I moved to the Old Kent Road from Manor Place, Walworth in 1957. Heading towards New Cross on the left hand side back then, just before the canal bridge, there was an old ruin which all the kids referred to as, 'The bombed baths.' Does anyone have any info about this place? I guess the name itself says plenty, but I would be interested to hear more.
Hi Chalkey, there were some baths there that were bombed, just by Maltby St. I can't remember any more details at the moment but I'm pretty sure I've seen a photo in a book. I'll have to come back to you on that.
Jan, I think the canal was the 'Surrey Canal,' and it did certainly run adjacent to Albany Road. There was a large green at that end which I think was known as 'Well's Way.' We used to play football there occasionaly, when we had a match against another street team. (We usually played in our road when we just had a 'kickabout,' but it wasn't big enough for 'proper' matches.) Opposite that green was a fishing tackle shop owned by Bill Rudd. I can remember Bill chuckling as he filled in the first Thames licence I bought from him, because his name was 'Rudd' and I lived in 'Minnow' Street. Funny the things you remember. I used go to the canal quite a few times during the summer when I first moved to the Old Kent Road. Me and my chums would wander along the bank to the right of the bridge and, armed with jam jars and nets, fish for sticklebacks. Halcyon days.
I assume the canal just ran in to the Thames somewhere. I will do a little research. Re the 'ABC' cinema. I think you mean the 'Regal.' It was opposite the 'Astoria.' It never ceases to amaze me that back in those days the were so many cinemas in such close proximity to each other. The 'ABC' for example at the Elephant, was directly opposite the old 'Trocadero.', but they all did a roaring trade. Re bomb sites, I'm sure we've had this conversation before, but they really were our adventure playgrounds.
There was also a branch of the canal that went to Peckham if I remember right. There was a hump back bridge over Peckham Hill St which went over the canal there. My uncle Charlie used to give us a lift home sometimes and would speed up when we got to the bridge and we would all be lifted out of our seats!
Hi I am sure Southwark Local History Library will have information about the 'bombed baths'. THey are a great source of info and pix.
Temporary housed in the iconic Peckham Library, but soon to be back in the fab newly refurbed building in Borough High St (John Harvard Library).
On the topic of Cinemas etc Richard Norman, who has written books on same, is giving the third of of a very successful series of talks in October for The Peckham Society. The others have been sell outs. Amazing old photos as well. James - perhaps you might want to publicise this nearer the time as it hits E&C area.
Sunday 17 October 3 p.m.
The Theatres, Music Halls and Cinemas around the Elephant and Castle.
Richard Norman (Author).
Venue: Goose Green Centre, St John's Church, Goose Green, East Dulwich Road, London SE22.