Greenwich Then and Now (4)


Church Street from the Cozens family album


When Harriet told me about her great, great grandfather last week, she sent me a couple of pictures from the Greenwich section of the family album, and today I bring you a faded, but familiar sight. 

I’m guessing that perhaps one of the Richardsons themselves took this photograph from the upstairs window of their stationery shop – it’s in the right place, though sadly its being Pizza Express these days I was unable to get upstairs and peer out through the window to be sure. I’m no public transport expert but I’m sure I’ve seen a similar trolley bus in the London Transport museum – even with Greenwich as the destination (and being told a comic story about a particularly eccentric conductor who rode it, though it entirely escapes me now. Perhaps someone who knows more about such things could remind me?) 

It looks oddly modern, which is interesting given how much of Church Street has changed. The Mitre pub is there – albeit without the little BBQ/smoking area, the churchyard has hardly changed and even though we have entirely different buildings (the Ibis/Cafe Rouge/Picturehouse) where the row on the left is, it somehow doesn’t look hugely different. Even the trees (a copper beech and a double-coloured cherry if memory serves) are either the same or replacements planted in the same places. 

I got the closest I could to the picture on a very rainy Saturday. It’s not going to win any prizes for – well, anything, actually, but it gives us some idea of what it’s like now (the modern equivalent of the trolley bus was a happy accident.)

Church street today


Thanks, Harriet, for the pic!

the attachments to this post:

Church street today
chruch street

Church Street from the Cozens family album
Church St Greenwich

12 Comments to “Greenwich Then and Now (4)”

  1. Andy says:

    Hi DD,

    Nice photo and a decent match up! from yours. As you say the pubs there and the building on the right. You can make out the Coat of Arms in the portico top right.

  2. Andy says:

    Another observation.

    The Church Railings look the same as does the lamp post base on the left.

  3. The weird thing about those railings, Andy, is that I bet they’re not the same – I don’t know whether they were taken away for the war effort – perhaps the guys at St Alfs know…

  4. I think I can see a pair of sailors too – on their way to the mitre…

    Shame the lovely three-branch lamp post at the corner of Stockwell Street’s gone.

  5. Andy says:

    I didn’t notice at first the Tri Lamps on top where the base is. Thought the lamps were just faint watermark. Sailors probably about to say Good Day the Lady walking to them?

  6. Andy says:

    Your right DD railings are shorter but the Gate supports do look similar if you blow the photo up

  7. Ebspig says:

    Our electric tram specialist suggests that this picture may have been taken in 1908 when electric tram services were introduced to this part of Greenwich. Maybe that is why Mr Richardson took the photograph. Of course Greenwich power station was built to provide electricity for the tram and Underground networks.

  8. Stephen says:

    I think the lamp post “base” on the left is a rubbish bin.

  9. pat says:

    Only this weekend I was trying to remember the name of the Motorbike shop that was further around the one way system. I know it was there in the mid ’70′s but can’t remember it closing or indeed quite what is there in it’s place?
    Any ideas?

  10. The power station was built for LCC trams. Only later, once London Transport was unified, did it power the Underground.

  11. Ebspig says:

    Thanks for the info, Alan – the electric tram specialist should have known. He (the ETS) and I had a “spirited” discussion about when horse-drawn trams finally disappeared from London streets.

    The motorbike shop was where the ex-Tourist info and clothes shop are. Was it the same business which opened in “Somerfield” Square, now the Sainsbury Local? Never saved enough pocket money to contemplate entering the shop.

  12. Pat says:

    Having had a senior moment lasting several days I have answered my own question. The show room that I alluded to was “Pratts Motorcycles of Greenwich”.