A Wee History Of Effra Road & Brixton, London

I L.O.V.E.D the Clash ... Guns of Brixton is one of my all-time fav tunes. Unexpectedly, fate chose, Brixton, as my hood.

Watching fab David Olusoga's: "A House Through Time", I wondered who had lived in my Victorian terrace "house", on Effra Road, Brixton. A warm salute to the history of Brixton and Effra Road.

Brixton History In A Nutshell!

Brixton History - A House On Effra Road Through Time
1648 - The Brixton Hundred. Source: Lambeth Archives

The area, now known as Brixton, in south London was originally marshland, by London centre, that developed into a farming village with travelling inns and, then grew in the 19th century, into a middle class suburb. Setting a historical vibe of Brixton & Effra Road where my Victorian terrace "House" is located (I only own a flat in it!) ...

Early Brixton Settlements

"Brixton", a district in south London, is thought to have been derived from "Brixistane" - the stone of Brixi. A Saxon lord, named Brixi is thought to have erected a boundary stone at the top of Brixton Hill, to mark the meeting place of the ancient Brixton hundred court of Surrey. In the Anglo-Saxon period (from 410 - 1066AD) Surrey was divided into 14 "Hundreds", which continued until Victorian times. The Surrey Hundreds were: ...more


Brixton: Effra River & Early History

Effra River, London route - copyright Adrian Prockter
Image Source: Adrian Prockter

Once upon a time, The River Effra was a tributary of the London Thames which once flowed generally from West Norwood and Dulwich, through Herne Hill, Brixton and Kennington to Vauxhall where it joined the River Thames. Though upper part of the River Effra was just a stream along Brixton Road to the Thames it was reported to average 12 feet wide and 6 feet deep. In Brixton, you can see, a tiny wee pavement sign beside the junction of Mervin Road and Dalberg Road, by one of the few remaining red pillar boxes.

The main branch of River Effra rose near Harold Road in Upper Norwood, and flowed through West Norwood. A second branch rose south of Gipsy Hill and springs rose in Dulwich Wood. In the mid-1800s, The River Effra was covered, culverted and used mainly for storm sewerage.

Hmmm, the etymology of the name "River Effra"? This has been much contested. more

Effra Farm / Heathrow Manor

Brixton & Effra River 1762 map
1762 - Brixton and Effra River map. Source: Lambeth Archives

Effra Farm was located in the late 18 / early 19 century between Coldharbour Lane and Brixton Water Lane, Brixton. Considering Effra farm shares it name with the Effra River it is so sad I can't find much information regarding the farm.

The Manor of Heathrow

Shoot me I am, confused by what constituted The Manor of Heathrow which comprised some 70 acres south of Coldharbour Lane on the east side of Effra Road and the north-east side of Dulwich Road. Source: british-history.ac.uk ...more

Effra Hall & Collinson House

Effra Hall, Brixton

1791 - Heathrow Manor & Robert Stone - Between 1791 and 1806 Robert Stone (1749 – 1820) bought Heathrow in four parts; it was then known as Effra Farm.

Robert Stone & Effra Hall, Brixton

Brixton born Robert Stone (1749 – 1820) was an English first-class amateur cricketer. He built Effra Hall (by current Kellett and Rattray roads) - a red brick mansion which was one of the largest mansions in Brixton where royal guests occasionally resided on his estate.

The value of the Heathrow Manor land was greatly increased by the layout of Effra Road in 1810 by the Lambeth Inclosure Commissioners, and again a few years later by the building of St. Matthew's Church. Robert Stone died in 1820 leaving his family .... more


St Mathew's Church, Brixton

St Mathew's Church, Brixton

1821: Work on the foundations of St Mathew's Church, Brixton was started in Autumn, 1821 by Mr. Mercer of Millbank but the first stone of St Mathew's Church, Brixton was laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury on July 1, 1822 ... more

Brixton Tate Library

Brixton Tate Library, circa 1910

1893: Brixton Tate Library (also known as simply Brixton Library) was built between 1891–93, after houses that were originally built there in 1839 were demolished and at a cost of £15,000 by the sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate (1819 – 1899). Brixton Tate Library was opened by the Prince of Wales on 4 March 1893 and is now a Grade II listed building ... more

Lambeth Townhall, Brixton

Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton c 1910

1908: After an open competition for designs, Lambeth Town Hall was built between 1906 and 1908, by Septimus Warwick and H A Hall, who planned the building in the shape of an 'A', and is now a Grade II listed building. The sculptures in the four corners of Lambeth Town Hall's tower represent Art, Literature, Science and Justice.... more


A House Through Time: My Bonnie Victorian Terrace "House" On Effra Road

On Effra Road, my slick block of five storey Victorian terrace "houses" comprises a mixture of private (owners and tenants), council and housing association flats, with residents of all ages and ethnicities. Forgive me, for being superfly wary and not revealing the number.


Brixton in the 1800s - 1860s

Brixton 1800 map
1800 - Brixton. Source: theundergroundmap.com
  • 1806, UK Parliament - By the the Rush Common Act 1806, Rush Common was designated a protected open space and common land in Brixton - a triangle bounded by: Brixton Hill, Effra Road and Josephine Avenue. Moroever, the the Rush Common Act 1806 stipulated that 'no Buildings or Erections above the Surface of the Earth' should be erected upon Rush Common within 150 feet of the London to Croydon Turnpike Road'.
  • 1807, London - The first recorded public street lighting powered by gas occurred in Pall Mall, London, on 28 January 1807. Source: The London Gasketeers. By 1810, I would have hoped Brixtonians would have had gas street lighting when Effra Road was constructed.
  • 1810, Effra Road - Effra Road in Brixton was built in 1810 on land near Effra Farm and the river Effra. Here begins the history of my Victorian Terrace building! Opposite Effra Road lay Rushey Green (aka Rush Common) - the name suggests the land there was marshy, see the Brixton map of 1824.
  • 1816, Brixton - Brixton Windmill (22 Blenheim Gardens) was built in 1816. It was leased to the Ashby family the following year until 1934. The Ashby family were millers who produced stoneground wholemeal flour and the mill became known as Ashby's Mill. Brixton Windmill is the only remaining windmill of 12 that stood in the Lambeth area.
  • 1816, London - The opening of Vauxhall Bridge in 1816 was the catalyst to Brixton's growth and terraced houses and detached villas soon lined the main Brixton road.
  • 1820, Brixton - Brixton prison (Jebb Ave, Brixton Hill) was built in 1820 and opened as the Surrey House of Correction, Brixton Prison which was intended to house 175 prisoners.
  • 1820, Effra Road - The George Canning public house on 95 Effra Road (now Hootenannys), at the junction with Brixton Water Lane was pouring pints. The pub was rebuilt in 1896.

