Faded Greenwich (18) Open Wide

I’m back. After a week of ‘interest’ it feels rather weird to be back at my desk this morning actually typing a new post. I’m going to be catching up with as much mail etc. as possible over the next week or so but for today I’m keeping things traditional with a fabulous Faded Greenwich that Mike spotted in Egerton Drive.

In case you can’t read it, it says

ARTIFICIAL TEETH

Hours 10-7, 10-2 Saturdays.

I know nothing more about it, and on looking in Diana Rimel’s excellent volume, The Ashburnham Triangle, it would seem that on this occasion she doesn’t either, though she did give me the idea that any listing might be under Blackheath Road, since the sign’s actually on the side of 45a.

Obviously I’ve no idea how old this faded wooden sign is, but I did have a quick peek at the 1849 Greenwich directory – surely anyone who’s happy enough to advertise on the side of his house would take a place in a directory? Maybe, but unless it’s one Dr Haycroft who lived ‘somewhere’ in Blackheath Road, it’s a later sign, and since I don’t have any later directories and time presses too much for a visit to the Heritage Centre, for now we’ll just have to enjoy this sign for its enchanting, oblique whimsy.


the attachments to this post:

artificial teeth low
artificial teeth low

artificial teeth low
artificial teeth low


9 Comments to “Faded Greenwich (18) Open Wide”

  1. Old China says:

    Welcome back Phantom!

    Good to know that one could get artificial teeth up to 7:00pm during the week. I’m impressed.

  2. Indeed. Not quite as good as the 24-hour sofabed shop on Caledonian Road, but a good effort nevertheless.

  3. valley_girl says:

    I have found a dentist called John Coghlan at 45a Blackheath Road in the 1908 Post Office Directory. The address is not listed in the 1914 copy of the Directory, so he may have moved by then.

  4. Wow – congratulations ValleyGirl – Superb Sleuthery!

  5. Stephen says:

    Well spotted Mike. I’ve been down Egerton Drive hundreds of times and must have seen that sign a few times at least, but it didn’t register.

  6. Benedict says:

    My brother lived above a dentists in Barnet, called….Dr Screech……Im not making it up either!

  7. Jack Cross says:

    Older readers will remember that the dental surgery near Greenwich station was run by the (eponymous) Mr Payne.

  8. valley_girl says:

    Thanks Phant – perhaps I’ll rename myself Super Sleuth. A bit more digging took me to the Booth Poverty Survey entry for Blackheath Road – http://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b368/jpg/227.html . Here it talks about ‘Private houses… some good class people, coroner, dentist and keep servants’. This was recorded in August 1899. Could this be the same dentist?

    On the following page, there are some interesting comments on what was happening to the area between Croom’s Hill and Blackheath Hill – ‘Originally a good middle class district, the social decay has affected this part and the working class are gaining possession of the better houses. The end of Hyde Vale near King George Street is an example of this, whilst at the upper end, boarding houses are now superseding the older families.’

    The Survey, and the maps drawn up from it, give a fascinating and detailed insight into London at a time when things were changing fast.

  9. Nick Martin says:

    In the 1911 census, living at 45a Blackheath Road, there is a Kate Coughlan, age 45, widow, Occupation: Artificial Tooth Maker, born Mexborough, Yorkshire, and John Reginald Cluster, Son, age 25, Occupation: Dental Mechanic, born Rotherham, Yorks. I guess John Coughlan must have died between 1908 and 1911, and his widow carried on the business for a while.