|The Streatham Society||
David Essex's tour stopped-off at Streatham Odeon On This Day 19 October 1976
Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror)
Streatham's Music Hall star Kate Carney and husband George Barclay ( born Shea) agent and racehorse owner. Lived at "Boylands Oak" Streatham Hill and later 48 Aldrington Road, Streatham
Our very own Chair of the Streatham Society, Shea Richardson is their grand-daughter
On This Day 80 years ago on 17th October 1940 a bomb partly destroyed the Fire Station in Mitcham Lane Streatham
The old Streatham Fire Station was opened in Mitcham Lane in December 1903. After 1889 the London County Council took over responsibility for the design of fire stations and its is likely that their Fire Brigade architects, under the superintendence of Owen Fleming, designed this building.
Only the left hand half of the original building survives, the right hand side of the station building was destroyed by an enemy bomb on 17th October 1940, which killed twelve firemen and seriously injured three others. The design, of the remaining portion, is in the very best Edwardian fire station tradition.
(Lambeth Planning: Streatham High Road and Streatham Hill conservation area statement)
On This Day 16 Octeober 1787 Edward Foss was born. A resident of Streatham.
Our ThrowbackThursday for this week. Thrale Hall Hotel in Mitcham Lane in 1984. Pictures courtesy of Streatham/Furzedown resident Kevin Kelly
Frederick Galer died On This Day 15th October 1968
Sir (Frederic) Bertram Galer (16 August 1873 – 15 October 1968) was an actuary and local politician.
He lived at "Worcomer" 7 Garrads Road at the bottom of Woodbourne Avenue. He was on the Board of the Streatham Hill Theatre
The son of John Maxey Galer (1839-1919), a civil servant resident in West Dulwich and his wife Louise. He was educated at Dulwich College and Cambridge University. He graduated in 1895 and became assistant actuary at Rock Life Assurance Company in 1896, a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1904, Secretary of the Norwich Union Life Office 1910-13 and General Manager of the Eagle Assurance Company 1913-17.
He held a commission in the Territorial Force as an officer in the 24th London Regiment (Queen's) and served in the First World War, reaching the rank of captain.
His career continued as he became Manager of Eagle Star and British Dominions Assurance Company until 1921 and he became senior partner in F Bertram Galer & Co., Assurance Brokers in 1920. He became an underwriter at Lloyd's of London in 1919.
A member of the London County Council representing Wandsworth, Streatham from 1921-48. He was elected unopposed to fill a casual vacancy on 9 May 1921 and re-elected on seven occasions. He sat as a Municipal Reform Party until 1946 when the group on the council officially became Conservatives. He served as Deputy Chairman of the London County Council for 1937–38. He was also a member of the Port of London Authority and of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee. He was knighted in the 1939 Birthday Honours "for political and public services in Streatham
14th October 1927 Roger Moore was born.
He lived at 16 Buckleigh Road Streatham and Wavertree Court, Streatham Hill. Born in Stockwell he attended Battersea Grammar School in Streatham
RADA trained and well-known for roles in the Saint and Bond movies
On This Day 14th October 1976 Dame Edith Evans- the founder of the Streatham Shakespeare Players- died
The Streatham Shakespeare Players were an amateur performing group based in Streatham.
Edith Evans was working in a milliner's shop in the City while attending drama classes in Victoria which soon developed into the Streatham Shakespeare Players, with whom she made her first stage appearance in October 1910, as Viola in Twelfth Night. In 1912, playing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing
Dame Edith Mary Evans, DBE (8 February 1888 – 14 October 1976) was an English actress. She was best known for her work on the stage, but also appeared in films at the beginning and towards the end of her career. Between 1964 and 1968, she was nominated for three Academy Awards.
