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Another Old Shop Sign Exposed


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#1 Chris Doran

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:40 AM

Connoisseurs of old shop signs may be interested to see (half of) Challis & Son's which has just been uncovered at 78 Penge High Street during the refurbishment of Mem's barbers. Stanley Challis had a butcher's shop there from at least 1922 (the earliest post-WW1 directory I have to hand) to 1934, when it gained the "& Son". From 1936 it went through several different hands and was still a butcher's in the 1960s.

The landlord of the Queen Adelaide from 1923-37 was also a Stanley Challis. Presumably the same person?

#2 NickJ

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 10:42 PM

Connoisseurs of old shop signs may be interested to see (half of) Challis & Son's which has just been uncovered at 78 Penge High Street during the refurbishment of Mem's barbers. Stanley Challis had a butcher's shop there from at least 1922 (the earliest post-WW1 directory I have to hand) to 1934, when it gained the "& Son". From 1936 it went through several different hands and was still a butcher's in the 1960s.

The landlord of the Queen Adelaide from 1923-37 was also a Stanley Challis. Presumably the same person?


I noticed that exposed sign but wasn't sure what it was for - though I think you can see the word "family" (presumably, family butcher). When you think about how few "proper" shops there are now (ie shops that sell food or goods that you might need on a daily basis), it's hard to imagine the high street full of butchers, grocers, greengrocers etc, as it presumably once was.

#3 Anthony

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:54 AM

NickJ you're right it is probably hard to imagine but it was, and there was even a horse butchers in Maple Rd. at one time.
I am not a looking back type of person ( although I do like to reminisce occasionally) but when I see the photos of the
area now or when I last visited a few years ago it was so saddening to witness the total loss of everything that had for a
large part of my childhood meant so much. It's all so chrome and cultureless now, that is the parts that are not derelict.
It would be too selfish to expect things to stay my way forever but even so it's a shame.
Anthony

#4 mcleanmuir

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 01:39 PM

If you go into the house clearance shop in Maple Rd (only open on a Saturday), it is the second to last shop before the houses on the left as you go up from the High St there is the original shop sign hanging inside "Woods", it was left there when the shops had their fronts extended during the 20s. When the butchers next door was developed into a take away the old sign in there was exposed. If you go here and select Changes from the left hand menu and go to image number 80 you will find it http://www.beckenham...s/gallery5.html












NickJ you're right it is probably hard to imagine but it was, and there was even a horse butchers in Maple Rd. at one time.
I am not a looking back type of person ( although I do like to reminisce occasionally) but when I see the photos of the
area now or when I last visited a few years ago it was so saddening to witness the total loss of everything that had for a
large part of my childhood meant so much. It's all so chrome and cultureless now, that is the parts that are not derelict.
It would be too selfish to expect things to stay my way forever but even so it's a shame.
Anthony



#5 mcleanmuir

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 02:08 PM

If you go into the house clearance shop in Maple Rd (only open on a Saturday), it is the second to last shop before the houses on the left as you go up from the High St there is the original shop sign hanging inside "Woods", it was left there when the shops had their fronts extended during the 20s. When the butchers next door was developed into a take away the old sign in there was exposed. If you go here and select Changes from the left hand menu and go to image number 80 you will find it http://www.beckenham...s/gallery5.html



If you click here there is an image of the "Woods" sign.http://www.beckenhamhistory.co.uk/woods.jpg

#6 bebofpenge

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 06:59 AM

After WWII Challis became part of the John Baldwin butchers chain. Interestingly the flat above was let to a couple whose name was. quite coincidentally. Mr & Mrs John Baldwin.

#7 NickJ

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 01:01 PM

And disappointingly, I went past last night and saw that the Challis sign has now been removed, presumably as part of the renovation of that building. Unless there are plans to replace it, which seems unlikely, it looks as though it has gone forever, which is a shame, as I thought it had been restored as a feature of the building.

#8 Chris Doran

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 03:29 PM

Sad. I always seek out skips on such occasions, not that I've ever had any luck.

To continue the Challis saga: the other half of the sign, extending over No 76, probably had "& Son" and "butchers" to go with "family". However, the directories say that 76 was the premises of Harold Duplock Brittain, dancing teacher, throughout the time 78 was a butcher's. I guess the butchers only had the front of 76, and the dancing went on behind or above. Can anyone confirm?

Also, what happened to Challis Jr? The "& Son" only appeared in the 1934 directory, and the butchers changed hands to I D Dodsworth in 1936.

#9 NickJ

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 01:55 PM

From memory, I think the sign said Challis, with Family on the left in a fancy script, and But on the right in matching script. I could be wrong about this, but I was under the impression that the developers might be keeping the sign because it looked as though someone had picked out the words in gold paint.

#10 bebofpenge

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:45 AM

I saw the Challis sign while it was visible. It appeared to have been altered on several occasions. Parts had been painted over in blak and presumably new lettering added over that.

From my earliest recollection (around 1953) the butcher occupied a single shop flanked on one side by the Home and Colonial Grocers and on the other by a bombed out shop.

#11 sydenhamcentral

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 05:06 PM

I saw this on my way from Sydenham to CP. It's a shame it's now gone. It just goes to show how signage was once an art, a labour of love with real skill and aesthetic judgement compared to most of todays horrible plastic boxes.

Why have we lost the ability to create things that are beautiful or well crafted?

I've been trying to raise shop front design as an issue in Sydenham on a few blogs (www.whatifsydenham.wordpress.com and www.whatifilfracombe.wordpress.com).

Have a look, I'd be interested in any thoughts. I was waiting for a high res of the Crystal Palace cinema to do a what if makeover on the cinema but I took some pictures the other day and hope to do a night version with the frontage all lit up when I get the time.

Edited by sydenhamcentral, 18 February 2010 - 05:07 PM.