Faded Greenwich (17)

Here’s one I must have been passing for years and never noticed before Dazza sent me these pictures. Now, if memory serves, where Ginza/ Tsuru is now used to be an old working men’s club, which then became a general eyesore before being sold off a few years ago to be turned into my favourite Japanese restaurant (BTW it’s still the same people running it; they changed the name because a new backer came in and for some reason didn’t like ‘Ginza’ as a name…) .

Which all means the writing on this wall possibly predates the club. The letters of the first word are clear enough – AYLESBURY – but what’s the second? DALE? The first part of BAKERY? The old bit of building runs out just where it becomes interesting.

Is it an old sign? Or was the road itself once called Aylesbury Road? Checking on an old Ordnance Survey map, it was was definitely Chilver Street in 1914, and I can’t imagine that it’s an awful lot older than that anyway, judging from what architecture’s left. To my shame, I can’t remember the name of the old working men’s club there – though why it would be called Aylesbury Working Men’s Club when it’s in East Greenwich is beyond me.

Help, folks!


23 Comments to “Faded Greenwich (17)”

  1. Mary says:

    It was the Maze Hill Working Men's Club – but what the Aylesbury is, I don't know – will continue to think about it!

  2. The Greenwich Phantom says:

    Of course! Maze Hill WMC! It did get very tatty indeed in the end. Shame to see some of the old clubs going – but frankly it does look (and I supsect taste) better now.

  3. Mary says:

    It was really dire inside.
    I have been through tons of material, including 1950s trade directories, and without going to the Heritage Centre I have come to the end. Those streets – Marlton and Chilver are a bit later developed than Fingal – and so are those houses on Woolwich Road. They just seem to be shown as houses on maps – but that building had a very big back extension which might imply it was a bakery or something like that.

  4. The Greenwich Phantom says:

    Well – it was certainly dire outside. I always had this horrid image of sticky carpets, glitter curtains, cigarette fug and strippers.

    Thanks for searching…

  5. andrekabu says:

    Do you know why when busses stop opposite their electronic signs/voices announce "Marlton Road"?

  6. Mary says:

    Marlton Road is the turning down beside the printers – there is now a little estate of houses down the end built last year – - however why they choose particular places for those irritating announcements on buses, I don't know. At the end of Westcombe Park Road they announce 'Tudor Grange' whatever that might be!

  7. Dazza says:

    Whilst we're on the subject of this neck of the woods…..
    Can anyone tell me about the 'Cecil Rooms' that used to occupy the site now the Plant Hire Place (Forgot the name…sorry)?
    I wonder if there is any connection with Aylesbury?

  8. badwitch says:

    Looks a little like Aylesbury Place to me.

  9. RogerW says:

    The second word does look like it's trying to say Place or possibly Hall… but the more I keep looking at it, the more the first letter is taking the shape of a B.
    Hmmm. Could it be Ball – as in Ballroom – but the 'room' bit was on the part of the wall which has since been painted over?

  10. RogerW says:

    Sorry… not 'painted over'
    Stripped back to bare brick is what I should've said.

  11. mary says:

    I think it might be an idea to look at the other faded bit – over the front door. Rather than go down now and look at it in the dark I tried Google Earth and it seems to be three letters – perhaps 'Bar' .

  12. 被リンクサービス says:

    Though faded, but still beautiful memory for those old days.

  13. Benedict says:

    Well as its Grand National time , I'm going to stick my pin in and say its Aylesbury Dale….

  14. Indigo says:

    @Mary, At the end of Westcombe Park Road they announce 'Tudor Grange' whatever that might be!

    Tudor Grange is/are the BUPA luxury leasehold retirement flats built on the site of the old Chinese embassy.

  15. Black Maria says:

    MHWC was a dairy – I have a 1934 Kelly's Directory – the proprietor was a Henry Berrett. The Cecil Rooms is recorded as being called the Christchurch Mission Hall.

    The club was, unsurprisingly, originally in Maze Hill, but was bombed in WWII. My father was having a soak in Greenwich Baths (no bathrooms in the plebs houses then!) when the bomb dropped. He told me he left the baths dirtier than when he went in!

  16. Nick Martin says:

    My sister had a party for the christening of her first son in the Cecil Rooms…. I remember it well, because it was also my 21st birthday, which would have been a major event, had the government not lowered the age of consent to 18 that same year !

    I seem to recall that behind the Cecil Rooms was a company called Dandridges (which is presumably where Dandridge Close gets its name), and there were also a couple of fenced off football pitches.

    Was the Cecil Rooms on the opposite corner of Chilver Street ?

  17. LordAlwold says:

    By George I think Black Maria has got it! By the looks of things it seems it says ‘Aylesbury Dairy’. This link offers further clues: http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayArticleForFree.cfm?doi=AN887120183b&JournalCode=AN

  18. Margaret says:

    Hi Yes it definitely was the Aylesbury Dairy and then the Maze Hill Working Mens Club which my Grand-dad used on Friday nights to do the loan club and on Sunday dinner-times for a drink.

  19. Nick Martin says:

    The Aylesbury Dairy is mentioned in Charles Dickens’ directory of London….
    http://www.victorianlondon.org/dickens/dickens-mus.htm

  20. Jacky says:

    Peggy Teeley who used to manage the Working Men’s Club would never have allowed strippers in there …and she was formidable! A major force at the the local ward meetings of the Greenwich Labour Party back in the early 80′s.

  21. steve glover says:

    i worked for city electrical factors at cecil rooms from 1972 for about 8 years when it was demolished for dandridge.we played football on the tarmac pitches behind at dinner time.
    Has anybody got any photographs of the building
    steve

  22. William (Bill) Bray says:

    I used to play the drums in the Maze Hill Working Men’s Club from about 1957 to 1958. I teamed up with a pianist called Pete Daniels and we played there every Saturday and Sunday night. We added a bass (played by Johnny Creed) and a singer, Mick, whose father ran the working men’s club.
    The Cecil Rooms was used as a furniture depository during WW2. I believe the furniture deposited there was from people whose houses had been bombed. At the end of the war the furniture was returned to its owners and the Cecil Rooms became the place where a ballroom dancing school was set up. I used to go there to meet girls (and learn to dance, of course). It was owned by Christ Church and at one point the owner of the dance school asked if our band would play there during the week. We did so, but Christ Church sent along a representative to check us out. He recommended that we should not be allowed to play as we were “too loud”. Now bear in mind that in front there was the main Woolwich Road, beside there was Arthur F. Dandridge’s construction yard, on the other side there was a large empty space and then the working men’s club and behind there was a large expanse of waste ground. Quite who was going to be disturbed by our playing was never made clear – he was just your average religious nut – disapprove of everything in the name of God.
    The empty space behind the Cceil Rooms was known as the Old Field. During the war there was a large underground air raid shelter there.
    Marlton Street (not Marlton Road) went all the way down to the British Oxygen Company which actually fronted on Tunnel Avenue. It was a street that tended to be occupied by the poorer segments of society, as was Fingal Street.
    I used to live across the road from the Cecil Rooms at 48 Woolwich Road and went to Halstow Road school.
    If anybody has any more questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer them (if I can).

  23. Fascinating, Bill. Thanks!