Camden Hill Road

Originally known as George Street, Cawnpore Street stands as a road off Gipsy Hill, near the top adjacent Woodland Hill, with Gipsy Hill on one end and Woodland Road crossing it on the other end. George Street, as many roads in Norwood, began as a dirt track road with very few houses built upon it. George Street mainly started to be residential in the 1840s, with just a few houses, probably cottages. A public house, The Railway Bell was built 1864/1865 and Gipsy Hill Station nearby opened in 1856, which eventually began the residential growth of the area, especially by 1881. It was renamed to Cawnpore Street in the first half of 1913.

Maps and Land Ownership
Maps showing the development of George Street

A map from 1563 showing how Norwood consists mainly of woodland


The Lambeth Inclosure Map

The land on which George Street is built was originally in the ownership of the first Lord Thurlow (1730-1806). The earliest map so far identified is the Lambeth Inclosures map of 1806. The section in the bottom right hand corner bounded by Beaulieu Hill (now called Gipsy Hill) and the Camberwell Parish boundary becomes the location of George Street. The Archbishop of Canterbury owned the land to the immediate north and some seven landowners held small parcels to the south leading up to the Croydon boundary.


The Stanford Map 1864 – George Street adjacent Woodland Hill and College Street. College Street is no longer in existence as it is now known as a continuation of Woodland Road


OS Map of 1874 showing houses built in George Street – Reproduced-with-the-permission-of-the-National-Library-of-Scotland-2-httpsmaps.nls_.ukindex.html.png

“This-is-a-copy-of-the-Plan-marked-3722-referred-to-in-the-Order-of-the-Board-dated-2nd-July-1886” – courtesy of Lambeth Archives


OS Map of 1897 Showing houses built in George Street – Reproduced-with-the-permission-of-the-National-Library-of-Scotland-2-httpsmaps.nls_.ukindex.html.png








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Building of the street

Cawnpore George Street c1854

George Street, as many roads in Norwood, began as a dirt track road with very few houses built upon it.  George Street mainly started to be residential in the 1840s, with just a few houses, probably cottages.  A public house, The Railway Bell was built 1864/1865 and Gipsy Hill Station opened in 1856, which eventually began the residential growth of the area, especially by 1881.

George Street stands as a road off Gipsy Hill, near the top adjacent Woodland Hill, with Gipsy Hill on one end and Woodland Road crossing it on the other end.

This plan shows houses established on both sides of the road, as well as the Public House (Railway Bell) and the Board School (Paxton).

The renumbering of houses in Cawnpore Street in 1886. “This-is-a-copy-of-the-Plan-marked-3722-referred-to-in-the-Order-of-the-Board-dated-2nd-July-1886”. Courtesy of Lambeth Archives

The 1864 Stanford Map shows George Street and the housing that existed at this time. George Street adjacent Woodland Hill and College Street. College Street is no longer in existence as it is now known as a continuation of Woodland Road

It was renamed Cawnpore Street in 1913.

Cawnpore Street Road Sign – street name changed in 1913

Houses went right to the end of the road of the left hand side, but sadly the end two (Nos 39 and 41), which included the Duke of Cornwall pub, took the full blast of a WW2 bomb and were destroyed.

French’s Dairy milking sheds are on the left of the photo, with the north tower of the Crystal Palace peeking through the frontage on the horizon.

Descriptions of houses for sale in George Street from the Norwood News

Norwood News 15 April 1876

Stable and Yard to Let in George Street, Gipsy Hill.  Renmt 4s 6d per week

Apply to F Sadgrove, Belvedere Road, Upper Norwood

Norwood News February 1878

Near Gipsy Hill and High Level Stations – To Let, Furnished Apartments for Lady and Gentleman, or two City Gentlemen.  Apply personally, No 11 Palace Villas, George Street, Gipsy Hill, Norwood

Norwood News 3 April 1897

Upper Norwood – Two Leasehold Cottages, 10 and 12, George Street, Gipsy Hill, with stable in rear, let weekly and producing £32 per annum

Norwood News 14 July 1939

2 Cawnpore Street, Gipsy Hill, S.E. – Six rooms and scullery; garden; rent 26s per week

Apply, 209 South Norwood Hill, SE25

Name changed from George Street to Cawnpore Street in 1913/1914 – courtesy of J. Ray Heard, 2019

