Wednesday, 19 December 2007

A Tour Along Haydons, Durnsford and Merton Road

Merton Road
Although I went looking for ghost signs (see below) there were quite a few odds and ends that caught my eye on the way, including this Art Deco-ish wall sign at the back of a garage. The photo doesn't do it full justice as the gold on green was very iridescent and quite catching. I wonder who the United Service Transport Co. Ltd were and what happened to them?

Merton Road - Southfields
As you can see this building was obviously created for some business - Hotel maybe or an insurance business or something?
Merton Road
I thought this office building looked quite ornate so I wasn't too suprised to see this on the roof. Obviously a pub in an earlier life.
Round the corner was an attractive couple of capitals with some intriguing faces.
Merton Road - Southfields
There's an interesting parade of shops at Southfields that had a range of intriguing features. This one has a half oil-container stuck on the wall which was (I believe, but I'll have to check) the traditional shop-sign of oil merchants. I'd seen another like this near Waterloo the other day, so was pleased to spot this one.
Another of the shops had these elaborate thistle capitals. I recall a high street grocers called David Grieg's from the '60's whose emblem was a thistle, usually displayed as a mosaic on the floor. Could this originally have been one of their shops?
This shop front wasn't in the best state of repair but it had revealed the original gold-painted sign for Hammett's. As the gold spread over the inlay area I was wondering if it was then fronted with a mirror or something to tidy it up
Then on the same parade yet another shop fronted with oil containers. Obviously some cut-throat High street competition for the Southfields oil market going on here!

Merton Road - Side Street
Just tucked down a side street by a couple of other interesting deco buildings was this superb (no other word for it) tile fronted factory. Now exclusive flats of course I would hazard a guesss that this might have been a flour mill, breakfast cereal or biscuit factory. The Drainpipe's ha a 'FF' monogram so this might give a clue
"Nourish & Flourish!" is a great motto and I wonder if the Flour-ish might be a pun if it was a flour mill.
The towers at each end were quite attractive too - reminded me of the old Wembley Stadium for some reason. Are the metal toppings the old company symbol or do they have any other significance I wonder?
Here's a view of the site in its (almost) entirety. Does anyone have any knowledge about this building? If you do please leave a comment as I'd be intrigued to know more. (See the comment posted below for details about the history of this interesting building)
Durnsford Road
Just a little bit of mosaic that caught my eye. mainly because the colours were obviously to tie in with the shop next door...
...which was obviously a butchers, although now long since closed. Peering though the curtains I could see that the whole shop was covered in attractive light blue tiles.
Haydons Road
Another ex-pub, but with an impressive crest, despite loosing some of the ornamentation.

9 comments:

Yelfy said...

I've just had some information in about the 'Nourish & Flourish' building that throws some light upon its history. My brother in law had been looking at the site one day and the next had found himself in the building on business. He took the opportunity to quz them about the history of the building.

"It was built 1904 and was originally a factory for Frame Foods, who manufactured baby food, hence the 'nourish and flourish' bit and the 'FF' on the hopper head. There is a nice bit of detail about the architect picked out above the door at the left hand end of the building - don't know if you had noticed this when you were there. As you had rightly guessed it is now posh flats. Some of the original buildings at the back, including a big chimney, have been demolished so the building now comprises the converted original part at the front joined on to new build at the back. Adjacent to it is a park - it looks on the A to Z like access to the park is from Merton Road, and if you could get into the park you could see the building from a different angle if you were that interested.

There are still some nice original features inside, and they've got several old pictures of how it used to be. One is the South Western Star newspaper of January 20 1905 which has an article about the building on the front page. The picture shows that originally there was a great big 'Frame Foods' along the top of the building, above 'nourish and flourish', presumably also in tiles but this has been lost somehow over the years.

The nice bits on top of the towers that you mention are apparently called Tiffany twiddles, hence the name of the building now - Tiffany Heights."

sian.cox.1 said...

I was amazed to see the Hammett's gold sign here - this was a Family Butchers that was in my Mum's side of the family. They had a number Hammetts shops. Amazing that the old sign is still there. We have some old photos showing the shop front in its prime in the 1920's/30's.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the pictures of Merton Road where I live.

Anglesea House is a baker's, as it was in 1913 according to the extract from the street directory (presumably something like the electoral register) reprinted with the old ordnance survey map I have. Interesting how many shops remain in the same use - what was then a fried fish shop was still one when I first lived here, then a very good Chinese takeaway and now sadly empty. The baker, Caleb hover, also occupied 208 next door to Anglesea House but there he's listed as "miller" instead of "baker and confectioner". Presumably the same man, or father and son? And you are right, there are two "oilmen" listed in the terrace opposite, hence the jars.

finney said...

Hammetts were a London chain of butchers later to become part of the Dewhurst empire

finney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
finney said...

Richard Christmas Hammett was born in Winkleigh in Devon in 1878,His first shop was in the Wandsworth area of London,He built up quite a chain before WW2 & sold it to the Vesteys to go with their Dewhurst chain.
R C Hammett was a past master of the worshipfull company & served on various councils & committees as well as management of dewhurst.Apologies for the deletion above,spelling mistake.

Whyperion said...

United Service Transport were a conglomerate that acquired a number of South London Coach Operators ( Kwik Fit / Lidl near Tooting Bec Station was another depot along with L Adnams (Blue Safety Coaches) in Merton High Street. United Service over expanded, ran out of money and were taken over by Ewer Group ( Grey-Green Coaches ) and generally merged into their Orange Luxury ( Brixton Depot) operations in the late 50s/ early 60s.

finney said...

sian.cox.1 It would be good to see those R C Hammett photos as i am a hobby Meat Trade Historian on Flickr & can can Some history,
Hammett photos are rare, I have two on my site, norman.finnimore@yahoo.com

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