Kirkdale stories?

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thetransmitter
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Location: Crystal Palace

Kirkdale stories?

Post by thetransmitter » 7 Mar 2011 18:28

Hi,
We are writing an article about how great Kirkdale is for the April issue of The Transmitter magazine.
Anyone got any stories, interesting facts relating to Kirkdale we could maybe include? Any Scandalous goings in? Any 'not a lot of people know that' kind of factoids?
Post replies here or email editor@thetransmitter.co.uk
Andy
Editor

Eagle
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Eagle » 8 Mar 2011 12:43

Not sure there is much good about Kirkdale. The shops and pubs are very tatty etc.

bigbadwolf
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by bigbadwolf » 8 Mar 2011 13:15

I've got some genuine scandal/stories of interest concerning Kirkdale that I can substantiate with written evidence. How much will you pay me for how many words?

thetransmitter
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Location: Crystal Palace

Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by thetransmitter » 8 Mar 2011 18:33

Eagle wrote:Not sure there is much good about Kirkdale. The shops and pubs are very tatty etc.
Erm, that's not exactly the editorial line we were thinking of taking, But thanks for your input.

thetransmitter
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Joined: 12 Oct 2009 14:33
Location: Crystal Palace

Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by thetransmitter » 8 Mar 2011 18:38

bigbadwolf wrote:I've got some genuine scandal/stories of interest concerning Kirkdale that I can substantiate with written evidence. How much will you pay me for how many words?
We normally only print totally unsubstantiated and groundless tittle tattle, so your offer is 'left field'
Email the juice and we'll talk bucks!!!
scandal@thetransmitter.co.uk

Hill Dweller
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Location: Upper Syd

Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Hill Dweller » 8 Mar 2011 18:54

thetransmitter wrote: Erm, that's not exactly the editorial line we were thinking of taking,



:lol: well said .... there are a few that I wish would get their lacy frocks on and move to Cheltenham.


.

Thomas
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Thomas » 9 Mar 2011 13:10

Well, Halifax Street, just off Kirkdale is a lovely little road with some beautiful old cottages, which were almost bulldozed back in the '70s but saved after some effective campaigning. There were some old newspaper clippings posted on this site (search under "Halifax Street" and scroll down a bit) that you might find of interest.

Eagle
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Eagle » 9 Mar 2011 13:14

Yes great that Halifax Street saved when Wells Park Rd turned into a giant council estate in 60's 70's

Back in 70's The Fox and Hounds , The Woodman and The Bricklayers Arms used to be respectable pubs with no trouble.

That's Amore ig good but why the terrible chicken shacks/shops.

Annie
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Annie » 9 Mar 2011 13:28

What about the history of the old Cobbs store? :)

leenewham
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by leenewham » 9 Mar 2011 14:45

I think kirkdale could be rather beautiful. It used ot have lots of interesting antique shops, I remember it from the early 90's. Most of these have gone and unfortunately some original shop fronts have been lost and some rather inappropriate buildings erected (which still appear to be empty). Some new builds have changed the spec of their windows etc which again don't help the look of the place.

But new businesses are breathing life into Kirkdale. Alhambra, JH Skincare etc are exciting local additions. The new Greyhound is very exciting news.

I really like the Transmitter. I hope this helps, they are some articles from Steve Grindlays blog (which has great info). Good luck with the article.

Regards

Lee

http://www.oldukphotos.com/kent_kirkdale.htm

http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogsp ... 0Buildings

FROM STEPHENS GRINDLAYS BLOG: An application was recently submitted to English Heritage asking that they consider listing the Fox and Hounds and the adjacent High Street Buildings, 134-150 Kirkdale. Although we were delighted that English Heritage agreed to list High Street Buildings grade II, it was disappointing that they felt unable to list the Fox and Hounds.

The EH advisors were enthusiastic about High Street buildings, noting the “special architectural interest of their attractive, free Queen Anne style architecture, dramatic roofline, and presence in the streetscape” and remarking on the survival of “original features including three of the five late C19 shop fronts” (a couple of years ago the Sydenham Society successfully objected to plans to remove these shopfronts).

High Street Buildings was erected in about 1896 to the designs of Alexander Robert Hennell, a local architect born in Mayow Road in 1872 and still living in Forest Hill 40 years later. Several other buildings by Hennell have been listed including the Jews Walk fountain and Forest Hill Library. The EH advisor commented that High Street Buildings displays Hennell’s “skill for quirky use of a variety of architectural motifs”.

The name “High Street Buildings” reflects the fact that for more than 100 years Kirkdale, between Wells Park Road and Fransfield Grove, and Dartmouth Road as far as the police station was officially “High Street, Sydenham”. The earliest buildings in the High Street were built during the 1820s, mostly small artisans’ cottages. The area became the centre for shopkeepers and tradesmen, and was Sydenham and Forest Hill’s very first shopping centre. The fortunes of the High Street began to decline when Lawrie Parade, a rather more fashionable group of shops, was built at Cobb’s Corner. Walter Cobb had a small drapers shop in Lawrie Parade (where the Citizens’ Advice Bureau now is) that he called “Regent House”. He gradually took over other shops in the parade and eventually created perhaps the most fashionable store in SE London.

The fortunes of the High Street shops went into further decline with the building of Grand Parade in Sydenham Road, between Queensthorpe and Mayow Roads, in the early 20th century. By 1936 “High Street, Sydenham” had become quite inappropriate, and so it was renamed.

