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#1 Rosehip



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Posted 02 February 2006 - 12:49 PM

Pengesters - defend your manor!

#2 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 01:13 PM

Mr Elms doesn't like this end of London very much. He once described Selhurst Park as being "near Brighton."

Yeah in the same way that Elmers End is near Dover.
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#3 Dazza


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Posted 02 February 2006 - 01:15 PM

Mr Elms is one of the reasons I do not listen to radio London anymore !

Your obviously mistaken me with someone who gives a fig

#4 charlie



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Posted 02 February 2006 - 01:24 PM

Happened to catch his intro driving back to work. The cheek of the man - asking if anyone knows where Penge is. I was so incensed I nearly phoned up!

#5 Axean



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Posted 02 February 2006 - 03:31 PM

I like his show. Some problems with blatent politics and love of jazz, but better than that lbc show for depressed people. It was a bit annoying the way he kept laughing at Penge, but isnt just him. The whole of London has a thing about Penge.

His shows can be listened to up to a week afterwards.
Click on
Then at the bottom right of the page is a list of shows you can listen to. This Penge discussion is Thursdays show.

#6 James



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Posted 02 February 2006 - 03:53 PM

If you think Penge gets it bad, spare a thought for Anerley...

Book of Nonsense
There was an Old Person of Anerley
by Edward Lear

There was an Old Person of Anerley,
Whose conduct was strange and unmannerly;
He rushed down the Strand,
With a Pig in each hand,
But returned in the evening to Anerley.

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#7 matt



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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:09 PM

I think I've seen that guy on the train.

#8 Elmo


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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:21 PM

The name Penge is a rare Celtic survival in London, and it means the top or the end of the wood, a reference to the area's position in the Great North Wood.

So Find a Property say.... :huh:
Jermaine was right... "You can't reason with stupidity"

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#9 Dazza


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Posted 02 February 2006 - 04:26 PM

Been there a few times myself !

Your obviously mistaken me with someone who gives a fig

#10 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 01:32 PM

Did anyone hear what people rang in about?

Were people waxing lyrical about The Pawleyne Arms and did anyone mention a certain triangle?
Fighting Nighthawks in the sky
Brave and loyal are these guys
Brothers turning wrong to right
Never running from a fight, fight, fight
Fighting Nightingales

#11 Chris Doran

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 02:59 PM

Here is my belated attempt at a transcript. They got a lot wrong, and I've added some comments in italics, but I haven't verified everthing.

Robert Elms: The question we ask today is "Where is Penge? We have teams of trained geographers scanning the A-Z looking for Penge. We think we've found it."

James Blacksheep: "You've really got your work cut out with this one".

Lee: "I've just bought a flat in 'East Penge', SE26, and I'd like to know what there is to do around here."
Comment: SE26 is Sydenham. 'East Penge' sounds like an estate agent's or developer's fabrication.

Robert Elms: "It's harder doing the suburbs than inner London because they're newer and blander, but no area has ever failed to come good in the end."

Jim of Harrow: "12-13 years ago I was taken to a new pub in Penge where I got hit over the head with a pool cue. I've never been back."

Robert Elms: "The only association I make with Penge is ballroom dancing."

Mouse the cabbie: "Penge is full of blaggers. Alan Minter, the boxer, used to own the Queen Adelaide pub on Penge High St in late 70s-early 80s. Mick Jagger went to Kentwood School."
Comment: Corrected later to Bill Wyman.

They then defined the location as between Crystal Palace Park to north, Anerley to west, Sydenham to east, and Beckenham to south. Mouse: "It's a working-class area surrounded by affluent places. It was a Rockerbilly town when I was growing up there. I grew up in Mackenzie Road."
Comment: Mackenzie Rd is in Beckenham, but most of the area up to the railway through Clock House tends to associate itself more with Penge than Beckenham.

Mouse: "I was aware of the ballroom dancing fame. Mark Richardson, Charlie's son, was a Rockerbilly. We were 9 doors away from them."

Bamber in Bromley: "I got lost in Penge when moving from Up North. I looked up directions outside a church which had a sign saying '*** Bless Penge', and really it needs ***'s blessing."

Elms: "It was Peggy and Frank Spencer who were world dancing champions."

Lee in Plumstead: "Richard Thompson has been trying for years to get a line about Penge into a song. Now has one which ends '... to a novelty dancer from Penge."

Rod in Penge: "I've been to the Maple Tree pub in Maple Road. Lots of places to eat down the High Street."

From an unidentified listener: "My friend lives in Penge, but he denies it and says he lives in Sydenham."

Ian from Biggin Hill: "I used to drink at a pub on the Penge borders called the Goat House which had a goat in the back garden. The owner was once on the Michael Barrymore show with his goat."

From an unidentified listener: "Penge has the oldest working police station in London."

Les in Croydon: "The Goat House is closed and is going to become a block of flats. It was Bill Wyman who went to Kentwood (my old school). The Rolling Stones was supposedly formed above the sweet shop opposite the school. Bill Wyman says he lived in Beckenham. Most people who live in Penge say that -- Beckenham is the posh end. I don't go to Penge now if I can avoid it. There are some famous impressionist paintings of Penge. I think it's Penge West."

