Italians in Great Dover Street

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Monday 18 February 2002 6.04pm

There was a small Italian community off Great Dover Street, near to the Jam Factory who made wonderful Ice Cream prior to the War.

They were subsequently released early I believe.

Anyone know anything about this?


Tuesday 19 February 2002 10.49am
There was a small sweet shop just off Gt Dover St in Tabard Street near to the junction with Prioress St and when we came out from school at St Saviours we would go to the shop and buy ice cream for just 2d in the summer. the shop was run by 2 ladies.

The kebab shop in Tower Bridge Road on the corner of Rothsay Street was owned by the Rossi family and they sold icecream as well as running an Italian coffee bar/cafe.

During the winter you bought doughnuts from Edwards Bakers - they were cooked as you waited and were piping hot, you could even pay for an extra squirt of jam.
Tuesday 19 February 2002 10.27pm
...the memory makes my mouth water Carol, at a later date they had a candy floss machine too, must have been after sugar came off rationing or was it sweet rationing , 1953 ish? it still makes me angry to think of the thriving community that was destroyed by the beloved bricklayers arms flyover being built....! the pawn shop/jewellers/haberdashers all in one establishment, with the tall elderly man in a brown overall, all the stock was kept in cardboard boxes I think? and all the rest of Tower Bridge Road..
Thursday 21 February 2002 8.31pm
Wow - thanks!

It was really interesting to hear about how the area used to be....

Any info or stories that you can share would be greatly appreciated!

Did there used to be a pub on prioress street near to the jam factory? Also whatw as prioress street/tabard street like?

Did you ever go to the Bricklayers Arms?

Thanks again,

Tuesday 5 March 2002 9.09pm
My gran's brother-in-law, Georgie Allen had the egg stall in Tower Bridge Road and my mother-in-law is related to the Secular (sic) family that had the wet fish shop. The road was orginally had trams running along it and when it rained the 'tarry blocks' would lift and people ran out to collect them to burn on their fires. Must have stunk but there you are, needs must.

My father in law actually went to the school which later became the adult education institute and he said from the outside the building appeared to have changed little.

When my mum was 18 she had her ears pierced in Trees, the jewellers and my gran fainted. There was a school outfitters in Long Lane just by the zebra crossing junction with Bermondsey Street and there were several clothing shops in Tower Bridge Road.

My mother's cousins husband was a manager at the goods yard and my husband worked a contractor for BR when they still delivered parcels from the depot.

But the best thing I remember are the childrens Christmas parties at Crosse & Blackwells in Crimscott Street.
Thursday 7 March 2002 8.21am
Hi Carol,

your right about the tarry logs, the smell oddly enough was wonderful. When they were repairing the roads in the early fifties, we would sneak out in the evenings and collect them. I think the workmen knew us children were collecting them and left plenty there. My most wonderful affluent day as a child was when collecting a pramful, we carted them up four floors and was paid four bob for them!
(twenty pence!)

I went straight to the baker shop in Tower Bridge road and bought a dozen doughnuts, then bunked in the old Trocette Cinema in Tower Bridge Road using a piece of wire, dragging my young brother with me, who when we got home promptly told my mum.....

I was the law breaker of the family! at the age of 11 I could be punished! hung drawn and quartered according to mum...

I remember the factory near the uniform shop, the 'rabbit skin factory'? which then turned into a tie factory?
Almost opposite that was a 'park' which was an old cemetery/churchyard. with the innocence of childhood we called it Pussy Park! possibly due to the large amount of cats using it as a litter tray......

I can remember the man and lady in the fish shop, they moved into sheltered housing and left their son in law in the shop then it closed........I could go on forever.....
Saturday 9 March 2002 11.04am
Thanks everyone for the wonderful stories on how it used to be around this area - please keep them coming as I love hearing them!
Tuesday 26 March 2002 11.05am

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