being built, this is the case for the 1904 electoral roll too. By 1907 it’s there in full. It appears from the Census and the electoral rolls that the street was built as purpose built flats. This is the same as Cranworth Gardens and Liberty Street which were built at a similar time. If you wanted to know exactly when the street was built it might be worth a trip to Lambeth Archives which is what I’m going to do I think when I get to doing the Morat Street feature.

      James Traynor was one of hundreds of musical hall artists that lived in these streets, it is such a wonderful thing that the streets we know so well once housed writers, actors, vocalists, acrobats etc so exciting! Sadly I haven’t really any tips as such as to how you carry on the search for James Traynor, what sort of information are you seeking? Anything after 1911 is tricky as the only sources to draw on are electoral rolls and marriage/birth/death records…

      I will definitely let you know when I have completed the Morat Street history feature. It would be lovely if you could let me know anything from your own (or your parents) local knowledge as I’m really interested in hearing the stories/memories of locals.

      Again, thanks for getting in touch and I hope you continue your research!


    • 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 🙂


    • Pearl Catlin says:

      I used to take tap dancing classes in Morat Street.
      I was baout 7 years and it must have been just before the war. Such a long time ago. I went to Hackford Road School and we were bombed out ant then sent to Vauxhall. I lived in Albert Square and then in Richbourne Terrace.

    • 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!

  3. Ron says:

    Hi Chris,

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


    • Chris says:

      Hi Ron,

      I’ve not heard about TBTM, what an interesting project I love the idea! When researching the history of Cranworth Gardens in 1911 the most common profession was to work in the entertainment industry, music hall mainly which from looking at TBTM I can see that you know all about. I’m going to do a feature about them soon on my site. I would love it if you could add Oval History to your links page that would be really nice of you. I’ll do the same, you’ve inspired me to add a links section to my site, I’ll put TBTM on there if that’s ok?



  4. 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!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Brenda,

      Sorry for the slow reply. Many thanks for letting me know about London Belongs to Me. I’ve just ordered it on Amazon and look forward to reading it, if you have any other hints/tips/suggestions that might help my research do let me know.

      Thanks again,

      Best Wishes


  5. Lucy says:

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

  6. Daphne says:

    Hi Chris,

    Your site is great. You may want to attend the Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library talk given on Wednesday, 3rd October at 7pm at the Tate South Lambeth Library on 180 South Lambeth Road.
    Post-war slum clearance in north Lambeth – local stories
    Local residents talk about their experience of slum clearance in the Stockwell-Oval-Kennington neighbourhood in the decades after the Second World War. Some people gained from this development, obtaining homes on the new housing estates that were then built. But some local residents resisted what amounted to sweeping destruction of the area’s building heritage.

    After a scene-setting introduction by Jon Newman of Lambeth Archives, a long-time resident – Malcolm Green- will give his personal account of how slum clearance changed the neighbourhood, how he and others took up the fight against blanket slum clearance in the early 1970s, and their eventual victory in the courts. Other local residents will add their stories.

    Hope you can make it. It would be nice to meet you and to add any of your insight into the debate that day.

    Kind regards

  7. Peter Clift says:

    Just found your site, a fantastic trip down memory lane! I was born in Claylands Road (Iknow, on the wrong side of Clapham Road). Regarding Offley Road; I worked there from 1965 to 1968 in the offices in the corner. Originally, these were the offices of Sharwoods but from the mid sixties until 1968 they were occupied by the London Borough of Lambeth Public Health Department. It was from here that a lot of the work to convert Lambeth to smokeless fuel was carried out under the 1956 Clean Air Act. In 1968 the whole department was moved and centralised in Blue Star House in Brixton. As young lads we used to get into the factory and play football in our lunch hour! I do now have a colleague who was ‘bombed out’ of Offley Road in the war and although he was too young at the time to know much about it there is a good chance his house was on the site of those offices.
    When are you going to include Claylands, Trigon and Fentiman roads?