Unfortunately, the EH advisors felt that the criteria for listing the Fox and Hounds were not fulfilled, although they remarked on its “handsome exterior which contributes to the streetscape” and added “there are some attractive details in the two principal elevations; it is also of some historic interest”. The Fox and Hounds was first licensed in 1826, and was thus one of the earliest buildings in the High Street. The present building was erected in about 1891, to the designs of Thomas Haliburton Smith, and the “historic interest” refers to the fact that it was one of the first pubs to have a “saloon bar”, a novel feature in the 1890s. Unfortunately, that was removed some years ago.

The listing of High Street Buildings means that, in this part of Sydenham, the Jews Walk fountain, Farnborough House, High Street Buildings and the adjacent group of buildings (124-128 Kirkdale) are all now listed grade II, as are most of the Victorian buildings in Jews Walk and the buildings in Westwood Hill down to, and including, St Barts. There are, of course, other significant buildings that enjoy no protection whatsoever and we must do what we can to protect those.


AND

http://sydenhamforesthillhistory.blogsp ... l/Kirkdale

For 70 years or more Cobb's was perhaps the most prestigious department store in SE London. In 1900 The Times mentioned it in the same paragraph as Debenham & Freebody, D H Evans, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis and Marshal & Snelgrove. Cobb's was founded by Walter Cobb in 1860 and closed in 1981.

Walter,the son of Frederick and Maria Cobb, was born at Mercery Lane, Canterbury in 1835. His father was a grocer, his shop within yards of the entrance to Cathedral Close. By 1851, when he was 15, Walter was an assistant at a draper’s shop in Dover.

In 1860 he came to Sydenham and opened his own draper’s shop. It was in a newly built parade of shops called Lawrie Place, between what is now Spring Hill and Peak Hill Gardens. His original shop was on the site of the present 301 Kirkdale and Cobb called it “Regent House”, a name that still survives. Walter Cobb, his new wife Mary and two sales assistants lived above the shop.
Walter Cobb was an astute businessman, and the shop prospered. Over the next 30 years he acquired other shops in the terrace, on either side of his original shop. By 1898 Cobb's store extended from 297 to 301 Kirkdale. He also bought other property in Sydenham: 270 and 272 Kirkdale (St Christopher’s Hospice and the paint shop), a depository in Silverdale (recently converted to flats) and 1-3 Railway Approach where he had an estate agents and funeral parlour. Cobb’s became the leading store for the fashion conscious of Sydenham and a considerable area around. People even travelled from Bromley to shop at there.

The shop that Walter Cobb must have coveted most, the present 301 Kirkdale, on the corner of Spring Hill, remained unavailable. From 1861 it had been a butcher’s shop, owned by William Glass. In about 1900 the shop finally became available and Cobb lost no time in rebuilding it to provide a grand entrance to his department store. The upper floors had large arched windows, the central one surmounted by a pediment with carved decoration and the date it was built, "1902". Above this was a lead-covered dome, topped by a flagpole.

Walter Cobb lived above his original shop for a few years, then in Silverdale Lodge, Silverdale and Peak Hill Avenue. In about 1898 he moved to The Old Cedars (then called "Wunderbau") before finally moving to Sussex where he spent his retirement growing prize-winning orchids. He died in 1922.

On 25 October 1940 Cobb's was hit by a bomb. About "three quarters of the building was destroyed with all contents”. The principal material loss was most of the original Lawrie Place. The surviving parts of the building, mainly the 1902 rebuild, was “adapted and fixtured to maintain the restaurant and other departments in condensed form”. Cobb’s suffered other damage, and after the war was rebuilt and restored.

During the restoration much interesting detail was lost. The arches of the second floor windows were filled in. The stonework in the pediment was plastered over, and “1860” (the date the shop was founded) replaced the original “1902” (the date of the building). Cobb’s declined, and finally ceased trading in 1981

In 1997, when the 1902 building was converted to flats, the the original window arches were exposed and restored and the carved stonework in the pediment (and date) was revealed.

thetransmitter
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by thetransmitter » 9 Mar 2011 19:07

Thanks for all your help everyone!
Andy

Eagle
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Eagle » 9 Mar 2011 19:25

It was a sad day when Walter Cobb closed. It was a shop with class.

Thomas
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Thomas » 10 Mar 2011 09:11

See other thread on new bakery/ cake shop opening up - sounds like a good news story to me:
http://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5852

Eagle
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by Eagle » 10 Mar 2011 11:14

Yes I agree Thomas that is indeed very positive.

bigbadwolf
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by bigbadwolf » 10 Mar 2011 12:02

One of the last cases of impressment (press ganging) took place in Sydenham in 1812.

In 1986, Arthur Radleigh was digging-up the bottom of his garden in Venner road, and he found what he could only describe to the local press as a large, strangely shaped key. He was advised by friends to have it examined and dated. After roughly six months, Arthur grew impatient and contacted the examiner. He was told that the key had been passed-on to researchers at the MoD. About a year later Mr. Radleigh was informed by post that the government was willing to offer him £8000 for the key. He accepted, but wrote to them asking what period it originated from. He recieved a curt reply telling him that they weren't obliged to tell him as it was now property of HM government. Puzzled by this blunt response, Mr. Radleigh visited the examiner he'd originally asked to examine the key. The examiner was equally puzzled by the outcome, but told Mr. Radleigh that from what he and the MoD researchers learned, was that after all those months examining the key, they couldn't identify the material it was made from.

stone-penge
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Re: Kirkdale stories?

Post by stone-penge » 26 Mar 2011 10:38

bigbadwolf wrote: The examiner was equally puzzled by the outcome, but told Mr. Radleigh that from what he and the MoD researchers learned, was that after all those months examining the key, they couldn't identify the material it was made from
It wasn't tin-foil was it?

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