General Brixton history - photos, stories etc

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    whoever has dated that at 1895 is a few years adrift - that's an electric tram, and the Brixton route was not electrified until 1904 (hence my dating picture of post 697) - having the route description painted on the end (the words 'Kennington Brixton Streatham' above the driver) did not last long, as it tied each tram to a specific route, so the picture isn't long after 1904.

    Above the destination box (the bit showing 'Brixton Station') are three lights - these showed a different combination for each route of up to 3 coloured lights by night, to make it easier to identify an approaching tram. The LCC gave up on this in 1913 when they introduced route numbers.
  2. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    How did it all work then? I thought the first trams worked by clamping onto a moving cable in a slot beneath the road.
    And I also thought that electric trams had overhead power and a pantograph pick-up.

    There is definitely no pantograph in that image - and no overhead power line.

    Are you saying that these were on an electrified rail system? If so was it low voltage - or if high voltage how were people & horses etc protected from accidental shock?
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  3. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    Cable trams were quite a rarity - from memory, apart from Brixton Hill, cable trams ran in Matlock and on Highgate Hill, Edinburgh was about the only network of cable routes in the UK. Most tramways started on the basis of the horse as motive power.

    most electric trams used an overhead wire, with a 'trolley pole' or (generally later) a pantograph - or an intermediate 'bow collector'.

    Britain's first electric trams (Blackpool, 1885) used a conduit system, similar to that adopted (1903 onward) by the London County Council.

    The live rails were about a foot below road level, in a conduit (similar to that used by a cable tram) - the tram getting at them with a plough that was in electrical connection with the tram. More here.

    Road users would not have been in any danger unless they prodded around down the conduit slot with something metal, although the slot was wide enough for some bicycles to get stuck in them. Blackpool's system suffered through sea-water in the conduit, and they converted the whole thing to overhead wire somewhere around the turn of the century.

    The LCC's original trams (as in the 1904-ish picture) were built for conduit operation only - later extensions to the system, and where the LCC ran through on to other operators' territory (e.g. Croydon Corporation, which extended as far north as Norbury) were on overhead wires so most LCC trams built after about 1910 could run on either - there was a switch to tell the tram where to get its current from.

    In London, trams on many routes changed between conduit and overhead at 'change pits' - see post 717.

    The advantage that conduit had (in terms of less visual clutter) was at a significantly higher construction and maintenance cost.
  4. Casaubon

    Casaubon Well-Known Member

    I was thinking of putting these pics in ‘Post Up Your Old Family Shots’, but this thread seems to extend to Streatham, so I’ll put them here.
    Apologies if I'm straying too far south.

    In 1947-8 my dad was ‘Floor Manager & Instructor’ at Streatham ice rink.

    Streatham Floor Mgr Instructor  Reduced.jpg

    Streatham Instruction Staff Sep 1948 Reduced.jpg

    Here he's with all the instruction staff (6th from the right) in September 1948.

    Ice hockey was fairly big in those days. The presence of large numbers of players and fans among wartime and post-war allied troops, especially Canadians, had really lifted the game. It’s played in 3 periods of 20 minutes, and entertainments would be laid on between periods.

    Here my dad’s taking part in a comedy sketch dressed as a copper, with colleagues dressed as Prince Monolulu and a spiv.

    Dsc00411 Reduced for Posting.jpg

    Dsc00407 Reduced for Postinng.jpg
  5. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    another recent one on Flickr

    described as 'morning rush hour looking South'

    early / mid 70s (after 1972 when the P4 route was introduced with Ford Transit buses)
  6. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I miss Woolies.
  7. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Already broken!

    Greebo likes this.
  8. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I was so glad when they removed that irritating fence in the middle of the road.
    Greebo, aussw9, teuchter and 2 others like this.
  9. GarveyLives

    GarveyLives Well-Known Member

    When Muhhammad Ali brought Brixton to a standstill in 1974


    Muhammad Ali meets the children of Brixton, February 1999

    Muhammad Ali
    17 January 1942 - 3 June 2016
    Rest in Peace
  10. D.Woods

    D.Woods New Member

    Hi, I am in the process of researching for my next novel. My couple will be living in Brixton in 1875, specifically on Loughborough Road. Any general info on that area, or images, would be invaluable to me. I have been reading through these threads but not sure on exact locations or dates. Thank you.
  11. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    why there then?
    Greebo likes this.
  12. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I'm no expert but in my opinion the only seriously built up part of Loughborough Road in 1875 were the terraces between Fiveways and LJ station bridge (now mostly gone of course)

    I would imagine that the bit of Loughborough Road between Fiveways and Brixton Road would have been either under construction or market gardens etc in 1875, except possibly some of the shops which seem slightly earlier in date.