  8. Jill Bush says:

    Hi there I have a civilian war dead register entry for my great great uncle William Osborne stating he was injured at the White Horse in Brixton on Monday 16th September 1940 and died later that day at South London Hospital – do you have any information on that bombing?
    Many thanks, Jill Bush

  9. G says:

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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,


        • Paul Griffiths says:

          Hi Chris
          I lived in Blackwell Street from 1958 for a few years and have been trying to find photographs of it, without success. Don’t suppose you have seen any?

      • Paul Griffiths says:

        Hi Ricky
        I lived in Blackwell Street from 1958 for a few years and have been trying to find photographs of it, without success. Don’t suppose you have seen any?

        • CHRISSY PAGE says:

          Hi I lived in Blackwell Street until 1963 when we were moved out. I lived at number 52 and the bookies used to stand outside our house. My Grandparents lived in Farrer Street and I can find any photos of it on any site.
          If anyone has any I would love to see them

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. jackie says:

    hi chris i lived at 84 brixton rd in 1949-50 it was a dry cleaners then now gone we moved across the road to south island place when my mum had 1 of my sisters she went on to have 2 more girls so we moved to liberty st the flat above my nan my mums mum and dad and her sisters we lived there till 1963-64 when we moved to hampshire i also went to durrand school also reay school my grandfather was a lollypop man for the reay school i remember the bakers at the top of south island place they had a very big glasse case of stuffed birds i hated going in there because of them there was also a fish and chip shop and sweet shop green grocer in south island place at the top of caldwell st at brixton rd was a pub the russell arm my grandfather spent a lot of time there my mother worked in freemans i remember it being built this take me back some great memories in liberty st we all came out to play there was a wall at the front i see thats gone and the door was always open we used to see who could jump the wall good times

  15. Laura Freeman says:

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for all the work you’ve done on researching the history of the area, it’s fantastic.

    I live on South Island Place and would love to obtain copies of some of the prints of its past. Do you know how I might be able to do this?

    Thanks so much,

  16. peterbaker says:

    i aslo went to cowley school 1965-1969 and lived in gosling way moved to stevenage in 1970

    • Kim webb says:

      Hello Peter baker
      Do you remember the Holly family
      Vince Gary and me Kim
      I think you would know both my brothers
      As you all played ball in the square together
      You are same age and we lived above you
      Went to Cowley school also
      Please get in touch email
      I am trying to find the banner family Veronica Hazel Dorothy etc and came across your name
      I remember my brother talks about there old mates and your one of them
      Regards Kim

    • Kim webb says:

      Hello Peter
      We lived in the prefab just above you do you remember the holly family
      Vince Gary and me Kim
      My brother Vince knew you really well you played in the court yard and there was a bomb site do you remember ??
      I am looking for the banner family do you remember them ..
      Also my brothers went to Cowley school with you

  17. susie hale says:

    Am looking for anyone who can remember Cowley infant/primary school back in early 1959 -60’s in brixton, in particular anyone who may have attended and whose parent/s may still be alive to remember the registration of attending school criteria.

    • Larry Horsfield says:

      I was at Cowley Road Primary School up to 1964. We lived in a prefab in Lothian Road and when they were knocked down in 1964 we moved to Nunhead. I was supposed to go to Stockwell Manor but ended up in Peckham Manor instead. I remember Miss White who was very strict. At one of the school’s assemblies each week we were supposed to contribute to the school fund with at least one penny (a lot of money for poor families in those days). We had to walk up onto the stage and pass in front of Miss White’s desk on which there was a box into which we had to put our pennies. If you contributed you got a curt “Thank You!” but if you didn’t then she would fix you with a stare and say “Pity!”. It was SO humiliating and I dreaded the days when my parents were too skint to give me any money. Does anyone remember this from their days at Cowley?

      • Bev Joicey says:

        Yes, remember the school of course though I left in 1952 to go to Archbishop Tenison’s. Maybe I’ll find time to write a little more (the mirror tells me to get on with it!)

        • carole H White says:

          If my memory serves me correctly, I was there about that time. Carole Southall back then. My most vivid memory is going on a school trip to the I.O.W. I went from there to Loughborough Road School and was living in a prefab in Wiltshire Road.

