Here are a selection of photographs taken recently. I am working my way through a backlog . More general updates to follow next month as well as updates to the London's Long Lost Sports Grounds section. Also look out for the announcement of more London's Lost Rivers guided tours as well as my brand new Derelict London Guided Walking Tours (you can join the mailing list on the Contact page).
PLUMSTEAD SE18 - TELEPHONE BOX
In an Industrial Estate in Plumstead sits this decaying ex telephone box. Nothing to note about this industrial estate except that it was once the site of a football ground - The Manor Ground was home of Arsenal (then known as Woolwich Arsenal FC) before they moved to Highbury. Much more about this subject is on the London's Lost Losts Sportsgrounds section elsewhere on this website.
HOLLOWAY ROAD N7 - JOE MEEK
This stencil streetart by Stewy is of onetime local resident Joe Meek who lived, recorded and died in a flat a little further down Holloway Road The first major hit to be produced his Holloway Road flat was Johnny Remember Me,His best-remembered hit is the Tornados' "Telstar" (1962), which became the first record by a British group to reach No.1 in the US Hot 100. It also spent five weeks atop the UK singles chart, with Meek receiving an Ivor Novello Award for this production as the "Best-Selling A-Side" of 1962.
When his landlords, who lived downstairs, felt that the noise was too much, they would indicate so with a broom on the ceiling. Joe would signal his contempt by placing loudspeakers in the stairwell and turning up the volume.
His commercial success as a producer was short-lived and Meek gradually sank into debt and depression. On 3 February 1967, using a shotgun owned by musician Heinz Burt, Meek killed his landlady and then himself.
ISLE OF DOGS E14 - CITY PRIDE
The City Pride 2011. Before demolition
The City Pride was in Tower Hamlets not The City but the pub (then called The City Arms) was adjacent to the western lock of the City Canal which was built by The City of London Corporation (more about this canal is in my London's Lost Rivers book & my upcoming guided walks around the Isle of Dogs). The canal was closed and changed its use into a dock. The City Arms pub was rebuilt in 1936 on this same site and later renamed The City Pride. The pub was seen on TV every year as the BBC broadcasted part of its London Marathon coverage from outside of this pub. Remaining popular with the local workforce, who these days consist of office workers, the pub was considered a rare alternative to the faceless chrome & glass franchised bar establishments in the vicinity. The pub was bought by a development company for £32 million (officially the most expensive pub in the UK) and plans were to demolish the pub and build a 62 storey tower block in its place. However. the firm's development plans were scrapped when the group went into administration in 2011. The site was bought by someone else in March 2012 who swiftly closed the pub and demolished it in October. The planning proposal includes a mixed-use tower with a roof terrace and basement car parking.
EDGWARE ROAD, W2 - DERELICT BUTCHER'S SHOP
ISLE OF DOGS E14 - THE ANCHOR & HOPE
A rare surviving old building in close proximity to Canary Wharf. This derelict pub suffered a mysterious arson attack a few years back & the place continues to rot.
Found a review of it in 2004 in its glory days: "Definitely a locals only pub. All the tracksuit wearing, gold covered pikeys playing pool went quiet as we walked in, and the conversation in the main bar seemed mainly to be about whether their mates would go down for GBH, manslaughter or murder. The good points - it's cheap, it's got darts and it's got pool. The bad points - It's scary and you might get stabbed. "
Ian Faragher writes to Derelict London: "I watched 2006 London Marathon from this pub, obviously on that day it was fairly busy. Cant imagine it got busy at any other times. There was an old guy drinking in there who was actually running the marathon, number and all his kit on. He said he ran it every year, stopping off at 5 or 6 of his favorite boozers on route. He said to me "I still won't be last to finish"."
Heres a more encouraging 2007 review found on the net (I believe it closed in late 2007/early 2008): "My mate Nick loves this place. Best jukebox in london. Rod the mod, the boss what more could you want from a pub. Look out for Wonky Pete on the pool table and Waynetta (Miss World 1875) behind the bar. If your lucky you may get to see the slient assassin who's worth making the trip for."
Michael Guy Perry also writes to Derelict London: "Ah, I went in there a few times; used to work nearby (not, I hasten to add, in a bank). Was a pretty sketchy boozer but better than the arsehole-packed bars of the Wharf..." Also ex-Headcoatee, Billy Childish & White Stripes collaborator Holly Golightly tells Derelict London that she was a member of the ladies pool team here!
CHARLTON SE7 - THE VICTORIA
This pub building dating back to 1881 has been derelict since I started the website in 2003. Some of you will already be familiar with my pics of this pub but I have now taken some updated pics and sadly but unsurprisingly its looking worse.
Jane Grant writes "I did indeed drink in there regularly with my husband and two friends in the mid-late 1990s. The landlord was permanently drunk and the wrong side of the bar, he did bent MOTs and sold dodgy cars. He had two classic vanguards, with original paperwork, but dodgy VIN numbers and for our sins, we obtained an old capri from him complete with dodgy MOT. He was a classic of his kind and the destruction of the old building will take a magnitude of memories with it. The whole pub sloped downwards, but it appeared better the more you drank!"
