The History of Chesham Park and Winsford Gardens

The History of Chesham Park and Winsford Gardens.


 Chapter One: Green fields and iron rails.

“Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?” – Roger Waters.

Once, the Great North Wood, or Norwood, stretched from Selhurst to Deptford, covering the Sydenham Ridge and the tributaries of the Rivers Effra and Ravensbourne in an oak forest. By the time of John Rocque’s 1745 Map of London, several large areas of common land had been carved out from the forest, including Penge Common. There are no buildings of any kind shown on Penge Common at this time.

John Rocque map

Enclosure

In 1827, an act of Parliament, 7 & 8 Geo. 4, c.35, was passed, for the enclosure of Penge Common. The ownership of the Common was somewhat disputed during this time. Interested parties included Earl George Spencer, Lord of the Manor of Battersea and Wandsworth, and John Scott, who had bought the land of Penge Place, now Crystal Palace Park, for £35,000 from Lord Spencer.[1]

They also included John Barwell Cator, whose father, Joseph Cator, had bought Penge Place and other lands from John Scott, and the now defunct Croydon Canal Company (which had opened in 1809) who had never fully paid for land that it had bought.[2] Although the Battersea Parish Vestry re-asserted its traditional rights to the common land, they made a poor case, and the Lord Spencer, did not support them.[3]

Public Meetings

Following the Penge Common Enclosure Act, Richard Peyton was appointed as a commissioner to oversee the enclosure. He held three meetings at the Crooked Billet public house in Penge between September and October 1827 where he heard the claims from individuals with an interest in the enclosure.[4] Only those who could provide title deeds or other legal documentation to back up their claims of property rights were heard.[5] The poorest residents with their traditional rights to graze animals on the common were not heard.[6] The remaining land was sold at auctions beginning on the 30 October 1827.[7] The Battersea Vestry noted that the advertisement was:

“A very valuable Piece or Parcel of Land Freehold and Tithe Free situate on the west side of the road leading from Beckenham to Dulwich and adjoining the Croydon Canal…” [8]

Auction

Those receiving land by allocation were William Fox of Croydon, William Booth of Sheffield, William Wilson of Sydenham (Surveyor of Penge Common), John Lawrie (1812-1889, who lived at Sydenham Hall) and Edward Richards Adams senior, a local landowner and lawyer who had previously opposed the enclosure of the common land.[9] Those acquiring land at auction included John Barwell Cator, John Lawrie and Edward Richards Adams senior.[10] Others included a group of property speculators, Messrs Duikes, Wear, Siddiard, Gary and Sanderson, from London.[11]

William Sanderson (1801-1871) was a Scottish silk manufacturer who is anecdotally reputed to have built the first house on the Common, which he named “Annerley” because, in his rich Scottish accent, it was the “only” house or it was “a lonely” house.[12]

Road Improvements

A condition imposed on all the new landowners was a requirement to improve the existing roads with the construction of new routes, including that which has now become Elmer’s End Road and Anerley Roads, and that which has become Maple Road.[13] This was a great financial burden imposed on the new landowners but it was still a sound financial investment. Speculative building meant that the price of building land could be considerably higher than farm rents.

When the London and Croydon Railway Company purchased the Croydon Canal for £40,250, (the railway opened in 1839) this was the incentive required for residential development to begin on the land.[14]

Tea Gardens

The railway line through Anerley took a more direct route than the old canal leaving behind some meandering cut-off sections as freshwater lakes. In 1840, tents, booths and rustic bowers were erected by the railway company in the woodland next to Anerley station to encourage day excursions for picnics, parties, and fishing in these meanders of the canal.[15] Not only did these ‘Anerley tea gardens’ provide a reason for passengers to travel, but also the impression of rural charm within easy reach of London and Croydon, was an enticement for people to settle there. The only section of the canal still remaining today is a length along one edge of Betts Park, near to Anerley station.

Fire at Elmer Lodge

Edward Richards Adams senior lived in Elmer Lodge and farm, Elmer’s End. He was a Justice of the Peace in the County of Kent.[16] In 1805, he married Ann, the daughter of John Dunkin, of Penzance, at St. Paul’s, Covent Garden.[17] Both were of the parish, Westminster. There was a fire at the Elmer Lodge in 1839 and property worth between £1500 and £2000 was destroyed.[18] The servants discovered the fire first, when they saw flames already issuing through the roof near the kitchen chimneys, and they rang the Lodge bell.[19]

Total Destruction

Several local fire engines were soon on the scene, including a force of sappers and miners from the East India Company under the command of Colonel Rutherden.[20] Adams sent to Mr. Braidwood of the London Fire Establishment for two of the more powerful fire engines from Farringdon Street Station and Southwark Bridge Road to be despatched with post horses, but before the fire engines could reach Beckenham, the mansion had almost undergone total destruction.[21]

The roof and upper floor was totally consumed.[22] Much of the furniture was saved, though it was damaged when being hurriedly and roughly thrown out of the burning building.[23] The whole of the wardrobe of Mr. Adams and his family, their plate, and documents of great value were all burnt.[24] Fortunately, they were insured with the Sun Company.[25]

Clock House

Adams also lived for some time in Beckenham Place, the red brick mansion that stood on the site of the present Spa and The Studio in Beckenham, until it was demolished in 1884.[26] This “substantial” mansion had at one time been the seat of Joseph Cator, and the stable buildings had a clock tower, from where the area gets its present day name of Clockhouse.[27] Adams was for many years, the churchwarden of the parish Church there.[28]

Hospital Accountant

In 1835, he was, as an experienced accountant, employed by the governors of Bridewell and Bethlem Hospitals to investigate their accounts.[29] In the 1840’s, he continued to be Bridewell Hospital’s accountant.[30] In 1836, he was a subscriber to the list and shareholder in the petition for a direct railway line from London to Brighton.[31]

OS map 1868

Edward Richards Adams died in 1856.  He is buried in the family vault in St. George’s graveyard, Beckenham.  His Will settled on his only son three main properties:

  1. An estate in Butcher Hill, Littleport, Cambridgeshire
  2. Elmer Lodge and land in Beckenham
  3. Land in Penge and Anerley, on the Kent/Surrey border.

The latter land that he had acquired at the 1827 auctions, east of Croydon Road, Penge, later became the Chesham Park Estate. The Kent/Surrey boundary was the tributary of the Chaffinch Brook that now runs north under the back gardens between Chesham Road and Ravenscroft Road and through Lower Chesham allotments.

Cambridge

Edward Richards Adams junior was born in 1809 and baptised in Lambeth, Surrey on 28 Mar 1810.[32] He lived with his father and mother, at Elmer Lodge and farm, and he worked in London.[33] He went to school in Clapham for seven years under Dr. Lang, and Stamford under Mr. Arnold.[34] In 1828, at the age of 19 he was admitted to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[35] He was a scholar from Michaelmas 1829 to Labour Day 1832.[36] He received his B.A. in 1832 and was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn.[37] He received his M.A. from Cambridge in 1835 and was called to the Bar the following year.[38] He was an equity draughtsman and conveyancer.[39]

In 1840, he married Adelaide, the second daughter of Joseph Wood of Westminster, and of Manadon Park, Devon.[40] He was a magistrate for Surrey and purchased the Lord of the Manor of Charlton Adam, Somerset.[41]

Rural Walks

He kept a diary in shorthand, the final entry of which records a walk to Penge to see the Croydon Railway Company at work on land acquired from his father.[42] In 1868, he owned a house next to this railway line at 32, Oakfield Road, between Hawthorn Grove and Jasmine Grove.[43] Herbert George Wells, born in 1866, also describes his walks as a boy in this same area, at about the same time, in the autobiographical The New Machiavelli.[44] In comparison to Bromley, (which he calls Bromstead) he wrote:

“It was a district of very much the same character, but it was more completely urbanised and nearer to the centre of things; there were the same unfinished roads, the same occasional disconcerted hedges and trees, the same butcher’s horse grazing under a builder’s notice-board, the same incidental lapses into slum. The Crystal Palace grounds cut off a large part of my walking radius to the west with impassable fences and forbiddingly expensive turnstiles…”[45]


 Chapter Two: Urbanisation: Building a London suburb.

“In urbanisation, you think big because you are thinking decades ahead.”-  Kushal Pal Singh.