    The George Canning public house at the junction of Effra Road and Water Lane
    The George Canning public house at the junction of Effra Road and Water Lane. Source: Lambeth Council
  • 1824, Brixton - The Trinity Asylum for Aged Persons was founded in 1822 by Thomas Bailey, a cut-glass manufacturer of the City of London, who lived in Bethal House, Brixton. The Trinity Asylum opened in 1824 on 28 Acre Lane, Brixton and accommodated 12 poor elderly women who were members of the Church of England and were between 57 and 67 years of age. It is now known as Trinity Homes, run by a charity of the same name and continues to provide accommodation for both men and women aged 57 years or over, who are members of a Christian denomination. Find out more

    Brixton & Effra Road 1824 map
    1824 - St Mathew's Parish, Brixton. Source: Lambeth Archives
  • 1825, Brixton - An ornate mausoleum was erected at the junction of Brixton Road, Effra Road and Brixton Hill by Henry Budd in 1825 for his father Richard Budd (1748-1824) who had worked ... in the stock exchange. Find out more
  • 1832, Brixton - In 1832, The Lambeth Waterworks Company, a utility company which supplied water to parts of south London, purchased 16 acres (65,000 m2) of land in Brixton and built a reservoir and works on Brixton Hill, by Brixton Prison, which became the company's main distribution station. Find out more
  • 1836, Brixton - 16 Almshouses were built on Ferndale Road, Brixton in 1836. It was one of three sets of Almshouses built on the Ferndale Road site, which originated in 1834 when land was purchased in Brixton to provide houses for poor freemen and others of the City of London from donations by a group of City businessmen to celebrate the passing of the 1832 Reform Bill, which basically gave the vote to middle class men. With mounting debts, the site to be passed by the trustees to the Corporation of London in 1848 forced. Find out more.

Brixton in the 1840s - 1850s

Brixton & Effra Farm 1840 map
1840 - Brixton / Effra Farm map. Source: Lambeth Archives

Brixton & Effra Road 1841 map
1841 - Brixton & Effra Road 1841 map Source: Lambeth Archives
  • 1841, Brixton - By 1841, Brixton had a population of 10,175. Source: Lambeth Council
  • 1853, Brixton - The graveyard surrounding the St Mathew's Church was closed to new burials. It was thought that burying people in the middle of a populated area might have been one of the causes of the cholera epidemic. (Holy, Moly - now, I know this I don't feel right, walking on the grass there!)
  • 1854, Brixton - the City of London Freemen's Orphan School, Brixton was opened in 1854, on Ferndale Road for "the maintenance and the religious and virtuous education of orphans of Freemen of the City of London". The City of London Freemen's Orphan School was paid for by the Corporation of London. It accommodated about 100 girls and boys, making it one of the oldest co-educational independent schools. The grand City of London Freemen's Orphan School was enlarged in 1863, but relocated to Ashtead Park in Surrey in 1924 while the buildings on Ferndale Road were demolished. Images Lambeth Archives: City of London Freemen's Orphan School, Brixton and City of London Freemen's Orphan School Plan
  • 1855, London - The first six Pillar boxes in London were installed on 11 April 1855.
  • 1858, Brixton - Brixton Police Station (367 Brixton Road) was built in 1858 to the designs of Charles Reeves, a Metropolitan Police Surveyor. FYI The Metropolitan Police was founded by Sir Robert Peel in 1829. Brixton Police Station was extended in 1909 and demolished and rebuilt in 1959.

    Brixton Police Station at No. 367 Brixton Road - built in 1858
    Brixton Police Station at No. 367 Brixton Road - built in 1858. Source: Lambeth Council


Brixton & Effra Road 1860 map
1860 - Brixton / Effra Road map. Source: MappaLondon
  • 1861, Brixton - By 1861, Brixton had a population of 20,067. Source: Lambeth Council
  • 1862, Brixton - Brixton railway station was opened on Atlantic Road, as Brixton and South Stockwell in 1862 by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR).
  • 1867, Brixton - The first fire station in Brixton was opened in December 1867 at 240-250 Ferndale Road, behind the Bon Marche department store and was one of the first purpose built fire stations in London. The opening was two years after London Fire Brigade was formed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act of 1865.

    Brixton Fire Station circa 1870
    Brixton Fire Station circa 1870. Source: london-fire.gov.uk
  • 1868, Brixton - The Brixton Commercial Hotel (now The Prince of Wales) was built on 467- 469 Brixton Road.

    Brixton Commercial Hotel which is now The Prince Of Wales
    Brixton Commercial Hotel (now The Prince Of Wales). Source: BrixtonBuzz
Effra Road & Mervan Road 1876 map1876 - Effra Road & Mervan Road map. Source: Lambeth Archives

In 1876, the Dudley Villa occupied the land where my Victorian terraces were later built. I think my block of Effra Road Victorian terrace houses were built circa 1880 on the part of the Stuart-Bruce Estate - the western half of Effra Farm?

  • 1870, Brixton - The Metropolitan company's Tramway line between Brixton, Gresham Road and the "Horns Tavern", Kennington opened in May 1870.
  • 1870, Brixton - Three-storey Victorian terraces houses were built on Josephine Avenue in circa 1870. Urban myth ... the Oak Tree outside 40 Josephine Avenue was a favourite picnic spot for Queen Elizabeth I when visiting Sir Walter Raleigh at Raleigh House, Brixton Hill?
  • 1871, Brixton - By 1871, Brixton had a population of 35,435. Source: Lambeth Council
  • 1873, Brixton - Vincent Van Gogh lived in Brixton for about a year at 87 Hackford Road.
  • 1877, Brixton - Brixton's Bon Marché on 241 Ferndale Road, (modelled on the original Bon Marché in Paris) was the first purpose built department store in the UK and the first steel frame building in the country. Bon Marché was the brainchild of James Smith of Tooting who was a printer by trade and the proprietor of the "Sportsman" newspaper. Strike it lucky - he won a fortune at the Newmarket races and decided to invest the proceeds in commerce to provide a secure future for his sons.

    Bon Marche Department Store circa 1880s
    Bon Marche Department Store circa 1880s. Source: John Lewis
  • 1878, Brixton - The Black Horse public house on 393 Brixton Road, was pouring pints from 1878 to 1958, with a Mrs Robert Elden being the first publican to serve up pints there.

~ 1880
Building of my part of Victorian Terrace Houses

Effra Road, Brixton 1882 map
1882 - Effra Road, Brixton map. Source: MappaLondon

Living in my "House":

1882 - The first owner of my Effra Road Victorian Terrace House - as yet, I can't determine :(

Brixton Life:

  • 1880, Brixton - The Morley & Lanceley department store opened in 1880, on 472-488 Brixton Road.
  • 1880, Brixton - The Brixton Railway Hotel was built in 1880 on 20 Atlantic Road, opposite Brixton Railway station and featured a 'Swiss Garden' in the courtyard, complete with palms, coloured lanterns and alpine scenery murals. The Railway Hotel was renamed to Brady's in the 1990s and closed down in 1999.

