Wednesday, March 30, 2016

An Easter tragedy - drowned on the Bromley Road pond 1887

A sad tale from 1887 (South Wales Daily News, 14 April 1887):
Mysterious case of drowning - On Tuesday morning, between six and seven o'clock, the body of a young lady of respectable appearance, and apparently about eighteen years of age, was dragged out of the mill-pond, Southend, near Beckenham... The young woman, in company with another female and two young men, had been driving out on Easter Monday, and when returning home to Deptford, about nine o'clock, the stopped at the Green Man Inn, Southend, for refreshments. The three other occupants of the conveyance left the deceased by herself for a few minutes, and upon their return she could not be found. Subsequently the body was discovered in the pond which is situated immediately opposite the inn. The body was removed to Brockley, there to await identification and the coroner's inquest'.
The mill-pond referred to is still there, albeit remodelled as the pond in front of the Homebase store on the corner of Bromley Road and Beckenham Hill Road. It was once part of Southend village, the last rural area of Lewisham before it was urbanised in the 1920s.

The pond in front of Homebase store
(picture from Geograph © Copyright Philip Talmage and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence)

The Old Mill and its pond in 1905 (from Ideal Homes)

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