Edward Richards Adams died in south Croydon in 1872 aged 54.[46] Between 1864 and 1867, he had leased many properties in Anerley Road for building development.[47] This was in part, due to the popularity of the area after the relocation of the Crystal Palace in 1854 and the success of the railways. A new, West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway had opened in 1854. His Will bequeathed his three estates, one to each of his three sons.[48] Elmer Lodge and farm was given to the eldest son, Rev. Edward Richards Adams, of Roehampton Lodge, Putney; the author of the popular book, “Lectures on Religion.”[49] The Elmer Lodge later became a Public House, and is now the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. John.[50]

The Colonel

The Penge and Anerley estate was given to Colonel Joseph Wood Richards Adams, and the Butcher Hill farm to Charlton Richards Adams.[51] In 1867, Joseph Wood Richards Adams resigned from 7th Surrey Rifle Volunteer Corps.[52] In 1877, Joseph was an accountant at 27, Walbrook, London City.[53] In 1912, he sold land on Anerley Road, between Versailles Road and Madeline Road (originally leased to Charles Pawley for house building in 1864) to Ernest Frederick Pawley, Francis Adolphus Pawley and Evelina Louise Devereux.[54]

Railways

The 1868 Ordnance Survey map shows that further east of the London to Croydon railway, on land that became the Chesham Park, Beckenham Park and New Beckenham Park estates, building development was much slower, with only a few houses on Croydon Road at the corner of Elmer’s End Road.[55] Although a railway line to Beckenham was built as a double-track branch of the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway in 1858, it was closed from 1860 to 1863.

The present day Birkbeck railway station was a much later edition, the only stop being a small halt on Beckenham Road (now Beckenham Road Tram stop.)[56] The Birkbeck Building Society and Birkbeck Freehold Land Society, formed in 1851, by Francis Wall MacKenzie Ravenscroft, bought the Beckenham Park and New Beckenham Park estates on either side of the railway.[57]

Birkbeck

It is suggested that the society was named after Dr. George Birkbeck, the Yorkshire physician and philanthropist, merely in order to evoke some air of integrity.[58] Ravenscroft (1929-1902) managed the society, later the Birkbeck Bank.[59] It paid customers to come to Elmer’s End and Anerley by rail, where it offered mortgages at 3½ % interest on “medium sized houses” and sold plots by auction for builders of houses in “great demand” in “rapidly growing neighbourhoods.”[60]

MacKenzie Road and Blandford Road either side of the railway appear to have been built first, along with ribbon development along Elmer’s End Road. Part of MacKenzie Road was already present in 1871.[61] St. Michaels and All Angels Church opened first as a temporary building in 1877.[62] The corner of Avenue Road and Birkbeck was constructed in late 1889.[63] It was intended for Avenue Road to run across the railway but there were insufficient funds.[64]

Development

The pace of development in the district was extraordinary with monthly advertisements in the Bromley and District Times, during 1889, now promoting, “upwards 300 houses already erected, and building operations continue in active progress.”[65]

There are signs that this accelerated rate of development was causing problems, with some frontage owners on the Birkbeck estates asking to pay their private improvement expenses, levied as part of the 1875 Public Health Act, by instalments, and Henry Chamberlain Pharaoh, a builder of 14 houses in Ravenscroft Road, declared bankrupt in 1897.[66]

In 1891, the Penge Rate Collector, Mr. Wilson, was himself declared bankrupt.[67] At a meeting of the Penge Rate Association, a future resident of Chesham Park, Frederick Grose, spoke up on Mr. Wilson’s behalf.[68] Even the Birkbeck Bank itself went into receivership in 1910.[69] It had suffered a run on its deposits, most of which were held as long-term securities such as mortgages.[70]

Trams

Penge itself was also falling out of fashion, the great Crystal Palace struggled to make a profit and the murder of Harriet Staunton in 1877 had scandalised Victorian Britain.[71] Rail fares to the suburb were relatively expensive and the omnibus and tram took some time to reach Penge, in respect to both their distance to travel and of the provision of services. Even as late as 1902, Bromley UDC had still felt that there was no “practical utility” to a joint system of tramways connecting Bromley with Penge and Beckenham, but later in that year they appeared to make a complete U-turn, until by 1903, they were “absolutely committed” that they were “desirable.”[72]

The railway branch line to Beckenham closed again in 1915 and did not reopen until 1929 as part of the Southern railway electrification scheme. During this period the Anerley or “Groves” estate was gradually developed, spreading out from the existing housing, up to Croydon Road, and leaving Penge Green (later Penge Recreation Ground) and Betts Park as the only other remaining green-field sites.[73]


Chapter Three: William Matthews: From rags to riches.

“It’s a big enough Umbrella, but it’s always me that ends up getting wet.” – Sting.

While Penge rapidly became another London suburb, the Richards Adams family estate, between Ravenscroft Road and Croydon Road had remained largely free from development. In 1876, Properties along Croydon Road are on lease to Charles Moon, Thomas Fawkes and Miss Matthie.[74] In the same year, a large portion of the estate, including 71, Croydon Road, was transferred from Colonel Joseph Wood Richard Adams to William Matthews.[75]

Lewisham Board of Works

This land, now known as the Chesham Park Estate would later become Chesham allotments, Winsford Gardens, Garden Road, Chesham Road and Chesham Crescent, and it is now shown as having both 12-inch pipe and brick sewers running through the land.[76] These were built by the Lewisham Board of Works, created by the Metropolis Management Act of 1855.[77]

The Lewisham Board of Works consisted of twenty-one members elected by the parish Vestry to represent Lewisham and six to represent Penge.[78] They were responsible for drainage, water supply, lighting, cleansing, nuisances, and for some recreation grounds.[79] They were responsible for turning Penge Green into Penge Recreation Ground in 1888.[80]

 Figure 3

Chesham

William Matthews was an umbrella manufacturer and merchant, born in 1834, and originally from Chesham, Buckinghamshire.[81] He is unrelated to the botanist and mountaineer of the same name. In 1841, he is living amongst a community of shoemakers, leather tanners, and straw plait makers on Germaine Street, Duck Hall, Chesham, with is father, John, and mother, Sarah.[82] In 1851, William and his father are both shoemakers working in the High Street, Chesham.[83]

In 1853, he had moved to London, where he married Elizabeth Turney in Saint Pancras.[84] Elizabeth was an organist, and the daughter of a tea buyer and warehouseman.[85] In 1861, William and Elizabeth are now living at 31, Fore Street, St Giles Cripplegate, East London among a community of dressmaking machinists and collar manufacturers.[86] William is now a manufacturer of umbrella trimmings, and rich enough to afford a servant.[87] He later had his own umbrella furniture manufacturing premises at 55, Basinghall Street, London EC.[88]

Camberwell Councillor

In 1871, William is living at Woodbine Grove, Penge.[89] In 1878, he was living at Chesham Park, 71, Croydon Road.[90] William was a member of the Penge and Anerley traders association.[91] At the first London County Council elections in 1889, he stood as an Independent Conservative candidate for Camberwell, Dulwich but he failed to be elected. In 1892, William was elected as a London County Councillor for the Moderate Party, the Conservative-backed opposition group on the council.[92] He was elected as a LCC Councillor for Dulwich and re-elected in 1895 and 1898.[93] He lived at Chesham Park until his death in 1899.

Umbrellas

Jonas Hanway is credited with starting to carry more sturdy and male oriented umbrellas, though he was initially met with ridicule. Victorian umbrellas frames were wood or baleen until, around 1852, Samuel Fox, of Stocksbridge, Yorkshire, invented the steel-ribbed “Paragon” umbrella.[94] The umbrella became an indispensable fashion accessory for every public appearance, and Matthews’ business prospered accordingly.