    The Brixton Railway Hotel - a hundred years later
    The Brixton Railway Hotel - a hundred years later. Source: flashbak.com
  • 1880s, Brixton - Quin & Axtens Ltd was set up as a business of drapers, furnishing and general warehousemen and eventually occupied numbers 412 to 440 Brixton Road.
  • 1881, Brixton - William Ward (1796 to 1881) (who shares my grandfather's name!), was a Brixton resident and philanthropist who was buried in a large tomb in front of St Mathew's Church in 1881. He left a third of his fortune, towards the establishment of a high school for girls (the City of London School for Girls as he believed that girls should be given a broad and liberal education with an emphasis on scholarship) and the rest of the money was to be used for the benefit of "the Poorer Classes".
  • 1882, Effra Road - In 1882, some Brixton streets were renumbered. My part of Effra Road had been called: Roseville Gardens. In 1882, subsidiary names of Effra Road were abolished: Elgin Gardens and Roseville Gardens.
  • 1883, Brixton - Electric lighting was introduced to St Mathew's Church in 1883 making it the first established place of worship to have electric lighting in Britain!
  • 1885, Brixton - In 1885 the Walton Lodge Sanitary and Steam Laundry on 374 Coldharbour Lane was established. Dairy owner Charles William Newland and his wife set up a domestic laundry service from their home as the business boomed, in 1885, they abandoned their dairy and expanded into a large house on Coldharbour Lane called Walton Lodge. Walton Lodge Laundry managed to survive the 1920's recession and kept on operating through two world wars. After trading from the same location for 119 years, the laundry closed in 2015 and in the 2020s it was converted into a restaurant.

    Walton Lodge Sanitary and Steam Laundry
    Find out more
  • 1887, Brixton - Brixton Road was the scene of the very first murder in the very first Sherlock Holmes' story A Study in Scarlet, published in 1887, and it was the hiding-place of a mysterious recluse in one of Conan Doyle’s last stories.

1888 - c. 1890?
John Sampson C.B.E

Civil Engineer John Sampson C.B.E

Living in my "House":

1888 to before 1891 - Civil Engineer John Sampson C.B.E is documented as living in my house from 1888 to before 1891.

Alas there is no info about him apart from being listed in the The Institution of Civil Engineers :(.

A couple of doors down, the house was owned by Rev. Josiah Viney.

Brixton Life:

  • 1888, Brixton - Though electric street lighting was first introduced in 1878 along the Thames Embankment and near Holborn Viaduct, the first street to be lit with electricity, was Electric Avenue in Brixton, in 1888. Source: The London Gasketeers. Later a Victorian iron and glass canopy was installed over Electric Avenue.
1895 - Electric Avenue, Brixton

1891 - c. 1895
Matilda Merry (nee Marsh)

Effra Road and horse drawn carriages
Effra Road and horse drawn carriages. Image Source: urban75

Matilda Merry of Brixton
1891 England Census

Living in my "House":

1891 to at least 1895 - Widowed Matilda Merry (nee Marsh) is documented as living in my "house" with: her Daughter? Kate (nee Marsh) Goodchild (37), Son-in-law Walter Goodchild (52) and grandchildren Florence Goodchild (13), Constance Goodchild (11), and Percy Goodchild (9) from 1891 to at least 1895. Her husband, William Rolls Merry (1816 - 1870?) had been a Missionary London City Mission.

Matilda Merry of Brixton

Note the image is taken from an Electoral Register of 1894 - it was HUGELY rare for a women to be able to vote.

  • 1882, Britain - Until 1882, common law in Britain deprived women of the right to keep their own property. Besides other matters, The Married Women's Property Act 1882 allowed married women to own and control property in their own right.
  • 1894, Britain - The Local Government Act 1894 entitled women who owned property the right to vote in local elections, become Poor Law Guardians and serve on School Boards.
  • 1918, Britain - Women over the age of 30 the right to vote - The Representation of the People Act of 1918 granted the vote to women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification. The same Act, however, gave the vote to all men over the age of 21 and abolished almost all property qualifications for men.
  • 1928, Britain - The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 gave women electoral equality with men by giving the vote to all women over 21 years old, regardless of property ownership.
  • 1970, Britain: The Representation of the People Act 1969 - lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, with effect from 1970

Brixton Life - I hope Matilda and her children enjoyed:

  • 1890s, Brixton - residential mansion flats were being erected along Coldharbour Lane, Rushcroft Road and Canterbury Crescent. At the time, Mansion flats were, a new and innovative housing type, pioneered in utilitarian form by the Peabody Trust in London. George Peabody set up The Peabody Donation Fund (later known as The Peabody Trust) in 1862 as his contribution to supporting low rent housing, which made provisions for low-income families to live in homes they could afford. Some of the mansions had flat roofs providing communal amenity space. In Brixton the mansion flats were often ornate and were popular with Music Hall performers and other artists who gave Brixton a slick bohemian flavour.
  • 1890s, Brixton - Langtry Lodge (a former coach house) on 70 Wiltshire Road, was gifted to the famous London actress and socialite Lillie Langtry by a member of the Royal Family ... the future King Edward VII? There is a stone plaque engraved with her name. Later the coach house became a piano workshop and during WW2, it became a safe muster point for the local Jewish community.
  • 1891, Brixton - By 1891, Brixton had a population of 73,405. Source: Lambeth Council.
  • 1891, Brixton - Brixton Postal Office was opened in 1891 at 20 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton.
  • 1892, Brixton - a cable line for double deck, open top trams was opened in 1892 to replace horse power between Brixton and Kennington, and was extended south to Streatham Library in 1895.
  • 1892, Brixton - Brockwell Park was created in 1892. Originally Brockwell Park was the private residence of John Blades (1751-1829), a famous London glass merchant. On the death of John Blades in 1829 the Hall and Estate passed by marriage to the Blackburn family who lived there until 1888. Brockwell Park was purchased by the London County Council for the people of Lambeth and London in 1891 in order to provide a public park in the area south of Brixton. It was then laid out as a landscaped park, and formally opened to the general public in 1892. Soon afterwards London County Council created a pond suitable for bathing BUT... only men and children were allowed to swim there.

    The English Oak in Brockwell Park is thought to be over 600 years old. It not only pre-dates the founding of Brockwell Park in 1892 but was already a mature tree when the original Brockwell Estate, from which the park was created, was established nearly 200 years ago. The English Oak in Brockwell Park has been voted as one of the top 20 "Great Trees of London" by the by charity, Trees for Cities.
  • 1893, Brixton - The Tate Central Library was opened in 1893, see above.
  • 1893, Brixton - Rance's Turkish Baths operated at 461 Brixton Road (behind what is now H&M) from 1893 to 1932. They claimed that "Rance's Turkish baths are now recommended by the Medical Profession for the cure of Rheumatism, Gout and all Acid and Liver troubles ... Turkish Baths Beautify the Skin and Complexion".

    Rance's Turkish Baths operated at 461 Brixton Road
    Source: BrixtonBuzz
  • 1896, Brixton - Brixton Theatre designed by renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham (1854-1920), opened next to Brixton Tate Library.

