Then and Now (2) Pelton Road

You know it wasn’t until I started writing this blog that I realised just how often I find myself returning to the relatively modest Pelton Road, both physically – I find myself there a lot, for one reason or another,  and historically – I can’t count the number of times we’ve covered sundry aspects of what can only be a few hundred yards of street.  And believe me there’s more to come on other days.

But here we are again, this time with some rather fab pictures that Dave sent me. He tells me his neighbour’s father took these photos – presumably some time in the 1930s. The father owned a furniture shop in Trafalgar Road and kept a display of local pictures in the window to attract custom.

As so often happens, when the store closed, most of the photos just got binned; with just a few precious survivals. Dave scanned the originals for the neighbour, so at least there are a few odd images left. The one at the top of this post and the one here are two different ends of the same terrace:

In case you’re trying to work out where the hell these majestic, almost Bath-like terraces were, here’s a pic I took of what’s there now. If you look in the background of each, you can just see the Royal Standard.

Yes, indeedy – the very Flats of Shame, from which the Phantom was once water-bombed, causing deep embarrassment, and much giggling from the small boys concerned. Word to the wise – walk the other side of the road in summer, okay?

But how did we get from Black and White to Colour?

Well, completely independently of Dave’s photos, I’d been chatting with Stephen, from Blitzwalkers, who had been looking at the Greenwich ARP Incident Book for Pelton Road. He says

“Remarkably, considering the location of Pelton Road, it features only twice during the entire war. On 10th September 1940, no. 76 Pelton Road was badly damaged by two incendiary bombs, and on 29th December 1940 (a huge night elsewhere in London) 2 incendiaries fell in Pelton Road but did not ignite.”

So – the only bomb that did any real damage, was on Number 76. A quick look at streetview reveals number 76 appears to be missing, presumably where those flats are….

Sadly what I can’t make out what the terrace was actually called. Maybe someone knows? The other mystery to me is the adornment of the current flats. Was this a previous incarnation of Greenwich Borough’s coat of arms? It looks nothing like it to me…

the attachments to this post:

Pelton2 Dave low
Pelton2 Dave low

Pelton1 Dave low
Pelton1 Dave low

pelton flats low
pelton flats low

pelton flats shield low
pelton flats shield low

23 Comments to “Then and Now (2) Pelton Road”

  1. will says:

    There are some very very similar flats on Christchurch Way diagonally opposite the Royal Standard. Might a bomb have landed there that also partially destroyed the Pelton Road terrace?

    Is the Greenwich ARP Incident Book accessible? I’d like to learn more about damage I know my house sustained.

  2. Ebspig says:

    12 or so people died from the bomb (bombs?)which fell on Dyson House, Blackwall Lane on 29th December 1940. Perhaps the blast caused damage to Pelton and other nearby roads?

  3. Stephen aka. Latelygay says:

    There’s a terrific gallery of photos on the Telegraph website of London on the day that WWII was declared.

  4. Joe F says:

    Dear Phantom
    With a bit of random Googling, the following site suggests that Pelton Road was formerly known as Lambton Terrace –
    Looking at the first photo, I reckon that the inscription could conceivably read Lambton Terrace, although the ‘L’ is particularly faded.

  5. Mary says:

    What fell on Dyson House wasn’t strictly speaking a bomb – but a V2 (much nastier). The article by Michael Kearney in an old copy of the Greenwich Antiquarian Transactions gives the names of all the terraces in Pelton Road,

  6. Ebspig says:

    Sorry Mary, surely the first V2 landed on 8th September 1944 (Staveley Road, Chiswick). It is thought that Dyson House was hit (on 29th December 1940) by a parachute mine – also pretty nasty.

  7. Dave48 says:

    You’r right Joe F the house’s were called Lambtom Terrace but as far as I know it’s always been Pelton Road. The Booth map I mention below is dated 1886-1903 and the site you checked has it changing in 1912?

    Although if you look at the “Charles Booth” poverty map of London the section from Christchurch Way to the Junction of Blackwall Lane was called Tyler Street, no idea when it changed.

    On the Booth site (link below) you can also view digitised police notebooks coverng the area and “Lambton Terrace” is mentioned.

  8. valley_girl says:

    The terrace was called Lambton Terrace. The name first appeared in the 1871 Census for some of the houses in Pelton Road. I also found it in the Booth Poverty Survey 1899 at: where it talks of Pelton Road “facing Whitworth St is Lambton Terrace – 3 storey houses 2 families. All comfortable.”