English society ladies and gentleman carried an umbrella for use in a thunderstorm, on an outing to see the dinosaurs at the Crystal Palace, but also on the top deck of the London omnibus.[95] However, a combination of the rain and a forest of umbrellas was the ruin of any good ‘Lincoln Bennett and Co.’ top hat, and a public nuisance.[96] Writing in 1899, Hugh Dellow, who travelled daily between Fleet Street and Camberwell on the omnibus wrote, “In the hands of a careless man, and even more so of a careless woman, [it] is a deadlier weapon than a Maxim gun.”[97]

Penge UDC

The Ordnance Survey map of 1895 shows a track in the position where Garden Road will later be built, from Croydon Road to the north field, which was used for livestock.[98] This track makes a sharp right turn to the stable block. Later, this stable becomes a garage and a chauffeur’s cottage.[99] There is also now a large glasshouse.[100] In 1900, Penge Urban District Council was established and the town was transferred from Surrey to Kent, beginning 65 years of autonomy.[101]

Figure 4

In 1901, the houses along Croydon Road are occupied by William’s widow, Elizabeth Matthews at 71, Walter Tarrant, an electrotype merchant at 73, Charles Moon, a retired mantle manufacturer at 75, James Hibbert, a retired architect at 77, Charles Knightley, a Scottish Clergyman at 79, Mortimer Justin, an automotive engineer at 81, and Edward Midwinter, a surgeon at 83.[102]

Colonel Richards Adams, continued as their property owner, but he lived at Springhill, Winkfield, Berkshire, from about 1878-1900, and at De Vere Gardens, Kensington from about 1900-1927.[103] He sells further properties in Anerley Road in 1912.[104]

Figure 5

Philanthropic Bequests

The Ordnance Survey map of 1919 shows that no changes have taken place to Chesham Park since 1895, however the Tramshed is now shown alongside the Upper Chesham allotment gardens.[105] Elizabeth Matthews died in 1910.[106] She left £200 of government funded consolidated annuities at 2½ % to the Penge and Anerley Philanthropic Society.[107] The residue of the estate, after some other bequests, was left on trust to her only daughter, Gertrude, for life, with the rest to her grandchildren.[108] The estate was valued at £83,381.[109]

Croydon Road Neighbours

In the 1911 Census, visitor, James F. Knight, a stationary engineer, occupies 71, Croydon Road.[110] The insurance agent, Walter J. Tarrant, is still living at 73, Croydon Road, and Miss Emily Moon has taken possession of her father’s house at 75, Croydon Road.[111] Architect and surveyor, Joseph Victor Hibbert, is living at 77, and Joseph Worthington Atkin, a clerk in holy orders, is at 79.[112]

Figure 6

In 1921, Colonel Adams sold further freehold land at the rear of 77, 79, 81 and 83 Croydon Road to Penge UDC.[113] This land would be cut diagonally in half to become the Upper Chesham allotment gardens.[114] He died in Kensington in late 1927 aged 84.[115]


Chapter Four: Chesham Park: Playing fields for Penge?

“Just living is not enough; one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Anderson.

The next resident of Chesham Park and 71, Croydon Road, was Frederick Grose MBE, born in St. Austell, Cornwall on 07 Mar 1858.[116]  In 1871, he is living at Church Street, St Austell with his parents and siblings. In 1881, he is a draper’s assistant at 1, Chapel Place, Marylebone, London; part of the present site of House of Fraser on Oxford Street, but in 1881 it was the Dan Harries Evans Department Store.[117] He is living with 13 other draper’s assistants and a draper’s clerk.[118]

In 1891, he lived at 129, Anerley Road, Penge, where he was now a draper shopkeeper.[119] In February of that year, he was a juryman at a Coroners Court held in the Anerley Arms into the death of a young child.[120] He had sent some cooked food to the child’s mother, a widow, who had presented herself to him as destitute, and deserted by the child’s father.[121] He was also a member of the Penge Ratepayers Association.[122]

Anerley Traders

In 1890, both William Matthews and Frederick Grose were members of the Penge Parish Vestry, where Matthews was Overseer.[123] On the 14 Jul 1891, at the Penge and Anerley Traders Association special meeting at the Thicket Hotel, to honour William Matthews, Frederick Grose was one of the gentlemen who took part in a smoking concert.[124] Frederick was married to William’s daughter, Gertrude Matthews, five years later in late 1896.[125] Both Gertrude and Frederick became generous supporters of the Penge and District Choral and Orchestral Society.[126]

Grose and Smith

In 1901, Frederick is recorded at Anerley Park, Penge, and still is a draper shopkeeper.[127] He is very likely to have been a cousin of the Grose Brothers in Walworth, whose large drapers’ store at 332-344, Walworth Road, was gutted by fire in 1906 when an electrical fault set fire to linens.[128] Frederick was a general partner in the firm of “Grose and Smith” carrying on a business as drapers, court and general dressmakers, milliners and mantel makers.[129] Other partners were his nephew, Charles Herbert Grose, and Ellen Smith, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire.[130]

In 1899, they had premises at 129, Anerley Road.[131] In 1891, the company premises are recorded as 123, Anerley Road.[132] In 1898, Grose and Smith advertised for first skirt hands and assistants.[133] In 1926, they advertised permanent positions for good bodice and gown dressmaking hands, at highest trade board rates.[134] For several years, the company donated a silk umbrella as a prize towards the annual competition between Croydon volunteer rifle clubs held at the Marden range.[135] In 1911, Frederick was recorded at 134, Croydon Road.[136]

MBE

Frederick became a limited partner in Grose and Smith in 1917, which was now situated at 113, Anerley Road.[137] Grose and Smith Drapers was still at 113, Anerley Road in 1927.[138] King George V awarded him his MBE in the 1918 Birthday Honours list for services as an Honorary Inspector in the Department of Surveyor-General of Supply at the War Office.[139]

The Importance of Urban Parks

During this period, the importance of urban parks for recreation, athletic sports, rest and education to the nature lover was recognised. In 1884, A.J. Balfour made a Parliamentary speech in support of public spaces for the working classes. Octavia Hill was instrumental in opening new London parks. Penge and Beckenham UDCs both acquired and opened several new public spaces. In 1889, a red and grey Aberdeen granite drinking fountain was built at the entrance to Penge Recreation Ground.[140] The Penge Recreation Ground had been opened just a year earlier in 1888, and it was a well laid out garden with beds of flowering and foliage plants.[141]

This was clearly the envy of Beckenham, who even in 1887 considered Penge to be its “poorer neighbour.”[142] Beckenham set about finding a suitable recreation ground of its own, and in 1891 Alexandra Recreation Ground (11½ acres) was opened.[143] It was extended in 1897, and the total cost was £9,070.[144] The Croydon Road Ground in Beckenham (17 acres) cost £10,680 and opened in 1891.[145] The Churchfields Recreation Ground (9 acres) cost £3,890 and opened in 1907.[146]

Kelsey Park

John Burns, President of the Local Government Board, on the opening of Kelsey Park (24 acres) in 1913, said:

“Rates are well spent in parks and open spaces, and the more such provision is made, the better it will be for the health, physique, and happiness of the people. No city in the world has anything like the proportion of parks, gardens and open spaces that London has, and to that the health of London, which is a marvel to sanitarians, is in large measure due. The board is glad to grant loans for such purposes and I hope that my successors will continue this policy.”[147]

When Burns’ speech was interrupted, a cry was raised against the heckler, “Put him in the lake.”[148] Burns replied, “Don’t do that! …because there are penalties for polluting the water.”[149]

Wednesday Opening

For some years, there had been a discussion concerning the lack of, and the need for, playing fields in Penge, and many had pointed out that “the fine open space at Chesham Park estate” was a possible site.[150] A Playing Fields Committee, acting on behalf of Penge UDC, had approached Elizabeth Matthews, but were given to understand that “the grounds were not for sale.”[151]

After Elizabeth’s death in 1910, Gertrude Grose “generously offered the use of the land” to the Penge public for recreational use on one day per week.[152] There had been a growing movement to establish early closing of shops on Wednesdays at two o’clock.[153] It was natural that during the months of August and September it was chosen to open the grounds on Wednesdays from two o’clock until sunset.[154]

No Misbehavin’

There was a proviso that the privilege would be withdrawn should there be any misbehaviour in the grounds or any damage caused.[155] There was to be no access from Croydon Road, and access was only to be from an entrance in Avenue Road.[156] The public were requested to keep to the unfenced portion of the grounds and not to trespass in any way upon the portion enclosed on the north side reserved for cattle grazing.[157]

Chesham Park was first opened to the public on 03 Aug 1910.[158] There was about eight acres opened to the public and where possible, cricket was permitted if it were booked in advance and supervised.[159] The gradient of the land would, in any case, make the northern field, and the upper slopes of the two lower fields unsuitable as playing fields, but the valley where Chesham Road now stands is relatively flat.

Howzat!

At this time, cricket was a remarkably popular local sport, being regularly played at both Crystal Palace Park and Alexandria Recreation Ground. There was already a weekly competition in Bromley played on Wednesday afternoons. Arthur Conan Doyle played W.G. Grace in South Norwood Park. A.C. Doyle and H.G. Wells also joined Rudyard Kipling, P.G. Wodehouse, G.K. Chesterton, Jerome K. Jerome, A.A. Milne, E.W. Hornung, Henry Justice Ford, A.E.W. Mason, Walter Raleigh, E.V. Lucas, Maurice Hewlett, Owen Seaman, Bernard Partridge, Augustine Birrell, Paul Du Chaillu, Henry Herbert La Thangue, George Cecil Ives, and George Llewelyn Davies, as well as the son of Alfred Tennyson, and other notable literary celebrities to form J.M. Barrie’s ‘Allahakbarries’ amateur team.[160]

A Lost Generation

Cricket was the national summer sport, but maybe its popularity suffered from the “lost generation” of men who fell in the 1914-18 war. That war “most severely depleted those most privileged”, and “distorted the marriage patterns in the immediate post-war period by the absence of marriageable men”.[161] The end of that war ushered in the modern age, and our political, social, economic and technological structures still feel its effects. Just as it is today, the pressure for housing development on parkland was great.