    Brixton Theatre beside the Brixton Tate Library
    Source: arthurlloyd.co.uk
  • 1896, Brixton - Madame Olivia (aka Edith Aubert), opened a Theatrical Dressmaker and Milliner at 35 Acre Lane in 1896. Madame Olivia made artistic hats and stage costumes including costumes for music hall performers such as Fish & Warren, Minnie Duncan.
  • 1898, Brixton - The Empress Theatre of Varieties opened on the corner of Bernay's Grove and Brighton Terrace and quickly became one of Brixton's best-known venues and "one of the finest of London’s suburban music halls". Popular performers at the time, included: Arthur Lloyd, Harry Lauder, Joe Elvin, Marie Lloyd, Tommy Fields, Wilson, Keppel and Betty and, Vera Lynn.

    Empress Theatre of Varieties on Brighton Terrace, Brixton
    Source: arthurlloyd.co.uk

1896 - c 1900
John Simpson

John Simpson of Brixton

1896 - John Simpson owned my terrace house?

1900 - c 1906
John Jones

Effra Road, Brixton circa 1900
Effra Road circa 1900 with horse drawn carriages. Source: Lambeth Borough Photos

John Jones of Brixton

Living in my "House":

1900 - John Jones, a Missionary of the London City Mission, was living in my "House" with his wife, children, 5 boarders and a servant (Harriet Emily Leaver). The London City Mission was set up by David Nasmith in 1835, in Hoxton, east London, and the Mission's aim was to "go to the people of London, especially the poor, to bring them to an acquaintance with Jesus Christ as Saviour, and to do them good by every means in their power."

1911 - The England Census shows that John Jones and his wife Emily Jones moved a couple of doors down with his son Leonard Hurling Jones who was a schoolmaster and they had 3 boarders and their loyal servant Harriet Emily Leaver.

Brixton Life - for John Jones and his family:

  • 1900, Brixton - Lambeth Council was established in 1900.
  • 1900s, Brixton - Isaac Walton & Co Ltd, described as a "hosier, hatter and boy's outfitters" was located on 518 - 522 Brixton Road (now McDonalds). Isaac Walton & Co was founded in Newcastle, in 1887, and they still operate a tailor's shop there.
  • 1900, Brixton - an unsolved murder: Mary Waknell, a 42-year-old mantle (coat) maker who was separated from her second husband, was found dead at her basement flat at 44 Water Lane, Brixton (close by Effra Road). Mary was found dead in the morning by her 16 year old. She had a black eye, had been stabbed in the breast, back and abdomen and had a large pair of scissors (her own scissors) left embedded in her heart. The police said: “The assailant left not a single vestige of evidence which could be followed up, and the officers engaged in the case freely confess they are without a clue.” Find out more on urban75.org.
  • 1901, Brixton - Ernest Walter Wickham, aged 29, was indicted for, and charged on the Coroner's Inquisition with the wilful murder of his girlfriend Amy Eugenie Russell after she refused to marry him until he got a job. He cut her throat on Dalberg Road (a road running parallel to Effra Road). Ernest Wickham was executed at Wandsworth on 13 August 1901.
  • 1901, Brixton - The 1901 census records Charlie Chaplin as living at 94 Ferndale Road, Brixton with Mr Jackson and his family along with his other 'Lancashire Lads' who were a troupe of eight young male dancers managed by William Jackson. In 1906, Charlie Chaplin and his brother, Sydney, took a flat at 15 Glenshaw Mansions on the Brixton Road. During this time, also living in Brixton were; Dan Leno, a leading English music hall comedian and musical theatre actor, who lived in Akerman Road and Fred Karno, an English theatre impresario and comedian who is credited with popularising the custard-pie-in-the-face gag.
  • 1903, Brixton - Marks & Spencers' first London outlet and 'Original Penny Bazaar' opened in 1903 at Arch 574 in Brixton Station Road.

    Marks & Spencers' first London outlet opened in 1903 at Arch 574 in Brixton Station
    Source: MyLondon
  • 1904, Brixton - Electric trams came to Brixton on 21 May, and Streatham on 19 June, 1904.

    August 1907 - new connecting lines to Stockwell Road and Gresham Road being installed on Brixton Road
    August 1907 - new connecting lines to Stockwell Road and Gresham Road being installed on Brixton Road. Source: urban75
  • 1904, Brixton - The London County Council School of Building was opened on 26th February 1904 to provide a specialist training college for the large number of building workers in Camberwell and Lambeth. The School soon gained a world-wide reputation as a centre of excellence in the fields of town planning, building architecture and technology and estate management. In 1970, five of the six departments from Brixton formed the new Polytechnic of the South Bank's Faculty of Construction, Technology and Design. The Faculty moved into a new purpose-designed Wandsworth Road building during the summer of 1973. Source: Find out more
  • 1905, Brixton - The Brixton Synagogue at 49 Effra Road, was formed in 1905 as a constituent synagogue of the United Synagogue. It was opened in 1913 and enlarged and re-consecrated on 25 September 1921. In 1920, it had 352 male seat-holders.

    The Brixton Synagogue at 49 Effra Road
    Source: Christine Lentzou Selzer flickr. Find out more: Jewishgen.org
  • 1905, Brixton - The General Cab Company opened its premises at 1-3 Brixton Road in 1905 from where it operated 1,500 taxis. FYI The first London horseless carriage taxi was introduced by Walter C. Bersey, General Manager of the London Electric Cab Company on 19 August 1897 and the first petrol driven cab licensed for use in London was in 1903, operated by the Express Motor Service Company. Find out more.
  • 1906, Brixton - The Brixton fire station on Ferndale Road was replaced by the opening of a fire station in Gresham Road, in 1906. Source: london-fire.gov.uk

1907 - c. 1938
James George Jones

Effra Road with cars and tram lines
Effra Road circa 1912 with cars and tram lines. Source: urban75

James George Jones of Brixton

Living in my "House":

1907 to 1937 - James George Jones (1852 - 1922) who was Checktak L Theatre (Theatre Producer?) was living in my "house" with his wife Amelia Ann Jones (nee Dickins) (1854 - 1935) and children: Iris Jones (24 years old - a clerk in a hardware store?), Ivy Jones (18 years old - Telephone operator for the National Telephone co.) and Lionel Jones (16 years old) until James's death 1922.

Death of James George Jones of Brixton
Death of James George Jones of Brixton
Amelia Ann Jones of Brixton (wife of James George Jones)
Death of Amelia Ann Jones of Brixton (wife of James George Jones)
  • 1922 - 1935 Amelia Ann Jones (his wife) lived with some of the children. In 1935, the probate upon her husbands death goes to her.
  • 1936 - 37 Lionel Francis Augustus Jones (son) lived in the family home with 10 boarders!
Lionel Jones of Brixton (son of James George Jones)

Brixton Life:

  • 1908, Brixton - Max Wall (real name Maxwell George Lorimer) was born into a music hall family on March 12 1908, at 37 Glenshaw Mansions, Brixton who became a famous actor and comedian.
  • 1908, Brixton - Streatham Jewellers Sidney Sanders and William Metherell, trading under Sanders & Co. Ltd, opened their second jewellery shop, which later became the firm’s headquarters, under a railway viaduct, on 458-460 Brixton Road, in c.1908. The ornate signage is still visible today. Though Mr Sanders left the company 1920 to found a rival company, both companies were merged in 1969 and were taken over by H. Samuel in April 1984.
  • 1909, Brixton - Following an Act of Parliament in 1904, a foundation stone was laid, in 1909, for a new King's College hospital at its present site at Denmark Hill, Camberwell which was to serve Camberwell, Brixton and Peckham. King's Hospital had been orginally located in the disused St Clement Danes workhouse in Portugal Street close to Lincoln's Inn Fields and King's College London itself and was opened in 1840.
  • 1910, Brixton - Morley & Lanceley suffered substantial fire damage on the 19th August 1910.