      • Irene Plant says:

        Hi Larry
        I was in the same class – and vividly remember the long walk passed Miss White every Friday assembly. I have a class photo Summer 1963 which includes you. Hopefully I will be able to post up.

      • Lorraine wilson says:

        I remember going there my brother and myself must have been around 1960 we wasn’t there long because we moved

    • Carolyn Fenwick says:

      I do remember Cowley infant school – late 60s. My two daughters went there briefly I moved them to Christchurch.

    • Pearl Catlin says:

      I went to Cowley Road after our school (Brixton Central) was bombed. The headmaster was Mr Gerrard. Very modern it was too. But didn’t have Sid’s sweetshop opposite!

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

    • Connie Stokes says:

      I lived in Blackwell street about 1954 till about 1957. I have a photograph taken of me in which you can just see the sweet shop and dairy. Such lovely memories.

    • I lived in number 19 Blackwell street in the 1950s. I have a photograph taken of me in the street and you can just see the sweet shop and the dairy. Lovely memories.

  21. Mara says:


    This site is very interesting. I just moved in the north side of Brixton road and I would like to find an old photo where I can see the corner between Brixton road and Crewdson road. I have been looking for a while but I couldn’t find any, I’m thinking to make a print and hang it on the wall. Anyone can help me?

    Thank you

  22. Jayne smith says:

    Hi im trying to find photos of cowley infant school the head mistress was a miss white when she retired it was mr coleman

  23. Eddie Banks says:

    I have an old picture postcard c. 1910? showing 3 blacksmiths or farriers standing outside a premises entitled “Webber St. Branch, Vetinerary PRICE & KING, Surgeons, Chief Office Kennington Cross SE”
    Is this of interest for you? If so, happy to email a scanned copy to you.

  24. ALEX Richie says:

    hi, used to sit on the steps of Perseverance pub around 1953 with a bottle of pop and packet of crisps while mum and dad inside

  25. Ant PArker says:

    dear Chris, I rescued a coal hole cover with the name R Hatley Ironmonger Clapham Rd impressed upon it, I have been trying to locate the shop but failed, would you have any clues?
    thanks Ant

  26. Deborah Brown says:

    Hello, My father’s family lived in and around the Brixton Road. One of the stories from the early 1920s was of him visiting relatives who lived at the same address as appears in the Sherlock Holmes story of The Blue Carbuncle- 117 Brixton Road.
    He also recalled visiting on Sundays, when the front room was given over to an aunt and uncle rehearsing their levitation act. He was mightily impressed, but was only a small boy at the time. I would love to find out who they were. We think they had a performance booth on the Kent Coast. As children my brother and I considered that it must be an inherited ability, and spent hours trying to levitate things- and eachother.

  27. peter bake says:

    I went to the cowley infant school 1965-1969
    then the old beaufoy boys school before moveing to Stevenage in 1970
    went back to Brixton this year for the first time since 1970
    I am looking for desmond rafferty who want to cowley school in 1965-1969

  28. Liz Ford says:

    Thank you for all the painstaking research on your splendid site.
    We’re researching my 4x great grandfather, who died in Chapel Street, now Mowll St. in 1826. Believe he retired there, and the dates of its development on the maps you show tie in perfectly: making him a very early resident of the street.
    So thrilled!

  29. Anne (nee Hoskins) says:

    How fascinating to read all of the comments. I lived in Cowley Road from about 1965 until 1973, went to Cowley Road Infant & Junior School, then on to Stockwell Manor. We had to move as many of the houses were to be demolished. My mum also worked there as a ‘Woman Helper!!’ as her title was back then (Classroom / Teaching Assistant nowadays!!) I recall helping her deliver the 1/3 pint milk bottles to classrooms in the mornings…. Teachers I remember were Mrs Taha, Mr Murrow, Mr Macmurray (I think), Miss Eisemann and Miss Tobit… I do remember Mr Coleman when he was Head Teacher. I recently met up with a friend who used to live in the same road and also went to the same school; we went for a trip down memory lane – I couldn’t believe the transformation of the whole area – although good to see some of the familiar, old buildings too. I’ll have a look to see whether I have any old photos of the school to share as someone had previously been asking about this (although can’t promise). Great site 🙂