Homes Fit for Heroes

Following the ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’ election of December 1918, housebuilding became a greater priority than urban playing fields. Penge and Anerley would have to wait until 1939 for a playing field, when one was purchased for £15,000 in Betts Park.[162] Betts Park itself first opened to the public in Dec 1929, and was land donated by the property developer Frederick Betts.[163]

In 1921, Gertrude Grose sold the land to the side of 71, Croydon Road, to Penge UDC for £7,500.[164] In the same year, Charles William Morland sold land to the rear of 83-87, Croydon Road to Edward Lawrence.[165] About 1924, Penge UDC sold part of the Chesham Park estate it now held to William Jennens Kemp with a view to housing development. Prior to this sale, the council metalled the existing track up to the cattle field. This became that part of Garden Road from Croydon Road up to the position of the present day 2, Garden Road. In 1926, Kemp submitted an application to build the houses 2 to 6 Garden Road but this was, at first, opposed.[166]

Drapers’ Cottage Homes

Frederick Grose became Chairman of the Board of Management of the Mill Hill Linen and Woollen Drapers’ Cottage Homes between 1909 and 1913.[167] The Linen and Woollen Drapers estate was established to provide for retired shop workers. It was founded in 1895 and they first opened in 1898.[168] Gertrude had taken a great interest in the homes.[169] Gertrude and Frederick had been attending teas and concerts at the Homes since at least 1908.[170]

The Chalet

Residents found Gertrude was a person with whom they could confide their slightest troubles.[171] She donated “The Chalet,” a rest house on the Mill Hill estate in early 1930.[172] This became the Gertrude Grose Memorial Home after her death. On the West side of Hammers Lane, further cottages of red brick with clay tiled roofs, neatly laid out with pretty gardens, were built on this donated Chalet estate in 1927.[173] Frederick later became Chairman of the Drapers’ Cottage Homes Committee[174]

Car Accident

In 1920, Frederick became a Justice of the Peace for the Penge Petty Sessions.[175] In 1926, he knocked down a young cyclist while driving through Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, with his youngest daughter Dorothy in his two-seater, Austin Wolseley 10 h.p., and charged with driving a motor car in a manner dangerous to the public.[176] The two cylinder 10h.p. Wolseley was manufactured between 1901 and 1905.[177] In a strange judgement, as the two magistrates on the bench were divided on their opinion, a retrial was ordered rather than the case being dismissed immediately.[178]

Frederick Grose is still living at Chesham Park until 1930.[179] Gertrude died on 04 Jun 1930.[180] They had two daughters, Mrs. Marjorie Gertrude Lister Barber, who lived in Wimbledon, and Mrs. Dorothy Walsh, who lived in Folkestone.[181] After the death of Gertrude, Frederick moved to 29, Wickham Way, Beckenham. In 1939, he has retired and is living at 19, Highfield Avenue, St Austell, where he died in 1943.[182]

William J. Tarrant and family are still living in 73, Croydon Road in 1926. Emily Moon left 75, Croydon Road, in 1925, and is replaced by Eric John and Doris Attwater and family.[183] Harold J. Denniss and Sybil Denniss are now living at 77, Croydon Road.


Chapter Five: Creating Winsford Gardens.

“When the world wearies and society fails to satisfy, there is always the garden.” – Minnie Aumonier.

As the population of London grew, speculative builders could make huge fortunes, but like Henry Pharaoh in 1897, they were at risk of bankruptcy too. There was enormous competition in housing for the middle classes, with poorer terracing taking up the slack, and some housing estates being left unfinished, such as Eldon Park, South Norwood, left standing in a field for forty years.[184] Chesham Road was built in 1925.[185] Chesham Crescent was built in 1926, along with numbers 1-15, Garden Road.[186] Garden Road, numbers 16-25, were built between 1931 and 1932.[187]

Gee  Family

Alfred George Gee (1840-1921) was a house builder employing six men and a boy at 78, Olney Street, Southwark in 1881.[188] His son Stephen George Gee, born on 27 Jul 1873, was sick as a child and spent time in Great Ormond Street Hospital.[189] In 1884, Stephen received assisted immigration to New South Wales.[190] In 1901, the family were together, living at 147, MacKenzie Road.[191] Stephen trained as a carpenter but by 1909, he is a builder and contractor.[192] He lived at 147, MacKenzie Road until 1914, and then moved to 105, Croydon Road in 1915.[193] He visited Sydney, Australia, again in 1928 and retained links there.[194] He moved to 82, Croydon Road in 1937.[195]

Figure 7

In 1930, Stephen Gee purchased the remainder of the Gertrude Grose owned part of Chesham Park following her death.[196] He retained 71, Croydon Road and the land to the rear, but he quickly sold on that plot on the north side of Garden Road, for further housing development.

Winsford

The Ordnance Survey map of 1933 shows that the large garden of 71, Croydon Road now had three glasshouses, the garage for Grose’s Austin Wolseley, which is later known as the “Winsford Cottage”, and two other small buildings, one that might have originally been a cow shed.[197] At some point, these outbuildings had electric lighting.[198]

Figure 8

The Tramshed and Tramway still appear on the 1933 map, though buses replaced the Penge route in that same year.[199] About this time Stephen Gee divided the rear garden of 71, Croydon Road and, in 1936, he built “Winsford House.” In 1936, he bought 75, Croydon Road, from John Robert Brunskill and Stanley Walter Mack.[200] In March 1937, he bought 77, Croydon Road from Harold William Denniss.[201]

Figure 9

Further Purchases

In May 1937, Stephen Gee purchased a further 30-foot strip of land at the rear of Garden Road gardens from Penge UDC.[202] “Winsford”, now known as Winsford House, and Winsford Cottage, are clearly illustrated on the conveyance map of this purchase.

Figure 10

The Garden

Stephen Gee laid out the garden of Winsford with paved rose garden, ornamental shrubs, and a tennis court that was situated behind the cottage (rear of 77, Croydon Road.) There was an extensive system of ponds with a pumped fountain. Since it was created from the rear gardens of rich houses, it naturally contains some interesting trees. The rear of number 81 contained a fig tree and some self-seeded sycamores, while there is was hazelnut tree in the 30-foot strip at the rear of garden road. The rear of number 77 had some native yews, while number 75 had a twisted willow. Number 71, Chesham Park had several fine native yews, but it also had an orchard of pear trees in the front garden of the Winsford Cottage.

Trees

Today, these trees all survive, together with other trees including pines that were planted later.  The pear trees are now as large as oaks, and since such trees are known to take years to mature, but to bear fruit for 200 years, they are the origin of the 17th Century proverb:

“Walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs.”

Thomas Fuller also expressed the altruistic nature of tree planting in 1732:

“He that plants trees loves others beside himself.”[203]

Exmoor Trysts

In 1939, a house on the Chesham estate was advertised for sale for £700 freehold, a “snip”, owing to the war.[204]  By 1939, Stephen had retired as a builder.[205] In 1939, Stephen and Dorothy May Medcalf, his housekeeper, are then living together in Winsford House.[206] Dorothy was born 07 Jun 1889 in Bromley. Stephen and Dorothy were guests at the Royal Oak Inn (now Hotel) Winsford, Dulverton, near Minehead on Exmoor, in 1939.[207] They were not married until 1941 in Bromley.

Royal Oak

Clearly, Stephen and Dorothy were quite taken with this part of Exmoor, notable for the Tarr Steps in the wooded valley of the River Barle, and for the heathland of Winsford Hill and its wild ponies.

The 16th-17th century Royal Oak Hotel is a restored 12th century farmhouse, subsequently enlarged in the 19th century, on the banks of the Winn Brook near its confluence with the River Exe.[208] It is whitewashed render over rubble, with a thatched roof, hipped to right and on cross wing, a roughcast stack left gable end, rendered to right of cross wing and rendered brick between first and second bays right.[209]

Winsford village is now within Exmoor National Park, and has a 12th century church, St. Mary Magdalene, with a Norman tower and font. The church also has a J.W.Walker organ built in 1847 in an original condition.[210] The British Institute of Organ Studies’ Register of Historic Pipe Organs lists it as an instrument of importance to the national heritage.[211] Two miles west of the village, on Winsford Hill, lie a number of Bronze Age burial sites called the Wambarrows, and Road Castle, an Iron Age bank and ditch.

1939 War

In 1939, Frederick William Peake (1902-1974) and Marjorie Edith Peake née Clitheroe (1900-1975) are now living in Winsford Cottage with their daughter Barbara Mary (1926-1994).[212] They had been married in 1923 in Barnet and all died in Worthing, Sussex.[213] Frederick was the son of James Peake, a groom and domestic gardener.[214] Frederick worked as a Head Gardener and he must have been a source of advice and inspiration to Stephen Gee.

Air Raid Precautions

Frederick was also a stretcher-bearer for Penge Air Raid Precautions (ARP.)[215] The most visible member of the ARP was the air raid warden and the posts were initially set up in the home of the warden.[216] A senior warden, John Styles, lived at 12, Chesham Crescent. As there were no significant German air raids in 1939, the main responsibilities of the ARP were to register everyone within their sector, and to enforce the blackout.[217] The ARP civil defence force had begun recruitment in April 1937, but this had only gained momentum during 1938, and following the Munich crisis in September of that year.[218]

Stretcher-Bearers

Being an ARP stretcher-bearer in 1939 might involve spending three or four nights a week training and sleeping at the post.[219] In December 1939, Epps Brothers of 59-63, Croydon Road advertised urgently for small post-1930 cars for use by the ARP and Army purposes.[220] ARP personnel had no uniform to begin with, and their steel helmets, civilian duty respirators and ARP brassards were they only way to recognise them.[221] However, from October 1939, a million sets of blue denim overalls ‘ARP 41’ were ordered, also known as the ‘bluette’.[222] In 1941, a midnight blue battledress-styled uniform was introduced.[223] Penge was reputed to be the most heavily bombed town in the country, but the most serious damage occurred after 1944 when the flying bombs arrived.[224]

Stephen Gee lived in Winsford House with Dorothy May, until his death on 10 Jun 1956.[225] Stephen Gee was buried in Beckenham Cemetery in the family plot.[226]

Figure 11Figure 11aFigure 12Figure 13A comparison of the Ordnance Survey maps from 1953 and 1970 shows little change in Winsford and its gardens, though in the wider local area, the Tramshed has become a food factory marked as Camber Works.[227] Although one high explosive bomb did fall on Croydon Road, the large houses there survived the Second World War, which devastated other nearby parts of Penge.[228] However, the houses began to be replaced by flats from the mid 1960’s.[229] New housing, including tower blocks, was built within the Groves Estate, on bombsites.

Ancaster Garage

The multi-story garage and office block that is now Ancaster Garage showrooms and Travelodge was built about 1970 at 59-61, Croydon Road on the site of a former lawnmower factory (Dashwood Engineering) and a house, and opened in 1971.[230] In 1965, the London Borough of Bromley was formed from Bromley and Beckenham boroughs, Orpington and Penge UDC and Chislehurst.[231] Dorothy May Gee continued to live at Winsford House until her death on 19 Mar 1973. Winsford Cottage had now become the residence of her chauffeur, Mr. E. Potton.[232]

 


Chapter Six: Modern times; modern life.

“I am somewhere in the middle of a village with all the modern amenities. There’s something missing. Life? I reckon….” ― Manasa Rao Saarloos.

In 1977, Victor Morely Lawson, the executor of Stephen Gee’s estate, sold the property known as “Winsford,” and 71, 75, and 77, Croydon Road, to the London Borough of Bromley for £117,890.[233] At the same time, 79 and 81, Croydon Road were transferred to LB of Bromley. The chauffeur’s cottage and all the outbuildings were demolished. The house became a council residential nursing home, which housed autistic adults until 2013.

Improvements Refused

In 1982, LB of Bromley Housing Committee turned down a £17,500 scheme designed to turn the garden into a park.[234] A recreation report had concluded that safety and access work would cost at least £17,507.[235] This included a £350 plan to remove the pond, which was said to be dangerous.[236] Instead, the council approved a £3,500 scheme to build a new entrance from Croydon Road with security gates and landscaping.[237] They refused to spend £2,680 to have security men check the park and lock it at night.[238]

The committee said that they would have the pond cleaned regularly and would ask the matron of a nearby old people’s home to lock up at night and unlock each morning.[239] Winsford was opened to the public as a designated open space sometime before 1984, as it is included in LB of Bromley Byelaws for Pleasure Grounds published in that year.[240]

Figure 14

Burmash Court

The properties 71-81, Croydon Road were demolished, and in their place, LB of Bromley built Burmarsh Court, in 1983, as 43 flats for retirement and sheltered housing.[241] Parts of the rear gardens of these properties were included in the new Winsford public open space, and the new entrance was built where 79, Croydon Road had once stood. An underground gas regulator was also constructed at this entrance. Manston Close was also built, off Garden Road. The properties 83-87, Croydon Road were demolished and Benwick Court was built, along with 46 garages on the land to the rear. In 1992, Burmarsh Court was transferred to Broomleigh Housing Association, which is now Affinity Sutton, one of the largest housing associations operating in the UK.[242]

Figure 15

Winsford House

In 1994, Winsford House had double doors fitted, and in 1995, a single story extension was demolished and rebuilt.[243] In 2000, internal renovations took place including the removal of the chimneystack.[244] Eleven windows were replaced in 2005 and a gas boiler was replaced in 2012.[245] On 6 Feb 2014, LB of Bromley sold Winsford House for £634,000.[246]

Work outlined in a planning application submitted by David Ellis and Sophie Ellis in 2014 is currently ongoing.[247] This includes the renovation of the existing building, the removal of the existing single story extension and the erection of a new extension, the removal of three load-bearing walls, the removal of the chimneybreast, the installation of an ensuite bathroom, and the relocation of the existing bathroom.[248] They also cut down all the trees surrounding Winsford House.

Neglected

Winsford Gardens was managed by LB of Bromley Parks department but continued to suffer from a lack of investment. The rose garden and landscaped beds became overgrown with weeds, the ponds had not been regularly cleaned, the largest of which no longer held water, and continued to be a safety hazard. As the gardens became neglected, there was a growing problem with dog faeces and anti-social behaviour. Alcoholics and drug users hid in the overgrown shrubs, while homeless people broke into, and slept rough, in the garage compound of Benwick Court.

During the summer of 2010, Alison Masters carried out a consultation with local residents regarding proposals for additional investment in the three Penge parks, Betts Park, Penge Recreation Ground and Winsford Gardens Open Space.[249] It was clear from feedback that many local people still loved and valued these local parks for their recreational value, as a sanctuary from their busy lives, and as a wildlife refuge.

Green Gym

Later in 2010, the LB of Bromley agreed to work with The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV), later TCV, over a period of two years, to establish and run a Green Gym at Winsford Gardens. With support from LB of Bromley, EcoMinds, and The Glades, a Bromley-based shopping complex (owned by Capital Shopping Centres, later Intu Bromley, and now The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation) TCV established a group of local volunteers who met weekly to maintain and develop the open space for the benefit of the local community, and wildlife.[250]

The unique selling point of a Green Gym© is that it is a scheme which inspires you to improve both your health and the environment at the same time.[251] Curiously, just as Chesham Park had been open to the public on Wednesdays, this was also the day of the week chosen for the Penge Green Gym to meet.

Figure 16

Weekly Gardening Work

A water supply was installed at the Garden Road entrance. During 2011-12, a fenced-off a growing area was established, a greenhouse constructed and cold frames erected. Hedgerows were planted around the perimeter of the park; two areas of wildflower meadow created, an urban orchard planted and raised beds established in the public areas. A composting area, several natural seating areas, informational signage, and a children’s playground were built. At the same time, general garden maintenance and conservation work was undertaken on a weekly basis.

Community Group

In April 2013, the running of the Penge Green Gym was handed over to a locally based and fully constituted Community Group, known as both Penge Green Gym and the Friends of Winsford Gardens. This group continued to be supported by TCV and LB of Bromley. Penge Green Gym have held annual Open Days every year that have allowed more people to discover the gardens.[252]

New Features

They were also successful in winning grants from numerous sources for improvements to the gardens.  This external stream of money allowed them to carry out enhancements that Bromley Council would never have undertaken. In 2014, the derelict pond area was landscaped and the largest pond turned into a bog garden. A rockery was built, the rose garden was restored and additional rose beds were added.

In 2015, a woodland pathway was created between the wildflower meadows and the fence to Burmarsh Court. In 2016, all the existing raised beds were replaced with more substantial beds, and an additional two beds built near the Croydon Road entrance. However, vandalism and security issues continued to be a problem within the gardens culminating in the arson of the greenhouse in March 2015.[253]

New Neighbours

In 2009 and 2010, plans were submitted by Court Investments Limited to demolish the garage compound at the rear of Benwick Court, and to replace it with a terrace of seven, two/three-storey, three bedroom houses, with rear second floor balconies, and one two-storey end of terrace, two bedroom house, with eight car parking spaces and eight garages.[254]

Building work began on this site in 2014 and is still ongoing. Because of this development, the boundary position of the land held by LB of Bromley that bordered onto that site was disputed. Subsequently, the title absolute of this “L” shaped piece of Winsford Gardens was confirmed as LB of Bromley in June 2015.[255]

Figure 18

New Brooms

In 2015, The Landscape Group (TLG) (now id verde) was commissioned to deliver LB of Bromley’s in-house parks and greenspace service.[256] Maintenance of the lawns and trees of Winsford Gardens are now the responsibility of id verde, but the work of the volunteers carries on.

Hidden Gems

Urban landscapes are often viewed as barren and cold vistas of concrete, asphalt and glass but open spaces within them provide recreation, ecology, and aesthetic value. Even the Victorians recognised that urban parks and green spaces improve the wellbeing and quality of life of the people living there and that having local gardens and playing fields was a priority. There is strong evidence of their role in mental health and exercise.

Winsford Gardens, and Chesham Park before it, were always seen as a hidden gem within the urban sprawl of the Penge estates. The gardens today are not only a credit to the continued work of Penge Green Gym, but a fitting legacy of Stephen George Gee and Gertrude Grose, and a distant reminder of the time when Penge Common still had open fields without buildings.

David Fergusson, BSc MSc DIC ADLH (Oxon), Penge Green Gym.

[1] The Jurist, Vol 8, part 1, (1844) containing reports of cases decided in the courts of equity and common law and in the admiralty an ecclesiastical courts, with a general digest of all the reports published during the year 1844, pp.277-282, Cator versus Croydon Canal Company 15,16 Nov 1842 and 19 Dec 1843.
Spence, Martin, The Making of a London Suburb – Capital Comes to Penge, (2007) Merlin Press Ch.5 pp. 47-67.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] History of Penge. http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/bromley/assets/histories/penge [Accessed 03 Dec 2016]
[13] Spence, Martin, The Making of a London Suburb – Capital Comes to Penge, (2007) Merlin Press Ch.5 pp. 47-67.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Croydon Railway – Anerley Station. Morning Advertiser p. 1. 01 May 1840
[16] Destructive Conflagration at Elmer Lodge, Beckenham, in Kent. Morning Advertiser. p. 3. 12 Apr 1839.
[17] The county families of the United Kingdom; or, Royal manual of the titled and untitled aristocracy of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. (1868) Reynolds Historical Genealogy Collection https://archive.org/stream/countyfamiliesof41walf/countyfamiliesof41walf_djvu.txt [Accessed 12 Nov 2016]
Westminster Marriages Transcription http://www.findmypast.co.uk/ [Accessed 12 Nov 2016]
[18] Canterbury Weekly Journal, Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers’ Gazette, 13 Apr 1839.
[19] Destructive Conflagration at Elmer Lodge, Beckenham, in this County. Kentish Gazette. p. 3. 16 Apr 1839.
Destructive Conflagration at Elmer Lodge, Beckenham, in Kent. Morning Advertiser. p. 3. 12 Apr 1839.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Ibid.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Beckenham History http://www.beckenhamhistory.co.uk/locations/theclockhouse [accessed 03 Oct 2016]
http://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200064/local_history_and_heritage/379/history_of_the_bromley_area/4 [Accessed 07 Oct 2016]
[27] Beckenham History http://www.beckenhamhistory.co.uk/locations/theclockhouse [accessed 03 Oct 2016]
[28] ibid.
[29] Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Volume 41. Relating to Crime; Lunatics; Police; etc. (1836) Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons.
[30] Letter book containing outgoing copy correspondence of Edward Richards Adams, Bridewell Hospital’s accountant  http://archives.museumofthemind.org.uk/ALB.htm [Accessed 12 Nov 2016]
[31] Reports from Committees, sixteen volumes, vol. 14, part 2, Railway Subscription Lists, Bath and Weymouth,… (1837) Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. 519. Fifth Report, Appendix 18. P. 196.
[32] General Register Office, Register of Births.
England, Births & Baptisms 1538-1975 Transcription http://www.findmypast.co.uk/ [Accessed 12 Nov 2016]
[33] The National Archives, Kew, Richards Adams family of Beckenham, 860/U1550/T11 Bundle15.
[34]Venn, John. (1898)  Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College 1349-1897.  CJ Clay and Sons, Cambridge University Press. p. 204.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Ibid.
[37] Ibid.
[38] Adam, E R, Diary of E R Adams, Beckenham, Bromley Historic Collections, 81/789, Bromley Central Library.
[39] Venn, John. (1898)  Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College 1349-1897.  CJ Clay and Sons, Cambridge University Press. p. 204.
[40] West Kent Guardian 12 Sep 1840.
The county families of the United Kingdom; or, Royal manual of the titled and untitled aristocracy of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. (1868) Reynolds Historical Genealogy Collection https://archive.org/stream/countyfamiliesof41walf/countyfamiliesof41walf_djvu.txt [Accessed 12 Nov 2016]
[41] The county families of the United Kingdom; or, Royal manual of the titled and untitled aristocracy of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. (1868) Reynolds Historical Genealogy Collection https://archive.org/stream/countyfamiliesof41walf/countyfamiliesof41walf_djvu.txt [Accessed 12 Nov 2016]
[42] Adam, E R, Diary of E R Adams, Beckenham, Bromley Historic Collections, 81/789, Bromley Central Library.
[43] Old Ordnance Survey Maps, Anerley & Penge 1868, Kent Sheet 7.14, The Godfrey Edition.
[44] Wells, H G, The New Machiavelli (1911) Lane, Bodley Head, London. Chapter 3 – The Scholastic.
[45] ibid.
[46] Venn, John. (1898)  Biographical History of Gonville and Caius College 1349-1897.  CJ Clay and Sons, Cambridge University Press. p. 204.
[47] Surrey-Ancestordocs, 215/171-177 http://www.ancestordocs.co.uk/surrey/ [Accessed 03 Nov 2016]
Surrey-Ancestordocs, 215/184 http://www.ancestordocs.co.uk/london/ [Accessed 08 Nov 2016]
[48] The National Archives, Kew, Richards Adams family of Beckenham, 860/U1550/T11 Bundle72.
[49] Adams, Edward Richards, (1878) Lectures on Religion, London; H. & C. Treacher: Brighton.
[50] Elmer Lodge, 11, Dunbar, Avenue, Beckenham. BR3 3RG http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/documents/s9143/Plans%204%2021-07-11%2011-00167%20Elmer%20Lodge%2011%20Dunbar%20Avenue%20Beckenham.pdf [Accessed 14 Nov 2016]
[51] The National Archives, Kew, Richards Adams family of Beckenham, 860/U1550/T11 Bundle72.
[52] The London Gazette no. 23220. p. 884. 19 Feb 1867.
[53] List of Accountants in London. (1877) http://www.icaew.com/-/media/corporate/files/library/subjects/accounting-history/accountants-directory-1877/the-accountants-directory-for-1877-list-of-accountants-in-london.ashx?la=en [Accessed 08 Nov 2016]
[54] Surrey-Ancestordocs, 215/184 http://www.ancestordocs.co.uk/london/ [Accessed 08 Nov 2016]
[55] Old Ordnance Survey Maps, Anerley & Penge 1868, Kent Sheet 7.14, The Godfrey Edition.
[56] Haiducki, Andrew, (2011) The Railways of Beckenham, Noodle Books, United Kingdom.
http://www.beckenhamhistory.co.uk/locations/railways-in-beckenham [Accessed 14 Oct 2016]
[57] RBS Heritage Archives, Birkbeck Bank http://www.heritagearchives.rbs.com/companies/list/birkbeck-bank.html [Accessed 14 Oct 2016]
[58] Beckenham History. http://www.beckenhamhistory.co.uk/locations/birkbeck-and-churchfields [Accessed 14 Oct 2016]
[59] Advertisement, Bromley and District Times, 22 Mar 1889.
[60] Advertisement, Bromley and District Times, 29 Jun 1894.
[61] Advertisement, Clerkenwell News London, 20 May 1871.
[62] The Beckenham Directory of 1855 www.bromley.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/2581/1885_beckenham.pdf [Accessed 20 Nov 2016]
[63] Notice of application for Off-Licence, Bromley and District Times, 23 Aug 1889.
[64] http://www.beckenhamhistory.co.uk/locations/birkbeck-and-churchfields [Accessed 14 Oct 2016]
[65] Advertisement, Bromley and District Times, 01 & 22 Feb, 01 & 29 Mar, 14 Jun, 23 Aug 1889,
[66] Private Improvement Expenses, The Bromley Record, p. 61. 01 Apr 1890.
Beckenham Builder Affairs, Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter, 05 Mar 1898.
[67] The Affairs of the Penge Rate Collector. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 6. 05 Sep 1891.
[68] Ibid.
[69] RBS Heritage Archives, Birkbeck Bank http://www.heritagearchives.rbs.com/companies/list/birkbeck-bank.html [Accessed 14 Oct 2016]
[70] ibid.
[71] Proceedings of the Central Criminal Court, 17 Sep 1877, p. 3. https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/images.jsp?doc=187709170003 [Accessed 09 Nov 2016]
[72] Local Authorities, The Bromley Record, p. 1-2. 01 Jan 1902.
Tramways for Bromley. The Bromley Record. P.151-152. 01 Oct 1902.
The Tramways Question. The Bromley Record. P.27-33. 01 Feb 1903.
The Tramways Question. The Bromley Record. P.150-151. 01 Jul 1903
[73] In addition to Alexandra Recreation Ground, formerly in Beckenham UDC, and Royston Field, formerly a school playing field,
[74] Copy of Conveyance dated 14 Mar 1876, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym
[75] Ibid.
[76] Ibid.
[77] Metropolitan Management Act 1855 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/18-19/120/enacted [Accessed 13 Nov 2016]
The Lewisham Board of Works, Bromley Historic Collections, 81/703, Bromley Central Library. (1855-1899) 15 volumes.
[78] Ibid.
[79] Ibid.
[80] Unveiling the Drinking Fountain at Penge. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 27 Jul 1889
[81] The National Archives, Kew, 1871-1891 England, Wales & Scotland Censuses.
[82] The National Archives, Kew, 1841 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[83] The National Archives, Kew, 1851 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[84] England Marriages 1538-1973 Transcription http://www.findmypast.co.uk/ [Accessed 25 Nov 2016]
[85] The National Archives, Kew, 1841-1851 England, Wales & Scotland Censuses.
[86] The National Archives, Kew, 1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[87] Ibid.
[88] Post Office London Directory, 1882. [Part 3: Trades & Professional Directory], London, Frederick Kelly and Co.
[89] The National Archives, Kew, 1871 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[90] Post Office Directory of Surrey, 1878. London, Frederick Kelly and Co.
[91] Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 18 Jul 1891.
[92] Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 9. 06 Aug 1910.
Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 18 Jul 1891.
London Wiki.  http://london.wikia.com/wiki/William_Matthews [Accessed 24 Nov 2016]
[93] Ibid.
[94] Hoyland Fox Frames Company http://www.hoylandfox.com/english/home.htm [Accessed 06 Dec 2016]
[95] Dellow, Hugh. (1899). The Umbrella Nuisance. (London Morning) Star, Issue 6493, 23 May 1899.
[96] Ibid.
[97] Ibid.
[98] Ordnance Survey (1895). Sheet XV.48. London. Five feet to the mile.
[99] Ibid.
[100] Ibid.
[101] http://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200064/local_history_and_heritage/379/history_of_the_bromley_area/4 [Accessed 07 Oct 2016]
[102] The National Archives, Kew, 1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[103] The National Archives, Kew, 1911 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
The National Archives, Kew, Richards Adams family of Beckenham, 860/U1550/T11 Bundles 25-27.
[104] Surrey-Ancestordocs, 215/115 & 215/184 http://www.ancestordocs.co.uk/surrey/ [Accessed 03 Nov 2016]
[105] Ordnance Survey (1919). Six inch map London Sheet S. Revised 1913 to 1914. Published 1919.
[106] Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 9. 06 August 1910.
[107] Ibid.
[108] Ibid.
[109] Ibid.
[110] The National Archives, Kew, 1911 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[111] Ibid.
[112] Ibid.
[113] Copy of Conveyance dated 30 Dec 1921, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[114] ibid.
[115] General Register Office, Register of Deaths.
[116] The National Archives, Kew, 1901-1911 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
General Register Office, Register of Deaths and Register of Births.
[117] The National Archives, Kew, 1881 England, Wales & Scotland Census
House of Fraser Archives – DH Evans & Co Ltd http://www.housefraserarchive.ac.uk/company/?id=c1475 [Accessed 16 Nov 2016}
[118] The National Archives, Kew, 1881 England, Wales & Scotland Census
[119] The National Archives, Kew, 1891 England, Wales & Scotland Census
Sudden death at Anerley. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 7. 07 Feb 1891.
[120] Sudden death at Anerley. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 7. 07 Feb 1891.
[121] Ibid.
[122] The Affairs of the Penge Rate Collector. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 6. 05 Sep 1891.
[123] The Penge Vestry. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 7. 04 Oct 1890
[124] Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 18 Jul 1891.
[125] General Register Office, Register of Marriages.
[126] Choral Society. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 7. 22 May 1926.
[127] The National Archives, Kew, 1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census
[128] Penny Illustrated Paper. 28 Jul 1906.
London Daily News. 19 Jul 1906.
Western Times. 20 Jul 1906.
[129] The London Gazette. No. 30011. p. 3367. 6 Apr 1917.
[130] Ibid.
[131] First V.B. “The Queens.” Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 27 Jul 1889.
[132] The First V.B. (Queens) Annual Prize Meeting. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 08 Aug 1891.