    If you are really wanting intimate historical detail about Loughborough Road you need to contact lady called Tracey Gregory, who gave a talk on this topic at the last Lambeth Archives open day. Maybe the archivist can put you in touch - but whether you can get in touch with the archivist is another matter when Lambeth libraries are in transition..............
    Gramsci, Greebo, Casaubon and 3 others like this.
  13. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  14. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

  15. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

    Isn't there a Sherlock Holmes novel set in and around that date on Loughborough Road? My memory might be failing me but it is one of the early stories in the complete works of SH
  16. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    I think so.
    Brixton's mentioned quite a bit. Stockwell too.
  17. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    from memory...

    the 'Study in Scarlet' (the first case recorded by Dr Watson) started in Brixton

    in 'The Sign of Four', SH shows a very detailed knowledge of south London (knowing exactly what roads the cab is going along) in a ride in a four-wheeler which passes along Cold Harbour Lane (among other streets)

    following 'The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax' she was found in Brixton

    SH visits Brixton (although briefly) in investigating 'The Naval Treaty', one of the key events in 'The Blue Carbuncle' took place in Brixton, although SH did not have to visit, and three of the 'Six Napoleons' were bought in Kennington and at least one was in Brixton.

    The Norwood Builder lived not far away, 'the Yellow Face' was seen in Norbury, the 'Cardboard Box' was delivered to Croydon, and the 'Beryl Coronet' was stolen from Streatham

    The 'Retired Colourman' lived in Lewisham, and 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' in Lee.
  18. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

    Fuck me backwards through a hedge but I am impressed.:thumbs::thumbs::)
    BigMoaner and Twattor like this.
  19. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    I think SH's client in 'The Case of Identity' may also have lived in Brixton but would have to go and look that up.

    To conclude the south London / north Kent angle, the Abbey Grange was near Chislehurst, the Greek Interpreter did his interpreting in Beckenham, and the Bruce Partington Plans should have been in Woolwich.

    I don't think many cases took place in North London (as opposed to central London) - Charles Augustus Milverton lived in Hampstead and the Three Gables was in Harrow.

    Dr Watson also had south london connections before he met SH, having played rugby for Blackheath in his younger days.
  20. Orang Utan

    Orang Utan Sub-Sub-Librarian

    Isn't Catford mentioned at some point too?
  21. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    Not that I can remember. (and a web search on Sherlock Holmes Catford doesn't come up with anything relevant)

    Another couple of locations that have occurred to me are that the client suspected of murdering The Norwood Builder lived in Blackheath, and the client involved in Wisteria Lodge lived in Lee (although Wisteria Lodge was near Oxshott in Surrey)

    I am only thinking about the cases recorded by Dr Watson and published by Arthur Conan-Doyle, of course. There are probably now considerably more cases that have been recorded by others - also the ITV series in the 80s, while being very true to the spirit of the originals, did take some liberties with a few of the original stories and did move the locations of one or two.

    ETA - I've looked it up, and SH's client in 'The Case of Identity' lived in Camberwell, not Brixton. Camberwell was also where Mary Morstan (later to be Mrs Watson) was living at the start of The Sign of Four
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  22. Casaubon

    Casaubon Well-Known Member

    Alan Godfrey Maps sells reprints of old Ordnance Survey maps for the bargain price of £3 plus £1.50 p&p.

    These two should give you a nice idea of what the area was like at the time:

    London Sheet 102.1 Camberwell & Stockwell 1871

    London Sheet 116.1 Brixton & Herne Hill 1870 (I've got this one, it's got loads of interesting detail).

    The Godfrey Edition - Old Ordnance Survey Maps - Index

    You might also find the British Libraries online Fire Insurance Maps useful - discussed on this thread:
    fire insurance maps online
    This one of central Brixton has loads of detail, but I'm not sure of the date -
    friendofdorothy and MrSki like this.
  23. Ol Nick

    Ol Nick beer in Brixton

    Are you seriously claiming that 15 years ago was only 2001? Surely 15 years is more like, I dunno, 1983.
    Lizzy Mac and Puddy_Tat like this.
  24. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  25. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  26. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I was a bit surprised that this event got no local publicity (at least not that I noticed)

    I met one current councillor and one former councillor who were a this event to mark 30 years since Lambeth Rate Capping Rebel councillors - i.e. 99% of the ruling group at the time, were surcharged and disqualified from office.

    Kudos to Lambeth Libraries for organising the event (at Clapham Library), but sorry not have been informed/inivted.
    There are pictures floating around - surely Brixton Buzz must have a secret stash?

    Apparently highlights were a fluent speech from Ted Knight - now possibly approaching his 80s - and also naturally from the ubiquitous John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    happyshopper and boohoo like this.
  27. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    on flickr today

    former bus garage on Waterworks Road (still there the last time I looked)

    Built early 20s by Cambrian Landray - one of the independent 'pirate' bus operators that took to London's streets post WW1.

    Later used by London General then London Transport mainly for private hire coaches, and for stabling some Green Line coaches at the London end of the route. LT sold it c. 1937.

    Possibly the only remaining 'pirate' building left in London (not many of them even went in for permanent premises)
    Casaubon likes this.
  28. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    83, is Mr Knight, according to one of his Momentum colleagues. :)
    CH1 likes this.
  29. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Still made a coherent speech at the event - albeit not with the passion of his 1980s rhetoric apparently.

    On a related, but wildly different note - did you remember Margaret Wescott (maybe no longer with us as she was born in 1922)
    Margaret used to attend council meetings in the Ted Knight era and loudly heckle Ted from the public balcony whenever he rose to address the council.

    I had thought this might have pissed Ted off somewhat, but he gave back as good as he got - and I was told he and Margaret had been known to share a drink in the Trinity after a council meeting.
  30. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

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