She was spotted by the producer William Poel and made her first professional appearance for him in Cambridge in August of that year; she played Gautami in a 6th-century Hindu classic, Sakuntalá, in a cast including the young Nigel Playfair. Poel then cast her as Cressida in Troilus and Cressida in London and subsequently at Stratford-upon-Avon. The critic of The Manchester Guardian found her diction inadequate, but otherwise approved: "Miss Edith Evans, who, without quite the invincible charm for Cressida, gave an interesting performance"
Evans's stage career spanned sixty years during which she played more than 100 roles, in classics by Shakespeare, Congreve, Goldsmith, Sheridan and Wilde, and plays by contemporary writers including Bernard Shaw, Enid Bagnold, Christopher Fry and Noël Coward. She created roles in two of Shaw's plays: Orinthia in The Apple Cart (1929), and Epifania in The Millionairess (1940) and was in the British premières of two others: Heartbreak House (1921) and Back to Methuselah (1923).
Evans became widely known for portraying haughty aristocratic women, as in two of her most famous roles: Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, and Miss Western in the 1963 film of Tom Jones. By contrast, she played a downtrodden maid in The Late Christopher Bean (1933), a deranged, impoverished old woman in The Whisperers (1967) and – one of her most celebrated roles – the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, which she played in four productions between 1926 and 1961
Images ©National Portrait Gallery
On This Day 14th October 1940- 80 years ago
It’s the evening of 14th October 1940, and one of the worst wartime disasters of the London Underground is about to take place.
German bombers were overhead and people had taken to the shelters, including the platforms at Balham underground station. The trains would have still been running at the time, and commuters would have been stepping over people using the station for protection.
Although just 13 metres below ground, the platforms were considered deep enough to be classed as an official shelter point.
At exactly 2 minutes past 8pm, a bomb hit the road above, causing a massive crater in the ground, and fracturing a water mains below ground. The subsequent flood of water and soil into the tunnel was to kill nearly 70 people.
The exact number of dead is unclear, with reports ranging from 64 to 68 people, although the Commonwealth War Graves Commission now officially records 66 deaths.
In addition, more than 70 people were injured.
What is certain though is when the bomb struck, as the clock on the underground platform stopped at exactly 8:02pm.
In addition to the deaths and injuries below ground, one of the more famous images of the disaster is from above ground, as a bus plunged into the freshly formed crater, causing more injuries, although of a generally minor nature.
A pathe news clip of the scene the following day https://www.britishpathe.com/video/bus-crater-balham
Down below ground though, the crater had struck right above a cross passage between the two platforms. Had that been the end of the matter, then the death toll would have been far lower. The debris filled the short corridor, but would have come to a swift end under its own weight.
However, a water mains pipe also broke, and there are few forces in nature as powerful as water for shifting vast quantities of soil.
“The water main was burst and the flood rolled down the tunnels, right up and down the line, and the thousands of refugees were plunged into darkness, water. They stood, trapped, struggling, panicking in the rising black invisible waters" Colin Perry
Colin was recounting how the disaster was told to him later, and there was certainly some embellishment going on. For a start, there’s no way that thousands of people could have been in the station. Other references to gas seem disputed, although a gas mains was broken. But, such is the nature of rumours and gossip.
At the time, rumour and gossip was already talking about hundreds of dead, but an inspection by Lt-Col. AHL Mount, the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways at the Ministry of Transport the following day dismissed that as exaggerated.
His report gives a graphic insight into the aftermath of the disaster, as the fire brigade was still pumping water out the following day, and one of the three broken water mains was draining “into the crater like a small waterfall.”
Thanks to the subsidence below ground, the crater above ground was considerably enlarged, to having a diameter of some 60-70 feet. Along with the bus, it became a powerful image of the war, and it wasn’t until after the war that photos of the devastation inside were released.
It was to take several months to clear the site, with bodies still being recovered in late December.
The line, which had been suspended between Tooting Bec and Clapham Common was reopened on the 8th January 1941, with the station reopening on the 19th January.
In 2000, a memorial plaque was placed in the entrance hall to the station in memory of those who died. In 2010 the plaque was replaced with a version removing the number of those who died, due to the uncertainty about that number. The original plaque is now in the London Transport Museum.
Recently, the flooding of the station during the disaster was featured, with some degree of artistic license, in the filmA tonement with the flooding scene filmed on an impressive scale model of the stations
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