Saturday, 5 May 2018

Back with the Rising Sun, a new picture and a little bit about Harry & Vincent Nicholl and their Albion Brewery in Lewisham

The Rising Sun circa 1890
The old Rising Sun stood on the site of the present library.

It dated back something like two hundred years and was swept away with the development of the area by the Borough Council shortly after the turn of the last century.

When I wrote the story I fully attended to follow up on finding out more about the landlord who stares back at us in this old photograph, but of course never did, but I shall do so later in the year.

The Rising Sun in 2014
In the meantime here is the new Rising Sun taken by Chrissie a few days ago.

I say the new Rising Sun but that is stretching it a bit for what you see went up in 1904 replacing our old pub which  in the words of our historian R.R.C. Gregory, “was a fair specimen of a village inn.”*

Now as most of you will know I do have a romantic side which is expressed in a feeling of sadness that some of our old buildings have vanished.

I would love to have sat inside and drank a pint of Nicholl’s best bitter.

It would have been made by Harry and Vincent Nicholl who opened the Anchor Brewery on Lewisham Road, and continued to brew under their name till the company was taken over by Whitbread in 1891 when brewing ceased and “the premises were converted into Whitbread’s first branch bottling and distribution centre.**

The landlord of the Rising Sun around 1890 and a promise to find out more
All of which confirms a date for our picture to sometime in or before 1890.

So with that fairly definite date, I see no excuse for not hunting down our landlord and writing something about him.

But in the meantime I shall return to the "new" Rising Sun which is just a century and a bit old today.

I do have a sneaking admiration for the present one.

It is a striking piece of architecture and I have to say I think Chrissie caught it at its best I the fading light of a February day.

Location; Eltham High Street, London

*Gregory, R.R.C., The Story of Royal Eltham, 1909

**H & V Nicholl’s Brewery co Ltd, Anchor Brewery, from  The Brewery Industry: A Guide to Historical Records, P249, L. Richmond & Alison Turton, 1990, Manchester University Press,

Pictures; from The story of Royal Eltham, R.R.C. Gregory, 1909 and published on The story of Royal Eltham, by Roy Ayers,  and Chrissie Rose February 2014

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