Cawnpore Street Road Sign – street name changed in 1913

Cawnpore Street 1970s


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Significant Street Buildings

    The Railway Bell Public House – Cawnpore Street (1864)

      Plan drawings 1864 of The Railway Bell. The pub is the only surviving original building in the road. ( ? rebuilt in 1892 ?) The Railway Bell George Street Some Known Landlords of the Railway Bell Mrs Harriet Wickenden (née Alwen) (Bn 1817 in Tat …

    The Duke of Cornwall Public House

    The Duke of Cornwall pub stood of the corner of George/Cawnpore Street with Woodland Road and was numbered both 41 George Street and 41 Woodland Road, as it had its doors on each road, but it was popularly known as belonging to George Street as it bega …

    French’s Dairy, Cawnpore Street

    French’s Dairy, Cawnpore Street Thomas French was born in 1827.  His cows were a regular sight being taken up/down Gipsy Hill to graze in the meadow/‘French’s Field’ at the bottom of Gipsy Hill. Thomas French appears to be a generous man, on 2 July 191 …

Social History
It is believed George Street was in existence at least in the mid/late 1840s. There is a Census for 1851 (the year of the Great Exhibition) which lists few houses, but no numbers or names.

In one house, was Aaron Edson, aged 64, a Brickmaker from Sydenham (Bn 1787).  He was baptised in Dulwich College Chapel in 1788, who shared a house with John Sharkel (aged 26 from Warlingham), also a Brickmaker and his wife Selina (aged 23 from Penge Common).  On their wedding certificate in 1847, John had signed with an ‘X’.  His father had been a Carman.

In the next house, were the Terry family.  William Terry (aged 39), a Gardener and his wife Mary (aged 32).  They were from Worth, Sussex.  They had three sons, James (aged 14), William (aged 9), Thomas (aged 5), and three daughters, Mary Ann (aged 11), Jane (aged 7) and Elizabeth (aged 2).  They had one Servant, Ann Silvester (a Widow aged 38 from Devon).

Next door, was the Tappenden family.  Mrs Jane Tappenden (aged 47 from Westwell, Kent) who was a Dressmaker.  She had four sons, Thomas (aged 24) an Oilman Journeyman, William (aged 15), Charles (aged 5), Elijah (aged 3) and one daughter, Harriett (aged 18).  In 1861, the son William, was living in Woodland Road.

Another neighbour, were the Sharmans.  William (aged 29 from Warwickshire) and Caroline Sharman (aged 23 from Sussex).  They were married in 1847 in West Norwood.  William was a Blacksmith. They had two sons, William (aged 3), who later became a Carpenter, and Frederick, who in became a Gas Fitter and then worked for the Railways as a Signalman at Crystal Palace from 1877.

Frederick Sharman Crystal Palace Signalman

Sharing the same house, was John Bright (aged 24 from Finsbury) a Gardener, and his wife Elizabeth (aged 21 from Kent Road, Surrey).

Daniel Place (aged 58 from Marylebone) lived in the next house. He describes his occupation as a Gentleman.  He is living with his son Daniel (aged 21) daughter Louisa (aged 18) both No Occupation born in Croydon.  They have a 14 year old Servant, Leah Culling from Kentish Town.

The occupants of the next house are George Hobbs (aged 58 from Portsmouth) and his wife Mary Ann (aged 25 from London).  He is a Carpenter and they have a 9 month daughter, Elizabeth.

The 1851 Census then stated there are “two houses building 1 uninhabited”.

Next, is Alexander Archer (aged 55 from Scotland), a Gardener and his wife Ann (aged 45 from Yorkshire).  They have three sons, William (aged 17), a Baker’s Lad, Thomas (aged 15), an Errand Boy and Benjamin (aged 10).  All three sons were born in Norwood.  In 1861, Alexander (aged 64) is living at No 5 George Street.

The last house listed for 1851 George Street, has William Shackell (aged 67 from Iver, Bucks), a Carman (born 1784), his wife Rebecca (aged 50 from Croydon).  They were married in 1816 in Croydon.  They had three sons, William (aged 23), Thomas (aged 21) and Joseph (aged 16), who were all Labourers.

On the 1861 Census, only seven houses are listed.  The Railway Bell had yet to be built.  House No 1 had two families, the Whitfield family, George (aged 34 from Clerkenwell) a Carpenter and Joiner, wife Anna (aged 38 from Wapping Wall) and their four sons and two daughters. (Their youngest four children were all born in ‘George Street’).  Also at No 1, is William Clout (a Bricklayer) and his wife Eliza (both aged 32 from Brighton), son and three daughters.