Robert Elms: "Another Penge lyric from an early David Bowie song: '... It's a very special knowledge that you've got my friend; you can walk around in New York while you sleep in Penge.'"

Rob: "Are elderly residents of Penge called 'Old Age Pengioners'?"

Robert Elms: "There is an impressionist painting of Penge Station by Pissarro in 1870-80."
Comment: Not Penge. See below.

Jo in Penge: "There's a great Salsa Club at the Royston Club. There's a good café called the Hardedge Café with heating so you can eat outside. No pubs worth going to."

John in Beckenham: "Peggy Spencer's dancing school was in Woodbine Grove."
Robert Elms: "What a funny name. Were most of the streets in Penge named after cigarettes?"
John: "Woodbine Grove was cut in half and one part called Graveney Grove."
Comment: Most of the roads in that area are named after trees.

John: "Penge was first on the map through an inn called the Crooked Billet where they would change horses. Penge grew up because the Crystal Palace was rebuilt on the top of the hill. There was an underground train that worked on compressed air.
Bud's Country Music Store is in Penge High Street. It's world famous. Bearly Trading, selling teddy-bears, is on the same block. I like the play on Bearly/Barely Trading."

Robert Elms: "The phone lines are jammed with either irate or happy Penge people."

e-mail from an unidentified listener: "The painting originally called 'Penge Station, Upper Norwood, 1871' is now established to be of Lordship Lane Station.
What about the Penge Bungalow Murders?"

Another unidentified listener: "The Penge Bungalow Murders was just in an episode of Rumpole."

Ray in Bermondsey: "I recall a TV advert where a couple of painters were being served tea on a silver platter in a sunny garden in a posh area by the lady of the house, but then one turns to the other and says: 'We're working in Penge tomorrow.'"

Robert Elms: "We haven't had a lot to recommend it [Penge]. A lot of people taking the micky. I'm sure John Getgood, councillor for Penge, will redress this."

Robert Elms is now joined by Maxwell Hutchinson who I guess is their London expert. They have a fast repartee and it's difficult to distinguish their voices, so I may well have some of the attributions wrong and in some places I have simply marked the transcript RE/MH.

Maxwell Hutchinson: "How can you be a councillor for Penge?"

Robert Elms: "A lot about formation dancing -- Peggy Spencer's world champions. We should have mentioned the Penge Empire, one of the biggest theatres in London in its day."

They agreed that "Penge" is an intrinsically funny name, like "Neasden", "Balham", ...
Maxwell Hutchinson: "It's a very old English word which I believe means 'a wood that can feed 50 pigs' -- that's how it was described in the Doomsday Book: 'pannage'. It also means 'a place at the end of the wood'."
Comment: Penge is not mentioned in the Doomsday Book. 'Pannage' occurs on an old deed that may or may not relate to Penge. It was just a general term for somewhere to pasture pigs, and is rejected by experts as the origin of the name. 'End of the wood' or 'Hill in the wood' are the currently accepted derivations.

Robert Elms: "Russ the black cabbie says it was a fashionable place until a notorious murder case in 1877."

Maxwell Hutchinson: "Harriett Staunton is the only case ever in this country of murder of an adult by starvation. A brother and sister came across Miss Staunton who had lots of money. They arranged for the brother to marry her. They rented a room in Forbes Road and locked her in and threw the key away. She starved to death. It so shocked the Victorian society that people started moving out of Penge. They changed the name of the road. To what?"
Comment: I found another similar case in Lower sydenham a few years later so I doubt if it's unique. Whilst the Stauntons undoubtedly starved her, it was successfully argued on appeal that the cause of death was disease. Census records and directories show lots of posh people living in Penge well into the early 20th century. People certainy moved to leafier suburbs further out, but it's difficult to prove that the murder was the driving factor.

Councillor John Getgood: "Not a place to set the pulse running. A good strong place, nice working-class area. Suffered a lot from the rise and fall of the economy, but got a lot of character and strength. (Forbes Rd is now Mosslea Rd.) I think we've got over the murder now. It is said that it was the start of the change of character, when people started to move out to Beckenham & Bromley.
Frank & Peggy Spencer had their place in Woodbine Grove and then moved to the Royston Club."
Comment: It was the other way around -- they started at Royston.

RE/MH: "Their original dance school was above Burton's tailor's shop on the High Street."

John Getgood: "All those shops are gone, but we still have a High Street that holds Penge together. It's a tough place, very mixed, very diverse, lots of new communities coming in which gives it a lot of character. There are a lot of people who have grown up here. It's in your mind as much as on the map. It's in the Borough of Bromley.
It used to be a huge place, including the Crystal Palace site, which is our most famous landmark. We have dinosaurs -- how many other places in London can claim to have dinosaurs?
We have wonderful architecture in the old almshouses. The architecture was based on Hampton Court. Also Queen Adelaide's Cottages. The Waterman & Lighterman's were set up for London watermen to retire to. Queen Adelaide ones for widows and orphans of naval officers in the 19th century -- they are now privately owned. The Waterman's are a mix of private and social housing."