    • P roche says:

      I went to cowly know these teachers names we moved the same time when they renovated the housing on Brixton rd

    • Christine(nee Friskin) says:

      Wow, can’t believe all the interesting information on Brixton. I lived on Cowley Road up until 1974 and attended Cowley School up until 1974 when I then attended Priory Park Girls School in Stockwell which no longer exists. I believe it’s now turned into luxury flats. I think Mr Murrow was my teacher but I certainly remember Mr Coleman the headteacher.

    • terry kelly says:

      remember you well,you lived at the school gate, your mum , short dark hair , hope life has been kind , terry kelly

    • Thomas Boggis says:

      Hi just wondering if you can remember the Boggis family

  30. Kay Stiffkkaystiffay stiff says:

    Hello, I was at the Reay school in 1957. Our head master was Mr Walls. I was in class 2. We used to have stand under the clock in the main hall at home time if we had been naughty and wait untill a teacher came and let us go home.
    My classroom was the art room upstairs. We were never taken on outings or anything and I played truant a lot with a friend in Mowll street. We used hop off and go to the Braxton Astoria cinema. Happy days.!

  31. Mark Wood says:

    There was an iron foundry in Fentiman Road, about 100 yards from the junction with Clapham Road. It was in existence in the 1930s/40s when a great uncle of mine worked there. Imposing iron statues were placed at the entrance.

    Does anyone know anything about this place or have a photograph?
    Who was the owner?
    When did it close?

    • Kay Stiffkkaystiffay stiff says:

      The iron foundry was in Dorset Rd, just a few doors from Joe’s Cafe. I passed by there one day and saw the bust of
      Winston Churchill there before it was put on show for the public. The doors were open and they were just about to cover it up with tarpaulin. I lived on Richborne Terrace. I know Princess Margaret paid a visit there, I think to see it.
      Don’t know any more than that, three doors were usually kept shut…..the year about 1956.

  32. Pete caddick says:

    Hi just found your web site. After trying to find info about Cowley primary school. I’ve been trying to track down a curtain picture of our football team which won the league cup & went all season without losing a game in 1962-63. Our manager/Teacherwas Mr Gilford, some of the boys name’s were Duffy Westlake Howes Bruce Brockwell sorry if I have forgotten other name’s but I’ve been trying to find this picture for year’s now as I lost my one when moved away in 1964.

  33. Caroline Dale says:

    My grandmother lived at 28 Blackwell Street with her partner in the early 1960’s and I believe it used to be the sweet shop. Can anyone confirm that it’s not just heresay and is correct? And any clues as to what the name of the current street that has replaced that area of Blackwell Street, since I don’t live in the locality but would love to go back with my dad someday soon?

    • Paul says:

      Hi I’ve just seen this post – I don’t suppose you have any photos of Blackwell Street? I lived there from around 1958 to 1962

    • Jan parsons says:

      Janet parsons nee tuck.
      We lived at no 25 and my grandfather at 27. He always sat outside and smoked his pipe.
      I remember mr and Mrs Harris lived along from the sweet shop.
      I have a photograph of the sweet shop my father took when he was young.
      My aunt lived at 21she was Mabel Tuck and I between her and us at 25 was mr and Mrs Parfitt. She would sing Oh what a beautiful morning; every day . My dad hated that song.
      Many other memories of Blackwell Street before we had to move to Nunhead, when the houses were to be demolished

  34. Pat Davies says:

    Hi – I lived in Groveway, along with my friend Angela Scarborough. I attended Cowley Nursery, Infants and Juniors. Miss White was the headmistress and I recall Miss Morley, two lovely spinster ladies. Mr Coleman was my teacher. Miss Holden was the infants headmistress lovely gentle lady. I remember Mrs Johnson (think that’s correct spelling – dinner lady and a bit scary). My friends were Kim Leach, Tina Daly and Carol Vaughan and we all went on to Stockwell Manor School 1967. My schoolfriend Jennifer McGusty lived in Morat Street. I was a regular visitor to the newsagents in Hillyard Street and remember the owner Les. Have wonderful memories of Stockwell and Brixton.