    Re WWII bombing. I can recommend the book “Red Alert South East London 1939-1945″ by Lewis Blake, self-published in 1982. It lists all the major bombing incidents in the area, including the Dyson House one, but no mention of Pelton Road.

  9. Georgie says:

    We live on Pelton Road, and our next door neighbour Wally who’s well over 80 years old used to live in that terrace before it was bombed. I’ll show him the pictures – he might be able to shed light on it all.

  10. Dave48 says:

    I don’t think they were bombed as I can remember the houses being there when I was a child in the early 50′s.

    I think, but cannot be sure, there were some houses opposite that may have been bombed. I can remember a bit of waste land there before it was turned into a sort of small garden affair with a couple of benches in it. As a child we used to play football and cricket in there although football was a little difficult as there were a number of trees.

    BTW I think I also know Wally and if I see him will ask.


  11. Alan Mason says:

    Dear Phantom,
    Isn’t the coat of arms that of Morden College? I certainly recall seeing it around the area during my childhood.
    Ps. regardingmy last communique, any more info on Coldbath Street / Emmanuel Church yet?

  12. halcyon23 says:

    Hi, I’m a Pelton Rd resident and just discovered this blogg.Have lived on the street for 8 years and raised a family here,so feel part of the community and it’s very interesting to to pick up some of the history of the street. Regarding the bombing of 76. I live very close to that address and I don’t think it relates to the flats. There is a ‘modern’ cottage with garage between 78 and following cottages in the direction of Whitworth St. It would appear that the loss of the original houses(in the area of the flats)must have been due to a seperate, quite severe incident or from post-war town planning.

  13. alan brooker says:

    Hi I lived at no 83 pelton road way back in the 1940s and 50s and I can reveal the name of the block of houses in the photos now demolished and replaced by modern flats was called “Pelton terrace” you can just see in the photos about midway along a lampost directly aove at roof level the name was inscribed pelton terrace I believe it said 1873 but I could be wrong about that.

  14. [...] they’re right. I love e’m. Dave’s pics of Pelton road, for example, or the mystery photo of the baby outside the Angerstein Arms a couple of months ago. I [...]

  15. Will – I’m so sorry for the time it has taken for me to notice the comment made here. Yes, the ARP log is available to view at the Greenwich Heritage Centre down at the Woolwich Arsenal. Alternatively, if you’d care to e-mail me at with your address, or at least the street that you live in, I’d be happy to look it up for you to see what we can find.

    Also, Ebspig you are quite right – Dyson House was one of the worst incidents in the borough and was indeed caused by a Parachute Mine – terrible weapons quite unlike anything else used by the Germans which caused a tremendous airburst effect which affected a huge area.

  16. Also Will in answer to your other question. 1st November 1940, junction of Christchurch Way/Azof Street struck by HE Bomb. No casualties but the front of 80 Azof Street severely damaged. Does this help at all?

  17. martin says:

    My mother lived in Commerell street when the land mine hit in 1940. She was from a family of 6, the McPhersons. Their house stood two along from a church or chapel, and was demolished. She was a small girl at the time but still vividly remembers the incident and the windows coming in and bits of the ceiling falling in.

  18. John dedman says:

    Dear Phantom I am sending from my mobile and i wonder if anyone has any info on the Seawith Pub up Morden Wharf Road. Near where the Dome is now. dad had a shop at 10 Kirkland Place Blackwall Lane from 1944 til 1954 I was born 1947 and grew up there. I used to peddle up Morden Wharf Lane towards the river keeping up with the Blue Circle Cement lorries in my little car. The Seawitch Pub bomb site I used to drive past. And also the Mechanic’s Arms at the top and then do a 3 point turn and peddle down the lane back to my dad’s antique shop. I would like to know if there were any people killed in the Seawitch. Our shop was a few yards away Regards John Dedman

  19. Warren Lister says:

    My family owned the Timber mills E Lister & Co which was demolished by a landmine on 29th October 1940 I have photos and would welcome any details form others. The mills were rebuilt (present building now semi derelict) by the Listers. I am writing a biography / history and would welcome any inputs.

  20. john Davies says:

    I lived in one of the houses in the photo 60 years ago up to 4 years old my Nan lived there up to the time they were knocked down.
    my dads mum and dad had lived there for years before I was born.

  21. Martin Clarke says:

    Good evening. I’ve been to visit an elderly and sick relative today. He’s given me a copy of my g-g-grandfather’s service record – he was a Master Mariner. It’s showing his address in 1817 as 2 Pelton Road. Would anyone be able to point to where I might be able to find some pictures which include #2? Many thanks. Martin