New Brixton 'Then and Now' pics

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  2. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

    These really are an amazingly effective way to see exactly what was where in the past. Really worthwhile. I love 'em.

  3. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus


    It's a shame the old dairy building has been lost.

    It looked like a striking piece of original architecture, now replaced by a bland 'nothing' building of no architectural significance.
  4. Griff

    Griff Hardly posting anymore

    Cool pics. :)
  5. Ol Nick

    Ol Nick beer in Brixton

    It looks not unlike a fire station.

    At all hours of the day the streets of Brixton would ring with the bells of the emergency milk float. Mongolfier balloons would buzz local malefactors and would-be yuppies would dream of the fine office building that would one day stand there.

    "You young chaps there on Coldharbour Lane! Turn that bloody concertina down, can't you!"
  6. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    Thanks again Mike. It was a thought-provoking to see non-white faces for the first time in one of the "then" pictures from forty years ago. Am I right to think that Lambeth doesn't hold many images of that post-Windrush vintage?
    Electric Avenue 1960 pic
  7. leftistangel

    leftistangel Well-Known Member


    As always, most interesting to see these comparisons. Why were we so keen to get rid of both trams and trees? Imagine how much pleasenter all our cities would be if we'd kept them. Everything looks so much cleaner on the old images.
  8. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Two more: Brixton Theatre and Opera House (1905) and a more recent one: Cooltan (1995)

    leftistangel - one of the reasons why the trams went was because they used to run in the middle of the road which made things dangerous for passengers alighting and caused huge congestion to the rising road traffic.
  9. jayeola

    jayeola New Member

    Keep it up chaps!
  10. Ol Nick

    Ol Nick beer in Brixton

    It's great to see the progress they've made with the Cooltan building.

    True. But they ran continuously in Brussels with precisely those problems. And they still do. It's illegal to pass a tram on the inside, and not many traffic manoeuvres are illegal in Brussels.
  11. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Even after a few beers, I still can't help getting excited by old Brixton images!

    I've just found a 1970s picture of the Empress Theatre so have added it to the Then and Now page.

    What a shame this fine theatre/cinema is no longer with us... :(
  12. pooka

    pooka Can't Re Member

    Looking at the additional pic. reminds me that it's ages since I've seen a Bingo Hall, anywhere. They used to litter the country.

    What do all the erstwhile bingo players do these days? The Lottery is hardly a substitute. Or is it a case of "All the Eights, Pearly Gates", and they've all died off?
  13. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos


    Many of Brixton's remaining bingo addicts head down to Streatham to the latest incarnation of the former Streatham Hill Theatre (Having been sold off by Mecca, it was trading as Mayfair bingo, but recently changed name again.) The spectacular building interior is now listed - not that that saved the Streatham ABC from the monopolistic tendencies of Odeon.

    And I assume that the Gala in Camberwell Road (latterly a Mecca, previously the Regal Cinema) is still going?

    Independent Bingo operators operating out of old cinemas are now under threat from a move to "out of town" bingo operators -I think that there's one at Garratt Lane in Wandsworth.

    From the Government's gambling review a few years ago - can seem to get link this pdf on to condense down using tinyurl. :mad:
    There are reports of a bingo revival among 16-25 year olds - any urbanites want to fess up to this vice on the board?
  14. TeeJay

    TeeJay New Member

    Really great pictures editor! Thanks :)
  15. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  16. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

  17. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    More great contrasts. Thanks again for your efforts.

    Pity that it's so much more difficult to find street urchins to pose for you these days :)

    More seriously, is there any hint at Lambeth Archives why on earth the original photos were taken? Electric Lane must always have been one of the least interesting thoroughfares in Brixton.
  18. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Oy! I resemble that remark!

    I'm always taking pictures of uninteresting thoroughfares, grotty stations, knackered buildings and the hum drum...
  19. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    [MASSAGES EDITORS EGO] But your photos themselves are always full of interest! [/MASSAGES EDITORS EGO]

    I still would like to know who took the 1929 photos and why - was it to mark the passing of an era before the tarmac was laid?
  20. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  21. poster342002

    poster342002 PROPER leftwing socialist

    Wasn't the BHS (now Superdrug) premesis occupied by something called "Littlewoods" for a while back in the 80's? :confused:
  22. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

    These just get more interesting every time. Valentia Rd is a revelation - when are they gonna get rid of that hideous car park!

    And the Christmas one of Electric Avenue shows up the sad state of both the repair of the street and the lack of Xmas lights. If Brixton wants to pull in the Christmas shopping crowds it's gonna have to do better than that. :(
  23. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  24. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    Fascinating stuff as ever, ed.

    Barrington Road is a puzzler - I'd long wondered about those bits of stucco, which looked to have been plonked onto three ordinary houses around the turn of the 20th century. Just how early did that part of Brixton decline from being built as villas for prosperous suburbanites for the Orphanage to be able to pick up three of them cheaply and convert them to institutional use?

    Perhaps the levels of pollution from the nearby viaduct had something to do with the rapid fall from grace?
  25. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  26. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    Rare view of elusive East Brixton station

    It's no wonder the station is "elusive", it's natural habitat of tree filled leafy front gardens has been destroyed.

    Perhaps if we each sponsor a tree in Barrington Road, it may regenerate in time for our grandchildren to use it. :)
  27. lang rabbie

    lang rabbie Je ne regrette les gazebos

    East Brixton station

    I really do need a drink - I've started surfing railway history sites!


    Still for all those nostalgic for the days of whatever - there is apparently now a book all about the brief history of overhead electrics - publication details here

    Just to convince hatboy that not everything powered by an overhead caternary is necessarily elegant - here's what they looked like after a few years in service!

    picture of the overhead electric service Victoria - London Bridge
  28. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Aaaaand another!
    Loughborough Park/Moorland Road

    PS: while we're in spoddy railway mode there used to be a really strange signal box near Loughborough Junction - I'd love to give it the 'then and now' treatment but the site hosting the image seems to have gone down - if you type in 'loughborough junction signal box' into google images you only get the low res thumbnail.

    Anyone have a copy of the original?
  29. Loki

    Loki RIP R.I.P.

    Was nice to see a pic of Cooltan... I never went there but several of my friends raved about it...
  30. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

    Yes, emailed. :)

    I think the dirty train is still beautiful by the way. Are you sure Ken promised the reopening of East Brixton? I thought the promise was a new platform at Brixton's main railway station. Whichever though, it does seem to be a broken promise.

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