    • Gwendoline George says:

      Hello Pat I went to cowley school Mrs Johnson was a neighbour when I lived in Brixton Road. I went on to stockwell manor I remember you. I remember loads of people. I’ve lived in sussex for nearly 40 years.

    • TINA BAKER says:

      Hi Pat, how strange is this after all these years hearing your name
      again. My brother Steve saw your post and told me. I remember
      You well. You had the most beautiful hair which I was so jealous of.
      I remember coming around your parents house many times.
      All the memories and people you refer to I remember well 😀
      I hope you are keeping well , where do you live now and do you
      have a family of your own .I married in 1075 and 2years later had
      a daughter called Lisa who I am very proud off. We left England
      5 years later and spent 10 wonderful years in South Africa.
      But for the last 4 years I have been living in Spain, which I am
      enjoying very much 😀 take care Tina Daly
      Now TINA Baker

  35. Jane Olorenshaw says:

    Hi! What a great find and thanks for all the work you’ve done!

    My grandma’s older brother, William Thomas Ford, was born in 1865 at 6 Chapel Row, Chapel Street. I found Chapel Street on a Gall & Inglis map published around 1899 at a guess, and I worked out from a current A-Z that it was renamed Mowll Street, rather than being bombed or built over, which is quite a bonus. I can’t see where Chapel Row would have been, however, as isn’t shown on the old maps, but perhaps it was a tiny alley off the street. And now of course it’s gone – under Christ Church probably.

    Ford is hardly an unusual surname, but I’d love to know if it’s a coincidence or not that Liz Ford wrote, on 17 November 2017: “We’re researching my 4x great grandfather, who died in Chapel Street, now Mowll St. in 1826.” If he was a Ford too, could Liz and I be related?!

    William Thomas Ford’s parents were Richard Ford and Eliza Ford formerly Judd. I think his wife was Sarah Lilian, but I think she was known as Lil. His sisters were Edith Blanche and my grandma Minnie Laura, who became Mrs Garden, but of course the Ford name could only have been passed on by either William or his younger brother Sidney Charles – my mum’s uncle Sid, born 1875. I’m new to this family history lark, so I haven’t got very far. But William and Lilian’s children were Reginald, Gladys and Bert (Bertram, I believe).

    Is there any chance you could put me in touch with Liz Ford in case she recognises any of these names, and to see if she’s interested in following it up? Thank you!

  36. Dee says:

    It’s great to find this site as I’ve been looking for information on Cowley school for a while and found nothing. Me and my siblings all attended the school, I attended between around 1970-1977, then went onto Stockwell Manor. We lived on and around Brixton Road including the Angell Town Estate until 1985. I remember Mr Coleman, the distinguished looking headteacher, who was then followed by Mrs Smith who we also did sewing with. I remember my teachers Ms Tobit who was quite a fearsome RE & music teacher, Mr Mahil, a Sikh gentleman, Ms Squires a Canadian lady, Ms Robinson, my infant teacher Ms Clark an American lady. My sister’s teachers Mr Mansell-Jones and Ms Taha. My favourite helpers were Ms Hoskins and Ms Williams. Ms Crumpet was also a helper and a little old lady who handed out the toilet roll which was like tracing paper. I also remember Ms Bailey, Mr White and Ms Paradise and Mr Murrow. I have so many memories of my early school days there- thanks for this website and the opportunity to join in sharing some of them.

  37. Bev Joicey says:

    Bit old for this website being as I went to Cowley Road school from about 1948 to 1953 so nothing written here rings any bells. Our Headmistress was a Mrs Henderson but cannot remember names other staff – no date well and truly ‘passed on. Living in Wiltshire Road, I and friends (Barry Dancey, Michael Adamson, living in Crowhurst Rd and Reggie Trim, lived above United Dairies, Loughborough Rd but, sadly killed in road accident) would walk to school along Brixton Road – hard to imagine children doing that now.