At No 2, George Street are also two families, William Sharman (aged 37 from Warwickshire,) a Gas Fitter, his wife Caroline (aged 34 from Sussex), three sons, William (Bn 1848), Frederick (aged 11) and Harry (aged 9) and three daughters, Caroline (aged 6), Emily (aged 4) and Harriet (aged 2) all born in ‘George Street, Gipsy Hill’.

They shared the house with Mrs Mary Roy (aged 41 born in Chatham) an Exhibitor in the Crystal Palace, from Kent, her daughter Mary Roy (aged 16 born in Sydney Australia), an Assistant in the Crystal Palace, and a cousin, Julia Douglas (aged 31 born in Greenwich) also an Assistant in the Crystal Palace,

In 1871, George Street was well established as a residential road with a wide range of occupations.  At 2 Victoria Cottage, lived Mr William Coleman, aged 21, a Wheelwright, originally from Guildford, who lodged with Mr Stephen Gingell (aged 39), a Gardener, and his son Charles.  A few stated their occupations as Gardeners, also Carpenters, Painter and Glazier, Paper Hanger, Dressmaker, Laundress, Labourers, a Police Constable, Sign Writer, Carriage Salesman, Oil Colour Shopman, Porter, Officer to Mendicity Society, House Maid, Porters, Photographer, Hairdresser, Waiters, Butcher, Bricklayers, Railway Porters, Mason, Carman, Gas Fitter, Grainer, Baker and Confectioner, Railway Booking Clerk, Milliner, Grocer’s Porter, Charwoman, Fishmonger’s Porter, Bootmaker, Artificial Flower Maker, Brick Maker and a Nurse.  Mrs Harriet Wickenden was the Beer Retailer at The Railway Bell.

At No 8 Palace Villas, Mr George Whitfield, aged 44 (from Clerkenwell), his wife Anne (aged 46 from Shadwell) and four sons, Frederick (24), a Bricklayer and Plaster, George (19), a Bricklayer, Ralph (17), Benjamin (16) (a Bricklayer) and three daughters, Frances (14) (an Artificial Flower Maker), Catherine (11), a Nurse and Elizabeth (9), a Scholar.  The Whitfield family were living in George Street in 1861 until at least1881.  By 1891 they had moved to Sainsbury Road, by Gipsy Hill Station.  Sadly, in 1911, Frederick Whitfield was an Inmate of the Croydon Workhouse and died in 1922.

In 1881, occupations were practically the same as 1871, though you now had a Coach Painter, Mail Porter, Coachman, Cabinet Maker, Reader for Printers, LSB School Keeper, Joiner, Cabman, Shunter on the Railway, Bookseller’s Clerk and a Stoker at the Crystal Palace.

At No 8 Palace Terrace, lived Mr Eldred Fillery (aged 7 months), who married in 1904 and became a Corporal at Bulford Camp Salisbury/Royal Artillery during WWI.

Mr Frederick William (aged 31) and his wife Louisa (aged 25) were the Licensed Victuallers at The Railway Bell, with their son Frederick (3), daughter Mabel (4 months), his mother Susan (63 Widow), and his sister Emily (26).

In 1891 occupations also included, Living on Own Means, Draper’s Assistant, Dairyman, Grocer, Hosier/Haberdashery, Sweep, General Servant Domestic, Victualler, Potman, Machinist, Veterinary, Dairyman’s Assistant, Coachman, Cowman, Waitress and the Crystal Palace.

On the 1901 Census there were Gardeners, Laundresses, a Dressmaker, Needlewoman, School Master, Milk Carrier, Dairy Carman, Bricklayer, Dairy Work, Painter, Coach Painter, General Servant, Charwoman, Greengrocer, Greengrocer’s Carman, Licensed Victualler (Railway Bell), Beer Retailer (Duke of Cornwall), Confectioner, Baker, Ironmonger’s Labourer, Carpet Planner, Traveller for Fodder Dealer, Housemaid, Butcher, Labourers, Railway Platelayer, Carpenter, Barmaid, Railway Clerk, Navvy, Retired Monthly Nurse, Domestic Cook, Domestic Servant, Waitress, Gardener & Bath Chair Man,  Errand Boy and a Charles Maclean from the United States whose occupation was stated as a Gold Miner.

