General Brixton history - photos, stories etc

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

  1. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    "Tonight there's going to be a jailbreak..."


    29th May 1954
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  2. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    1959 advert

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  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Lovely set of upper quadrant semaphores here. Oh yes :)

    Brixton station 1957.
  4. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    Splitting distants no less - very rare - none left anywhere to my knowledge - the last set was near Motherwell .....:)
    teuchter, Puddy_Tat and editor like this.
  5. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    Looks like a Cricklewood working taking more domestic coal (though there is a vanfit there as well) , to feed the domestic coal yards of South London and the hungry domestic grates and boilers. Possibly down the Catford loop - driver only has the home signal off and is no doubt gathering the train together for a check at the south end of Canterbury Road Junction , maybe bound for Beckenham Junction.
  6. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Went to the Museum of London the other day and they have these paintings in their collection. The second one of the shopfront, is that where hip hop burger bar is now? IMG_4736.JPG



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  7. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I don't think so. It's somewhere with a parade of shops set out from the main building line behind. The street going off in the background appears only to be single storey and I wonder if it's a railway viaduct. I was wondering if it could be the corner of Atlantic Rd and the high street. The building currently on that corner could have been built post 1948.
  8. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    the yellow shopfront behind looks like it maybe says David Grieg but we can't be looking at LJ can we?
  9. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

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  10. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    David Greig had multiple stores around Brixton. I'm pretty sure that it's the old Woolworths building on the corner of Brixton Road/Atlantic Road.


    Junction of Brixton Road and Atlantic Road, Brixton with old picture of Woolworths. Historical Brixton - old and new photos of Brixton, Lambeth, London, SW9 and SW2

    More about Greigs here: Wonderful old David Greig sign revealed at 232 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton
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  11. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Please tell me what the woolies shopfront said in full. Looks like 'nothing in these stores.."
    Was it nothing is over £1 type thing? It is isn;t it. Nothing over 6.
  12. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    You can see it on the left hand side: "nothing in these stores over 6d."
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  13. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Whilst you are on - is the write-up of the Atlantic Pub part of the museum of London exhibition?

    Racist pubs - what are the actual facts? FWIR in 1981 the landlord of the Atlantic was Lloyd Leon - Labour Councillor of the Windrush generation and subsequently Mayor of Lambeth. Or am I wrong? I don't think Lloyd would have bee too keen on rioting. But a white landlord at the Atlantic breaking glasses which had been drunk from by a black person??

    The generally attested "racist pub" seems to be the George in Railton Road - which was attacked and burnt down in 1981 presumably racsim being a factor. The landlady of the George was reported by many people as rascist and homophobic.

    The Windsor Castle in Mayall Road (where Bob Marley Way now is) was also burnt down. The landlady - an elderly white lady - does not appear to have been thought of a racist. Her pub was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After the Windsor Castle was destroyed Dougie - the black landlord of the Green Man let the homeless landlady stay at the Green Man. So I hear.

    Regarding Fake News and major historical errors in public exhibitions - I remember going to an exhibition about the history of London at the Chicago Public Library (rather grander than the Tate Brixton).

    There was a collage of pictures of the Crystal Palace - which according to the display had been bombed and destroyed by Hitler during World War II.

    I drew the mistake to the attention of a librarian on duty - and she said she would make a note of it. But did they do anything about their "Fake News"?
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  14. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    That does seem a particularly expensive and illogical way to run a pub. Even for a racist. And if he was a steaming racist, why did the Atlantic remain so popular with black people? There was certainly plenty of alternative boozers around then.
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  15. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Yep I've no idea, that's the plaque that museum of London has stuck on the wall next to the drawing, seemed very odd.
    CH1 likes this.
  16. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    I was puzzled by that plaque caption too, not just because it didn't match what I'd previously heard about the Atlantic but because the image itself hardly portrays a pub with a predominantly white clientele! It would be hard work being a racist landlord in there.
  17. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Should i tell them they've messed it up? It was a little bit ramshackle i thought, the whole museum, but no funding crisis excuses Fake News.
  18. happyshopper

    happyshopper Well-Known Member

    It's definitely where the O2 shop is now and Woolworth's was - you can just make out the gantries for the overhead wires that were on the railway viaduct to the left, from when they originally electrified the line. Means there's a fairly short period when it was painted.
    editor likes this.
  19. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

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  20. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member


    History is a tricky thing. I wouldn't call this fake news. There is deliberate intention to fake news. They could have got oral history on the Atlantic but didn't do enough research to make sure it was reliable.
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  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The drawing of the Atlantic captures the atmosphere well. This was the public bar. You can tell from the floorboards. I used to use the Saloon bar sometimes. They did very good Guiness. The public bar was a bit lively.
  22. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    ok. I will send an email and tell them that they seem to have made a mistake.
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  23. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    ^ that.

