I would just like to say I have been introduced to the site by (I think!) Jan (The Old One). Having stayed up until the wee small hours reading all your old messages - I think I'm hooked!
I have several "bees in my bonnet" myself - so if you'll allow me I'll share them with you as time goes by.
I have lived in this area all my life and have seen many changes. The disappearance of all the shops, cinemas, pubs and most of all Tower Bridge Road market. We had many different shops there David Greigs, The Maypole, two jewellers, butchers, greengrocers, Boots the Chemist, shoe shops, Phillips the mens outfitters, Wolfs the ladies clothes shop, Kustows - Markey and Phelix - for school uniforms and First Holy Communion dresses. The Bonnet Box - another childrens shop. Some things are better but I still miss all the other things. Not 7 hairdressers as there are now.
Then down Old Kent Road the mens tailors where my brothers had their suits made. Tonic mohair is one materials I remember them having! Then there were the furniture showrooms - Wells Brothers and the doctors was a small surgery and the Dun Cow was a pub.
Still, when the new Brick Roundabout is is completed later in the year and we can walk round to the other side perhaps this will bring everyone closer together again - and maybe the 21 bus route will run straight through without turning OKR side of the roundabout and going into London Bridge Station, on time and not two at once - and pigs might fly!
I live off Tower Bridge road - its interesting to read how many shops there used to be - such a shame they\'ve gone. Funnilly enough the Dun Cow is now the doctors surgery where they do the blood tests for people who have lost their licence due to drink driving.
Improving the roundabout will hopefully make a difference but what I\'d really like is a cinema again. Unlikey I know.
I told you it was a brilliant site for residents of S.E.1. I love 'talking' to others on the forum. When I read your bit on Tower Bridge Road I got very nostalgic as you bought it all back so vividly. I forgotten the Maypole, and Boots the Chemist... I have a memory now of the old jewish lady in Wolfs dress shop... she would pounce on you as you were going by if you stopped to look in her window.
"Come inside dear, I'll serve you something nice" as she would grip your elbow like a vice and try to persuade you that Mustard colour crimpelene really did suit your pasty complexion, and wham before you knew it you were standing outside with a deposit slip for ten bob if you said you had no money on you! She defined the term 'pay as you wear' as later on you could buy stuff and pay at a small amount per week! Then I think she closed down and next door the chemist opened Harfleurs ( her son?)
Yes Jo Jo - it was right opposite Spa Road - I think they are new flats now - the ones with the iron railings! Then there was Crosse & Blackwell down Crimscott Street. Right opposite Grange Road - Tower Mansion now - was the cinema - The Trocette right next door to the pub - The Horseshoe. The Trocette was a bit of fleapit but changed its programme 3 times a week and a Saturday morning club for the children.
I also used the pub - it was a very nice one - one of the first "in places" around here in the 70's and 80'!
Must go now
The swimming baths were great, two proper pools, a first class one with an incredibly high diving board, and a second class one ( you actually asked for a 'first' or second!) around the side of the pool you had cubicles similar to a stable door with curtains that you could draw accross at the top, great if you wanted to look at a good looking boy in swimming trunks, curtain pulled back half an inch, eyeball pressed close to the edge of the frame, a half hearted wolf whistle, then drop back before they could see where it came from!
I have never had the same sense of cleanliness from any bath at home as when we would come out of The Grange road baths....if you were rich and had threehalfpence to spend , there was a small 'canteen' in the basement where you could buy a cup of hot steaming oxo and a slice of bread, unlimited vinegar which according to my taste buds at the time, I used to pour in it!
You could also go and have a hot bath, clean towels aand soap for a reasonable price too, this was in an age where bathrooms and showers were not the norm...
My mother in law went regularly to do her washing at the Laundry Rooms there, you could wash, spin dry(?) hang you washing in large pull out dryers with bars inside, and iron them. My beautiful Laundrette it was not! it was a meeting place for all the hard working women to relax in! a place to catch up on who was knocking off who, who had only been married for 7 months and had a premature baby that looked full term....
The Alaska factory by the side of it was a specialist cleaning company for leathers and suede. It was still possible to take a coat into the cabin to be cleaned at a far cheaper rate than the dry cleaners I think as late as the eighties?