Horselydown to the Angel
DVD Colour Sound 2009 24:26
Summary: A look at the history around the area of Tooley Street in the old Parish of St John Horselydown and journeying through to the Angel Pub in Dockhead.
Title number: 21059
LSA ID: LSA/27643
Description: Shots of London City Mission (00:46) traces of 18th century foundation can still be seen, as can the boundary stones of the two parishes of St Olave’s and St John’s. In Druid Street (01:18) there is also a boundary stone dating form 1794. Thomas Guy statue, 1644/5 – 1724, who built and endowed Guy’s hospital, was born in Pritchard’s Alley (01:51). He invested in a South Sea company before its collapse and donated his wealth to building the hospital (02:18). It was a hospital for incurables. The arch in St Guy’s was once part of the medieval London Bridge which was demolished in 1832. A statue sitting on a bench inside the arch is the poet Keats who studied medicine there. Dr Alfred Salter’s playground (04:48) was laid out in 1930s as a much-needed outdoor space for children. The ashes of Alfred Salter and his wife Ada are in a concrete box near the rose bushes. Many Irish who settled in Bermondsey worked on the London to Greenwich railway, which was London’s first passenger railway and built in 1835 (05:51). Its 878 brick arches caused a brick shortage. In WW2 people sheltered under the arches. The Cut and Cucumber café (06:10) has been serving egg and chips since 1930s. Shots of The Pommelers Rest pub built for the opening of Tower Bridge. Horsleydown Lane (07:23) is one of the few streets from the Tudor days. Shot of The Anchor Tap (07:55). The area around the regatta was festooned with bunting and coasters and there was music. In Gainsford Street there is another burial ground. The church attached is now the home to the Crown Prosecution Service (09:49). Shad Thames is a corruption of St John at Thames. The Knights of St John’s Jerusalem had a hostelry and water mill here. Henry Lafone was a businessman at Butler’s Wharf. In the Dock Strike of 1889 he was the only employer to agree with the dock workers. They went on strike for 6 pence an hour, known as The Docker’s Tanner. Maggie Blake successfully campaigned in 80s against the gating off of the Thames to the locals who had been using the local right of river access for centuries shots of Maggie Blake’s Cause which is named after her. A sculpture of a horse called Jacob (12:04) commemorates the grey horses used by carriages and forms part of the luxury development. In 19th century the area was a dark and terrible place and inspired Dickens to set part of Oliver Twist at St George’s Wharf where cholera was rife. Dockhead was teeming with dockers, sailors, sail-makers and blacksmiths so there are lots of tobacconists and pubs here. There were also numerous ships’ biscuit makers, including Peak Freen’s and Jacob’s Biscuits. The area was owned by the monks of Bermondsey Abbey. Dockhead (14:12) is really called St Saviours Dock. This is where the subterranean Neckinger river goes out to meet the Thames. The Neckinger is named after the Devil’s Neckerchief - a euphemism for a hangman’s noose. River pirates and footpads were hanged by this river. The Guardians Office (15:30) a late 19th century building and has art nouveau style. It was the Relief Office of Bermondsey and Lewisham and is now luxury flats. The Most Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church was rebuilt after the WW2. The estate blocks in the Dickens Estate are named after his characters. The Ship Aground Pub (17:30) has been around since 18th century. The current building is 1930s mock Tudor. Bermondsey is way below sea level and was prone to flooding. The Bermondsey Wall was built in the boggy marsh. Chambers Wharf (18:26) built in 1930s is first cold storage warehouse. It took the place of granary warehouses which had become infested by rats. Gold bullion is said to have been stored there. The wharf has now been demolished and is being developed as a residential space. Cherry Garden Pier is a 17th century addition to Bermondsey. Samuel Pepys records a visit in his diary. William Gaitskell House (20:46)was owned Dr Gaitskell who it is rumoured paid youngsters to fish out bodies from the Thames which he could dissect. The bodies were delivered through a secret tunnel to the basement of the house. The house was also home to Rotherhithe police station. The bronze sculptures (21:13) of Dr Alfred Salter, his daughter Joyce and her cat were designed by Diane Gorvin and cast at the Meridian foundry at Peckham. Joyce died aged 8 from scarlet fever. Local legend says that if you touch Joyce’s hand she will bring you luck. The Angel pub (22:03) dates back to medieval times. The monks of Bermondsey used to make their own ale there and sell it to raise funds for the church. The current building is early 19th century and was a known haunt for thieves and smugglers. King Edward III had a residence here at Platform Wharf (22:54). Archaeologists have found royal chambers, a chapel and a privy, jutting out over the moat. Edward is said to have loved hunting probably in the woods around Charlton and the Manor House was probably his country retreat.
Credits: Michael Holland (Director); Debra Gosling (Script); Debra Gosling (Narrator); CCL Music (Composer)
Further information: DVD available to view onsite.
Keywords: Breweries; Bermondsey; Rotherhithe; Guy's Hospital