    My understanding is that Woolworths (in the US) sold stuff either for 5 or 10 cents (the '5 and dime' concept - not sure whether they started it) and when they moved to the UK stuff was either 3 or 6 old pence (6 old pence = 2 1/2 new pence)

    More on all things Woolworths here

    and more about Brixton - one of the first six Woolworths in the UK, and the first in London, opened on 10 December 1910.

    indeed. even in formal history, different sources give different opinions.
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  24. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    You could ask about their source.

    I sometimes go there for Gresham College lectures, but I can't remember ever going round the exhibits. Is that exhibition going to be on for a while?
  25. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Yep, it's part of the permanent display i think (free entry). There's an area with bits and pieces telling about Notting Hill carnival and Brixton riots. I didn't expect the whole museum to have such a child-focussed way of telling stories but then it was full of children. Some interesting objects though throughout.
  26. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)



    Regarding Fake News - I think if you go back to my original post you will see I drew a comparison with an exhibition in Chicago where someone had jumped to the conclusion that the burning down of Crystal Palace had been the result of bombing in WWII.

    I referred to this - jokingly - as Fake News since Fake News is the Mot du Jour so to speak.

    The Atlantic
    Not sure who was landllord before Lloyd Leon - but as far back as 1974 they were black.
    There is an article here giving an account of racism and protests in south London pubs, including the George and the Atlantic.

    Apartheid in London pubs

    Interestingly prior to 1963 there had been demonstrations about racism in the Atlantic. Indeed until 1965 it was not illegal to refuse serve a black person on racial grounds.

    Final point I certainly remember the Dpgstar being trashed in the 1995 riot - which again the blog refers to.

    At the time elements of the black community expressed resentment that the Dogstar had been appropriated from the black community in an act of gentrification. Sorry if saying that offends some - but anyone who attended the Community Police Consultative Group meeting after the 1995 riot would have heard this point of view forcefully put by several people.

    Finally - I reckon the Museum of London got their information from the blog above, probably. Just they have over-condensed it so giving a bit of a misleading impression of the timeline IMHO.
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  27. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    Interesting. Their over-condensing so that crucial bits of the story are missed out might be because the museum is so very (too much imo) child-friendly but the way this was done it just didn't make sense, given the disconnect between the words and the picture, they did need to squeeze a bit more onto the plaque thing.
    (and yes I think the term fake news should only be used ironically, seeing as propaganda or lies work fine for when its intentional).
    CH1 likes this.
  28. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm not sure why you think that would offend anyone seeing as it's common knowledge that the arrival of the wine bar-esque Dogstar was seen as a bit of a slap in the face to the local community. I remember standing outside as it smouldered during the riots and seeing kids emerge triumphant with crates of booze!

    Mind you, the Atlantic was in a real state towards the end. I remember a car crashing into its corner and being left there for days!
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  29. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    You are correct that is how sections of the Brixton Black community saw it at the time.

    They also felt that Brixton Challenge grant that had been spent on Atlantic had ended up with the Atlantic being taken away from them. Brixton Challenge fund supposedly to help develop the area for benefit of local community.

    Another thing that got up the Black communities nose was tacit support of the New Labour Council in letting this happen.

    It was no accident the Dogstar got trashed. I was living nearby at time. Saw it happen.

    Justified imo.

    Things to learn from this?

    New Labour Council cannot see the difference between regeneration to benefit all the community and gentrification.

    They loved Dogstar Larry. Saw him as a thrusting young entrepreneur. All New Labour liked.

    Not some old working class Black pub as the Atlantic was. Not there thing.

    Secondly regeneration schemes need to have built in safeguards to make sure all the local community benefits in long term.
    editor likes this.
  30. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Him - I only knew him from from the thrust of his legal threats.

    If you ever become a councillor please remember never to make an unguarded comment in a meeting when a thrusting young entrepreneur is there in the audience with his lawyer.

    Councillors do not enjoy the same legal immunity as MPs.

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