    • carole H White says:

      I lived in the prefabs in Wiltshire Road from 1945 – 1967. My name back then was Carole Southall. I don’t recall your name but my memory isn’t what it used to be! I also attended Cowley Road Juniors in the early 1950’s then went on to Loughborough Road School.

  38. gwen george says:

    I went to cowley junior school, cowley road from 1961-1967. I then went on to stockwell manor comprehensive in 1967-1972. I lived on gosling way in the flats along the brixton road. If anyone remembers me or my brother can they get in touch please. I was gwendoline george now just gwen george and my brother is steven. Thank you.

  39. Hilary Challis says:


    Great website – found it by Googling Frederick Eavestaff Professor of Music – who lived at 128 Brixton Road – and linked to your article about him. Wanted to know more about him and thank you!!

    NB though – the Percy Neanne and wife at the same address is (distant relation, hence my interest) Inspector Percy George Neame who in 1867 founded the Metropolitan Police ‘Crime Museum’ coined the ‘Black Museum’ by the media of the day. Margaret Maud Neame was his second wife who died in 1900. Three months later, aged 63, although he claimed he was 58, he married for a third time to his paternal cousin’s daughter Ada Neame. He retired on pension on 1st January 1902.
    By now living at 83 Stockwell Park Road, Stockwell, on 7 June 1902, he committed suicide there, “by blowing out his brains at his London residence.” (Police Review and Parade Gossip June 13 1902.) It seems that, after his retirement, matters came to light that needed an explanation, and he was summoned to the office of the new C.I.D. Commissioner, Edward Henry, to explain “certain irregularities” . Instead of attending, he telegraphed that he was in “acute despair.” As a result of his non-attendance, 2 officers of the Yard visited his residence, but “before they obtained admittance, the Ex-Superintendent took his own life.” According to the South London press (June 14 1902), he was unable to account for monies seized from Gaming Houses.
    .. His Probate shows that he left effects of a mere £80.

  40. Dee says:

    Does anyone know of a Ms Hurley who owned a house at 164 or 165 Brixton Road? She rented rooms out to newly arrived men (and women) from the Caribbean who worked for London Transport in and around 1961. It would be interesting to find out more about her.

  41. Raj Gungaram says:

    Hi i used to live on a Bramah Road 1966 to 1976 and attended Cowley primary school. Just had a walk in the old area. Alas could not find many old landmarks. Be great if you have any info or photos etc.

    Best Regards


  42. Martin Cole says:

    I am the Nephew of Ronald Perham who had a business at 88 Clapham Road London SW9 OJS called Ronald Perham Ltd up until the mid 70’s.he did conversions to Commercial Vehicles.I am looking for any information and perhaps Photos.I have very little information about him and his business,any help would be grately appreciated.

  43. Curley wurley says:

    Hi. I was raised in no 42 Gosling way vassal road, from the age of 2 till the age of 13. We moved there from Hastings in 1953. I went to Cowley Rd infants at 4 years old, and remember Mr Colman very very well.

  44. Vik says:

    I haven’t gone to that school but live with someone who did in the 1970s. I see the scars the school, the children and teachers left on my wife to this day, 50 years later. I hear how the school will avoid dealing with bullies but instead target the victims. This school should be ashamed of its past.

