Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pathe News: Brockley and New Cross

Thanks to Cath on Twitter I've come across another addictive historical archive, the British Pathe News archive of old newsreel footage. I am still trawling through but have found a couple of Brockley film clips already - only trouble is I think the archivist has mislabelled some of the footage.

For instance, there is a 1917 clip showing the Lord Mayor of London pinning a DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal) on one Sergeant North - the caption says 'Brockley, Suffolk', but why would the Lord Mayor of London be in Suffolk. The buildings look like Victorian terracing of the (London) Brockley kind.

Likewise there's a 1931 clip of a folding car - the caption says 'Not sure which county Brockley is in - probably Somerset. May also be Brockley in Suffolk' - but the housing looks very much like round here, maybe even Telegraph Hill? Maybe even Drakefell Road - check out the crest of the hill and the gates next to the house - an entrance to the park?

Have a look and let us know what you think.

On safer ground with the New Cross footage - some great 1958 film of dogs at New Cross stadium, and from the same venue stock car racing at Easter 1954. There's a 1935 film of a Donkey Derby at Milllwall (donkeys on the pitch at the Den, never). The latter was part of an annual Jockeys vs. Boxers charity football match, which is also shown in a 1936 film, where the match was attended by the comedians Gert and Daisy. There's also a 1938 Millwall match against Man. City (check out size of the crowd) and of Millwall v. Birmingham in 1957 .

1935: crowd watching Donkey Derby at Millwall

From 1948 there's some cycle speedway in the bombsite ruins of a Wesleyan church in New Cross, and from 1952, London's last tram coming in to New Cross depot.

Update 23 July: walking up Drakefell Road I am now 95% convinced that the folding car footage was filmed there, specifically where the Greenstreet Hill wooden self-build now stands (I believe this replaced war damaged housing). There is still a post box opposite on the corner of Aspinall Road, which you can see in the film. Or am I deluding myself?


fabhat said...

Great clips - the folding car section definitely looks like Telegraph Hill.

Adrian said...

Great clips, loving your website! I'm sure you're right about the location of the 1931 clip (Drakefell rd/Aspinall Rd junction); as you say the post box is still there, and the conservatory on the corner has changed but is also still there. Check it out Google street image by putting 98 Drakefell Road into Google search, then click on Maps, then Street view - you can wander round virtually to confirm the location. Exciting historically because as far I remember the restorers of Telegraph Hill Park could find no record of the original gate ironwork (removed in the war), so they deduced the design from the similar Brockley cemetery. From your Pathe footage it looks like this was a clever deduction. Must ask Malcolm Bacchus (local Society chairman) to check this out..

Transpontine said...

Thanks Adrian, that pretty much confirms the Drakefell location - I will contact Pathe and try and get them to change their caption. Sad to think that the house the women emerge from was destined to be hit by a V1 rocket in 1944 (though fortunately nobody was killed in that attack).

Anonymous said...

i have been a postman for 8 years in brockley i have lived here for 27 years i am sure this is drakefell road

Transpontine said...

Well I think that's settled! Drakefell Road it is.

Ian said...

The house that the two women appear from would have been where no 5 Greenstreet Hill now stands. It was completely demolished by a bomb in 1943. You can see the post box on the corner of the dead end road that leads to the footbridge over the railway.