General Brixton history - photos, stories etc

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

  1. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    A reminiscence from a friend who has moved in council and planning circles for years.

    He said Brixton tube station was originally conceived as having an underpass under the road so it would have had an entrance on each side of Brixton Road. Things being what they are it was decided that an underpass and two entrances would be too expensive and we got the bridge instead.

    Sounds a plausible theory - and the dates fit (the underground station was opened 23rd July 1971).
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  2. BusLanes

    BusLanes Pedestrian

    Yah, I have now had a proper read of the last Council feasibility study from 14 (iirc)

    Think the main thing is to get the Overground committed to and then try and assess which station option is best

    Brixton East didn't seem like it was a terrible option - cheaper but of course with less knowns
    CH1 likes this.
  3. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Thanks. Don't you think this needs revising? All the stats will be different plus a lot more flats etc in the vicinity (more demand).

    I'm not sure if I put it up before, but there used to be a Lambeth Public Transport Group (at its most vigorous run by John Stewart now of HACAN.

    He did this fabulous report about "Clapham's Hidden Horror" (ie what is now Clapham High Street Overground station. Quite possibly pressure from Lambeth Public Transport group saved Clapham High Street from the same fate as East Brixton.
  4. BusLanes

    BusLanes Pedestrian

    The Public Transport groups get a lot of mention when one looks into Brixton East or similar topics
  5. editor

    editor hiraethified

    This is interesting: the reason why the Victoria Line was extended to Brixton and not Fulham was because it was to tie in with the proposed motorway scheme.
    50 years ago - how the Victoria line was built
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  6. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat That's Puddy Tat Esq to you


    while the plans changed quite a few times, i'm fairly sure the original plan was for the line to run to Croydon via Brixton. I'm inclined to think that the Fulham idea was an afterthought...
  7. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Wikipedia says it was definitely a consideration at the beginning:
  8. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    What a shit place Brixton /south London would have been if the motorway and carparks had been realised. Glad that didn't happen - what happened to put a stop to it?
  9. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

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  10. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    Brixton town centre!!! :confused: :facepalm: :mad:
  11. happyshopper

    happyshopper Well-Known Member

    Change of policy by the Greater London Labour Party in response to grass-roots pressure.
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  12. teuchter

    teuchter je suis teuchter

    Yes, that was my suspicion exactly!
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  13. editor

    editor hiraethified

  14. editor

    editor hiraethified

  15. editor

    editor hiraethified

  16. Lee.g

    Lee.g New Member


    Very rare photocard of Loughborough park facing the corner of somerleyton road
    (Where the guiness trust was built in 1930s) the photocard is from 1910
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  17. MrSki

    MrSki Who am I to say you're wrong

  18. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat That's Puddy Tat Esq to you

    was at 233 Brixton Road (south side of the junction with Mostyn Road) - 1950ish map here

    The company is still in business but now only in Margate - street view here
  19. editor

    editor hiraethified

  20. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat That's Puddy Tat Esq to you


    on the Brixton Buzz page, the colour(ed) photo is probably from a year or so earlier than the black and white one - having the route details sign-written round the end of each tram didn't last long, as it meant each tram was restricted to a particular route.

    the three little lumps above the tram destination were lit up at night, with sliding glass 'spectacles' so that each route would show a different combination of coloured lights, so that passengers - and also tram pointsmen - could identify where the tram was going.

    Norbury - Blackfriars was 3 red lights, Norbury - Westminster a single red light, Norbury - Victoria was red-red-green. This set up got replaced by service numbers in 1913 (it must have been a bit hard - especially in a fog - to tell if a light was 'amber' or a dim 'white' bulb) Norbury - Embankment via Westminster became service 16 and via Blackfriars service 18 - these numbers stayed until the end of tram operation (they were extended south to Purley in the 1920s when the LCC tram system and Croydon Corporation's tram system were joined up)

    Above from E R Oakley's history of the LCC Tramways

    Sign on the left would be Treble's Studio. 1904 London County Suburbs Guide (from Leicester University collection) identifies Chas F Treble, photographer at 373 Brixton Road

    371 brixton rd 1904.png

    and Wikimedia has his card


    (ugh, too many typefaces :p )

    he appears also to have had a studio at 270 Lavender Hill, Battersea - again from the 1904 directory.

    The business went under in 1921, by which time it was being run by a Daniel Prodger (extract from London Gazette, 25.2.21)


    He had competition across the road from Rupert Leighton, photographer, next door to the London Dental Company who appear to be offering teeth for one guinea (suppose it was better to get some teeth before having your photo taken)

    414 brixton rd.png

    (also from the 1904 directory)

    1894 map here
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  21. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

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  22. editor

    editor hiraethified

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  23. snowy_again

    snowy_again Slush

    There's a Singer Sewing Machines ghost sign exposed on what was the 24 hour offy next to McDonalds...
    editor likes this.
  24. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat That's Puddy Tat Esq to you

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  25. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat That's Puddy Tat Esq to you

    slightly tenuous, but one of the trams advertises Brixton on its staircase

    somewhere around 1905 - 1908 at the West Norwood 'Thurlow Arms' terminus - the route to Vauxhall crossed Brixton Road via Gresham Road and Stockwell Road
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  26. editor

    editor hiraethified

  27. stdP

    stdP I never learn.

    Had a search but didn't see this posted anywhere yet but I just stumbled across an episode of World In Action from 1978 concentrating on the residents of Haycroft Road (west of Briton Water Lane for those who don't know it) and the by-election at the time, published by the BFI;

    Watch Black to Front - BFI Player

    Leaving aside the ever-present racial tensions (or not, in the case of many of the residents) for the time being, there's some great shots of late 70's Brixton. My memory is rusty but the band performing in the first couple of minutes might be doing so in the Hoboglin/Hootanany and the youth club is in the crypt of St. Matthews church.
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this. Interesting to see Brixton in late 70s. Couple of years before I came. Then it was seen as example of immigration/ race relations as they were termed then. Brixton hadn't been gentrified then.

    Given recent deportations of Windrush generation it was particularly annoying to see the Conservative candidate say that the Tories wouldn't be sending people back.

    From several comments in the newsreel sounds like Thatcher ( not sure if she was leader of party then) had made recent speech about the country being "swamped".

    Been trying to find more about this:

    From Thatcher was catalyst who pushed UK towards their split with Europe

    The National Front were gaining votes in that period.

    The program at end is rather in hindsight over optimistic. The Youth Worker in the local pub ( the Effra?) speech on how Thatcher had harmed herself with swamp speech.
  29. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    yes, it even says George Canning on a poster behind the band.

    Thanks for that, I was living just round the corner at the time, but didn't have a telly and have never seen it before. It's worth looking at just to see how poor and decrepit the area was back then, conveyed quite well by the boarded up shops, roofs with holes and a beaten up old van used as an election vehicle.

    A couple of weeks after that election was the big Anti Nazi League carnival in Brockwell Park.
    Gramsci likes this.
  30. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    stdP very helpful link got me looking at what else is on the free BFI website.

    Found this from same period. Not directly about Brixton but captures the spirit of the times in inner cities across England.

    Also shows how punk and reggae were linked to politics.

    Watch Divide and Rule - Never! - BFI Player

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