    Morley and Lanceley Brixton fire
    Morley and Lanceley Brixton fire. Source: BrixtonBuzz
  • 1910, Brixton - Brixton Woolworths at 415-417 Brixton Road (now occupied by an O2 store) was Woolworths first London store which was opened on the 10 December 1910. As the lease was to run out after 25 years, on 3rd September 1936, the Brixton Woolworths store was relocated to the other end of the street, to 457-461 Brixton Road, where an iconic Art Deco building was built. Due to the financial crash in 2008, its parent company collapsed into administration, and the store was closed in in January 2009. The building is now occupied by H&M. Find out more
  • 1911, Brixton - The Electric Pavilion opened in 1911 and was described as one of England's earliest purpose-built cinemas with 750 seats, a proscenium arch and an organ by the side of the screen to add musical accompaniment to the silent films. The entrepreneur behind the Electric Pavilion was Israel Davis, a successful cinema developer. FYI The first public performances of films before a paying audience in Great Britain began at the Polytechnic in Upper Regent Street, central London, on 21 February 1896. The Electric Pavilion later was renamed The Pullman (1954), The Classic (1964), Little Bit Ritzy (1978), and finally the Ritzy Picturehouse.

    The Electric Pavilion - now the Ritzy
    Find out more.
  • 1911, Effra Road - William Govett, who was one half of the comedy duo the Poluski Brothers, was living at 2 Effra Road, in 1911. Will and his brother Sam began as circus performers in the 1870s. Billed as "eccentric comedians and acrobatic marvels", the Poluski Brothers became one of the most popular pre First World War music hall performers. The Poluski Brothers
  • 1913, Brixton - The Palladium Picture Playhouse (now the Electric Brixton) opened on the 20th of March 1913, on Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill. It had a capacity of around 1,200 people on two levels: Stalls and Balcony. During it's lifetime it was bought several times and renamed: 'The Palladium Cinema', 'The Regal', 'ABC Brixton' by ABC owners and finally "The Ace Cinema" by an independent operator who closed it on the 28th March 1981. The venue was then converted for Music and Concert performances.

    The Palladium Picture Playhouse Brixton with its original Baroque Frontage in 1914
    Find out more arthurlloyd.co.uk.
  • 1915, Brixton - Billed as the World's Greatest Lady Gymnasts, The Caron Troupe lived at 24 Lambert Road, near Brixton Hill in 1915. They were known as the only female troupe (7 to 8 lady performers) of its kind and performed daring feats on high bars and rings at music halls across Britain, until the mid 1920s. Find out more.
  • 1916, Brixton - Brixton was bombed during a Zeppelin raid, in 1916.
  • 1920, Brixton - Bon Marche took over rivals Quin & Axten.
  • 1922, London - Daily radio broadcasting by the BBC began in Marconi's London studio, 2LO, in the Strand, on November 14, 1922.
  • 1924, Brixton - Brixton Market was built for street traders with Reliance Arcade, 45 Brixton Road. The Reliance Arcade was built into an existing Georgian house in an Art Deco style. The Electric Lane frontage of the Reliance Arcade is a rare surviving example of Egyptian inspired terracotta architecture which was in fashion following the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.

    The Reliance Arcade in 1932
    Source: BBC / Lambeth Council
  • 1926, Brixton - Bon Marché (now including Quin & Axtens) was bought up by Selfridges Provincial stores in 1926, and was rebuilt a year later.
  • 1926, London - the first iconic red telephone box, a cast iron K2 telephone kiosk, was installed in London in 1926 though it had been first designed in 1924 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880 - 1960). Over the course of the next decade, more than 1,700 K2 telephone kiosks appeared across London.
  • 1927, Brixton - Morley & Lanceley reopened as Morleys of Brixton at 472-488 Brixton Road.

    Morley and Lanceley Department Store's rebuild
    Morley and Lanceley Department Store's rebuild. Source: BrixtonBuzz
  • 1928, Brixton - Market Row was added as second Brixton Market arcade.
  • 1928, Brixton - British Home Stores (BHS) was launched at 452-456 Brixton Road (now occupied by Superdrug) in 1928. British Home Stores had been branded to appeal to consumers’ patriotism and the ethos of the day - to "buy British". It grew to 163 stores located in high streets or shopping centres across the UK, as well as 74 international stores across 18 separate territories but the company entered administration and closed August 2016.
  • 1929, Brixton - Brixton Astoria Theatre opened at 211 Stockwell Road on on the 19th of August 1929 and was designed by Thomas R. Somerford (1881-1948) and Edward A. Stone (1880-19??). The Brixton Astoria was a "Super Cinema" with stage facilities and the auditorium was decorated by Marc Henri in the ‘Atmospheric’ style. Brixton Astoria's opening show was the Al Jolson film "The Singing Fool", followed by a variety act, including Heddle Nash and Derek Oldham which was broadcast by the BBC.
  • 1929, Brixton - Two underground toilets (for males and females) were constructed in 1929 to serve visitors to the Brixton Theatre and the Electric Pavilion, by the Tate Library. They have remained locked up and unused since 1985.
  • 1929, Brixton - Women were finally allowed to bathe in Brockwell Park's lake for the first time in 1929 - that's almost 37 years after the pond was opened (circa 1892)! Source: Brockwell Lido
  • 1930, Brixton - The Brixton Ambulance Station was located at 250 Milkwood Road, Herne Hill. The London County Council had created the London Ambulance Service in 1915 and oversaw it.
  • 1931, Brixton - In 1931 an A504 biplane being used for filming a British comedy thriller called, "The Flying Fool," crashed into a garden behind 60 Gresham Road, Brixton. Source: BrixtonBuzz.
  • 1934, London - Street traffic light signals on Brixton Road were installed in 1934 and inaugurated by the Mayor of Lambeth, Councellor John Frederick Evans. FYI The first set of traffic lights in the U.K was set-up outside the Houses of Parliament in Bridge Street in 1868. The invention was credited to railway engineer John Peake Knight, to help M.P's crossing the road by stopping horse-drawn vehicles. During the day the lights comprised a set of semaphore arms that looked like a railway signal. At night a revolving gas lantern with red and green signals was used, controlled by a police constable. There was no amber light at the time so the PC would blow a whistle to indicate when the signals were about to change. Source: Knowledgeoflondon.com
  • 1937, London - The UK's and the world's first television transmitter was located at Alexandra Place in London, which began broadcasting BBC programmes to London and the Home Counties in November 1936. The first transmission from Crystal Palace, south London, took place on 28 March 1956, when it succeeded the transmitter at Alexandra Palace.
  • 1937, Brixton - Granville Arcade, named after the developer Mr Granville-Grossman (now known as Brixton Village) was opened by the actor Carl Brisson on 6th of May 1937.
  • 1937, Brixton - Brockwell Lido was opened in July 1937. The pool is 165ft long, 90ft wide and holds 600,000 gallons. Though it closed in 1990, after a local campaign Brockwell Lido was re-opened in 1994. A history of Brockwell Lido
  • 1937, Effra Road - There was an amusement park at the corner of Effra Road and Saltoun Road where Windrush Square is today. An omnibus depot and an Esso Petrol Station were stationed beside it.

