Street Photography

Jack asks:

“My family have lived in greenwich for over 150 years, and I have been doing my family tree. On the 1881 census, my great x3 grandmother Eliza Moody ran a greengrocers and fruit shop at 121 Trafalgar road.
I was wondering if you had any pictures of this place from books or if you knew anyone that would possibly have a picture or anything. I have no name of the shop, just 121 Trafalgar road.”

The Phantom replies:

This is SUCH a common question. I confess that without trawling through every single book I don’t know if there is one that takes in that particular shop and sadly Real Life is utterly crazy at the moment; I just don’t have the time.

But it’s easy enough to do for yourself what I would have to do – nip over to the Heritage centre at Woolwich Arsenal and ask to see the photographs they keep that are labelled by street. There might also be other collections that will have them in so have a chat with the curators. It really helps to know where No. 121 is now (if it exists) so you can see where it is in the street and identify it by other things around it rather than just hoping there is something labelled as such. There could be pictures of trams or other things with that shop in the background.

There are other places to look, of course. The Heritage Centre holds many more books than I do for starters – a happy afternoon with a bunch of them might yield results. I’ve been having a chat with a chap who’s found a picture of his family shop in the Morden College Archives (more about that another day…) – could be worth seeing what they have, especially since they own a lot of the land north of (and including) Traf Road – if you look at the top of the building Tesco is in you’ll see the coat of arms.

For photos of streets now, Mike Curry has asked me to remind you that he has an exhibition of his travels around town  at The Greenwich Gallery, which is at Linear House, just behind Greenwich Borough Hall on Royal Hill. It’s on until the end of the month and if you go at weekends you can have a chat with the man himself…

One Comment to “Street Photography”

  1. Old China says:

    Jack, if you want to find out exactly where 121 Trafalgar Rd was in 1881 (not necesarily where it is now) then take yourself along to the British Library and check out their collection of Goad maps.

    These are free to look at but cost a small fortune to get a copy so take a notepad along.

    Goad maps were highly accurate maps made for insurance purposes but now offer modern researches the most accurate street level records of just exactly where everything was.

    Once you know the exact position of the shop you might have more luck tracking down a photo.