Thursday, 27 April 2017

Eltham Police Station .............. one of those buildings I have always taken for granted

I don’t suppose I am the only one who takes the more recent buildings of Eltham for granted.

The big brick built police station at the High Street end of Well Hall Road doesn’t have the style or elegance of its Shooters Hill counterpart but I grew up with it and it has just been a part of the landscape as familiar as the old Burtons, the fire station and St John’s Church.

If I am honest I have to say it is an ugly building and while it is a perfectly functional piece of architecture it does nothing for me.

Not that I have ever been inside and until this week I wasn’t even aware that it was just open from 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesdays through to Saturday which is a bit of news that has left me without a story because for years I dined out on telling people how we had had two police stations at either end of our road.

Now the Shooters Hill one which was opened in 1905 has long closed  and the other at nu 2 Well Hall Road seems a pale shadow.

But the place will have a history and so I shall set myself the target of looking for its history.

And like you do I have wondered about when it was built and  turned to the Greenwich Heritage Centre who came up with a date between 1936-39.

"The only clues as to the date of the station I’ve found come from the electoral register and the ordnance survey map. The ordnance survey as revised in 1936 shows the site on which the station would come to be built as empty. 

Fortunately, it appears that when built there were three flats incorporated into the station - for married members of the force or possibly caretakers, I would imagine – which means that the police station, with its residents, was included in the electoral register. 

The first time it appears is in October 1939. So 1936-39 is as close as I can come to a date."

And that is just perfect.

Location; Well Hall Road, Eltham, London

Picture; Eltham Police Station, Well Hall Road, 2015, from the collection of Elizabeth and Colin Fitzpatrick

*Greenwich Heritage Centre, http://www.greenwichheritage.org/site/index.php



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