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Where was Change Alley?


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#1 Made in SE19

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 11:48 AM

My grandmother - Jean (nee) McLean - and great aunts and uncles were all apparently born in Change Alley, West Norwood, but this location no longer appears on any map of London. Does anyone know where it would have been? It was somewhere in the Gypsy Road vicinity, I believe, but I do realise that the area took quite a battering from German bombers during the Second World War and was probably obliterated as a result.

#2 RachelF

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 03:07 PM

Any idea how old the houses were? I have a couple of Godfrey maps at home. I can look for it on them tonight if no one else can help in the meantime.
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#3 RachelF

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 03:14 PM

Just had a quick look on the 1901 census, and it's on there, so may be on my maps.
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#4 Chris Doran

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 03:25 PM

It was renamed Dunkirk Street sometime between atlasses of 1912 and 1923 (only on the map in the latter, not the index, which threw me for a while). It was still intact on a map which I think is of the 1960s, but by one of 1981 it had been blocked in the middle and the northern third was named East Place (the name of an adjacent road, now vanished) as is the case today: north from the tip of the big arrow here.

#5 Made in SE19

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 07:43 PM

Thanks for all your help, Chris & Rachel :)

My nan and her brothers and sisters would have been born between the mid- and late-1930s. I knew it was along Norwood High Street or Gypsy Road.

#6 Chris Doran

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:10 PM

You're welcome. Trying to unravel the mayhem caused by the time-honoured pastime of renaming and renumbering roads is always fun :unsure: .

I should have warned not to put too much trust in my statement that the road name changed in 1923. This atlas, like many even today, is undated and from your mention of the 1930s, I probably have to revise my estimate. OTOH, old names remained in use colloquially, and sometimes even in official documents, long after the renaming.

#7 malcolmjanes

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 11:26 AM

Bit late for this post, but why not?
Post Office Guide for 1919 (www.historicaldirectories.org) show that Change Alley lies between nos. 63 and 73 Norwood High Street and indicated that it led down to East Street (later renamed Dunkirk Street).
This would be on the opposite side of Norwood High Street to Ernest Avenue and Langmead Street, and about mid-way between them.

I do recall there being a narrow alley way at this point, it was unmade and probably just wide enough to take a small car down, and we are talking cars of mid fifties - everything was slimmed down then.
As a teenager I used to earn some useful pennies helping out in a boot/shoe repairers on the corner of the alley. I think the cobblers name was Baxter, although things are fading after 50 years and being away from the area.
I don't recall any houses down the alley, but there were a number of 'door onto the street' terraced houses along East Street (Dunkirk Street). At a guess I would think it was renamed soon after June 1940. There is a good photo of this street on www.landmark.lambeth taken from the north end and shows the left hand fork of East Place, which still exists

Contemporary aerial photos (www.live search) show the area to have been covered over by industrial buildings, that is, Change Alley and East Street.

#8 Made in SE19

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 05:14 PM

Thanks for your comments, Malcolm, as well as the private message you sent. I've been looking at the standard Nicholson A-Z of London and under 'Dunkirk Street' in the index it also says 'Waring Street'. I looked at the co-ordinates given and, indeed, Waring Street was right there in the square instead of Dunkirk Street. So I take it Waring Street must be the latest name? This street appears to be opposite Ernest Avenue, where the bus garage is. Can anyone else confirm that Waring Street is where Chance or Change Alley would have been? Funnily enough, as a four year-old I lived in nearby Thornlaw Road.

#9 Chris Doran

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 02:51 AM

I think Nicholson must mean "Dunkirk Street off Waring Road". The present Waring Road used to be called East Street, off the High Street between 95 & 97.

Comparing the 1912 Bartholomew's Atlas with a modern map, e.g. Google's, East Street/Waring Road led/leads to East Place. Change Alley was off it at or about the position of the present Dunkirk Street but ran all the way through what is now an industrial estate to Pilgrim Hill. As malcomjanes found, the early directories show that there was also a connecting passageway before and probably parallel to Pilgrim Hill, emerging between 63 & 69 High Street, but this is not shown on Bartholomew's.

PM me if a scan of Bartholomew's will help.

#10 kescasper

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 12:57 PM

My great gran lucy francis smith lived in change alley and she married james mclean. My name is steve from Pimlico. Are we cousins Jean ?



#11 kescasper

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 09:36 AM

My grandmother - Jean (nee) McLean - and great aunts and uncles were all apparently born in Change Alley, West Norwood, but this location no longer appears on any map of London. Does anyone know where it would have been? It was somewhere in the Gypsy Road vicinity, I believe, but I do realise that the area took quite a battering from German bombers during the Second World War and was probably obliterated as a result.

Hello Troy

 

My name is Steve Crawley. Your gran and my gran were sisters. My great grandfather was James. I live in Pimlico