  45. Elinor says:

    1 Weird Diet Trick Heals Vitiligo Fast

  46. Alex McIntosh says:

    Congratulations, Chris, on this wonderful resource. Would you object to me posting a link to your sute on the “Memories of Brixton and Stockwell” Facebook page at ?
    Like the contributor Curley Wurley (post, 29/2/20 above) I lived on Cowley Estate at 279 Gosling Way, in the centre of the estate for over 10 years from about 1953 when I was six. So I must have been a couple of years ahead of her or him in Cowley School, which I recall with affection. Memories of teachers are vague, but I recall
    – Mr Wittaker (?) reading the C S Lewis “Narnia” books to us – I was spellbound
    – a Mr Goldstein; amiable in tweed?
    – Mrs Rabett (?) , a visiting music teacher trying to get us scruffy urchins to sing the 13th Century Middle-English round song “Sumer is icumin in- loody sing cuckoo”- I still recall the words and tune!
    – a terribly “jolly hockey sticks” middle class young woman teacher correcting my language when I said “we went to the pictures”; “You mean CINEMA” and, fresh back from a holiday in Scandinavia saying “I would love a delicious cool glass of lager”- something impossibly exotic in the 1950s!
    – two equally gung ho young student teachers bringing in piles of smelly bladder-wrack seaweed, complete with creepy crawlies for a nature lesson. And getting us to bring in toothbrushes for them to make into hooks for some obscure purpose (probably to get us to change our toothbrushes?!)

    Starnge how your site evokes such memories- thanks

  47. Bev Joicey says:

    It must be Lockdown – or that ‘Wives Tale’ involving your life passing you by as you slip away….. but memories come tumbling through the mind. Mention of Brixton Road remind me that in the garage of a large house toward the Cowley Road area an old man (Ted, probably younger than I am now) used to rent out bikes by the hour – 6d or was it a shilling? You had to leave your ration book as a guarantee and then off one could ride. Mine was nearly always a journey to the very large Barrington |Road bomb site, which to Brixton children was, of course, the country.

  48. Kim says:

    Hi my name was Kim Holly brothers Gary and Vincent we lived in gosling way brothers went to Cowley school I went to infants I am looking for
    Dorothy Hazel Veronica banner also had a brother I see Peter baker is on here do you remember the holly family we do have pics of them days

  49. Kim webb says:

    Hello Chris
    There are a few comments on here of friends we knew I think as me and my brothers went to cowley school I went to the nursery of cowley
    Peter baker And Dorothy that have commented on the site highly interested in if they remember us Vincent Gary and Kim Holly
    We left our flat in 1968 my brothers knew Peter baker I am looking for my young friend back then Dorothy Banner had sisters Veronica & Hazel I think plus brother
    How can I contact the people that have left comments please

  50. Christine Williams says:

    I have some photos of being at Cowley school
    Between 1958 (infants) to 1965. I lived first at Gosling Way, then Cowley flats next to Cowley school.

  51. Thomas Boggis says:

    Hi we lived at 81 mostyn Rd we were Boggis family

  52. dennis purkis says:

    I went to Raey primery scholl back in the 60s i went there when Robert Seggi and John Burnett from Morat st I new David Parker My aunt owned the paper shop on the corner of SIP and Clapham rd. And then the deli shop oppersit the tower block her name was Janet Mcghan any one remember her

  53. Truth BeTold says:

    Thanks to all the history makers on the platform.
    I live on Church Manor Estate and have been here is 1996 (25years now).
    We have seen the Social Landlord changed over the years from Harding Housing Association to Riverhaven to Servite to Viridian and now Optivo. From small to big and from social to commercial social (or more for their executives pockets than social landlords).
    In the estate we have seen our garages turned to commercial units and not affordable to the tenants again. We have seen internal fitted works covered in our tenancy agreements before become tenants’ responsibilities yet service charges and rents keep going up! Where are the social householders going next if they cannot afford to stay in Oval area again? Is this a form of social gentrification to ensure all get mortgages or move out?

  54. Dear Chris
    My ancestor (great, great grandfather) Lionel Samson lived at 7 Dorset Place , Clapham Rd (shown in early maps on the website) in 1826 when he applied to join the London Stock Exchange.

    He subsequently in 1829 decided to migrate to Fremantle in Western Australia and was one of the first early settlers of the colony . He and his brother William came well equipped with horses, sheep, cattle and merchandise to establish a business which is still operating successfully today as the oldest family business on the Australian mainland with current interests in transport, packaging and operations Australia wide.
    The current family descendants are interested in preserving and researching the history which includes land and building acquisitions, supplementary businesses in shipping , whaling, exporting sandalwood, wine and spirit merchants, mining, a vineyard and winery and importing goods for the colony, and the importance of roles in community service in the early development of the colony of Western Australia by Lionel and his descendants..