    Rushcroft Garage by Brixton Tate Library
    Source: ghostsigns.co.uk and check out 1930s Brixton Amusement Park - pic 1 and 1930s Brixton Amusement Park - pic 2.

Mutiple Occupants

Mutiple Occupants in 1938

Living in my "House":

1938 - The Jones family sold their family home. 8 people were living now in the "house" - I can't suss who the owner is :(

WW2 Brixton Life:

Brixton WW2 bomb damage - bombsight.org

Brixton WW2 bomb damage. Source: bombsight.org (the site sadly has a redirect issue which I hope get's fixed) and urban75.org. Also check out the pic of bomb damage by the Astoria Cinema (now the O2 Academy).

  • 1940, Brixton - Bon Marché became part of the John Lewis Partnership.
  • WWII, Brixton Bombings - 21 VI bombs landed in Brixton creating much damage. Brixton Theatre, by the Tate Library, was bombed and later demolished. Both the Quin and Axten Department store and the police station were destroyed by enemy bombs. On the 28 June 1944, Acre Lane in Brixton was hit by a 'doodlebug' Flying Bomb destroying a large part of the 8th Church of Christ on Acre Lane. There were 72 fatalities, and the Town Hall opposite suffered serious damage.

    28th June 1944 - Acre Lane in Brixton was hit by a 'doodlebug' Flying Bomb destroying a large part of the 8th Church of Christ (20 - 22 Acre Lane) on Acre Lane and the Town Hall opposite suffered serious damage.
    Source: BrixtonBuzz and Lambeth Archives
  • WWII, Brixton - After the first enemy air raids of 1940, the London County Council (LCC) Restaurant and Catering Department provided emergency "Community Feeding Centres" (renamed British Restaurants by Prime Minister, Winston Churchill), across London which catered for people unable to prepare meals at home due to their homes having been bombed and temporary interruptions of gas, electricity and water supply. One of London County Council's Restaurants was located at 413 Coldharbour Lane and remained open until at least 1947. Under the Civic Restaurants Act local authorities continued providing restaurant services under peace-time conditions as long as they were not run at a loss. With rising rents and questions about the need for publicly run restaurants these helpful restaurants closed by 1955. Find out more.
  • WWII, Brixton - "middleclass" residents moved out of Brixton to avoid the enemy bombs and many of the grand houses in the wider district were used as bed-sits and flats.
  • WWII, My Father - my Scottish Father (from Edinburgh), Sergeant Major Albert Ward, of The 15th Scottish Reconnaissance Regiment, Squadron C, landed on 27th June 1944, in NORMANDY, France, Arromanches beaches and fought, and survived, until the WWII's end - through Belgium, Holland to northern Germany, KIEL CANAL. After the war's end, in Hamburg, Daddy met my beautiful and "good" German Mummy, Ursula Baingo, who had hid her Jewish boyfriend in Berlin. Daddy, apparently charmed her with contraband ... silk stockings ... and her parents, with food! In 1945, November 11 - Daddy was awarded a Military Medal, which he received from General Montgomery. Ps My Daddy, retired as Major A Ward MBE MM of The Royal Highland Fusiliers. Thank you - The Royal Highland Fusiliers who were exceedingly kind and warm to my German fun Mummy. I will always LOVE The Royal Highland Fusiliers - they brought so much happiness to my parents (pish! I was born (unexpectedly) soon before Daddy retired). I'm still upset by the formation of The Royal Regiment of Scotland which amalgamated all the amazing Scottish regiments like the The Royal Highland Fusiliers, The Black Watch... on the 2006 March 28 (bizarrely, on Mummy's birthday)
  • 1947, Brixton - iconic David Bowie was born at 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton on 8 January 1947. In 1989, David Bowie donated £200,000 towards The Brixton Community Centre. Where is it? I can see the pic but not much info on this Brixton Community Centre?

Mutiple Occupants

Mutiple Occupants in 1948

Living in my "House":

1948 - 10 people are recorded as living there. Can't suss out who the owner was :(

Brixton Life:

  • 1948, Brixton - the first Windrush immigrants arrived from the West Indies who settled in Somerleyton Road, Akerman Road and around Railton Road. They came to help rebuild England after the Second World War. Sadly they suffered much unjust racism.
  • 1948, UK - the National Health Service was created.
  • 1951, Brixton - trams were withdrawn from use in 1951.

    1952 - Tram at the junction of Effra Road and Brixton Road
    Source: urban75
  • 1952, London - The Great Smog was the worst air-pollution event in the history of the UK, and affected London during December 1952. The stifling fog was the result of a period of cold weather, combined with an anticyclone and windless conditions which collected airborne pollutants, mostly from the coal fires burning all over the city and caused up to 12,000 premature deaths and over 100,000 illnesses. Find out more.

Eileen-J McNamara

Eileen-J McNamara of Brixton

Living in my "House":

1954 to 1964 - Eileen-J McNamara was living with ... At the moment I can't suss when the "house" was turned into self-contained flats.

Eileen-J McNamara of Brixton

1960s Effra Road, Brixton - pic 1 and 1960s Effra Road, Brixton - pic 2.

Brixton Life:

  • 1950s, Effra Road - Built by the London County Council (LCC) in the 1950s, St Matthew’s Road Estate became a local landmark as the seven storeys high housing blocks were almost as tall as St Matthew’s Church.

    St Matthew's Road Estate viewed from Effra Road
  • 1950s - 60s, Brixton - The Empress theatre still featured some of the best theatre entertainers in Britain including: Alma Cogan, Bruce Forsyth, Charlie Chester, Dorothy Squires, Hughie Green, Joe Brown, Laurel and Hardy, Max Miller, Shirley Abicair and Tony Hancock.
  • Mid 1950s, Brixton - Former British Prime Minister John Major spent part of his childhood in a two-room flat off Coldharbour Lane.
  • 1956, Effra Road - The Brixton Synagogue at 49 Effra Road was damaged by fire in 1956.
  • 1957, Effra Road - In 1957, London Transport opened its own production line for tickets on Effra Road (where Curry's is now?). The Effra Road Printing Works produced 8 million ticket rolls each year which were used in the Gibson ticket machines that had been introduced on London's buses to replace old-style pre-printed tickets.
  • 1957, Brixton - The Empress Theatre on the corner of Bernay's Grove and Brighton Terrace was repurposed as a cinema, The Granada Cinema, until the 1970s when it was reborn as a ... bingo hall! Sadly it ended up as a furniture warehouse.
  • 1960s, Brixton - Legendary poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson moved from Jamaica to London in 1963 to be with his mother and still lives in Railton Road.
  • 1960s, Brixton - Windrush Sqaure was still occupied by an Esso Petrol station - see Lambeth Borough Photos.
  • Late 1960s, The Brixton Plan - Lambeth planners came up with a hideous vision for Brixton: the town centre would have been completely rebuilt with a 6-lane highway! Tower blocks were to be linked by raised pedestrian walkways. Thank Fook that didn't happen! Find out more about The Brixton Plan.

