Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Painting Well Hall and Eltham ....... nu 6 outside the Park Tavern

Now I have been a wee bit harsh about Passey Place in the past.

You turn off into it from the High Street and once you have passed the old post office you are flanked by drab modern buildings with the side of the Market Place to your right and that long block of shops and flats opposite.

But there are those two fine looking houses a little further along and then the Park Tavern which Peter decided to paint recording it before its latest makeover.

So with that as an incentive I thought I would revisit Passey Place but with the twist that we are back in the April of 1911 when it was called Park Place and it counted amongst its residents, a doctor, a retired Professor a rate collector, and an omnibus conductor.

And I shall be even more specific and point out that those two fine houses I admire were the homes of Mr Murphy the rate collector and Mr Hutchinson the omnibus conductor and by 1914 the first had become the Blackheath Conservatoire of Music and perhaps because of that the Hutchinson’s next door had moved out and a Mr Morris had moved in.*

But there was one constant and that was William Smith the publican of the Park Tavern who was pulling pints by 1911 and perhaps earlier.

He was 50 years old in the year we wandered down the road, had been born in Scotland and had married Mrs Smith in 1883.

And they shared the pub with young Beatrice Serres and Alfred Osborn.  Beatrice was just 19 came from Kent and was employed as a domestic servant and Alfred at 79 was still working as a carpenter.

On the opposite side of the road along with the Post Office and Methodist Chapel were a number of residents including Madame Cecilia Ronsard who described herself as a dressmaker.

So an interesting and mixed bag of people in what I suspect was a more gentle and interesting street.

And now The Park is the favourite pub of our Jill and Geoff which is yet another reason to rethink all I have ever said and thought about Passey Place.

Painting; The Park Tavern © 2015 Peter Topping 

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*The Post Office London Directory, 1914 & the 1911 census return for the  Park Tavern Enu 06 Eltham London

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