The Most Disagreeable Girl in the World

Today I bring you a rather unusual postcard from the Phantom Collection. It was sent from Stockwell to West Norwood on the 6th November, 1907, and I suspect that the design is not much older than that. There’s something about the background behind the multi-scene that just feels so Edwardian, so early-cinematic – and very ‘Greenwich,’ acknowledging the astronomical side to the town’s appeal.

I am particularly fond of this card for that, and a couple of other reasons. I find it rather charming that if you look at the corner photos, they are labelled but they’re so bloomin’ bland that they could be anywhere – perhaps that’s why they gave it the jazzy background, so people wouldn’t look too closely.

I also love that bottom centre picture – I’ll try blowing it up a little.

There. Is there any part of that scene still in existence? Perhaps the very centre building is the Rose & Crown, the one next to it the theatre, but frankly I can’t tell. I really need to get a ‘Then and Now’ picture of this, with the ever-growing university buildings on the left, Cafe Rouge on the right.

But the reason I love this postcard so much is the message on the back:

In case you can’t quite make it out, it reads:

From the most disagreeable girl in the world. Don’t forget the grease.

the attachments to this post:

Astronomical Greenwich Postcard low reverse
Astronomical Greenwich Postcard low reverse

Astronomical Greenwich Postcard low stockwell
Astronomical Greenwich Postcard low stockwell

Astronomical Greenwich Postcard low
Astronomical Greenwich Postcard low

17 Comments to “The Most Disagreeable Girl in the World”

  1. Mike says:

    Love it! The card and the rather wonderful enigmatic message!

  2. Paul says:

    That is indeed a fabulous card. I like also the brevity of addresses from those days.

    And it does somehow underline that, while we’ve lost a lot of Greenwich, a huge amount remains.

  3. Andy Macdonald says:

    Great stuff!

    I’m thinking that the building 2nd in from the right on Stockwell Street is the terminus of the Greenwich & Nunhead Railway.

  4. JOF says:

    Lovely period postcard, but I am puzzled. In the Observatory photo, what is that building/structure on the left behind the tree? It oddly looks like some 1970s glass and steel round office building. Anyone know?

  5. Actually, now you mention it – I have no idea…

  6. Old China says:

    Brilliant. I wonder if Miss Killo (?) remembered the grease. There’d have been hell to pay if not.

  7. In the picture of the observatory, it looks like it’s the old ‘wooden’ drum dome on top of the building which now houses the 28-inch great refractor.
    When the new 28-inch telescope was installed in 1893, the old dome was too small to incorporate the large telescope, so the ‘onion dome’ was built, which ‘bulges’ to a radius of about 5-feet wider than the supporting walls.
    Obviously, this means that the picture must have been taken before 1893.

  8. Fantastic – thank you so much – so clearly the publisher was using old stock photos!


  9. JOF says:

    Thank you, Flamsteed AS. All clear now.

  10. scared of chives says:

    In the Naval College pic – is that the training ship ‘Fame’ between Wren’s domes? I’m sure a guide at the Queen’s House told me there were three versions so maybe this was the first…?

  11. David Carson says:

    Andy’s right: that building is the old railway station…. There’s a parapet wall still by Circus Street and a small stretch of the filled in line visible, then the line, again filled in, is also visible from satellite maps as the allotments at the back of Royal Hill and Prior Street and a small stretch of embankment by Lewishsham. And that’s your lot!

  12. scared of chives says:

    @David …and that rail line-sized gap behind the (now closed) flower shop, Creaky Shed etc…

  13. Stephen says:

    Thank you Flamsteed Astronomy Society.

    I have spent the last forty minutes trying to find information about that.

  14. johnse18 says:

    I’m trying to remember the name of that railway station. Greenwich Park perhaps. Anyway, I seem to recall that it is mentioned by name in Joseph Conrad’s “Secret Agent”.

  15. valley_girl says:

    The station was called Greenwich Park after 1900 – see

  16. Wyn Lambert says:

    I believe this is a view up Crooms Hill from the junction of Stockwell St and Greenwich High St. The tall pink building on the left still stands – it’s Albion House, EM Sabos is on the ground floor. I think the buiding on the right is the entrance to Greenwich Park station where the Ibis Hotel now is. You can’t see the Rose & Crown or the Theatre as they are hidden by the bend.