1965 - 2003?
Mutiple Occupants

1965 - 2003 - Mutiple Occupants. Though ancestry.co.uk's census documents only go up until 1960, I stop here for privacy reasons, but continue with Brixton life ...

Brixton Life:

  • 1967, UK - The hideous National Front (NF) was formed in 1967 when three far right groups merged: the League of Empire Loyalists, the British National Party and the Racial Preservation Society. Later the more explicitly neo-Nazi Greater Britain Movement joined the NF, whose leadership came to dominate the NF. The National Front's key beliefs included nationalism and racism. Find out more
  • 1971, Brixton - Oh my Gosh! Brixton tube station (an extension of the Victoria line) was opened on 23 July, 1971. That's mega late considering that London created the first, urban, underground railway in the world in 1863, The Metropolitan Railway between Paddington and Farringdon! Holy, Moly - why did it take until 1970 to get a tube to Brixton? Unexpectedly, the fast tube service hurt the trade of many local Brixton shops and department stores as Brixtonians could travel to Oxford Street for shopping so speedily and conveniently that this led to further economic decline in the 1970s.

    Brixton tube station (an extension of the Victoria line) was opened on 23 July, 1971
    Source: ltmuseum.co.uk
  • 1970s, Brixton - In the 70s Brixton was one of the heaviest squatted areas of London. The squatters not only occupied empty buildings to live but the spaces became creative hubs with bookshops, cafes, workshops, meeting places, gig venues, art galleries ...
  • 1972, Brixton - activists in the Gay Liberation Front founded a South London branch, which initially met from 1972 in the Minet Library, North Brixton. In May 1974, no 78 Railton Road was squatted, giving birth to the South London Community Gay Centre. Source: Knowledgeoflondon.com
  • 1972, Brixton - The Brixton Astoria Theatre was converted into a "discotheque" in 1972 called "Sundown Centre" (seriously?) and then was reborn as a concert hall in 1983 which is now known as O2 Academy Brixton. Since 1994, the Brixton Academy has won the NME Best Venue 12 times. Stellar performers have included: Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Rihanna ... and The Smiths' last gig (December 1986) :(
  • 1974, Brixton - McDonald's came to 518-522 Brixton Road (euch).
  • 1975, Brixton - Bon Marche closed.
  • 1979, Brixton - The Clash released "The Guns of Brixton" from their 1979 iconic album "London Calling".
  • 1981, Brixton Roits - After more than a decade of repeated attacks, arrests, harassment, and racist provocations by the local police and the Special Patrol Group (the paramilitary riot squad), between 6.10pm on Friday, 10th April, 1981, and 11.34pm, on Monday April 13th April 1981, Brixton erupted in a massive uprising. During the Brixton riots around 30 local buildings were destroyed by fire and 150 were damaged.

    Brixton Roits 1981
    Source: Getty Images - find out more about The Brixton Roits
  • 1981, Brixton - Southwyck House, the "Barrier Block" on Coldharbour Lane, was completed in 1981 and had been designed (in 1973) to sit next to a planned raised (60ft up in the air) flyover and offer an acoustic shield to the residents. The planned flyover and motorway were eventually and luckly abandoned.

    Southwyck House, the Barrier Block on Coldharbour Lane
    Source: BrixtonBuzz
  • 1982, Brixton - Bon Marche's freehold was bought up by British American Tobacco Industries (BAT) in 1982 for £1m and redeveloped as part of their inner city community affairs programme.
  • 1982, Effra Road - The Brixton Synagogue at 49 Effra Road was closed about 1982 and was amalgamated with the Streatham Synagogue (which had separated from Brixton Synagogue in 1946).
  • 1985, Brixton - A large-scale riot broke out in Brixton, after police shot Cherry Groce, a mother of 6, which left her paralysed during a dawn police raid while searching for her son. Cherry Groce passed away in 2011, as a result of her injuries.
  • 1985, Brixton - Brixton Recreation Centre, at 27 Brixton Station Road, was opened in 1985 (11 years after construction started in 1974).
  • 1991, Effra Road - The CoolTan Suntan Lotion factory on 67 Effra Road was squatted and in June 1991 became the CoolTan Arts Centre. The CoolTan Arts Centre squatters were evicted in February 1992, and moved to offices above Brixton Cycles and then squatting in the former Unemployment Benefit Offices in Coldharbour Lane where it became a thriving art space, with a cafe, live music and offices for various campaign groups. Alas the cool art deco CoolTan Suntan Lotion factory was demolished shortly after their eviction and the ground remained unused for over ten years.

    The CoolTan Suntan Lotion factory on 67 Effra Road
    Source: flashbak.com
  • 1992, Brixton - The former building which had housed the Empress Theatre, on the corner of Bernay's Grove and Brighton Terrace in Brixton, was demolished in 1992. A small housing development now stands on the site.
  • 1998, Brixton - Windrush Square, a public plaza at the heart of Brixton, was first named in 1998 in commemoration of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, which docked in Essex in 1948, carrying 1,027 passengers, at least 500 of whom were from the Caribbean.
  • 1999, Brixton - In April 1999, over fourteen days, the London communities of Brixton, Brick Lane and Soho were targeted by a series of nail bomb attacks by self-confessed racist and homophobe David Copeland. On Saturday April 17th 1999, the first nail bomb was targeted towards the Black community of Brixton and it exploded at the side of the Iceland Store in Brixton, on Electric Avenue, injuring 48 people. On the 30th June 2000, David Copeland was convicted of murder and given six concurrent life sentences.

    Brixton nail bombing on April 17th 1999
    Source: BBC
  • 2000, Brixton - For l.o.v.e, I moved to Brixton, starting off at Dalberg Road! Sadly I remember seeing a few times, police tapes where victims had been murdered.

2003 +
Mutiple Shareholders

2003 Onwards... I bought my flat, and planted lots of poundshop bulbs, roses and .. two christmas trees in the communal forecourt :)

Brixton Life:

2011 Brixton Roits - Riot Police outside my flat on Effra Road!
2011 Brixton Roits - Riot Police outside my flat on Effra Road - Curry being looted plus burning waste bin! Outside my flat! Screengrabs from ITV (at the time) and Youtube The Brixton 2011 riot
  • 2011, Brixton Roit / Cyrry's Looting - The Brixton 2011 riot began on the evening of Sunday 7th August, 2011, the day after rioting in Tottenham Hale, London, following the death of Mark Duggan, a local black man who was shot dead by police on 4 August. At about 12.30am, as it began to rain heavily in Brixton, Met officers, dressed in protective clothing and carrying shields, started to push people back up Brixton high street. The rioters turned their attention to a large branch of Currys, on Effra Road. Over the next few hours Brixton Currys was ransacked, with people walking out with huge flat screen TVs, computers and household appliances. I saw them from my window! The Riot police were outside my forecourt forming a barrier across Effra Road while industrial waste bins burned on Effra Road!
  • 2012, Brixton - Wohoo, TK Maxx opened in Brixton Road in 2012, in the historic Bon Marche Centre.
  • 2014, Brixton - The Black Cultural Archives opened at 1 Windrush Square in 2014. The Black Cultural Archive's mission is to record, preserve and celebrate the history of people of African descent in Britain.
  • 2015, Brixton - Brixton gentrification continued with Champagne + Fromage in Brixton Village and Foxton's estate agents on the high street.
  • 2016, Brixton - After a decade of clubbing and llllllllong late night bus trips home ... London finally got a Night Tube 24/7 service on Friday and Saturday. This initially only applied to the Central and Victoria line services.
  • 2017, Brixton - The African and Caribbean War Memorial was opened in 2017 Windrush Square, Brixton. It comprises two 6-foot obelisks made from Scottish whinstone, one standing upright, one laying flat, mounted on a pyramidal plinth made of Ancaster stone. It is inscribed with the name of every regiment from Africa and the Caribbean who served in World Wars I and II, as well as where they served, and when. The memorial was designed by Jak Beula, of the Nubian Jak Community Trust. Each year Remembrance Day is commemorated and, each time I cry when I see the current serving soldiers there! (During WWII my Father, Major Albert Ward MBE MM served in The 15th Scottish Reconnaissance Regiment.
  • 2017, Brixton - In 2017, the intersection at Brixton Road and Coldharbour Lane was recorded as the most polluted intersection in London. The area broke the EU legal limits on nitrogen oxygen and drastic changes needed to be made. The council decided that 35 fruit trees and edible hedges would be planted there as trees can absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen and thus Brixton orchid was created.
  • 2018, Brixton - In 2018, Network Rail inititated a redevelopment of all the arches along Atlantic Road, Brixton, and the businesses renting arches were given notice to quit. Guttingly, five years on the majority of the Atlantic Road arches remain closed and covered in graffiti.

    c. 1910 - Busy Brixton Arches, Atlantic Road
    Image Source: Lambeth Archives

    2023 - empty Brixton Arches, Atlantic Road
    Image Source: BrixtonBuzz
  • 2019, Brixton - One of Brockwell Park’s most photographed trees, a Hornbeam tree, was cut down by Lambeth Council in 2019 as “... it has become necessary to remove this tree due to (an) unstable crown.” Couldn't a tree surgeon have given this lovely tree a "pruning"?. Find out more
  • 2021, Brixton - Architecture studio Adjaye Associates designed a triangular memorial / small pavilion in honour of Cherry Groce which was opened in 2021 Windrush Square, Brixton.
  • 2023, Brixton - Hmmm ... but on a postive note, wildlife hanging out in my forecourt & trees; a magpie, crows, wood pigeons, jays, red robin, blue tits and very rarely a wren?, green parrot squadron fly bys and once ... a woodpecker!!!! Plus, a grey squirrel nesting in my tree and hungry Fantastic Mr. Fox!

c 1910, Brixton Tate Library Garden

2020s - Brixton Tate Library and Windrush Square

2023: A Message to you, Rudy:
Lambeth Police and Lambeth Council

Moan 1: Stop Antisocial Behaviour

Police where are you? Lambeth Council you have promoted gentrification and Brixton nightlife in Brixton BUT you are not dealing with Anti-social behaviour which has escalated to downright lawlessness. And where is the sense of people's politeness? Please act on:

Druggies (day & night) - taking drugs and dealing on door steps and leaving crack wrappers. ...

Druggies (day & night) - taking drugs and dealing on door steps and leaving crack wrappers.


Prostitutes - doing tricks on basement steps, between parked cars.

Loitering - non-residents sitting / loitering and sifting through rubbish bins.

Non-resident Parking - non-residents park for free to go to work / shop (taking up our spaces and avoiding parking fees) and often leave litter.

Abandoned cars.

Fly tipping - in private grounds.

Littering - pedestrians throwing litter on the floor and into gardens.

Public urination and defecation - in private property.

Dog fowling - dog owners come into to let their dogs do number 2 or throw the full-bags into the railings.

Graffiti - on bins, on residents walls, The African and Caribbean War Memorial on Windrush Square ...

Shoplifting ...

Moan 2: Lambeth Council and Town Planners - Stop Consenting To U.G.L.Y and Aint Got No Alibi Buidlings

The Brixton School of Building had a world-wide reputation as a centre of excellence in the fields of town planning, building technology, estate management and building architecture. Come on Lambeth Council and Town Planners, look back at the images herein and archival images of Brixton when architecture was ornate and with large windows and compare how bedraggled Brixton looks now. Become Brixton Town Planner legends:

Old buildings - Stop demolishing old buildings of architectural slick design / heritage and rather support property owners to renovate e.g. Brixton Synagogue, Bon Marche are fab examples.

New buildings - Only approve building designs with empathetic and slick design to the surrounding buildings and which don't infringe on height restrictions (Somerset Place Flat complex eyesore by Lambeth Town Hall).

Amenities - ensure that Brixton amenities can accommodate any increase in the population e.g. tube, GP, dentists, schools ...

Make Brixton clean - increase the number of e.g. rubbish bins and public urinals throughout the area particularly along Effra Road

Green spaces - Don't build on green spaces and where possible increase green spaces. You were forced to create Brixton orchid when the area broke the EU legal limits on nitrogen oxygen levels in 2017. Look how fab Brixton orchid turned out. Don't demolish and rebuild on Effra Road Curry & Halfords, Fitch Court Retirement housing land, Pulross Intermediate Care Centre ...

Re-green Brixton - with a vibrant and diverse fauna which contributes to reducing air pollution and according to the Arbor Day Foundation, in one year a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange.

Traffic - re-configure traffic flow so that traffic polution decreases. In 2022, Brixton Road had the worst illegal levels of the deadly gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in London. The Clean Cities Campaign showed the annual mean level of NO2 monitored in central Brixton in 2021 was 62.8 micrograms per cubic metre – 62.8 μg/m3 - 50% higher than the legal limits. Source: The Clean Cities Campaign

Attract diverse businesses that are not only hospitality / phone focussed - how many phone shops and restaurants do we need? In the past companies based in Brixton included the Walton Lodge Sanitary and Steam Laundry, London Transport's printing works ...

P.S. Brixton Snow 2013 - A video of a Brixton snow stroll on 2013 from my flat on Effra Road (with Mummy's car in the forecourt), after the Brixton snow fall in January 2013. Snow in Brixton is so really rare. I used to L.O.V.E snow but, since 3rd December 2010, rushing up to Edinburgh on the worst fatal trip and driving on the scariest skiddy Edinburgh icy streets with snow piled high on pavements, to The Royal Infirmary, Liberton Hospital, Edinburgh (which I latter became to hate), to my critically ill, beloved Mother ... Forevermore, snow haunts me.

Druggy on doorstep

Drunk peeing in forecourt