Matt Helm writes "I had one scary night down in Charlton/Woolwich one night where we were locked in one of the pubs at around 1:30am until the bloke outside with a grudge & sawn off shotgun sobered up and went home (can't remember if it was The Victoria or The Thames Barrier Arms)! "
MOORGATE STATION, EC2
Old posters that remained on a disused platform at Moorgate Station survived since the 1980s hidden by a hoarding for many years but these classic old posters came to light a couple of years ago but were removed in Autumn 2012 following the Jimmy Saville scandal.
EUSTON, NW1 - The National Temperance Hospital
This forlorn building with its turreted towers & elegant iron balconies sitting derelict for the past few years was The National Temperance Hospital (called London Temperance Hospital before 1939).
The hospital originally opened in 1873 at 112 Gower St, Bloomsbury by initiative of the National Temperance League, and was managed by a board of teetotallers. The movement encouraged abstinence, thinking alcohol responsible for many of society’s ills. They had doubts about the restorative qualities of alcohol (which was used clinically in most hospitals at the time), hoping to save money and improve staff efficiency by running a hospital based on their beliefs.
Inpatients were admitted to the new hospital free by a letter from a governor, or on payment of a fixed amount. Outpatients could be admitted with a governor's letter or pay at least a shilling a visit. Subscribers of a guinea per annum were entitled to recommend 6 outpatients a year, and those of 2 guineas per annum one inpatient and 6 outpatients. Life Governorship was conferred on payment of a lump sum of 20 guineas.
In 1885 the hospital moved to this site on Hampstead Road (adjacent to the rear of Euston Station) after purchasing land from St. James Church. A children's ward was opened in 1892 by the Duchess of Westminster. In 1893, 12 beds were set aside for cholera patients. The Ear, Nose and Throat and Skin Departments were opened in 1913/14.The hospital was further extended in 1931 after Chicago magnate Samuel Insull donated $160,000 to build a new extension, the "Insull Memorial wing".
The Vezey Strong Memorial Home was built as a home for nurses in 1928 as a memorial to former chairman Sir Thomas Vezey Strong, a keen and enthusiastic worker in the temperance movement.
The hospital was incorporated into the National Health Service in 1948 and merged with University College Hospital in 1968. Between 1986 & 1990 the hospital was used to treat torture victims by an organisation called Freedom from Torture (which originated from Amnesty International’s Medical Group)
It was closed as a hospital in 1990 and the building was used for various courses and admin purposes by Middlesex Hospital and the Camden and Islington NHS Trust established various clinics on the site until 2006 when the Middlesex Hospital also closed down. In around 2004 , I wandered in here when the place was still being used as a clinic with parts disused and sealed off though not sealed off very well ... I didn't have a camera on me but its no great loss as the buildings were totally empty and the interiors were quite modern looking.
The site had been considered for redevelopment or refurbishment into the new centre for the National Institute for Medical Research but more recently it was purchased by the Department of Transport who allegedly planned to use the site for social housing as replacement homes for people who will be displaced due to the demolition of their homes elsewhere in the borough due to the construction of the controversial £33 billion HS2 rail-link from London to Birmingham. More recently (Nov 2012) it was reported in the Camden New Journal that the former hospital is now being lined up as a construction site as part of the HS2 work, expected to run until the end of 2025. To make room for the line, HS2 wants to demolish an area in Euston and Regent’s Park the size of 17 football pitches, forcing 500 families to leave their homes.
CANNING TOWN E16 - THE ORDNANCE ARMS
The original pub on this site dates back to 1870 but was bombed during the War and part of the old shell was used as a base for this new building in 1963, The pub briefly changed its name to "The Orange Kipper" during the 1990s before reverting back to the Ordnance Arms.
I remember going in here 10 years ago. One of those places that was daunting when you walked in through the door but really not that bad at all. Stories on the net include a regular with his pet snake sipping spillage on the counter, suspension of the license due to crime and disorder in 2011 and the landlord being attacked after being refused a customer his 31st drink. The customer was jailed for 16 months.
The pub closed down early in 2012 and is now a charity shop with the pub signs still in situ. Plans are to demolish the building and to build a retain unit and flats.
HOMERTON E9 - EASTERN FEVER & SMALLPOX HOSPITAL
An infectious diseases hospitals hospital originated on this site in 1870, From 1948 it was renamed as the Eastern Hospital for general cases. The Eastern Hospital closed and most of the buildings demolished and replaced by the new Homerton Hospital on the same site in 1986. The remains of the old hospital wall seen here remain on Brooksby's walk.
CHARLTON SE7 - WOOLWICH ROAD REDEVELOPMENT
There were once many factories in this area between Woolwich Road and the River Thames - Johnson & Phillips, British Ropes, Harvey’s, Stone Manganese & Siemens. Many of these suffered heavy bombing in 1940-41.The Charlton (Greyhound) Stadium was also here until 1970 (see London's Long Lost Sports Grounds elsewhere on this website). During the 1980s Charlton was an early pioneer in the out of town retail parks which now lurk on the outskirts of every UK town. This area hosted soulless large prefab retail units such as Queensway furnishings and Harris Carpets but these have either been demolished or lay derelict. Whilst the building on old brownfield sites and the replacement of the old retail units with new ones might not be too controversial it will be sad to see a Victorian terrace demolished.
This large area will be new retail space with large stores such as Marks & Spencers and a budget hotel chain as part of a wider scheme branded by planners as Charlton Riverside. "By 2027, Charlton Riverside will be transformed into a new urban quarter connecting Greenwich Peninsula to Woolwich town centre. It will comprise of a sustainable mix of uses including substantial residential use in a high quality environment focussed around an enhanced Thames Barrier Park. There will be a thriving education and creative industries hub in the eastern Historical Quarter surroundedby a mix of high quality, residential led uses including high quality business space."
Harveys of Charlton
GA Harvey & Co founded in 1874 was a metal fabrication factory. The impressive factory entrance dominated the end of a small sideroad called Holmwood Villas where remnants of its facade can still be seen retained to form part of a security fence around the old site. The business started in an old forge in Lewisham making cisterns & guttering for local buildiers but within 10 years was supplying nationally. They then began to specialise in metal perforations such as making perforated zinc for meat safes. They moved to this Charlton site in 1913 which had a railway branch line into the works.
By the 1930s the company produced all kinds of metal perforation, manufacture of dustbins and major industrial pressure vessels. They also moved into metal office furniture for which they became famous. King George VI once visited for a tour of the factory.Harvey's had its own sports club & ground and also owned many properties around Greenwich & Woolwich, which were rented to employees. The main estate was Harvey Gardens, alongside the The Valley in Charlton.
The factory was demolished in or around 1990 and Morrison Utilities are now using it as storage yard for water main replacement work. Long term prospects are to build retail units here as part of the Charlton Riverside project.
The terrace dates from around 1890 and was originally accompanied by a large number of similar terraced houses along the north side of Woolwich Road. A heritage report by the council concluded that: "The buildings do not hold any artistic, archaeological or communal interest or value. They represent part of the late Victorian expansion of this area of Charlton but are common in style, architectural detailing and composition to innumerable late 19th century speculative suburban houses and developments throughout London and throughout the country."
WOOLWICH SE18 - PUBLIC MARKET
Opened in 1932 as an open-air 70 stall market market. In 1936 a steel framed roof using "Lamella Patent construction" was added - popularly used for German aircraft hangars it is only supported at the four sides resulting in no supporting pillars to cause obstruction & the first of its type to be built in the London area. Passageways underneath the market served as air raid shelters during WW2. Whilst the market is not derelict it has been looking very run down over the past few years. Hardly any people around and most of the stalls are closed up.
CATFORD SE6 - SAVOY BALLROOM
This interesting looking building on Rushey Green was recently an Italian Furniture Shop on the ground floor and a Rileys snooker hall upstairs. A sign for the Agape Miracle Centre Church hangs from the building though they appear to have gone too.
The building was originally the Savoy Ballroom but during World War II it was taken over by the social services, providing food, drink and medicine to local schoolchildren. After the war it was known as the Savoy Rooms as a dancing and gaming club an then renamed The Witchdoctor and then Mr Smiths. The Rolling Stones (1964),Gene Vincent (1964), The Who (April 1966) & Desmond Dekker (1969) are just some of the bands who played there.
The owners of Mr Smiths, Dougie Flood (club owner) and Bill Benny (ex heavyweight wrestler, asked South London gangsters Eddie Richardson and Frankie Fraser to protect the club in exchange for gaming machines being placed there. In 1966, a fight broke out between Kray gang members and Richardson gang members in the early hours and Kray-associate Richard Hart was shot dead outside trying to escape. Mad Frankie Fraser allegedly got his nickname from his part in this fight.
HIGHGATE, N6 - LONDON COOPERATIVE
This building had various uses until recently undergoing conversion resulting in the old tilework being exposed and the name London Co-operative Society visible
The London Co-operative Society was a consumer co-operative formed in 1920 by the amalgamation of other London societies. The LCS played a large part in the national co-operative movement. By 1952, the LCS and its associated co-op organisations had over 550 establishments of sales and services, varying from large department stores to small grocery shops. These establishments consisted of grocers, butchers, fruit, vegetable and flower sellers, coal depots, furniture sellers, drapers, tailors, footwear sellers, chemists, laundries, estate agencies, funeral services and even guesthouses.
The Society was amalgamated with Co-operative Retail Services in 1981 which in 2000 merged with the larger Co-operative Wholesale Society, to form the Co-operative Group (CWS) Ltd which still has more than 4000 stores & branches across the UK.
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