Also on the 1901 Census was Ernest Alexander (aged 3), who in 1939 was Tram Conductor, and Arthur Eden (aged 10), who married in 1912 and moved to 27 Woodland Hill and became a Dental Mechanic.

On the 1911 Census, the occupation are almost the same, with the additions of Sweep, Fishmonger/Fried, Postman, Wheelwright, Shop Assistant, Pastry Cook, Boot Repairer, Exhibitor’s Assistant, Cowman, Statue Modeller at Crystal Palace, Firework Maker’s Assistant, Surveyor’s Rule Maker, Shop Assistant, Hairdresser’s Apprentice, Warehouse Clerk, Railway Outside Porter, Packer for Electrical Engineer and Metal Worker Marylebone.

Sadly, on the 1911 Census, there were thirteen Widows and one Widower.  The youngest Widow was aged 42 and the eldest was Eliza Waterhouse, at No 27, aged 89, born in Billingshurst, Sussex.  The Widower was Arthur Sellwood, aged just 29, from Coldwaltham, Sussex.  His occupation was a Milk Carrier.  He later rented one room at 3 Rockmount Road, and during WW1 (1917) was in the Royal Army Medical Corp and records show he caught malaria, but survived.

William George Divall aged 19 on the 1911 Census at No 13, was a Shop Assistant, who during WW1 joined the Queens (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.  Luckily he survived and he is on the 1939 as a Milk Salesman.

At No 33, John Robert Reed (aged 31), was a Packer for an Electrical Engineer and Metal Worker, and during WW1 joined Prince of Wales’s Own, aged 36.  Thankfully, he survived, and died in 1937.

The building next door, No 39, was also a shop/confectioners.  In 1901, it was run by Mrs Ann Butcher (a widow aged 54) and in 1911 by Mrs Ada Whibley (aged 44, a Widow from Brixton) and her four sons, William (aged 23) a Hairdresser, Leonard (aged 22) a Surveyor’s Rule Maker, Frederick (aged 16) a Hairdresser’s Apprentice and Leslie (aged 13).  Frederick in WW1/1915 joined Royal Army Medical Cor.  He luckily survived and lived until 1951.

The house next door, No 37 George Street, in 1901, had six occupants, Charlotte MacDonald (a Widow aged 69), William Henry Edwards (aged 28) a Carpet Planner, (Boarder), Charles (aged 51) a Gold Miner and Eliza MacLean (aged 31) a Laundress, with their daughter, Rosina (aged 2) and step-daughter, Helen (aged 12).  There was also William Frizell (aged 40 from Wales) a Traveller for Fodder Dealer, his wife Martha (aged 24), a Domestic Housemaid, and their son William (aged 5) and Constance (aged 3).

No 39, in 1891, was unoccupied, but No 37 was occupied by Adam McDonald (aged 52 from Scotland) and his wife Charlotte (aged 50) (M1837 Peckham) and daughter, Louisa (aged 24).  Adam McDonald was a Plumber and Secretary of Forresters.  In 1871, he was a Lodger (Plumber) at the Duke of Cornwall pub

At No 35, were George (aged 50 from Upper Norwood) a painter’s Labourer and wife Alice Stevens (aged 45 from Wiltshire) who shared the house with the Jinks family.

The Jinks family Included Florence May Jinks (Bn 1891 in Norwood D1968) whose occupation was a Machinist for a Laundry.   The Jinks family also lived in Woodland Road and Berridge Road.

At No 11 Cawnpore Street, lived John and Doris McNamara with their sons, Leslie and (John Joseph) Sidney (Bn 1927) and daughters, Dorothy and Pauline.  Their son (John) Sidney, was a local hero and in the local papers after returning home safely from being aboard the Amethyst on the Yangtse River.  The Yangtse Incident was made into a film starring Richard Todd.

Report from the Norwood News: April 5th, 1957

“Amethyst here meets Duke of Edinburgh”  


Norwood’s own H.M.S Amethyst hero, Mr Sidney McNamara, was among those who met the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday, when the Duke and members of the ship’s company went to the plaza cinema, to attend the premiere of ‘Yangst Incident’.

The film tells the story of 1949 epic when the Amethyst ran the gauntlet of Chinese Communist gunfire along the Yangtse River to escape.