Maxwell Hutchinson: "Penge received more doodlebugs per square metre than anywhere else in London."

John Getgood: "Piloted bombers also dropped their bombs on Penge when they couldn't go any further into London. Doodlebugs dropped according to how much fuel they were loaded with.
There is no connection between Penge and Neasden."

RE/MH: "There is: Ron Nee, manager of Neasden Football Club was originally manager of Penge.
Derek Underwood the cricketer went to Penge Grammar School."

John Getgood: "Thomas Crapper lived in Penge."
Comment: He marketed and popularised the flush toilet. His surname is purely coincidental.

RE/MH: "Some might say that's apt. And Mrs Beeton."

John Getgood: "W G Grace played cricket at the Crystal Palace."

RE/MH: "Sid Vicious lived in Maple Road.
What is the future of Penge?"

John Getgood: "People are moving into Penge now because of the convenience of railway connections to London, and property is slightly cheaper. Its heyday was between 1850 and 1930s. It has a lot of big houses still, and terraced ones. It has a lot of character. There is social housing. A good diverse area -- Turkish shops, Indian shops, Indian restaurants. Belash Tandoori is a good Indian restaurant. Crooked Billet is a good local boozer, The Maple Tree, ... J D Weatherspoon's."

From an unidentified listener: "Lawrence of Arabia lived in Montrave Road for a short time. We lived next door and were shown photographs."

Robert Elms: "Where is Betts Park?"

John Getgood: "Betts Park is In Anerley, which is named after the big house first there. It has a lake which is the last remnant of the Croydon canal which went to the Thames and first brought prosperity to the area. The railway took over from the canal, on the line through Penge West."

Maxwell Hutchinson: "Anerley Station is still the original old station."
Comment: I don't think so. The platform has only a small recent building now.

John Getgood: "Could well be. Penge East is also original. Though he didn't paint Penge Station, Pissaro did lots of paintings around the area, including Lawrie Park Avenue (where he lived) and Fox Hill.
We are full of culture and vitality here. We just need a bit of money injected into the High Street."
Comment: Penge East Station certainly has the original buildings.

Robert Elms: "John, I think you're a marvellous Councillor; I hope you get re-elected."

From an unidentified listener: "The Doodlebugs fell on Penge because the British fooled the Germans by sending misreports of where they landed so that they pitched them too far south.
It seems to me that Penge is a working-class area such as you find in many parts of London, and which many people have affection for."
Comment: A turned German spy was used to send incorrect reports.

Maxwell Hutchinson: "Because the Crystal Palace was moved to Penge, Alexandra Palace had to be built to match it in north London. The original Crystal Palace burned down on November 30th 1936. How can a building entirely of steel and glass burn down?"

Martin in Catford: "I live in Penge, as did my grandparents and great-grandparents. At the end of Mosslea Rd is a pub called the Park Tavern. Its saloon bar was used as a mortuary. The pub is in the shape of a coffin.
I used to work with someone who had worked for John Logie Baird, the inventor of television who had a laboratory in one of the towers of Crystal Palace. He remembers loads of tarred hay being put under the Palace. It had become a bit derelict, with lots of broken windows. It was used for the occasional dog show or firework show. The floor was made of timbers with gaps between the boards where the dust was swept, so a cigarette end easily set it alight.
Penge is 7 miles, 7 furlongs, 7 yards in circumference. Roque's 1745 map of Penge shows the oldest pub was the Porcupine which is on the site of the Alexandra in Parish lane. There were an astonishing number of pubs in Penge because of the large number of labourers. Many are now gone.
The Davies Theatre in Croydon was larger than the Penge Empire. The actors used to drink in the Waterman's Arms, then opposite. My mum saw Winifred Atwell at the Penge Empire."
Comment: The Porcupine was the opposite side of Parish lane to the Alexandra. It's unclear whether it was a farm or an inn; possibly both.

Heather in East Dulwich: "I remember going to a concert at the Crystal Palace bowl. I went in the lake!"

Jenny in Kent: "I lived in Penge for 30 years. Bobby Smith and Garry Stretch trained boxers above the Alexandra Pub, including Kevin Lutchin who became European champion. In 1965 there was always a pub with amazing sounds (reggae) to go to on Friday or Saturday night. Also at Anerley Town Hall."

June in Bromley: "Penge has a lot of history. Bombing of Anerley and Penge was due to the presence of munitions factories. There was one in Anerley Rd.
The Empire Theatre later became the Essoldo Cinema where I saw my first film (Elvis Presley) and had my first kiss.
There are still some good shops. Davis the florist in Maple Road did flowers for the Queen when she visited.
If you fall over in the street, there are still people who will help you up. Queen Alexandra supported the Almshouses."

Robert Elms: "I think we've had a good time in Penge all things considered."

Paul: "My mum had a nursery school in Avenue Road, Penge, and the baby who played Superman in the first film went to that nursery when he was four years old."