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Does anyone have any ideas where this may have been??

2 Comments

Hello there,

My name is Mike Franklin and I am emailing from Australia , where I have lived for the last 28 years.

I am hoping you might be able to help me. Back in the early 60’s, when I was a wee lad of about 7 years old, my grandfather owned an off licence in Loughborough Junction. We lived down south close to Bournemouth and Mum and dad used to take me up to Grandad’s for holidays. In October this year (200 8) I am returning to the UK for a holiday after 28 years and I am keen to find a few of the places of my childhood memories, Grandad’s off licence is one of them. The building may or may not still be there, and I am sure if it is it certainly won’t be an off licence, but it would be good to find the location and take a photo or two of whatever is there now.

My memories are obviously sketchy because I was so young (the last time I was there would have been about 1964). My Dad’s memories are also sketchy because he is 87 years old now. Mum would have remembered more but alas she is no longer with us.

What we can sort of remember is the following.

1. Dad ‘thinks’ the off licence was on Coldharbour Lane but is not sure.
2. It was definitely right next to one of the rail bridges (there was a small laneway between the rail line and the off licence building).
3. As you stepped out of the front door of the shop the rail line (bridge) was on the right. In other words if you were over the other side of the road looking at the shop the rail line would be on your left.
4. We are fairly sure the front door of the shop was not on the front façade of the shop but rather on the front corner, i.e. on the corner of Coldharbour Lane and the laneway. If you stood in the doorway and looked straight ahead, you would look directly at the bridge, not at a building over the road. Dad has a feeling that the steps up to the front door were curved, not straight, but I certainly can’t remember that.
5. Dad ‘thinks’ that the trains used to stop next to the shop (and on top of the bridge) indicating there might have been a platform there (unless they stopped only to wait for signals). The bathroom of the accommodation above the shop looked out over the rail line and Mum used make sure the curtains were drawn so nobody on the ‘platform’ or in the train could see in. You couldn’t see a platform because of a fence or wall, you could only see the top half of the train and, I think, peoples heads.
6. The only other thing I can remember is that underneath the rail line, running along the laneway, was a series of arches (I don’t know how many). The bridge itself was not an arch, from memory it was just a straight steel structure. Grandad used one of the arches as a cellar. All the deliveries were made to the cellar before going into the shop. There was also a cellar under the shop but this was not used. I think it was prone to flooding. If I look on Google Earth and various photos on the web I don’t think all the rail lines had arches under them. Also, not all of them have a laneway running alongside so this might cut down the options a bit.

Unfortunately Dad cannot recall any of the pubs (Green Man etc.) so he can’t locate the shop in relation to one of these landmarks. He was not a drinking man so would never have frequented any of them. Grandad, on the other hand, would have been able to find his way there blindfolded, I’m sure.

I’m not sure if you are able or even willing to help me but if you have any information at all, even the address of a local historical society, I would be extremely grateful. I’m assuming, after all this time, that it is very unlikely there are any residents still living in the area that were there in the 60’s.

Your web site suggests that the area has been cleaned up considerably in recent times with many renovations and refurbishments. Other information I have read from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s suggests much deterioration with criminals, prostitutes and drug dealers hanging around the pubs etc. My only other question is that if I were to walk around with a camera around my neck, looking distinctly like a tourist would I be safe? Or as safe as I might be anywhere else at least. I wander around most areas of Bangkok without feeling threatened.

Thanking you in anticipation of at least a reply even if you cannot help.

Mike.

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Author: loughboroughjunction

The Loughborough Junction Forum is a grassroots organisation set up by local people to provide all members of the community with a way to improve the Loughborough Junction area. It is intended that it provides eyes, ears and a collective voice for the community. All participants are invited to provide accounts of what they see happening within the area and to share their concerns and ideas with the forum so that they can be collated and channelled to the relevant authorities.

2 thoughts on “Does anyone have any ideas where this may have been??

  1. Hello Mike

    i think if you memories are correct there is really only 3 possibilities for the location of your off license.

    1: on the south side of coldhabour lane next to an arched slipway there is a victorian building that would have once had a shop front. it is next to the rail bridge (on the right hand side of what would have been the door way) and the raised platform of the station and from the platform you can look into the upper story windows. the only thing that doesn’t fit is there is no evidence of a corner entrance but the shop front has gone (converted to accommodation)

    2: opposite option 1 there is another victorian shop which does have a slip way, is next to the bridge and platform, can be looked into from the station and does have a corner entrance. but obviously the bridge is on the left hand side of the doorway

    3: just round the corner off coldhabour lane there is another possibility next to a slip way, corner entrance, bridge on the right but not next to a raised platform and not on coldhabour lane itself

    loughbrough junction is not dangerous unless you are a member of a local gang. You will be perfectly safe there with a camera

    if you would like me to send you pictures of the places described email me at w.hutton@lcc.arts.ac.uk

    cheers

    Walter

  2. Hello Walter
    Thank you for your comment on the Loughborough Junction blog and the
    fact that you have obviously put in a bit of effort to go down to
    Loughborough Junction, check things out and take some photos. Thank you
    again.
    I particularly like your option 1. The memory of a corner entrance was
    not mine, it was dad’s. I had no memory of it and assumed, in my mind,
    that the entrance was square and middle on the front. However, after dad
    mentioned it the corner entrance made sense and I was happy to go along
    with it.
    I am not going to write off any options but my strongest memories are of
    the bridge being to the right of the doorway as you are going out of the
    shop, i.e. on the left if you were going into the shop. That could be
    confusing, couldn’t it…going into or out of the shop? Another way of
    looking at it is…if you stood on the oposite side of the road
    (Coldharbour Lane or whatever the road turns out to be) then the rail
    line and bridge is on your left, the laneway and then the shop on the
    right. Does this write off option 2 or firm it as a favorite?
    I will be checking option 3 as well when I get there. The location might
    not necessarily be on Coldharbour Lane because neither dad nor myself
    can remember the address. I can remember looking out of the bathroom
    window, across the laneway to the raised bridge but we couldn’t look
    over the parapet. I can’t remember seeing the heads of people (who might
    of been on a platform) but dad says he can. So was there a platform
    there or just the rail line? I don’t know.
    Anyway, I will be there in 7 weeks time (I arrive in London on the 13th
    October) and I am looking forward to it. I will be staying for a few
    days with my son in Greenwich and hope to go to Loughborough Junction
    from there. After that I go to Norfolk to see some relatives and then
    down to Bournemouth / Dorset (where I originate from).
    I would very much like you to send me any photos you have taken. You can
    use this email address mikefranklin@fastmail.fm which is my personal
    one, or mikef@shinagawa.biz which is my work one. If you use the work
    one you might get a bounce back the first time (an affort to try and
    stop automatically generated spam) simply resend and it will come
    through the second time.
    Once again, thank you for your efforts and I will let you know in 7
    weeks how I got on.
    Mike.

    Thanks Nick for putting my letter on your blog.

    Mike Franklin
    mikefranklin@fastmail.fm

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