[133] Advertisement, Dressmakers. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 4. 23 Apr 1898.
[134] Advertisement, Dressmaking. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 11. 13 Mar 1926
[135] First V.B. “The Queens.” Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 27 Jul 1889.
The First V.B. (Queens) Annual Prize Meeting. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 08 Aug 1891.
[136] The National Archives, Kew, 1911 England, Wales & Scotland Census
[137] The London Gazette. No. 30011. p. 3367. 6 Apr 1917.
[138] Kelly’s Directory of Kent, 1927. London, Frederick Kelly and Co.[139] The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30730. p. 6728. 7 Jun 1918.
[140] Unveiling the Drinking Fountain at Penge. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 8. 27 Jul 1889
[141] Ibid.
[142] Our Notes. The Bromley Record. p. 30. 01 Mar 1887.
[143] Kelsey Park. The Bromley Record. p. 137. 01 Jul 1913.
[144]Ibid.
[145] Ibid.
[146] Ibid.
[147] John Burns Praises London’s Parks. Dundee Courier. p.  02 Jun 1913
[148] Choice Bits. Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald. p. 6. 14 Jun 1913
[149] Ibid.
[150] Anerley Playing Fields. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 5. 30 Jul 1910.
[151] Ibid.
[152] Ibid.
[153] Beckenham Early Closing. The Bromley Record. p. 73. 01 May 1900.
[154] Anerley Playing Fields. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 5. 30 Jul 1910.
[155] Ibid.
[156] Ibid.
[157] Ibid.
[158] Ibid.
[159] Ibid.
[160] Barrie, J.M. (1889) Allahakbarries C.C. published privately. Revised 1890. Reprinted 1950. James Barrie Publishers Ltd, London.
[161] Winter, J. M. (1977) Britain’s `Lost Generation’ of the First World War. Population Studies. Vol. 31, No. 3 (Nov. 1977), pp. 449-466.
[162] From All Quarters. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 9. 04 Aug 1939.
[163] Cooper, Joanne. (2016) Family Grows on Trees. https://web.archive.org/web/20120205151736/http://familygrowsontrees.com:80/research/betts-genealogy/landscape/ [Accessed 20 Nov 2016]
[164] Personal correspondence with Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym of a Conveyance dated 11 Aug 1921.
[165] Copy of the Land Registry Title Number SGL281965, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[166] Abstract of title of William Jennens Kemp to 23 Chesham Crescent, Penge. (1926) Bromley Historic Collections, 291/2, Bromley Central Library.
[167] Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian p. 7. 22 Oct 1909.
Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian p. 6. 24 Oct 1913.
Death of Mrs. Grose. Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian p. 13. 06 Jun 1930.
[168] Ibid.
London Borough of Barnet Photographs. http://boroughphotos.org/barnet/barn_644-1920-drapers-cottage-homes/ [Accessed 18 Nov 2016]
[169] Death of Mrs. Grose. Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian p. 13. 06 Jun 1930.
[170] Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian p. 6. 26 Jun 1908
[171] Death of Mrs. Grose. Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian p. 13. 06 Jun 1930.
[172] Ibid.
[173] Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian. p. 11. 17 Jul 1931.
The Mill Hill Preservation Society. http://www.mhps.org.uk/buildings.asp [Accessed 18 Nov 2016]
[174] Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian. p. 11. 17 Jul 1931.
[175] New Kent County Magistrates. Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald p. 1. 03 Apr 1920.
[176] Bury Bench Disagree. Motor Case to be Re-heard. Bury Free Press. p. 11. 18 Sep 1926.
[177] Nixon, St John C. (1949). Wolseley, a saga of the Motor Industry, G T Foulis & Co, London.
[178] Bury Bench Disagree. Motor Case to be Re-heard. Bury Free Press. p. 11. 18 Sep 1926.
[179] Kelly’s Directory of Beckenham, Penge and Kent, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1930, 1931. London, Frederick Kelly and Co.
[180] Death of Mrs. Grose. Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian p. 13. 06 Jun 1930.
[181] Hendon & Finchley Times and Guardian. p.11. 17 Jul 1931.
The National Archives, Kew, The 1939 Register.
[182] The National Archives, Kew, The 1939 Register.
General Register Office, Register of Deaths.
[183] Kelly’s Directory of Beckenham, Penge and Anerley, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1931. London, Frederick Kelly and Co.
[184] Coulter, John. (2002). Norwood: From 19th Century common land to City commuters. http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/case-studies/norwood [Accessed 15 Sep 2016]
[185] Kelly’s Directory of Beckenham, Penge and Anerley, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1931, 1933. London, Frederick Kelly and Co.
Penge and Anerley Register of Electors, 1925, spring 1926, autumn 1926, 1929, 1930, and 1931. Bromley Central Library.
[186] Ibid.
[187] Ibid.
[188] The National Archives, Kew, 1881 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[189] General Records Office. Will of Stephen George Gee. Probate 10 Jun 1956. Principal Registry.
[190] New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists www.Ancestry.co.uk [Accessed 10 Sep 2016]
[191] The National Archives, Kew, 1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[192] British Phone Books www.Ancestry.co.uk [Accessed 10 Sep 2016]
[193] ibid.
[194] Passenger Ships and Images databasewww.Ancestry.co.uk [Accessed 10 Sep 2016]
General Records Office. Will of Stephen George Gee. Probate 10 Jun 1956. Principal Registry.
General Records Office. Will of Dorothy May Gee. Probate 18 Jan 1973. Principal Registry.
[195] British Phone Books www.Ancestry.co.uk [Accessed 10 Sep 2016]
[196] Copy of Conveyance dated 02 Dec 1930, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[197] Ordnance Survey map 1:2500 (1933).
[198] The wall foundations and old light fittings were found in 2012 while digging foundations for a children’s playground, Penge Green Gym.
[199] History of Penge. http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/bromley/assets/histories/penge [Accessed 03 Dec 2016]
[200] Copy of Conveyance dated 13 Nov 1936, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[201] Copy of Conveyance dated 25 Mar 1937, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[202] Copy of Conveyance dated 18 May 1937, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[203] Fuller, Thomas. (1732) Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British. London, Printed for B. Barker [etc.]
[204] Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. p. 11. 10 Nov 1939.
[205] The National Archives, Kew, The 1939 Register.
[206] Penge Register of Electors, 1939. Bromley Central Library.
[207] The National Archives, Kew, The 1939 Register.
[208] Images of Britain http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=265569 [Accessed 06 Dec]
[209] Ibid.
[210] Winsford Church http://www.winsfordexmoor.org.uk/winsford-church-organ/ [Accessed 06 Dec 2016]
[211] Ibid.
[212] Penge Register of Electors, 1939. Bromley Central Library.
The National Archives, Kew, The 1939 Register.
[213] General Register Office, Register of Marriages.
[214] The National Archives, Kew, 1911 England, Wales & Scotland Census.
[215] The National Archives, Kew, The 1939 Register.
Penge Register of Electors, 1939. Bromley Central Library.
[216] WW2 People’s War http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/timeline/factfiles/nonflash/a6651425.shtml [Accessed 06 Dec 2016]
[217] Ibid.
[218] Ibid.
[219] WW2 People’s War http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/17/a4102417.shtml [Accessed 06 Dec 2016]
[220] Advertisement. Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter. 15 Dec 1939.
[221] Imperial War Museum Collections – ARP 41. http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30090482 [Accessed 06 Dec 2016]
[222] Ibid.
[223] Ibid.
[224] History of Penge. http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/bromley/assets/histories/penge [Accessed 03 Dec 2016]
[225] General Register Office, Register of Deaths.
[226] Gravestone P.5 8652 – plot Q5 facing south row 2. Beckenham Cemetery, Elmer’s End Road.
[227] Ordnance Survey map 1:2500 (1953). Ordnance Survey map 1:2500 (1970).
[228] The National Archives. Bomb Sight – High Explosive Bomb near Croydon Road. http://www.bombsight.org/bombs/19223/ [Accessed 13 Nov 2016]
[229] Ordnance Survey map 1:2500 (1953). Ordnance Survey map 1:2500 (1970).
[230] Ancaster Timeline | London, Kent, Surrey | Ancaster Group http://www.ancaster.co.uk/about-us/#1970 [Accessed 05 Nov 2016]
[231] http://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200064/local_history_and_heritage/379/history_of_the_bromley_area/4 [Accessed 07 Oct 2016]
[232] General Records Office. Will of Dorothy May Gee. Probate 18 Jan 1973. Principal Registry.
[233] Copy of Conveyance dated 18 Mar 1977, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[234] Safety Work Report Snubbed, Bromley Times, (Kentish Times) 14 Oct 1982
[235] ibid.
[236] ibid.
[237] ibid.
[238] ibid.
[239] ibid.
[240] LB of Bromley, Byelaws for Pleasure Grounds, copy held by Penge Green Gym.
[241] Burmarsh Court http://www.housingcare.org/housing-care/facility-info-5872-burmarsh-court-penge-england.aspx?cb=upinfo [Accessed 05 Nov 2016]
[242] Copy of the Land Registry Title Number SGL235782, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[243] Property History | 100020436322 | Winsford House Garden Road Penge London SE20 7RN https://searchapplications.bromley.gov.uk/online-applications/propertyDetails.do?activeTab=relatedCases&keyVal=001ZKGBTLI000 [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
[244] ibid.
[245] ibid.
[246] Mouseprice http://www.mouseprice.com/property-information/ref-596526 [Accessed 05 Nov 2016]
192.Com http://www.192.com/places/se/se20-7/se20-7rn/ [Accessed 06 Nov 2016]
[247] Property History | 100020436322 | Winsford House Garden Road Penge London SE20 7RN https://searchapplications.bromley.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
[248] Ibid.
[249] Masters, Alison, (2010) Appendix to ‘Penge Parks’ thesis, Penge Parks Response to Consultation, Oct 2010, unpublished, copy held by Penge Green Gym.
[250] Green gymgoers burn calories taking part in Winsford Gardens, Garden Road, Penge project News Shopper 10 Jul 2011 http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/9131721.Green_gymgoers_burn_calories_in_Penge_garden_project/ [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
Penge Green Gym: The outdoor workout with a difference News Shopper 04 Sep 2014 http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/11452996.Penge_Green_Gym__The_workout_with_a_difference/ [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
[251] TCV. (2012). Green Gym Community Group Manual. Copy with Penge Green Gym.
[252] Penge green gym gardeners to show off their efforts in Winsford Gardens News Shopper 13 May 2012 http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/9703456.Penge_green_gym_gardeners_to_show_off_their_efforts/
[Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
Winsford Gardens to join open garden squares weekend News Shopper 31 May 2012 http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/9738852.Winsford_Gardens_to_join_open_garden_squares_weekend/ [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
Hundreds of Penge locals enjoy fun day in renovated gardens News Shopper 27 Jun 2014 http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/11305941.Hundreds_of_Penge_locals_enjoy_fun_day_in_renovated_gardens/ [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
[253] Penge Group Brands Garden Destruction Act of ‘Mindless Vandalism’ News Shopper 13 Mar 2015 http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/11855649.PICTURED__Penge_group_brands_garden_destruction__mindless_vandalism_/ [Accessed 07 Nov 2015]
[254] Property History | 100023633245| Benwick Court, 83/87 Croydon Road Penge London SE20 7RN https://searchapplications.bromley.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]
[255] Copy of the Land Registry Title Number SGL749403, private collection of Keith Rodwell, Penge Green Gym.
[256]Bromley park staff join the Landscape Group’s workforce Horticulture Week 12 Jun 2015 http://www.hortweek.com/bromley-park-staff-join-landscape-groups-workforce/parks-and-gardens/article/1350949 [Accessed 07 Nov 2016]

 

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