Haymakers in Crofton Park


Discovered by reader Crofty on the Lewisham Heritage gallery is this photo of haymaking in Crofton Park in 1910. Click here for more from the gallery.

28 comments:

Alex said...

Wonderful pictures!

Would be interesting to take pictures in the same positions today, similar to the Lewisham cinemas that were done recently.

Mb said...

Interesting how hilly fields had a permanent bandstand and is described as "Hilly Field Recreation Ground". Reinforces my view that an appropriatly sized and sighted cafe fits the pattern of usage perfectly.

Margot said...

Yes, but was the hay organic?

And did they have residents permits for those horses? I bet they were always parked up on unmarked stretches of roads or single yellows on Sunday evenings...

Anonymous said...

Bet they had great roses though.

Tamsin said...

Lovely picures in the gallery - the brick making for all that London stock...
The croquet layout looks a little strange though.
Anyone interested in the poverty map - Jess Steele transcribed the Booth notebooks for our local area and had them printed. The comments of the army of volunteer notetakers he used (including Beatrix Potter, I beleive) make interesting reading - likewise the reported views of the beat bobbies who accompanied them.

thisisengland said...

No pictures of the fabled tea house?

Anonymous said...

Get yourself along to the local studies library.

Anonymous said...

There's a picture of that here. You can see why they had supressed it.

http://tinyurl.com/5tr2un4

Q said...

thisisengland... I wouldn't bet my shirt on it being a fable.

quick brown fox said...

Wonderful pictures (not sure about the inclusion of the ones from the 1970s and 1980s!) Love the one of 'mid-town' Brockley, and the picture of the Brockley Jack.

Does anyone know where Brockley Hall was situated?

Anonymous said...

70s/80s pictures are welcome too as should be pictures from all eras. The sight of a street full of boxy, 1970s cars for example or an old Tesco logo can bring back a memory from your childhood.

In a land, far, far away.... said...

Dateline, 2134, Greater Brockley. Emperor Brockley Nick III is talking to the crown prince

I remember when this was all chicken shops, chicken - as far as the eye can see!

Really grandad?

Yes son, Is was in a beautiful crispy coat. Chicken didn't come in a tube in those days.

Tamsin said...

Absolutely - it does not have to be sepia. The 70s are - as the TV series would have it - another planet and nice to see the Brockley in that altnernate universe.

Fun thing about the mega postcard fair my friend took me to was the dozens of colour post War images.

thisisengland said...

I don't think the tea house existed, go on prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

If you want t open a cafe in Hilly Fields, do your own research.

Robert said...

The tea house did exist - my mother certainly remembers going there, and I think it survived until the sixties, at least.

I have seen a photograph of it - though not a close up view. I'll see if I can dig it out.

Brockley Historian said...

A little hard to believe perhaps, but what the picture actually describes is a Victorian dogging scene!

Gangs of young boys would work the fields in what was then more popularly known as Brockley (remember Crofton Park isn't an area, it's a station)which was then a rural area in Kent. The hours were long ans it was thirsty work, and after a hard days graft the boys would wind down with a session of what we in the 21st century would call 'Dogging', complete with lashings of cloudy lemonade.

Back in 1910 these boys would be known as 'Horsers' - the horse providing the means of conveyance (and, indeed, the alibi) and the cart providing the venue in many cases.

This is a fantastic find and a beautiful slice of life from yesteryear that shows we haven't changed as much as we think.

thisisengland said...

@Robert, yes there was a tea house, I went there in the 70s. It was in what is now the toilet block, the same building.
But was there a Victorian building near the proposed destination restaurant?

Robert said...

Yes there was. It was on the path leading up from the corner of Hilly Field Crescent and Montague Avenue. Found a photo, I'll scan it in later and send to Nick.

Anonymous said...

Cool, I love these pictures of Brockley as a rural idyll. Are there any of the canal, I wonder, or did that die off before the days of photography?

Tamsin said...

There are various prints of the canal but it closed in the 1830s (or maybe the 1840s) to be part taken over by the railway. (And the last remaining bit of canal walling was removed - quite unecessarily, by the look of it - with the ELL works at NXG.)

Tyrwhitt said...

I am reliably informed (by Wikipedia!) that some of the tow path of the Canal remains in Forest Hill and that one of the two feeder reservoirs still exists in a South Norwood Park.

The canal was of course also remembered by Weatherspoons when naming their local pub.

TM said...

Yes I know the Tyrwhitt should have Michael after it.

Anonymous said...

There was a sweetshop/teahop and toilets in the Hillyfields and a small hut with a caretaker that used to look after the tennis courts. You would book your time with him, and could borrow rackets and balls. This was in the 70's I was born and raised in Brockley and went to Brockley Primary when it was a two form entry school. Don't have any photos to prove it but they were there.

thisisengland said...

Looking forward to the photo Robert!

Robert said...

Sent it to Nick, along with a few other things of interest. I guess he will post it soon! He's a very busy chap you know.

thisisengland said...

Thanks Robert!

oryx said...

@ quick brown fox - I think Brockley Hall was situated where Brockley Hall Road/Sevenoaks Road now are. Remembering the bit of local history I've read, I think the Thirties houses opposite the Brockley Jack (Sevenoaks/Bearstead Rise etc.) were built on its site and the surrounding estate.

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