  55. William G. Clarence-Smith says:

    Does anybody know when the shell-box factory in the old Chryssell Rd, owned by Henry Harvey & Co Ltd, closed? Wilfred S. Samuel and ‘Frank’ bought it, apparently in the 1920s. It later became a Decca factory.

  56. Pearl Catlin says:

    Hello again Chris,
    Yes it’s me, Pearl, gai after all this time. I am 92 now and just added a note to my load of stuff. But it was great to read it all again. I had ‘lost’ it I thought in my older computer, but hey! the chap who transfers stuff had actually done so into this one.
    Life is very sad these days, friends long passed on and house empry of family and no garden parties as before. And now this damned covid. How are you Chris? Stilll going strong I hope?? Please drop a line. This old theatrical gal loves to get emails these days!

  57. Pearl Catlin says:

    Hello again Chris,
    Yes it’s me, Pearl, again after all this time. I am 92 now and just added a note to my load of stuff. But it was great to read it all again. I had ‘lost’ it I thought in my older computer, but hey! the chap who transfers stuff had actually done so into this one.
    Life is very sad these days, friends long passed on and house empry of family and no garden parties as before. And now this damned covid. How are you Chris? Stilll going strong I hope?? Please drop a line. This old theatrical gal loves to get emails these days!

    • Colin+Garside says:

      Hi Pearl, I’ve read all your posts on here, we used to live nearly opposite Albert Square, right next door to Freemans and next to Durand gardens, from about
      1957 until 1975, my aunt and uncle used to live in Stockwell park crescent, can’t remember the number they were Charlie and Ada spear, had a daughter called Angela

  58. Liz Alvey says:

    Just stumbled upon this fascinating website whilst starting to research the history of 123 Clapham Road which was the home of my great grandfather, John William Drake and his family. I’m not sure exactly when they moved there – probably mid 19th C or thereabouts. He was originally from Essex but by the time his eldest daughter was born in 1854 he was living in Camberwell. My great grandmother, Ellen, moved in with her parents and siblings along with her son after she was widowed in 1879 until remarriage (in Brixton, to my great grandfather) in 1893. One of John William’s sons, Lewis, was still living at 123 Clapham Road at his death in 1945. I don’t know if there were any other family members still in residence or when the Drake connection ceased. If you have any info or sources that I could look at I’d be grateful to hear from you.

  59. Christine says:

    I used to live in Offley Road and went to Cowley primary school, which I left in 1964. I then went to Vauxhall Manor. I can remember sunbathing on the extension roof of the flat below, backing onto the factory. There was also a children’s hospital nearby opposite the church at the end of the road

  60. Carolyn Fenwick says:

    Hi Chris,

    Just found your site. I lived at 139 Cranworth Gardens from about 1962 – 1965, and at 149 Cranworth Gardens from c.1966-1974.

    I taught history (and maths) at St Michael and All Angels for a year or so and threw out the ‘history of Britain’ and got my students studying the history of their local area with the help of a geography student and, later, the teacher. It was a huge hit – this should be the way to encourage children to learn history.

    Would love to tell more – especially about the ‘ladies’ of Cranworth. But my last attempt at putting a comment up didn’t go too well.

    Keep up the good work!

    Carolyn Fenwick

  61. Peter Garwood says:

    Hi Chris, I lived in Hillyard Street from 1949 to 1960 and attended Durand Infants school rhe Reay school and Kenni.ngton Secondary we lived in a new block of flats 26 and 28 at inumber 26F. Which were built in 1949 on a former bomb site. I do not have any particular happy nostalgic memories of living in the area where as children we used to play on the adjacent bomb site next to the flats at the end of the street. However I would be very curious to know how out nextdoor neighbours are who lived at 26E Astrid and Ingrid Anderson and at 28E the Irish family Jean, Patsy and Yuna , we were all about the same age and I would be very interested to heat from any of them or a anyone else who may remember me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *