Halifax Street - has it changed much...?

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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Falkor
Posts: 1371
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Halifax Street - has it changed much...?

Post by Falkor »

Has this 1840s road--or the houses on it--changed/altered in any minute way at all since these photos were taken in 1957(?) when the LCC were planning on demolishing it, but it was saved thanks to the public! This has to be one of the luckiest streets off Wells Park Road, as most others have been completely wiped off the map since, or atleast have newer houses on them; I would say 90% of buildings around this area were demolished between the 1950s and 1970s. What can be said about the history of Halifax Street? Anyone confirm if it was inhabited by workers at the Crystal Palace? Has the mystery of the area halfway up the road--vacant for so long during the war before the Kirkdale flats* were built--been solved since the Coulter/Seaman books were published?

*white one side, black the other (got confused in a conversation once)

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Back of some Halifax Street houses taken From Mill Gardens
Andrew
Posts: 7
Joined: 22 Nov 2006 14:23
Location: sydenham

Post by Andrew »

Lovely to see the old photos. We have only lived in Halifax Street for a couple of years, and it's great fun to try to piece together some of its history.

Most of the houses are substantially the same, but most have been updated and "gentrified" a bit. The walls of the larger terraced houses in the first two pics have been painted or rendered in pastel colours. The white house in the 5th picture has had the middle window unblocked, and most of the fences have now been painted white. The street is now a conservation area, so any changes will be limited.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the complete lack of cars in the photos - nowadays it is a fight for a parking space.

With regard to original inhabitants' occupations, some of the houses pre-date the Crystal Palace, but possibly the semis with white detail round the doors date from the 1850s. Census returns from 1861 include a fair number of gardeners, but also include many other occupations. It is amazing to see how many people lived in the houses which today mostly house two or three people.
Falkor
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Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Post by Falkor »

Interesting... thanks Andrew!
Falkor
Posts: 1371
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Post by Falkor »

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annabel mclaren
Posts: 115
Joined: 1 Oct 2004 19:55
Location: thorpes

Post by annabel mclaren »

Falkor - thanks so much for putting up these cuttings about Halifax Street -it's astonishing to realise that the street was scheduled for demolition in the late 50s and that the Manchester Guardian of 1957 included Sydenham in one of its leader articles. When you look at Halifax Street now and see how pretty it is (like a street in Chelsea, as the article notes) it is heartbreaking to contemplate what has been lost (all those streets you have included pictures of elsewhere on this site). There's a reference in the article to the Blackheath Society getting involved in campaigning to keep the road - thank goodness that by the early 70s concerned residents (among them Rolf Harris!) had got together and formed the Sydenham Society to put a stop to plans for Trewsbury Road, Lawrie Park etc. By then the idea of refurbishment seemed to have taken hold - as shown in the articles on the Wood on Sydenham Hill.
sydeman
Posts: 148
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 07:15
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by sydeman »

Great photos and a real historical discovery. For those who do not know, the Woodman pub forms the northern entrance to Halifax Street, so you can combine two places to visit in one go! I have lived down the road for over 4 years now, and it still intrigues me the same way as my first visit, when i stumbled across if by accident. I always thought it would make a good film set, as depending on the angle of where you stand, the road could pass off for as a village, town, mews or gentlemans terrace.

Not much has changed except extra vegetation, and painted frontages and picket fences.
Falkor
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Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Post by Falkor »

Did you see the painting of the Woodman uploaded by Steve?
sydeman
Posts: 148
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 07:15
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by sydeman »

Have to admit i did'nt? where is it posted?
Steve Grindlay
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Joined: 4 Oct 2004 05:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by Steve Grindlay »

This is it (click on the image for a hi-res version):
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This is a modern (possibly 1960s) amateur copy of a lost original. The original must be about 1847, when Thomas Scudder was the landlord of the Woodman.
sydeman
Posts: 148
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 07:15
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by sydeman »

cheers..i assume this is taken from Wells Park Rd, as i know the building on the right here was once a pub. Its now a private house, and someone told me Duncan Goodhew the Olympic swimmer used to own it.
Steve Grindlay
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Joined: 4 Oct 2004 05:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by Steve Grindlay »

sydeman wrote:... i assume this is taken from Wells Park Rd ...
No, from the other end of Halifax Street. It is the Woodman in about 1847, from Kirkdale. The windmill beyond was in Mill Gardens. The flint walls of the original building still survive at the back of the Woodman.
janem
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Joined: 22 Feb 2021 20:22

Re: Halifax Street - has it changed much...?

Post by janem »

Hi just joint your forum, see there are some great pictures of Halifax street my family have lived there since the 1960s and continue to today,
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