Sidney McNamara arrived at the Cawnpore Street, Gipsy Hill, home of his parents Mr & Mrs John McNamara, on Thursday, 3 November 1949 and got a big welcome from relations and neighbours.  The Amethyst docked at Plymouth the previous Tuesday.

Ask most people over Fifty years of age about the Yangtze incident, and they will tell you about the film starring Richard Todd, in which he Captain’s H.M.S. Amethyst through shot and shell from the Communist Chinese, and eventually wins home to freedom down the River Yangtze. It’s a typical story of its time about plucky Brits defying great odds and the film was a great success. The real story is even more startling for the hardships and bravery suffered by the crew, who had no realistic hope of escape, but kept the faith even though many had died, and eventually they arrived home to a tumultuous welcome.

[courtesy of ‘Submerged’ website]

On 20 April 1949, Amethyst was on her way from Shanghai to Nanking (now Nanjing) when she was fired upon by the People’s Liberation Army, thus starting the Amethyst Incident. Amethyst was trapped in China until 30 July 1949 when she escaped under cover of darkness.

For the 1957 film Yangtse Incident: The Story of HMS Amethyst, Amethyst was brought out of storage to play herself. As her engines were no longer operational, her sister ship, Magpie, was used for shots of the ship moving. Amethyst was scrapped shortly after the filming was finished.

Back row from left to right: Townsend, Augustyn, Parish, Hutchinson, Jones, Wright, White (holding) Able Seacat Simon), Bryson, Chare, McNamara, A. Williams, Murphy and Keicher

2nd row from left to right: Bannister, McCarthy, Nolan, Saunders, P. Jones, Delve, Munson, Williams and Wilson. Front row from left to right: James McClean, Griffiths, Wells, McCullough and Peggy.

Under heavy fire and aground in aprox opposition about 31 degs 10 north 119 degrees 60 miles east large number of casualties

(Photo courtesy of Lt. Commander K. Stewart Hett, M.B.E., R.N., Ret.)

Norwood’s “Welcome Home” for Amethyst Hero .CAWNPORE STREET GAY WITH FLAGS. Functions arranged in Sid McNamara’s Honour. HIS PARTY IN THE DASH FOR FREEDOM

“Home about 3pm Thursday”, was the message received by 14-years-old sister Dorothy, who was waiting with her younger sister, Pauline, aged 12, and brother Leslie, aged 19, to receive their hero-brother, Sidney McNamara, just arrived back in the Amethyst after the exploit on the Yangtse River.

True to Amethyst code, the part turned the corner of Gipsy Hill into Cawnpore Street, Upper Norwood, and home, as the clock on the tower of Christ Church stood at 3o’clock.

In their neat front parlour, our reporter found Sid seated on the settee, an arm round each his young sisters.  “Can’t believe it yet,” he said.  “It doesn’t seem possible that they can have grown so.”

And while he talked of his exploit, and the wonderful reception given at every port at which the Amethyst touch on the trip home, the family sat quietly listening.

There, on the floor, were opened packages, gifts for Mum and Dad, for sisters and brother, and for Miss Beatrice Dunmore, Dallas Road, Sydenham, who is Sid’s friend.


The ship’s arrival at Plymouth, where Mr & Mrs McNamara and Miss Dunmore were waiting at the quayside on Tuesday morning, through arrangements made for them by NAAFI, Sid described as “the most glorious reception of all.”

Those last few hours before reaching shore seemed never-ending to him.

“I was up at 4am to make sure I got the first glimpse of the Old Country.  A two-months’ trip, homeward bound after over two years and three months away makes a fellow long for home again.

“I spotted the Eddystone Lighthouse while it was yet dark, and when dawn came there was the coastline.

“Followed what seemed the longest part of the whole 10,600-mile trip home.  Somehow it seemed that the Amethyst just ‘poodled around’ in circles….. but at least we were in,… and what welcome!”

Both Mr & Mrs McNamara said they were tired, for they and Miss Dunmore had been included in the round of festivities at Plymouth.  “It was past two this morning before we reached our hotel,” chimed in Mum.

The N.A.A.F.I centre at Plymouth had arranged a special “Welcome Home” dance and cabaret for Sid, the only “civvy” in the ship’s company.  There had never been a larger crowd in that hall and young McNamara was the guest of honour.


