I have just spotted your post when googling Monty Garrard! I grew up in Sydenham (the odd-looking house at 2 Charlecote Grove) and wrote an article for Hidden Europe magazine back in 2008 about living in the shadow of the Crystal Palace, long after the building had burned down. In it I mentioned Monty, who I never met – but my father told me about his music shop in Kirkdale, and I had a chat with Nobby the barber (who worked round the corner in Dartmouth Road and used to shave Monty) about him. So all the evidence I have is hearsay.
They told me his shop existed in the 1950s and was full of tatty sheet music, but was reluctant to let anyone come inside. Its windows were covered with anti-Winston Churchill messages (I’ve found a reference on the internet that he was a dedicated pacifist, so maybe that explains it). Nobby recalled there was a tiny tin violin in the window with the ludicrously high price tag of £100. There was an organ (a church organ, I think) installed in his shop and sometimes the door would be open and organ music drifted across the street. They said he was the last organist at the Crystal Palace and when the Palace burned down in 1936 it broke his heart and he was never the same again. I would love to know if anyone has any information about that story.
A few years ago an author called Tom Brown contacted me saying he had read my article on the Crystal Palace and had picked up the Monty Garrard name, and made him into a character into his fantasy time-travel novel called Strange Air, about the Crystal Palace atmospheric railway! The book is a splendid read (it’s a bit like Doctor Who in concept). My article on the Crystal Palace can be freely downloaded as a pdf from my website: http://www.timlocke.co.uk/portfolio/projects/hidden-europe-magazine-a-london-ghost-crystal-palace/