“Since we left Shanghai, I must have been a guest at more than 40 parties,” he said.  “Everywhere we have been feted.  It was usually an official lunch each day while we were ashore, with a tour by coach or car, sightseeing in the afternoon, with ample refreshment of every sort, and then some sort of function in the evening.

“They gave us a really marvellous time at Gibraltar and there was the utmost hospitality at Singapore, Penang, Colombo, Aden, Port Said and Malta.”

“Dad spotted him first,” said Mrs McNamara, “but he soon had me up on the chair – we had special reservations at the quayside – and then I saw Sid and so did Beatie.”


Cawnpore Street was gay with flags. Neighbours at their doors, waved a welcome as the family party turned into the street, each burdened under baggage which was laden with the souvenirs Sid had gathered on his journey.

“Now I’m home on eight weeks’ leave and I hope to relax,” he sighed.

But there are still other functions ahead.  Next Friday he will be a guest of honour at the Press Ball at Streatham Baths, with Miss Dunmore.

On November 16, there is the March Past and London’s welcome and a lunch by the City for the whole Amethyst company.

The following day, they will all be inspected by the King, and later the same day, they will enjoy a show as guests of Cicely Courtneidge. [Cicely Courtneidge DBE (1893 -1980 appeared as Mum in the first series of On The Buses. She also appeared in 11 British films in the 1930’s and one in Hollywood. During WW2 she entertained the armed forces and raised funds for the troops].

On November 18, the ship’s company and Sid in his civvy suit, will attend an Emile Littler show. [Sir Emile Littler, born Emile Richeux, was an English theatrical impresario and author. (1903 – 1985]

“What was your special job when the Amethyst made her dash for freedom?” our reporter asked and then Sid, one of the youngest canteen managers in the Royal Navy N.A.A.F.I organisation, revealed the important job which was assigned to him in this famous escapade:

“As a precaution against the bridge being damaged, I was given a chart of the Yangtze and had to plot the ship’s course as we made our get-away,” he said.  “Every now and then, although I had never seen a ship’s chart until about ten minutes before we weighed anchor, I received a message from the bridge telling me the ship’s position.  From that, and from my own observations, I was able to keep check on our progress.  I was on duty from 10pm on July 31 until 5.15 the next morning and the gladdest sentence I have ever heard was the message “H.M.S Concord is in sight: we’re out!”

Sid told how the shells whistled close while the Amethyst steamed through that night.  When dawn came, they were still in danger and in range of enemy batteries, but either they did not fire, or when they did, they missed their mark.  But I don’t want to go through all that again!” said Sid.  Happily, in the latter part of the river trip the tension eased.  

The YWCA Club, Westow Street, Upper Norwood, is also proud of 22 years old Sidney McNamara.  In their window is a message of welcome, claiming him as a former member of their mixed youth club.


All Norwood joins in the welcome home and the wishes for the future happiness of this young local man, whose duty was to provide the comforts and services of N.A.A.F.I to the Amethyst crew, and who so commendably played the part Cmdr Karena assigned to him.

Deservedly, he is being specially honoured with a presentation by N.A.A.F.I as well as receiving the honours which will fall to him as a member of the ship’s company.

He and Miss Beatrice Dunmore were invited by the manager (Mr L Eales) of the Rialto, Upper Norwood, to watch the news reel of the Amethyst.

In addition, he was presented with a cheque for his leave from the manager and staff and given a pass for the cinema while he is at home.

Sid was also interviewed on the stage by Bill Lockwood, of the “News” about his experiences.

1951 Street Directory


The engagement will shortly be announced between Mr John Sidney McNamara, Cawnpore Street, Upper Norwood, who was canteen manager on the “Amethyst” and was congratulated by the King at Buckingham Palace last Thursday, and Miss Beatrice Dunmore of Dallas Road, Sydenham.

Miss Dunmore has been seen with Sid on several of his many public appearances since the “Amethyst” reached England.

Advertisements for Jobs  in George Street advertised in the Norwood News on January 18th, 1879

Wanted, by a respectable Person, Cooking by day, week, or month – A.B., 3 Palace Villas, George Street, Gipsy Hill, Upper Norwood

Wanted to meet with, a Respectable Person to take a Baby, six weeks old, a nurse child

Apply at No 2, Myrtle Villas, George Street, Gipsy Hill

And on January 20th, 1883

Under Nurse in a Gentleman’s Family; good character – A.H., 2 Myrtle Villas,

George Street, Gipsy Hill

And on January 15th, 1887

Situation Wanted as Housemaid; fifteen months’ character – W., 13 George Street, Gipsy Hill, S.E.

Social Misbehaviour

Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser – 1 March 1902


Frederick George Makepiece, of Denmark Road and Walter Charles Tombs of 23 George Street, Gipsy Hill are brothers-in-law, but apparently their actions do not ‘make peace’ – Complainant has been staying in the defendant’s house and apparently had over-stayed his welcome, for the defendant desiring to get rid of him, gave him notice and then told her (defendant’s wife) that her brother must go.  This the complainant objected to and spoke to the defendant about it.  Defendant said he must get out, or the door would be locked on him.  He threatened if that was done, to smash it in and there was a scuffle – The Bench having made a fruitless attempt to induce the parties to shake hands and be friends, dismissed the summons and told the complainant to pay the costs.




    Keenan, William Talbot (1831 to 1869)

    He was born in St. Mary’s, Athlone, about December 1831 and nothing more is known about him until he enlisted on 24 October 1849, at Athlone HQ, aged 17 years 10 months. Between 1849 and 1855 he was a Private in the 4th Light Dragoons. The Regiment wer …

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The First World War 1914 to 1918

ALBERT LEAKEY PTE 26853 (son of William and Elizabeth), born 1894.  In 1901 he lived with his family at 21 George Street (later renamed to Cawnpore Street).  He joined the 17th Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers.  He had 5 brothers and went to Woodland Road School (1898). In 1911 he was a gardener by trade.  He died of wounds at Flanders on 16 August 1916 and is buried at Sailly-le-Sec, Somme.  His brother Walter joined the Royal Wet Kent Regiment and he also died in 1916, aged 21.

RIFLEMAN SIDNEY THOMAS CLOUD 2197 was born in Brighton in 1883, but in 1891 lived at 13 George Street (Cawnpore Street) with his parents Thomas and Sarah and three younger brothers.  He joined the Monmouthshire Regiment.  In 1889 he went to Woodland Road School and in 1903, when he was 21, he married Emily.  He was killed on 15 May 1915 aged 31, leaving his wife and three sons.  His name is listed on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial.  His brother Arthur was also killed.

PRIVATE ARTHUR CLOUD/7473 was born in 1884, brother of Rifleman Sidney Thomas Cloud.  When he was six he went to Woodland Road School.  He joined the East Surrey Regiment, 2nd Battalion.  He was killed in Salonika (Macedonian/The Most Forgotten Front) on 22 June 1916.

PRIVATE WILLIAM GEORGE BUGDEN STK/1697 Bn 1894 to Robert and Caroline.  In 1911, they lived at 29 George Street and he was a Warehouse Clerk aged 17.  He joined the 10th Battalion London Regiment and was Killed in Action on 15 July 1916, aged 22.

The Second World war 1939 to 1945

The Rigluths were bombed out of their house in Anerley, so stayed a short while with their cousins who were living at 25 Cawnpore Street, Alexander and Eliza Durling (c1945).  As No 37 Cawnpore Street was suffering from blast damage, they got permission to put their furniture in it while they stayed at No 25.  They also got permission to do up No 37 and stay there eventually and were able to make it a lovely home.  No 37 was the end house on the short row of houses as No 39 (a shop) and No 41 (had been the Duke of Cornwall pub) had been bombed and destroyed.  They also made great friends with the neighbours at No 35.  They were on the same side as the dairy (left hand side at the far end) if approaching from Gipsy Hill.  

Mrs Rigluth used to look after neighbours children from school. One little boy who lived up the road was a very wilful child, but when Mrs Rigluth looked after him he was well behaved and had a soft spot for her and Mr Rigluth, especially as they were always welcoming.  

There was a lot of camaraderie with all the neighbours and it was a close community, especially after the Second World War and neighbours popped in to see neighbours at any time.  Everyone cared about everyone in Cawnpore 

Mr & Mrs John McNamara lived at No 11, which would have been the first houses after French’s Dairy milking sheds on the left hand side (looking from Gipsy Hill)

Second World War Damage (1939 to 1945)

Cawnpore Street where Nos 39 and 41 (The Duke of Cornwall Public House) used to be. They took the full blast of a World War Two bomb and were destroyed.

The green where there used to be houses, a shop and The Duke of Cornwall pub on the corner